F1 Winter Break
Vettel One Day Away From F1 History With Stunning Pole In India
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By:   |  26 Oct 2013   |  12:38 pm GMT  |  223 comments

Sebastian Vettel has put himself in the box-seat for a fourth consecutive World Championship at the age of 26, with a dominant display in qualifying for the Indian Grand Prix, ahead of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

It is the 43rd pole of the German’s career, his third in a row in India, and the seventh of 2013.

Such is Red Bull’s dominance at this moment that Vettel’s pole time was 7/10ths of a second faster than Rosberg could manage. Both Mercedes went with the soft tyre because they felt from the practice runs that they had better race pace on it than their rivals. The opening stint will be flat out for Rosberg and Hamilton and they will hope that Alonso and Raikkonen lose time behind slower rivals.

Vettel needs to finish fifth tomorrow, should Fernando Alonso win, to take his fourth title. And his task was made significantly easier with Alonso only managing to qualify in eighth place after opting to set his fastest lap on the medium compound tyre with an eye on tomorrow’s race.

The session always looked to be one of split strategies due to the fragility of the soft tyres, which we expect to last only five or six laps in to the race. Therefore, with Vettel in a different league this weekend on softs, his team mate and some other players chose to qualify, and thus start, on the medium tyre.

Mark Webber was the quickest of those, taking fourth place and putting himself in with a good chance of victory tomorrow. He will lead the race following the early stops, assuming their is no trouble around him in to the tight turn one.

Alonso, meanwhile will have a more difficult task in the Grand Prix. He will lose time in the opening laps in traffic and could find himself out of touch with the Red Bull and Mercedes pairs.

Like Red Bull, Ferrari used a split strategy but must have seen the medium tyre choice as the best choice of strategy. They put Felipe Massa on the soft tyre, taking him to fifth place and from their he can assist Alonso by keeping Kimi Raikkonen at bay in sixth.

Raikkonen has struggled with one lap pace during the weekend, often lapping slower than Romain Grosjean. But sixth place will give Lotus confidence ahead of the race in the knowledge that they are more kind to their tyre than Mercedes and should challenge them for the final podium spot.

Grosjean had a session to forget in the sister Lotus. The team felt that he could make his way out of Q1 with two runs on the medium tyre, only for the Frenchman to tumble down the timesheet and end the day in seventeenth place. He has a difficult task tomorrow in order to keep up Lotus’ pressure on Ferrari and Mercedes in the Constructors Championship

The top ten is completed by the McLaren pairing, with Sergio Perez getting the edge over Jenson Button. They also qualified on the medium tyre, but illustrated strong pace throughout the session.

Button topped Q1, the first time McLaren has led any session in 2013.

It should be a fascinating tactical battle tomorrow, Vettel will have work to do and Webber has a real chance of holding on for the win, which he is minded to go for after what happened in Japan.

Meanwhile Mercedes has given itself a good chance to outrun the Lotus and Ferraris to the podium.

INDIAN GRAND PRIX, New Delhi, Qualifying

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m24.119s
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.871s +0.752s
3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.941s +0.822s
4. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m25.047s +0.928s
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m25.201s +1.082s
6. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m25.248s +1.129s
7. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m25.334s +1.215s
8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.826s +1.707s
9. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m26.153s +2.034s
10. Jenson Button McLaren 1m26.487s +2.368s
11. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m25.519s +0.951s
12. Paul di Resta Force India 1m25.711s +1.143s
13. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m25.740s +1.172s
14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m25.798s +1.230s
15. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m26.134s +1.566s
16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m26.336s +1.768s
17. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m26.577s +1.003s
18. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m26.842s +1.268s
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m26.970s +1.396s
20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m27.105s +1.531s
21. Charles Pic Caterham 1m27.487s +1.913s
22. Max Chilton Marussia 1m28.138s +2.564s

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Romain went out much latter in Q1 still couldn't bettered Kimi's laptime on med that was made earlier in the Q1.

Funny, Kimi could've gone through Q2 with his medium's laptime. But team wasted another option for him.


How much do the Lotus strategists earn? )


Yep, I feel sorry for Romain too. But also for Lewis, beaten by Nico almost at the last corner.

It can't be easy for any of the drivers to see Seb performing so well. And especially so, Lewis. A few years back I had him tipped as a multiple WDC winner, the best in the business, one of the best there ever has been.

Now, I guess, everyone sees him as a rather plain and ordinary 'has been'. F1 sure is a tough old business.


Tommy mate, You are being harsh on Lewis H. He is still young. Give him some time to sort out his girlfriend issues. By that time, it is inevitable that Newey would join forces with Hamilton. And then the pair of them will obliterate all record books on Earth and even make Senna & Fangio look like a school children--what have the latter two done; only drive the best cars; unlike Hamilton, who did not even get an opportunity to driven an average car. After all, you all agree that it is lucky for motorsport that such a talent has participated--he is like Tiger Woods of golf; only 100 times better.

As for today's race, if Vettel and RBR are thinking that championship is already in the bag, they haven't met "gladiotore" Alonso yet. I remember last year, we all couldn't stop laughing that despite having the best car (by a country mile), Vettel could manage to gather only 3 points more than Alonso, who had a "dog of a car". The same will happen this year: the championship will go to the wire and Alonso will win it. Go Alonso!


Didn't those "just 3 points" came after Alonso had 40+ points midway through the season?


Yeah right. "Give him some time to sort out his girlfriend issues"! R u joking? This is not High School. Actually Hamilton is disappointed for not doing what Vettel is doing. I am a Hami fan, but give Vettel the credit he deserves. Yes, he is given a superb car, but he is doing what he is supposed to do. Blow away the opposition. Hamilton was busy doing donuts in Melbourne and partying in Malaysia.


Not really. It all depends on what car you're lucky enough to be driving!


I don't think Hamilton is an ordinary driver by any means. Ordinary drivers don't make that kind of money. Put any of the top drivers in Vettel's Redbull and u will see he's not as special as everyone thinks.


Has been? I think you're alone there; he's 28 years old.


Make no mistake I am no Hamilton Fan but I am objective enough to know he is better than Vettel. He is not plain and ordinary. Like Alonso and Raikonen he is able to outperform his car. We have yet to see Vettel to this on a consistent basis. He is flattered by a car that is the best by a country mile. And before anyone says 'how is it that Webber cannot do the same?' just remember the team is built around him! Wait until Vettel is up against a teammate like one of the above and in equal machinery then we will see if he is truly any good.


So Vettel winning six in a row is not outperforming his car while others coming sixth, seventh or eleventh are?


Who is the everyone you speak of? I suspect most people see Lewis and Alonso as the best F1 drivers. Stop confusing RBR supremacy - which is extreme - with Vettel supremacy.


It is you who should stop confusing. When did Webber came second?


Not sure Lewis is quite a "Has Been" just yet but yes F1 is a tough business, and rightly so too.


kimi was on option in Q3.


Should be interesting to see how Webber goes with his strategy. It looks to be an interesting race with the tyres finally providing what they have always meant to be providing, strategy alternatives.

Oh yeah and as a Vettel fan there is that history making world championship thing too.

Bring it on.


Grojean will be vettel's first problem after he pits. Vettel will have to pit very early or very late on the options to avoid traffic. Grojean will not make it easy for Vettel to pass if gets close enough. Mark should have a clear track for a while which should give his primes more life than those dicing for position behind. Seb will be attacking and using more rubber than he normally does. If Webber puts the option on at the end, he'll get twice the life on lower fuel or faster laps. He has more to play with than Vettel I think.

Webber is not the only driver Seb needs to chase. Alonso , Perez and Button will be pushing hard.

Whatever gives it's going to be interesting race ....for a change.

It would be a very popular win for Webber . SEB's WDC can wait.


If it is a popular win for Webber then that pretty much wins the WDC for Vettel. Alonso would have to finish second and Vettel about 9th or worse.


Webber is convinced that he has a winning strategy and I am convinced reb bull gives wings to vettel only and they will make the strategy wotk in favour of vettel. Vettel for the win, webber to suffer for second and kimi, hamilton, alonso, massa and rosberg to fight for 3rd.


I agree that red bull will probably about Vettel, but whatever strategy they give him he will make it work.


The question I have is how many poles would seb vettel have if he was driving a Ferrari for the last 5 years instead of a red bull. Be less than 10 that's for sure. Great driver in a great team in a great time for them.


All of you forget that up until Spa he only had the fastest car at Bahrain and Canada, yet he still managed to build a gap in the championship. He was so consistent, banking solid points finishes when he had the second and third best car. I remember after Hungary a lot of people predicting Hamilton to come back and win the championship!

The car got better after the summer break, and Vettel has basically been flawless all season.

Alonso is a bad qualifier. Also, with Vettel in a Ferrari car development would be based around Vettel's style. The Ferrari is built around Alonso's inefficient driving style where he induces understeer.


Sounds like somebody knows more than they care to admit. ANymore insider juice from the Paddock?.....feel free Anonm 😉


We don't like anonymous postings. Please leave a name and a real email address or comments will not be posted - Mod


There's absolutely nothing wrong with Alonso's car, Alonso himself is just a poor qualifier. Vettel in the Ferrari would not have 43 poles, but he'd have a lot more than 10.


A lot more than Alonso, that's for sure!

The Spanish Inquisitor

Speculative. Lewis said that Fernando would have obtained more points than Vettel with the RBR. Speculative too.

No data comparable.


The truth of the matter is Alonso & Hamilton still don't respect Vettel's driving. They still think his success is due to the car and Adrian Newey.


The thing is, I think that a big part of Red Bull having such a great car is Vettel. During different points in history, we've seen teams produce cars for a number of years that were just simply dominant. McLaren in the 80s is an example, Williams in the 90s, Ferrari in the 00s, and Red Bull now. But people really don't talk about the role of the drivers in the development process of those cars, and this is an important role and one for which the guys who have won in those cars should be given more credit and for which their success really does reflect on their quality as drivers rather than just the quality of the car.

McLaren had guys like Lauda, Prost, and Senna driving the cars and giving them feedback. Those guys were all known for their ability to give feedback to the engineers. People like to talk about how much of a pure driver Senna was, but the engineers who worked with him all talk about how great he was at giving them feedback in specific detail of what he was feeling in the car, even if he wasn't a technical expert on the car. Even when McLaren didn't have the best car in the Williams era, Senna was still fighting them and contending for championships while McLaren was a step behind in technical development, and he wouldn't have done that in a car that he wasn't able to get at least optimized.

Williams surely had great cars in the 90s, but they had some great drivers giving them feedback. Mansell wasn't the most technical guy, but he was a great driver and knew at that point how a car should behave. Prost drove for them in 93. When the technical revolution in the regulations came, they had Damon Hill driving the car. And while he wasn't the quickest guy, he is known to have been very good at developing the car. And he got a dominant championship for them and competing hard for two others. Hill doesn't get nearly enough credit for what he achieved.

And then there was the Ferrari-Schumacher era. I don't think anyone doubts Schumacher's ability as a driver in that time, but he always got the "he has the best car out there" line thrown at him. Every engineer who has worked with him talks about his technical genius and ability to set up the car. That reflects on him as a driver.

Red Bull have the quickest car out there. But sooner or later, we're going to have to give Vettel credit for his role in getting them the quickest car. It's not just all about him driving it quickly. He has to talk to the engineers and point them in the right way to change the car. Every year that Vettel has been at Red Bull, they have made a technical innovation in the car that has pushed it a huge step forward and quite ahead of the competition. So clearly, Vettel is very precise when it comes to pointing the team in the direction of where the car needs to be changed. This is a skill as a driver that is perhaps more relevant than any. You can have someone like Lewis Hamilton who will wrestle out a miracle lap, but a driver knowing how the car needs to behave to go quickly and how it can be changed to go more quickly is going to make more of a difference in a team's performance if he also has the speed to be consistently quick. That's not a knock on Hamilton as a driver or his technical feedback, which I do think is good, but Vettel just seems to be in another league from other drivers when it comes to this.



'And then there was the Ferrari-Schumacher era. I don’t think anyone doubts Schumacher’s ability as a driver in that time, but he always got the “he has the best car out there” line thrown at him. Every engineer who has worked with him talks about his technical genius and ability to set up the car. That reflects on him as a driver.'

What happened to Schumachers 'legendary' car set up ability when he was driving the Mercedes? Did he forget how to do it all of a sudden? Eddie Irvine said in an interview (on Sky) it was Rubens who set the car up, not Schuey.

Funnily enough, I was watching the Team Principal conference yesterday and Ross Brawn mentioned Ferrari used to have a testing team running the car almost constantly throughout the year. Perhaps that had something to do with their domination?


I'm sorry but you think Vettel has been the one pointing Red Bull in the right direction for design? Please. This may have been the case in the 80s and gradually reduced in the 90s but after the testing ban driver influence has been greatly reduced.

All we are watching is a driver driving the fastest car. He should win the title because he had the fastest car. And I give credit to James for trying to make it sound interesting but frankly its utterly dull. I'm sure viewership has dropped. As for making history, I think Vettel will make history as the most undeserving 4 time champion. I give the others more props for driving in far more dangerous eras... It's a lot easier to drive when no drivers in your era have died. I can't wait for this joke of a title to be over. Just an opinion of a life long F1 fan.


Well, I think you're having a major misconception here. No doubt: Senna, Prost, Lauda, Schumacher, etc. were great drivers, you see it because they managed to outshine their team mates and because they brought it home. But feedback can be as good as can be, it's worth nothing if the engineers can't react.

And you see that behind every champion there have been great engineers with great ideas. Think of Colin Chapman at Lotus, Derek Gardner at Tyrrell, think of John Barnard and Gordon Murray at McLaren in the 80s, think of Adrian Newey at Williams in the 90s, think of Rory Byrne at Benetton and Ferrari in the 00s (with Newey at McLaren as major contender), think of Newey at Red Bull nowadays.

When you look at who went where, from the technical personnel, and which team got to be successful at which point in time, you see a way better correllation that by tracing which driver goes where. Of course good drivers find their way into good teams, of cause they are a piece of the puzzle, but success is less about the driver and more about the engineers.


Can't say better... 100% agree with every word.



A very valid observation beautifully articulated.

I think some drivers can luck into a WDC (eg double diffuser). But to stay a multiple WDC, 4 years in a row, technical feedback is essential.

I've no doubt SV is a smart chap and can give good feedback.

From what I've read Webber too.

Plus of course you need a great team that's able to take and reflect feedback into car development.

It's fantastic to see a world class team like RB delivering year on year - with fierce competitors like Lotus, Merc, Ferrari chasing their tail strong and hard; and ready to pounce on any slip ups.

I sense that McLaren is regrouping for 2015; after some long-term strategic calls that didn't pay off.


Nonsense. RBR supremacy is due to one guy and he ain't German


Consider this - AN designed cars for Williams between 1992 and 1997 - in those 5 years 4 different drivers won world championships. If any of those drivers happened to have been in the car for the entire period there is a good chance that they would be 4x world champions. So yes vettel is very good but I am sure many others could have achieved the same. Also consider that vettel was very close to not winning 2 of his championships while prost lost 2 by less points than vettel won his. So in my view to be classed as the greatest he needs to win against another world champion in the same car or with another team.


There was an interview in german TV with engineers from Redbull saying that the good thing about Vettel and Webber is in the way they get responses from them.

One was better in aerodynamics and the other in tires and handling responses. So one filled the weakness of the other.

I am sure this was an translation from an english interview but i don't know which words i have to type into the search engine.

So i wonder: did they discover in the years they had the pair or did they choose Vettel to get feedback they didn't get from Webber based on experience with Vettel at Torro Rosso.


I believe that was Adrian Newey's interview with JA for BBC 5Live.


Look for interview with Newey couple of weeks back.


It was actually from an interview on this website with Newey: http://jaonf1.wpengine.com/2013/10/red-bull-design-chief-newey-opens-up-on-senna-and-vettel/

"I think Sebastian and Mark, while they have unfortunately had their differences, they have been from an engineering point of view very good team-mates because they both contribute in different ways. Mark is very sensitive on the aerodynamics of the car, Sebastian is very sensitive in other areas like tyres and suspension characteristics, so they have complemented each other.”


That was one of the most interesting things to come out of that interview from a racing understanding point of view


I think you have to throw Webber some kind of morsel as well. There's no doubt Vettel is the star but he's no Robinson Crusoe. The RBR machine has a shedload of Webber's work in it as well.

On his best days Webber used to be able to beat Vettel, but those days are fading - whether because he's lost a few tenths or because the RBR machine has developed away from his driving style (or beyond his ability to adapt).

I don't think anyone would argue that RBR just want to win. That Webber has been there as long as he has speaks to the respect he's had within the organisation over a very long time. If there were any serious chinks in his armour then he'd be long gone.

As you say, the development / feedback part of a driver's duties is absolutely super-critical. Just being a fast race driver is not doubt of some use, but they must also have the ability to convey the story of a car's physical performance (as opposed to what the computer says it should be doing).

I gather that Daniel Ricciardo is also particularly strong in his ability to provide quality feedback. He's no pay driver and the Australian soft drink market is a mere drop in the ocean, so I'd suggest his promotion must be more merit-based than many.


Webber says it is the Pirelli tyre era that has given Vettel such a big advantage.


Yes, especially the softer ones.

And blown diffusers


The article was about Adrian Newey and you can find it right here.


And I agree about Ricciardo. One of the reasons mentioned was his very good feedback


Webber's time difference to Vettel is mostly EBD related.

A pity they hadn't implemented the 2014 exhaust regulations years earlier, as it would have resulted in better competion between the Red Bull teammates and Vettel wouldn't be getting these silly "Yes but how good is he really" comments around the web.


No morsels when you're about to win 4th WDC! 🙂


"...(or beyond his ability to adapt)..."

Absolutely, I think this is what has given Seb the edge over the Aussie. Of course, I will agree with anyone that he is much more talented, but his youth has proven decisive to develop his unique driving style.

It may also explain why the Toro Rosso outfit looks for extremely young drivers, besides talent and speed, Red Bull looks for youth that will be able to modify its driving style.

Very clever!

P.S. That provides food for thought when some people claims that any driver would have won 4 titles with Red Bull. When the German joined the team he was just 21, would a Fernando Alonso, who is 6 year older, have adapted as well as Seb to Newey's designs?


I agree with you completely but the only problem with the Vettel \ RBR combo is that there's no practically no testing now so the percentage of contribution from Vettel has to be pretty small. With the team and driver combos you mentioned, testing was much more prevalent so the drivers really could make a big impact on how they liked their cars and custom them accordingly so I agree that they were a big part of the package then.

Right now, it's almost entirely engineer-driven sadly so in effect, a team is locked in at the level of the engineers with little scope to improve due to lack of testing.

I'd love to see a lot more testing and let the teams properly try to catch up with a team like RBR. I suspect that if testing were allowed properly again, we'd see closer competition.


I agree with optimax - the driver input is even more important than ever now that in season testing is down - the setup has to be perfected overnight. Stop bein so sour just cos you don't like Vettel.


It's not 'almost entirely engineer-driven'. The fact that the only running is on Fridays and Saturday mornings should tell you that the feedback from the drivers is more critical than anything.

Simulation work is just that - a simulation - whereas Friday Practice is real.


your spot on man, in fact SV is not a man but in fact a sack of potatoes that is disguised to look like a man that they throw in a car ..... oh and FA and LH are just so dreamy!!!!

The Spanish Inquisitor

I agree 100%



He is definitely an exceptional driver, but that car made him more exceptional than he is. If he were driving a Ferrari he would be have still won WDC may be at least two times but not by margins seen in 2011 or this year.


You got that right. I just want to see Vettel in another car other than a Redbull.


I sure hope the Merc duo get to jump Vettel at the start . No driving away please.


He won't. Webber will lead after 6/7 laps and has a good chance to win according to strategists I'm speaking to


Mark bog webber leading after 7 laps? His starts aren't convincing and on the dirty side with the prime tyres on... That's very optimistic james!!

Alexander Supertramp

What if Mark has another bad start :D?


Webber is unlikely lead at any point.

History has shown that he is a poor starter,

with many fast starters behind.

He will also be vulnerable to Hulkenburg on the opening laps (the hulk +5km faster on the straights).

Also, unfortunately -- when F1 races are set up for these type of split tyre strategy excitement, it has always fizzled out with the hard tyre being less durable than expected and the soft not as bad!!

Mark will not lead.... bring on the young guns please .....


I guess we can safely expect Vettel, Rosberg and Hamilton into the pits between Lap 6 and 10. With pit stop times between 20 and 21 seconds we can seriously doubt that either Vettel, Hamilton or Rosberg will be able to pull out a 20 second gap in under 10 laps.

So in case after the first corners Webber is still on the same position where he started, he will take the lead after the first round of pit stops that is as sure as an "amen" in church.


As a Webber fan James, I sincerely hope so. But we can't overlook his starting performances or the fact he is on a harder tyre than those behind him. I guess that all the front runners on the option tyre will run them into the ground as soon as humanly possible in an attempt to secure some sort of track position. I don't think that conserving them will do any good as the difference between conserving and balls out is probably minimal in terms of laps.

Having said that, if he gets a reasonable start (doesn't lose a place) he will be well placed after the first round of stops. That gives him (and Alonso) track position. What they do with that is anyone's guess. He has looked good on the prime all weekend though.


Those behind him = Masa who was behind him. The rest of the top 10 have prime.

Let me guess, if Webber wins, it's his brilliant drive shining through dispite of team favoring Vettel and sabotage him at the start as well as in the pit; if Vettel wins, it can only be that he has the fastest car and team's favor by having sabotaged Webber - just for that, I am happy that Webber is retiring. I have little respect for those who take credits when things go well, and blame others when thing go poorly. Unfortunately, there are too many people who think and operate under such principle. For it cannot possibly be that some people are simply better at doing certain things than others, that not every child is above average on every subject, and that Vettel is a better F1 driver than Webber. What an unfair world that would be?

It is funny and tiring to hear that when Vettel gets presumed better strategy it is totally unfair, somehow when Webber gets the presumed better strategy it is simply the right thing to do; when Vettel disobey the team order that favored Webber it was a crime and should be condemned forever, but when Webber did the the same, it was simply the right thing to do. When Vettel is unhappy it is self righteousness. When Webber is unhappy it can only be miss treatment from Vettel and or the team. What is maddening to me is that people who think that way consider themselves the good and the just, and those who do not think like them are biased.


Webber will have a webber start and Fernando will have a Fernando start and Fernando will be ahead of mark by turn 5.


James, I am almost certain that red bull will find a way to make vettels strategy to be the winning one:-) we see tomorrow and regards from chicago.


And here we go.

"Mark, we have lost gear sync."


Well bear in mind he has been fastest all weekend and starts on pole! So by rights he should be aiming to win!

But Webber's strategy gives him a real chance if Vettel is delayed in traffic in second stint


Just back from the bookie's where I bet my wife's merc that Seb will Not, repeat NOT win tomorrow.


Oops...... 🙂


The beauty is that he is not the one who has to win.


I hope she's your ex-wife!


That must be odds of 1000mercs/1 🙂


What's your thinking behind that bet?

Fascinating. What odds did you get?


Ha! I bet your wife's Merc that he would 🙂


James, any idea what the story with the flexing floor on the RBR is?

Vettel was amazingly quick! Well done to him, seems like he's going to settle it tomorrow.


His lap was very beautiful, especially the on-board vision. It pains me to say.


Very interesting watching a JB lap before Quali, then Vettel's pole lap afterwards.

Vettel was really impressive. At points the speed and commitment were breathtaking. JB was struggling to get the car into the corners and seemed to be getting wheel spin on exit. There was no flow.

Mclaren have a lot of work to do. Their car isn't even in the same formula.


Saw the heat signature again today on Webber´s infrared cam.. I think during P3. But it was quite cool to watch... initially there was nothing and halfway his outlap the thing "caught fire" on the IR cam.

Very interested to see some quality JA analysis on it!


Alonso's helm design is so funny, absurd and worthless. He even used the biggest font size^^

Btw. he did a 1:24.855 in Q2 😆

Congrats Vettel, he was holding up Hamilton on his last run, but he didn't complain too much about it, so I guess there will be no punishment?!


well after scoring no points today he can use the same helmet again for the next race 🙂


After reading about Alonso becoming the new point record holder, I thought I would put it in perspective. I choose to include in my list all the present WDC still active and all holders of at least 2 titles. I also included Mansell as he used to be a favorite of mine & Farina because he is the 1st WDC. I only took into account top 6 finishes and apply the present point system. I also divided each of the racers career point total by the number of races they participated in get an average point per race. See if find the results of interest. As an added extra I included Sebastien Loeb as well, he is in my mind one of the great in sport racing. Marc

M.Schumacher 3624/308/11.77

A.Prost 2398/202/11.87

F.Alonso 2301/213/10.80

K.Raikkonen 1794/192/9.34

A.Senna 1786/162/11.02

N.Piquet 1612/207/7.79

J.Button 1528/245/6.24

S.Vettel 1525/116/13.15

N.Mansell 1421/191/7.44

L.Hamilton 1397/125/11.18

N.Lauda 1289/177/7.28

M.Hakkinen 1086/165/6.58

G.Hill 984/179/5.50

J.Stewart 916/100/9.16

J.Brabham 897/128/7.01

J.M.Fangio 855/54/16.44J

J.Clark 819/73/11.22

E.Fittipaldi 789/149/5.30

G.Farina 462/34/13.59

A.Ascari 421/33/12.76

S.Loeb 2713/167/16.25 WRC’s Schumi of kind


IIRC, Alonso's [Ferrari's] briliant starts have all been on the clean side.

P8, with a feisty Checo close nearby, full of beans and eager to keep his drive, ...... oops. Not to mention a very competent blocker in the Sauber ahead. Can't see him slicing through this time. But you never know.

Of course he is no longer fighting Seb, but his teammate next year.

Valentino from montreal

Yup , Alonso's helmet screams '' Im looking for attention ! Look at me , I got the most points ! ''


I think he wont have that record for much longer, but its made completely irrelevant by the change from 10 to 25 points for a win. Apparently if you recalculate all points to the current system the mathematicians have come up with this.

Schumacher 3890

Prost 2467

Alonso 2414

so along way to go fernando!!!


@DavidC, I don't watch NASCAR either (it's the Zoolander of motorsports, only left turns!), but their points system is pretty straight-forward, an extra point for every place up the grid you finish, for the first 43 finishers I believe it is. Winner gets a bonus 3 pts, with whomever led the most laps also getting a bonus pt.

Yer right about how they did the points conversion for their example, sorry for that. But there are still problems doing it that way (i.e. moving everyone to the 2010- points system). When only the first 6 finishers would score points, would someone 9th really gun it to try to be 8th? Not likely, as there was no reward. Now there's a 2 pt reward, which many times could be crucial in the final reckoning.

It's likely the best compromise system to have used for their example, as there would be problems with any system used. Have a good one.


@KBR those statistics account for the change from 9 to 10 points in the same way it accounts for the change from 10 to 25, it just converts out all results to current points.

You are right about Marussia I agree that it seems unfair as to how thew separate the teams who have scored no points during the season. I dont watch Nascar but at this stage id prefer something that gives team who was on average the better the most credit


But then Schumi got the benefit of 10 pt wins (over 9), so while I'm sure he'd still be in the lead, others before them are disadvantaged by the current points system.

Maybe a wholesale rethink is needed as to what the points system should be.

Does a single 13th spot really mean Marussia's better than Caterham? Maybe a point system closer to what they use in NASCAR would be more appropriate to separate the constructors, in a season. But I digress...


Not that i really like his helmet, but in the record books all it will say is numbers. So, he's currently the man to beat.


And even that isn't a true picture as the seasons are now 25% longer than they used to be in Prost's day for example.

In general points are quite a weak statistic.



I could not believe my eyes as I watched the qualy this morning. How could he change his helmet to display this 1571?

Can you imagine Ayrton Senna doing such a thing?

Neither do I.

It would never have crossed even Prost's mind (speaking about a driver blamed by many of having an accountant's mentality...)

I am lost for words.

Valentino from montreal

It's really ridiculous all of the changes the FIA have made since 2003 ... We have to remember that the changes were made becuase of Ferrari and Schumacher's dominance of the sport ...

Top 6 cars finished in the points ...

Pointing system was 10- 6- 4 - 3 - 2 -1

16 GPS in a season , not 20 like now

Re-fueling was allowed

Cars could have been modified in Parc-Ferme

Engines were not down to only 4 or 5 per season

Safety car in wet races were to a minimum

Less stupid penalties , less investigations

In season testing

Tire wars

Qualifying format was 1 session of 60 minutes , not chopped up in 3

I could go on and on ....

That WAS the Formula-One I liked -



Or I lose my wife, house, and several chickens. No more Eggs Benedict for brekkie...


Gosh chaps, your concern for my diet and general welfare is awfully touching.

In my tipping contest one has to declare before Qual so my choice of GRO in second may seem odd. But stranger things have happened, the ab-steamy-arse Lotus tyre consumption could see GRO (whom I believe is a natural Ferrari in the manner of the sainted GV) do a one-stopper really, really late and fly to a podium.

The tipping contest involves no great financial outlay, so I may have over-egged the pudding (there I go again) over risking the missus...


Prepare to replace the Eggs Benedict with some humble pie very soon.


You'd better start looking for dumpsters, and staking claims at the garbage bins of better restaurants. No need to wait.


James, do you think that FIA sould re-consider the current format of the qualifying to give people some more reasons to watch it. For sure there will be a new rule next year to motivate teams to use the first half a hour of the FP for testings, but is that enough to make qualifying interesting once again?


GRO: "The team felt that he could make his way out of Q1 with two runs on the medium tyre"

He also made a mess of two final laps, which didnt exactly help.

A bad case of over confidence.


Agree over-confidence by GRO & the team just because he was doing well for the past couple of races.


True, but I think the team is much more to blame than Romain.

Anyway, the Lotus F1 Team could have done without it as this is not going to help for the race to the 2nd place in the WDC...


With 100% practice and qualifying timesheets, fastest laps and now the lap record, surely Vettel deserves to have one of the corners at the Indian race named after him perhaps a grandstand too.

Yes this is what they call owning a track and am sure we will see another vintage Vettel performance tomorrow, no doubt about it.

Well done to the Mercedes team for rounding up the top 3 positions for with these grid positions, we're bound to get pretty frantic couple of laps also it will be interesting to see who of the 3 will pit first.

However, seeing as Rosberg hasn't been on the podium in 2013 (except his two victories) and Lewis hasn't been on the podium in India, I wonder if the Mercedes lads will really finish where they started >>> Not forgetting Lewis (and Ricciardo) have been the worst starts in 2013.

Now I don't know what the likes of Webber and Alonso are playing at with the different strategies for surely they must have old videos that show this route never gets anybody any glory.

Yes as always track position is king in F1 for there's also the possibility that a safety car can wreck the different strategy's -- strategy.

Good job from Hulkenburg for making it into the top 10 again and of late he has been a thorn in Alonso's side so this battle will be fun to see.

Shame Grosjean side of the garage got a lit too confident during Q1, if it wasn't for that, he would have possibly qualified P2-P3 and have given Vettel a real race courtesy of Lotus' easy tyre action.

Last but not least congrats to Perez for having finally made it to Q3 after a really long time of trying.

Colombia Concalvez

''Lewis (and Ricciardo) have been the worst starts in 2013.'' - How do you expect Lewis to stay infront when the W04 had rear tire problems ?, next before type think first and be more acurate because we all know the Mercedes had rear tire problems.


Senor, Mr Graham Orville Feret may possibly have a tad more knowledge on the subject than your good self. And 'before type think first' could also apply to the use of spellcheck.


@ Colombia Concalvez

Actually the starts have nothing to do with the rear tyres.

It's more about a driver's feel with the clutch and accelerator.


Actually the drivers don't need any feel for the clutch and accelerator at all. The bite point is found by electronics, engaging the clutch is done by two levers, damped by some foam and a spring. So you simply hold the accelerator on a specified number of revs and let go when the red lights go off. Bad starts rather happen because of bad tire management, bad estimation of grip on the starting spot (they're trying starts on the pit exit, which is not exactly as grippy as the starting position) and different weight distribution in the cars.

It's after the launch when it gets interesting.


I think he is talking about the first lap, at which point the tyres wouldn't have started to go off.



Today in qualifying almost all of the drivers were going out of the track while exiting certain corners. Isn't that illegal for which Romain got penalized in Hungary? Or is it accepted here?

I think the FIA should be more strict about these things and have a standard rules so that public will have a better understanding of the sport. What applied in Hungary should also apply here. I remember during a F3 round in Nurburgring the organizers immediately penalized drivers going off track while exiting corners.


"Isn’t that illegal for which Romain got penalized in Hungary?"

No. He was penalized for going off track while overtaking, which is a very different thing.


The question is, got a driver an advantage from it and Whiting said, going wide in India is actually slower, if I remember correctly.


If its slower why would virtually all the drivers do it? Seems a bit of a silly afterthought by FIA. If it was faster to keep 2 wheels inside the track drivers would do it.

Why bother having track limits when u can just make it up!

seen webber go miles wide then beat the lap time ? You shouldn't better your time if your going slower

I agree with musshan but know your quoting based on Charlie Whiting so I'm not personally having a go at you but the sad state that the race will be in. If someone overtake while going the so called slower way round surely this will kick up sticky situations


And Chilton 1.3 seconds slower than his teammate.....


I hope Vettel seals the championship with 6th win a row!


Fun fact.

When Vettel gets crowned tomorrow he would have clinched his titles at four different venues









In other words, if the title race should ever come down to the last race again, then Vettel won't win >>> at least in theory.


Umm what theory?

Those were nice stats until you used the word theory haha


Assuming your mad theory is correct, the way around it would be if the final race was not at Brazil. Just thought I would add to the 'fun fact'. 🙂


@ Wade Parmino


But the final race is always at Interlagos

Alexander Supertramp

wasn't in 2010.. :p


Could Vettel have got pole on mediums consdering Webber was not far away from the Mercs. DO you think it was worth a shot?


Good question, with a perfect lap yeah I think pole on the hards was possible.


Possible, but defo too boring.

at least now we have a reason to watch!!

The Spanish Inquisitor

Another Ferrari mistake. Today Ferrari was the second fast car, Alonso could be second or third.


As long as Alonso keep his mouth shut men and women at Maranello are happy no matter what result. Team management is so poor, it's beyond believe, mind boggling.


Did you see Alonso screaming at the mechanics during quali & SD had to go to the garage to intervene? Was told it was just over some fault with the radio...


Hearing and seeing are two different things. But lets not fool ourselves Alo is a frustrated man, no question. And who could blame him. It takes Schumacher to bring the red squad in order yet again. Only now we could realize how much nerves, patience and time took to bring SF out of in hibernation. I doubt next season would be any different and do not believe that Kimi could help towards this cause. I am sometimes so sorry for Alonso and his lost time with Scuderia.


After the first and very short stint for drivers on options . Webber will be out in front untroubled while vettel will have plenty traffic. Webber can slip on the options when the weight is low and will last longer.

Seb will find this tough and he knows it, Alonso will trouble him too.


Worth noting Bianchi in a Marussia was just 0,13s slowe than Maldonado. Don't know what tyres Maldonado used however...


Bianchi should really be in a Sauber for next year, en route to a Ferrari drive in 2016 or 2017. But he isn't backed by a tycoon or a national oil producer.


Instead he is sponsored by some destitute company called Ferrari.


Don't forget Maussia is getting Ferrari engines and Binachi is part of the Ferari Driver Academy. From what I read he's a solid driver, a good racer. I am pretty sure Ferrari will keep an eye on him.

I hope Marussia will make a leap forward next season in terms of performance. Obviously, it would be great for him to be able to fight for points and get used to scoring


Ferrari are lacking confidence. They thought Alonso's time in Q2 was goig to be bettered by several drivers in Q3. This has happened before, Alonso doing a very good time in Q2 (not far from what he does after in Q3) and being in a position in Q2 which is not real, due to him getting up to speed faster than his rivals. Then when everybody gets up to speed in Q3 Alonso falls back from that position.

This time though, his Q2 time was much better compared to his rivals than the other times this happened before. However, Ferrari (this includes him) lacked the confidence to believe that second position was a real target. But as it turned to be, Alonso's Q2 time was enought for being third in Q3, just thounsands from the second place. So had he qualified with the softs he probably would have been second.

Have Ferrari believed this could be the case, he would have qualified with softs I believe. Dificult moments for Ferrari, really lacking confidence on their machinery.

Had Alonso started second, he could have pressured Vettel at the start and create the tension needed for the championship, instead of being just a walk for Vettel.


Judging from the difference between the compounds had he used softs he would have been 4/5th.


Yes that's very nice, good theoretical calculation. But you forget about the reality, which is he did a time with the softs that would put him third in Q3. Theory is very good, but I am talking about reality, which I believe comes first. Don't you think? XD


@Yago, I agree.

They've been through a lot this season, they thought they had a title winning car back in March which turned in a huge disappointment in the end, some mistakes on the way too (ex. slipstreaming at Monza), yet again correlation problems.

I immagine there must be some internal pressure, after all they're Ferrari, a team with a "winning pedigee" that won its last title in 2008. So not an easy situation. They might need a Jean Todt kind of leader.

All these things undermine confidence, and no confidence means you're less likely to risk and decide to play it safe.


Yes agree. But all that is healed with a good technical package, and I think they are building a nice technical team, and upgrading their technology. I actually don't think Domenicali leadership is the problem, but I could be wrong. Let's see how next year unfolds.


They obviously have had some technical issues, correlation problems, and I don't think you can blame Domenicali for that, he's no techinical guy. However, Gary Anderson suggests they have poor structural management: "Ferrari do that every single race weekend and I would have to question whether they have any structural management.

That is Alonso's biggest problem. When he doesn't see any structural management, he starts to be the manager, and having a driver do that is the worst place a team can be.

I talk to a lot of people and some of the stuff I have heard about Ferrari and how that team functions is absurd for an outfit of that standing. Something has to change there pretty soon if they are to be the team we all think they should be."


And that in a nutshell is why VET is running away with it. Poor execution by ALO and poor strategy and squandered opportunities by Ferrari. Another weekend where he is out qualified by Massa. What is the record now? 9-7? Massa taken something like 4 of the last 5.


Massa had soft tyre.


I think he didn't understand a word of what I said. Lol


In one year Ferrari management will change. Be patient. Domenicali won one year to prove he can bring constructors cup with two first grade drivers, but he will probably fail, because of strange things happening within the team. Some analysts called their structure absurd.

The Spanish Inquisitor



Stunning indeed, but he (and several others) should be penalised for leaving the track with all four tyres on their qualifying lap.

You can clearly see him do so three times:


Given the new strictness in enforcing this rule (cf Grosjean's recent penalty while passing for a much more excusable infraction), why is it never enforced during qualifying ?


I always thought that for qualifying runs a time is posted only if the car stays with at least one tire on the racetrack during the lap. I was also surprised to see so many drivers posting times after getting out of the track before cutting towards the apexes of some of the fast turns. IMO that would shave more of a tenth in laptime and certainly unfair for those who didn't do it to stay within the track limits


Why oh why didn't Mercedes split strategies, especially with Grosjean so far down the grid? This equal driver status thing is hurting them. With their qualifying pace, they could have had one car right behind Vettel on softs and the other right behind Webber on primes.


Look forward to seeing just how Red Bull will hinder Webber this time. They'll find a way to put him behind Vettel. 😉


I don't think that they will, nor will they need to as unless VET has a failure ALO will not finish in front of him, let alone the minimum of five places ahead.

Safety cars aside, I think WEB will get his departing victory in this one.


erm.. without conspiracy... Webber already is behind Vettel.. Really, you can trust me.


Hmm, think you missed the point


I don't accept all the hype of the "great" Vettel. Engineers and designers make or break good drivers. A driver with a car like the Red Bull is so fast and agile it can hardly fail to improve driver confidence. Vettel is doing no more than any other top driver would do in such a car, and as for stunning pole it's laughable. - It was simply a walk in the park for him, and one can only conclude he is a very lucky boy. The real genius in Red Bull is the designer or design team that produced the car.


Many people, including myself agree with you. Unfortunately, this is the way F1 has been for a while. Bring back durable tyres, refuelling and scrap DRS and I'm sure we'd see better racing. We're all sick of this Vettel/red Bull/money domination.

Btw, brave yourself...Equin0x comments are coming 😉


In the words of The Who, you can cry if you want.


Who do you say? - I'm dying of boredom! F1 only really becomes interesting when their are two teams vying for the championship, not a foregone conclusion. See my previous comment regarding aero and tyres.


Yap, like Webber does with that super car


Well let's not forget that Webber nearly won the championship in 2010, just that he dropped the ball for what ever reason. Vettel on the other hand has a car that suits his "coached" driving style and strategy boring as it is. I really would like to see the aero turned right down, and re-intro of durable tyres so that we could watch some genuine racing again.


Fact is: a) He didn't, b) it was Vettels maiden year at RedBull Racing, c) it was Vettel who took the title anyway, d) it is 3 years ago and Vettel dominated Webber ever since.


F1 has always been the formula with the most aero technology. If you want to see less aero you can, they're called touring cars.


If you look back at 2010 you will find Vettel struggled from reliability issues that put him behind Webber until Webber through it away as he tried to hunt him down in Korea.

Webber is a very good driver it's just Vettel is incredible.


Take of traction. And lose radios.


"Webber nearly won the championship in 2010, just that he dropped the ball for what ever reason."

mh, interesting thought. He had all the chances in Korea and Abu Dhabi Q3.

If Webber had won the championship in 2010, Vettel would have beaten a world champion in 2011, 2012 and 2013, three times in a row in the same team, in the same car. Imagine the flame wars, conspiracies etc. in F1-forums around the world 😀


I can just imagine you watching the F1 Quali and races shaking your fist at the TV. We cannot argue your passion for F1.


Well not really, but the truth is plain to see for anyone with their eyes open. I do like to give the pot a bit of a stir though.


Your "giving the pot a stir" is rather like "trolling". It is pretty obvious that Webber is not number one or two in the driver's championship alongside Vettel, so it cannot be entirely down to the car, as to extract the most out of a car it needs to be driven the right way.


I have to agree with you on this one. Looking back Vettels qualifying lap he didn't have to fight his car. No sliding, all very neat. This RB is generating so much grip. It looked like he was saving his tyres already while qualifying, knowing tomorrow these softs will last only about 6 laps or so.


So now the mark of a great driver is that he spends a lot of time sawing his steering wheel back and forth? Whatever.


You don't understand it, SB didn't have to push yet he was 0,7 sec faster in qualifying.


This is getting old now get real Vettel is the difference, he'd blow away anyone if they sat in the second Redbull and that includes Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton! Anyone with a right mind can see that.


That marvelous car is so good that his creator, Mr. Newey raced close to actual F1 times at Silverstone. Newey's not only the best designer nowadays but to top it off, he's also a enthusiastic sport car racer. He doesn't have words to explain how his latest creation accelerates compared to the ground-breaker Leyton-House F1 car he designed in the 80's

Saying that Vettel would blow away any other driver driving the same RB car is as stupid as saying that Vettel is not a great racer!

Give any of those kids a top car and they will challenge for the WC, period


Laughable. The truth is we don't know how good Vettel is. In that car we would expect Alonso or Vettel or Kimi to win. Those three have pulled off impressive wins in ordinary cars several times. What has Vettel done that is really impressive? We don't know yet. Put him in a Ferrari or a Merc and then we will have a better idea.


Your loyalties are well known, all you need to do now is take the blinkers off. As I have said before it is a very boring era ruled by aerodynamics and tyres, but top marks for Newey's design team for elevating such a driver!


For some the blinkers are glued on and they lack any objectivity.

However, whilst I don't like him, I accept that [Mod} is at least on par with his peers, regardless of machinery.


> Your loyalties are well known, all you need to do now is take the blinkers off.

Pot meet kettle?


I concur. tealeaf talking nonsense.


Hush, Richard - don't you know there's a deification going on this year?


Seriously, sick and tired of the media glorifying Vettel. This title was won by designers and a pinch of politics. Vettel has driven better this year than ever which just shows how easy it was for him to win in past years. He was definitely not the best driver in 2010 and 2012. Who believes the nonsensical headlines about this guy being one of the greatest? There are always stickers waiting to jump on the bandwagon. It is simply a case of numbers. I try and look for smart news and comments. Sadly just like in real life the actual number of smart people in a populous are far smaller than the opposite.


I always thought Vettel should do a fast lap with primes and wait and decide whether he also try it with the soft. And if I look at the times it seems nearly assured that he also would stand in pole with the primes.

So - why didn't they (he and his team) try it?

I think all of you will admit that the victory with primes in pole would be much easier than with the soft.


What RBR did with Vettel in Q3 is called 100% confidence combined with the "take no prisoners" motto. Why Seb would try the mediums in Q3 and risk losing another pole for his personal record?

What seb has to lose now that the DWC is wrapped and ready to deliver?

Why let someone else take the pole if you have a car who can pull +3s/lap when the DRS is still not available? After 5-8 laps, he's gonna be close to the front runners after the pit stop and the rest is just DRS game.

Can Fred or Webbo stay ahead, I seriously doubt it. Right now, F1 season is more about how RBR manages to win and the other drivers fighting for the slops. Extreme domination by RBR. Hope the other top teams learn the lesson and become better prepared for 2014


OK, if RB and Vettel think so and the +3s/lap will turn out right I still can't understand their decision - because:

You and RB take for granted that he wins the start! If not?

We can be happy with his decision because now it will be a little bit exciting. (And if not exciting we maybe can see his stunning laps at the beginning) It's the only way - different strategies - for Webber to have a chance. And I think it's a chance without risk vor him. Using the benefits of his car he will be 2nd for sure anyway and now he stands a chance for the 1st place (if he is at least 4th after the start 😉 )


Good point. I was thinking the same thing.


Well its a close call even if he starts on primes he'd still have to use the options later on.


True but the car will be lighter and he will be so far ahead at that point that he could conserve the softs and cruise to victory.... as usual.


Of course - but if you use the soft at the last stint the car is much lighter and they will go for some more rounds.

So Vettel has to change tires early (before raund 10?) and after the stop he will be in the mid of the traffic.

So I think the strategy of Webber is better especially if you got pole - but we will se.


Okay, well, well, well.

A word about, "Grosjean's over-confidence":

Lotus are in a very tight constructors battle. In the past two races, Grosjean has shadowed Vettel, including not going to the option, and thereby saving fresh option tires for the race. Lotus are trying alternative strategies to give him a leg up.

They are gambling, and there is always the chance of losing,.

This time they lost, things didn't come together.

But they have to gamble to get up the constructors; so they did the right thing.

And let's see how he does in the race.

As suggested by me, at the start of the season, Red Bull kept a few things in the bag, to release/implement at a time when the development lead time would preclude any innovation from being replicated.

This suspected system of floor flexing, written by Gary Anderson, is very intriguing; I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work on next year's car(s)?!?

Go Kimi go!


Is the floor *flexing* ie, bending, or is it moving up and down in a flat plane? Maybe the bracketry flexes, allowing the floor to move up and down without actually flexing. Whatever it is, it's probably a verrrry fine line 😉


Very good Glenn.

Based on very well established trends, I feel a low probability that the solution is adequately covered by the governing rules, therefore, very likely technically legal, based on a long history of similar events in F1.

Furthermore, should there be an oblique potential coverage of the solution, under the governing regulations, I feel an even more extremely remote probability that any tests would invalidate the solution.

This is what having the ridiculously gifted solution-maker on your team, at the height of his power, I should add.

I understand why so many people call for seeing SV perform in a car designed separately from this power, yet for the vast majority of champions, being at the right place, at the right time was critical to their championship.

If it does actually exist (!?!), and cannot be governed, then I hope Ferrari get it for next year. That combined with a few fresh solutions from the fine mind of JA, and hopefully an engine at least in the range, ... would be good.


Posted a comment on how i was surprised to see Vettelon pole, but i think moderator did not believe me and decided to remove my comment:-) cannot wait to see who comes third:-)


Alonso cut a chicane in q3 and wasnt even investigated i guess because nobody bothered to complain to the stewards. Others were running wide too but they didnt gain an advantage at least.

Red Bull will probable wrap up both titles tomorrow and it would be fun if they´d swap drivers between RBR and TR around for the last 3 races, not that it will happen though. But would be a good show for F1.


James, on the US broadcast it was said that Vettel had done his pole time on used tyres and had then gottten out again on new tyres, but aborted that lap. The question is why would RBR send him to do his pole time on used tyres when they knew those would be the tyres he'd have to start with? Were they truly concerned on losing pole and therefore planning two runs on Q3? Wasn't it evident enough on Q2 that they would lock the pole easily? How much is Vettel's strategy compromised by having to start on tyres that were already used on two qualifying runs?


You must start the race on the very same set of tires that you used on your fastest lap.

Does that answer your question?


No it was a new set of softs for Vettel



I`m sure starting on primes is a better strategy for winning the race tomorrow. But that`s not the most important thing for Vettel tomorrow, the most important thing is to win the Championship.

That`s why Vettel was put on options. In securing pole position tomorrow Red Bull reduce the risk of anything happening to Vettel tomorrow at the start where accidents are most likely to happen. He`s got enough pace to be fifth or better any day of the week even starting on options.

They all say it doesn`t matter when you win the Chamionship but deep down they are desperate to close it out as anything can happen i F1.

Red Bull picked a strategy for Vettel to minimize the risk and thus win the Championship tomorrow. If Vettel`s main priority had been winning tomorrows race he would have qualified on primes.

This should be Webber race to win. I`d love for that to happen, but he needs to get past Hamilton and Rosberg rather quickly otherwise he might end up with his mirrors full of Seb towards the end.


If I was Vettel I would want to win as many wins in a row as possible with this car. And go for another record ...


To minimize the risk is the only argument I can follow that Vettel didn't take the premium.

(As I said before: looking at the times I'm sure he also would have gotten pole with premium)

But I can't believe that RB thinks the WC still is not sure. Even if Vettel has DNF the rest of the season he will win the WC beause Alonso will not win 3 of 4 races (an the 4th he must be at least 2nd). Does anbody can imagine this? No!


Seb wants to win tomorrow more than anything. He's not the sort of guy who wants to win the WDC with a minor placing. He's the sort of guy that hits a 6 to win the game when they only needed a single 😉

Go Webber!


Half of the world wanna see Vettel abandoning tomorrow! Hope it happens...


Most of the world! Vettel is bad for F1. Even if you like him. Good sport needs competition. I bet Bernie secretly hates this! How do you solve a problem like Vettel? Every fortnight when I watch the coverage on BBC Eddie Jordan et al. try to make each race sound interesting and exciting but come on folks we all know how it's going to turn out....Vettel qualifies on pole, has clean air...speeds off into distance due to Newey car and wins. Borefest! Even Schumacher was interesting because we saw race craft, we saw he fight through the field etc..


Well, not seeing Vettel fight through the field is partially down to the FOM television directors, who somehow seem to ignore that.

Brazil, after Seb put himself to the back of the field, I'm like, "okay, he's got this many cars between himself and the front", and the next moment, "he's in fifth; how the heck did he get there?!"

Today, the McLaren radio message to Perez to not resist Vettel, matters more to the viewing audience because out of maybe 10-12 cars that Seb has to find his way past, the director chose to focus only on Sergio, and a Torro Rosso that is not going to risk his 2014 seat.


I think we'll see a fine race from Raikkonen. Quietly he is working on the tyre pressure/camber issues that caused him difficulties. If he is not stuck behind Webber or Massa [or even if he is!] a podium is possible.

Interesting that, unlike Kimi, Grosjean did not highlight his mistakes in q1. It takes a great deal of self confidence to own up to your own errors.


Yep Kimi is honest about his mistakes and without any fuss just works in getting the performance back.

Surely a slap on the face for other drivers who just whine and whine and who don't deliver on the track and for the people who questioned his motivation.


If Kimi is stuck behind Massa/Webber he could pit early and run hard and fast in clean air.

Perhaps as early as lap 4!

Quite a bit of this strategy depends on whether the field from 11 to 22 start on mediums or sorts.

Another fascinating F1 race.


Hey James:

When you wrote, in a previous article, in response to a contributor describing the four-wheels-over-the-white-line, phenomenon, during practice, that it would be discontinued for qualifying and race, I must admit, I thought it was 'case closed', and expected it to be so.

But this hasn't happened, and I believe that it would be worth an investigation by the best, you.

Please share with us the benefit of your capability.


There was a meeting and Charlie said that as he sees it you don't gain advantage by running wide. I disagree and so do many team sporting directors but there it is

You cannot cut a corner, like T7 here, for example you will be penalised for that. But running wide is kosher this weekend

Shame, as all tracks should be treated equally


I'm a huge Mark Webber fan so after he qualified in the 4th position, I was very excited about his chances of winning the race tomorrow until I heard that no F1 race driver has ever won a grand prix after qualifying on the prime tyre. Is this true?


Its a good question. same might be said about no top ten qualifier even making it through on primes!....definitely no where near 4th.

In the past, most qualifying on Primes have been either out of position or way out of contention for a top ten. Mark did an incredible job in Quali! Fernando has a good chance too.

Then again, we've never seen tires go off so quick either. It will be very interesting to see what Vettel does to cover Webber, but he'll have his own battle with the Mercedes in the beggining for sure.


Massa is fifth. That position comibned w/ his ability to pull off rocket starts, and his angst to do well could combine for a calamitous first corner.


Watch out for Romain causing mayhem at the start.. maybe a safety car right at the start.. Webber should be in for the win if he can get a half decent start although you can never rule out a Vettel romp from pole.. hope Kimi gets back on the podium, his car seems to be set up more for the race


Vettel on pole???? Why am I not surprised! 🙂

I know Charlie Whiting is allowing it and I know everybody is doing it, however I still wish that drivers kept to the limits of the track. I'm afraid I disagree that drivers are not getting a benefit from doing it, if they weren't, they simply wouldn't do it. It would be nice if there was a way to safely make the outside of the track something that drivers wouldn't want to go on as it would slow them down or lose position.


Only sorry that El Classico was today as another snoozefest is in store for tomorrow... I am happy for Vettel ... great driver... but this sport is almost unwatchable. I now get, as a Schumacher fan, how other felt during that era.


James do you think Vettel would still have been on pole if he had used the mediums, or would he still be behind the Mercs?


He would be behind the Mercs

Tornillo Amarillo

...and HULK? What about him, P7, doing a top, consistent job again!

Sad Red Bull-Ferrari overlooked him, but he still fights.


James, why nothing about Hulkenberg????


[mod] Really a season to forget for Alonso. Ferrari gave him the best car to start the season, was clearly the best car still by the time the European season came around, yet never managed to lead the championship. Hulkenberg ahead of Alonso again in the Sauber with its customer Ferrari engine!


I look forward to a great display from Sauber and Hulk. The circuit seems to suit the car and Hulk needs to add more pages to his resume. As for people wishing Seb DNF, I think we should wish Mercedes, Lotus and Ferrari to come up with something mighty or at least witty to spice things up. Mindblowing to see those bulls taking those "eses" almost flat out!


As for people wishing Seb DNF, I think we should wish Mercedes, Lotus and Ferrari to come up with something mighty or at least witty to spice things up.

True that 🙂

And I am a Kimi fan.


Their = belonging to them

There = there


What is the difference in lap times between used options and used primes? Do the options drop off by a big margin after a flying lap or are they good until they fall off the cliff?

Webber may be able to stay close in those first few laps and when Vettel pits he'll be in traffic among prime tyre runners on their first stint, possibly in a train of cars all getting DRS from one another. Will Vettel be able to move through this pack?

If Vettel can get the overtakes done then it may come down to where Webber comes out after his first stop, assuming he has the lead. If he's in front of Vettel then it's game over but even if he's behind he will have an opportunity to get Vettel while he's on the softs in the final stint.

Alonso is looking good for a podium also or even the win but I think it will come down to whether Vettel can get the overtakes done in his second stint. Hopefully it's an exciting race!


Not sure I really want to see [mod] win a 4th. Ho hum. Really hope Hamilton and Alonso get competitive cars next year.


Its a shame.. Pirelli went conservative 2 times in 2011 and 2012 and we ended up with a boring Indian Grand Prix. But this one looks set to be a cracker.

I really don't care about Sebastian wining the GP and making history to become the youngest ever 4 time WDC winner. That's expected out of him.

It makes you wonder how different would have been the attitude of the fans towards the race if Pirrelli were thinking straight earlier....


James! stop playing with models. you need a new hobby mate! lol. You could/should start a little sideline tipping comp for next season. We can then see if the boffins really do have the edge on predicting outcomes.

Just a thought. I like to test my predictions on this forum, as I'm sure most would. Of course you'd have to put up some prizes 😉


The soft tyre blistering is the worst we've seen with Pirelli, but you're right that if they had brought medium and hard it would have been a very dull one stopper

Sim models say Webber wins this race by around 3/4 seconds from Vettel - we'll see!

Tornillo Amarillo

VETTEL is not exciting like Prost... Today, KIMI is.


Well done Sebastian. Fourth time world champion.

Nice job with the doughnuts and celebration with the crowd, throwing gloves in crowd.

Sky commentator: "Kimi was told to get out of the bleeping way."

Did Kimi actually have time to put in a fastest lap between when he pitted and when Seb crossed the line?

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