Nico Rosberg
2016 Formula 1 World Champion
Vettel opens up commanding points lead with dominant win in Spa
Scuderia Ferrari
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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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462 comments

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1

Quite a routine Sunday episode really.

It is what you get with durable dumbed down non-directional harder compound tires. To all who demanded the change, your wish has come true and you are welcome.

...And goferet, told you that you jinxed Kimi! This one is all on your shoulders. 🙂

2

You got it right!

Welcome to the bullet-proof tires and tedious championship, due to the completely manufactured 'tire problem'.

And while I agree that the time is coming for DRS to go away, at least at places like Spa, the real, underlying root cause of spoiling the spectacle is the unrepentent corporate arm-twisting and outright cheating.

Red Bull have, as suspected, kept a ringer in the bag, and taken it out at the right time - now on top of everything else, they are fastest through the speed trap!

It is unlikely that anyone will catch the Vettel-Red Bull package.

My estimations of the Lewis-Mercedes package (heading to the top),so far seems out-of-line with the Spa results; seems I was wrong (but theer are nine races to go).

3

Sebee, I'm with you on this one! Sometimes you just have to be careful what you wish for. Two of my favorite races (Canada & Spa) have been mediocre by recent standards

4

Double DRS at a circuit that has absolutely no need of it is what ruined this race. F1 has many thrilling races at this circuit on the most hardy of tyres in the past. My God, F1 has somehow managed to hold a dull race at the world's greatest racing track because of all the gimmicks - good job! For next year DRS should be banned, the massive technical changes could be used to enforce a clean slate for the sport and restore some of its purity.

Anyone have the faintest idea about the 'race is defined by the white lines' rule? Does it only apply at certain circuits? Does F1 now make its rules up on a race by race basis. I swear that F1 is the only sport in the world that has the arrogance to shove such inconsistent and terrible stewarding decisions down the throats of fans.

Is it a rule or isn't it?

5

The problem with DRS is that despite it's good intention (closing the cars below the aerodynamic limit they keep bumping into when following another car), it's constantly a moving target in terms of how much of a zone is required. This means at best, 1/3 of the time the DRS zone is too short to make a difference (the pit straight at Spa), and 1/3 of the time it's too long (Kemmel straight at Spa) resulting in easy passes. They'll get it about right the other 1/3 of the time. Not exactly the result they were hoping for.

At Spa, it didn't affect the outcome (Vettel made the pass on Hamilton before DRS was enabled) but it did make for a lot of lazy overtakes.

This target is impossible to nail down correctly as the cars keep changing as do the track characteristics on the race day. Should be abandoned in favour of aerodynamic changes (i.e. less aero grip, more mechanical grip). Problem is, the aero genie is definitely out of the bottle.

As for the white line rule, as far as I know, at some races, in certain corners, the drivers are allowed to swing wide of the track defined by the white line, but otherwise, they can't let all four wheels drift wide of the white line. Doing this does not guarantee a penalty though, since it remains a case of whether the driver gained an advantage. And that's where your mates the Stewards come in...

6

Which moves do you make that poi t in regard to? Only asking so I can watch it back and compare. I think a permenent ex driver steward would make sense to bolster consistency!

7

Start with HAM surrendering the last corner to ALO because he knew ALO would pass him under DRS. He actually gave up track position because he knew DRS assured ALO of the position.

Then move onto all the passes where the cars just breezed past each other in Zone 1.

SPA has never needed DRS and it dulled this race.

8

Easier to bribe too! 🙂

9

Wayne,

I've argued for DRS on a number of occassions because there is logical reasons for it. However, it was quite lame to see Alonso pulling up and in deed not able to make the pass in the first laps and then he resigned and waited for DRS to be enabled.

Spa doesn't need DRS. It didn't in the past. However, if FIA would allow a race with no DRS, like Spa for example, and the race would turn out well it would remind viewers it may not be needed. Also, it may illustrate that DRS is a fix for certain poor tracks.

For that reason it is not an option to say no DRS at one race and DRS at next. It's either DRS for all with two zones at each circuit, or no DRS at all - which again, is no longer an option in this aero sport. Even with formula change in 2014, DRS stays.

10

Good points, unfortunately. But its actually worse than that ALO example. HAM actually surrendered a corner to ALO at one point because he knew DRS was coming up and he hoped to re-pass.

11

+1. Sick to death of the ridiculous stewarding... I see more consistent penalties being dished out in local kart races by volunteer marshals.

The FIA needs to wake up and get a grip, both on the application of the rules and DRS.

12

I'd rather see this race any day rather than the shotgun lottery of Silverstone thanks very much. The problem isn't the tyres, the problem is we're in for another Vettel cakewalk to the title. Great if you're a Vettel/Red Bull fan, dull as anything for the rest of us.

13

I just think it would have been interesting to see the original directional higher-tech tires go the distance this season. These uniform L/R new construction and hard compounds have all but become an invisible factor.

All I'm saying is that F1 is high tech. Why shouldn't the tires be high tech? Anyhow...that ship has sailed.

14

The old tyres weren't high tech at all, they were deliberately low-tech to enforce an artificially low level of performance. They used steel instead of kevlar.

And let's not kid ourselves about the L/R thing, before Silverstone (when Pirelli laughingly tried to blame all the failures on this, which was proven to be false) this feature was hardly talked about at all.

15

Did Lotus score an own goal today? It looked like there wasnt sufficient cooling for the front brakes. Kimi's failed. Even Grosjean's front rims looked much darker than the other cars.

16

Spparently a visor tear-off became stuck in the cooling shaft during the warm-up lap on kimmi's car.

17

There have been races with cheese tyres which were much worse than this. These kind of comments make no sense.

Majority rather sees a proper race with less gimmicks, rather than gimmicky tyres where a Sauber is faster than and RBR and Ferrari and sets the fastest lap and a Marussia is unlapping itself driving past the leader with ease.

This was a proper F1 race like the old days (minus the easy pass DRS zone). You think its boring? There is always American wrestling.

18

DRS was a joke. Drivers making legit passes just to be re-passed under DRS. It ended up with drivers waiting until the DRS zones to pass and not to bother attempting proper passes (you can't blame them - that's the formula they have to work with these days :()

19

It was evident that DRS was too powerful here. Think I heard Hamilton say he let Alonso past so that he could use DRS on the run to Les Combes. Don't think we want to see that become the tactical norm.

I'm really tiring of seeing every overtake being referred to the stewards as well. It's definitely being over-policed.

20

I hate DRS with a passion... it's taken the sole out of F1...

F1 seems to do everything to cater for the corporate investors and nothing for the fans (ex in my case).

We want to see driver battles - not DRS manoeuvers (can't even call them overtakes as there is no skill needed).

21

Good point, saves their tyres waiting for drs. Why risk the tyres racing hard? A sad question to have to ask!!

22

Agreed James, Double DRS at a track like Spa is just not needed and killed the race for me too, far to many cheap passes ruined what used to be my favourite race of the year.

23

@ Sebee

Lol come on man, it was just a lucky guess.

As for the tyres, we saw lots of overtaking in the midfield thanks to the more durable tyres

24

goferet, with Kimi being a fan favorite and so much fan rage now directed at you for the jinx, I'm going to try and lift some pressure off you.

Here goes...

Isn't it time Alonso had a collision on lap 1, always starting from so far back and trying to make up so many spots slicing and dicing? Monza? 🙂

25

@ Sebee

Hahaha but Samurais do this sort of thing every day, slicing through danger like a breeze.

Besides Alonso already had his misfortune in Malaysia so no, I think he's safe.

26

Vettel is the man. What an overtake from the start. No DRS totally melted it.....

Yabba dabba dooooooo......

27

No DRS but he used KERS, which is another overtaking gimmick which greatly aids the drivers weaker at clean overtaking e.g Vettel

28

Actually Vettel used KERS in an very clever way. You watch next year the other drivers will try and do what he did.

Lol. Vettel is such a weak driver that he has three world driving championships and about to get his fourth. Vettel is also about to overtake Alonso for wins. I don't even mention Hamilton in comparison for achievements.

Stay Nice.

29

Whether he used KERS in a "clever way" or not, the point is that he used an overtaking aid. Which you seemed to want to deny in the case of DRS. Why?

I also said Vettel was weaker at overtaking, nothing more, nothing less. I also didn't mention Alonso, nor Hamilton.

So why are you being so defensive about Vettel?

30

Yes, Vettel is a 'the man' as Horner would put it.

Superb start and overtake on Lewis, pure drag and no DRS.

Alonso also impressed - great drive.

And at the back, who else but Ricciardo to grab the last point from the back(-ish) of the grid. Red Bull gives you wings, even if not officially announced yet.

31

Pure drag only???

The 7th gear of Lewis was too short!!!

The problem with F1 is that is very difficult to know what is the influence of the car and the driver

32

"The 7th gear of Lewis was too short!!!"

As was Sebastian's in Hungary!!!

"The problem with F1 is that is very difficult to know what is the influence of the car and the driver"

Makes for interesting debates, until the inevitable double standards creep in. Four weeks ago, the results were used to judge how well the drivers did. Now, on what is supposed to be one of the best and most challenging circuits, the results are being used to judge only how good the cars are, exactly when a 26 year old German wins.

33

The Red Bull was the slowest car at the end of the Kemmel straight.

I don't think the Mercedes 7th gear was an issue. Just look how Webber was never able to pass Rosberg for most of the race.

34

Merc went out of their comfort zone of using their engine for top speed despite knowing from free practice which way Red Bull were going and chose to be slower in a straight line.

This meant, in a dry race against their most likely competition (Red Bull), they would NEVER be able to overtake if they were behind despite being faster overall through the lap.

They tried to beat Red Bull in the game of World of Downforce. This meant even if they managed to qualify ahead, the only way they could avoid being sitting ducks is by doing a 'Vettel' on Red Bull - getting more than 1 second clear in the first two laps by excelling in Sector 2 and staying there throughout the race (not the mention after the likely safety car intervention(s) given it was Spa they're racing at!). To say the least, I can only wonder what could've led them to even imagine that they may be able to do this to Red Bull and Newey!

The only plausible explanation is that they gambled on a (at least partially) wet race but clearly got it wrong. Hindsight is of course a wonderful thing, but I hope they've learnt their lesson for future!

James, I'm looking forward to your race strategy discussion, where for a change we'll hopefully read more about car set up and overall strategy rather than the usual tyre discussion. Hopefully you'll talk about some of this there.

35

So, that RBR is a lot quicker than the Merc, which we knew until it rained in qually, and Lewis got lucky. Hardly move of the century. It was only a matter of time. Might as well have been a DRS snooze by.

Until we see Vettel compete with a known top driver with absoluty equal status in his team, he's never going to shake the doubters.

36

Vettel must have many sleepless nights knowing that he hasn't won over the likes of ACx, LOL. 3 WDCs heading to a 4th and some muppets still go on and on about priority status and lesser teammates. What a joke. Vettel does what he is paid to do, win races and win championships. His teammate is Red Bull's decision, save your silly criticisms for Horner.

37

ACx this is a daft argument... Webber IS a known and proven quantity, look at how he did against Coulthard. I'll give you a clue, he wiped the floor with him when you take bad luck out of the equation.

Webber is quick and proven. Vettel is right up there with, in my opinion at least, Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen & Hulkenberg as the best drivers in the field.

38

If webber dint have no 1 status he would have joined Ferrari when they approached him even at the cost of playing supporting role to Alonso because of the bad blood between him and Vettel and the great friendship he shares with Alonso. Webber is just sore because he hasnt beaten Vettel for the last 5 year. Dont underestimate Webber he did beat Rosberg as his team mate so he is no weakling as Rosberg has been impressive this year when compared to Hamilton even though so far Hamilton has a slight edge. Rosberg is languishing in the point table only because of reliability issues his car keep suffering. Apart from 2007 Alonso has never had a strong team mate to really challenge him. Hamilton was a unknown in 2007 and that is the only reason Alonso was willing to team up with him, if he had any inking about the potential Hamilton possessed he would have never let him be his teammate. While Vettel and Hamilton dont mind teaming up with any driver. Its not secret that Alonso prevented both Vettel and Hamilton from joining him at Ferrari. Vettel doent need to convince fools who are so biased by their own views and opinions to ignore stats and who have no understanding how F1 really works. Fast Drivers in fast cars win the WDC. Even Senna won his first WDC in a car that won 15 out of the 16 races. If someone wins in a bad car its because the fastest car has reliability issues or the drivers in the fastest cars aren't driving to their full potential. Hamilton had a car last year that won the same no of races as Redbull did. But where did Hamilton end up in the championship??? I dont buy the pit stop blunders and retirement from leading a race excuse. Vettel and Alonso had their fair share of bad luck too last year. Yet they were the only two drivers that ended up in Brazil with an opportunity to win the WDC. Hamilton though impressive at Mclaren did finish behind Button one year and was not even consistent to score more points than Button during the time they were teamed together. Vettel wins titles because even though he makes the occasional mistakes yet he is more consistent over the course of the season than Hamilton is. Although he was not as consistent as Alonso. This year he has been the most consistent driver on the grid apart from Kimi which shows he is maturing as a driver and if he keeps this learning curve there is nothing stopping him from wining at least another 2 or 3 more championship before he retires. One last thing Vettel doesnt need to prove anything to the doubter. I think he has proved enough to those who matter and that is why Ferrari and Mercedes have him in their radar. I am sure their opinions matter more than your misguided one because they know how the damn sport operates and they know a star when they see one. Btw just asking Isnt Alonso the same driver who drove a dog of a car last year and nearly won the WDC?? why cant he getter better performance this year in a car that is more dominant than last years??? Last year the Ferrari was so strong because it was the best race car just like this years Lotus and no one had gripped the concept yet that with Pirelli tyres a car that dominates during qualifying might suffer during the race . Watch the races again and you will see that during the race their tyres would be more consistent than those who started ahead of them and that along with their higher top speed gearing helped them overtake those ahead of them once they ran into tyre issues

39

Please use some paragraphs and punctuation! - Mod

40
Spindodontosaurus

When has Raikkonen, for example, done this? Never.

Schumacher and Alonso (prior to 2007, I mean) had not done this either and nobody doubted them either. It's a nonsense argument.

Webber is arguably stronger than the majority of team mates other top drivers have had anyway (with the exception of Alonso and Hamilton pairing in 2007).

41

Yeah then why is everyone so happy to see Kimi not teaming up with Seb? to discredit Seb less because everyone knows Webber is actually faster than Kimi and Seb would have wiped the floor with him.

42

@Sujith -

"Doubters will still doubt because Seb has not won a single Grand Prix starting from below P3. Do that first. All of the other world champions have done it."

Hamilton never won from below P4, Senna never lower than P5. Why is that a huge difference?

43

Doubters will still doubt because Seb has not won a single Grand Prix starting from below P3. Do that first. All of the other world champions have done it. I still believe Kimi is slow over a single lap just because the Lotus is not at all a quali car...

44

'everyone knows webber is actually faster than kimi' hahaha

45

It's become pretty routine now, whenever Vettel overtakes Hamilton. Just like stealing candy from a baby

46

Aero efficiency is Red Bulls domain and they used it perfectly with full fuel load in Sunday

47

That's odd Aj, I don't remember it being that easy in the last race. Perhaps less obvious trolling next time.

48

As a Hamilton fan, youve got to give it to seb, give him a sniff of the lead and he just flies, its going to be 4 on the spin for him, and he thoroughly deserves it, he dosnt get the credit he deserves, it was a strange race giving all the merc powered cars were just so slow on the straight s, compared to the bulls and Ferraris , with the flyaways coming up, its usually vettal s strong point of the season, but maybe the mercs and Ferraris can nick a win or two, hope webber can win one before the end.

49

Yes, that was some brilliant driving today from Seb. Alonso/Ferrari made another brilliant start, I swear he makes up 3 to 5 places over and over again at the start of races.

The Ferrari actually looked like the class of the field for the first time in a long time. They somehow had a lot of wing and still had great top speed. Kimi could not get Massa in the DRS no matter how he tried.

50

Yes I agree. The Ferari looked fast. I don't blame Alonso for looking a little long in the face after the race. I can appreciate it would be difficult for him when his car improved a lot and it still isn't enough, a huge let down for Alonso.

In fact the Ferrari would have been the fastest car if RedBull hadn't made such a massive improvement also.

Alonso must be thinking about luck, blessings and other such things as to why he isn't wining championships with Ferrari.

51

I think it’s obvious that Vettel doesn’t have teammate this year and Alonso has 2. Pardon – servants. I think Webber should be booted from RB immediately for what he did in first lap Eau Rouge. Actually for what he didn’t.

52

Hermann - Almost every breakdown on the number 2 car, like Silverstone for instance?

53

Disagree. In 2011, Webber was slightly ahead and had much more momentum. Alonso knew it, and "gave way". This time Alonso was slightly ahead and had the momentum. Webber knew it, and "gave way". Alonso and Hamilton did something similar in 2007. Yeah, Webber could have hung in there a few metres further, but the outcome was clear.

Had this been a GUT, MAL, PER, or GRO, they'd still be sweeping up bits of the cars.

Really great overtakes require two great drivers.

I thought Spa was a good race for demonstrating how the experienced drivers race properly, vs. the new comers who don't.

54

SV wrote his own destiny

55

Do you remember Webber's long claimed excellent relationship with Mateschitz? You do realize that Mateschitz is not allowing wasting hundreds of millions he's money and sabotaging hes protege?!?? You realize that all this sabotaging and conspiracy theories are total bs?!?

56

I think you're all underestimating the power Helmut Marko has on RBR. For him only Vettel and results exist. If you're not a Red Bull man you're in trouble. If Webber is soft then that's his way to answer for RBR treatment - almost every breakdown on No.2 car ... incredible! They're worse than Ferrari!

57

Yes, we made the same comment. It definitely looked a bit soft.

58

Webber was in "Team Alonso" last year too. Almost costed Vettel the championship with his antics in the last race.

59

If you're suggesting that MW deliberately let Alonso overtake him in order to give a challenge to Vettel, then I would like to remind you of one race - Malaysia 2013. How would you have felt if you were Mark Webber? Like Villeneuve in 1982 when Pironi did not obey team orders? He's retiring from F1 now, so let the ship sink like the Titanic!

60

That V8 at the back of the red car is class of the field, on par with Mercedes!

61

Ferrari better give Massa the remaining 5% of that power or their WCC standing will be off the podium.

62

Time flies. Baby-Schumi's already nearly half way towards his 8 consecutive WDCs before retiring by age 30.

63

referring to Vettel as "Baby-Schumi" discredits everything he has done.

despite all of the opinions about how he's never been tested, he's shown again, and again that when the chips are down, he is the most consistent driver at squeezing the results out of his car in both quali and race.

I personally think Webber is a fantastic driver, definitely at least on par with Button and Rosberg.

whatever you want to think, his results are more impressive, and came with no more advanatge than Schumacher ever had.

If you look at it objectively, with winning his fourth WC in a row, (should have been five except for the cheating double diffusser), Vettel has already fully eclipsed Schumacher, and despite his ruthless driving at times, Vettel is a lot less hypocritical than Schumacher.

I don;t agree with everything Vettel does, but he has definitively proven his greatestness in this driving F1 cars-thing.

64

What a hilariously absurd PC thought police notion! Not yet aware legions of Schumi fans have also become Seb's and affectionately call him Baby-Schumi, are we?

Cheer up! What's the point of not coming to terms with the irrefutable, intersubjectively ascertainable fact that The Schumi Era will last until someone other tan The Greatest Ever wins 8WDC's and that no one but Seb, Schumi's close friend, is best endowed as successor?

66

Yes Vettel is the best driver on the grid but not by alot, he just has the qualities of Alonso, Hamilton and Button combined as he is super consistent, as fast as they get and can use an economic but fast style to gain most out of the car throughout a race, but even with all that he won't win 8 in a row and I doubt he'd retire by 30, with constant changes in F1 and also he is a human it's a tough ask for him to win 8 titles through his whole career, expect a Alonso, Kimi or Hamilton title within the next 2 years.

67

If you put Button (BUTTON) on an RBR, he will probably have more wins that VET. VET's car is from another planet. Also, the championship was manipulated by FIA and Pirelli to favor the strongest team. See they are not moaning any more. Now THIS IS RACING.

68

@"Jon Sandor"

"Red Bull still has the fastest car in qualifying (Hamilton has been most often the spanner in the works for Red Bull on Saturdays) and by far, the fastest car on Sundays. On Saturday or Sunday or judged over both together, the Red Bull is the class of the field, AGAIN."

No, since you're just judging Hamilton as fast when he takes pole, but the Red Bull car as fast when Vettel wins, or finishes on the podium. Mercedes have had more front row lockouts than Red Bull.

"Vettel lost fewer points (by a long way) in 2010 to car/team problems or errors than Hamilton did to car/team problems in 2012. Don’t make yourself look even more ridiculous by trying to compare the two."

Vettel lost three wins across Bahrain, Australia and Korea, had the puncture in Silverstone, which was not his fault (another win or 2nd), and lost positions in the pits in Spain. Then there's even the chassis defect from Monaco, and the penalty in Hungary, that was linked to being told to slow down under a safety car to allow his teammate to lose less tim making a stop. You trying to insist that Hamilton lost far more, is what is ridiculous.

"In addition, Vettel lost a lot of points in 2010 due to his own errors. Hamilton lost a lot of points in 2012 to the errors of OTHER drivers. Yet Vettel won the WDC in 2010 and Hamilton didn’t in 2012. If you ever need any proof that F1 is a team sport, and it’s the team which flatters Vettel, then there it is."

In 2010, it wasn't just Vettel that made errors. His main challengers Webber and Alonso had quite a few as well, effectively cancelling out SV's mistakes. Certainly more points dropped there than Vettel or Alonso in 2012.

It wasn't the team that flattered Vettel in 2010, he won as while all the top drivers made errors, at the end of the season, Vettel won 3/4 races, despite being the youngest of the title contenders.

Your conviction that Vettel is flattered by the team so much more than the other top drivers simply doesn't work.

69

Red Bull still has the fastest car in qualifying (Hamilton has been most often the spanner in the works for Red Bull on Saturdays) and by far, the fastest car on Sundays. On Saturday or Sunday or judged over both together, the Red Bull is the class of the field, AGAIN.

Vettel lost fewer points (by a long way) in 2010 to car/team problems or errors than Hamilton did to car/team problems in 2012. Don't make yourself look even more ridiculous by trying to compare the two.

In addition, Vettel lost a lot of points in 2010 due to his own errors. Hamilton lost a lot of points in 2012 to the errors of OTHER drivers. Yet Vettel won the WDC in 2010 and Hamilton didn't in 2012. If you ever need any proof that F1 is a team sport, and it's the team which flatters Vettel, then there it is.

So, no, my point doesn't fail "Bartholomew."

70

The RBR hasn't really been "dominant" this year. How many races, really, have RBR been fastest? Malaysia, Bahrain, Canada, Belgium.

In 2010, RBR could have been dominant, but Vettekl was let down by reliability issues, much like Hamilotn in 2012.

Obviously, last year, there wasn't a dominant team. And Hamilton had the faster car for longer in the season.

So yeah, your point does fail, "Jon Sandor".

71

The Red Bull absolutely was dominant in 2010 (see elsewhere in this comments page for details) and has been again this year. It's the only 2013 car which is consistently good in both qualifying and in the race. That Vettel hasn't had many PPs this season, is mainly down to Hamilton.

Also, Hamilton did more with his spell of having the quickest car in 2012, than Vettel did with his. However, the McLaren car and team let him down, whereas Red Bull did not let Vettel down.

So, no, my point does not fail.

72

Jon Sandor - Vettel's RBR wasn't dominant in 2010, 2012 or 2013. So your point fails.

73

When Button had a car with the dominance of Red Bull, but for only half a season compared to the four seasons (cumulatively) Vettel has had, Button actually put together a more dominant race-winning run (6/7 wins at start of 2011) than even Vettel managed in 2011.

It does make one wonder about how good Vettel actually is. Or isn't.

74

"If you put Button (BUTTON) on an RBR, he will probably have more wins that VET."

Funny, Button suffered nowhere near the mechanical failures of his teammate last year, and was driving the fastest car, but still took less wins than Vettel (and Hamilton, as well as only equal with Alonso in the car that is always waved in SV fan's faces as "inferior").

75

what a joke. he has the best car on the grid since 2009, which has clearly tricked some people into thinking he is top class in combination with an old journeyman number 2 team mate. He only looks consistent and fast because he ALWAYS has the fastest and more consistent car. Hopefully this sham will be exposed one day when he loses the dominant car advantage.

76

I think Vettel is the best right now, no doubt, and the fastest car in 2009 was the Brawn GP, to win a WDC is not easy at all. Yesterday he drove fantastic.

77

Urgh, these comments are tired and old now. What more does the lad need to do to prove himself? Drivers only win WDC's with the fastest\joint fastest car in the field. And arguably, in the last 3 years Lewis had a car to win - He and JB won plenty of races between them and if LH had dominated JB the way SV had done to MW then LH would have had a damn good shot at all of the titles. Go back and have a good look at the results if you think I'm wrong.

Vettel wins because he is relentless in his quali and race pace. The only question mark hanging over him in 2010\11 was his race craft which has now clearly been sorted.

Move on peeps, Vettel is the real deal.

78

This best car dig is just to discredit Vettel, its not the case for example McLaren had the fastest car last year and also Mercedes have the fastest car over a lap this year. Put Hamilton in this Redbull Vettel smashes him.

79

I really don't think Vettel has qualities of Alonso, Hamilton + Button combined. Put them all in the same car and Alonso or Ham would likely win.

80

This is the first race that Ferrari actually showed the bits they put on the car worked

81

Didn't work on Massa's car all weekend it seems, and also if they dont improve their qualifying there's no chance they'll finish ahead of Mercedes.

82

A commanding victory by Vettel. More than a full pit stop in front of the Mercedes, and 16 sec. in front of the Ferrari. If Mercedes and Ferrari had thoughts of catching Red Bull they can forget about it and concentrate on next year's car.

The pace of the Mercedes was a surprise, I expected them to challenge the Bulls, and Ferrari was indeed a lot better. The Lotus cars almost took each other out at the start. That kind of ruined Kimi's race as it put him behind slower cars, but even so they did not have the pace they showed in Friday's practice.

With car development slowing down- I do not believe Ferrari and Mercedes will devote a lot of resources to pursue a lost cause- Vettel can now be declared champion for 2013. This I believe accounts for Alonso's rather bad mood after the race. He realized that Ferrari did indeed made a step forward, but it was not enough since the Bulls took a leap.

83

It looks like Mercedes have well and truly solved their tyre munching problems. Both cars beat the 2nd drivers in a Ferrari and RB, and beat both Lotuses.

Rosberg is much much closer to Hamilton, than the 2nd drivers in RB, Ferrari and Lotus. Looking like a strong team for 2014.

84

I thought maybe some teams compromised on set up with the big threat of rain over the weekend, in particular Lotus and maybe Mercedes.

I also think Mercedes never dialled in their car with the car under steering all weekend, maybe a balance issue with their front and rear.

The Red Bull took a few low DF upgrades (very skinny rear wing) and they worked very well. They can afford to trim their downforce and still have the car grip well in that middle sector.

The Ferrari made a leap I feel because Spa requires less DF which Ferrari have been lacking, they should have a good shout for home victory at Monza

85

So the title battle for this year is now effectively over unless Vettel and RB make a mess out of nothing.

86
Alexander Supertramp

Great drive by Seb, the Seb-Rb combo looks unstoppable.

Good race by Fernando, but there is no way for any team/driver to beat RB+Vettel at the end of the year on pure pace. They might lose some ground in Monza, but after that it's Vettel on P1, 2, 3 or 4 with maybe 1 DNF. Championship not over in points, but it's really over. Roll in March 2014 please!

Mercedes boys really on par. Look at Mclaren, Ferrari and Red Bull and you'll find domination. Mercedes is much more balanced with Lewis having the edge over Nico, but the gaps between them are never like the ones with Red Bull and Ferrari. The pace difference between Vettel and Mark today was shocking, that's not just Seb, that's different set-up! RB really just need Mark in the solid points, they don't need him fighting Seb for victory. Today Mark could have got P3, he was on the same pace as Mercedes. But he was practically as quick as Seb on Friday and Saturday. I am not a conspiracy guy, but this is clear right :D? Mark was never going to win today..

87

what about Alonso and Massa

88

I sort of knew Webber would make another "bad" start.

It would be worth doing some statistics of Webbers "bad" starts before and after he became Vettel's teammate (especially after a certain memorable race in Turkey).

89

So basically you are conceding that Webber quite simply isn't as good as Vettel?

I don't see any conspiracy to deliberately sabotage Webber's car. What I see, is a driver who despite having the same car just isn't on the current champion's level.

90
Alexander Supertramp

I'm sorry you feel that I'm attacking Seb's talent, I'm not.. I won't even comment on your premise that Kimi and Lewis lack consistency- FYI Kimi just ended a 27 points finishing streak in Spa..

On a different note, I reckon you actually made my point by aknowledging that Seb was "just" bringing home valuable points with an ill-handling car in 2012. He was not dominating at all, he wasn't winning races with 17 seconds advantages - the BIGGEST gap so far this year! 2012 proved that Seb doesn't have more talent than Kimi, Lewis,Fernando.. He has had a car advantage for a long long time now, and you would be so naïve to disagree. Nobody is denying his talent, I actually believe that he is very very good (top good), but his car advantage has not been fair in comparison to the other top talents. F1 needs other guys to have a proper shot at the championships. By that I mean that the drivers deserve a shot, not necessarily the teams who fail to build a faster car. 2013 is just another alibi year, there was never a championship to fight for. But don't confuse me with haters, I aknowlegde RB and Vettel's merritt for doing what they have the past 4 years. It's shocking that other teams have been behind for so long and one wonders whether the rule changes will even actually benefit the losing teams.

91
Alexander Supertramp

Look at what Mick said and what I responded. webber is a very good driver, but RB really make the car for Vettel. I don't blame them, the combo has worked for 4/5 years now and it's deadly efficient. But where was Vettel in the first half of 2012? He was clearly adapting to the rule changes and he didn't have an instant answer. He has improved dramatically, but I really want to know whether Seb can be as good as he is now in a less balanced car. Credits to him and his team for balancing the RB that well, but I'm wondering how good he'll be in an era where aero is less important.

92

The cars are always designed towards the lead driver of the team. It is true for Ferrari (Alonso), Lotus(Kimi) and to some extent Merc (Hamilton: remember the Brembo brakes story. Also it seems highly surprising to me how Rosberg has suddenly under performed relative to Hamilton in recent races).

You raise 2012 as an example. Let's talk about that for a second. What you remember is that Webber doing better than Vettel in an ill-handling car, at least in the first half of the season. What I remember is that Webber wasn't alighting the world either way. Vettel was better in racing conditions throughout the season. He got robbed of points in Malaysia and Valencia, drove beautifully in Spa (2012)from 12 to 2nd. What I remember is, that even when Vettel was in an ill-handling car he was maximizing the car's race potential and bringing home valuable points despite all adversity being thrown at him. Webber on the other hand, as usual was blow-hot blow cold throughout the 2012 season.

The problem is that you people will never acknowledge the sheer talent that Sebastian Vettel possesses. Guys like Hamilton and Kimi who are amazingly fast, just don't have the consistency and the relentless pace that Vettel seems to possess. No matter the circumstance he's always there to take valuable points if not the win. He showed his racing ability as early 2008.

94

They may have the same car but the car is likely tailored to Vettel's style and preferences while Webber has to adapt.

95
Alexander Supertramp

I agree. Look at 2012: RB had to find a way to make up the lost ground due to the minor rule changes with the diffuser. Up untill Silverstone, Mark was the one scoring the most points because the car wasn't using the exhaust gasses the way it did in 2011. Where was Webber in 2011? Basically nowhere, yet the RB7 was the absolute top of the class. Every year RB try to mimick the effects of the blown diffuser and in 2012 they were on the backfoot for a little while, but once they got it right Seb was flying again. This year they were quick right out of the box.

96

Alonso in a weaker car flew from 9th to 2nd. Webber's clearly not in the same class. There's no need to sabotage his car. But on his day, Webber can challenge the best. He should drive for Lotus next year, if Kimi doesn't.

97

Yeah, that's it now, too much for anyone to make up when the RB is showing that pace. James, can you find out why Merc went the higher-downforce route? Was it just simply b/c they anticipated rain, or were there any tire considerations that led to that decision? In previous Belgian GPs the Merc has had great top speed. Certainly cost them on the opening lap today, dunno how it would've shook out over a whole race for them.

In race trim it was RBR, Ferrari, then Merc. Biggest no-show was Lotus!

Again Perez did a shuffle move when getting passed on the Kemmel straight! They gotta stamp that stuff out. Wasn't as bad as what he pulled on Hulk last year in India, but bad enough.

98

Actually Vettel and Alonso out performed their cars this race, look at Webber's performance, just like last year completely shocking.

99

We all know that Mark is the No2 driver and we all know that he drives the No2 chasis.

100

"How many KERS failures, clutch problems, gearbox problems has the no 1 chase had compared to Mark"

Probably a similar amount, it's just that Vettel still delivers good results (like when he had a puncture earlier this weekend, heating issues in Hungary, and KERS issues in Germany), while Webber simply struggles due to a lack of ability compared to the other top drivers in the sport.

101

How many KERS failures, clutch problems, gearbox problems has the no 1 chase had compared to Mark 10 to 1 use a little more get matter before you open your post

102

The chassis that has had 2 mechanical retirements since 2009 to 6 for the No1 chassis?

103

I understand the point you are trying to make, but it's physically not possible for a driver, however good, to out perform their car. The best drivers will get closer to the absolute potential of the car, but they cannot exceed this limit.

104

Hmm, out-performed, dunno about that. Took their cars to results that elite level drivers should have taken them? Yes.

105

Great start to the race by Seb.with that move on Lewis It's starting to look like 2011 all over again. The pace of that RB9 is phenominal again. The others not only have to find speed but balance also. That car is such a complete beast!

106

The driver is a "beast" also. I could argue easily that the Ferrari was just as fast today, if not for their usual bad qualy.

107

No you can't because Seb pulled out 16seconds with ease at the end. Also when a Red Bull can pull out of the slip stream at the start of the Kemmel Straight and say bye bye to A Mercedes car long before thw end -you know the car is far more aero efficient than everything else on the track.

108

Do not agree Alonso could not get near vettel even when he got into second place and was running in clear air.

109

He's a 'beast' when he's got tyres that suit him and his car, when the car has been able to alter its ride height between quail and race, when he starts on pole, when he's allowed to keep points even though car has been found illegal (just make sure it's changed for next race though!).

110

The holes in Red Bull's floor were only truly illegal when the FIA decided to retrospectively change the rules after Monaco in order to ban them. So it's pretty laughable to agree with Objebi's claim that SV is only a beast when the car is illegal. As it technically wasn't.

111

As KRB has explained to you, the F-Ducts were got rid of at the end of the season. Whereas the holes in the floor on the Red Bull were deemed illegal and Red Bull were told to alter them immediately.

If you wish to persist with the laughable and diversionary F-Duct line, then you'll have to accept that blown diffusers were also "illegal," and thus Vettel won the WDC in 2011 with an illegal car. Thus Red Bull's 2011 should be struck from the history books and Button is actually the 2011 WDC. No

"You cannot pretend it is only RBR pushing the boundaries in this manner."

No-one has said anything of the sort. The only person who has a problem admitting that Red Bull got away unpunished for the illegal holes in the floor, is YOU. Hence the "yeah but what about McLaren?/yeah but what about other teams?" replies.

112

"Why do you think Red Bull didn’t receive any penalty for their holes in the floor, which were deemed illegal?"

The FIA asking teams to alter certain components on a team's design because they've been suddnly deemed illegal is hardly uncommon. You cannot pretend it is only RBR pushing the boundaries in this manner.

113

Bart, what are you talking about, re: the F-ducts? They were never deemed illegal. McLaren had kept the FIA aware of what they were doing, unlike RB with the floor holes.

The FIA banned F-ducts at the end of the 2010 season.

114

Bartholomew,

Maybe we ought to stick to the subject in hand - Red Bull illegality - rather than try to avoid debating the holes in the floor episode by saying "McLaren."

Why do you think Red Bull didn't receive any penalty for their holes in the floor, which were deemed illegal? It hardly seems fair, no?

115

@Jon Sandor - Maybe we ought to talk about Mclaren "cheating" with the F-ducts, since they were only "deemed illegal" after they were already raced.

116

The "holes in the floor" of 2012 were deemed illegal, for which RB received no punishment whatsoever. So not "nonsense" as you claim.

117

Here we go with the "illegal" nonsense again...

118

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/08/25/2013-belgian-grand-prix-lap-times-and-fastest-laps/

Under lap times, click Select None, then click on the boxes for Vettel and Alonso. On the mediums their times are close, though Vettel already had a sizeable lead by then. On the hards the RB9 was clearly faster.

Anyone who thinks the RB9 wasn't the class of the field in today's race, knows nothing about F1.

119

Vettel was coasting from lap 2 onwards. That's why rb and ferrari look the same on mediums.

120

finally someone with sense, wonder why people forget the pilot!?

121

No way, when Vettel was asked to pull a bigger gap between him and Alonso he pulled away with a second a lap. It was on the hard tyre but still, that RB is the most complete car in the field. Fast in qualifying, fast on all kind of circuits and fast on whatever tyre they put on it.

122

Ferrari was faster than in the past, but still not as fast as the RB. I was watching the enhanced coverage on Sky.it. Vettel and Alonso were on essentially the same tire strategy, pitted within a few laps of each other, had plenty of clear air for much of the race, and neither made any serious mistakes. Both of them are very talented drivers and it looked like they made the most of their equipment. Yet Vettel constantly was faster than Alonso by a few tenths most laps and more than that on several other laps. Sad to say, at the end when RB thought it might rain, they asked Vettel to push and he proved to have an additional five tenths or so in reserve. Overall, the RB had a 7 tenths (or perhaps a bit more) advantage over the Ferrari .

123

Perfect!!! With 0.5 over the others, you can win everything.

124

Well, what a disappointment that was!

Was there a single truly great overtaking manoeuvre?

Seeing cars flash past another at Spa (of all tracks) simply because they have the benefit of 'drs' is criminal to what F1 should be and it (in my opinion) completely takes away the skill factor - the skill of attacking and the skill of defending.

It's clear from today that Mercedes still have tyre issues and I, like so many others I'm sure was hoping for a fight with the Redbulls till the end of the season......

125

Yeah it was a little poor .But I quite enjoyed Kimis battle with a faulty brake against the Saubers both of them- in non DRS assisted areas.. Round the outside of Guttierez on the tight left hander was pure class. Sutil at Eau Roug on Hulkenberg was pretty darn good too

126

Kimi passed someone at turn 9 or 10 which is pretty unheard of, he had to risk overtakes in the infield S2 because he was slow on the kemmel staright... couldn't even pass massa with DRS open

127

Mercedes have tyre issues? Is that why Webber couldn't make any impressions on the Mercedes?

128

Webbers car is "engineered." You know the drill.

129

As well or badly engineered as Vettel's anyway (given that he had a tyre blowout in practice, and KERS issues 2 races ago).

130

Did you forget about Vettel on Hamilton into Eau lap 1?

131

That was easy.

132

Wunderkid made a pass on Lap 1, many chose to ignore it!

133

Realy I do remember one pass on the first lap you might to watch the race again or vettel pass does not count ?!!!

134

For you that was a truly great overtaking manoeuvre?

Hardly chaps, the difference in speed between Vettels Rebull and Hamilton's Mercedes at that time in the race made Hamilton a sitting duck.

For me the race was nothing short of a borefest and not worth watching.

135

Agree. Really BORING!!!

136

selective memory huh, when Hamilton passed Vettel last year in Texas then it was a great overtaking not considering Mclarens straight line speed over RB last year making SV a sitting duck that time. Give credit where it is due.

137

I fully agree.

138

It was boring Spa race despite the overtakes... the qualifying was much more on the limit.

139

Vettel did exactly what Hamilton did in Hungary. Lets see if he gets the same credit...

On a completely unrelated note, as a fan of motorsport in general, I was extremely disappointed at the BBC's coverage of the MotoGP, as the race finished before the F1 started but was hardly even publicized. It was a great warm up to a rather damp squid of a race.

140

Moto GP? they do more boring processions these days than F1, also how many works bike have they got? Basically just the 2 Hondas and Yamahas.

141

Aren't the Ducati's a works team?

142

It was not exactly the same. Pulling a gap each lap when you have the clearly fastest car is not the same as winning a race when two other cars are nearly as fast or faster. When in clear air in Hungary, Vettel was on average 0.5s faster than Hamilton. That's why his win was so impressive.

Today was a stroll for Vettel, just as it was a stroll for Button a year ago. When the car is that hooked up, any driver worth his salt will bring it home.

That's why the articles allude to the ease of the win:

Autosport - Vettel scores routine win

BBC F1 - Vettel wins with ease

Sky Sports - Vettel cruises to Spa win

Let's put it this way ... if you swapped Hamilton and Vettel in Hungary (for the whole weekend) can you be 100% certain that Vettel would win in the Merc? Hardly.

But swap Hamilton (or Alonso) and Vettel for Belgium, and there's no doubt that Hamilton (or Alonso) would win, and Vettel would likely be 3rd in the Merc.

143

"Let’s put it this way … if you swapped Hamilton and Vettel in Hungary (for the whole weekend) can you be 100% certain that Vettel would win in the Merc? Hardly."

Actually, yes. Mercedes' qualifying pace would have had SV on pole, and on the clean side of the grid, both of which were crucial for Hungary.

"But swap Hamilton (or Alonso) and Vettel for Belgium, and there’s no doubt that Hamilton (or Alonso) would win, and Vettel would likely be 3rd in the Merc."

Fair point, but I stil disagree that Vettel wouldn't have won in the Merc in Hungary.

144

"So it’s funny (laughable double standards, even!) how adamant they are about Mercedes having the fastest car over one lap despite Rosberg’s recent qualifying performances suggesting otherwise."

The impression I get from bk201/Jon Sandor is along the lines of: Hamilton pole (or win)= him, Vettel win (or pole)= the car.

To avoid the double standards of which you speak, you ought to agree with me on this: Mercedes generally have the fastest car in qualifying, while Red Bull generally have the fastest car in the races.

145

"Same could be asked for race pace. If Red Bull had the best race pace, why didn’t Webber finish ahead of either Mercedes last time out?"

Yes, that's the usual line trotted out by Vettel devotees!

So it's funny (laughable double standards, even!) how adamant they are about Mercedes having the fastest car over one lap despite Rosberg's recent qualifying performances suggesting otherwise.

146

"Jon Sandor"

"If Mercedes have the best qualifying pace, why has Mark Webber outqualified Rosberg in two of the last three races?"

Same could be asked for race pace. If Red Bull had the best race pace, why didn't Webber finish ahead of either Mercedes last time out?

"So if they were in the same circumstances, only swapped, then yeah, Hamilton would’ve won pole in Canada with the RB9, and won at a canter."

Actually, we'd hardly be sure of that. While it is possible that Hamilton wouldn't have improved his S3 time, there was no chance of finding out, as he cut the chicane. It's not to say he got his final lap in cleanly, and still lost time.

Conversely, in the W04, Vettel would have had pole at Spa, bearing in mind that the track was at its fastest when LH was the last to set his time.

147

Bart, the reason why Hamilton didn't beat Vettel's time in the rain in Canada is b/c Vettel was the last to set a time before the rain intensified, slowing everyone's sector 3 times.

So if they were in the same circumstances, only swapped, then yeah, Hamilton would've won pole in Canada with the RB9, and won at a canter.

148

Bartholomew,

"Silverstone, 3 races ago."

Exactly! Although that was actually four races ago but still, you've proved my point for yourself.

If Mercedes is quicker than Red Bull over one lap, why hasn't Rosberg at least qualified second since Silverstone?

If Mercedes have the best qualifying pace, why has Mark Webber outqualified Rosberg in two of the last three races?

149

@Jon Sandor

"Afterall, when did Rosberg last even make second place on the grid."

Silverstone, 3 races ago.

150

@KRB @Jon Sandor

How about Canada then? To be consistent, you'd have to admit that Hamilton wouldn't have had pole or victory in the RB9.

151

Vettel should've won pole in Hungary, in the RB9. He even said as much, and I'm sure Rocky and the team knew he should've as well ... you could hear it in his voice on the team radio, when he told Vettel he'd been pipped to pole.

Hamilton beat Vettel to pole by 38-thousandths in Hungary, in the W04. It would be more than that if they'd swapped cars.

We'll agree to disagree then.

152

Mercedes have the best qualifying pace? Or Hamilton does? Afterall, when did Rosberg last even make second place on the grid.

The Red Bull is still the quickest car in qualifying but Hamilton makes the difference in a Mercedes which slower over one lap than the Red Bull. To Hamilton's immense credit.

153

No need for HAM or ALO. Button would win with that car.

154

Well in any case I don't believe that Vettel can be described as "lacklustre" in 2007, given Vettel's inexperience compared to Liuzzi, and the pace he showed in Japan and China.

155

Vettel lost to Liuzzi in their head-to-head record in 2007. The reason Vettel finished ahead of Liuzzi in the 2007 is because of one race, where Vettel finished 4th and Liuzzi finished 6th.

156

"Also don’t forget we can all point to underwhelming periods in every driver’s career e.g Vettel was outqualified by Liuzzi when they were teammates at Torro Rosso."

Vettel outscored Liuzzi as a rookie, and took STR's best race and qualifying results.

I'm not saying that Button should be written off. More that Button has had significantly more "underwhelming" spells relative to his teammates in his career than Vettel has. There's little reason to believe he'd suddenly be doing as well as SV this year.

157

I haven't even tried to prove or disprove such a thing. Instead, I merely pointed out that Barrichello barely outscored Button in that time, race wins or not.

Also don't forget we can all point to underwhelming periods in every driver's career e.g Vettel was outqualified by Liuzzi when they were teammates at Torro Rosso.

Should we therefore dismiss Vettel because of that, as you're trying to do with the JB's three point deficit to RB in the second half of 2009?

158

Being outscored by Barrichello, even by 3 points is not the way to go if you want to prove that Button would win in the Red Bull.

159

Barrichello scored 37 points to Button's 34 in the second half of 2009. A mere three points separated the two teammates in that time period.

160

The guy who never looked like winning in the 2nd half of 2009 when Barrichello won twice?

161

Well actually in Hungary the Redbull was only slightly faster in race trim than the Mercedes and the lack of straightline speed of RBR effectively killed off their race with Seb unable to pass Button and broke his front wing, could Seb have won the race if he was Hamilton's Mercedes? If it was the same situation then yes he could and could Alonso or Hamilton been as dominant in that Redbull at Spa? Maybe but you have to say Seb was a class apart from Webber whilst Rosberg who used old tyres for the first stint manage to match Hamilton and Webber is faster than Nico, I doubt anybody in that 2nd Redbull would have beaten Vettel today and if Vettel was in the Mercedes he could have beaten Alonso to 2nd.

162

That's why I said "could you be 100% certain" for Hungary? And I don't think you can be. If Hamilton's in the RB9, he more than likely qualifies that sucker on pole, and then he's off, just as Seb would've been if he'd led.

Webber is not faster than Rosberg, no way, no how! Put Rosberg in the second Red Bull, or second Ferrari, and he finishes either 2nd or 3rd respectively. The top drivers for RBR and Ferrari got their car where it should've finished, while the 2nd drivers fared poorly (I realize Massa had KERS problems, but even still, it was a weak performance). Rosberg was the best 2nd driver, gaining two places over what would have been the "natural" result.

Vettel in the Merc would never have beaten Alonso in the Ferrari! Alonso was 11 secs up the road from Hamilton, and no doubt had some speed to spare. Vettel's a great racing driver, top drawer, but he's no superman. First half of 2012 should've been enough evidence of this.

163

Said just as it should be.

164

Na at Hungary Button ruined Vettel's race by holding him up and breaking Seb's front wing, the Redbull just didn't have the straight line speed at Hungary to do anything, race pace itself Seb was faster just like he was here at Spa, Alonso, Kimi, Hamilton, Webber or Button are no match for this racing machine Vettel over a season.

165

How ? Please explain.

166

Wow what a depressing race. Roll on 2014.

167

2013 is slowly going to be like 2011. All the initial excitement of other drivers in fray has all been lost now.

168

Agreed, we know it's not Red Bulls fault, it's up to the other teams to raise there game, but come on since the middle of 2009 Red Bull have been so fast, and still the others can't do it 🙁

169

No it is their fault..........remember how it was "farcical" when Alonso won in Spain by stopping four times? But it was gutsy strategy, superb driving and a fantastic red bull package that allowed Vettel to lap around the Circuit de Catalunya in lap times fast enough (and according to james allen, strangely similar to Alonso's times of this year) to make a four stop strategy work....God help us

170

Yeah sort of, aparantly red bull told Vettel to start cruising from lap 3, it's a shame webber seams to of lost it, can't blame him really, but he has not been the same driver since the end of 2010, want to a see a

Flat out battle between both red bulls. They would no doubt be a minute up the road form 3rd place

171

Congratulations Vettel on your 4th title well deserved one 🙂

172

James,

What happened at the podium?

The crowd made all sorts of noices.

Best regards

173

It was for Vettel, the protest was going on most of the podium ceremony, it was only when Vettel was speaking the booing was loudest

174

Greenpeace protesters tried to crash the podium ceremony.

175

There was a Greenpeace protest going on which was not broadcast.

176
Tornillo Amarillo

I think a group doing a planned protest, not against Vettel.

177

The race was a bit disappointing compared to qualifying, but a good race overall. Flawless drive from Vettel. Easily the driver of the weekend. Untouchable. Webber, as usual, underperformed in comparison to his teammate.

Alonso was very good as well, but his massive mistake in qualifying cost him. Ferrari seem to really have improved the car. And their speed on the straights was frightening. Wow.

I feel a bit sorry for Lewis. It was odd seeing a Mercedes being overtaken so easily by Ferrari on the straight. Though he lost his position to Vettel thanks to his mistake, I think. But then again, Vettel would have probably overtaken him anyway.

Who I do feel sorry for is Kimi. His championship is definitely over now.

178

[And their speed on the straights was frightening. Wow.]

Honestly, Alonso was getting chomped up by Vettel like 5 tenths to one second per lap. Gosh it was awful even when Ferrari improved, RB improved even more.

179

Also Vettel was constantly told for at least 2/3 of the race to slow down, as Bundle mentioned Vettel would have had another 10-15sec advantage if he pushed all the way, utter dominance and definitely DOTD.

180
Tornillo Amarillo

Qualify does NOT count for DOTD, so ALONSO is the candidate (not Vettel).

181

Agree Alonso was DOTD but Vettel was a candidate (as well as others on the list for the reasons stated in the article).

182

Blimey, somebody changed the script at the last moment. Oh well, everything happens for a reason.

Dominant performance by Vettel and the Red Bull team, that's textbook stuff on how to pour cold water on your opponents' dreams.

It's really remarkable that the team also got the setup just right for a dry race but as always the same can't be said for the other Red Bull car as Webber suffered another mysterious launch problem.

Alonso's Ferrari showed strong pace and that was a magical first lap from the Samurai. It appears the Ferrari likes the high speed tracks and isn't too happy on the twisty ones.

As for Massa, he had a poor race making his seat very venerable after today.

I think Mercedes can be happy with their points haul considering their setup and the fact the tyres held up.

Sorry for Kimi's end of a good run but the Lotus' current form since Allison left makes it very difficult for the team to convince the Iceman to stay on.

Job well done by Jenson for he kept his nose clean the entire race and was mixing it out with the front runners for most of the time.

Regards Maldondo's penalty, I think his former reputation got him that because that looked like a racing incident to me.

Last but not least, a high five goes out to the midfield teams and the backmarkers for making it through the first corner all in one piece.

Keep up the good work fellas.

P.s.

On the topic of the weather, the new evidence shows that it's near impossible to have a wet race if qualifying the day before was wet e.g. Silverstone 2012.

183

Maldonado's crash was a racing incident? He went too deep, then tried to just join back in on the racing line where Sutil happened to be driving at the time, and then when that went poorly he just decided to try for the pit lane... at which point he utterly destroyed Paul di Resta's car. Mind you, it's not like PDR was on his own there. There was another Sauber right behind him that had to swerve suddenly around the other side of Maldonado to avoid adding to the incident.

I agree with Hendo that a 5 place drop for the next race would have been better. A stop-and-go is supposed to be a fairly harsh penalty. He was nowhere to start with, then had to come in for a new nose anyway. What's a stop-and-go on top of that really going to do to his race? Might as well forget the stop-and-go entirely and just make him sit in the naughty corner for 15 minutes after the race.

184

You're joking aren't you? That was a pathetic penalty for Maldonado... The 10 sec dropped him from 4th last to 3rd last... Especially with his history he should have got 5 grid place penalty for the next race.

185
Valentino from montreal

Replace Massa with the Regenmeister ASAP !

Ferrari need him , Italy needs him and I want him back ...

Somebody has to stop The Wonder Boy soon ..

186

Last third of the race was boring. Maybe it was a reason for Alonso's drinf it the last corner LOL

187
Spinodontosaurus

Was not expecting Vettel to be that fast in race trim. His pace in the middle sector early on was incredible. He is always very quick in the opening few laps but even so. I look forward to the barrage of Hamilton fans chastising Vettel for winning though...

Alonso seized through the field as if it wasn't even there. I expected him to move forward but perhaps not at quite the rate he did. Granted the hugely over-effective DRS played a part (seriously, 3 years on the trot DRS has been terrible at Spa. Are the guys who decide the DRS zones incompetent or something?).

Quite enjoyed the large number of Eau Rouge passes during the race (though Gutierrez was a menance...), and again feel the stewards are to trigger happy with handing out penalties for what are clearly racing incidents.

188

DRS is there equally 4 everyone

189

No it's not!

190
Spindodontosaurus

Doesn't make it any less aggravating when it kills a circuit such as Spa.

DRS has shown to be a decent asset at some circuits where passing is traditionally more tricky. But those tracks where passing comes naturally anyway, DRS has done little but kill the races (see Spa 2011 and 2013, also Turkey 2011)

191

We had that same story about the tyres... And look what happened.

192

DRS is artificial.

193

So DRS is an advantage for certain teams? Is that what you're trying to say?

194
The Spanish Inquisitor

Porca Miseria, the best Alonso's race and the result is "The first of the losers".

Nothing to do this season.

195
Tornillo Amarillo

But Alonso is still runner-up, if he gets a new win and Vettel a DNF, you have something to cheer-up. Just pray.

196

Hi James, All.

I rarely comment, but have been following this fantastic blog since its inception and i have hardly missed a race since Monaco 1995.

I don't want to talk about massive disappointments (i'd rather save that for more significant issues such as the recent events in the Mideast) but I did feel let down by today's race. For several laps it was just non-stop meaningless (in my opinion) pass and re-pass. The passing maneuvers(again in my opinion) had little significance and really devalued, not only what should have been a great race on a great track, but also the great races and passes in history. For the first time I find myself asking if it is worth my time watching modern F1.

Have we not reached the footballing equivalent of a 20 goal match?

198

Haven't watched a race since they changed the tyres for red bull.........I mean, for safety reasons.......

Did u know red bull ignored Pirelli safety guidelines by under inflated their tyres? Yet complained about safety and excessive tyre wear??!!?

199

In honesty, I don't really mind the tires. I just feel that the combination of DRS and KERS is causing fake racing which acts to devalue both the past and present. I think at most KERS should be kept, but ideally we would lose both.

Oh well... I was more annoyed about this yesterday. Sort of forgotten about it for now!! haha

200

Almost everyone on the grip was doing that.

201

They changed the tyres for Redbull? Clutching at straws there, Seb was winning races and leading the championship before any tyres were changed, if anyone's been improved since the tyre change its Hamilton and Mercedes, maybe something to do with that secret test.

202

You mean DRS is the new name for Red Bull? Who woulda' thunk it?

Hmmmmm!

203

Ahmed, I agree. Something needs to be done.

204

DRS? Vettel don't need no steenking DRS 🙂

That was one of the most resounding victories I've seen for some time. Red Bull tried something different and it worked (when doesn't it).

Another memorable start from Webber. Just made it hard for himself again.

I still dont get the Perez penalty though. Watched it a few times but I dont get it. Looks to me that GRO just ran out of track and ability and the exact same time. He might have given some consideration to giving up the corner when it was a done deal...

Good job from JB and the team.

Good result for Alonso. He did all he could to score the maximum from a lousy grid slot.

Plenty of excitement from the mid-field today. Great to see 🙂

DOtD would be Vettel but seeing as though he's exempt, I don't know who I would pick. JB?

205

I wonder if it's somewhat a continuation of the Grosjean vs Button incident in Hungary, only in Spa Grosjean went off track to avoid a collision. It's not like a it was slight, although maybe the camera angle made it look worse. But from what I saw, in a fairly heavy braking zone Perez moved over and basically forced Grosjean to get over half his car up on the kerb. That's not really on.

Why any other similar incidents weren't similarly penalised I dunno. I'd have to watch the race again to see, as I don't remember the others. I wouldn't be surprised if I came out with the opinion that once again the rules in F1 are enforced at random.

206

It was interesting that Perez copped a penalty but similar instances between Hulkenberg and Vergne were ignored.

207

Not a great race, and looking at the strengt of the Newey-Vettel combination with 1 sec advantage over Ferrari-Alonso in the last part of the race, this season seems to be over and out. Which sadly will be boring.

208

The British fans are getting annoyed by Vettel's win with their Boos.

Otherwise, it was a great win for him. He is showing again who he is. Alonso is pretty amazing though, starting ninth and finished 2nd. Like Raikkonen, Alonso deserves a championship winning car.

Ferrari is really embarrassing, defeated by a soft drink company.

209

My bad!

I hate the greenpeace. They should be considered criminals.

I cherish and love the planet that we live in and everyday i do my bit to make it better. Greenpeace should try to do something useful for a change.

210

The boos (this time at least) were for the Greenpeace protesters trying to repel onto the podium.

211

The booing on the podium had nothing to do with any of the drivers or officials whatsoever. This I can assure you!

And I suppose all the booing in Montreal was the British contingent, was it?

212

I think the boos are unfortunate and not very sporting. If you don't like whoever is on the podium, just don't cheer......

213

The booing wasn't Vettel related, it was due to the Greenpeace protesters who tried to disrupt the podium ceremony. They were abseiling from the paddock roof.

214

What a disappointing race. After the excitement of yesterday's quali I was hoping for a classic, but it was a Spa to forget, unfortunately. Here's to a more lively Monza!

215

Well why don't we just blame the tyres like some other 'fans' did whenever a race didn't go quite like they wanted. Now those fans get to see vetted win every week and even Mercedes are in with a shout! Hooray for Bernie

216
Tornillo Amarillo

Vettel has The Car of the Day, 1 or 2 seconds faster.

217

1 or 2 seconds faster, lol, that Webber really is bad when he got beaten by a Ferrari and 2 Mercedes, one of which was driven by a dude he beat in the same car...

218

Not 1s/lap, that's nuts. But 0.5s/lap, yes.

The whole Webber-Rosberg thing is silly ... it was 7-3 in pts, and it was Rosberg's rookie year. Webber is w/o doubt not as good as he was then, and Rosberg is w/o doubt better now. Or are drivers abilities frozen from the time they face each other? If so, would we compared Vettel to Di Resta, and say Paul was a shade better, b/c PDR beat him in the same car?

219

Hi James,

A bit disappointed by the race. Quali is by far entertaining. Do you think such a gap between RBR vs Ferrari & Mercedes will continue to the rest of GPs or it is a setup or some other issue. I don't think RBR has made such a step forward leap above others.

220

Na RBR wasn't dominant it was just Vettel, also Mercedes will be really strong on the streets of Singapore, Alonso will be hard to beat at Monza along with rest of the Mercedes brigade, expect Vettel to be really strong at his tracks at India, Korea and especially Suzuka but Hamilton at Abu Dhabi and Texas, Brazil will be a lottery.

221

Season is over. There is no answer to the Red Bull except a miracle.

222

4th WDC in a row? Red Bull IS the Miracle!

223

Meanwhile I liked the banter between Lewis and Vettel before the podium ceremony and on the actual podium which later included the Couthard ambush.

It's nice to see rivals get along when office hours are done and this also gives the impression that Vettel is a pretty chilled/fun bloke and not the villain that the booing fans make him out to be.

224

What I found amusing was that Lewis came in straight away joking around and perfectly at ease, the two of them chatting away. Then Alonso comes in, stands around awkwardly... then awkwardly slips in one comment, and they all bail for the podium.

225

Agree. The banter was great - until dark and moody Alonso walked into the room. What a mood killler.

Must be depressing working with him. But a great driver - from 9th to 2nd in 6 laps.

226

I think the booing is irritating and unsportsmanlike behavior from the fans. Anyways this is part of their life (for celebrities & athletes). That is why they are highly paid. I don't think vettel will lose a sleep as a result of it. I'm Ham fan.

227

This is an interesting delema and perhaps a point for further discussion. Let's be honest, we like F1. But it's paid for by corporations who have interests in oil production and fuel consumption mostly.

There really isn't a perfect time for a protest, but if GreenPeace thinks there is a case to inform us about something, when would be the perfect time and ideal stage to have this perticular audience listen? Goes back a bit to Bahrain as well.

A bit of a gut check moment really if you think about it. Here is a combustion engine based sport, in a moment of it's celebration, when a guy propels down and tries to make you think twice about what exactly it is that you are celebrating.

How exactly does one stop an accident like we had in the Gulf with BP in the cold, dark unforgiving arctic?

228

Very good point about an oil spill or some other pollution in the Arctic. I understand commercial shipping via the Arctic is already beginning. So I guess we are the generation that waves goodbye to a pristine Arctic. Quite sad.

229

The booing on the podium had nothing to do with any of the drivers or officials whatsoever. This I can assure you!

230

Thank you guys for the clarification. Now I got it why the booing.

231

I think they were booing the greenpeace idiots who tried to interrupt the podium ceremony.

232

From what I've read, a lot of the booing was for the green peace protesters trying to crash the podium.

233

Alonso seemed quite alienated there in deed. Seems like Lewis and Seb get on quite well.

234

Have you ever seen Alonso truly 'involved' with others in that situation. He almost always seems to have an expression on his face that he's unhappy with everything that's going on.

Perhaps I'm getting carried away, but even when he wins he's not much different. Much like an old chap thrown into an amusement park with youngsters, no matter what comes his way these days, his pulse seems to only be 72 per minute!

@KRB, I think they were talking about:

1. How much faster Hamilton noted both Alonso and Vettel were in a straight line in comparison to him.

2. How he deliberatly let Alonso past in the first corner hoping he could get a tow and slipstream back past him on the straight but couldn't. (I actually did think this was the case when I saw the overtake but the commentators didn't mention it so I thought I might be wrong!)

235

Lauda called Alonso "unlikable" recently. Unusual choice of words, as it relates to Alonso and his team.

Anyhow, we should trying to stop opinionating on drivers personalities based on brief displays of TV pictures. I know them not, they will not be my friends, and thus to me they are just like The Expendables - there to do a job full of action that I want to see!

236

Yeah, it was good to see. Anyone have a transcript of what was said? Friggin' TSN lost the audio at that point, and didn't get it again until halfway through the Austrian anthem!

237

I spend the second part of the 80s and early 90s in Jersey City, NJ. Hence, I'm rooting for them to get the darn race so I can go to my old neck of the woods next year.

Those were good days. WWF, MTV with music videos and still respectable VJs - even Pauly Shore!

But I've also been to Canada over that period.

So what are you saying with all these WWF/NWO/WCW refernces, that F1 is like wrestling? 🙂 OK, who is the main event in the F1 Wrestlmania No Holds Barred Cage match?

Alright James, FYI we're officially establishing the first JAonF1 International F1 Club location. As you can see Canadian F1 fans, two positions have been filled. For a limited time only, no membership fees if you join before the lucky 13 season ends!

238

Haha, nice. So you're in Hogtown now? You can be club chair and I'll be treasurer, ok? First meeting guest speakers will be Vic Rauter and Gerry Donaldson. 🙂

Found a great video with them, from 1997:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVpi5IhzBDY

But where'd you grow up, mostly? Last year when I made reference to the great Ric Flair, you were on it in a flash. Now yes even back then the WWF (now WWE) had global reach, it seems to me that the NWA and WCW didn't. Those seemed to me to be more a N.American-only thing. Of course, I could be totally wrong about that.

239

I'm a global citizen. Lived/worked around in EU, US, and now yes, in Canada.

We may have to start an F1 club, eh? 🙂

JAonF1 Official Canadian chapter!

240

Are you Canadian Sebee? Thought you were American. I'm just north of Toronto.

241

KRB, what city are you in?

242

They all seemed happy to torment Coulthard on the podium with champagne.

I believe this is the 2nd time?

243

Beside lap 1, that fun episode was...well...fun! D.C. is such a good sport and always cool.

Darn McLaren putting two likable drivers in the team at once all the time!

244

Maldonado was probably looking to make his way to the pits when he took out the Force India.

245

Just another crash for Maldonado - no biggie.

246

Maldonado's blatant disregard for the safety of others is menacing. He should be suspended for one race, so that he learns his lesson. He could kill someone one day.

247

Ominous win from Vettel, Fernando might have been closer if Ferrari had qualified towards the front of the grid, but not sure he could have beat the Red Bull.

Unless Vettel gets very unlucky in the next few races its looking very good for title number four especially as Mercedes, as proven already, can take points from Ferrari and perhaps Lotus as well.

Alonso needs wins to take the fight to Vettel and while getting closer for sure its hard to see if they can take a giant step forward in performance. Monza will be a really crucial race for both Ferrari drivers.

248

[Ominous win from Vettel, Fernando might have been closer if Ferrari had qualified towards the front of the grid, but not sure he could have beat the Red Bull.]

I don't think so, Vettel woulda done the same to Alonso what he done to Lewis for sure. Simply because Nando finished 16.8 secs behind Vettel and he had more in the Red Bull I tell ya.

249

James, what do you make of the talk that New Jersey's race has been cancelled? I was looking forward to going there 🙁

Has it been replaced with Mexico or is this bargaining?

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130825/f1/130829880

250

If we actually end up with a race in New Jersey I'll be very, very surprised.

Chances are we'll get a race in Mexico again before we get one anywhere near NJ.

251

Sounds like a last warning shot from Bernie to NJ promoters

252

Heidfeld's record lives on!

http://bit.ly/1dFRm0y

Quick Nick will be pleased. 😀

253

That stat also just looks at consecutive Grands Prix, and not the driver in question.

Taking into account Kimi's sabbatical, he was classified for 38 straight races in which he entered (Germany 2009 his last DNF before today), so even there Nick's record is safe.

254

And so is MS's points aka TOP 6 spot finish record. Kimi's is based on the "easy" top 10 system.

255

Doubt many will care too much about that. You could then say that MSC benefitted from 10pt wins instead of the 9 that was handed out before.

MSC will be passed for career total points by Alonso later this year (he's 51 pts behind now). Fully 8 of the top 10 in career points have raced in the T10-25W points era. Only Schumacher and Prost didn't.

256

Clearly dominating performance from Vettel. It was a surprise that Webber could not replicate the same performance. Alonso did a good job of catching up a lot but there seems to be a lot of performance gap still.

Mercedes is making the season interesting. They are as good as Red Bull in qualifying and they are close to Ferrari in race trim. Plus they have Lewis who is obviously a fantastic driver who has simply out raced Fernando on equal machinery !!!!

257

Webber was told of a clutch problem going to the grid. Why was vettel able to pass the merc so easy and Webber could not even with DRS. Different gearing? down force? Webbers fastest lap .6 slower than vettels.

258

Now that's a summary....Absolutely nailed the Lewis /Fernando comparison...... So after starting on pole and losing the lead to vettel, Lewis out drives Alonso but loses 2nd place to........Alonso.......who started 9th by the way.......and finishes in 3rd........ Even though Fernando has finished higher in the drivers points table every year since 2010, Lewis has continually shown Alonso how to maximise the Ron Dennis designed, Ferrari powered, Norbert Haug upholstered, Mercedes.....which they share......equally.

259

@kers @Odjebi. in Spa the Ferrari was a much better car than Mercedes. It was obvious in the FP2 and FP3. Fernando was even confident of winning the race. So all said and done it was the weather that gave Fernando a bad starting position and not the car itself. Again Fernando is a great driver package but on an Equal machinery Lewis has the final word !!!!! no question about it. I know it is very hard to accept but it is the truth ...we all have seen them race each other in equal machinery....

260

@Tmax.........Well that is true........."Lewis was racing Fernando......not Kimi"

261

Actually, Alonso made a mistake in qualy in his last lap, so it was not the weather per se.

262

Where did Lewis start today? Where did Fernando start today?

263

My personal feeling is that today LH didn't have a good race. In fact I'm wondering if there weren't any teamorders at Mercedes. Rosberg seemed faster than Hamilton on equal machinery

264

If 'fantastic' Hamilton would have shown us some average defending skills we could have had an actual race today...

265

Huh? You're only allowed one move ... you can't weave back 'n' forth to scare off a potential passer. Lewis had no chance holding off Vettel on that first lap, or Alonso on lap 14. Any reasonable F1 fan could clearly see that.

Hamilton with DRS still wasn't as fast on Kemmel as Alonso without it!

266

Outraced Fernando, you are joking, right ?

267

kartrace- hamilton finished 2nd that season and alonso 3rd. oh and lets not forget hamilton was a rookie and alonso was a double world champion

268

@TMAX...........monaco now? instead of giving me your point of view on how it was possible for Alonso to be punished when there was NOTHING IN THE RULE BOOK that mentions a driver must vacate his teams pit box, either immediately or in a reasonable amount of time, if his teammate is waiting,but no, you just make another ill informed point. I guess it was also ok for the stewards to accept a protest from Lewis' dad?! After reading the allegation and realising that there was no rule broken by Alonso, the stewards found a way to find Alonso guilty of something............so they pulled out 'unsportsmanlike conduct'. Which if we were judging Schumachers driving, he would have so many grid penalties that he would be starting every race from the pits.

Let the past go dude or do we have to count how many times Lewis qualified with a lighter fuel load and debate the advantages he gained from that?

269

Alonso left and who stopped Hamilton becoming a 4X WCD ? anyway he was the boss at McL F1 team.

270

Hamilton was prepared to lye for his boss on the subject of Spy gate saga, while Alonso came forward and opened his mouth, so he was punished by being constantly sabotaged afterwards.

271

@Odjebi Alonso was Penalized because he had purposefully blocked Lewis. He could not stand the fact the he was not considered the No 1 Driver against a Rookie. He blocked Lewis because he thought Lewis will take the pole away from him. the Punishment Fir the Crime. So what did Alonso do after the race.. threaten Ron to leak the News about stealing the Ferrari design if he is not given No 1 position. The rest is history... "So Much for a Samurai"......

Well Not to mention Ron asked Lewis to hold position in Monaco and not to overtake Fernando to which Lewis Commented "it is something I have to live with. I've number two on my car and I am the number two driver.'"

So Lets not talk too much about the 2007 season between Alonso and Lewis on an equal machinery.

272

Not taking sides, but a rookie almost won the World title in 2007.

273

...and so the legend began...

274

Hamilton had a very good start of that season but in the second part it was Alonso who collected more points. So how much worth is that rookie thing in those days of unlimited testing?

275

That season? So season 2007 somehow has significance in 2013...

Did u know Fernando was penalised 5 grid places for impeding or preventing Lewis from entering the pit box even though there was no rule that mentioned teammates must vacate their pit box when their teammate is queuing behind? There was no time limit for teammates to exit their box in qualifying. Did u know Anthony Hamilton was allowed to lodge the protest even though he wasn't an employee of McLaren or even authorised to lodge protests?!?!

From pole to 6th cost Fernando the title in 2007

276

Still going on about that old chestnut? It meant nothing Alonso was racing against Ron Dennis that year and also Jenson Buttob went to Mclaren and beat Hamilton does that mean Button is a better driver than Alonso???

277

Oh God. He's talking about '07

Just let it go (shakes head).

278

Yes that was a joke. That was why Alonso was so happy with Mclaren that he decided to break the contract and go back to underperforming Renault.

279

Alonso was sabotaged by the villain called Ron the Impaler.

280

Well well well, just when the Hamilton fans think there's a chance for something this season Vettel puts in the most dominance performance for over 2 years and kills the morale of rest of the challengers, on a side note its funny how Webber is '1seconds' faster than Vettel on Topgear and yet he can't touch Seb, rhe fact of the matter is Webber couldn't beat the Mercedes or Alonso and yet this Redbull is suppose to be dominant, Mercedes can do suspicious things to Rosberg all they want they can even turn Hamilton's engine up to Q3 everytime but at the end of the season there will be 1 world champion and thats Vettel.

281

Outta the woodwork comes Tealeaf, to enlighten us all. 😀

282

@KRB

I think we should invent a new word for the purpose, "endarken." 🙂

283

or how about diminise - that works on two levels 😉

284

Finish! Is that the best you can contribute re the race? I think we can have a better discussion and share some opinions rather than posting some silly comments.

285

"Dominant win?" Or the latest in a long line of easy and unchallenged Vettel wins, courtesy of Newey?

Vettel made one simple slipstream overtake and then cruised to victory. It's bread-and-butter stuff of an F1 Championship.

Or as Nigel Mansell wrote in his biography (paraphrasing)- "PP, lights-to-flag victories in the quickest car is the easist way to win a race."

Ultimately, Newey has flattered Vettel and made it easy for Vettel to rack up the wins and titles. Widespread respect and recognition has yet to come - note more booing of Vettel today and this time I thought he looked genuinely upset by it.

286

Just as if slipstream overtakes were so easy these days...

287

This comment is laughable, where was Webber? Why couldn't he beat the Mercedes or Alonso? Even in RBR's strongest year in 2011 Webber couldn't win a race to save his life and was often beaten by Ferrari, Mclaren and Mercedes and had to be gifted a win in Brazil, just give credit where credit is due Seb at his best beats any driver on the grid over a season.

288

Webber's poor starts and mysterious car problems go a long way to the explanation you're seeking.

"...Seb at his best beats any driver on the grid over a season."

I see. You're reducing a team sport (in which Vettel has had the best team and car since mid 2009) to an individual one?

Statements such as yours actually work against your aim of wanting people to give Vettel more respect.

289

@bk201 -

"Webber’s poor starts and mysterious car problems go a long way to the explanation you’re seeking."

What issues did he have that you are claiming? Comments like yours only prove how laughable some of the anti-Vettel crowd can be.

290

Sorry James, but Red Bull was the fastest car in 2010 by miles. It was not mixed up.

291

I think what you can say is that the Vettel/RBR package gets close to the maximum in both quali and race on most occasions and more than the opposition manages.

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.

292
Wilma the Great

"Widespread respect and recognition has yet to come – note more booing of Vettel today and this time I thought he looked genuinely upset by it."

Look around you - there is much respect for him on this forum as well as for many other fine drivers on the grid for their respective achievements.

I believe, the booing was mainly directed at the Greenpeace activists which Vettel couldn't see from the podium. But it has happened in past races and takes nothing away from Vettels achievements. It rather spells "bad sportsmanship" about the booing "fans".

I don't know, if Vettel was upset by it, but wouldn't you be upset, if you would be booed after having won a Grand Prix?

293

"Look around you – there is much respect for him on this forum as well as for many other fine drivers on the grid for their respective achievements."

I'd be surprised if even 50% of the comments I read about Vettel, indicate respect for his talents or achievements. Rightly or wrongly, many F1 fans think Vettel is merely a good driver in a great car.

"I don’t know, if Vettel was upset by it, but wouldn’t you be upset, if you would be booed after having won a Grand Prix?"

Do you think Alonso or Hamilton would have been upset by it? Nope. Besides, Vettel is at least partially responsible for some of the bad reputation he seems to have. Strangely, I think he also wants to be popular. So I imagine he'll have to think about some of his future behaviour if he wants the booing to stop.

He should also take heart from Alonso - think about how he was thought of after his behaviour in 2007. He is now near-universally respected and I'd suggest, reasonably well liked.

294

I presume you understand the meaning of "near-universally" and "reasonably well-liked?"

295

'He is now near-universally respected and I’d suggest, reasonably well liked.'

By Ron Dennis?

296

Ha ha, you keep on spamming under different aliases if it makes you feel better.

297

To JAF1 mods,

I have one account on here - check my I.P address.

I am surprised you let the above comment by "SteveS" be posted on here, not only because his accusation isn't true but also because JAF1 usually keeps all of this kind of silly personally motivated posting off the boards. Which is what attracted me to join.

As such I would be grateful if you removed SteveS' post as it is untrue and adds nothing to the discussion about F1 on here. Thanks.

298

No fan forum will ever give drivers a perfect level of criticism or praise. All I can say is that you should try to form your own opinions, Jon, rather than contradict yourself time and again, looking for an F1 driver related argument.

299

This is getting silly.

I am the Jon Sandor of the F1 fanatic website, too. Though I'm not sure it was your place to tell this forum where else I post, "bartholomew."

And yes I defend Vettel on that other website because he gets too much criticism there, whereas I think he is getting too much praise on here.

I always like to try to redress the balance of debates.

300

One account, "bk201". How many for you?

Predictably, the definition of "dominant car" seems to be one that Vettel can win in. Even if the other "dominant car" lounges in 5th place behind a Ferrari and two Mercedes.

And no, I wasn't dismissing Newey's influence. You dismissed everyone else at Red Bull with your "courtesy of Newey" comment.

301

Well, "bartholomew" given your "over a year" claim, the big question is quite how many accounts are you running on here? And for how long?

Belgian GP - "a dominant win." In a dominant car. Predictably, you left out that last bit.

Dismissing Newey's influence "ignores" the multiple titles he won for McLaren and Williams.

302

On this website, I haven't "suddenly appeared" (it's "Jon Sandor", who did that), given that I've checked and posted here for over a year.

Back to the Belgian GP (or onto the Italian GP), then. Winning by ~20 seconds comes under the definition of "dominant win". "Courtesy of Newey" ignores the role of the rest of Red Bull's staff, as well as the driver, who did not finish in say, 5th like the other one.

303

And you're a paranoid fellow "SteveS!" I post on here and the Beeb. That's it.

Anyway, given that "bartholomew" has suddenly appeared and is replying to the exact same posters/posts as "SteveS," then I think it's clear who is guilty of multi-account abuse.

And if you really want to show "respect" to this website then you'll stick to posting about matters F1, rather than trying to personalise things with your conspiratorial nonsense.

So, the Belgian GP...

304

Oh, stop denying it. You're masquerading as "Jon Sandor", someone who routinely sticks up for Vettel on F1 Fanatic, just so you can continue your nonsense "bk201".

305

You're a comical fellow, "bk201". If I chose to do so I could also comment here under multiple different usernames and multiple different IP addresses. It's not a difficult trick which only you know about. Most people have a bit more respect for the site owner and the other commenters though.

306

No, Newey said once it's Vettel that flatters his cars, no the other way around.

307

Newey might have a point...if he hadn't already won heaven knows how many WDCs/WCCs with Williams, (multiple drivers) and McLaren!

Besides, you're taking Newey at face value there. I don't. Of course he is going to stick up for his driver. Anything else would be counter-productive and pointless, even if inwardly he thought Vettel was the weakest WDC who has won in one of his cars.

308

Vettel was in class of his own after making fantastic move on Lewis so early on.

When Vettel wins, most of them say it is down to the car, Whereas when Lewis wins it is all down to him. Those getting tired of Vettel wins should ask themselves 'Aren't you tired of Merc poles?'

Are Merc poles down to car or Lewis skills?

Webber did his best to get past of Rosberg for much of the race, but failed. this shows how important it was for Vettel to be ahead of Merc car.

Vettel deserves to be DOTD.

309

I cannot agree that it was a "fantastic move." Rather it was an easy and routine slipstream pass on a slower car.

Even after the race Hamilton could be heard marvelling at the speed of the Red Bull.

I do wonder why everything Vettel does has to be over-hyped so much. Look, Vettel had an easy race yesterday and a routine victory. There is no shame in that.

But there is shame in trying to make every Vettel win (whilst in the best car for the best part of four years) some major and significant moment in F1's history.

As for Hamilton - multiple PPs across two teams, against two World Champions and a seriously quick Rosberg. He has destroyed every teammate of his in qualifying and unlike Vettel, he's not had the advantage of Newey's cars to do so.

310

"I have no desire to return to what I did before."

I'm disappointed to hear that you're so definite about that, James. At the same time it's good to hear that you're enjoying your current roles.

Regards,

BK201

311

For one, I meant to say "as Vettel did in Belgium". Some of your other claims really don't give you the right to be questioning whether others watched the races.

"You could have saved yours