Vettel ends Silverstone test on top as Susie Wolff takes her chance
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Jul 2013   |  6:01 pm GMT  |  161 comments

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel ended the Silverstone test with the fastest time on the final day, as the three days came to a close.

Vettel was the only one of the leading title contenders to take advantage of the opportunity to evaluate the new specification Pirelli tyres, which will now be used for the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards.

Vettel’s title rivals Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen decided not to take part in the test as the FIA ruled that the race drivers were not allowed to do any development or set up work in their allotted time.

Both felt that it was a waste of their time to take part, but Vettel took the opportunity to do a race distance and a third – 79 laps – to learn about their characteristics.

As it was a Young Drivers’ test, to which an added component of tyre evaluation was added after the tyre failures at the recent British Grand Prix, the FIA wanted to keep the race drivers to a strict regime.

Mercedes was not allowed to attend the test, as part of its punishment for breaching the Sporting Regulations with its 1,000km test in May. Teams this week at Silverstone covered between 30% and 50% more distance than that and were allowed to test development parts when a Young Driver was in the car.

For example, Lotus today ran new aerodynamic parts to help get the most performance from the new specification tyres as well as a new exhaust, as it pushes ahead with development in its quest for title success in 2013.

There was no repeat of the spectacular failures of last month; Force India’s Adrian Sutil gave the new tyres, which are based on 2012 constructions with 2013 compounds, the thumbs up,

“It was interesting to see how the new tyres react,” he said. “They are a bit easier to handle so the drop-off won’t be as dramatic as we saw in a few races.”

Vettel added, “Obviously, we were very limited on what we could do, but for me there is not that much difference with the tyres. It was good to get in some laps though, good to get a feeling for them and it’s always nice to drive at Silverstone.

“We had three days, different drivers in all the different cars and no (tyre) failure. That’s good – in conditions that were probably worse than at the Grand Prix – even hotter, asphalt temperature was even higher.”

The test has seen some exciting names for the future get a chance to test F1 machinery, names that we are likely to see come into the sport over the next few years; among them Kevin Magnussen, Antonio Da Costa, Daniil Kvyat and James Calado.

Williams’ Susie Wolff got her chance to drive an F1 car alongside male colleagues today, the first time a woman has done that for 20 years. She covered 89 laps and set the 9th fastest time of the day, on the second lap of a five lap run on medium tyres.

“It was fantastic today,” said Wolff. “The team did a great job getting me through the day, talking me through everything step by step. In hindsight it would have been good to run the new tyres later in the day after I’d had more time in the car as I don’t think I got the best out of the medium tyres.

“Physically it wasn’t easy, but it was what I was expecting. I was well prepared so it was completely manageable. My only problem was my seat as I was moving around a little. Doing the pitstops this afternoon was also really beneficial as there is a lot to think about coming into the stops. It was a fantastic experience.”

Analysis of her performance and that of Red Bull Racing audition Daniel Ricciardo will follow.

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m32.894s 79
2. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m33.242s +0.348s 99
3. Nicolas Prost Lotus 1m33.256s +0.362s 83
4. Carlos Sainz Jr Red Bull 1m33.546s +0.652s 35
5. Davide Rigon Ferrari 1m33.592s +0.698s 20
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m33.624s +0.730s 69
7. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m33.647s +0.753s 42
8. Gary Paffett McLaren 1m34.294s +1.400s 77
9. Susie Wolff Williams 1m35.093s +2.199s 89
10. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m35.155s +2.261s 85
11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1m35.281s +2.387s 22
12. Charles Pic Caterham 1m35.576s +2.682s 60
13. Kimiya Sato Sauber 1m35.642s +2.748s 67
14. Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia 1m36.339s +3.445s 24
15. James Calado Force India 1m36.451s +3.557s 5
16. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m36.744s +3.850s 39

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williams would do a lot better if they took on a woman driver by the name serina.


Day 11. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren)1m33.602sMedium New2. Paul Di Resta (Force India)1m33.774sPrototype Hard New3. Antonio Felix Da Costa (Red Bull)1m33.821sHard NewDay 21. Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)1m32.972sMedium Used2. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso)1m33.016sSoft New3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)1m33.187sHard NewDay 31. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)1m32.894sMedium New2. Adrian Sutil (Force India)1m33.242s Medium New 3. Nicolas Prost (Lotus)1m33.256s Medium New 


Dan Ricciardo did a 1.32.97 in the Torro Rosso… Were the RB cars sand baging? Seb only managed .1 faster in the RB?


I was at Silverstone for the test on Friday. Just a quick point to add, if race drivers ran in the cars they could only test a restricted amount of tyres – not new parts.So by running rookie drivers, teams were able to make the most out of what was a test session.

It looks like Pirelli have solved the tyre issues which is the main thing.


Susie Wolff has more balls than most of these posters who can only beat [mod] their keyboards. She accepted the challenge knowing full well that failure would have given all the smug commentators justification for their comments. Finishing well up in the field should have earned her at least an approving nod. Makes one think that there is still much to do by the system to give women a fair shake in F1. Pat Moss wasn’t a bad driver,just a woman.


“Makes one think that there is still much to do by the system to give women a fair shake in F1”

It’s not about getting a fair shake of the stick – it’s simply a numbers game. I’d be surprised if the amount of girls who actually *want* to take part in Formula 1 is even a fraction of a fraction of a single percent.

Even if we say it’s a whole 1% – we’re saying 1 in every hundered people who want to be in F1 are women. Now out of all the people who aspire to be in F1, only a very select few are going to be any good. Let’s go crazy and say 10% of the people who want to be in F1 have genuine potential. If there are 1,000,000 people interested in being a driver, there’s 100,000 of them that are actually any good, and 10,000 that are women. The likelihood of any of those 10,000 women being in the 100,000 who have the talent is pretty low to begin with – this before we even have start debating whether there IS any physical limitations of not.

If a woman driver came through karting, and the lower fomulee setting time sheets alight and winning races and championships, you could bet their bottom dollar that sponsors would pick her up and teams would snap her up. In fact, in that respect, you could say they probably actually have a better crack at the whip.

Rayhan Chouglay

Hmmm, I am not normally a vettel fan but this situation reminds me of 2011 where only one driver went to see the new pirelli tyres in their factory, that driver then went on to dominate the season….that driver, Sebastien Vettel


CSJ has done enough here to impress a lot of people. The boy is quick.


Why not Kimi and Fernando?

People who think, let alone comment, that it may be due to ‘laziness’ ?!? You are just not even close to the ballpark in terms of understanding what is going on, here.

Why Vettel, then?

Red Bull have established preferential status and have further cultivated the softspots in the rules and regulations; it seems incredible (in the true sense of the word) hat Red Bull would give up any development opportunity in order for Vettel to take his tire acclimatization drive.

What this really tells me is that the entire tire saga is a red herring. There is plenty of opportunity for the top drivers to acclimate to the comparatively small variation that these ‘new’ tires represent, during the first practice session at Hungary.

Perhaps Red Bull have switched their development efforts to the 2014 car, with all probability that they have 2013 on a very solid trajectory to victory in the championship.

The Vettel run at the ‘young drivers test’ is yet another vanity-support exercise for their star munchkin.

Furthermore, if you believe the reports that Vettel is indifferent to who he is partnered with in 2014, you haven’t been paying attention.

If Vettel has a weak spot ,it is his vanity, and partnered with Kimi, his vanity is certain to take a beating.


Gave me a good laugh. You provide no evidence really, for any of your claims.


That’s more an exercise is half-baked psychological analysis on your part than anything to do with F1. I’ve never seen any evidence that Vettel has any more “vanity” than the average F1 driver, and you don’t provide any.


some of the more thoughtful commenters think it “Spot on…” and “Finally someone who points out the truth.”

“half-baked psychological analysis” is working for me, as part of a predictive analysis for comparative performance.

Clearly, Vettel gets a bit strange around Kimi, emulating, though tactlessly, Kimi’s straight-talking opinion of one of the races, towards the end of last season; it was funny. Nobody else affects Vettel in this manner.

If you assess Vettel’s ‘interest level’ towards potential team mates for next year, there is only really one, who has a drastic affect on his behaviour.

Vettel is very ‘interested’ in the potential of Kimi as a team mate. I don’t expect that this interest is a positive one; from my perspective, the possibility of it clearly unsettles Vettel.

Vettel has displayed the most vanity, by far, of any of the current F1 drivers; not a pejorative, just a statement of fact: fastest laps, poles, his normal ruthless driving tactics, especially the Webber 2013 incident v1.0 (expect more before the year is out).

What do you think?


Well, if there is a reason Vettel is interested in Raikkonen, then it’s because of the fact they are friends away from the track. Where do you get it from that this is negative, or unsettling for the champion?

I also don’t see how Vettel is necessarily so much more vain than the rest. Do you not see the others shout, whoop, jump or celebrate a lot when they win? The same Mark Webber was similarly ruthless in 2011 Silvertsone, well, except he wasn’t fast enough to overtake.


To add to that Dean – Vettel recounts ( after Nurburgring) Kimis 2005 drive challenging Michael in unreliable Mclaren and almost winning- despite everyone knowing Ferraris advantage at that time. He knows, in fact anyone with half a brain knows in race trim there is no faster race driver on the planet. And only in quali has Kimi lost maybe a tenth or so he was once renowned for.

You are 100 % right in that MS and Vettel – both German- have a calculating no holds barred- win at all costs approach. they do not care who they take out- how they win or otherwise. Whilst its not written anywhere that I can see – I too find it really interesting that Seb has this respect for Kimi- t think even he knows as you so rightly mention that Kimi has something he will never have ( and probably more than half the field) – racing integrity regardless of the situation on track. Last year at the start of interlagos when Vettel got clipped and was spun round down the straight – Raikkonen travelling flat stick was forced off track- locked brakes at 250+ in te damp ,came off the l locked brakes and avoided Seb in the one motion. most drivers including Seb himself would have had some impact- and anyone who saw the replay would appreciate the supreme skills at play to avoid that- yet his own team mate virtually clipped wheels more than once not giving him position.

The thing that many don’t like about Raikkonen, including some commentators, media, people in the pits former team mates is – he constantly shows you that he does not bow to bs- he does not beat his chest when he has every right to do so, he gives every team mate he’s ever had a fair go.- he is only interested in winning fair & square. And that perhaps more than anything is the only thing anyone really fears in him- because he more than anyone has the ability and the quality to do so.


Spot on Dean ! Anyone that thinks Seb is not wetting himself when that Lotus looms in his mirrors need to rethink what happens when Kimi is alongside in Red Bull.

As for the test it was Lotus Not Kimi that said no need for him to test and it makes perfect sense given they had new aero bits, exhaust and who knows what else to test- that no experienced driver is allowed to test. So I think Lotus will look particularly strong for Hungary.

Further if everyone drive on the Kevlar belter tyres at Silverstone I doubt an experienced driver like Fernando or Kimi are going to take more than Friday FP1/2 to be in top of them !


For those who have been moderated. The Red Bull is a triple WC winning team/car and Webber with all of his problems has won a few GPs – bad start, penalties warts and on all- that team and car have the performance to win races that other teams dream of including its next 3 closest rivals- that is my reasoning. If you think the lotus that can’t get anyone near the front when it’s wet or cold- a team that is still not accustomed to winning- like the poor strategy calls at Nurburgring and Silverstone which may have won them the race- if you think they are faster than the Red Bull then I would like the medication you are taking because only when temps are over 40 on track had it ever looked competitive enough or when no one had any clue about marginal tyres. Now it’s a diff ball game like late last- although they are clearly more competitive than then.


Further – look at qualifying -it’s usually 1 or two Mercs and 1 or 2 red bull locking out the front two rows most of the time- a fact no one can dispel. In race pace both Ferrari and Force India have often matched Lotus strategy and speed. So when you have a driver in a Lotus often finishing first or challenging for the win – it tells you just one thing – especially when his very quick team mate usually struggles to make the podium or make the top10- this will change now with the new tyres and I think we will see both Lotus drivers fighting for the front 4 grid slots every time.I can see Romain winning a race sooner rather than later too- because the apprentice must learn something from the master.


Couldn’t agree more. Finally someone who points out the truth.


I think they left themselves no choice but to run Vettel for a session. Think back to the Pirelli/Merc tyre test where Red Bull were claiming Merc gained a significant advantage, as much as 1 second a lap. It would be a massive climb down to now say, as some of the other teams are saying, that there is little benefit running the current drivers without setup and development changes.


Yes teams often waste no time in back swiping a competitor if they can, and Red Bull immediately saw the opportunity. The penalty must have been a disappointment for them.


Interesting. Good perspective. Thanx.


Hamilton spent all of pre season testing and part of the season trying to adjust to different brakes on his car. Even with his “McLaren brakes” fitted to his Mercedes we still keep hearing that adjusting to a different F1 car is a long and complicated process which will take even more time. So no, I don’t think that even top drivers can fully adjust to different tyres within the space of one FP.


There are seven drivers whose test results were worse than Mrs Wolff. If she’s a waste of time how should they be characterized.

roberto marquez

Jesus this column looks more and more everyday like Cosmopolitan but read by men. People do some conments like if they know what is going on inside Alonso or Kimi s minds or the teams.PLease make conments on times or some other tech aspect ,but please leave the gossip for the chics.


These sort of tests aren’t that representative. Only in true qualifying situations when push comes to shove do we see the truth, however there is no doubt that Vettel would be near or at the top of the listings.


Does this mean the new tyres are far slwoer than the old ones? Comparing Sebastian Vettel’s 1m32.894s to Lewis Hamiltons’ Silverstone Qualifying time of 1:29.607


I’m sure Vettel had more fuel on board then he would have had in a qualifying run. The fastest lap of the Silverstone GP, which is probably more meaningful than the fastest qualifying lap, was a 1m 33 401 set by Webber. I think the sense is that the news tyres will have similar performance to the old ones, but have a wider operating temperature range and be less likely to fall apart.


Surely Ferrari could’ve penciled in a drive for Kobayashi. After all, he’s already had experience in a simulator, a 2009 car and has had a seat fitting session 😀


Well done Susie ignore the snide idiots


The media and F1 fans praising Wolff for being successful and all… if a guy had driven those times he would be considered to be a slow driver, no chance of a seat, and so forth.

Political correctness at work again. “Oh no it’s a woman, quick compliment whatever she did so we are not seen as bigots”.

A proper talent should have gotten the test instead of her.


I’m not surprised that most race drivers didn’t go to the test, given that they weren’t even allowed to change set ups I suspect that they’ll all learn more in FP1 in Hungary than they could have in an entire day of testing at Silverstone.


Not very impressed with Ric in the RBR. Other then Ric I can imagine Vet didn’t even pushed as hard as he could.

Sainz who drove both cars said the STR and RBR are more or less alike. Despite the different engine and chasi there isn’t much of a difference.

And Sainz was as quick as Ric in the STR. I think this young kid has a bright future ahead of him.


Judging from the times and how the Williams typically performs against the rest of the field it looks like Susie did a very good job. Hopefully that puts to rest the sexist/misogynistic talk that this was merely a publicity stunt.


It will be good to see a lady in F1 achieve what Danica Patrick did in the American open wheel series.

But Susie Wolff at 30 years of age – I’m not sure where this is all going. Just a marketing and publicly initiative?

Or was this an opportunity just to see if she’s the next Hamilton/Vettel? I guess that question has been answered.


Thanks guys I didn’t realise Patrick only won once. I don’t folllow Indy religiously, but when I watch from time to time she seems to be running in the top 10 quite often.

So her swimsuit exposure does give her a higher profile in my mind than men who have achieved more.

I guess I really am that shallow person who will enjoy F1 more if more of the top 10 drivers looked good in women swimsuits!


Patrick has achieved basically nothing. She has won a grand total of one race in her entire career in different classes of motor racing.


Patrick only has 1 win and 7 podiums to her name, from her IndyCar career. She’s yet to win or podium in NASCAR.

All in all that makes her racing’s Kournikova.


Swimwear modelling, angered rivals (particularly Dan Wheldon who she collided with on several occasions) and years of under achievment.

When a woman comes along with a real chance, lets hope she does better than that.


Damon Hill was in his 30’s before he got his chance in F1. It worked out quite well for him didn’t it?


I didn’t realize Damon got into F1 in his 30’s. Thanks for pointing this out. He certainly did well – and would have had 2 WDC had Schumacher not cheated by driving into Hill at the Aust GP. (the same way Schumacher drove in to Villeneuve)


The fact that Schumacher was wrongly disqualified for 5 races that season, and the Williams was a much much stronger car ( with a new Renault V10 compared to Schumacher;s ancient Ford V8 ) and yet Schumacher took the title fight to the wire proves that the better driver won, and rightly so. People who keep bringing the collision are those who try to make Damon look like a much better driver than what he actually was.


Don’t understand why any driver would miss any opportunity to get time in the car, given how massively limited time in the car is outside of race weekends.

Vettel comes out of this looking a bit more committed than the others which, if nothing else is a PR/pyschological victory.

Get your acts together boys!


We do not have the fastest car. We are fighting Adrian Newey. We are into damage limitation. I can’t be bothered to go testing. Odd?


If you think logically, tyres are not the biggest issue for the Ferrari, it is their qualifying pace that is holding them back. Makes sense to spend time with setup and updates rather than tyre testing. But why run Massa instead of Alonso? Maybe they think the WDC is out of reach and want to give Massa a confidence boost after his recent crashes in order to perform better in the WCC.


Interesting to see RIC’s best time in the Red Bull was within 2 tenths of Vettel’s best time. Just goes to show that he did actually perform really well. To be able to hop into a completely foreign F1 car and put a time up roughly the same as Vettel is quite a good achievement IMO.


Actually Ricciardos time was less than 1/10th off Vettel.


Actually it was closer to 3 tenths in the Red Bull, a very good effort by Dan.


Very creditable performances by Susie Wolff. Really Proud. After all the uncharitable things that were said after Maria De Villota’s accident, aspiring women drivers needed this.


It would be interesting to see if they were running her on vapors. Comparing her later times in the session, she most likely was running on fumes when she set her best time.


@ zombie, hope you aren’t on vapors yourself.


She was 23rd fastest overall, but her laptime was set during short stints as clearly indicated in the graph in the analysis section.Without knowing what was the weight of her car compared to others during that lap, her time ( a full second off the other Williams rookie ) means nothing much. Maybe she’ll get more tests or maybe even a few races at the end of the season and hope she proves me wrong then. Trouble is, Juncadella/Bottais/Maldonado are way too talented than Susie Wolff is.


No she was on a five lap run and the time was on second lap


James, a thought about Raikonen.. he was going to test and then he did not..

Does the Reb Bull ‘speculation’ have anything to do with Lotus changing their mind?


No, I don’t think so, As I understand it he was up for the test when it looked like there may be some small amount of freedom for race drivers, but then an FIA clarification meant it was purely a tyre test and at that point he did not continue

Tornillo Amarillo

That shows FIA needs some more professional skills again for dealing with this matters, tires, safety, private-tests, etc.

Hire someone.

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