Vettel has no big weaknesses says Red Bull design chief Newey
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Oct 2013   |  1:56 pm GMT  |  199 comments

Red Bull’s newly crowned four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has no big weaknesses and is developing into the perfect driver, according to Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey.

The 26-year-old became the youngest driver to win four world championship titles when he triumphed in Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix – his eighth win in 10 races and 10th of the season.

Vettel, who joined Red Bull in 2009 after being promoted from the team’s junior outfit Toro Rosso, and has since gone on to win the title in four of the next five years to join the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost in an exclusive club.

Newey said: “He’s not going to get worse, that’s for sure. He’s going to continue to develop, though it’s difficult to see how he can develop from this season.”

Vettel’s first two seasons with Red Bull were exciting as he showed flashes of brilliance along with errors in judgement – namely when he collided with team-mate Mark Webber in the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix when they battled for the lead.

However, he finished second in the standings in his first season with Red Bull before snatching his debut title at the final race of the season in 2010. The following season was dominant – he won six of the first nine and finished second in the other three – as he cut out the mistakes and hammered home his advantage.

The German had to work harder in 2012, but four straight wins from Singapore in September proved crucial and this season he crucially clocked up consistent points when the car wasn’t performing well early in the year and then took advantage when it was – winning six races in a row to wrap up the title with three races to spare.

“His driving has gone from very talented but slightly raw at times in, let’s say, 2009, to incredibly well rounded now, added Newey. “In 2009 and 2010 you could occasionally criticise him for making slightly ill-judged moves and hence having accidents.

“You could criticise him, possibly, for not being able to overtake. I think some people, possibly, felt that, if he didn’t start from pole and control the race from the front, then he was not so good. You really can’t make those criticisms any more. It’s difficult to see a chink in his armoury. He learns all the time.”

“Like other great drivers he can drive while considering and planning what he’s going to do next, and then get out of the car and continue to analyse and learn what happened so that next time he’s got that tiny bit more knowledge.

“I see it with him all the time. Every time he gets in the car he gets in with a bit more knowledge than he had last time.”

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1

Despite some weaknesses Vettel has got one unique strength, a big one – Newey… it is enough.

2

Newey actually praised Vettel to the skies after the Indian GP. To say he clams Vettel has no big weaknesses severely understates the case.

“I’d say that Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna are two of the all-time greats and Sebastian needs to be considered in that line.” That’s well beyond “He has no big weaknesses”, that’s Newey saying Vettel is one of the best drivers to ever climb into an F1 car.

3

Vettel always has a race win sooner than Webber in the season. It was always the case: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and of course 2013.

But when the car wasn’t that good in 2012, he was leading the WDC after the fourth race… Webber never led the championship in 2012. In fact he never did after Korea 2010 again.

So I don’t know why people saying, Vettel isn’t that good, when the car isn’t the fastest and then he even loses to Webber?? The facts speak for themselves.

When the RB8 was a rather bad/slow car, Vettel had bad qualifyings as in Shanghai. He even didn’t make it to Q3 there and started from P11.

He also had a very poor start. He was P15 after the second corner, but finished on P5 just behind Webber, who qualified P7 and only passed him in the last two laps or so, because of fresher tires..

Reversed scenario in Barcelona. Vettel qualified P8, Webber P12. Vettel finished with a P6 and without the punishment on P5. Webber in a RB was lapped by Maldonado in a Williams…..

Without the alternator failure in Valencia, Webber had never made it in front of Vettel in the standings. Even with his win in Silverstone. Alonso gained in that very race 25 points (32 respectively!) on Vettel instead of losing 7 with a P2 behind Vettel.

And also Grosjean would be ahead of Kimi after Valencia, if he hadn’t had to stop the car during the race. Something people fail to oversee and that is one reason why I think Kimi will lose quite badly in 2014 to Alonso.

In Monza 2012 and the second alternator problem for Vettel, Webber only had to finish in the points to be ahead of Vettel again, but he failed, made a driver error and therefore DNF the race.

With regard to Hamilton

Of course he is one of the quickest out there, but I think he lacks technical logic. 2006 he was allowed to test a lot in a McLaren and a year later as a “rookie” he also profited from the work of a two time WC. In the first half of 2009 then he wanted to stop the car in two races or so, because he was in the back of the field…

I remember the beginning of the 2013 season when Mercedes was the quickest car in Q3 by a distance and people jubilating, Hamilton will be even better when he understands the new car later in the season.

So now it is the end of the season and what does Lauda said a few days ago about Hamilton’s setup work? That Nico makes a much better setup work than Lewis. That he is a very intelligent driver, knows how and when to use the tires. So I think Hamilton not only lacks consistency. Of course, give him a fast car with the right tires, then he might be much, much quicker than any other driver. But you can’t always get what you want and need in life and/or F1.

4

Personally, I think Vettel’s advantages are emotional stability (he seems very grounded – for an F1 driver), obviously talented and – most of all – extremely intelligent. Almost every time he Speke, it is obvious there is a great brain behind those eyes.

I still want to see what he is like when he does not have the best car – something he really has not experienced for long since mid ’09. Multi 21 suggests to me that he may not handle losing all that well and I have read he has a bit of a temper.

But I believe that even if he does some silly things when his car is no longer the best – that emotional stability and good brain will learn to do things better.

I think he has all he needs to potentially, one day, be the greatest driver – all around – F1 has seen since Fangio.

5

Vettel’s only advantage is that he is sitting in Newey’s car… and Webber was the weaker of the two, and that the team gave Vettel a leg up on every turn, against Webber.

A very unconvincing state of affairs.

Another black mark on F1. Not as terrible as Button’s double diffuser WDC, but very similar.

6

Okaaaay….whatever.

Have a nice day.

7

Vettel may have no big weaknesses right now, but we don’t know what the future may hold.

Not many drivers have defended their championship from the previous year when there has been a massive regulation change, and next year is one of the biggest regulation changes in a long time.

For example, in five years time, Vettel may still have four world championships, while someone like Hamilton may have four or five. In the new regulations, the engine and the recovery systems will have a greater impact than ever before, something that Red Bull has shown weakness in the past, and if that weakness comes back, it could cost them very dearly indeed.

At the moment, Vettel is the best, but what Newey has said must be a slap in the face for Raikkonen. He had very fast cars at McLaren, but the cars lacked the necessary reliability to get the job done, most notably in 2005, and possibly in 2003.

8

2005 Raikkonen only retired from two races from mechanical problems. He did have bad luck compared to Alonso though. I thought Kimi had the better season.

2003 Raikkonen had a car good enough (the Williams drivers too), but just couldn’t get it done. Schumacher was too good. Raikkonen only won one race all season. Schumacher won 6. The better man won the championship.

9

James,

In your reply at the 1st comment you have predicted Mercedes powertrain to be the best next year. On what basis you draw thar conclusion?

Do you have some insider information about the new power units?

We know the Mercedes engines are good but why do you or your information source thinks that Ferrari and Renault behind.

If Mercedes the best in which area are they edging the others? ERS? Fuel consumption?

Thanks,

10

No, just a feeling based on many conversations around the F1 world

11

.just a feeling.. and just knowledge – Made in Germany! 🙂

12

Not that VET needs my comments, but I do think general opinion on him is unfair, and I don’t think the media or RedBull’s PR are trying to “sell” him to the fans

To start with, I am not a VET fan, and neither was I a Schumi fan for the same reason: utter dominance makes races boring, but having said that and after following F1 since Jim Clark was alive and racing, here are some cold facts:

VET(4) stands in 4th place in WDC after Schumacher(7), Fangio(5) and Prost(4), and I am sure he will at least pass Prost and Fangio

He stands in 4th pace in Wins(36) after Schumi(91), Prost(51) and Senna(41), and is past the present demi-gods: ALO, HAM and RAI who all started racing before he did

The point that convinced me he was good is the Poles stat(43), where he stands 3rd after Schumi(68) and Senna(65), and is one of the very few with a higher pole than win ratio together with Senna, Clark, HAM and RAI, way out of ALO, Schumi or Prost’s league, this means the guy is FAST

As percentages, he has won 30.76% of the races he has started, and is behind only Fangio(41.38%) and Clark(34.25%) (maybe Ascari and other old era racers when there were fewer cars and races), and has passed Schumi(29.74%), Prost(25.75%) and Senna(25.46%), this means the guy is SMART

This last percentage stat will probably go down in time when he drives a merely competitive car like the other poor drivers have done this past 4 years, but it is impressive numbers anyway

You can go to http://www.gpguide.com which JA recommended some time back to look at the numbers

Sorry @goferet, not trying to follow your footsteps, but seemed relevant info

13

again like majority take stats without taking into consideration the car capabilities, let me make it simple, how many poles would he make if he still was in STR car ? what would be his stats then ?

14

I was using stats to make a point where IMHO Vettel is better than the majority of fans think

Of course if he was still driving an STR (or even a Ferrari) his stats would not be the same, but am also sure they would be better than Algersuari’s, Buemi’s, Vergne’s and Ricciardo’s are

You and I will not know for sure how good he is until he races someone else than Webber in equivalent cars, but his numbers lead me to think he is good enough, regardless of the car

I am also sure HAM, ALO, RAI and BUT would have won in the RedBull as well, and Webber, Barrichello and Massa in present form probably would have not, but the fact is Vettel was driving the RB

We know HAM is as fast as ALO, faster than BUT but ends scoring similar points, and a tad faster than ROS but wins less races; we have no similar data to measure VET, that is what makes it difficult to judge him objectively

I will be watching the next seasons just to see what VET he can do in more level equipment

15

How many poles would Senna have had if he’d stayed with Toleman? It’s an equally silly question, as the the best drivers tend to end up in the best cars for obvious reasons.

16

why silly ? this unfortunately is the answer giving by die-hard fans. If this was so automatic process, he would replace Heidfeld or Kubica, somehow his “talent” didn’t persuade the BMW engineers. Or if there was already a top driver in RBR, he would be still stuck in STR. And, another funny possibility, if he did replace Heidfeld or Kubica how many WDC would he have ?

17

Yes, good source of F1 stats

18

When did Adrian Newey say that Sebastian Vettel has no big weaknesses? It’s certainly not quoted in the article. Given the general precision of F1 wanna-be-Ron-speak, I doubt that Newey himself would agree with the article’s reinterpretation of the text. (“It’s difficult to see…” is, in F1, a huge distance from, “There are no…”)

19

There is a big change to the electrics for next season and that has been RBR/Renault’s weakest area over the last couple of seasons.

20

James,

Next year is a whole new ball game as we know but IF Red Bull with Renault steal a march on their rivals next season and Vettel dominates again do you think the FIA could find themselves at an awkward crossroads like they did at the end of 2004? I.e leave the sport pure or in the face of dwindling interest bring about rule changes to handicap the best team like the concrete tyres hampered Ferrari in 2005.

P.s I hope it doesn’t come to this!

21

The FIA have already made several rule changes aimed at handicapping RB over the years.

22
Colombia Concalvez

Vettel is nothing, he’s driving the best car and Webber got eliminated to benefit Vettel. In the middle of the pack most of us who watch F1 longer know that, these new Vettel fans who’s opinion is shaped by media don’t know what true racing is, they see a guy starting from pole with the best car and then they think that he really is the best. Be prepare for an absolute shocker next year when it is far less about aero. Let’s see how good he really is then

23

After saying “Vettel is nothing, he’s driving the best car and Webber got eliminated to benefit Vettel.” you say ” In the middle of the pack most of us who watch F1 longer know that, these new Vettel fans who’s opinion is shaped by media don’t know what true racing is”?

The irony on the comment is really great

24

So… were RB holding back Webber and Coulthard when Vettel put his Toro Rosso on pole and won a race? Were they already favouring him back then over both main RB drivers? Were they somehow favouring Vettel when he went out on track for BMW Sauber and impressed people with his pace, and went on to score in his first F1 race?

25

With all the excess aero and engine limits – the driver does not require much skill to do good detla times… that is all Vettel is good for.

Vettel is like a test driver, compared to the true great racers of the past…

26

Better go back to school

You lack basic knowledge on things

What a bunch of nonsense

27

I’ve got top grades in advanced engineering maths at university as part of my engineering degree.. thank you for your input.

28

You must have skipped a lot of classes then!!!

29

You mean a test driver who is better than the great racers of the past?

30

Not at all – he has no relation with any racer of the past, as he is not racing… he is merely getting good delta lap-times, and using zero-skill DRS overtakes, and all because of Newey’s domination in engineering.

The reality is that there is nothing memorable at all about Vettel’s wins as all the real work was done in Newey’s office.

As a Schumacher fan, I got as much thrill out of Hakkinen winning as the racing to the limit was always there… none of this delta boring as hell stuff with DRS overtakes.

31

It’s probably worth pointing out that, prior to Vettel joining the team, Red Bull wasn’t a MASSIVELY sought-after seat, despite Newey’s presence. After all, they hadn’t even won a race at that point, and their drivers had only gone there after their (much more highly rated, at the time) previous teams had decided they wanted some new blood… Then along comes Seb (after winning a race in a Toro Rosso/Minardi, don’t forget) and the RB team says ‘we want THAT fella’. If it was ALL about the car, it would have been winning before Seb’s arrival and Webber would have been consistently second, or maybe even won a championship or two himself. Vettel isn’t my favourite of the drivers, but a) he won a race in a MINARDI and b) he won the Championship in every season he contested in a car that wasn’t previously considered a front-runner, apart from his first RB season, where he finished second. Not only is that not too shabby a record, it’s also unprecedented in F1. Nobody has a record like that, not Fernando, not Prost, not Lauda, not Senna. In fact, not even Fangio, who didn’t win his first four on the trot. What has the guy got to do? Maybe be the youngest guy to do it? Oh, what’s that, he already is…?

And all this time, he’s been getting better and better (as has the car, and Seb can take a fair chunk of the credit for the way he has led the cars’ development) to the point where Newey says he has no obvious chinks in his armour, unlike (say) his major competitors.

And when he did the donuts in India before bowing before his car, I had a huge smile on my face… THAT’S how you celebrate winning the Championship. That’s Old School. Say what you like, he’s got the minerals. Like Schumacher or Senna (both of whom are considered greats, and, I seem to recall, lots of folks disliked or didn’t rate at time), he is one of the greats, no question. I’d rather be saying that about any number of other drivers, but facts is facts. The boy done good. You’re watching history being made, people. If you’re a true F1 fan, you’ll see it for what it is.

32
Clarks4WheelDrift

You learn a new thing every day, today I found out that Newey designed a race winning Minardi 😉

33

Ok, I’ll accept that my over-emphasis on ‘Minardi’ was a bit strong… Sorry, I had been drinking! Hahaha!

But the point still stands, I think. It was still an incredible achievement.

34

+1, Even Alonso turned Red Bull down in 2008. He could’ve been Alonso VII by now. I can imagine him winning the Championship from the onset (2009).

On a side note:

1. Vettel’s Torro Rosso was a customer’s car from Red Bull. But still, everyone was surprised at the time that the kid got the car on pole and won that race.

2. 2009 saw a massive rule change with the introduction of KERS, V8s (?), DRS, simplified aero (wings) and no refueling (?). It was Brawn and Newey who outsmarted everyone. That bodes very well for 2014 … Mercedes vs Red Bull.

35

Yes Vettel won a race in a “MINARDI” from pole position, and Sebastien Bourdais, a Champ Car driver, qualified fourth with that same “MINARDI”. Do you actually know what a “MINARDI” is??

36

Hahaha! You’re funny…

37

Spot On! Mate!

Thank you folks for all of your comments.

38

+1

Couldn’t put it better myself

Vettel was never my supported driver, already had one, Hamilton

Still, I never allowed myself to be fooled by driver’s (Hamilton included), critics and haters about how good Vettel was, and how he deserved everything he’d got

Thanks to a growing spiral of Haters, I started to support Vettel a few months back (I hate injustice)

But now in India with the donuts and classic images of him on top of the car surrounded by smoke, I think that might have turned me into a true fan

And they say F1 is boring!!!

39
Alexander Supertramp

On a different note, autosport says Maldonado is out of Williams. Heading to Lotus?

Pastor is a grand prix winner and deserves more respect than he gets. However, I believe his biggest problem is that he sees himself as a top driver worthy of a better car and often refuses to take responsibility for bad performances. That’s the kind of attitude that makes you stand still and in the dynamic world of F1 that means going backwards.

The guy has potential, but him in a Lotus might be RoGro 2012 all over again. A couple of decent performances would make him lose patience in difficult and critical situations, which would have the potential to result in (ugly) crashes.

40

Maybe the teams are colluding to show him the exit door out of F1? That would be fitting.

41

Funny I thought the same about ALO and HAM earlier this year when they were lamenting about being “too good” to race for 5th or 6th place.

42
Alexander Supertramp

Poor choice of words. But every driver on the grid believes he’s the best or believes he could be champion in the right car. If anything, Fernando and Lewis are world championships and proven race winners, so their sense of entitlement is more justified. Besides, Lewis is very critical to his own driving and often blames himself for bad performances and seeks ways to improve, that’s the right attitude if you ask me.

43

*I believe his biggest problem is that he sees himself as a top driver worthy of a better car and often refuses to take responsibility for bad performances. That’s the kind of attitude that makes you stand still and in the dynamic world of F1 that means going backwards.*

Thats sounds like di resta as well

44

I think Vettel is a class act, but I believe he will not fully get the credit he deserves until he goes to another team and wins with them.

He could win 8 in a row at Red Bull and people would just keep going on about Newey, Newey etc.

My 50pence worth is he’ll join Ferrari for 2015 alongside Kimi.

If he then manages to take a Ferrari title after 5 Alonso attempts / failures he will then go down as an all time great. Possibly the greatest.

45

I hope not. Too many promising careers have been killed at Ferrari. IMO VET has nothing left to prove at this point. Sure there will always be those demanding that he win a championship blindfolded in a Caterham, but history will be a kinder judge of his accomplishments. He is approaching if not already in ledgendary status. Long after people have forgotten about BUT, HAM, RAI or ALO people will remember and stop and talk about what VET did with RBR from 2009-2013.

46

Meanwhile one thing I didn’t get is why Newey used the past tense when he said, it has been a pleasure working with Vettel???

I mean who of the two is leaving to justify the use of the past tense.

And then we had Christian Horner taking pics of Vettel during his pitstop like he wasn’t coming back.

I believe somebody knows something, they’re just not talking.

The truth is out there.

47

You remind me of those people who, after Bewey recently said that Vettel is “well on his way to becoming an all time great”, proclaimed “Newey says Vettel is not an all time great!”. You try too hard to read meanings into things.

As it happens, Newey clarified his comments after India and repeatedly said “Sebastian must now be considered one of the all-time greats”. For some reason that repeated insistence was not picked up on by any news outlet.

48

I believe that was the subjective clause when talking about a season that has ended in triumph, even if it hasn’t officially ended yet.

Also I’d probably take pictures of a guy who helped me get a massive cash bonus in time for Xmas…;)

49

@ AuraF1

Lol yeah…

50

Aww… Pretty sweet words there from Newey. For sure, this means Newey rates the new four time champion in the same bracket as the Prosts, Mansells, Mikas and Sennas as these are the greats he has worked with in the past.

Now for Vettel’s sake he better hope Newey’s praise hasn’t jinxed him for whenever there’s this much praise for a driver, something usually goes wrong somewhere e.g. Schumi in 2004 when the big rule changes came around in 2005.

Then we also had Alonso in 2006 who was seen as the greatest that ever did it then 2007 came around.

The morale of the story being when you’re on top, the only place left to go is straight down back to earth.

Regards Vettel’s weaknesses, we have seen over the years that when you apply enough pressure he has the ability to crack e.g. Australia 2009, Turkey 2009, Turkey 2010, Spa 2010, Canada 2011, Germany 2011, Hungary 2011, Austin 2012 etc

Now if Vettel could make these mistakes in a car that’s considered the best, you can just imagine the blunders that will occur once he gets machinery that’s equal to the competition.

So yeah I think it would be wise for Vettel to quit the sport for there’s no such thing as a perfect driver but rather perfect conditions but as we all know those don’t last forever.

P.s.

No individual driver has won another title once their good run came to an end e.g. Fangio, Schumi

51

I once heard someone once say, champions don’t quit their sport. Their sport kicks them out. That’s what happened to Schumacher and probably a few other whose names escape me.

52
Clarks4WheelDrift

A mate of mine says Seb will be classed as a ‘true great’ in his view if he can match his number of driver titles to the number of constructor titles Newey has. 😉

53

“You could criticise him, possibly, for not being able to overtake. I think some people, possibly, felt that, if he didn’t start from pole and control the race from the front, then he was not so good.”

And with reason. Those questioning his overtaking had plenty of proof to point to at the time, after he made several high-profile errors. He has now improved in that area and has made few, if any, overtaking errors this year.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean those criticising him at the time were wrong. The revisionism from some high-profile members of the paddock has been over the top (looking at you, Brundle). Instead of bashing those who pointed out his errors, credit should go to Vettel for taking it on board and improving.

54

But they’re not “criticising him at the time”, this comment section is awash with people who are still criticising him today.

55

Maybe, but the arguement put forward by a lot of ‘informed’ F1 insiders is that anyone who ever questioned Vettel’s overtaking is stupid, or ‘overly critical’.

I would simply argue that the criticism WAS justified because he kept crashing into people. If some fans continue to say he can’t overtake then they’re entitled to their opinion, but its not one that I would agree with. I think he’s improved beyond measure.

56
Alexander Supertramp

“The revisionism from some high-profile members of the paddock has been over the top.” Talk about hitting the nail on the head!

57

Compared to Michael Schumacher at the same stage in his F1 career he makes less errors and that for one is really incredible, especially considering how strong Schumacher was in 94/95 and even 1996 with the uncompetitive Ferrari.

From what I’ve seen this year Sebastian is pretty much error free and even the very best people in every discipline make mistakes, so his consistent performance through the season to date is truly remarkable.

58

The cars are a lot easier to drive today and the drivers don’t have to drive on the limit lap after lap in the refueling era of the 90’s, so all drivers will make less mistakes than drivers did in the 90’s. I remember at Melbourne 96 the Goodyear tyres being good enough to last the entire race if they needed to.

But Vettel makes less mistakes than anyone driving right now and is clearly the best on the grid.

59

Cars are easier to drive today?? Cmon man..With no traction controls and ever degrading tyres

60

TC wasn’t brought back until Spain 2001. A car today is much easier to drive than one from the 90’s, especially some of the bad cars Schumacher had.

The tyres don’t make today’s cars difficult to drive in terms of making mistakes but difficult to find the optimal performance level.

61

Hardly challenged to make any mistakes

62
Valentino from montreal

Vettel is the best driver after Schumacher ..

BUT , I’m not gonna jump on the band-wagon …

If he can win future titles in another team , say Ferrari , and/or be able to fight for the title in every season with the second fastest car , then he will show he IS INDEED truly one of the best ever …

Schumacher if stayed at Benetton would of possibly win 3 or 4 championships in a row too …

Vettel is great in a great car , fastest on the grid without a doubt …

63

It’s too easy to knock Vettel, and say it is all down to Newey’s designs. Actually let’s not kid ourselves if Alonso, Hamilton, or Raikonnen had been in that car they could have picked up the last few championships. It’s not because Vettel has a level of talent that places him above Senna (or any other 3 time winners). Which isn’t to say Red Bull didn’t find a very talented young driver and bring him through to their team (witness his win for STR). But how talented is impossible to say when he enjoys such a car advantage.

But had he swapped seats with any of the three drivers I mentioned would he have won a championship in any of their cars this season or last ? Hopefully the change in regs will mean the other teams up their games – even Seb’s fans must be bored with him leading into turn one and going round in front till the flag for half the races in the season.

64

Yeah, great. Congratulations. And more congratulations to Adrian.

65

Of course he has no big weaknesses when he has a car 1 second a lap faster than everyone else and can cruise around dominating races with a team mate who gives him no pressure because his car is always breaking down.

He sure seemed to have a weakness last year when Webber was quicker than him in the first part of the season when he couldn’t adapt to the lack of EBD. 1 win out of 12 races.

66

He won in Bahrain, got robbed of a win in Valencia. The tyres really through a spanner in the works with 8 different winners in the first 8 weeks. Even Maldanado got a pole and a win.

Webber beat Vettel straight up at Monaco and Silverstone. That was about it. Big deal. How many times has Massa out qualifed Alonso this year, Rosberg beat Hamilton on the weekend and has more wins this season than him, Grosjean has had the upper hand on Raikkonen since July.

Vettel has a couple bad races and it’s etched in everyone’s memory.

67

One day we will see if he is going to live up to expectations when there is another team, or even two, at the same playing level when it comes to the car performance. Till then he is very nicely developing but was a very fortunate one to.

69

Yes, you may lol as much as one likes

70

“He sure seemed to have a weakness last year when Webber was quicker than him in the first part of the season when he couldn’t adapt to the lack of EBD. 1 win out of 12 races.”

Yes, very good, now what happened after that?

71

Red Bull took updates to SIngapore to significantly increase the amount of rear downforce the car generated, hence why Seb picked up pace whereas Mark struggled.

They’ve gone a step further this year too. Apparently they now produce more DF than they did with the EBD which is scary.

72

Didn’t Vettel set a new fastest quali lap around India? That’s pretty nuts considering these cars don’t have the off-throttle exhaust-blown diffuser and they can’t use DRS where ever they want around the lap anymore.

And to think, all the crap Pirelli have copped… and this is what they have to deal with. Cars that are lapping faster than the nutty EBD cars, while making tyres that degrade appropriately. With minimal testing.

73
Alexander Supertramp

Dr. Helmut Marko, the real power behind the Red Bull succes, worked his magic in his secret laboratory during the summer break. He did it again this year after fearing that Lewis might mount a title challenge after clinching victory in the Hungarian GP. The result: the RB9 2.0,winner of the past 6 grands prix.

74

Me was talking about 2012. The RBR DDRS happened, catapulting the RB8 to dominant car status.

75

Let’s say that actually happened.

Legal? 100% YES! 🙂

76

> He sure seemed to have a weakness last year when Webber was quicker than him in the first part of the season when he couldn’t adapt to the lack of EBD. 1 win out of 12 races.

Let’s see:

At the end of those 12 races VET has more points, more poles and more fast laps tan WEB.

Also he finished ahead of WEB in 7 of the 12 races.

And not taking into account Valencia when VET cars had a engine failure when he was first.

It is really boring.

77

So, the only stat that is better for WEB is number of wins, 2 against 1.

78

By mid season, vis to vis qualifying record was on Mark side. There even were three quali sessions where Vettel did not get to Q3 (Barcelona, Monaco and Spa), aginst one from Mark side (Barcelona). And in Monaco Mark got pole position!

80

And qualifying record.

81

I wonder when the majority of fans will come to their senses and accept how unbelievably good this kid is.

I have to admit that in 2010 he annoyed me but ever since he’s just been getting better and better. People seem to think that because he’s had the best car he doesn’t deserve appreciation for his success but I don’t think I’ve seen such consistency from any driver over a prolonged period in the 30 years I’ve been watching F1.

82

Schumi was a 4th degree black belt in consistency.

We were fooling around on another post about Alonso’s points record, and so I did the simulation of what Schumi’s point total would be if for his entire carrier he raced under 25 for win system. Anyhow, I wrapped up the excel and found this – summed up in my comment in that post, but here again for your pleasure.

>

When doing my Schumi under new points system calculation, one thing clearly struck me. Schumi didn’t score much outside of top 5, or podium for that matter. He’d rather DNF than take finish P14. This past 3 years must have been a whole different experience for him.

Check this out.

Schumi until 2006, which is what was needed to convert old placement to new points Schumi finished with 91 wins as we all know, but 154 podiums, and if you stretch to top 5 that’s 175, or only 21 more point placements. Stretch that to top 10 and you get 195, or only 41 more than podium. Amazing.

Clearly Schumi’s moto was, stick your P4 and higher where the sun don’t shine. 🙂

83

Agreed, as much as I hated Schumi’s ethics sometimes there’s no denying his unfathomable speed and consistency!

I bet that once Vettel has equalled Schumi’s number of race starts his stats will be comparable though! I know this is aided by being in a good car for a long time but that’s F1 and people need to get over it.

84

“but I don’t think I’ve seen such consistency from any driver over a prolonged period in the 30 years I’ve been watching F1.”

This is what defines Vettel for me, he is relentlessly consistent.

85

so is Fernando, in terms of consistency.

too bad, the car under him was not so — what’s the word I am looking for — ‘consistency’

86

Alonso is consistent but Vettel is relentlessly consistent that’s the difference between the two drivers.

When last if you caan remember Vettel has had a race like Alonso had?

87
Alexander Supertramp

Only his 2013 season can be regarded as highly consistent. Alonso did the same thing last year, look at him this year. Consistency is a matter of form and Seb has been driving on a cloud this year.

88

SteveS,

“No, you need to,” (rewatch 2012)

And just to prove The Bard’s point you then write…

“Anybody who thinks that Vettel drove into Senna is blind as a bat. He drove into Senna in the same sense as Hamilton drove into Hulkenberg in the same race.”

…in response to The Bard referencing “AD2012.” AD means Abu Dhabi, by the way. In which Vettel and Senna had another coming together. Not that you would know, seeing as you don’t watch the races.

“But for an engine failure while leading the race in Valencia, he’d have led the WDC standings for almost the entire season (bar one race) and wrapped up the title with a couple of races to spare.”

Looking at one driver’s misfortune in isolation confirms your embarrassing level of bias!

http://jaonf1.wpengine.com/2012/11/analysis-how-the-points-and-the-title-slipped-away-for-lewis-hamilton/

(And to pre-empt your predictable reply, that was written before Brazil and James has actually been conservative in his other calculations.)

89

“You need to rewatch 2012 mate”

No, you need to. But for an engine failure while leading the race in Valencia, he’d have led the WDC standings for almost the entire season (bar one race) and wrapped up the title with a couple of races to spare. This story about how “bad” Vettel supposedly was at the start of 2012 is a fable kids tell themselves. By his own astronomically high standards he had a poor half season (he didn’t win every race!) but by everyone elses standards he had a very good one indeed.

It’s amusing that people who think it’s dire for Vettel to finish in fourth can praise other drivers for finishing in the same position.

“his drive at AD2012, where he drove into Senna”

Anybody who thinks that Vettel drove into Senna is blind as a bat. He drove into Senna in the same sense as Hamilton drove into Hulkenberg in the same race.

I know you can’t stand the guy, but come on mate. Open your eyes.

90
Spinodontosaurus

@The Bard

Do you define a ‘bad weekend’ for Vettel as one where he makes a small mistake?

IMO since Spa 2010 he has only 2 races I would call sub-par, Germany 2011 and Germany 2012 funnily enough. He looked out of sorts in the former, and in the latter was simply ragged (although Hamilton didn’t help by un lapping himself, thus allowing Button to jump Vettel in the pits), but even then he was miles ahead of Webber in the latter instance.

Whilst Vettel wasn’t outstanding for the first half of 2012, the only race where I thought Webber was actually the better of the two was Silverstone, unsurprisingly (Webber is mighty around there), where Vettel finished a full 5 seconds behind his team mate.

91

Agree partly. You are forgetting something. It is MUCH more difficult to be consistently brilliant with a car that is third or fourth fastest and that is impossible to put in the first two rows, than with a car more than half a second faster than anything else on average over the seasson.

92

SteveS, I’ve just read you comment on how Seb’s last bad race was in 2010 and that is hilarious.

You need to rewatch 2012 mate, he had some crackers in the first half of that year, including being nowhere relative to Webber at Monaco and Silverstone. He didn’t cover himself in glory at Germany (rookie mistake) and Barca that year did he?

In fact, many would suggest that his drive at AD2012, where he drove into Senna and hit a marker on the side of the track weren’t too impressive, despite the end result being very positive for him.

I know he’s your hero, but come on mate.

93

Vettel has been the most consistent driver in F1 for the last three and a half seasons now. Spa 2010 was his last bad race and marked one of the “steps” he’s made in his career.

94

Please do not mistake the two Alonso’s 2012 is nowhere near Vettel’s, as the latter’s season was about his own performance and not others failing.

96
Alexander Supertramp

Nobody in his right mind would suggest Vettel isn’t a great racer. Everyone even agrees he’s one of the best of this generation. But it remains hard to ascertain just how much of his succes is due to his-to put it in your words- unbelievable skills. A lot of people agree that he’s been doing a phenomenal job with a phenomenal package and he’s been at his best this year. Seb is close to gaining everybody’s respect- imagine him winning the WDC next year in a ‘normal’ car. On the other hand, imagine him getting defeated by Ricciardo next year.. The higher you go, the harder you can fall. Ask Icarus..

97

The “phenomenal package” is not something which sprung into existence on its own, he’s played a crucial role in creating it. And of course he’s the only driver who has ever made it look “phenomenal”. You have to go back to the late 1990’s to see the last time a driver made a Newey car look exceptional. As it happened, that was another exceptional driver named Mika Haikkinen.

98

+1.

Also, hello McCandless.

99
Alexander Supertramp

Finally someone recognizes my username 😀

100

Agreed but the people I was referring to do actually suggest that Vettel isn’t a great racer and those people also don’t agree that he’s one of the best of his generation… This is what I can’t understand.

You’re right, these people are not ‘in their right mind’ 🙂

101

how on earth would u know how good he is when he spent basically his entire career in dominant newy machinery? do you not understand that newey cars dominated the 90s and whoever drove for them won titles? the only difference is that vettel is lucky enough to have spent more years than anyone one in such cars. You are comparing apples and oranges.

102

I don’t understand how anyone would expect a talented driver to deliver in an utterly unreliable car!! It’s just not possible. All the drivers that won many championships in succession were driving very good cars. Senna did, Schumacher did, Lauda did, Prost did. Do people really expect Vettel to go to Sauber so that he can prove he is worthy of the four championships and his success is not merely down to the car?

Yes, Newey is the best designer currently in F1, but surely it’s not just him! He spent 9 years at McLaren, yet the team only managed to secure 2 constructors’ and 2 driver’s championships. Even if you have the best car in the world, if the driver is not good enough to deliver results, you’ll win nothing!

Red Bull have managed to create a great team that works and builds a top class car and they also have a very consistent, reliable and mature driver.

Sometime soon, people really need to have to start respecting what Vettel has achieved!

103

Jimbob, formula bmw was full of no names, when Vettel raced in F3 Euro against the best drivers he only won 4 races out of 40, and 1 scored 1 measley pole, and was beaten by his team mate paul di resta. That showed his true talent without dominant newey machinery. he was average.

104

In your 30 years please list all the occasions when 1 driver has had 4 years of dominant machinery in a row in combination with a journeyman number 2 like webber who loses 5 places every start. Never right? So what is so impressive?

105

Dan,

If it was all down to Newey, why hasn’t he won every championship in F1? When was his last championship before red bull???

F1 is about who’s got the dynamics right between 3 equally crucial factors 1)driver 2)chassis 3)engine.

And Webber the “journeyman” has destroyed all previous team mates inc Rosberg and Heidfeld & was regarded as a qualifying specialist before teaming up with Vettel…

Give credit where it’s due..

106

Oh, and two drivers have had the dominant machinery, not just one… And where is Webber? I like Webber and think he’s fast but c’mon he’s been absolutely battered by Vettel and please please don’t start with consipracy theories because they’re just silly.

What about Formula BMW… All driver in the same car, Vettel won 18 of 20 races. The junior categories matter and he was phenominal by all accounts.. Just like Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg. It’s no coincidence that the highest point scorers in F1 have the best junior formula records…

107

Consistency is impressive… Firstly anyone who can consistenly out qualify Webber is downright fast – Webber beat all of his previous team mates in quali. Secondly, he never puts a foot wrong, I mean, since the beginning of 2011 he’s been near faultless – Doesn’t matter if he’s had a dominant car, he’s got the absolute maximum from the package every single weekend and this is all a racing driver can do.

108

I will tell you when. I am 100% sure that he needs to be able to repeat this success with another team in a car that is not designed by Adrian. This is when people will not have any excuse and Vettel will really be among the greatest. Until this happens, it will always be the case of a dominant car.

109

F1 has always been this way though, more car than driver and I am pretty sure Vettel will move to Ferrari one day. After all he is a bit of an F1 nerd himself and the call will prove too great I feel, one day.

110

Vettel’s a very good driver, no doubt. The problem comes from the fact that he’s also in what is widely recognised as the best car.

So it’s very difficult to determine exactly how good he is. Put him in the same car as Alonso and Hamilton, who would you put your money on over a season?

111

Vettel is slightlt faster and more consistent than Hamilton, also technical abilities he is well advanced to Lewis, now Seb is significantly faster than Alonso and just as consistent if not more consistent now, adding up all these attributes with his saving tyres ability whilst goin fast I say Seb would beat both of them over a season or definitely over 3 seasons.

112

that is a good question. vettel fans would say, it would be vettel, Fernando fans would say it would be Fernando.

we probably will never know as they probably wont be team mates anytime soon.

my personal opinion — Fernando. not to take anything away from Vettel. kid did a great job.

don’t ponder on what I mean by ‘great’….we will never know

113

This is an awkward question. If you put Alonso or Hamilton in the Red Bull, I believe Vettel would still trounce them both because he drives how THAT car is designed to be driven. It requires a destabilising/counter-intuitive approach to cornering and blowing the diffuser/floor and has done since 2010. It’s this approach which has really impacted Webber. He is a fast driver but he can’t alter his style to drive in this new way. It’s not as simple as saying, the RB9 (or 7 or whatever) is the BEST car – it is the best car for the particular driver who can modify and adapt to it’s idiosyncrasies.

If you put Vettel in Massa’s Ferrari or Rosbergs Mercedes – I think it’s fair to say Hamilton would likely outqualify Vettel regularly and Alonso would likely win more races (though given his current form Fernando would still lose the quali battle).

It’s not just the best car – it’s the best combination. The right car for the right driver.

It’s a little like Jenson Button in the 2009 Brawn – a lot of people take away his achievement as they consider him a sub-top 3 driver who lucked into a dominant (at least first half of the year) car. But even Alonso said, the car meshed with Jensons particular style and he doubted other drivers would have adapted to it quite as well.

Our best hope is that Mercedes build a car Lewis has been crying out for since 2008, Alonso gets a Ferrari built entirely to his needs (hard to know given they might split the design with Kimi) and McLaren at least build something closer to the 2012 car in competitiveness and then we’ll have a hell of a season.

114

It’s an interesting point of view, but I do not agree. Alonso and Hamilton are the only drivers that can adapt in two or three laps to any car and any condition. And by adapt I mean being equally fast or faster than anybody else (Alonso is the most chamaleonic driver I have had the pleassure to watch). Alonso would have beaten Button in the Brawn GP easily, and Hamilton would have been faster than him by quite a margin. However in Hamilton’s case you never know how he would do consistency wise. And in my opinion the same (althought to a lesser extent) in the Red Bull against Vettel. Of course the drivers need to adapt to the team (I’m talking about the staff and the way things are done, not the car) and bla bla, but I’m trying to extrapolate all that. Just for the fun of it.

Finally all this thing of a car built to the needs of a driver, I think modern F1 is much more complex than that. Look for example Ferrari. Last year car was perfect for Alonso’s style, but towards the end of the season Ferrari stiffened the front suspension for aerodinamic gains. They kept that trend trough 2013, even knowing Alonso was less comfortable with it than with the previous configuration. The thing is the car was faster. As a consecuence, we have seen Massa a bit closer pace wise this year, and Alonso not as comfortable as in 2012. So some things are tuneable to driver needs, but many other are not.

Regarding current qualifying form, if you watch closely the Indian GP quali session, I am pretty convinced you will agree that the best lap done by any driver was Alonso’s lap on the softs in Q2. For me that was better than Vettel’s pole lap, and by quite a margin. He did the third best time of the qualifying session, thousands off Rosberg time, who actually said he did the perfect lap. And that was in Q2, in one of the tracks in which the gains on track improvement over the session is biggest. He actually got the second best time of Q2 3 tenths off Vettel’s time.

But yes, F1 is so complex, and that’s the beauty of it!

115

I agree with you on the car/drive combo but sadly for us F1 fans Vettel has another number 2 as his partner next year and not a Nando, Lewis or Kimi so we will never know…..

116

Vettel. He has the ability to focus better than the other 2 drivers mentioned. All 3 are top shelf but have their strengths and weaknesses. He’s also on a roll 😉

117

When you are in the best car you can focus more.

118

Vettel. I’ve seen inconsistency from both Hamilton and Alonso and I doubt either of them would qualify as well as Vettel.. Hamilton would be close but I still reckon Vettel would win over a season.

Why does everyone forget that Webber is in the same car? Does nobody remember that Webber was always considered a qualifying specialist before he became team mates with Vettel??

119

But what about Seb’s inconsistent seasons in 2009, 2010 and 2012? Many mistakes across those seasons and until he got a car that produced significant rear downforce to stabliize the loose end out of slow corners, he had a habit of being pretty anonymous every now and then.

Seb is clearly one of the best on the grid, and I’d put him comfortably ahead of Lewis now, but I imagine that Alonso would have won titles in 2009, 2010 and 2012 much more comfortably than Seb did. Ofc, he was young and made mistakes, but so was Alonso in 2005 and 2006 and look what he did.

I say this as someone that hugely dislikes Alonso’s personality but I’ve really grown to admire talent. The results he’s achieved in the cars he’s had is something special,

That said, Seb will probably shut me up next year when he’ll finally be consistent in a car without much rear downforce and I’ll look like an idiot I bet 🙂

120

Just remember that Vettel was only 22 in 2009…

121

I have a lot of time for Webber, but he is sadly too tall (and heavy) for modern F1 these days and he is at the end of career now, quite unlike Vettel so not the best comparison.

See Schumacher’s comeback for further details, he was no match for Nico and age has to be a factor when measuring speed at these levels.

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