F1 Winter Break
Record Breaking Vettel becomes first driver to eight straight wins in a season
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By:   |  17 Nov 2013   |  10:35 pm GMT  |  404 comments

Sebastian Vettel took care of some unfinished business in Austin today as he claimed a straightforward victory in the American Grand Prix, ahead of Romain Grosjean and Mark Webber.

It is the 38th win of his career, taking him to twelve in 2013 and adding another record to his ever-growing CV. He is the first man to win eight consecutive Formula One races in a single season.

For Grosjean this was the sixth podium of the season and a hard fought one, built on a strong start and then soaking up the pressure from Mark Webber in the final stages. He held on to claim a season’s best second place.

Vettel’s consistency and speed has offered a fresh challenge to the media, scratching around for superlatives to describe his consistently high level performances. And once again today he was unchallenged on his way to victory, defending his lead in to turn one on the opening lap, and from there rushing to make Hungary the sole track on which he is yet to win a Grand Prix.

It was a one-stop race for much of the field, with the only pit-stops taking place between lap twenty-two and twenty-nine, which made for plenty of action on the track.

Webber lost out to Grosjean and Lewis Hamilton at the first corner, but an excellent move around the outside of Hamilton allowed the Australian to reign in the Lotus and make for an exciting climax to the race.

Webber consistently found himself in the DRS-zone of Grosjean only to run out of straight road and maintain his position. The result gives Grosjean his fourth podium in five races, establishing himself as a top driver in current F1.

The second place for the Frenchman also keeps Lotus in the hunt for third in the Constructors’ Championship. They remain in fourth place on 315 points, eighteen behind Ferrari with Mercedes a further fifteen points up the road.

Mercedes had a positive day in light of their unsatisfactory qualifying. Hamilton had a quiet race in fourth place, offering some entertainment in his radio conversations with his engineer.

After telling his engineer to ‘let him drive’, he subsequently demanded some information on lap times and tyre temperatures just a few laps later. Mercedes Team Principal Ross Brawn told Sky Sports, “Yes that’s Lewis, we’re getting used to how to deal with him.”

In the closing laps, Hamilton came under pressure from a closing Alonso, but was able to stabilise the advantage and put his team in the hot-seat for runners-up in the Constructors’ Championship.

Alonso had a strong drive at the Circuit of Americas after dropping places on the first lap for only the third time in 2013. He passed Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, who both delivered impressive performances, on his way to fifth place.

From fourth on the grid, Hulkenberg lost out to only Hamilton and Alonso in another eye-catching performance for the German. He is deserving of a top drive in 2014, but looks likely to find himself at Force India once again next year, possibly partnered by seventh placed Perez.

Valtteri Bottas will remember the 2013 US GP as his first ever points in Formula One with a great performance to take eighth.

The top ten was completed by Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button. Rosberg often finds himself in a defensive mood in his Mercedes, but today he was able to attack from his 12th place start and put some good moves on the cars ahead.

AMERICAN GRAND PRIX, Austin, Race, 56 Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1h39;17.148
2. Romain Grosjean Lotus + 6.2
3. Mark Webber Red Bull + 8.3
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 27.3
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari + 29.5
6. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber + 30.4
7. Sergio Perez McLaren + 46.6
8. Valtteri Bottas Williams + 54.5
9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes + 59.1
10. Jenson Button McLaren + 1:17.2
11. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 1:21.0
12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso + 1:24.5
13. Felipe Massa Ferrari + 1:26.9
14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber + 1:31.7
15. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus + 1:35.0
16. Paul Di Resta Force India + 1:36.8
17. Pastor Maldonado Williams + 1 lap
18. Jules Bianchi Marussia + 1 lap
19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham + 1 lap
20. Charles Pic Caterham + 1 lap
21. Max Chilton Marussia + 1 lap

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What a borring race.


Has it finished yet?

The most exciting bit of the whole thing was watching one of the parade lap cars failing to get up the hill and rolling back towards the others.


Did we have donuts this time???

At least, the donuts are interesting...


Terrible race.

Hopefully Vettel's record will stand for all time, and we'll never be subjected to such a one sided season again.

I'm not sure this can be called "sport" at the moment.

even the die-hard Vettel fans must be finding this boring.

It's only racing if its competitive


No it's not boring. It also wasn't boring when Stenmark dominated Slalom and Giant-Slalom for several years. There was a year when he won all Slaloms an Giant-Slaloms! And, what should have done Stenmark? Or should have been changed the reglements because of his domination - for example he must drive with package of 20kg? There are enough other examples (Nykänen (ski-jumping) Bolt (100m) and so on) in the world of sports and it happens ever and ever again that a team or person dominates. For me skisport wasn't boring only because one person dominated.

So you have two possibilities:

You do not watch F1 as long as the domination of RBR lasts.

Or you watch and moan.


it was really boring. i do not know if this is because of the Austin track layout.There were few actions but nothing special, few overtakes. I think F1 should try a bit harder in USA to win over US audience. Or maybe it will always be viewed as boring in the USA.anyways lets see next year.


Why did Webber fall off Grojean so many times in the last 20 laps. I understand he chewed up his rubber at the end laps but at times he was losing a sec a lap and fell back. Then came back to within DRS only to fall back again. Any how we slk know whst Mark thinks of the rubber situation. ......like most. F1 has become BORING beyond belief.

Well done Seb.


I can only imagine Webber and Red Bull were concerned that Mark chews his tyres up and the Lotus generally outlasts them, especially on warmer tracks - so the plan was to keep cooling the car and tyres and set up for a late overtake when Grosjeans tyre advantage would be less of an issue - sadly for Mark by the time he was unleashed he couldn't get it done and was sliding out on the hill with ruined rears ( also Grosjean showed a lot of maturity and defended cleverly only when he needed to).

It was interesting to hear Adrian Newey say that if this was the Bridgestone era it would probably be Mark on the top step...he just doesn't like these Pirelli tyres and has no feel for them, especially compared to his teammate who seems to just mesh with this rubber like a fetish...


Red Bull has told Mark to stay 2sec behind the car in front a few times over the last handful of races. Just the thing to make sure he isn't in contention!


Indeed, that was the most boring race of the season! Red Bull is not miles, but lightyears ahead of everyone else and it's killing the sport! It's getting a bit ridiculous now that Vettel has won Eight and will win nine races in a row and the most worrying part is, that he didn't had to push in all of them so There's even more speed in him and the car! I sincerely hope that next year McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus het theorie act together and can at least put up a fight! I'm a Ferrari fan, but at first I'm a F1 fan and F1 needs the other teams to take not one, not two, but ten steps ahead and up their game massively! Another Vettel show next year and I think I'll start watching something else.


Most are Ferrari fans and this is why you nearly can't read such comments about Ferrari when they dominated the F1 with MS.

Or think about the absolut domination of McLaren with Prost/Senna (also dominated with Lauda/Prost).

Had people such a problem as with RBR? Surely not! Why can't so many peoply accept that not only traditional teams can dominate F1?

Had so many people a problem with the money when Ferrari had very often largest budget?

And for your information: Matschitz does not need to spend any money to RBR because of the success RB has already anough sponsors!

The best win and you should not blame RBR that they are to good - blame the other teams how "bad" they are.



like Ferrari! When did they have two top-drivers? It's long, long ago. It was only 1990 with Prost/Mansell. So Ferrari is not a shining example! Ferrari showed with Schumacher in an extreme way what they think about two top-drivers in a team ("let Michael pass for championship").

And before Prost/Mansell? I don't know - but if it happened it must have been before 1970!

When Prost came to McLaren he had a nr. 2 contract. But as the history has shown us Lauda/McLaren never insisted on his nr. 1 status. A big difference to Schumacher/Ferrari.



McLaren had Prost and Senna. That WAS interesting to see.

RBR, on the other hand, refuses to have two top drivers (I wonder why).


Ban Adrian Newey.... Isn't it time he designed some boats? I'm sorry I said that! But It would probably make the competition better!!

Having said that; Vettel is amazing this year, best ever. I don't think his car was as dominant as in 2011. So congratulations to him!

..... but I do miss the maximum attack type of racing....

Tornillo Amarillo

Cannot believe I watched it the same 8 times...


Ditto! I hate to agree with that but I do. This race was a non-happening, Kimi did the right thing.

If 2014 continues to deliver this poor kind of entertainment, then I, and many other I am sure, will say: goodbye Bernie.


Welcome to the Vettel era of driving to deltas... and DRS overfakes...

Imagine a race with lower aero, higher mechanical grip, no-DRS, excess BHP...

We would not be all bored stiff...


And another thing...

How can we accept a F1 where all we hear about the whole bloody race, from the drivers on the radio, the pits, the commentators... is about the bloody tyres???

Honestly, please rename this comedy show Formula Tyre!


James I have been to a number of races down through the years but in the last 2 years its doesn't interest me. I have even stopped watching the races, my only source of F1 is this website its now tuesday and F1 hasn't attracted me to get the info until today. You were are an exceptional commentator and this website is the best.

I have to agree with the many comments here that F1 is going in the wrong direction. Ian above made a good point, bring back REFUELLING, add decent tyres and then let the drivers drive on the limit.

Years ago I would sit and calculate race strategy from the first or second lap based on speed, I was almost as good as Brawn shouting pit now, short fuel load and go racing. then with broadband I had much more information in the live laptimes. I can no longer predict any strategy and just watching is boring.

I loved the wheel to wheel racing and the cunning overtaking manouvers, the strategy overtaking during pit stops, I would be on the edge of my seat adrenaline pumping. Its all gone. Does anyone else remember those days?

For Vettels sake he needs to move and prove his ability with a struggling team as other drivers did.

I looking forward to the return of Turbos hopefully it will rekindle "The Professor" in me!


second the motion.... how can it be that (true) F1 fans have been preaching the "low to zero aero, more mech grip, free-er engine specs" gospel that would bring us back to exciting racing, and yet the powers that be take no notice???

James do you have a view on this?


It's because Newey wouldnt be as nearly as effective as he is now and Red Bull run F1.


'Low to zero aero'? You are describing 1950s and 1960s F1. If you want to watch Formula Ford, then do so, don't change F1 into that. Alternatively, you can try stock car racing or touring cars, anything faster will be dependent on aerodynamic grip.


Welcome to the era of F1 getting exactly what it asked for. The entire world MUST have had enough of this by now surely? I've watched for 20 years and am at the point of calling time on the whole thing.

The race leader was told 'it's more important to go further than it is to go faster' by his race engineer. This for me sums up what F1 has done to itself - that's not a recipe for F1 as it should be or F1 as I want to see it. It actively costs money for me to watch F1 every month and it’s not a price worth paying anymore.

We have perhaps the best all round field of drivers in the history of the sport all on track together right here and now and someone somewhere should be arrested for utterly wasting what should be the most amazing spectacle ever in motorsport. The perfection of VET, the aggression of HAM, the intelligence of ALO, the relentlessness of RAI, the delicacy of BUT and a fleet of ever improving midfielders led away by the likes of DIR and HUL (who may not even get a drive next year!). How has F1 managed to do this to my sport with a field of drivers like that? They have different styles, strengths and weaknesses but they are all superb and thrilling to watch given the right circumstances. The right circumstances should be: letting them drive a car as fast as they can while keeping it on the track!

F1, you should be utterly ashamed of yourself – I know I’m ashamed of you. You’re wasting time! These drivers will not be around for ever! You are robbing us of a chance to see these guys do what they were trained to do - you're using racing horses to plough fields!


"you’re using racing horses to plough fields!"

Well said Wayne. Worse that we now have to subscribe and pay to watch this procession. Have watched every F1 race since I was a kid, but I am minded to cancel unless it improves.


My sentiments exactly. I also pay a lot to watch the sport.


I have almost stopped watching F1. For the first time last race, I couldn't be bothered to watch FP1 and FP2. The only reason I watched FP3 is that I mistakenly heard the recording of an F1 engine, and that awoke something primordial - perhaps, I might not even have watched the race.

F1 has become horrible, a plastic thing with plastic drivers, plastic driving, plastic champs, plastic tyres etc.

Its all a huge gimmick these days. Perhaps, I'm better off watch X-Factor or Celebrity Big Brother; they just might be more entertaining and they were genuinely designed from scratch to be gimmicks.


It's a great shame you can't get to a race and see it close up. If you stood out on one of the Turns at Austin for half an hour, you'd change your view

I think it's how it comes across on TV. In the flesh there are some special things going on!


You summed it up perfectly!

F1's current predicament is very reminiscent of the situation in boxing a couple of years ago where arguably two of the best pound for pound fighters of all time (Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquaio) were at the peak of their powers - yet instead of them meeting in the ring and making boxing history, the fight(s) that the fans were crying out for never materialised. Thanks to petty squabbles over money, drug testing and egotistical management putting their own interests over those of the paying public, we were robbed of a potential all time classic match up.

It seems to me that we're seeing the exact same thing happen to Formula 1 - the near-sighted governing bodies seem too preoccupied with their own selfish agendas to see the bigger picture. As you mentioned we have one of the greatest driver line-ups in the history of the sport, and yet we're watching processional, predictable 'racing' that is making even the most dedicated fans reconsider their loyalty to the sport. We're seeing potential superstar drivers like Hulkenberg struggling to find even a mid table team to utilise his obvious talents. We have races dominated by tyre preservation rather than thrilling racing; a lack of TRUE overtaking manoeuvres; an array of new tracks with no personality or charm, and what a sad state of affairs it really is when a drivers' financial clout is more appealing to a top team than his ability behind the wheel.

As much as I'm disillusioned, I am a true F1 afficionado and my complaints only stem from my sadness at what we COULD be currently witnessing. I have a few simple suggestions (that I'm sure the people running the sport have no intention whatsoever of implementing)that I think might help:

1. Bring back refuelling!! (2007 / 2008 were classics due in no small part to having cars on track with totally different strategies and fuel loads, and therefore closing speeds)

2. Give Hermann Tilke his marching orders! The sooner we have more tracks like Suzuka, Spa and Silverstone, and less like Bahrain, Korea and Valencia the better...

3. Put me in charge! I'll sort it out. Realistically though, would be nice to have less politicians and more racing minded management.

Ok, rant over 🙂


First time this season I stopped watching the Race and just browsed the net with it on in the background.

F1 has destroyed itself and if it wasn't for the greed of everyone not willing to sacrifice abit of their share then it could easily be solved.

The Aero rules need to be bought right down, way down. Excessive downforce has stopped cars from being able to overtake.

Budget. The budget for these machines needs to be slashed greatly. When we are hearing a team as fast as Lotus is struggling to remain in the sport then there is a MASSIVE problem. This maybe the pinnacle of Motorsport but that doesn't mean it needs to be done with lots of cash. The men and Women who design,build and race these cars are the best in the world so put constraints on them financially, it should allow their talent to shine brighter.

But the big teams like Mclaren,Ferrari and Red Bull are unwilling to make such measures as they don't want to risk losing their place amongst the sports elite, which right now they are practically guaranteed because they have more money to throw at it. Only time their not at the top is when they mess it up like McLaren have this year.

The sport is run just like most governments where the only thing that keeps the wheels turning is money and the only factor at play is self interest.

Vettel is a great driver but he won't be remembered with the greats of history not because he can't compare but because he will be forever deemed as fortunate. A case of right car and right time. He's a talent who will be overshadowed by his car and until he does it in a car not designed by Newey and even outside of Redbull then that will be his fate. Its a huge waste for a driver who provided easily the most impressive drive I've seen at Monza 2008. He's very very good but he needs to challenge himself. At the very least he needed a Kimi,Lewis or Fernando as his teammate and not a Ricciardo. Whom will hold no challenge to him at all.


@James Allen, I wonder how your site visits compare from 2012 to 2013 - if possible, race by race, as the seasons progressed? Perhaps you can shed some light on whether we really are losing interest in F1, or if we are just moaning because our favourite drivers aren't winning.


Growing by around 20% every month, so much bigger now than in 2012, is the simple answer


Have to agree - after 20+ years I've lost the desire to watch races. This current formula has killed it for me.

I sincerely hope the 2014 regulations make for a more genuine championship.


Well said Wayne, well said indeed.


+1 my thoughts exactly, after 20 years and missing only one race......


Honestly ? When they change the 2013 tires to 2012 tires basically they gave the championship to vettel...

Hopefully in Interlagos the race will be more interesting... Lets pray for some rain..



If they were leading, why were they moaning so hard about the tyres??? And why they stopped moaning when Pirelli gave them the tyres they needed??? (changing the rubber and not only the inner belt).


People have such short memories. At the beginning of the season, tyres were tricky, and drivers and fans seemed united in lambasting Pirelli, asking for tyres that would allow for real racing. Now that Pirelli finally buckled and gave us tyres that are a lot more manageable, you're again complaining that, thanks to Pirelli, races have become to predictable with Vettel winning.

You really seem to have a short memory. And you are putting the blame with the wrong company - whichever tyres they make, it's the same for everyone. Ask Ferrari or McLaren why their cars cannot do what Red Bull and Lotus apparently can.


We need DRS though. The first laps after the safety car saw nothing happening. Imagine if that was for the entire race. The only action yesterday was thanks to DRS.


Is that what it was? How funny, I though Vettel was leading the championship since the second race in Malaysia and, but for a gearbox failure in Silverstone while leading, Barcelona marked the last race he came behind vice-champion Alonso. But you are probably right of course.


F1 is heavily committed to DRS. I don't think they will turn away from it now. How can they?


They won't, but they should. DRS is awful, I hate it. The whole point of an overtake is that it is hard-won; DRS negates that. There is no accomplishment in a DRS-aided overtake anymore.

Yes, the race was boring, at least compared to last year's edition. Last year, there was perhaps TOO MUCH action happening, all over the place. This year, not nearly enough. Some great passes by Bottas, Webber, Button and Alonso, three of them in the S1 esses.

Brazil can't offer up a dud, can it?


Easily. Just remove the mechanism from the read wing and remove one button from the steering wheel 😀

Then make the aero changes that were supposed to come into effect 2014 before they were abandoned. And let Pirelli do whatever they like with the tires.


Phenomenal race.

1. Surprised Vettel won from P1

2. Also surprised Webber lost positions at the start

Trying to remember what was then....too much happening. Aaaaa....I had to go and get a coffee, now remember:-)

Hulkenberg is the real deal.

Exceptional end of the season...so much is going on. This is what you expect from F1...a fight for the win...as you never know who is going to win. Incredible.


😎 +1.000.000


You mean you never know who is going to finish 8th?


That too. F1 is a very unpredictable sport. You have the fight for the title until the very last lap of the last race, especially this year and still do not know who will take the title. Amazing! The most exciting thing though is that drivers like Alonso, Kimi and Hamilton have equally good car to show their true talent and compete on the highest level. I also love the fact that regulations in the middle of the season such as tyre changes are never changed to help one team.... There are so many things to like about F1. Another thing to like about F1 is the fact that during the race I have 1.5 hours to clean my room, plan the next day, do something around the house and while doing this never miss any action.


Darren W

is Bolt running with a jetpack on his back, or is he a superhuman, my point is that whoever comes into that race with him has a chance of winning, and he's winning because of his talent and sheer hardwork and his mental edge over his rivals. Can you say that about vettel? I agree he's in the zone for qualifying, but honestly the other quali specialist lewis, can he really match him car for car, no. whom did vettel beat on saturday, webber. This is why I said he's fighting out his teammate.

and what about federer's domination, or the recent nadal one, do they all have the same equipment 'yes' it is their talent that is making the difference here, this is why you have the likes of nadal and djokovic fighting it out at every big tournament and bringing out an epic match up everytime they meet.

We had that last year when Alonso really went up against Vettel and we saw some cracks or breaks of concentration in vettel too, take brazil for example. I dont proclaim that vettel isn't a great driver, all I am saying is that his results are skewed because of his car, and its not fair when the likes of James allen or some other reporter compare him to a Messi, or a Federer in their sports I can see an individuals brilliance out in other sports but not always in F1, Aus 2013 is an example where Kimi did 2 stops as opposed to everyone else's 3 including his teammate showed his brilliance.

and please dont judge people if they dont have the same opinion as yours, we all watch f1

I watch it for the personalities in the sport of the drivers and not the engineers, I know enough about f1 to know it is a complex sport but to be honest when we look back into history we only talk about eras of different driver rivalries not engineer rivalries.

if it were to be left to engineers you can actually fit in a robot in the car and win 7 championship, I'm pretty sure no one is going to watch that. and I admit vettel hasnt had it easy in 50% of his championship wins and nor I m asking for a last lap final race finish either. this season F1 has got the balance wrong, which is a fact, Hembrey said in the summer if you guys us want to hand over the championship to Rebbull we'll do that and that's what he did. and this is what's the problem we see now 8/8 wins only because everyone else is fighting for p3. this is no competition.


It seems like vettel is racing only 1 driver who is his teammate. This season was great untill Pirelli came along with the new tyres and handed the championship to red bull.

Every driver from the past 5 races or so is saying that they are trying to be the best of the rest. The top two positions are already assumed for long conclusion. This is even worse then the Schumacher era. And I hate it when sky commentators keep praising incredible vettel etc. I mean seriously I admit he's a good driver but really no other driver Alonso Lewis Kimi etc can't match him because of red bulls pace. All of these guys are mostly fighting to come third. Vettel can break all the records he wants but what's the point when no one else can even fight him. Results are skewed in f1, if we look at other sports federers domination or usain bolts they all had an even playing field, same equipment etc. it is just sad for f1 that vettel had it so easy in half of his championship wins.


Everyone demanded change in the tyres though, and they were in truth a bit ridiculous. I recall one comment at the time saying, even if it allows Red Bull to be a rocket ship on harder tyres, at least it will be less artificial. So that's what we got (and hence the increasing number of 1 stop races and status quo processions). There were quite a few nice overtakes going on but yeah, the race lacked any real spark.

But it always seems a lose-lose situation with F1. When the tyres degraded rapidly and the races were more strategic and chaotic, you got more entertainment (albeit perhaps falsely one could say). But it wasn't liked because it isn't pure racing - especially people saying the likes of Mercedes and Lewis being compromised.

So then you go to the situation where tyres are more durable and stable, which I guess is what one would normally expect from motor racing. Drivers have fewer conservation issues (Hamilton said he enjoyed his race since he could push with little issues for once), but it tends towards a more tiresome race.

I think the real problem is that the tyres are used to try and bandage other problems with the sport. The real issue this season has been the competition not being able to match Red Bull. We had a one stop race last year but that was seen as good because of the battle for the win. I was the same problem when Ferrari dominated.


The First half of 2012 was a good reflection of just how good vettel is. That's about the only time in the past 4 seasons that the front runners have had a very similar pace, with somewhat (a bit) durable rubber at their disposal. In that time, Vettel could manage only one win. Webber copped 2, Alonso had 3 (in arguably the worst car of the top runners). McLaren as usual kept self imploding, with shitty pit stops and an unreliable car. Vettel is not that good. He is in a rocket ship and knows how to drive it fast. He knows it himself that this will not last forever, as fortune changes all too quickly in F1, and soon he'll be just like Jenson. I predict 2014 will be a close year between the Ferraris and the Mercs, with all these exhaust blowing nonsense out for good, I am keen to see how Renault and red bull will succeed next year.


I think the comparison between Vettel and Bolt is an interesting one: With Bolt, people come fully expecting to see him win, knowing that on a good night, he is pretty much unbeatable. When he delivers, they admire his perfection, but with every win, the stakes are raised that there may be an upset in the next big race.

With Vettel, when he's winning in similar style, we're not applauding - instead, we complain when he's rewriting the record books. Maybe as with Bolt, so with Vettel, when he wins, we should stop complaining, and realise instead that we are witnessing something really unique.


Really? Usain Bolt has the same equipment as every other athlete? His body is so unlike any other top sprinter it is almost exactly like an F1 season where one team has a dominant car.

Bolt just also happens to be a fantastic driver, delivering his best performances on the biggest stages, under the greatest pressure. I was in the stadium in Berlin when he set both the 100m and 200m world records and it was simply amazing.

His teammate Asafa Powell on the other hand, had a similarly superior "race package" for years prior to Bolt's emergence but found a variety of ways to never deliver a World Championship or Olympic winning individual performance.

For all the complaints about Vettel and how dominant he has been, his first and third titles were delivered in the most exciting ways possible at the last race of the season. If we need this type of finish every year to keep us sweet on the sport we really are fair weather fans.

Lest we forget, F1 is also a constructor championship. The whole point is to see which team can produce the best car. How would we know that Adrian Newey, Ross Brawn, Colin Chapman, Rory Byrne or any of the other great car designers were actually capable of unless they produced dominant cars that their competitors just couldn't live with. I don't know about anybody else but these personalities and the cars are just as important to the notion of what F1 is as the drivers.


As Vettel said himself, periods like this don't last forever. And when things are more equal Vettel will still win because he is the best.


I see what you did there 🙂


Err, were you watching a different Grand Prix to everyone else? Or maybe this is just sarcasm...? 🙂


Same race as you, I am sure. Have you not seen Vettel winning from pole? I am sure you would never suspect this to happen. Webber typically starts exceptionally well, so I was surprised he had this issue at the start this race. Great race from Ferrari, they are moving into the right direction with each race.

The Spanish Inquisitor

Kova has lost his first opportunity.


Exactly what I pictured what would happen in the race, Grosjean fighting at the front and Kovalainen fighting in midfield and out of the points, Grosjean showed today how bad Kovalainen actually is, and as Flavio Briatore said after Kovalainen's debut in Melbourne 2007: "utter rubbish"

I really hope this is down to rustiness but on this performance if that was all he could do then Grosjean of today would have walked the title in that Mclaren 2008.


I don't think you can Judge HK on this race or even the next one. In this age of zero testing and very limited track time on a Friday it is very difficult for a driver who is not familiar with the car to adapt themselves. Look at Luca Badoer and Giancarlo Fisichella in 2009 in the Ferrari. Perhaps Badoer was a little rusty but Fisichella was doing well in the Force India and then was no where in the Ferrari.

That said, HK was destroyed by Hamilton twice. None of Hamiltons other team mates have ever been beaten as badly as that.


2008 and 2009 when Hekki lost badly to Lewis where in the refuelling era.

The present tyre / fuel management rules do not suit Hamiltons flat out style. They favour the smoother less aggressive style of Button and Vettel.


Um, did you miss the fact that he had to change his front wing and lost KERS? His start wasn't great, but he hasn't raced in a year (neither has their designated third driver, btw) then lost places due to lack of down force (due to said front wing). Of their reported options, only Hulk was a certainty to be better, but he turned them down, and even he can't do anything with a malfunctioning car.


It's Kimi's car and even he's been struggling with it for a while now. Lotus has the same problem as Red Bull: one car seems more reliable than the other.

Also, Kovalainen is not exactly a driver with killer instinct, never was and never will be. He needs a lot of luck to do well. And it might help if he'd driven the car before...


He lost his KERS half way through the race and by that time he was nowhere, the front wing? Well its probably his excuse by saying the car had no grip.


Sure, but all in all at Lotus could have tested and give a chance to a young driver. I understand the whole Kovalainen is experienced blah blah blah, but experience it's not enough if you are not fast. On top of that luck wasn't on his side but what a blow.


Agreed, you can't judge KOV by just this race, I'm sure he had comprised set up leaning to qually pace not race pace as to qually higher gives a better chance with track position. I think as a sub he did well, better than many other subs in the past. Also he has never done a race distance on these tyre compunds and had to fully manage them race distance. It was never going to be a sure thing he would score points but it was a shame about the front wing change. He made a good effort and I think he will be have improved a little for next week as with his lack of track time in the E21 it can only become more familiar. He said himself he pressed a lot of wrong buttons, Lewis used to take his steering wheel home so he could practice learning all the buttons and settings, so only 3days to learn the full controls is pushing it in anybodys books.


Hulk finally received his retainer from Ferrari, and graciously ceded P5 to Alonso..a true gentleman racer


FWIW, if you reduce HK's -1:35.0 by the (reported) 20 second delta for his second pit stop that results in -1:15.0 and slots him into 10th place bumpig JB down to 11th. Understood that there may be other variables - simply an observation.


DOTR Was Grosjean, for me. Who would have

thought a year ago that anyone would be

saying that?

Also, Mansoor Ijaz was just on Sky. He

seems rather adamant that the Quantum

investment will be in place in days.


Yeah, what's this thing with Grosjean?! Aren't you supposed to get slower once you become a father??


Grosjean, Hulkenberg and Bottas were all very very good today.

Mind you, Vettel should automatically qualify for DOTD.What a performance again.


I for one believe him without reservation, but how many days are we talking here? 3482?


Grosjean for me too but well done to the Lotus team for doing what Ferrari and Merc cannot.

Bottas was excellent as well, but why has it taken Williams so long to alter their exhaust system! I bet it's another 'but the computer said the aero stats were perfect' case.


Ferrari is having a hard time to beat SAUBER.


We need someone to "tweak LdM ears".


Bet you a latte it won't be in place. Just buying time.


I tend to agree with you, it seems obvious to most observers that the deal will not happen. Yet the team continues to pursue the 'money' as if it were real. Something else is going on here, I just can't work out what!


You think just because they are rich they are special or smart? Many lucked into the cash and require constant ego validation. Like Ali G said...they need to big up yourself all the time.


Except Lotus haven't got a second buyer/investor interested. At least they didn't have until very recently, with Maldando and his sack of loot. Besides that's such a basic tactic, surely these super rich high flyers aren't suckered by something as simple as that, are they?


Hey Tim, I got this bike I have for sale and your friend from work sitting on the fence about buying it.

Can you make a lot of noise about how with your next bonus you're buying it, so I can tell the other guy that if he wants to buy it, he better act fast or the awesome opportunity to buy will be gone forever? Thanks.

Is that what's going on perhaps? 🙂


Ijaz has been saying that for weeks/months.


Can not see the Yanks putting up with this tripe.... RIP F1


Actually, "Yanks" don't put up much with open wheel racing at all. Maybe the way things are in US is the sign of the future?


Indeed, especially the coverage provided by NBC was absolutely abysmal!

I'd run away from F1 if that was the coverage I'd have to watch on a regular basis. It was by far THE worst. It had more commercials than race footage and the commentators were jabbering about all sorts of rubbish totally unrelated to the action on the track.

AS for the race, a couple of good scraps that the producers seemed to ignore but were obvious from the online time screens.


I know this is going to leave a bad taste in my mouth, but have you thought about subscribing to Sky?

Ew yep, there it is...excuse me while I go and gargle for a bit 🙁


Brundle and Crofty were pretty hilarious in the US GP commentry.


Good to hear Tim 🙂

To be honest in effect I also watch Sky with Martin, Crofty & Ted and they do an excellent job...but I get to watch it through Channel Ten in Aus which is FTA.

So thinking about it I don't actually have anything against Sky per se, I just hate the idea of anyone being forced to pay for something which I'm used to getting for free.

In Aus are very very lucky to still have decent FTA and still have every F1 race (although not all in HD) and hopefully they keep it that way 🙂


I have been a Sky subscriber for more than 21 years. I originally got Sky to watch F1, as the BBC did not show all the races and Eurosport covered them.

I have no complaints 🙂


Watch the Spanish channel. It was non-stop live.


Agree - pitiful, woeful, abysmal, incompetent, cretinous coverage by NBC. If this was just a "couple'a guys down at the pub" - well that's OK.

But they rabbit on clueless to what is happening in front of them - example they missed a pass (I think Kova was involved) and they were babbling on about the previous order as if the pass hadn't happened... they ain't even watching!! The most abysmal bit was after a commercial they come back with a sort of feature on VET while at the same time ALO and separately (iirc) RIC are involved in actual passes! Do we see that live? NO! We get Lin Diffy babbling on about VET compared to Prost with a stupid chart eliminating any view of the RACE!!??.

While I'm at it let's talk about NBC rubbish. I get NBC OTA and NBC Soorts Network. Any sign of the signature US event live Friday? Couldn't find it. Saturday - no FP3. Qually - got to have that, right? Nope. We get poisonous tree frogs and college football.

Horrible, horrible, horrible.


We were getting the NBC feed as ours here in Canada as well and it was horrible. I couldn't stand it during the pre-race anymore, changed the channel, and downloaded a Sky feed to watch.


Yawn - I cant remember a more dull boring season than this - I cant even remember the Schumacher years being this mundane and processional


Oh, they were. You've only forgotten.

Maybe it was the track too that made overtaking hard.


The Schumacher era was more boring. Michael won with bigger gaps and there was virtually no overtaking lower down the field. If you look past Vettel then this season has had some cracking races.

It's a shame so many F1 fans seem to determine that a good race is only about who wins.

I will grant that Austin was the most boring race of the year though.


The Schumacher years were great to watch - you could see the drivers pushing to the limit... what we have now, is utter garbage.

F1 is a graveyard for racers...RIP.


Completely agree, that era was more boring, but also that this was a boring race because anything happened in the midfield. I think that the fact we have more information today (pit radio, live timing and so on) makes everyone judge harder the races as they think that just today drivers don't push the entire race, but I'm pretty sure that that has always happened in F1.


Refueling made things more interesting and dangerous I think.


It made the races into a series of sprints. When it was dropped, they said it was a cost thing. In the context of F1, I wouldn't have thought the cost of refuelling rigs was very significant. No doubt someone will correct me 🙂


You know...now that I think about it it js probably banned because it made the races shorter. Also probably some insurance costs for teams, tracks, freight companies we are not aware of.


I think you meant to that refueling "didn't" make things more interesting...


I think they were, but you at least could enjoy drivers pushing to the limit more than 20% of the race.


Shumacher used to push all through the race, get a 1 min gap or something then just cruise through the last 3 or 4 laps. He wasn't told to slow down about 3 laps into the race!

Thread the Needle

Well done Vettel, but as much as I like the track, this race summed up F1 racing in 2013

Bring out the fuel rigs, decent tyres and let's go flat out


yes, please!


This "race" was a convincing argument for banning all of the aero tweaks and mandating flat bottoms and spec wings. Bring back mechanical grip, decent tires ad then let them race.


That is the correct choice... you can bet F1 will screw us all and go in the other direction, or come up with bandaids like DRS to fake it.


Well said Flyboy!


Maybe you should give Indycar a go. It's pretty much what you are describing, though they also have a spec chassis. What sets F1 apart, is that it is not partially or fully a spec series.


Agree, Webber said the same too.


Could not agree with you more!!! Woke up at 5am in Brisbane, Australia, to watch this and went back to sleep after about 15 laps. Yawn!


Couldn't agree more.

I tried to get this going on the computer at work. Had it going initially but it failed before the race started. Looked at JA on F1 a few hours later and felt that familiar sign of relief that I didn't miss anything.

Seriously bored shtless with this format. It's not just Vettel, as in if they had another on form driver it would be them instead. The concept of F1 drivers not going hell for leather just doesn't sit right with me. I watched Indycar the other day when Scott Dixon (from NZ by the way 😉 ) took that out, and it was a huge breath of fresh air, despite only ever turning left!

Tires that can't race, no re fueling, reduced fuel loads, fake pass DRS options. Yes it's been spiced up for TV, but it's taken the heart and soul out of it.

I really like and miss the discussions from a year back which said that with auto gears and antilock braking and traction control, you remove the possibility of mistakes, and even if you do have mistakes, they don't result in enough of a time penalty for the car behind to get a chance.

It's a fine line to sort this out for sure, but presently you might as well watch the start and the last 5 laps as that's the only time anyone will actually be racing in present day F1!


+1 to the above - watched the classic f1 from 2007 where Hamilton and alonso went flat out the whole race pushing each other on tyres that would take it and cars at the limit

Totally fed up of "drive to the delta", "conserve tyres", "we're not racing him let him go", "I've got no grip left after a few laps"


Some stats as of today... all percentages in relation to number of GPs.

Wins per GP

1. 36.5 % MSC without comeback

2. 31.4 % VET

3. 29.6 % MSC including comeback

4. 25.6 % Alain Prost

5. 25.5 % Ayrton Senna

? 17.2 % HAM

? 14.9 % ALO

Poles per GP

1. 40.4 % Ayrton Senna

2. 37.3 % VET

3. 27.3 % MSC without comeback

4. 24.2 % HAM

5. 22.1 % MSC oncluding comeback

? 10.2 % ALO

Titels/Championships per GP

1. 3.4 % VET

2. 2.8 % MSC without comeback

3. 2.3 % MSC including comeback

4. 2.0 % Alain Prost

5. 1.9 % Ayrton Senna

? 0.9 % ALO

? 0.8 % HAM

Not too bad for a 26-years-old VET. Future will show if he can keep up with his impressive stats.


.... for the sake of completeness in those tables (& not to detract from your point!)


Wins/GP: 27 from 99 starts 27%

Poles/GP: 17 from 99 17%

Titles/GP: 3 from 99 3%


That still leaves the list far from complete 🙂

The top 3 on % wins should be Fangio (46%), Ascari (39%) and Clark (34%).


Did someone fire goferet while I wasn't paying attention?


Haha I wondered if he'd decided to change his name! Would make more sense if this had been enforced by a sacking as well!


He probably watched the race and hasn't woken up yet.


Haha, I was wondering the same thing!


The cars nowadays are a lot more reliable. Except Webber's car!


Well, that's fixed next year. Although there can be many malfunctioning Porches 😀


Nah, they don't have KERS...do they? 😉


As ever, the stats only tell half the story - you have to be in a winning car and VET only spent a single season out of a championship winning car (arguably the 2009 car was capable of taking the championship if not for the early lead Brawn had put in).

Cars also seem to be far more consistent nowadays, with retirements somewhat of a rarity. Senna, Prost, Schumacher, et al frequently had to deal with those which affects the stats as well.

Regardless, Vettel is rewriting history. Quite how long anyone will continue to care is another question entirely 🙂


Whilst that is true, when you start to look at percentage of titles won from the cars that provided an opportunity (thus including 2009 for Vettel) then Vettel still tops the list. He's won 4/5, Lewis has won 1/3 (arguably 4), Alonso 2/4.


I'd assume your 1/3 for Lewis was 2007, 2008, and 2010. 2012 the car was good, but reliability killed it. Lewis had 190 pts last year over 20 races; he has 187 at the moment over 18, in the why-would-he-leave-McLaren-to-go-there Merc!

Alonso's opportunities would be 2005-7, 2010, and 2012, so 2/5 I'd say.


"Senna, Prost, Schumacher, et al frequently had to deal with those which affects the stats as well."

During the turbo era? Where cars would quite often run out of fuel?


"Regardless, Vettel is rewriting history"

Surely you meant Adrian Newey?

Anyway unless you are a SV fan, this is not entertainment.


I have to admit I'm getting incredibly tired of these Pirelli tyres. If i see a driver close in another and then told to 'think about the tyres' one more time I think I might lose interest in the sport completely because this season it's just been horrendous.

Congrats to Seb and a big congrats to Hulk, Bottas and Alonso too. Alonso once again takes second in the WDC which is hugely impressive given the pace of the car.


This mentality is ruining wheel-to-wheel dicing as much as the DRS zone. Everyone so focussed on the end game that the first stints are totally lacking while everyone beds in their tyres. Guess what strategists: this is where Vettel gets his break! It'd be good to see some of teams send their #2's on the softer tyres and lighter fuel to at least take the fight to him and hold him back for later on!


Did you actually watch the race?

I'm not going to make out like it was the most exciting race ever (it wasn't) but there was definitely some great wheel to wheel racing, particularly from Bottas on Gutierrez.



OK, fair point, but take it any way you can get it 🙂


Easily the overtake of the day by Bottas.


Bottas on Gutierrez was a great move but it was lost amongst the whole 'look after the tyres' debacle. He deserves plaudits for that drive though, his pace was fantastic.

Also, COTA is overhyped and the whole circuit is literally designed around DRS. It's a better than Korea but still, the design does feel so forced at times, with a quick sector, a straight for DRS passes and then a technical sector.

I mean, I LIKE it, but I don't love it.


Yeah. I can't get enough of wheel to wheel action in the battle for 8th.


I did watch the race - I watch all of them! Unfortunately these wheel to wheel moments were all too fleeting - or DRS-assisted - and certainly not for the lead.


I hear you Anil.

F1 has been on a death spiral since tyre management became the be all and end all of the 'sport.' I watched the first 10 mins on the BBC and then switched off, the result was predictable.

I imagine the powers that be in the sport are pinning all their hopes on next years changes. Let's hope they've got it right and we're not to witness another season of tyre this, tyre that championship.


Apparently Pirelli have given the FIA something of an ultimatum and almost certainly will produce durable tyres in 2014.

If this is true it will be interesting to see what people are saying about the racing right around June / July...right before they change the tyres again anyway 😉


I couldn't say for certain if it was 100% true - I guess it depends on how much you trust Autosport - but here's the article I stumbled into:


If it is true then personally I don't blame them one iota for taking this position.


Is that true, or are you just saying that to try and cheer us all up 🙂


Webber did a runner after the podium interviews. Mario must be so disappointed to not get that photo.

Excellent race by Grosjean, he really gets to stamp his standing in the Lotus garage now, irregardless of who partners him next season.

Soaking up the many attempts by Webber to get past and making few mistakes on his way to 2nd place really shows the difference between this and last season.


Toilet calling for Webber? He certainly wasted no time in getting off the podium and seemed to be contorting his body a bit whist the others were being interviewed.


Either that or he knew he would be in trouble for mentioning the P-word (Porsche) and was attempting to leg it!


word is Vettel spiked Mark's pre-race meal with hot sauce direct from Tex/Mex.


Congratulations Vettel, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Perez and Bottas

I just hope Maldonado doesn't get an F1 seat in 2014, no matter how big his money bag is

What an arrogant and rubbish driver

I get sick every time he gets on camera


+1 on Maldonado. Funny how he criticises the team for the disparity in performance to his team-mate, when I suspect that the PDVSA money meant that this favoured him more than a few times against Barrichello and Senna...


I really hope that Maldonado will never be seen in any racing or sports series ever again.

Just like 3rd world dictators, blame their fails on some mysterious "conspiracies" and "sabotages". I'd bet that he was advised to say that.


+1 ref maldonado


James - Is there any good reason that Williams won't be replacing Maldonado for the last race?


Sponsor money!


A good day all round for virtually everyone in the top 10:

Vettel - Record breaker

Grosjean - Best equal result

Webber - Probably the most disappointed, but still on the podium in his penultimate race

Hamilton - Good team result, 2nd place seems to be assured now

Alonso - Made good progress after a difficult start, could have been a lot worse

Hulkenburg - Another strong drive

Perez - Strong drive in the face of a difficult week, outpaced Button all weekend

Bottas - Strongest complete weekend yet, culminating in a points finish

Rosberg - Fought back with some points after a poor qualifying, got to show off his overtaking

Button - Similar to Rosberg, got something out of a weekend when he could have walked away empty handed.


Hamilton – Good team result, 2nd place seems to be assured now

? Alonso has tied up 2nd place thanks to his result yesterday. A massive result for Fernando really, overall I'd say their car has been 4th fastest this season, behind Red Bull, Mercedes and Lotus.

This is why I rate the guy so highly. To beat the likes of Kimi, Hamilton, Rosberg and Webber in a lesser car? That's just plain incredible.


I meant second for Mercedes in the constructors. And I think Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus were all pretty well matched over the whole year.

Alexander Supertramp

The Ferrari was arguably faster on sunday than the Mercedes in the first part of the year. But yeah, Mercedes has been quicker for some time now.


Without doubt the Ferrari was faster than the Merc on race pace from AUS-ESP, CAN, then also from BEL-SIN. Japan was pretty even, while the Merc's been faster in the last 3 races.


James, what changed between qualifying and race that you now say that Hulkenberg will likely find himself in a Sauber next year? I do hope what you said about Force India getting close to a deal with him happens.



With Ferrari and Renault reportedly struggling (Ferrari asking for fuel limit increase, Renault for rev limit increase), Force India may be a better seat than Sauber, and even Lotus.


Renault wants a rev-limit increase? That's odd, as I recall them stating that they would run with a by-design limit of 12.5k instead of the 15k allowed.

Another all-Renault podium on Sunday ... that might be the most 1-2-3's in a season by an engine manufacturer. And people still try to claim the Renault engine is a dog ...


Yes, according to Kate Walker of ESPN:


I also think the engine thing is overblown, though the early Renault V8 was pretty bad until they got permission to improve 'reliability'. Their advantage is in fuel economy, so they start 5-10kg lighter, but are vulnerable late in the race when fuel is equal and the bhp disadvantage comes into play.


Hulk should stay at Sauber next year, then slide into the Ferrari seat once Alonso moves over to McLaren in 2015....might be better than signing on with Lotus.

Also, so happy for Bottas and Williams...especially after the ridiculous comments from his teammate. He thoroughly deserved them with his performance, totally looking forward to him and Massa next year.


I'm glad that this race I had to miss due to prior commitments. I could watch for the first half-hour and the final result was not every different from what the status was then. I'm sure a couple more years like this the declining trend of popularity of USA race amongst the fans will make it nonviable (only immigrants are making up the audience to a great extent). Compare this race to what American get in NASCAR. F1 will be a poor cousin of NASCAR in USA if the status of the race in first 25% will be same as the final 100%.


Yeah, jimmy Johnson has won 6 of the last 7 Nascar championships, great difference!


It is not the winner that we are talking about. The lack of action for all places - even autosport has an article on this (so does Mr. Hughes). So yes, there is a big difference.


difference in NASCAR the poits scoring are different, you receive points for pole, finishes, as well as laps led, so someone not so dominant as Vettel can win the championship based on consistent finishes (although Vettel would have won regardless this season). F1 should consider a format such as this to make it less boring, instead of a ridiculous thought couple of years back with Olympic Medal.[mod]


It's always interesting reading comments from people about how boring the race was when they didn't even watch it.


Agreed. I readily acknowledge that I cannot comment on the two thirds of the race that I was asleep for.


But it was boring!

I used to defend Pirelli a bit, but this tyre nursing rubbish is completely destroying everything. I was looking forward to this race and was completely disappointed...

Pls come back Bridgestone or Michelin


Pirelli have gone too far, and this was with last years harder tyres !

What I absolutely do not want to see though is the return of Bridgestone tyres that run all race long. How many classic races did we have in that era? None? We used to have races were you could count overtakes on a single hand.

The current formulae isn't perfect, but it's a damn sight nearer than it was during those bridgestone times.


I watched more than 25% of race and if the final result was same as what was at 25% of completion, then what did I miss? Oh the pit-stops? Well I'm not alone in saying this race is boring. Just read all the above.


Congratulations to Vettel & RBR, but come on the rest, it's just BORING!!


Look beyond Newey...

Alonso and Rosberg pulled off some cracking overtakes.

Maldonado and Sutil tried to re-enact the famous Barcelona Senna v Mansell side by side race. They just needed some titanium skid plates to get the sparks rather than direct contact.


Everyone blames RBR and Vettel for being boring, but I agree. It the rest of them that need to pick it up.


Ummm... Ascari won 9 in a row. And that's the official record.


Don't worry 9 in a row is coming next weekend, and all in 1 season...


I think Webber is sort of counting on the team gifting him that one .... a kind of farewell gesture .....

Alexander Supertramp

Never going to happen. Mark could win, but he'll have to do it himself.


Unless he gifts Webber a win in his final race...

Nah, you're right, 9 in a row.


doesn't matter, Ascari won those races in sequence (although many of the European drives in that period) skipped Indy because the formula was different in the 50's and was not equitable. Anyways, Indy is not i the F1 series, so regardless, Ascari won in two seasons a streak, which in the second year 1953 was in the same old model from 1952, unlike today. There were no evolution of past season model. This was common throughout the 50s, 60s and even the 70s. Mario Andretti won 1978 WDC starting that season with the Lotus 78 (previous year model, 1977). It wasn't until the 6th race of the season when the pioneering Lotus 79 (new for 1978) was introduced. Think Vettel or Webber can race last years RB8 in the beginning of the season without serious modifications. Why do you thinks mario held a HUGE grin while he interviewed Vettel, he knows it was not a big accomplishment in these days.


F1 drivers, past and present, must be the biggest liars to have ever lived. All of them praise Seb, but their 'facial expressions' tell the truth, dammit! Or could it be that they genuinely rate him and 'fans' are projecting their own feelings onto them?


I have heard that there is some debate around the 9 consecutive wins, that because he didn't do Indy 500 (I believe) and that was part of F1 at the time


Also Ascari didn't score 9 in a row because of the Indy 500 which up to 1960 (inclusive) was a World Championship event.


Not in one season...important detail, spelled out in the text..


They only had 9 races in a season in Ascari's day?


Who cares is Vettel wins 8, 9 in a row. Those RB cars are on a league on their own and to make things easier to Seb, Mark made mistakes in Q3 and then during the start of the race. It was clear after lap 1 and after the SC pulled out that Grosjean didn't have the pace to challenge him. No brainer RB will also win Interlagos, tremendous achievement for the team, giant wake up call for the other big guns to step up their game in 2014.


And he skipped a race...

Which still makes it 7.


Ah, you are right. I stand corrected.


The problem isn't just Vettel winning every race, it's the 75% of the race where the drivers daren't push because of the tyres.


They should have brought the softer sets of tyres, forced the 2 or 3 stops. May have made it a tiny bit better.

I wonder what the race would have been like with the original 2013 spec tyres (assuming the delamination issue would have been resolved of course).


agreed. not the type of racing I want to carry on watching


This! Let's not forget Canada 2009 which is the race that the Pirelli tyres were trying to reproduce.

I suspect that the chaos of that race was due to the unexpectedly high wear. Sure, you can create tyres with high wear, but teams will learn to extract the most out of them - by driving slowly.

Net result? The racing is as dull as ever nowadays! The fact that Mark Webber, in a car nearly a second a lap faster than Grosjean, with the aid of KERS and DRS couldn't find a way past goes a long way to explain how much in F1 has changed, but how much is still as it ever was.


I think you'll find it's the majority of the so-called fans that are dull...


Canada 2010 🙂 I was at that race, and it was nothing like what Pirelli have created.


Can't help wondering how Pirelli puts up with it, the damage this must be doing to their image!

Apart from that, if I were Lotus I'd much rather sign Perez than Maldonado, he's got a strong financial backer as well and at least he can drive.


Yes, I thought of that too

I would rather see Hulkenberg in Lotus, but if money is the issue, Perez is a much better choice than Maldonado, as Perez is a good driver

Maldonado will ruin the team, or at least, will ruin my heart for the team


Some observations.

Vettel seemed to be in awe of Andretti on the podium.

Webber was okay off the start, but Romain has lightning reflexes. I think Mark might have had Vettel's measure this weekend if not for the mistake in quali, as he seemed to be dialed into the car and is much happier on the harder compounds.

Whilst he is not my favourite driver and I generally like the tyres mixing up the races, it is a big shame that we are missing out on seeing the true speed and wheel to wheel racing ability of Hamilton.


Amusing article and very funny to read. With such a passionate sport like F1 it's difficult to remain neutral even for a reporter.


" excellent move around the outside of Hamilton allowed the Australian to reign"

I think I missed this one. Looked to me more like a pretty dull DRS move on the straight.

" Grosjean his fourth podium in five races, establishing himself as a top driver in current F1."

Little early for that title, Because he behaved like an idiot before and is driving normal now does not make him special to me. Let him first win a WDC before he gets a Top driver label. (Barrichello and Coulthard also did podiums, no topdrivers)

Maybe you could have added:

Button who yet did a poor WDC unworthy race and was beaten by his rookie teammate.(Maybe McLaren sacked the wrong driver?)

Rosberg had a very weak performance all weekend and have lost the Qualification dual and has been beaten by his teammate on points for the 2013 season. (Who is new to the team)



Of course HAM is not currently the "late breaker" that he was known to be once, and he would be first to admit that. Hope he regains his form soon.

Webber -v- Grosjean: first on the breaks and last on the throttle, lap after lap, in the same car that Seb is driving!!!

Really not impressed. I think he is expecting Horner to orchestrate a win for him in Brazil as payback for multi 21 [if he can keep get close to Seb, that is]. F1's Supreme Moaner in his Last Race.


Yes I agree that Grosjean is hardly a top driver yet. But if these kind of performances continue next year, I think Crashjean moniker must be dropped for good.

Just look at Maldonado. He hasn't learned anything.


"I think I missed this one. Looked to me more like a pretty dull DRS move on the straight."

In the exact same place that Lewis took the win last year from Vettel using a pretty dull DRS move after Vettel was blocked by a back marker.

Ironically that was voted (by who I do not know) the overtake of the season last year.

Overtake of the season should never feature DRS.

I kid you not.


Agree wrong Mclaren driver got sacked!


A bit cynical but I agree in principal.

- the margin between new and even 5 lap old tyres make

Fast drivers look slow (& different cars manage them very differently). DRS makes it look easy, only Raikkonen is a true racer who can get you anywhere without it.

- Grosjean for me is just a good driver. He is quick but wheel to wheel and attacking- he's still shocking- attacking a sliding Kimi at Abu Dhabi on the outside was a perfect eg..

- 100% right you are on Button!- he should be dropped like yesterday's news. Mclaren lost Hamilton and now a beginner like Perez who has out performed him Yet again!!. Come on Whitmarsh pull JB's head out your arse!

- Rosberg has improved tremendously- but the newbie on the team is already better.

Alexander Supertramp

Have to agree on your Kimi comment. I think he's the best overtaker in the field. Lewis, Fernando, Seb and even the likes of Jenson and Mark are very good overtakers as well, but Kimi is fearless and ice cold (calm) in critical situations. Clinical overtaker..


Incredible, a pretty cynical opinion.

Out-braking the guy (who is a 'late braker') and keeping his foot in around the outside. You'll struggle to find too many people that agree with you.

Exactly, four podiums in five races. He has been against Kimi, who F1 folk regard highly. You cannot still climb over Grosjean's back for his earlier mistakes, he has done plenty this year to prove his worth as a top driver.

McLaren probably did sack the wrong driver, but they weren't going to get rid of Button.


Lewis's late-braking advantage is no more, after he joined Merc.


On the straight you can only pass someone on the left or right, IN A CORNER you can pass someone on the outside or inside. Nice DRS move from Webber tho, Makes you wonder why this fella is almost 200 points behind his teammate.(everybody had bad luck,no need to discuss this here now)

Grosjean is doing average against Kimi who is now in the hospital because of suffering from severe back pain. Kimi has 51 points more and has driven one race less. Kimi has defeated GRO on points for the second season in a row. How will they match up at the end of the season? Kimi destroyed GRO with a huge points margin(and 2 races less). Not a surprise to me. GRO is number 7 in the standings. That's hardly a top drivers place. Not sure what your point is?

Thx for your input tho, I value your opinion.


Correction: Kimi did One race less, I forgot GRO was banned a race last year for nut case behavior.


I found myself agreeing with the entire post. You can't label someone as one of the top drivers if they haven't even won a single race yet (when their car spec has won a race in both seasons).


Congratulations to Vettel, he's singlehandedly destroying my interest in F1, boring, boring, boring.


So you blame him for being, at the moment, a much better driver than the rest? Does that make sense?

Isn't it up for the others to catch up?

And if you still think it's the car, that anyone could drive it that good and fast, please pretend I never posted this comment


Fangio did not experience the G-forces that the current drivers do now. The drivers back then had a full time job and were doing this on their spare time.


You are right, they didn't experienced the same G-Forces wich strain the neck the most

But in those days, controlling the cars was, overall, more physically demanding, as the cars where so hard to drive

There where no customized seats, supporting headrests and not even seat belts

Please check this Youtube video, where John Watson, an ex-F1 driver from the 70's and 80's, drives a Bugatti Type 35, and see what's he got to say

Start it at 13:45, and if you can, watch the whole video, as it's worth it


Fangio drove a better car than the Type 35, but the difficulties in driving it where very similar


I'm not blaming him for obviously having a better car than all the rest, but it does mean that it's become a one horse race, which I don't find particularly interesting.


But it's not Vettel or RB to blame for doing a better job, is it?

I don't like a one horse race either, I'm not (or wasn't) a Vettel fan, but one can't blame other for being much better than the rest

No-one blamed Bolt or Phelps for being that much better than the rest, did they?

People who say it's the car, the tyres or traction control, fail to realise the arduous and incredible job Vettel and RB are producing

I don't want them to slow down, I want others to catch up!!!


Well Webber does, and he's a pretty average driver and old on top of that. Look at that overtake that Webber pulled on Lewis..that RedBull is on rails if he had the confidence to go around the outside of Lewis at that speed.


Sure, Webber is so old

It's not like Fangio was a young 40 year old when he won his first championship, and 46 when he won his last!!!


Not anyone could drive the RB as well, but do you actually think that the other top drivers, Alonso, Hamilton and Kimi, would have done much worse in Vettel's car this year? RB is by far the faster car on the grid with no weaknesses, they even were able to get the best straight line speed at Monza, fast in the slow corners, fast in the fast corners, stable, reliable, with excellent strategists. And, after the engine mappings of Renault, the car in in a league of its own. Just see the improvement of Lotus. Do not get me wrong, I think Vettel is driving better than anyone this year, but he would not have won the WDC in the Ferrari, the Lotus or the Mercedes. Alonso, Kimi or Lewis would have certainly won the WDC in the RB.


Yes, the RB is no doubt, the faster car, but only in the last few races has it been that much better than the rest

In the majority of the season, the difference, in my view, was more down to Vettel

One just has to look at the Driver's standings to realise that, as Webber is 5th, and Kimi is not even racing

And I also believe Vettel in a Lotus would have given Red Bull a much harder fight for the Championship

Kovalainen was not that off Grosjean in qualifying


Any news on Vettels gearbox seal being broken ? I thought massa got penalised for this ? Probably me being totally wrong as prob a clause of some sort ?

Just seemed a bit strange. Not sure if this actually happened just seen it reported.


Well that was a strange one again the red bull in cruise control. Well done Seb. Once again Mark lacking the edge. Roll on Ricciardo, 2014 and the other teams to actually try turning up for work some days as frankly its like they've been on a years sabbatical they are that far behind. Good if your a red bull/vettel fan. Garbage if your a racing fan/f1 journalist trying to drum a bit of excitement into the remaining races. Someone roll a few doubles to bail bernie out and maybe bring his sprinkler idea to fruition cos the racings killing me! (Bar the couple of good o/t's)


How much of the report did you read? The fourth word is "legally." The article even refers to the exact clauses in the regulations.


I did say I may be wrong. My point I was making was badly worded I probably should have said is there a clause to legally break the seal ? If so I was unaware of this and also I take it this must be done under FIAs watch. I never implied anything untoward had gone on merely we don't hear too much of this so was trying to find the specifics as to what happened. Can anyone check the gearing provided the FIA approve ? Or do you have to suspect damage etc

Just me being curious that is all iceman


You have a valid point here, during commentary they implied the gearbox can be disassembled to check the cogs and the reassembled.

No doubt it is legal, or Red Bull wouldn't do it but it also sounds a bit like a maintenance overhaul, whilst in 'parc ferme' conditions post qually, pre race.

I mean, put it this way, if all you can do is take a look then what's the point in breaking the seal, so there must be some benefit such as cleaning the parts or realigning the cogs or deciding whether to replace parts and take a penalty. Why doesn't everyone do it or is it a bit unsporting? Why Seb and not Webber, did he have an issue?

Sounds like a grey area, throw him out of the championship 😉 (joking, joking, put the keyboard down, it's all good)


Yes there are clauses in the regulations allowing the seal to be legally broken. "Article 28.6d of the 2013 Formula One Sporting Regulations" and "Article 9.5.2 of the 2013 FIA Formula One Technical Regulations" - it's in the article you linked to! You can read the regulations for yourself on the FIA web site.


They broke his gearbox seal so Webber could start from pole on the clean side of the track.

It was decided after a meeting between Horner and Marko.


Thank goodness for the regs change next year, I may not bother watch Brazil.

There should be no surprise I suppose, no team is going to waste resource on developing the 2013 car now, but the other teams barring Lotus should be suitably ashamed of their effort this year. Sky coverage noted that the points won by Vettel alone would be enough to have Red Bull ahead in the WCC. How ridiculous is that?!

I hope the donuts at every race stop next season.


This formula is a pale imitation of racing.

F1 has never been in such ill health and frankly I can't bear to watch.


You are so right!!!


I agree. I have watched for more than 40 years and at no point have I ever been this disinterested in the sport. I have watched only a couple of races this season and just relied on reading the reports after the event - only to pat myself on the back for not bothering to stay up late or get up early. If the new formula next season fails to set the sport alight with excitement then it's done and dusted for me. Far more excitement to be had attending the local kart track - and it's free!


After the switch back to the 2012 tires, I watched 3 races, then half-watched another three and then just gave up. And I've watched F1 for over 35 years, never it was this boring.

If next year starts out the same I'll say goodbye to a sport a used to love even mmore than my own sport (athletics).


We haven't forgotten the Schumi era + grooved tyres and no mechanical grip, have we?


I think that we all tend to look at the past through rose-tinted glasses - I remembered being bored out of my skull because Rubens wasn't allowed to race Schumi.

There are a lot of similarities with the present situation, and I dare say that Schumi was aided by the unlimited testing + Fiorano.


I completely agree with Brisbane Bill's comments regarding Vettel. I would also add that at least when Schumacher won his WDCs he was the best driver on the grid12. In the Vettel era the record books are a more accurate reflection of the best constructor than the best driver.


No - just don't want to waste time watching it all over again. Although, I never actually found Schumacher's years that boring as there was also plenty of drama going on and the Max and Bernie show throwing up plenty of entertainment. And Schumacher moved the sport forward and I could appreciate what he was doing. Now, it is just dull and Vettel isn't setting any new standards in sportsmanship, professionalism, physical conditioning, giving the fans what they want etc. He is just copying and setting records because of the lack of a cohesive competition.


Good... glad to see the back of both of you.


Considering that Brisbane Bill & I have been fans of f1 for a combined total of 60 years, I think you should consider our opinions with a little more respect. Or is there no place for dissenters in the fiefdom of king Sebastien?

You must be easily pleased indeed to consider what we are being served up with as entertainment. If you are happy to watch F1 slowly wither and die then please do so. I choose to speak out.


Vettel is just on another planet, universe or dimension. Congratulations to Vettel and RBR. Outstanding job.

Grosjean did a fantastic job as did Valteri and Hulkenberg.

Great venue, great track, I hope it stays on the calendar for a long time. The marshals could do with some training on clearing out broken cars quicker.

I hope the new rules make racing more interesting and bring a closer field, more wheel to wheel racing.

Decent tyres should be a must for next season - we watching processions anyway, maybe introduce mandatory pit stops to compensate for a decent tyre that lasts - have 3 mandatory compounds at each race, that way teams would have to stop at least twice and would still mix it up. I would love to see the drivers being able to push the cars properly. Re-fuelling was great. I know, I know dangerous and all that. Quali tyres or at least sets of tyres for qualifying would also be great, that way all teams can have decent tyres for the race and you wouldn't see people opting not to post a time in Q3. I don't like to see races decided because someone managed tyres better. Tyre management is part of racing, but it shouldn't be as intrusive as it is currently.

Fastest lap should get points, fastest pit stop should get points. Teams that don't post a time deliberately on Q3 should have points deducted.

Just throwing some ideas around...


Maldonado is also on another planet, according to Sutil.


Hulk again my driver of day, really showing now he can mix it with the sharp end of the grid in a "car" which is probably 5-6 quickest

I just cant believe he has not been snapped up by a top team, i cant even believe that there is a chance he may not have a drive

Lotus will be fools to take maldonado,

If that happens i would hope he stays at sauber for one more year then there will potentially be options at ferrari / macca

Also worth a mention is bottas, i think he will one day win races too


Sounds like Hulk has three drives on the table, based on Brundles Quantum chat, if it's not just all talk 😉 and based on Monisha K's assurances of a Sauber seat for him:

Lotus, signed and awaiting big middle east cash transaction.

Sauber, whoops yes tell Hulk he still has a drive with us anytime. (and call Russia back again now, and find out which Sombrero jockey Slim Jr prefers, and check with Pastor's lot it is 29 million euros with assurances of an extra 10 front wings) 😉

Force India, contract done, will be signed by Hulk if Lotus Quantum fails.


Just to say I agree with you on Maldonado, and I think Bottas, in a good car, can even challenge for a Championship


Who won? Silly Question. As I said several months ago SV is bad for the sport. It's not because he wins every race (with a car that's in a different class) but because his behaviour inspires such negativity i.e. booing.

Please let me know when F1 becomes a competition again. Otherwise I won't be watching and certainly won't be buying any RB drinks.


...and the sport will be so much worse off without you...


And exactly what behaviour inspires negativity?


Yeah, anyone can surely see how having a great sense of Humor, expressing genuine emotions, sharing credits of victories with the team and making Donuts creates a lot of negativity with fans....oops, I guess you meant haters


Then why is he not more popular? He can win but will never be one of the real greats, for example Jim Clark. He has to gain respect from others and no one is fooled by what they have said about him in the press. Look at the body language the other drivers can't' stand him.

And interest in the sport will decline with us facing more Schumaker years. It already has. If he was a true champion then everyone would be enjoying.


Unfortunately, times are different, and now envy plays more among drivers than respect.

In fact, I'm a Hamilton fan, but always disliked he never gave Vettel enough credit for what's he's achieved. That's just not being smart and not seeing the whole picture

Obviously I would like to see more competition in F1, but it's not with Vettel to be slower, but for the others to be faster, and also a keypoint Vettel excels, more consistent!


Jim Clark won most of his races from pole position and his Lotus car was the fastest of its time. You are projecting your own dislike of, and contempt for, Vettel onto the other F1 drivers, past and present, who have almost universally praised him. You are calling all these people liars, due to your extensive body language analysis. Do you have a professional qualification in body that field? They obviously don't like praising Vettel, it is their job to beat him.


I live in TX, and this type of procession is exactly why I watched the race from home. Boring, just boring. I agree with what another poster said about refueling...bring it back.



I was so excited at the start of the race, like to show America what F1 is, and what they are missing by not getting involved more and more. And then after the SC the boredom begin. It was just a train of cars following each other.

I hate it when my colleagues at work try to make fun of me for waking up at 5am to watch the races in Asia, by saying that I watch some cars going in circle, but that's what pretty much happened today. Terrible state that F1 got into.

Is it just us James that feel like that? How do you feel about the "racing" these days in F1? Why don't they change this? Are people in F1 scared to do something about it?


hey I live in USA and have been following the f1 since I was a child..perhaps 1973......

There are huge fans here..unfortunately in the 70's we had Watkins Glen (bunch of rednecks burning cars and drunkenness) and Long Beach. These races were hugely popular. Unfortunately they both peaked in the late 70s early 80s after Mario left the formula. But (ask Balestre and Ecclestone) there was no money to be made as there was no leading American drivers less a few years from Cheever 1 or 2 from Bobby Rahal, and even Danny Sullivan. Pff

there waere attempts in Detroit, Las Vegas, Phoenix, even Dallas. Point being..unlike Europe, the USA has feeder series, and a few migrated to race in Europe, lately Daly and Rossi. The problem are these kids have minimal support to an international level. Doesn't mean they lack a talent. We see daily complaints and comments of the pros and cons of pay drivers. Same here, so sometimes, not always, it may be safe to run a national series, (and sometimes a secure career). Last American in F1 was Scott Speed in the Red Bull program. I recently commented on the young Russian kid, and everyone attacked me. Well last time and only time Red Bull on their Toro Rosso program who impressed was Seb. Ricciardo still we will see. And the skinny Russian...Red Bull sure makes correct decisions.

Look at these names, as I digress:

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Scott Speed

Sebastian Bourdais

Sebastian Vettel

Jaime Alguersuari Sébastien Buemi

Beside Seb where are all these prospective well though out Red Bull proteges??


Buemi is doing pretty well outside of F1. 2nd place in Le Mans this year.


They ARE changing things! The reliability next year should be properly diabolical, with all the changes and not enough testing . We'll see plenty penalties as a result, so we'll have faster cars having to come through the field.


Sometimes you have to brake something so you can claim you fixed it. Perhaps that's it?


Terrible state? How long have you watched f1? Its always been this way, we've actually had some good racing this year despite the one sided championship.


Speak for yourself. The two of us have different standards of good racing.


What commentary were you listening to?


James, about the turbo engines, any news/rumours of Honda taking on a second team? Or are they planing to use the engines in another series, like WEC?


After a lifetime of following f1 (I am 73 now) I haven't watched the last two races or todays. Mr Vettel is a good driver along with several others. Its the car. They should all have to swap cars for each race then I am confident Vettel would not be champion. Anyway the parade to the finish has finished me I have better things to do.


James "They should all have to swap cars for each race then I am confident Vettel would not be champion"

I totally agree but why not have two races. One race for the constructors which is all about the car. Second race everyone has the same car! Then we would really understand who the best driver was. Oh please give us some excitement in F1. We all know that RB has the best car and that's why they win races.

Maybe RB/SV will win every race next year. Then what?


Think it through. Your suggestion is not logical.

And yes, I'd put my money on RB/SV in 2014 if I was a betting man.


You don't know what F1 is about do you!?

Times like these now aren't the first in the history of F1.

Every team is trying their hardest every year to build the fastest car. All the teams want to be as dominant as RB is now. Its a competition to be the best and thats what they work hard for.

The fact that F1 is boring for you is not RB's fault, it's the other teams not being good enough to make it difficult for them.

"We all know that RB has the best car and that’s why they win races."

That is their job!! And you should applaud RB for being so good at it.


Of course it's the car. Moreover, SV and MW are not driving the same car (though Seb is better). Anyone who believes different is deluding himself.

Well done, Mr. Newey you are true genius, I just hope that one day we'll find out the truth.

Congrats to Seb Vettel - the right man in the right place at the right time.

Alexander Supertramp

Hard to believe the difference between the 2 Rb cars. I hardly believe it myself, but the problem is that there is absolutely no proof to support your claim. My gut says you're right, but that means nothing :p.


Why should they completely change the sport now? No serious professional racing series works like that. It is hardly the first time that the speed of the car has determined who wins the championship, in fact it is almost allways the case. Could it be that people just don't like the guy who is winning, so want to stop him by resorting to an unprecedented gimmick?


Some of you guys have no sense of iriny or hyperbole. To be too literal is a crime.


And switch cars? Seriously, how unrealistic is that logistics and sponsor wise. Why would RBR pump millions into the car? To have Chilton bring it home outside top 10 after he drew a straw to drive it? These unrealistic points are not worthy of a long time fan like you.


Can't believe a 73 year old is picking on car superiority as reason to not watch. Is it first time you've seen such a thing in the decades you've watched F1? Seriously.


Apart from totaling the car Valsechi could hardly have done worse than Kovalainen. But it was the same story when he partnered Hamilton in the McLaren, he isnt made for a top team apparently.

Some will find excuses like the frontwing and some KERS issues towards the end of the race but he was running ouside of the points even before these things occurred while his teammate was in second place all race long.

Yeah i know people will also come up with its his first race for Lotus, give him time and so on and so forth but the point is he was chosen over Valsechi because he was expected to deliver straight away, there is no time, just 2 races. They wanted someone to produce results right away and not someone who needs half a season to get in tune with the car. Heikki with his years of experience made them believe he was that guy and didnt deliver on his promise.

Boullier might as well give Valsecchi the car keys in Brazil. Sounds cruel for Heikki but it was also equally cruel for Valsecchi to get overlooked in the first place.

Another thing, a Hulkenberg-Perez combo at Sauber for 2014 sounds good to me. Perez is obviously an improvement over Guitirez and Hulkenberg wouldnt win a WDC with Lotus anyway. If Renault has the best engine next year Red Bull has the know how, financial means and driver to put this engine to good use. As long as Red Bull is the defacto Renault works team it is highly unlikey to be beaten by Renault customer team Lotus. If there is the expected fallout within the Ferrari team next year Hulkenbergs time under the italian sun will eventually come.


Harsh, but kinda true. Before the race he said he's mentally much stronger, meaning he couldn't cope with the difficulties at McLaren at that time. I regard Heikki as one of these guys that could've made it with more proper timing. That didn't happen and now it's too late.

More recent example would be Grosjean, except that he's started to deliver against WDC winning teammate. It can swing both ways.


Agree with everything you said. Slim chance that Valsechi could have brought the car into the points but we'll never know now. Hope they give him a chance in Brazil.

It goes to show how many drivers are fighting over so few available drives that a team like Lotus can often act questionably and still attract top level drivers.


Have to say, I'm forced to eat my hopes. I was sure he would bring it home 6th or better. But reality prevailed.


agree, was a bit of a disaster to think Lotus relied on a pilot with so called experience and proven race craft. Well goes to show some of the teams (and fans) decisions are not well considered, but it was a chance perhaps others teams would have considered as well. I feel Davide should get the last race seat. Good luck Lotus

Tornillo Amarillo



Record breaking Vettel. I'm not impressed. That Red Bull car is in another category. It's like a heavyweight boxer fighting a featherweight. What do you expect? Vettel is no Floyd Mayweather.



I follow and watch F1 since eighties. I watched Ayrton Senna. I watched Michael Schumacher. Hell I even remember Niki Lauda in red car with No. 12 which I had as a kid (1:12 model).

And I'm not sold on Vettel.


Same here. If there was another car that could match the Red Bull for quali and race pace, and he was forced to fight for his wins for 100% of the race distance and still prevailed, I would eat my hat. Everyone rates Alonso, Hamilton and Raikkonen, but at the moment they are further behind than their respective talents otherwise would...


Do you believe Vettel has never won a race without the fastest car? You want 2 cars with identical quali and race pace, something that almost never hapens, and unless this ultra rare avent happens, you will never rate him? With these tyres, when the performance of the cars are close, cars that are kind on their tyres will have superior race pace, but struggle with tyre warming in quali, while cars that can warm their tyres well in quali are heavy on their tyres in the races.

So in Germany, when Seb had better quali pace than the Lotuses, he had worse race pace. But he still won by driving perfect in laps, to prevent the undercut, and defended his position perfectly. If he had lost track position, he would have lost the race. Does this win not impress you at all?

As an aside, I do find it interesting that other years in which a comfortably superior car has won the WDC, like 1992, '93, '96, '97, '98, 2002 and '04, the driver gets full credit for winning. It is only Vettel that is undeserving and is apparently 'killing the sport', even though 2 of his WDCs were hard fought, 2010 due to losing 3 wins through reliability (yes, he made mistakes, but so did the other contenders), and last year the Mclaren was faster over the season, according to most experts. As for his other 2 WDCs, 2011s car was less dominant than the 1992 Williams, 2013 has been, at its best, about the same as the Williams. Yet, he is less deserving than Mansell, according to those who are prepared to eat their hats.


@SteveS - I'm dreaming, am I? Explain why the three drivers I mentioned are all ahead of their respective teammates in the championship? Surely that must indicate that on balance they have been better over the course of the season? Even a general consensus would put these guys on par with Vettel, and they would be far closer than the last few championships would suggest. I'm not exactly a card carrying member of their fan clubs either, but I can admit where the talent lies.


"Everyone rates Alonso, Hamilton and Raikkonen"

Dream on, dreamer. These three have not even been better than their teammates this year.



Fake talent for fake racing = Vettel


All due respect, but you don't seem to know what talent F1 drivers need. It is more than just driving flat out, it is also adapting your driving style to what the car (including the tyres) needs. No one working in the sport think Vettel is a 'fake' talent. They all acknowledge that he is among the top 3 or 4 drivers.


And I'm not sold on Hamilton. He was fantastic in his debut season and has just gotten more erratic ever since. He then has a whole season where he couldn't keep his personal life from spilling over to his racing, and then Jenson beats him in the championship standings.

Just because he matched Alonso in his debut season doesn't mean he stays that way. Why don't you go ask who Lewis fought for the title with in 2008?

Don't be sold on Vettel he will deprive the field of titles as he should and won't lose any sleep over the opinion of someone who has watched F1 over so many years and can't open their eyes to greatness


Yes, he has a car advantage and no I did not see his pole lap, only the first corner in front of my eyes (I was there). I heard his first two sectors weren't that good.

But remember, the car advantage is because McLaren ditched their excellent 2012 car and most rivals have focused on 2014 (after the summer break) Red bull continued to develop which it has admitted, thus leading to a larger performance difference.

There were times when the Mercedes this season and Mclaren last season were expected to take pole and then Vettel goes and grabs it. Being in position is everything, like Alonso picking up many wins off the poor luck of Vettel and Raikkonen over the years.

Your point is valid on Button, though it doesn't apply exactly to Vettel. Button is more akin to Webber when the pressure is really on they buckle. The only difference was Button had many wins and an inconsistent driver in Vettel and team in Red Bull to go against in 2009.

As Vettel said himself "these days won't last", and when his car isn't so good everyone but the boo'ers will be convinced of his immense talent. For now though woohoo!


I am not saying you are wrong, I think Vettel is an extremely good driver. But, ( you knew there was a but) did you see Vettel's pole lap? He made several errors and still took pole which suggests a significant car advantage, and therein lies the problem. How do you/we know how much is car and how much is driver? Let me give you an example; if A Martian landed on planet earth at the start of the 2009 season and watch JB winning race after race he would conclude JB was the greatest driver on earth. If that same Martian watched JB this season would he reach the same conclusion?


With all due respect, I think you are wrong. Every expert in the business has conceded Vettel is a great driver. I have to assume they know more than you. Vettel has the best car, no doubt. But that does not take away from the talent at the wheel.


I gotta admit. I can't get excited about statistics. It just isn't as exhilarating as motoracing.



Bring on 2014.

YAWN again.


Glad I didn't pay for Sky to watch the car designer championship. Good to see Alonso getting bored with tyre management and just going for the extra points. Nearly cost him in the end but didn't. Hamilton seemed unimpressed by the tyre management issues as well. Why not give them free tyre choice and let them race? Give them all superhard tyres and tell them to race their wheels off.


It would've been nice if the commentators had conveyed the translated italian from Alonso to his engineer. If not, they shouldn't play it - enough of the teasing...


So it's not the fact that it's boring, it's more to do with who's not winning?


That's how it goes. If it was Hamilton in the Red Bull, 90 percent of these comments would be praise on how good the lad is and how the aussie just can't figure out his clutch.


Car designer championship? I don't even know where to start.

1st. It's always been.

2nd. These are prototypes refined on nearly weekly basis.

3th. This is F1! A formula for car design.

4th. It's Newey's responsibility to contain ideas?

Come on.

Funny how you praise Alonso and Hamilton for not being able to get out of tires what RBR and Vettel get. Yeah...praiseworthy. FYI - Super hard tyre is also Super slow. Hence why softer tires set faster laps.

Tornillo Amarillo

ROSBERG is eating his words, maybe was easier with Schumi...

HULK could drive the Mercedes sooner or later?

Alexander Supertramp

Rosberg has been pretty good I reckon. But he has officially been defeated by a new team mate. Difficult to ascertain the effect of being new to a team, 2014 is an important year for Nico.


He will be further destroyed next year by his teammate. The car has not suited Lewis whole year but still he's officially trounced the German.


I agree, i don`t think Rosberg is that fast. i think that mercedes seat should go to a driver like Hulk


That was formula 1 that was on the tv right? Seen better racing at Crufts the dog show!


Disclaimer - Now this going to sound like im downtreding what seb has achieved (and i do generally believe seb and RB have clearly done an amazing job to dominate 4 yrs)

However if your going to break the record for most number of consecutive wins in a season, one would expect it to be easiest time to do it at the end of a season prior to the biggest rule change for 30 years where both titles are already assured - due to this teams completed final updates on 13 cars around korea time (approx) therefore meaning - without reliability or bad conditions (rain) or webber its pretty much exoected / no massive feat for seb to break this record



This kid Vettel is killing the sport (and he is no guilty). i can´t remember an year like this one, even in Schumacher/Ferrari years. Jesus, this is so boring ! I´m 39 and i´ve been watching F1 since 1984.


Oh yeah and there was 2002 as well, only two non Ferrari wins all season.

I'd suggest your memory is a little off.


Try 2004. Ferrari won all but three races that year and had a driver on the podium at every event.

That really was killing the sport as there was no overtaking in the pack behind.


F1 has always been about one team dominating over one or more seasons. It seems several bloggers here have short memory. We were spoiled during the previous three seasons having a large number of winners and the uncertainty about who's gonna win down to the very last race, even 2008 was very exciting in several different ways. Blaming RBR or Seb for the "borefest" is childish, blame Ferrari and McLaren, Merc that despite having huge budgets, and facilities they are not close enough to fight RBR on even grounds. Praise Lotus, Sauber, who are able to be there with the former and yet showing they can build a good car with a humble budget


I think i recall years of overwhelming dominance of a car like 1988 (15 wins in 16, but with two top drivers, that's a huge difference), or 1992, when Mansell was champion in August. Or some of the years of the era of Schumacher at Ferrari, as i said before.

Unlike what happened in the previous examples - and that is a worrying difference -, there is a serious risk that Vettel stays in the field for more 10 years, at least. If Mr. Newey stays in F1 alongside him, Vettel is in "danger" of beeing a "Loeb Style" champion.

It seems to me that this is not good for the sport.

As i said, i do not blame Vettel or RBR, it is certainly a tier one driver, and they did their job well. But the feeling is that he only dominates his teammate, which is not a top driver(IMO). The car is so good that it´s just a walk in the park for him. We all know Vettel is good. How good he is, probably we will only see when Newey move out, or Vettel switch to another team.


I blame RBR for all this mess. F1 now is boring not because of Vettel, but due to RBR not wanting to race two 'top' drivers. We'd easily have a new Senna vs Prost era had it been the case. Ricciardo next year wont be much better


Blame the FIA.

The FIA banned testing to save money. But the amount of resources spent on simulator and wind tunnel testing, negates the testing ban. This test ban has allowed one genius in one team dominate. Other teams just can't perfect wind tunnel development.

But no RRA policing still means big teams are still spending big and small teams aren't.

Now they want to make the sport more financially viable by reducing size of engines (to save fuel and oil). But alas, the development of the new engines is enormous, and customer teams will need to fork out a lot more money to purchase engines.

FIA's ability to manage the sport is pretty atrocious.

Bernie ripping off the FIA in the 100 year deal was pretty mean as well and hasn't helped them.

PS - I am still waiting for a seat. Anyone got 20 million pounds to spare?