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Vettel on pole for Korean Grand Prix as rivals fall short again
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Oct 2013   |  7:10 am GMT  |  228 comments

Sebastian Vettel took pole position for a Korean Grand Prix in an anticlimactic qualifying session, by two tenths of a second ahead of Lewis Hamilton. The German set the pole lap on his first run and was able to cruise back to the pits on the second run, knowing that the Mercedes cars had not beaten him.

It was the 42nd pole position of his career, his 6th of the season and the third race in a row. The threat from the Mercedes was there, but Vettel had it all under control with a lap which got the maximum out of the car.

“I had a very good lap on my first attempt and I knew it would be difficult to beat it,” said Vettel. “As expected Mercedes was strong, especially in the middle sector. We are good on the straights, which is good for the race, so I think we have the balance right and we can be happy with what we have achieved.”

Hamilton starts the race on the front row alongside Vettel for the fifth time this season, saying that he felt he had got the most from the car. He also thinks he can challenge Vettel on the opening lap tomorrow. The key to beating Vettel is to stop him getting away at the start.

Mark Webber qualified third, but with the ten place penalty he will start 13th. Webber ran a low downforce set up and a longer seventh gear, to allow him to pass cars in tomorrow’s race.

This promotes Romain Grosjean to third. Lotus has brought the longer wheelbase car to Yeongam, which should be stronger in the race, than in qualifying. Raikkonen had only one new set of tyres for Q3 and made a mistake. He ended up 10th on the grid, the fourth time in six races he has been outqualified by Grosjean.

It was clear in the final sector that the Ferrari was lacking rear end downforce in comparison with the Red Bulls and Mercedes. Alonso qualified 8/10ths of a second off the pace.

Vettel had set the pace in the final practice session, ahead of team mate Webber and then the two Mercedes, giving an early indication of form.

The performance gap between the medium and supersoft tyres was just under a second for most teams, so it was interesting to see which drivers felt the need to use supersoft in the Q1 session.

Hamilton set the early pace in Q1 on mediums ahead of Rosberg, Alonso and Raikkonen. The Red Bulls and Grosjean left it late, until eight minutes from the end, to come out of the pits, on the medium tyre.

Estaban Gutierrez found 1.3 seconds on the supersoft and that frightened a few of the front runners into using a set of super-softs. The predicted cut off was 1m 38.8s, just a tenth more than more than Gutierrez managed.

Di Resta ran into trouble, being held up by Jules Bianchi’s Marussia in the blind corners of the final sector. He didn’t get eliminated however, as the two Williams were too slow and were both eliminated, for the fourth time this season, along with the Caterhams and Marussia. Bianchi was given a three place penalty and a reprimand for not letting Di Resta through, as the Frenchman had been buidling up to a hot lap at the time. Kimi Raikkonen set the pace on supersofts.

In Q2 most people did their first run on used supersofts, Hamilton and the Red Bulls took their first set of supersofts. Hamilton set the pace straight away on 1m 37.824s, two tenths ahead of Rosberg.

The fastest five cars, the Red Bulls and Mercedes and Grosjean, didn’t do a final run in Q2, but of the drivers who did, both McLarens were not fast enough as both Saubers made it through, with Hulkenberg in fourth place.

The two Toro Rossos, Force Indias and McLarens were eliminated. Button missed the cut by 0.038s. He was held up by Raikkonen on an in lap. Vettel was the fastest car in Q2.

In Q3, several cars went straight out, but Alonso, Massa, Raikkonen and the Saubers waited.

In the first runs, Webber was ahead of Hamilton and Rosberg, while Vettel was almost three tenths of a second faster than Webber with a terrific final sector of the lap, managing to squeeze more from the supersofts in that final sector.

On the final runs, Vettel was the last car to go out. Raikkonen was on used tyres, everyone else had a new set of supersofts.

Webber went straight into the pits, knowing that only Hamilton had beaten him, so he would be 13th with his ten place penalty.

Vettel and Hamilton took the front row for the fifth time this season. A confident Romain Grosjean moves up to third place.

The forecast for tomorrow continues to suggest that there will be rain around, although it may be more in the morning than the afternoon when the race starts.

With 150 points available from the remaining six races, three more wins for Vettel will give him the title for the fourth time, regardless of what his rival Alonso does.

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m37.202s
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.420s +0.218s
3. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m37.464s +0.262s
4. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m37.531s +0.329s
5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m37.679s +0.477s
6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m38.038s +0.836s
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m38.223s +1.021s
8. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m38.237s +1.035s
9. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m38.405s +1.203s
10. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m38.822s +1.620s

11. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m38.362s +0.793s
12. Jenson Button McLaren 1m38.365s +0.796s
13. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m38.417s +0.848s
14. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m38.431s +0.862s
15. Paul di Resta Force India 1m38.718s +1.149s
16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m38.781s +1.212s

17. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m39.470s +1.129s
18. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m39.987s +1.646s
19. Charles Pic Caterham 1m40.864s +2.523s
20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m40.871s +2.530s
21. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m41.169s +2.828s
22. Max Chilton Marussia 1m41.322s +2.981s

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

I hope there is no start behind the SC as in 2010. Vettel tricked Hamilton and Webber twice from P2 in the following years.

Let’s see how he manages P1 in a dry start.

Oh, and by the way, an all time great, evergreen, ridiculous radio message from Korea:


Grosjean for victory in Korea.

His time is now.

I expect very, very aggressive racing by Hamilton, and Vettel… I don’t believe that he can back off, even though he has it all to lose.

Hamilton will go for it, and take that much extra risk, Vettel won’t back down, and something has to give.

Grosjean on one less tire stop and a saved set of supersofts.


The start might be the best part of the race so don’t miss it.

Actually I don’t really mean that. I can understand why the dominance of one or another might appear boring to some. If your only interest in following F1 is who gets to first place, it surely is boring at the time being.

I would say it is a bit like only recognizing the gold winner at the Olympics. You would be missing on a lot of great sporting feats.

There is a whole lot more to enjoy about a F1 race than who finishes first thankfully. Don’t get me wrong. I rather see a fight for the top spot. Yet, if that is not to be, I still fine pleasure in seeing good racing further down.



I don’t see any reason as to why I should not be watching a race when most of the people here are finding an excuse not to be waking up for the big show….

Yes.. it is predictable… Vettel’s dominating SO WHAT?

The way I see it.. when the other teams do manage to beat them…(which of-course someone will) it will feel a lot sweeter… “The higher they are, the harder they fall” 😛



Id love to know your take on Gary Andersons comments regarding Lewis Hamiltons understanding of the RB9.

This is what he said in his column on the BBC1 website.

“I’m not sure Hamilton has it in him to understand the concept of the car, how it works and then go out there and exploit it to the maximum”

After reading Andersons technical breakdown of how the RB9 coanda effect works even I got the gist of it.

Anderson seems to be implying that Lewis is not fully capable of this.

Seemed very disparaging to me.


I think thats how todays designers think of anderson, a man who designed what fantastic piece of f1 machinery, he comes across as a bitter old dinosaur , hes got real issues with hamilton, even when he was in the maccas he was allways making little snide comments about hamiltons apparent lack of setup, and praising button at every opportunity, untill halfway through 2012 button was lost, and went down Hamiltons setup route, he miraculously changed his tune..


Totally agree, I used to like Anderson’s insights, but now he just seems to have his head where the sun don’t shine. He looked at this year’s Macca for mins and said it’s revolutionary and will be quick…. Very wrong, then I can’t remember which car but he was like “the problem here is blah blah blah”. If he that good one of the teams would make him an offer better than the BBC and he’d be desgining cars again, I’d say he about same age as some of the other prominent characters up and down the pit lane but the only way he gets to still travel and watch the races for free is to be a pundit on what can only be descibed as fading BBC coverage. I prefer Ted Kravitz all day long, simply because he doesn’t tell you how the car should be, just why it is how it is and how it works!


Mr. Anderson is saying “he is not sure”. It is not a fact. Maybe because he didn’t help McLaren back to winning ways. But Hamilton may prove Mr. Anderson wrong as early as next year… Mercedes is obviously on the up.


That was good article. I recommend!


Could someone please explain to me why commentators and some of the general public think Paul de resta deserves a better seat?
From all I’ve seen of him (especially the last 2 years) he acts like a moaning [mod] who doesn’t deliver.
I’m genuinely curious…


If you take notice, the only ones praising him are some in the British media. No one else (except the few polite compliments others say when they are being questioned about Di resta by those same people in the British media).

The main reason Di Resta is in Force India is because he brings those free of charge Mercedes engines, which cost a lot of money.

Alexander Supertramp

I bet all the people yelling they won’t watch the race will do so anyway, they should if they claim to love F1.. Let’s share the pain and watch the race, even if RB serve us a massacre.

I don’t mind RB winning, but I guess it’s just the way they do it. They don’t beat the other teams right now, they crush their will to even compete. Grosjean is starting on P3 and he says he’s not thinking about catching Vettel. Even Lewis, a fighter ’till the end, does not sound too optimistic despite starting 2nd.

Red Bull have been pushing like hell to wrap the championships as fast as possible because they want to be in a strong position in 2014. The results of their dedication have been devastating. This is a team that was never going to lose the championships in 2013, but also a team that was able to open up a gap so big to ensure them the moral victory of the championships just because they need to focus on winning even more in the future. Red Bull’s hunger for succes has not been satisfied yet and anyone who believes they will fall off the top next year will have an anticlimactic experience. They are not 1 level above the rest, try 2 or more..

But as always, I will be rooting for the underdog- Go Merc!


Unlike many people, I will be watching tomorrow. Hamilton has proved many times he can take it to Vettel (Austin 2012) and as a Mercedes fan I hope he can pull it off. Even if Vettel wins, the sheer dominance of the RB9 is simply beautiful to watch.


Kimi is a great driver, but the season is done for him.

From all the drivers on the grid (some pay to drive), he is the one that is clearly that just because of the money.

His contract was based on reward for points, and Lotus already has a big debt with him… no sign on the horizon when he will receive, and he already has a contract with Ferrari for next year. Cannot be WDC.. seems not he does not have any interest in anything anymore (no that before he did).


That’s completely false.



just maybe, Grosjean is getting the latest updates, and support, since Kimi is going back to Red?


I don’t see the need to speculate when Kimi himself has said what the reason is. He said, it was the change in the tyres which does not suit his style (he was fighting the front in Singapore). To be noted, he still did not complain, he said.. he will work to get the speed back.

And Romanin said… he did not like the tyres before the change. He likes these tyres better. If I was running the Lotus team and if I am seeing Grosjean is quicker I would certainly support him. It is not because.. Kimi is going back to RED overalls. You can see it clearly in the race, when Grosjean is faster and ahead the team gives him first preference.


I guess so too. Plus painkillers may be a factor. They uaually warn against operating machinery …


You seriously didn’t watch Singapore’13/Monza’13 did you?

He just made a mistake,and paid the price.

I think this weekend he is just trying too hard!

On this track it seems it is difficult to overtake because of two back to back DRS Zones.

However, atleast info from Speed traps suggest that Kimi’s car has better top line than Grosjean,clear indication that car is set up for overtaking tomorrow.

Just watch Tommorow’s race you will know.


Really? That is why he is paying for his own plane tickets and racing.. because he has lost interest in everything….


It was more than 5 years ago when he last put a car in a wall if I remember correctly. A cynic would ask if this was just a simple mistake or a message to the team? Just joking, but if motivation was ever an issue, this would be the time. He’s not being paid, has back pain, can’t fight for more than 3rd in the WDC and even that isn’t likely to happen, and has secured a great drive for next year, plus his team is clearly ***off with him for leaving. If I were him, I doubt I would turn up for races anymore this year.


Yet he got in the podium from 13th at Singapore- the toughest drivers track with back issues…there’s no racer like Kimi

Tom in adelaide

I think F1 would be better without simulators.


Why? I’m genuinely interested to hear your opinions.


James, what happen to Raikkonen?

He can’t possibly lost his talent suddenly.

Could it be tyres?

I remember Grosjean saying he hated the earlier tyres this year but the “new” tyres are better. Could it be the other way around for Raikkonen? Puzzling.


Yeah, Kimi said that they haven’t found proper setup for the new tires. Too much understeer. Today he made a mistake on his final run.

Valentino from montreal

Vettel is already at 42 poles in his carreer ..


He’s always ”ON IT” … a killing machine ..


He’s never driven a car Not designed by A. Newey..just sayin…


K.. Are you serious read your own comment back.. If they used a Red Bull chasis and the Red Bull chasis was designed by Newey– what does that mean ?????????? Please don’t waste time by just being oppositional- we all know the other bits on the car can’t be the same… Please Don’t use the word “lie” if you don’t realise what you are saying.

Bartholew- thanks You are right. His rookie time was with BMW Sauber and he did take we while to come up to speed – he was not Raikkonen or a Hamilton but he clearly impressed enough for the TR drive..


Blah, blah & Blah again- the chassis although is 25% of the car- is the most crucial part of the car- if you don’t have that right- aero & suspension do not integrate properly. That and the fact that teams copy the aero bits gives them a good basis for the cars aero package. The 2008 TR did take design cues of the Red Bull so I would suggest there was a lot more input than just chassis- despite what Alfonso says.

Ascanelli yes- he was the designer/ tech director.

Tost NO- he is team principal and has a background is operations – he’s NOT a designer or technical person.!

Despite all this I appreciate the car is not a Red Bull. You must be a woman because you’ve got the detail all wrong and your still arguing over nothing..AND you’ve already been moderated for making it personal- which is a just an exercise in futility here.


I stated a fact. Only the chassis was the same. Everything else was different and Newey had nothing to do with it. That is at most 10% of the car under Newey and 90% not. How can you say it is designed by Newey? That is a lie.


“The chassis could have been designed by Newey, but the rest, especially the aero package, which does make a massive difference, was not. Also the whole rear of the car is designed for a different engine, which Red Bull had no input, especially since different engine contracts prohibit any interaction or technical exchange. So yes, Newey designed maybe 25%, but the other 75% was done by Ascanelli and Tost. In engineering terms that means that it was not designed by Newey, even if he contributed.


Another point to keep in mind, remember that Red Bull and Toro Rosso were and still are two separate teams. Which means that everything is done in-house, including all engineering work for set ups and race strategies. Newey had no input with that either, which drops his final contribution with Toro Rosso compared to Red Bull to probably less than 10% total. That is a huge difference.”  


The 2008 Torro Rosso was not designed by Newey. People keep mentioning a lie.

Torro Rosso used the chassis of the Red Bull which was by Newey, but everything else was done by Torro Rosso, nothing to do with Newey. So aero, packaging, mechanics, setup, etc…nothing to do with Newey.


He started his career with BMW Sauber actually.


True. But then again… Vettel is NOT NORMAL. He is exceptional, whether people like it or not.


Actually hes driving a killer machine 🙂


… and, unfortunately for everyone else (including fans), getting better, noticeably, almost race over race.

But I sure would like to see him go somewhere else, and see what he could do.


Just wondering…how many people stopped watching F1 recently? I find this blog to be everything I need on F1….watching race weekend is pointless.


Really good lap from seb, i must say. Webber who was sacrificing ultimate quali pace in order to facilitate some overtaking on race day did a 1.37.4, Lewis going all out , did a 1.37.4. That just shows how a step ahead of every other team RB is in terms of raw quali pace. The sector 2 times suggest to me that the W04 is fundamentally on Par with the RB9 in terms of sheer downforce, as has been the case for most of the season. The RB9, however, has the perfect balance in all 3 sectors. Especially in S3 where its all about slows twists, tight turns and good traction. The clever blokes at RB have done a good job with that engine cut torque map thingy and make no mistake about it, it is paying huge dividends right now. There’s no doubt that other non-Renault teams are going to find means and ways to take advantage of this.

I personally am hoping for a Lewis win tomorrow. Lets see how it all goes


Hi James,

I have been a Formula 1 fanatic since 1998 and for the first time in a long time I am wondering is there any point getting up early for this one? I see another Vettel romps away, Alonso comes through, Merc night quite quick enough race. What do you think?

And thank you very much for the site and fascinating interview with Mr. Newey!


I don’t understand why people thing f1 is boring if there is a team/driver dominating. I always find the races fascinating albeit some more than others. These are unique cars driven at their limits by some of the best drivers in the world. I also enjoy watching the strategies play out.


That’s the way I feel about F1, I couldn’t really give 2 hoots who wins the race or championship, drivers or constructors! I am facinated by the way the who thing come together from the team aspect and to be fair I’d watch lawn mower racing if they went fast enough to feel it’s a tad dangerous. This series is not just a driver series and not just a constructor series it needs both to work in harmony to achieve the dizzy heights that RB and SV have.

I will always get up and watch live, I love it! I’ve watch F1 over 30 years but really only paid attention to the details since around ’98. I can remember the iconic moments I’ve seen over the years but for sure I can’t give any stats off the top of my head lol, come the last race I’m only interested in next year not picking through the left overs.


It’s always worth getting up

Hamilton could get Vettel on the opening lap and then any things possible


Thanks for replying James. I think I will get up after all!


I forgot to get up this morning and had to watch the rerun. I hope I don’t forget tomorrow.


This is just a big joke! I was into racing myself when I was teenager (go cart) and to see car this dominant trough out whole year is simply boring and it is hurting the sport big time. Has almost nothing to do with Vettels ability and like Hamilton sad it is not the driver that him and others are up against but car that is miles ahead of others! Give that car to any of drivers from top 10. and he will be a champion. I know some of Vettels fans will ask; So why is Webber not wining then. Simply because after season 2010 when he as beating Vettel on regular basis he is not driving same car as him, period. And now he is being kicked out of team like a dog. I will stop watching races this year and if RBR continues to dominate next year I will stop watching it completely, maybe even for good! I did the same during MS era and I have been a fan of F1 for full 30. years! Good job Bernie! Do something or you will lose a lot of F1 supporters and a lot of your precious money!!!!


“I have been a fan of F1 for full 30. years!”

I’m suspicious. F1 fans forums seem to be overflowing with people who claim to have been watching F1 since Fangio was in diapers, but whose recollections of the sport are highly faulty. Though they do say that memory goes as you get older!

A lot of these professed “greybeards” seem astounded and upset to discover that THE DRIVERS DON”T ALL DRIVE THE SAME CAR IN F1. Perhaps James should do an expose on this startling development.


Be suspicious as you want but you are just another wannabe F1 fan that knows only stats and fact that he can find from internet. As opposed to you I personally at least have recollections and you, you don’t even know how turbo charged engine sounded so pls shut your drooling mouth up!


Surprising that this passed moderation. None of that drivel explained how Webber has a different car after 2010, in which MW lost, despite Vettel having more mechanical issues.


A fan for 30 years he claims, and yet silly enough to believe that the reason a late 30-something driver (who holds the record for most races before a win) can’t keep up with an improved young 20-something (who was the sport’s youngest ever racewinner) is because they don’t have the same car.

You just can’t make this stuff up.


Danny11 You should watch wwe, it’s staged so you’re guaranteed to watch entertaining matches that are never one-sided.


I do not agree with your view. These periods of domination don’t last forever, and I kind of like knowing I am watching a record being set. It lights a fire under the other teams and drivers that will eventually topple the champion, and it all begins again with someone else. Also, people should appreciate the incredible battle going on within the top 5 or 6 drivers, it is very entrtaining. And finally, your assesment of Vettels ability is way off. He is a world class driver and to suggest it is all the car is simply not true. When people like James, Gary, and David Coulthard etc. tell me Seb is worthy of his title, I believe them.


Good to know its all about the car. So far Mercedes has 8 pole positions and Red Bull 6.

Still Vettel has more pp than either Merc driver !

Since 2010 alot of things happened, one of them was Vettel getting better and gaining in experince and confidence. He was younger then than Ricciardo, Hulkenberg or Grosjean (who is 2 years Vettels senior)are now and they are still given time to make mistakes and lern from them, right. And Webbo getting kicked out ? He is the oldest driver in F1 now, obviously he isnt driving a Red Bull until his pension plan kicks in and it was time for him to make room for a young charger. It was his choice anyway.


Dominant through put the whole year? Are you sure you watched the entire season?

The RBR was not the fastest until 8-9 races in and they were still leading, Vettel and RBR. The fastes cars were Ferrari for the first 5 races and then mercedes for 4-5 races and Lotus was always around and RBR too. Since the summer break only is RBR the best car.

The amount of sour grapes that is making people make up stuff is hilarious to observe though.

If you don’t like to see a team that does the best job win, you need to try another sport.

Alexander Supertramp

Ferrari had the fastest car at some races, Lotus was often “faster” by needing less pitstops and Mercedes has been behind Red Bull all year on sunday. Vettel has been very deserving/consistent, but the speed of his car was also very consistent. I have said it before, nobody wins a race without a fast car and I believe Seb has had a fast car (capable of winning) at every race this year and there is not 1 other driver out there that can say that. I’m not taking anything away from Seb because his driving has been very very strong, I just don’t believe anyone can argue that Seb has a car advantage as well.. He didn’t have a car advantage in let’s say Spain, but the consistent speed of his car over a whole year at clearly every venue grants him a general car advantage. This is my subjective view on Vettel vs.Kimi’s car:

-Australia:RB quick in qualifying,good in the race. Lotus better on the tyres. RB 8/10, Lotus 8.5/10

-Malaysia: No specific car advantage for RB IMO, but car very capable of winning the race-demonstrated by the 1-2. The Lotus was struggling. RB 8/10, Lotus 6.5/10.

-China: Good qualifying by Kimi, Seb’s choice not to run in Q3 compromises his race, but he recovers from p9 to p4 with a podium worthy car (faster than Hamilton on p3). RB 8/10, Lotus 8/10

-Bahrein: Same podium as 2012, no coincidence. RB has quali edge over Lotus. RB 8.5/10 Lotus 8/10.

-Spain: Lotus better on tyres, Red Bull competitive. Red Bull 7.5/10, Lotus 8.5/10

– Monaco: RB quali advantage, very important in Monaco. RB best car of the week-end. Within fractions of Mercedes in qualifying, but Seb would have covered the race distance faster than Nico had he been in front.RB 8.5/10, Lotus 7.5/10

– Canada: Rb fastest of the week-end, easily managing gap during the race. Lotus very inconsistent. RB 8.5/10, Lotus 7/10.

-Silverstone: RB just as quick as Mercedes, Hamilton better than Rosberg/Webber, Vettel better than Rosberg/Webber and on par with Hamilton and Webber on par with Rosberg. Lotus there or thereabouts. RB 8.5/10, Lotus 7.5/10

– Germany: Rb advantage in qualy, Lotus better on tyres. This was a Vettel win for me. RB 8/10, Lotus 8/10. This race among others shows that Vettel would be a deserving champion in 2013, also winning with equal weapons.

– Hungary: Jenson killed Seb’s race, Seb could have been the fastest on track. Lotus was strong, competitive. RB 8.5/10, Lotus 8/10

That brings Seb’s car total to 82 or 8.2 on average. Kimi is on 77 or 7.7 average. This makes for a small-medium car advantage, but most important it shows that Seb has had a very strong car at every race. After Hungary, before the summer break Seb has a 38 points advantage on Kimi. My subjective view: Car advantage from Vettel on Kimi, but not enough to legitimate 38 points. Seb has IMO been better than Kimi in 2013.

My conclusion is the same: car advantage vis à vis kimi: growing through the year, but combined with very strong/most consistent drives. The car advantage is there, but should be put into perspective. Vettel could/would probably still win this year’s title without the advantage -if for instance every rival had a 8/10 car at every race. His own performance has been on par with his machinery wich results in a devastating combination. Let’s just hope that the car advantage disappears in the future, he doesn’t need the training wheels.


The car advantage was there after the summer break. Before that it was mainly Ferrari the first 5 races, Lotus, Merc and RBR were around here and there.

You left out a lot of things in your post there intentionally.


@Elie – It was near impossible to pass in Hungary, especially with RBR’s low top speed, and without Kimi making an error (like Webber vs. Hamilton). “Embarrassed” is far from it. Webber has definitively NOT proven how good the RB9 is, sitting 5th in the championship, with no wins.

Also, Alex’s analysis is only for the first part of the year, so not including Spa/Monza, the latter of which Grosjean outperformed Raikkonen anyway (plus RG outqualified KR at Spa).


+1 Alexander Supertramp, thank you for the subjective, but very fair analysis.


Completely wrong. Lotus doesn’t work on low downforce track-Canada/ Spa/Monza- doesn’t work in the wet– it’s not even a 6/10 on those tracks.

It’s great to give Seb credit in a car that works on all tracks and all conditions -mark webber has proved that-even if Sebs car carries greater reliability and different configurations. Kimi embarrassed Seb at Hungary on tyres three times older.. And a car that was 1/2 second slower — so go back to the drawing board and have a rethink won’t you …


You are right. RB are dominant after summer break. But most “fans” will forget that. They already did!

Alexander Supertramp

I think you need to rewatch the races again.. Not saying Rb were as fast in the beginning as they are now, but the car has been very competitive at every track, which cannot be said about Lotus/Mercedes/Ferrari. The other teams have been far more inconsistent.


Where did I say it was not competitive? I clearly said the RBR was always around there.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus had the faster car in most races before the summer break (just watch the races) but RBR had the better team operations and driver performance.

The guy I was responding to was talking about a ‘dominant car through out whole year’, which is totally false, RBR did not have that before the summer break.


K you’re deluding yourself saying the Red Bull wasn’t quickest until the 9th race, rewatch those races again and you’ll see that barring Australia, China and Spain the Red Bull has been at least the equal of every car.


Up until Spa, the Red Bull was only fastest at Bahrain and Montreal. Sure it was always up there – much like Alonso’s “slow” Ferrari was always up there last year. Vettel being able to bring in strong finishes without the fastest machinery was due to Vettel’s driving ability. I didn’t see Webber winning races or finishing consistently on the podium.

Vettel’s been consistent and hasn’t made a mistake all year. Alonso and to some extent Hamilton have had the cars to take the fight to Vettel but have been inconsistent. Look at Monaco were Alonso basically threw in the towel. That was after winning comprehensively with the best car in Spain. Alonso should have had a lead over Vettel going into the summer break given how strong his car was in the first half of the year.


Lotus to win, Red bull follows


Frig, I watched this, and the BBC feed at times had only the sounds of Coulthard in the studio, no engine sound at all. It was quite bad, you could hear Coulthard shuffling his papers!

Is that down to the poor infrastructure at the track, or just a one-off? I seem to recall something similar happening last year here as well.


I watched both Sky and BBC. Didn’t have any problem at all but I watched on the BBC HD channel.


Watched it on One HD (Channel Ten) in Aus and it was fine.

Coulthard shuffling papers: Could be more exciting than the actual race tomorrow methinks 🙂


Webber had no chance against Vettel in the 3rd sector due to his low down force setup. At least his 13th grid place will give us something to look for in the race as he moves up the field… I have a feeling Vettel will be lonely up the front for 55 laps


Good point. Pretty good lap from Webber. But it was more due to traffic affecting Vettel’s last lap.

Matthew Cheshire

What’s happened to Kimi? Is it the back injury, poverty or his motivation moved to Marinello already?

Grosjean is making sense of the number one driver promotion.

Two races behind Alonso and Ferrari will have a high cost back marker. Again.


He made a mistake on his only run in P3. Also, he hasn’t found proper setup for the new tires. Too much understeer.

Matthew Cheshire

I hope you are right. Kimi’s Q1 time would have just got him out of Q3. Something was wrong somewhere.

But Grosjean is also qualifying higher consistently now. So something isn’t right there either.


Kimi also had damaged front wing during P3. They noticed that after the qualifying.


That’s funny because I can’t remember Kimi qualifying on the back row in his first spell at Maranello.


REALLY? VET on P1? Are you sure?

Did he win the race? REALLY?

This is totally out of the blue.



We must thank RBR though for at least sandbagging during free practice.

Otherwise the whole weekend would have been just boring.


Here is something for you

and people complain about Vettel’s finger. Sheesh….



Great post.



Their great celebrations!– better than someone sticking a 1 finger in your “face”.. Like we don’t know he just came first-he’s a moron


Except for the bit where you threw in that childish insult.


No one said he can’t


If Vettel wants to celebrate by reiterating his position, then he should be allowed to do so without armchair critics calling him a “moron”, thank you.


Comments like that? Boooooring!


Do you like to see VET win race after race, WDC after WDC??? So… Relax and enjoy.

(Switching to MotoGP)


I think Grosjean’s first win is coming before the end of the season… It just needs a Red Bull mistake…


I don’t think it needs a Red Bull mistake. This guy is good and the car is also good. It is a matter of time. He just needs to control his excitement.


It’s a very good chance for him tomorrow if Vettel fails. They are incredibly fast around here!


James you just have to give it to Adrian Newey. The man is a genius. Vettel too for maximising the car on all tracks. Mind I hope Hamilton wins tomorrow though.


Yet from 2000 to 2004 Newey had no response to Schumacher’s devastating speed. Sam in 1994 and 1995.


Why do you want to give it to Newey? I didn’t see him driving the car.


And yet if it was Lewis driving the Adrian Newey car, Lewis would be branded the genius.


It’s like James said in an earlier blog, it’s the symbiosis of car and driver. Remove either one from the equation and you have nothing.


Newey was no less a genius in the 2000’s when he didn’t win a single drivers or constructors title.

He does have Vettel piloting his machines now. That’s the big difference.


Bear in mind that those years also saw a Ferrari designed by the only other design genius, Rory Byrne.

And he’s been working hard on the 2014 Ferrari since March..


Anon you don’t have a clue. Different eras different regs. Mclaren cars had at least 7 Merc engine failures, gearbox failures, rear wing fall off, electrical failures between 2003-2005 alone. They cost one of their drivers almost 2 certain WC in 2003 and 2005.. So make like a book worm and read up before you post meaningless posts.


Here here, there is a lot of difference between knowing your s#!t and knowing you’re s#!t…….


Yeah right



How do you account for 1992,1993,1994,1996,1997,1998 then?

Vettel didn’t drive the cars in those years did he.


Newey doesn’t need Vettel. Its more the other way around IMHO.


1994? Schumacher won the championship and was beating Senna 20 points to nil after two races. He was also effectively robbed of 40 points by punishments that hardly fit the crime.

This was despite being in the inferior Benetton with its weaker Ford engine.


Even Damon Hill could win in a Newey car. He must be the weakest world champion in history.

See how Vettel does in a normal car one day…


Hill had numerous chances to win the title (1993-1995), yet only did so once in 1996, with a rookie teammate. Hill isn’t that bad, though, he did well for Jordan in ’98 and Arrows in ’97.

Vettel delivered the title three times (becoming the youngest champion), both by dominating a season to a greater extent than Hill ever did, and twice having to fight tooth and nail against an experienced teammate and/or other top drivers.

Though the Toro Rosso was designed by Newey, it was a “normal car” (or worse) by performance. Vettel at 21 put it much higher than it deserved (looking at his teammate, Toro Rosso’s other results both pre and post Vettel, and Red Bull Racing’s results pre-2009 reg changes).



Who is a weaker world champion than Hill?

I’m not saying he was a bad driver but he only won the championship because his car was so dominant and he had a rookie team mate.


[mod] hill wasn’t the greatest driver f1 has ever seen, but you do not get his record without being a very good f1 driver..


Please don’t insult other posters


The difference in the early 2000’s was that Ferrari made huge advancements in terms of facilities and most importantly reliability. It took the other teams until 2007-2008 to replicate what Ferrari were doing in terms of reliable parts. Macca could well have won the 2003 and 2005 titles but had numerous failures.


SteveS, I wasn’t talking about Seb in 2010 and 2012..

Ferrari made incredible strides in the early 2000s and left everyone behind. 2003 should have been Williams’ year but reliability and driver inconsistency let them down. James Allen did a great book on Schumacher called the ‘Edge of greatness’ on those years, I highly recommend you read it 🙂


That’s a bit of myth making. Kimi had three DNF’s in 2003 but only one was mechanical. Vettel had worse reliability in 2010 and again in 2012.


Ferrari’s reliability was a function of having by far the best driver in the world driving their car. McLaren had to push and push their machinery to the limits in order to make up those few tenths Schumacher had over their drivers.


Excellent point, which is frequently overlooked. Just to be clear, that’s 10 years with no championships. 10 years. Genius? Maybe, but clearly demonstrates you need lots of other factors, including a top driver at the top of his game.


Yes, but the Red Bulls tend to break down a bit less than the the old McLarens did.


I am not nearly as knowledgeable as a lot of people on here but to me that pole lap looked amazing to me.

I am a huge Vettel fan and the lap was so smooth and it looked effortless. I always think the best sportsmen makes things look easy, effortless and graceful.

a Bram ba am baba..

ding ding

Br-Br-Break It

ding ding

Bem De Dem!


Easy to spot vettel fans, no need to say.



lol 😛 😀


Yes they stick out like…well, like a finger 😉


Webber still gets a podium, even though the setup on his car was changed to race-setup, given the penalty.


Was a good effort, shame to see it go to waste.

No free rides in F1 it seems 🙂

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