Vettel opens up commanding points lead with dominant win in Spa
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Aug 2013   |  3:31 pm GMT  |  462 comments

Sebastian Vettel opened up a lead of 46 points over Fernando Alonso in the drivers championship – almost two race victories’ worth of points, with a commanding win in the Belgian Grand Prix.

It was his 31st career win, putting him equal with Nigel Mansell, and the fifth of 2013.

He started second on the grid, but took the lead from pole sitter Lewis Hamilton on the straight after Eau Rouge on the opening lap and drove away from the Mercedes driver, who finished third, a full 27 seconds behind the winner.

Red Bull had set the car up all weekend to have the highest top speed in the field at the top of Eau Rouge at 306 kmh, compared to the 298km/h of Hamilton’s Mercedes. The British driver didn’t get a perfect exit from the legendary corner and Vettel was able to slipsteam him and pass cleanly.

He pulled away from Hamilton into a comfortable lead.

Fernando Alonso was encouraged by the performance of his Ferrari, moving from 9th to fifth on the opening lap and then passing Rosberg, Button and Hamilton to move into second place. Alonso closed on Hamilton due to the Mercedes taking an earlier stop on lap 11, Alonso pitted two laps later and was right behind Hamilton and he made the pass for second place on lap 15.

“The car worked well in all conditions,” said Alonso, “with a full fuel load at first and then with a lighter one at the end and, on top of that, the extra speed we had on the straight meant I could overtake without taking too many laps to do so. We know we have made a step forward and that we have recovered some of the competitiveness we had lost in recent races.

Vettel was instructed to manage the gap and discouraged from pushing too hard in the closing stages. He said afterwards that the car had proved very quick in the race, more so than he had expected,

“I don’t think we expected to be dominant here, and it surprised all of us actually,” he said. “It’s a great result. I think we knew going into the race that our race pace, compared to Mercedes, maybe gave us a little in hand, but we didn’t know where we were compared to the others, especially Ferrari, and Lotus looked very quick in dry conditions also.”

Before the race the weather preductions suggested a 40% chance of rain from 13-00 local time. It never materialised and although some teams believed there was a threat of rain in the closing stages, the entire race was held in dry conditions.

After moving up from sixth on the grid to fourth on the opening lap, Jenson Button in the McLaren was able to race with Webber’s Red Bull, which had dropped from third to sixth after a poor getaway from third place on the grid.

Button tried to make a one stop strategy work, so pitted much later than his rivals on lap 17. But it proved difficult and he was forced to make a second stop on lap 34 due to pressure from Romain Grosjean, who was catching him. Grosjean did pull off a one stop strategy, the only driver to do so, making his only stop on lap 22.

Button finished sixth, seven seconds behind Webber, while Grosjean was 8th behind Felipe Massa.

The race featured plenty of overtaking, with the DRS passes on the Kemmel straight particularly straightforward for many drivers, but there many good passes witout DRS into the Bus Stop chicane. There were some incidents too: Pastor Maldonado took out Paul di Resta in a bizarre incident in the second half of the race, where he turned right in the left handed Bus Stop Chicane and smashed the left rear wheel off the Force India car. Maldonado had been passed illegally by Esteban Gutiarrez, who had run off the race track in setting up the pass, he was then tagged by Adrian Sutil and appeared to decide to turn for the pit lane, unaware that Di Resta was on his outside.

Kimi Raikkonen’s unbroken sequence of finishes stretching back to the start of the 2012 season came to an end with a brake failure. It was his first non-points finish in 28 races and only his second non-points finish since joining Lotus.

BELGIAN GRAND PRIX, Spa Francorshamps, 44 laps
1. Vettel Red Bull
2. Alonso Ferrari
3. Hamilton Mercedes
4. Rosberg Mercedes
5. Webber Red Bull
6. Button McLaren
7. Massa Ferrari
8. Grosjean Lotus
9. Sutil Force India
10. Ricciardo Toro Rosso
11. Perez McLaren
12. Vergne Toro Rosso
13. Hulkenberg Sauber
14. Gutierrez Sauber
15. Bottas Williams
16. van der Garde Caterham
17. Maldonado Williams
18. Bianchi Marussia
19. Chilton Marussia

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1

@Bearforce……How bout you share your amazing story of making it to the top in a sport that is probably the most difficult of all to get into, let alone survive for 12 odd seasons and succeed! From a little town outside Canberra, he makes his way to England. Battles through the various feeder series from 1995 to 2001. Lends money from Aussie rugby great David campese to help him continue racing. Somehow in 2002 makes it to F1………no sponsors, respected by all in the F1 world for his driving talent and as a person. Yet in australia, he is viewed as a guy who makes up the numbers……….not a legend of Aussie sport. That’s reserved for afl and rugby league players. Afl is the sport where u get a point even though u missed a goal that is 15meters wide and infinitely high…and test positive to illicit drugs 3….yes 3 times before you are publicly revealed and then banned!

2

Here’s the Greenpeace video on vimeo. You’ll notice that the booing was not meant for Vettel this time …

https://vimeo.com/73215350#

Their video on Youtube has been taken down already.

3

Here’s a video from a fan’s perspective:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byL32yDacKI

And another one. Just after:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dETdvnkJ7SQ

4

Bit late on this but was having problems with the local internet…

Anyhow I see this win by Vettel very much like Hamilton’s win before the break.

Mercs weather people are rubbish and the car set up hurt them on race day still this bods well for Merc as they Kept pace, both of them

5

A lot of enthusiasm from Hamilton´s fans on that tyre degradation data at hungaroring, but it was predictable that it would be a fiasco at Spa. Too slow Mercedes at Hungary compared to last year race and tyre diferences. Mercedes needs a deep transformation in the techinal departament and Paddy Lowe is a hope. The car seems to have aerodinamical problems when is racing on high speed tracks. Too soon to declare that the tyre degration was over. You let your heart go too fast.

6

Mercedes should hire Alonso, he can do qualifying laps all day on Race day. Not just on Saturday.

7

A pretty good race from my perspective, what surprises me most is the lack of reporting on the coup that Greenpeace pulled off. There’s been barely anything said about it anywhere by F1 reporting sites, I guess if it had been 2 bombs exploding instead of 2 banners raising and we had 3 dead world champions then maybe it would be news worthy. F1 got lucky this time but I doubt they will do anything to prevent security breaches in the future, it doesn’t seem like F1 learns much unless someone dies in the process. An example that comes to mind would be Brundle saying how he worries about a F1 car going under a crane tractor when it’s removing a car, yet the tractor’s stay the same, no side guards to prevent that sort of thing happening, sad really I can see the danger but apparently not F1. Hats off to you Greenpeace, not only did you get your message across expertly but you showed how flawed the F1 security is, unfortunately F1 has just tried to sweep it under the rug and not learn.

8

+1

Great work by Greenpeace. I wasn’t aware of arctic drilling until Sunday. Shell should do their homework first instead of fooling us with fifties style F1 movies. There’s much at stake here. And I am not talking about F1.

It is time for circuits to get more sustainable. Perhaps they should get a part of the F1 revenues. Especially the classic circuits.

9

To James Allen,

Thank you for your reply to one of my posts as part of #35.

You wrote:

“It isn’t true to say that he’s had the best car for the last four seasons, clearly 2011 he did and the RBR is the best car in 2013 (albeit not in qualifying), but first half of 2012 it was behind McLaren (having lost blown diffusers) and 2010 was pretty mixed up, if you remember.”

In response…

2010 – Vettel lost a LOT of points – both to car reliability/failure. I remember working out it was 60-70 points lost, based on where Vettel was running in the race at the time of the failure.

Also, he had a number of high profile crashes in 2010 – in Turkey with his teammate, in Belgium he crashed into Button, and in Britain he crashed into Hamilton on the first lap and had to pit, leaving him last. Net point loss – 40 to 50?

If not for car problems and his own errors, Vettel would have had the 2010 WDC sewn up, long before Abu Dhabi. In other words, the Red Bull of 2010 was by some margin, the class of the field throughout.

Further evidence can be seen by Webber’s best performance for Red Bull over a season. Further evidence of Red Bull’s superiority in 2010 can be seen in their average grid positions – Vettel 2.0, Webber 2.5. The next best was Hamilton (a consistently strong qualifier) with an average of just…5.2! Pole Positions in 2010? Vettel 10. Webber 5. 15 PPs for Red Bull in 2010! Hamilton? Only 1 PP in 2010.

2012 – I’d make it a roughly half a season each that Red Bull and McLaren had the quickest car. Crucially, where McLaren failed, Red Bull ultimately succeeded. However, as you yourself have detailed on this website, Hamilton lost a crazy amount of points through no fault of his own (in fact, I’d say your estimate was conservative) and thus the WDC Hamilton deserved was gone.

Hamilton won four races and was on for another four until the problems started. Eight wins in total, which is always enough for the WDC. Vettel won five and was on course a sixth in Valencia. Hamilton ultimately was on course to deliver more with a half season advantage of having the quickest car than Vettel managed. But again it comes back to F1 being a team sport, and Vettel demonstrates this more than most.

Indeed, one can also assess the “team” element in another way. Hamilton and Alonso have both deserved a WDC each in the previous few years. However, we can see that they have had little-to-no margin of error, be it either their mistakes or their team’s errors which has cost them. Both have been fatal to their WDC hopes.

Now compare that to Vettel in 2010 and 2012. He has been able to have both mechanical errors and cause multiple collisions (he had more penalties in 2012 than FA, LH & KR COMBINED!) yet still win the WDC in both years. That is some margin of error he has been able to enjoy, whereas the lack of margin of error has cost LH&FA a WDC each.

In short, I do agree with your suggestion that Red Bull have been kings of maximising performance since 2010 – but as well as having the best car (apart from the first half of 2012) since mid 2009.

Because of that is why I find any suggestion (from certain kinds of F1 ‘fans’ and the more reactionary element of the media) of Vettel representing some kind of unseen-before-standard in F1 so laughably misinformed. As I’ve detailed above, Vettel has not been (overall) performing any better than Alonso or Hamilton in the last four years. What has been the difference is the car and team Vettel has had when compared to Alonso and Hamilton.

PS. Apologies for the lengthy reply, James!

10

Cracking post, BK201.

11

“And in Britain he crashed into Hamilton on the first lap and had to pit, leaving him last.”

It was Hamilton that hit Vettel actually. LH’s front wing made contact with Vettel’s rear tyre. Hamilton had his own incidents in Italy and Singapore, Webber in Valencia, Korea and Australia, Alonso in Australia, Belgium and China.

“If not for car problems and his own errors, Vettel would have had the 2010 WDC sewn up, long before Abu Dhabi. In other words, the Red Bull of 2010 was by some margin, the class of the field throughout.”

Not throughout, since Mclaren and Ferrari were more often than not, on par, especially on racepace. And you said it yourself, Vettel had a lot of car issues and bad luck- that counts against any advantage Red Bull may have had.

“2012 – I’d make it a roughly half a season each that Red Bull and McLaren had the quickest car.”

Not really. RBR were quickest only in Valencia, and the Asian rounds towards the end of the season. Mclaren had it for the first few rounds, the final few European rounds, and the last few rounds. Almost certainly they had a faster car than RBR for more races. Of course, Mclaren’s greater unreliability cos them a possible championship. There were numerous weekends where it was too close to call, or Williams, Ferrari, Mercedes and even Sauber probably had the fastest car.

” He has been able to have both mechanical errors and cause multiple collisions (he had more penalties in 2012 than FA, LH & KR COMBINED!) yet still win the WDC in both years. That is some margin of error he has been able to enjoy, whereas the lack of margin of error has cost LH&FA a WDC each.”

How about Hamilton in 2008? How many penalties did he have and still win the title? More than SV, FA and KR combined?

We should really be talking about how Alonso could lose a title in 2010 in which he inherited one win because of Massa moving over, and two down to Vettel’s car failures.

“Because of that is why I find any suggestion (from certain kinds of F1 ‘fans’ and the more reactionary element of the media) of Vettel representing some kind of unseen-before-standard in F1 so laughably misinformed. As I’ve detailed above, Vettel has not been (overall) performing any better than Alonso or Hamilton in the last four years. What has been the difference is the car and team Vettel has had when compared to Alonso and Hamilton.”

Hamilton had a poor 2011, having another season full of penalties, while Alonso has been behind in performance this year, with an ever-worse Massa in the other seat. The only constant in the last four years has been Vettel.

12

Well, “Batholomew,” Vettel clearly turns right onto Hamilton’s front-wing. Anyway, I’d already mentioned some of the other driver’s errors but crucially, you claimed FA/LH/MW all “cost themselves 40-50 points.” Which I’m still waiting for you to detail.

“And you said it yourself, Vettel had a lot of car issues…”

Indeed. I’m always happy to factor in any driver’s loss of points to car problems and failures. As indeed you – partially – seem to accept about Hamilton’s McLaren in 2012. Although Hamilton lost a LOT more points in 2012, through no fault of his own, than Vettel did in 2010.

“How about Hamilton in 2008? How many penalties did he have and still win the title?”

It seems odd when the subject is Vettel, to respond “Yeah but what about Hamilton?” Yes he had a number of error/penalties in 2008 but I’ve never seen anyone have trouble admitting that. Compare that to the constant denials and point-blank refusals, by too many of his fanbase to acknowledge ANY of the multiple errors made by Vettel. Similarly, constant denials about the clear superiority of his car.

“We should really be talking about how Alonso could lose a title in 2010…”

Well, clearly he didn’t. Red Bull and Vettel nearly threw the WDC away in 2010. Ferrari/Alonso shouldn’t have been in with even a sniff of a WDC chance in Abu Dhabi 2010. That he did was due to Red Bull/Vettel trying their best to throw away their significant advantage.

“The only constant in the last four years has been Vettel.”

Hahaha and you conclude with that! You know what I was just saying about Vettel’s fanbase struggling to ever acknowledge any of his errors and the advantage his car has given him…!?

Even from the detail described above, Vettel clearly hasn’t been “the only constant.” You’re simply point blank refusing to even acknowledge factual occurences. Do you realise how that makes you look?

Anyway, the fact that in two of his three WDC years, the TPs voted Alonso driver of the year tells you Vettel was clearly not “the only constant.” As does more errors/penalties than FA,LH&KR, combined, in 2012.

13

“The fact is that for two of his three WDCs, Vettel wasn’t rated as the best driver of that year. Which tells us how much the TPs think Red Bull is the reason for Vettel’s success.”

And the fact is, that Vettel has also been voted as the best driver when he hasn’t won the WDC. This’ll just go around in circles. Since Vettel has been with Red Bull (i.e. a clump of years), he’s been considered the best or 2nd best driver in every year. That is still a good achievement.

“It’s really not. Vettel was beaten easily by Alonso in the inferior Ferrari for the first half of 2012, where the Ferrari is 2nd-3rd best overall this year, yet Alonso is second in the WDC.”

You mean, Alonso led Vettel by 29 points in a situation where numerous cars (right down to Williams) were capable of winning, and Vettel lost 32 points to Alonso after not putting a foot wrong in Valencia?

And this year, Alonso could have been much closer (and the point margin wouldn’t have seemed to daunting for RBR/SV’s rivals) had he not broken his front wing in Malaysia.

14

“The fact that Vettel has the best rating over the last 4 years is to his credit, is it not?”

F1 isn’t judged over clumps of years. It’s funny how some F1 fans selectively try to suggest that it is, just to support their own bias. The fact is that for two of his three WDCs, Vettel wasn’t rated as the best driver of that year. Which tells us how much the TPs think Red Bull is the reason for Vettel’s success.

“That is debatable.”

It’s really not. Vettel was beaten easily by Alonso in the inferior Ferrari for the first half of 2012, where the Ferrari is 2nd-3rd best overall this year, yet Alonso is second in the WDC.

15

@bk201/”Jon Sandor”

“Vettel has had the best car, overall, in that time. Unlike Alonso and Hamilton. Vettel should be performing better.”

The TPs aim to remove the car variable. The fact that Vettel has the best rating over the last 4 years is to his credit, is it not?

“Alonso has performed better in the first half of 2013 than Vettel did in the first half of 2012.”

That is debatable. Alonso would have been much closer if not for his DNF in Malaysia. Vettel’s only DNF in the first half of last year was a car failure that promoted Alonso into P1.

16

Bartolomew,

“Vettel hasn’t been out of the top 2 in the TP rankings since 2008. The only driver to do that…”

Vettel has had the best car, overall, in that time. Unlike Alonso and Hamilton. Vettel should be performing better.

“Alonso, the driver came close in 2010 and 2012 has been lacklustre in comparison this year).”

Alonso has performed better in the first half of 2013 than Vettel did in the first half of 2012.

17

“Anyway, the fact that in two of his three WDC years, the TPs voted Alonso driver of the year tells you Vettel was clearly not “the only constant.””

Vettel hasn’t been out of the top 2 in the TP rankings since 2008. The only driver to do that, and as I have already explained, has been the most consistently good performer over that time period (considering that Alonso, the driver came close in 2010 and 2012 has been lacklustre in comparison this year).

18

@bk201 –

“Vettel clearly turns right onto Hamilton’s front-wing.”

No, Vettel was making the corner. Hamilton clearly wasn’t alongside, and had no business being there.

“Yes he had a number of error/penalties in 2008 but I’ve never seen anyone have trouble admitting that. Compare that to the constant denials and point-blank refusals, by too many of his fanbase to acknowledge ANY of the multiple errors made by Vettel.”

Actually, I wouldn’t deny that Vettel made errors in 2010, especially the collisions he caused in Belgium and Turkey.

“Similarly, constant denials about the clear superiority of his car.”

Again, I doubt anyone would claim that Vettel has had the best car in the last four years. But the problem is when this advanatge is exaggerated in order to diminish his driving.

“Ferrari/Alonso shouldn’t have been in with even a sniff of a WDC chance in Abu Dhabi 2010. That he did was due to Red Bull/Vettel trying their best to throw away their significant advantage.”

Had Vettel’s car not broken down in Bahrain, Australia and Korea, he would have had an extra 63 points. Alonso would have had 16 less points. Alonso’s only major reliability issue was in Malaysia, in which he may have finished 7th-8th. Red Bull did throw away far more points than Ferrari did (largely through unreliability).

Vettel made errors that cost him points from major positions (largely Turkey, Belgium). Alonso certainly lost points in this manner. The sestimated points lost in brackets. There was the jump start in China (6), Belgium qualifying 10th (with Massa starting and finishing 4th) before crashing (12), and Monaco crash that kept him out of qualifying (7), and corner cut against Kubica at Silverstone (15). These would have tallied to around 40 points, not far off what Vettel “threw away”.

“Hahaha and you conclude with that! You know what I was just saying about Vettel’s fanbase struggling to ever acknowledge any of his errors and the advantage his car has given him…!?”

Vettel has had the best car over the period 2010-13. However, not to the extent that is often suggested. We know that Raikkonen only returned last year, and that Hamilton underperformed in 2011. With regards to Alonso, SV has what appears to be an unassailable advantage (46 points)over him. Yet this is even with Hungary being SV’s worst race, where he dropped 3-10 points. Had Alonso not broken his front wing in Sepang, there is a strong chance he would have won that race. The points swing would have had him just 14 off the championship lead.

19

“..he had a number of high profile crashes in 2010 …. Net point loss – 40 to 50?”

You conveniently omit the fact that Alonso, Hamilton, and Webber all had “high profile crashes” in 2010 as well, costing each of them 40-50 points.

Hamilton’s back to back crashes in Monza and Singapore (which were his own fault) cost him the 2010 WDC.

Alonso would have won the 2010 WDC if not for any of a series of errors. He crashed in qualifying at Monaco and as a result had to start from the pit lane, finishing sixth. He crashed out at Spa all on his own, no contact with another car. He jumped the light in China and had to fight his way through the field to sixth as a result.

Webber had the 2010 WDC in his grasp in Korea before he crashed out from second place in an unforced error.

Vettel was no more error-prone in 2010 than any of the older and more established drivers whom he defeated.

20

“You conveniently omit the fact that Alonso, Hamilton, and Webber all had “high profile crashes” in 2010 as well, costing each of them 40-50 points.”

Well, “40-50 points” simply isn’t true.

Alonso’s race in Spa was already ruined by a gamble over tyres in the wet. The crash cost him no points in the end. The loss of points in Monaco was between 4-7 based on Massa’s performance and up to 13 in China. And the other 30 points…!?

Hamilton was in fourth at Monza and sixth in Singapore before the collisions for which he received no penalties. So that’s clearly not “40-50” points.

Webber was running second in Korea but those 18 lost points can be offset against the 7-10 points Vettel cost him in Turkey. Again, where are those 40-50 points you speak of?

It’s also worth remembering that Vettel also received a penalty for crashing into Button in Spa and the race before, Hungary, he received another for an error behind the safety car.

He was also widely held responsible for the Turkey crash with Webber but in what was a sign of things to come, received protection from within Red Bull and Webber was, farcically, made the scapegoat for Vettel’s mistake.

In fact, the intra-team troubles at Red Bull can be traced back from Turkey 2010 due to Marko’s/Horner’s shameful scapegoating of Webber for Vettel’s error.

21

Alonso had already seriously underachieved in Belgium by qualifying 10th, with Massa 4th. There’s also the points lost from his Q2 elimination in Turkey, jump start in China, and first lap incident in Australia.

Webber crashed into Hamilton twice in Australia, crashed in Valencia, and obviously threw away a podium in Korea. Obviously then there’s the fact he was driving the same car as Vettel, suffered nowhere near the mechanical failures/bad luck as his teammsate, and still blew the title.

Also, the penalty Vettel received in Hungary was linked to the fact he was told by his team to back the field up under the safety car, in order to allow Webber to make a stop and lose minimal time, to beat Alonso.

22

@ BK201

superb post mate

you make lot of sense

23

Thank you. I’m just glad that a few people have at least read my lengthy thoughts!

24

again a post on Vettel being lucky to be in a great car… and of course, the great team, with the best engineer, that design the fastest car since 2009 (if not before) is not interested or not able to the get any of the fastest drivers (ALO, HAM), they are only able to get Vettel to drive that fast car… come on

25

In the end, the best Drivers end up in the best cars. It has been the case with Fangio in the 50ies, Clark in the 60ies, Lauda in the 70ies, Prost in the 80ies, Schumacher in the 90ies and Schumacher again in the 00ies. So there must be a reason why Vettel is driving the RBR and not Alonso, Hamilton, Räikkönen or Button. If RBR would think those drivers are better than Vettel, surely they would replace him with ALO/HAM/RAI/BUT?

26

“In the end, the best Drivers end up in the best cars.”

It’s a nice sentiment, I suppose, but an unfounded cliche in Vettel’s case.

Afterall, he was signed to the Red Bull Junior programme at, what, 12? That Red Bull subsequently signed Newey had nothing to do with Vettel, nor than it was more than a fortunate crossing of paths for Vettel.

Morover, neither the Torro Rosso nor the Red Bull were “the best cars” in 2007 and 2008. Newey was clearly focussing on the 2009 regulation changes, and Vettel being part of the Red Bull programme and with one year at Torro Rosso under his belt, promotion to Red Bull was already part of the pre-ordained career path.

There was no “ending up” at Red Bull in 2009, rather it was already planned. The crucial detail is Newey’s arrival, which as already mentioned had nothing whatsoever to do with Vettel.

One can also look at your “best drivers always end up in the best cars” claim about Vettel in terms of his junior record. Which was good, rather than great. He spent two years in the F3 Euroseries, finished 5th in his first year and in his second year was signed by the dominant ASM team. Yet was beaten to the F3 ES title by teammate Di Resta.

In short, he wouldn’t have been the first choice junior pick for any top team based upon his junior record. Moreover, when he signed for the Red Bull programme as a junior, they weren’t the top racing outfit they are now. But crucially they had Mateschitz’s billions and a heck of a lot of ambition.

You can compare Vettel to Hamilton as a junior to further assess your claim. When Hamilton signed for McLaren (aged 12-13) they were a genuine “top team.” Hamilton then won every junior class of racing he participated in, setting many records along the way.

And in 2007 he was one point away from being F1’s first rookie Champion and had he done so, he’d have completed a hattrick of titles in three straight years across three different forumlas. And Hamilton of course now drives for the highly ambitious and wealthy Mercedes team.

I’m sorry if it this disappoints you but whichever way I assess or analyse it, Vettel looks like little more than a good-to-very-good driver in a great team.

27

“Morover, neither the Torro Rosso nor the Red Bull were “the best cars” in 2007 and 2008. “

Other than Hamilton, it is rare for drivers to start their careers in a frontrunning team. That is part of the reasoning that the best drivers end up in the top teams. Look at Alonso for instance- started with Minardi, and worked his way up to Renault. Same with Vettel working his way up to Red Bull.

Look at his performances back then- his performances pretty much dragged STR forwards, scoring 35 of their 39 points.

“One can also look at your “best drivers always end up in the best cars” claim about Vettel in terms of his junior record. Which was good, rather than great. He spent two years in the F3 Euroseries, finished 5th in his first year and in his second year was signed by the dominant ASM team. Yet was beaten to the F3 ES title by teammate Di Resta.

In short, he wouldn’t have been the first choice junior pick for any top team based upon his junior record. Moreover, when he signed for the Red Bull programme as a junior, they weren’t the top racing outfit they are now. But crucially they had Mateschitz’s billions and a heck of a lot of ambition.”

Dr. Mario Thiessen actually blamed Vettel’s 2006 loss on the fact that Vettel was racing across three different series (F1 test driver, F3 Euro, WSR- in the latter, he won on his first weekend).

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/55728

At the age of 19, he was third driver at BMW Sauber. And of course, he was on course to win the WSR 2007 title, when he made his F1 race debut at 19 (ending up 5th in that championship, having done only 7/17 races). From there, you’d have to be rather ignorant to say he is only “little more than a good-to-very-good driver in a great team”.

In addition, the fact that RBR had the resources they had, an a great designer, showed that they were likely to become a top team. It’s not like they planned to put a young talent like Vettel, (who was already a racewinner) in the Red Bull to be struggling for points. If that turned out to be the case, he would indeed have been snapped up by another top team.

28

Best drivers in best cars? Where is Senna then on your list? Is it him not being best driver or McLaren not being best car?

29

@ F1fan

“If RBR would think those drivers are better than Vettel, surely they would replace him with ALO/HAM/RAI/BUT?”

So you see vettel as the best and better driver than ALO/HAM/RAI/BUT ?

Not really

RBR clearly know there are better drivers out there in other teams as well. Vettel simply have too good a car to win WDC. All vettel had to do is beat webber for the last four seasons to win WDC’S which he did easily. RBR have no need to replace vettel simply because he is better than webber and consistent enough through out the season to win WDC. If vettel is on par with webber or inconsistent then RBR may need to change their star driver.

hamilton Alonso kimi or JB will easily beat vettel 10/10 if they drive for same machinery

Vettel have lucky stars on his side and the move to RBR from STR in 2009 when rule changes came into play was pivotal to his career sucess

30

“hamilton Alonso kimi or JB will easily beat vettel 10/10 if they drive for same machinery”

LOL what a comedian.

31

so you know better than the entire RBR management – they produce the best car 4 years in a row, but then they choose an average driver, and somehow they don’t get it. They could have had HAM, RAI and even maybe ALO, but they can only make fast cars, they can’t assess drivers because they picked SV. Probably all their data are wrong, but they don’t know, only a bunch of pundits get it that SV is just an average driver. RBR doesn’t get it. Is that your thesis ? great…..

32

+1 if I remember correctly, the most telling race of redbulls car advantage was turkey 2010, when they were flat round turn 8 in qualifying and all the other cars had to downshift.

33

There have been numerous examples of that kind of thing with the Red Bull car, 2010 onwards.

34

The more interesting than the race itself is: “where will Kimi end up? Will ricciardo get a RB seat? Will Alonso really leave Ferrari?” etc.

35

Vettel and RBR have won WDC and WCC already.

Other teams can forget this season and better concentrate on next year with rules changes in 2014

I simply cannot understand how on earth big car Manufacturers (Ferrari, Mclaren, Mercedes) are beaten by a drinks company regularly for the last 4 seasons?

Does this mean there is no one can out smart newey or RBR ?

This is simply far too easy and predictable

36

Hi james

Can you shed us some light on how RBR have pulled away from rest of the field massively after summer break ?

Have other teams brought any updates and made it work ? Why mercedes was never able to show the race pace ? why Ferrari were second best all day long at spa to RBR by huge margin (nearly a second)?

37

I think it was the track

Singapore will suit Mercedes more

38

DRS ruins Spa.

39

Alonso (This coming from a Vettel fan)

Just like Vettel – he did what he needed to do in the early stages of the race BUT he had a slight disadvantage (ALO started lower down the grid).

The whole debate about Seb not being a good driver due to the fact that he drives a “Newey” designed car, will be settled in the near future. Seb will be moving away from RBR for a “fresh” challenge in another year or two.

40

Who was driver of the day last year? Button or Vettel, who was P13 after the crash in turn one?

41

Its looking very bleak for a contest this year

42

Considering most teams have now switched to the development of next year’s car, I would suspect we will see RB running away with it now.

I’m already planning other activities for my Sunday afternoons for the rest of 2013, as I’m focusing on next year as well 🙂

43

Vettel is a one trick pony, leads before drs is enabled and holds position. Hamilton made a mistake on the exit of Eu Rouge and that’s what enabled Vettel to overtake.

He may win this years championship, but he’ll always have the doubters who will question his ability to overtake and win races from places lower than 2 place on the grid. He’ll never be a legendary champion.

44

If you look at SV conversion of wins from leading a race before DRS is enabled, you’ll see why so many doubt his talent. SV will never be in the Fangio, Prost, Senna, Lauda or Alonso league no matter how many championships he wins.

45

And then you list Senna and Fangio, who usually won by leading from the front?

46

Yep, he can’t over take, look at the final race of last year, when he crashed, he just stuck at the back of the field.

47

Yeah thats right even when he’s proven to be able to overtake he still can’t overtake, who is the legend on this grid then? Hamilton I take it…

48

Wow, what a boring race. Such an anticlimax after a boring month of no F1. Oh well

49

Im not sure this was Redbull being.. alien. The track didnt suit the Mercs, the Lotus’s were equally bad, and Ferrari just merely held their ground as the rest failed. (even if ferrari did take a step forward it was rather clear RB had nearly a sec per lap on them, thats light-years in F1).

Looking forward to monza, hopefully with alonso/ham in the 1-2 and a Vettel retirement to breath some life into this championship.

50

Another Grand Prix, another message to Webber before the race even starts, “Mark, we have a clutch issue with the car”. For a WCC team, it amazes me that one side of the garage is having so many issues BEFORE the race starts.

I am interested in Horners quote after the race…”For Mark, his clutch wasn’t good in preparation going to the grid. We did our best to tidy it up”.

Webbers said. “The two practice starts we did were diabolical. The clutch was like a tractor”.

With all of Webbers nay-sayers and calling that he is hopeless and that someone else should be driving his car, just look at 2013 practise and race issues to date. It must be very frustrating. I cannot see Webber even getting a podium in the remaining races. The chemistry is gone, 2013 will be a year to forget for him.

Vettel is a great a champion however he would simply not be where he is this year if he had Webbers gremlins. There is no conspiracy here, just facts. The RB when in traffic, as Webber normally finds himself is just not the same rocket when in clean air. Both Vettel and Webber show this.

Unless Vettels wheels fall off, it is his championship to lose. There is no ‘stand out’ second driver to hunt him down in the points.

51

Shucks! Rain gods were sleeping?

A boring race after Alonso cut through the field and just held to second like forever. Vettel was too fast even though Ferrari up their pace and improved. Vettel could have easily finished more than 20 seconds ahead if he wanted too. SIGH.

The jeering once again was uncalled for but the fans are so sick of Vettel dominance and who coulda blamed them. Unsporting though.

Alonso’s body language says it all that his WDC is over.

Now he needs to rope in Luca for serious prayers so Vettel will DNF for 2 races? or more? Were Lewis and Vettel giggling about Alonso, like two school kids ganging up against him even up to the podium. I think so, LOL!

James, I bet ya the comments for this race will be minimal. The amount of comments is an accurate rate of each race.

I rate the race four upon ten.

52

Booing was for greanpeace protesters who tryed to disrupt the podium ceremony and not vettel himself.

53

Yeah, found that out later. But Greenpeace was awesome hanging on the roof like a James Bond movie. More interesting than the race I must say, lol.

54

Possibly, but well over 200 comments in 12 hours shows a healthy level of interest and debate

55

This has as much to do with how boring and disappointing it was.

Bring back the skill and get rid of drs, maybe we’d have seen a few memorable overtakes if it wasn’t for the ridiculous one side drs.

If we have to have it then drivers should be free to use it when they see fit so they are not a sitting duck – no true F1 fan wants to see overtakes that mean nothing just like no football fan wants to see 20 goals in every match.

56

So in that sense, Vettel’s overtake of Hamilton, with no DRS, was the best of the race then?

57

Hello James, can you please explain to us how the brake failure on Kimi’s car happened?… I just don’t get it, highly paid engenieres did not know the brakes will not last the race?… maybe the car was set up for rain, and the brake coolers (??) were too small?.. maybe, but why go racing then, why send the guy to hurt him self or somebody else.

I think it was lap 11 when Kimi was told to watch for his brakes, and he said, why, it is too early… anyway, the fact of the matter is, that this kind of rookie mistakes don’t happened in F1, and it is my particular believe that Kimi already sign for another team… james your opinion on this?

58

Spa is a light braking track – not like Bahrain or Canada where they had no problems, So clearly something went wrong in the braking system from early in the race, looked to us like the calliper was maybe sticking on.

59

Lotus claimed that helmet visor protection plasticstripe has blocked vent

60

Boring race! Still RedBull is the best team right now, shouldn’t be a surprise!

Shame for Kimi. Alonso managed to come 2nd. Lewis and Nico grabbed some good points for the Mercedes second spot in the Constructors (a lot of work to do to find some race pace again) The rest I don’t remember and it didn’t rain! Boring!

Bring on Monza!

61

Just want to put this out there and I don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist, but does anyone else find it odd that Webber has another clutch issue when he is close to Vettel on the grid and that the person collecting the trophy for Red Bull was the man in charge of starts and clutches…Im just saying!

Any thoughts and could you ever look into the telemetry to make sure that there has been no tampering with Webbers car?

62

So why didn’t they do anything about Webber’s car for the start of Korea last year? Or Brazil? Or Germany this year, where he actually got a better start than Vettel (but Vettel had the better line into turn 1)?

63

Webber is just poor at starts.

64

Game – over …..

Too easy for vettel again well driven but man the red bull makes it easy for him. 4 times world champ soon to be and 4 times constructors champ really does make all the vettel fans sound silly with their theory’s about other cars being faster. Stats don’t lie! Merc best one lap speed only just but red bull much better over long haul.. Best machine by a mile since late 2009 bloke makes the best out of the situation and webber gets the bridesmaids outfit again. Coincidence cannot be used to explain a continuous repetition of errors. Sorry but the Aussie is a bloody good driver numerous years in F1 is proof. What is dubious is how he now seems to plank every start. No way on earth this guy can make this many errors conspiracy theory or not anytime he’s near vettel its another clutch bite error …. Oops ? Ferrari Merc Lotus someone please up the game and beat Neweys flying machine I’m losing faith in the sport I love. Or even better as a mclaren fan sort it out for button. Rant over as is the championship

: /

65

The red bull does seem to be the best car again this year ,its looking like championship 4 for the young German .

Despite the car being the best you still have to have a driver that can get the most out of it and although I believe Ham, Alonso, and kimi could have done just as good a job its Vettel that’s been in the right place at the right time .Things will hopefully change next year .

66

It wasnt on saturday, or in hungary, very marginal in germany and also not in silverstone.

67

+1. Sensible post … any of the elite drivers would have done just as good a job with the Red Bull for the past 5 seasons. For me it’s akin to the Brawn/Button hegemony, but for four-and-a-half seasons instead of one-half.

It could be in 2014 that Vettel/RBR are in the position Ferrari, Merc, and Lotus find themselves in this year, of always being a step behind in car performance. If that’s the case, there’ll be nothing Vettel can do about it, as the top 4 drivers (VET, ALO, HAM, RAI) would cancel out each other.

Of course, RBR have the money, and the Newey, to ward off such a backslide. The one area out of their control is the engine.

68

Hello and welcome to the sebastian vettel show

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