F1 Winter Break
“Tough Luck!”: Vettel feels the pinch from Ricciardo as troubled streak continues
Red Bull Racing
Posted By:   |  20 Apr 2014   |  2:17 pm GMT  |  439 comments

After out-qualifying Sebastian Vettel for the third time this season and leaving his team-mate second best in consecutive races for first time since 2012, Daniel Ricciardo has had an impressive start to his career at Red Bull.

In Bahrain his pace led to the four-time World Champion moving aside, under orders from the team, as the Australian was on the faster tyre at the time.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon and just after one third distance in the 56 lap race once again Red Bull management edict comes over the radio to Vettel: “Seb, let Ricciardo through he is faster than you.” This time the pair were on the same tyres, although Ricciardo’s were four laps fresher.

This time, Vettel was not so willing to give up his fourth place. Having asked what tyre Ricciardo was using, and learning the Australian was on the same tyres as himself, Vettel replied, “Tough luck”. The German decided initially to hold his ground and not succumb to the demands of senior management.

Two laps later Ricciardo was able to make the move, and although Vettel and the team said after the race that he had accepted the order to let the faster car through, Ricciardo was not certain that was the case at the time, “I am not sure if he ran deep or gave me a bit of room, but I managed to get by,” said the Australian.

But the story here is how Vettel was prepared to disobey Red Bull team orders for the second time (after Malaysia 2013), even though he did later relent.

Then there is also the ongoing question of how he will deal with being consistently outperformed by a team-mate; one who has full backing from Red Bull senior figures like Helmut Marko (something Mark Webber never enjoyed).

Many fans worldwide believe that Vettel has been handled with cotton wool and regarded as the Golden Boy at Red Bull, with the backing of Marko and gestures such as the front-wing swap from Mark Webber’s to Vettel’s car at the British Grand Prix in 2010, have served to strengthen those claims.

But now Vettel is up against it; with a car which is not the fastest and up against a team-mate who has made an immediate connection with the RB10 and who has important backers in the team.

The German’s gesture to move aside in Bahrain earned him plaudits. However, today he chose to not show faith in the decisions of the pit-wall, instead trying to race Ricciardo.

The Red Bull management was proved correct as Ricciardo romped away to eventually finish the Grand Prix twenty-two seconds ahead, whilst Vettel said that he let the fourth place finisher through.

“I think there was no point in holding him up any longer,” said Vettel. “He was quite a lot quicker and once I was told we were on different strategies I decided to let him go and also realised more towards the end that I couldn’t hold him back.

“At that point in time I was still on a three-stop, which we changed later on, also to a two-stop strategy. Towards the end of the race I also realized that I did not have the pace, which was not really clear to me at that earlier stage.”

Vettel was using up the tyres more quickly than Ricciardo and was struggling particularly with the medium compound tyre, having been competitive on the softs in the opening stint.

Team Principal Christian Horner said that Vettel’s problem is that he doesn’t have the feel from the current generation of cars that he enjoyed with the previous years’ cars.

Part of the reason is believed to be the lack of downforce and especially rear-end stability of these cars compared to the blown diffuser cars. Ricciardo is used to cars with less downforce and stability.

Horner confirmed that Vettel did let his team-mate past, which in-turn gave them the chance of a podium as Ricciardo closed in on Alonso, who might possibly have been beaten had Vettel yielded when first asked.

Horner’s version slightly contradicts Vettel’s; Vettel says he was on a three stop strategy (which normally involves running a faster pace and pushing the tyres harder; normally a three stopper is allowed to pass a two stopper) but was switched to a two-stop. Horner’s version was that Vettel was on a two stop, but Red Bull was thinking of putting Vettel onto a three stopper, “What he (Vettel) didn’t realise was that we were looking at a different strategy because Seb was going through the tyre phases quicker, to convert Sebastian onto a three-stop.

“As soon as he understood that he immediately let him through and he could
see he simply didn’t have the pace to hold him back.”

Vettel pitted on lap 13, which was consistent with a two-stop plan and Ricciardo on lap 17, a clear two stop plan. What hurts a driver is to switch from one to another mid race as what has gone before is not optimum for the new strategy.

“Seb’s done the right thing for the team today and as he said very honestly, he has let his team-mate through, he (Ricciardo) was quicker today,” said Horner. “That enabled us to get closer to Alonso in the final laps, with Daniel finishing twenty seconds ahead of Seb. More important for us is to understand what Seb is struggling with at the moment, because he’s obviously not getting as much out of the car as Daniel.”

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Seb cost Red Bull a podium today. I firmly believe that Ricciardo would have had the pace to pass Alonso in the final laps had he been allowed to pass Seb as soon as he caught him. Seb is a good driver, that much has been proven, but he's being shown up by his younger team mate and has not made the connection with the car that he's enjoyed the past 4 seasons. Is it that Seb can only race when he has mountains of downforce? Or is Daniel just showing how mediocre Webber actually was? Who knows... I'm just loving this period of Vettel struggle after the last 4 years of his elation.


Webber and Vettel were virtually inseparable before the EBD came along. In 2012 when F1 changed the exhaust exit position from the floor to the top of the rear cowling to reduce the EBD's effect Mark had his measure for the first 5 races until they got the stability back into the rear end of the car. With Marco famously saying that "Seb needs the car to be a certain way and Mark just needs 4 wheels" to explain his struggles.

And Mark was "just" 12 yrs older than Seb at 37…you say mediocre, i say that is a [mod] statement.



Horner: If Dan would not have got on the podium by being let through by your boy Vettel then why did the order go out in the first place?


RedBulls would have never got ahead of Ferrari even if Seb dint hold Dan for 2 laps. The only reason being RB cars doesn't have straight-line speed to out do Ferrari even with the help of DRS. It was evident when Seb tried to get past Alo after their first pitstop. So stop blaming Seb that he costed RB a podium.


The guys jumping on Ricciardo's bandwagon are naive and not old F1 fans. Anyone who has watched F1 for around 10 years would know that first Seb is a very very good driver, anyone who reads data, sector times, laptimes and does comparisons. Second this phase is temporary for Seb, I would laugh at these fanboys eating their words back when Seb's back.

I remember Seb going through this phase in 2010 when Mark went on an outqualifying streak and similarly in 2012 but Seb came back. This is exactly what Christian's predicting as well, he'll come back with a bang. And then those hailing Ricciardo will eat their words.


Dan has always been quick in all aspects of Motorsport he has participated in. Agree a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon and a lot of people have had to eat their words bagging him out in favour of Kimi before his announcement to be the new RBR driver. Think it's pretty obvious the correct choice was made.

Yes Vettel is struggling and yes he will slowly come to terms with the new cars just like all the drivers. Having said that it does not mean when he does he will have Dans measure because simply put Dan can only improve too.

Don't underestimate what you are seeing now in Dan Ricciardo. No disrespect to Mark Webber but Dan is a naturally quicker driver so don't compare what has happened between mark and Vettel over the years to cloud your judgement. Vettel now has to prove his self.



the car was develop toward Vettel and way from Webber.


Ricciardo is no Webber, because Vettel came back stronger against Webber is no assurance that he can come back stronger against Ricciardo. It's time you Vettel fan boys start having open mind that this Wonder kid (Ricciardo) can beat your Hero (Vettel)


It would have been undone by the cancellation of the last 2 laps anyway, in all likelihood.


While there are plenty of options, including the two explanations offered in your post, I like a good old fashioned conspiracy theory, so here goes.

Maybe there isn't a lot between the two drivers. Red Bull is one beast of a marketing machine, and they know how to maximise their marketing opportunities.

Vettel has had his turn with four titles under his belt, but it is no secret that he is not the most popular driver in the paddock.

On the other hand Ricciardo is very popular with the fans, demonstrated by his very well received podium at the first race and the outrage that followed when he was stripped of his points.

I think that if there isn't much between them speed wise, or even if Ricciardo is quicker, that Red Bull have decided to back Ricciardo over Vettel, just like they backed Vettel over Webber. That way they get maximum exposure with the underdog beating the 4 times WDC. It is a story in itself as well as what many people want(ed) to see.


I’m just loving this period of Vettel struggle after the last 4 years of his elation....

I can't argue you with that 🙂

kenneth chapman

well said C63. i couldn't agree more. if i ever see that finger again it will be once too often!


I think we need an update about the contract situation with Vettel. I'm thinking that RBR giveth and RBR taketh away. Vettel is on the books most successful driver on the grid. Taking him down a notch could give RBR a much stronger negotiating angle for renewal.

Also, as some fans here pointed out, "My Boy" has had it all his way. A bit of hardship will do him good to refresh the hunger, drive, focus. And perhaps provide a bit of a humbling experience. Anyhow, few more races and it will hardly be worth it to rip his guts out. Look at Schumi in his prime. He'd rather DNF than bring it home 7th.


Yeah sebbe all your conspiracy theories are fine... except for one little detail... you only ever believe them to support Vettel, that´s why they´re tainted. Your driver is getting beaten fair and square... i fail to understand fans that continue watching a sport they think is rigged.


@Seebee I feel your and every Vettel fans pain.

It's not nice when your hero is shown to be njot quite as super human as you thought.

I don,t subscribe to the theory that Seb is not a worthy champion, however I never thought that he was head and shoulders above Alonso & Hamilton either.

If he can come back from this early bad start and get up to speed with Dan the man then no harm done. If not then I would get the paracetamol out!


No pain.

In F1 you have the car, you win.

Seb is a worthy champion because he brought home 4 in a row. However, I'm under no illusion that without RBR giving him the tools he wouldn't do it. Just as Lewis wouldn't be doing it either with keys to his AMG MB.

Right now, in this RB car, with the small issues it may have Daniel is up to speed faster and has extracted more from it. End of.

On your other point, don't think Lewis and Alonso are that much better. I bet you if you were to put the 3 in different cars for a perfectly balanced evalutation of their abilities, even if it took days to execute, you would find that the table wouldn't always have the same order of these three. You would find that some can extract a little something extra from certain cars. Same is true in F1 cars.

I also think that Alonso's efforts at Ferrari were commendable, but in the end he has little to show for it hardware wise. 8 long years no WDC. And honestly, I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I'm not hurt he's not been successful. His behaviour after Crashgate has left a bad taste for me. He should have given back that win on principal alone as a Champion of the sport we love. He brought the sport, team, even WDC into disrepute. For him to have that trophy in his pad is unforgivable to me. And he missed the window to do it. If he was to give it back now it would be an even bigger spit in the face to F1 - as if he would be doing it to atone for past wrong. I hope Vettel and Lewis keep punding his will to win a WDC into the ground to be honest. That's how strongly I feel about him keeping that tropy. Wow, I really don't let things go, do I? 😉


RBR giveth and RBR taketh away. Vettel is on the books most successful driver on the grid. Taking him down a notch could give RBR a much stronger negotiating angle for renewal.

No disrespect, but I don't think you have a very strong grasp of the contract negotiation process for a multi-time world champion athlete (OR his high-performance management) if you think that said athlete's team would be interested in degrading his performance at any point during the competitive season (let alone in a very public way) in a misguided, counter-intuitive way to hypothetically strengthen their "negotiating angle".

Never mind the fact that it's totally illogical to think that a four-time world champion would be more inclined to re-sign with a team that was messing around with him than if they were simply treating him fairly. Sheesh...


Your first failing is that you see it as a sport full of fairness and all that snuggly stuff.

If it is so fair where is the Marussia victory? Occasionally they should score at least a podium. Oh, that's right, I forgot. They don't have enough money to win.

Look, MB needs ROI. Even DM understands that. He has plenty of series that is fully RB controlled and none are likely giving them the exposure that F1 is. So even RBR understand that they can't have the "cover of the magazing" every month because eventually people won't buy that magazine. So in this off-year, may as well kill a few birds with one stone. Yeah, I know it's a theory with no fact of proof, but I stopped believing in coincidences when it comes to F1. Hence, my question.

Since Seb is at RBR confirmed until 2015 only at this time, wouldn't the timing be convenient to take care of a few objectives? Seb wants/needs to renew. RBR has team leadership covered with Daniel if needed and time to prep him. Seb negotiates without representation as well. If nothing else, RBR are in a position to ensure highest WDC driver on the grid doesn't have to have the highest salary on the grid. Vettel has some documented image problems, booing, fans don't "love him" etc. Is he the ideal ambassador for Red Bull brand? Why not play king maker again and make a new king? Daniel - new, younger, likable guy, English speaking, so he won't get all chewed up on the websites and UK controlled F1 media. They don't need to keep supporting the same "old" king. Why not put Daniel on top, make him beat the old king, show the people he's the heir to the throne? New face of RBR brand in F1. Let's be honest, if you were to take a poll right now, right here on a 4XWDC Vettel vs. no GP winner Daniel what do you think the result would be if the questino was "Who do you like more?" Any doubt Daniel "scores better" with the audience? And isn't that important to a brand trying to market to that audience?

RBR can't lose by having an exit strategy with Vettel or negotiating leverage with Vettel. End of story.


Vettel doesn't have a manager, IIRC.


Are you actually trying to apply logic? I don´t think this is local currency for some!

lol. And would you believe I even try to check my posts for any instances of logical fallacies before I post them? Even "just" for #F1 stories... 😉


Are you actually trying to apply logic? I don´t think this is local currency for some!


I guess it's not only the Hamilton fans that use conspiracy? But it's Ok cause its the 4 times WDC? It clearlyhads to be something other than Dan being just plain faster? To be honest, as much add in enjoying it, I really do hope Vettel shows us that he can beat Dan. I dont want to believe that Vettel can be this slow



We can see the solution. That is, the older WDCs basically are assured employment for at least 5 more years as teams want a WDC in their car to satisfy sponsors. The problem is, beside Lewis, Vettel, Alonso/Kimi, who's in a position to swipe a WDC in those 5 years before we're left with only Lewis and Sebastian? After all, first they will have to hop over Lewis and Vettel, and of course Alonso/Kimi, and if Honda is good then even Button. Basically, to beat these 5 in these cars would be a magical effort equal to fairy tales.

Educated guess would be Nico and Daniel can be added to the WDC list, maybe Kevin if package is good.

I remember that piece about pay drivers. I didn't really think about the fact that number of WDCs on the grid would be a problem when you wrote it, because we have so many even the mention of it I brushed aside. But time flies and it's absolutely true. In just a few years it could be a real problem. I just don't see many of these guys on this grid graduating to WDC status, especially since Lewis and Vettel are in prime and in fast cars, and next 2 years are probably going to be Lewis/Lewis or Lewis/Vettel. By then older guys are 36/37 and waying enough of all this Lewis/Vettel beatings we've taken.

And when/if Alonso wins a WDC at Ferrari maybe 3 years from now, it will be his last year in F1. He'll retire and leave on a high.



Just a little tidbit reminder for you guys.

Isn't the oldest guy in F1 34 right now? Isn't he calling it a day at 36 apparently?

Button 34 (probably will drive on, but who knows)

Kimi 34 (probably leaving after Ferrari)

Alonso 32 (won't see a WDC this year)

Vettel 4x WDC 26

Lewis 1x 29, soon 30!

Do you see the problem? We have 5 WDCs on the grid. 3 of whoom probably will not be around much longer. And with these young guns, these older guys aren't going to get much in the years to come. Alonso who brings huge money to F1 with Santander maybe the exception, hence as much as it pains me, likely he'll get some ROI in the form of 1 more WDC before he calls it a day.

We need to mint some new WDCs, and soon! F1 basically has 2-3 years to make a few new champions while these guys are on the grid. With Lewis likely to win this year, we're looking at 2 years window to expand the list before WDCs start calling it a day.

I nominate Daniel and Kevin! I'm OK if Lewis and Vettel are the only 2 remaining after these guys call it a day. And chances are good. But it is in the interset of the sport to mint some WDCs, and soon!


I wrote that last year, where are the next household names coming from?

Big issue if a lot of the younger guys are paying their way.


Fernando said something last year, and I wish I could find it verbatim it went something like

"Seb won't always have the best car, and if he gets on the podium with an inferior car, people will say he is a great driver; if he tours round in 5th or 6th place people will say he won all those races because he had the best car".

He's won 4 championships - more than Senna, and 39 races from 124 starts vs Senna's 41 from 162 - in terms of percentage of races won he's done better than anyone in 40 years. Is it just the car ? A very good driver flattered by a very good car, or is he better than Senna (and only a matter of time before he overhauls Schumacher's records)

Personally I think it is the middle one: I'd feel a bit cheated I could have won 4 championships in Adrian Newey's cars. So I'm cheering for Dan but hoping Seb beats him (if that makes sense)


I am really tired reading that it was Seb who is responsible. I do not like the guy and I like Ricciardo, but this time Ricciardo should have had a better start. Had he srated better or kept his position, he could give Red Bull a podium. Ricciardo should count on himself and should put all the elements together. He qualfied well, had a gread race, but he failed at the start and therefore other people deserved to take this podium position. Alonso was better and he got the 3rd place. Nothing to do with Vettel, his own mistake at the start did cost the team a possible podium.


According to James's article, there was oil on the track at Daniel's starting position from an earlier race which caused Daniels rear wheels to spin up costing him get away traction. So hardly Daniels fault. It was just one of those things. The marshals had a go at cleaning it up but obviously left enough behind to make Daniels start less rapid than it should have been. Daniel has never been known as a slow starter.


ricciardo is humiliating vettel.... end.


yep totally agree. i was glad when vettel said tough luck. daniel is good enough and fast enough to get the pass done himself.

i am not a big fan of team orders.


I Agree Vettel did not hold Ricciardo up in any significant way. But lets see how team politics play out back in Europe.

I have always thought Vettel is a bit of a sook myself.


@yellowbelly "a person lacking spirit or self-confidence; a coward."


A female crab??



I have always thought Vettel is a bit of a sook myself....


I had to look up sook (I thought, at first, it might have been a spelling mistake) - what a wonderfully obscure word, which completely sums up my feelings about SV.


Not only was on the dirty side, but a bit of extra oil around as well. That is what probably cost him a podium.


Yeah, Dan was on the dirty side.

But so was Massa, he had a cracking start!


I have never seen it in the official report and I do not believe Horner, he is saying many thing and not always they are true. We need to accept that today Daniel was not pwrfect and you need to be perfect in F1 to fight for best results, unless you have a one sec per lap advantage


Yes, I noticed in the BBC web feed that there was oil on Ricciardo's grid spot and that some sand had been put down prior to the race start. Any idea James if this affected his launch, or if it was just another regulation poor start?


It seems to have cost him a bit at the start


"I do not like the guy and I like Ricciardo, but this time Ricciardo should have had a better start"

I wouldn't go as far to say I don't like Vettel, but you're absolutely right.

Ricciardo is a hell of a driver and he's going to do very, very well for himself, but today the bad start was what cost him 3rd.


Yes the start had compromised Ricciardo final position, his tyre management, Qualifying and racing are all so far so good and I like it, the start off the line in the last 3 GP was a + or =, so a bad 1 out of 4 I guess that can happen, as Bryce point out he was on dirty side, Ric & Rosberg both lost 2 positions at the start. Ric has a bright future and definitely be in for a win sooner or later and a finger free year is always good!.


+1 Well said.


They can say all they want, we all saw what happened...


Exactly! This is just saving face for Vettel after being embarrassed on track. Which is worse? Moving over for your team mate because of a radio call, or, getting passed anyway after deliberately disobeying the call?

They can say what they like, but if he had decided to move over, he would have made it more obvious and much easier.



Brundle said, in commentary and post race analysis, that he thought SV made a mistake and then tried to turn it into looking like he was yielding.


And the Red Bull PR machine kicks into action once again! I'll take that back though, if we ever hear/see transcript of the radio call to Vettel agreeing to let Ricciardo through.

Guybrush Threepwood

Interesting that a lot of media report that Vettel can't get to grips with the car, rather than Ricciardo just being damn quick. Ricciardo proved that in qualifying over the last couple of years.

Dan deserves more credit than simply beating his team mate by default due to issues on the other side of the garage.


The great thing about this season is that the answers to all these interesting questions will be revealed.

If by race 7 Dan is still beating SV, the impartial F1 fan will know that Dan is quicker. By race 12 even SV fans will acknowledge that Dan is quicker.

Let's see how the season unfolds. While each race may be boring - the season's an interesting one. We have the Hamilton vs Rosberg story; Kimi vs Alonso; Hulk vs Perez; and the Button vs Magnussen story.

If SV had just dominated Ricciardo - then the story would not have been so interesting. But Ricciardo dominating SV? What a 2014 story this would be. A rookie beats a 4 time champion in his team. An intriguing season lie ahead.


People are not giving Ricciardo the credit he deserves because they believe that Vettel is quicker so they think the car is the problem. They don't even consider that Ricciardo might be naturally quicker than Vettel hence he is beating him. If Vettel could come from Toro Roso and beat Webber why can't Ricciardo do the same to Vettel?

Let's don't forget that Red Bull could have been the best car (so far) this year if not for Mercedes, and they could have taken 3 pole positions out of four if not for Lewis. Red Bull is only down in power (straight line speed) and that is the only thing they need to be quicker or as quick as Mercedes but doesn't mean that Vettel would beat Ricciardo with more engine power as both would get the same.

Red Bull currently has the most efficient down force on the grid and if Ricciardo is beating Vettel now, then I don't see the reason he won't continue beating him unless Vettel raises his game. For me I think that Vettel should rather raise his game to beat Ricciardo because their cars are just fine. We are not saying that Vettel is not as good as we thought because he is not beating Mercedes, rather we say this because Ricciardo is not just beating him but rather humiliating him.


Ric is only beating Vet with the help of team orders.


Ash, look at the results, the only time Ric finished in front of Vet this year, was in Bahrain and China. Both were classic team orders.


Sorry justafan....

You wrote "Ric is only beating Vet with the help of team orders"....

What a desperate statement....

Give credit where credit is due....


Nonsense, team orders don't come into play during qualifying.

Also Vettel seems to disregard team orders when they aren't in his favour, eg "Tough Luck" & "Multi 21"

He never let Ricciardo past in China, he overcooked it and went wide.


So the team said "Let Ricciardo through, then drop back another 25 seconds"?


Are you watching the same races as everyone else?

An obvious Vettel fan looking for answers without the realisation Dan is just quicker!


If Dan is quick, then must've been that Vettel is slow..and after 4 years of winning Vettel is not that slow.

Alonso never got the credit of dragging the Ferraris to 2nd place. Instead fans here thought Massa was just slow. Well, it seems Massa was not that slow since Kimi is nowhere near Alonso.


It's true: Vettel is not slow.

Vettel is quick, it's just that Ricciardo is just that little bit more quick 😉



Vettel is very quick, but Ricciardo is quicker. Let's don't forget that same Ricciardo went more than a full second quicker than Vettel's 2010 pole position time in Abu Dhabi with the same car during 2010 young drivers Abu Dhabi test when he was not yet in F1, but Medias and Vettel fan boys attributed that to improved circuit as the test was held few days after the Abu Dhabi race.



Give Kimi some time. He doesn't like those tyres. But he will adapt. I'm sure.


Then give Seb some time as well. Go watch 2010 and 2012 when Seb went into this slump but came back with a thud...


Ooh this is very tasty. But I'm betting that German nationalism will be brought into play before too long...


What would German nationalism have to do with anything? The team is Austrian isn't it?


Germany and Austria are pretty much the same country, are they not?


It's a little bit like North Korean and South Korea. Same people, different countries. Or China and Taiwan for that matter. The reason lies within the political history.



Germany and Austria are pretty much the same country, are they not?....

I think (hope) you are joking. Right?


Germany and Austria the same country... lol. i hope this was a joke.


" Germany and Austria are pretty much the same country, are they not?"

Nope. Austrians are much smarter. They convinced the world that Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler was German.

kenneth chapman

hahaha only if you're american!


Hey!! They say the same thing about USA and Canada too!


He means that Merc (that team from Brackley upon Dortmund) will order their divers to take out Alonso and Ricciardo to leave the way clear for Vettel.


A vehicle launch ramp will be installed at the marina in Monaco specifically for this purpose! 😉


It's Bernie's new initiative to make f1 more appealing. F1 under water.

kenneth chapman

is this car racing or speedboats?


Ricciardo would have definitely been on the podium had Vettel not held him up. However, I reckon sod team orders, and let the drivers duke it out on track. We want to see RACING, not drivers yielding to mundane team orders. Ricciardo has been too cautious around Vettel. He needs to be allowed to attack him, and Vettel should be allowed to defend.


I think we are seeing REAL RACING, Team Red Bull are really racing Team Mercedes, Team Ferrari, etc.

Something to do with the money being paid out on team performance rather than driver performance I expect.

I don't mind that, the teams consist of several hundred people not just the two drivers, and the strategies and tactics are a big part of the interest for anoraks like myself.


I wonder how anyone can be so sure that:

1/ Ricciardo would catch Alonso before the end of the race,

2/ Ricciardo would get past Alonso.

You'd better check the pace data and compare the speeds.

And don't forget that race was unexpectedly shorter by two laps.


RicciArdo should learn how to start better. His own poor start is to blame.


There was a lot of oil on his grid slot. Horner said after the race that they couldn't clean it themselves (had to be done by marshalls) and that's what cost him.

kenneth chapman

i would think that your comment may need to be re addressed if it comes to pass that, as i read somewhere on the 'newsnow' board, that ricci had a car problem at the start.


He had grease or oil on the track under him. Horner said they tried to clean it up just before the start.


Do not believe what Horner says.


Absolutely 100%.

Vetted denied Daniel and the team a podium.

All of you who praised Vettel for letting Daniel through last time got hoodwinked. You fell for it.

A leopard dos not change its spots.

Now it's time to back Daniel for the rest of the season and forget the slower Vettel


Well said.


Karma!! Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!!!


While I can't agree with you more in the sentiment behind your comments, I deeply dislike unnecessary team orders.

While Williams had the class to admit their team order on Massa was wrong, I doubt we'll get any such admission from Red Bull.

Let the guys race. If Dan was unable to get past Seb, then he wouldn't have deserved to be there. It's way to early to be favouring one driver over the other.


At this stage of the championship, I completely agree. No favour, no quarter should be given. However, I'm not a team principal looking to get the most points out of a race either...

Matthew Cheshire

An irony here is that Vettel and Webber were apparently in sync with the car, liking the same setup.

Clearly Ricciardo and Vettel have different requirements.

Riccardo is ahead on the track, does the car get developed to his needs or Vettel's?


Your point may be correct, but it isn't necessarily true. Webber didn't have a good feel for the Pirelli tyres and so while he adapted faster to aerodynamic changes than Vettel, he was slower overall. The same thing could apply here.

Christian Horner is quoted above as saying Vettel doesn't have the feel he needs. It will be difficult for Red Bull to engineer this feel. It could be that with the reduced downforce and the stiffer construction Pirelli tyres that the tyres distort less in the corners and that this reduced movement is not giving Vettel the granularity of feel that he used so effectively last year.


My bet would be with Golden Boy. It was clear Webber never got that luxury. Vettel was only dominant when the rear was glued to the track.


These cars are completely different to last years cars and they take a different technique to drive them. If you try to drive this years car like a car from the exaust blown diffuser period then you will be slower than your team mate. Setup could be exactly the same but driving style is different.

They won't develop the car for Daniel but they will develop the car to be as quick as it can be e.g. more downforce or less drag but same downforce or more stability in the rear for acceleration. The drivers will have to adapt to any changes made.

Webber and Vettel were virtually inseparable before the EBD came along. The year F1 changed the exhaust exit position from the bottom to the top of the rear cowling Mark had his measure for the first 5 races until they got the stability back into the rear end. With Marco famously saying that "Seb needs the car to be a certain way and Mark just needs 4 wheels" to explain his struggles.



Seb is being outclassed by Dan and he doesn't like it. I think we are seeing that with no rear downforce Seb is an average driver at best.


I made a comment after Bahrain, along the lines of a Martian landing on Earth this season would find nothing remarkable about SV. This provoked considerable ire from another poster. As the saying goes - the truth hurts 🙂


Do Martians even exist?


Yes we do, there are a few of us here. As well as me there are the Sebastian's (Vettel, Loeb and Ogier), Michael (get well soon), Valentino, and young Marc.

C63 is right, nothing so remarkable about SV,. Just your average Joe Martian really, pretty special compared to the other 7billion inhabitants of your little planet though 😉


Are Martians sponsoring Williams this year? 🙂


It was meant as an analogy. The intention being, to have a light hearted dig at the remaining handful of Vetell fans - have you noticed how they have faded away?

Like snow in springtime 😉


Childish 😉


thts too lame and kiddish bro #c63 😉


from the mouths of babes.....


It's worth remembering that whilst Vettel let Ricciardo through in Bahrain once, Ricciardo got past him at the end of the race when they were genuinely racing. That's twice in two consecutive races he's been out raced.

Seb wasn't that great in early 2012 imo, when the Red Bull suffered a lack a rear grip, and he found Webber beating him and beijg competitive

Tornillo Amarillo

Finished VETTEL's career in Ferrari...


The prospect of having a driver with Italian heritage must be tempting given the early form RIC has shown


Hardly much Italian heritage - only his dad is Italian and even then he came over to Australia as a child.


His mum may have italian parents but she was born in Australia so sorry but she's an Aussie like Dan.


I think his father is Sicilian and Dan speaks Italian


His Mum'a family is from Calabria in Italy apparently, so he is very much of Italian stock..


RIC is an Aussie... and I'll be very happy to remind anyone of that fact who cares to ask


Heritage, not citizenship or birth.


I can just picture LDM storming away from the TV monitors and catching an early taxi home, a la Bahrain, when Ricciardo passed and then left "Sebbi" for dust. Oh, that was after he dropped Vettel's Ferrari 'pre-contract', the one we were talking about a coupla years ago, in the shredder.

Tornillo Amarillo

Yes, the Italians won't be impressed by this unexciting driver as a number 1, maybe just as an obedient number 2 of a True Champion.



Kimi seems to be in even more dire straits in the F2014 vis-a-vis Alonso. So two among the four that are generally considered top four are having problems with the current generation cars. On the basis of the 2014 races, Dan probably deserves an entry into those considered top-flight category.

I for one, surely do not feel the gulf between Kimi and Alonso is really this large? I mean 50+ seconds in China works out to nearly a second a lap. Will you do an article on Kimi's travails at Ferrari at some stage?



Who would have thought Massa was a bigger threat to Alonso than Kimi.


He certainly was at this race, particularly going into turn one 😀


I'm sure Red Bull are watering it down,

But how much did Seb hold up Dan?. Dan finished only 2-3 sec behind Alonso and if Seb held him up more than that Red Bull must show this to Seb and say .."look what you did- you cost a chance of a podium"

Less downforce, more torque, one step up in tyre compounds means these cars need consistent load to be generated through all 4 tyres without graining them. This is not an easy thing to do & drivers like Seb and Kimi that enjoyed great downforce, tyres that heated up quicker and a far more progressive power/ torque delivery last year are finding it difficult after 2 years of fine tuning last regs. They must re- balance their mindset to driving differently- this is not an easy thing to do. I'm really hoping an improvement in downforce and handling set-u


Thank you Elie that puts it in a nutshell.

It seems on top of that Kimi and his mechanics have had to put aside too much time to deal with repairs essentially -eg electronic system, chassis cracks, etc. Plus a brand new race engineer who seems a little green and inexperienced......

I'm hoping JAMES will write a piece explaining Kimi's current situation as too many people here are quick to reach for the "abuse" button without taking the trouble to find out facts first.


Phil, I agree there definitely something going wrong at The Kimi side of the garage. Ferrari made some changes and It cant be that one car went that far forward but one going that far back.. Its not like Kimis a beginner and every other car hes driven goes forward in leaps & bounds. Its true that Alonso inherited Kimis WC winning engineers from 2007 and now Kimi has new people stepping up to the racing garage & seriously think they are not gelling. Cant understand this especially when he got a new chassis for China.


It's not a problem for HAM and ALO...


Ham took a lot of the pain last year adapting to less downforce. Seems to have set him up well for these new cars/regs.

Alonso has had his share of bad cars. Seb is probably the one driver who has to adapt the most, sure he will get there eventually. Do not see any reason not to enjoy his troubles while they last.


or Hulkenburg ....


(Cont) "set ups" coupled with a tweak in their styles will see them fight back..


Well done James. More Red Bull spin. "He's a team player" says Christian. Yeah right!


Hi James

I don't think you should be giving Vettel so much credit for letting Ricciardo past in Bahrain.

It appeared he let him by immediately after getting the message from his team over the radio, but as you know there is a considerable delay in these messages being broadcast. I think he deliberately held Daniel up for a considerable time after being told to move over.

As for today, when will Red Bull learn that their continued efforts to manipulate the result are just very bad PR!


I am not a Vettel fan. I still struggle to accept how Webber was treated in Red Bull. However, on this occasion I back Vettel. The battle between Vettel & Ricciardo was outstanding in Bahrain & in China if they had the same tyres & same strategy, then they should have been racing each other. Ricciardo can pass Vettel just like he did in Bahrain. It's too early in the season for the teams to impose team order. Vettel is not the most popular guy amongst the fans, but Red Bull is responsible for this mess, not Vettel. He might be heading to Ferrai sooner than we expected. Maybe Kimi can take another payout not to drive next year based on his performance.


Based on Vettel's current performance, do you think Ferrari would hire him? Particularly as their cars tend to be a little unstable in nature. The most impressive potential recruit for Ferrari right now is the Hulk - new team, new engine, new tires yet picked up right where he left off last year.


Vettel is accustomed to being in the fastest car on the grid and that,despite being driven by one of the best,Alonso,is certainly not a Ferrari. If Vettel wants to start winning he's going to have to start sniffing around Mercedes for a seat.


Hulk has never been on the podium.

He had the chance of a podium in Bahrain.

Perez showed him how to qualify and how to take a podium.


Italian heritage in RIC may just be that little more enticing.


I'm stuck between wondering whether the easy ride Vettel has had with the Red Bull up to this year has made him complacent, or he just isn't that good. Ricciardo is clearly very good and has entered the team at the right time to take on Vettel. One thing is for sure: Webber was awful in the final three years, after Red Bull has knocked the stuffing out of him in 2010.


I don't see how anyone can say that a driver who has won 4 WDC's 'isn't that good', irrespective of wjat car they were driving. Vettel looks as though the car doesn't suit his style, but I don't see him giving up. The RB seems to suit Ricciardo more, but it's early in the season yet to write Vettel off. Despite what Vettel said, he didn't let Ricciardo by, he ran too deep into the corner, but he's following the team's line from a PR point of view. This suggests he thinks he will get the better of Ricciardo once he gets to grips with the car.

It's far too early to write off Vettel after only 4 races.

kenneth chapman

@ andy... what i actually meant was that ATM, ricciardo is exhibiting a 'superior talent' insofar as he seems to be getting a lot more out of a supposedly identical car. a proven point.

i have also said on many occasions that once vettel gets what he wants he will be a formidable force within the red bull garage. whether or not ricci can continue depends on so many issues but so far he has met those challenges admirably. may he continue to do so.


Point taken Kenneth, Vettel has had 4 years with a car that suited him. Confidence goes a long way, Raikkonen is looking average, and even more disinterested than usual.

kenneth chapman

@ andy, i do agree with most of your sentiments re vettel resisting but being beaten nevertheless.

i recall many many years ago when marko told the press that the car was being built to specs that accorded with vettels style and that webber would simply have to change his style if he wanted to compete.

we now have a new car that has very little in comparison to the previous cars. ricci is doing better because his style seems to suit this new configuration. that plus a superior talent. yes vettel will fight back but he will need some customisation to help him. the question is, should this occur will it be to ricci's detriment? knowing horner et al i would not be surprised to see them accede to vettel's demands. they have done that in the past, so why wouldn't they do that in the future?

the biggest question of all though is simply this, where does red bull's future lie if ricci can maintain his superiority?


I agree with you Kenneth, the only exception being that Ricciardo is a superior talent - I think it's a bit early to judge.

Red Bull have certainly had their money's worth from Vettel, but as Ricciardo is from their young driver programme, I'm not sure they will give in to Vettel's demands.

Ricciardo seems to have alot more appeal when it comes to the public, so as far as Red Bull is concerned, Ricciardo could offer them alot more from a business point of view. Red Bull must also think back to last year when Vettel was almost continually booed on the podium, for winning. That's not good for their image.

It will be interesting to see what happens, I think they will actually start to favour Ricciardo, twice now they have told Vettel to move over, and it's only the start of the season.


Looked too deep into the corner for me as well.


And me. what strikes me as unsettling if I were Ric is, Seb has no respect for Horner's authority (with justification), Horner is a wooz and Seb knows it.

As a Kimi admirer I suspect the game is up, Fernando is much quicker as much as I hate saying it.


Really just puts Vettel's performance in the last few years in perspective. He is very clearly not a 'great'. He's just been lucky to be in an unbeatable team in those years. He has a lot to prove.

Just wish McLaren would sort it out!


I am certainly NOT a Vettel fan but I don't think you can call him not great.

I think he gelled with a team and a car, cars aero design perfectly these past few years and he was clearly the best in that combination and deserved his titles....I deeply dislike him and the team for the appalling (to us outsiders at least) treatment of Mark Weber but still cant think you could call Vettel not great simply for his actual winning of 4 WDC's!

As for McLaren, as a kiwi who grew up admiring Bruce, went to Bruce McLaren Intermediate etc I couldn't agree more.

kenneth chapman

@ mark.... vettel has been top drawer in the past and he may very well come back in the near future but he is definitely not 'great'. that word should be reserved for the very few that shine brightly and prove their worth over every thing that is thrown at them in adversity. but that is only my opinion.


I really don't like it when you try to focus on some one like Seb trying to prove a point which was mentioned loud and clear in your previous article. I am only saying this out of respect to your profession. We got it first time.


Seb is the raining world champion Dan is the new boy in the team. The fact that Red Bull even issued the team order regardless of whether Seb ignored it or not makes this a worthwhile topic.


This was one of, if not the talking point of the race. It deserves to be more than a footnote in a broader article.


I think Monaco will be a track red bull will be able to beat merc and vettel needs to hope he has the car sorted for there. He needs to make the most of any opportunities he gets this year and Monaco and Hungary and maybe Barcelona will be his chances.


I don't think that Monaco's outcome is determined by downforce but more by traction. Mercedes definitely have superior traction over Red Bull so I don't expect that any of the tracks that you mention will benefit Red Bull.


It's obvious to me the red bull has the best traction from watching and if u don't believe me take a look at Fernando alonsos quotes from after the Malaysian Grand Prix when he says the red bull has the best traction of the field too. Fernando also said Barcelona is a red bull track but maybe you know more than Fernando ?


If Red Bull had the best traction them they would be beating Mercedes in the wet which is traction dependant. But Mercedes are still faster in the wet. Look at the sector times. It'n not only in a straight line that Mercedes are faster, it's also in the technical sections. So all of a sudden because Fernando says so and because it is obvious to you than it must be so, and yet Mercedes has won every race this season so far. Funny how you can win races with less traction than Red Bull. Enjoy smoking the rest of your socks, I hope you are enjoying them.


Erm, even Michael Schu put a Merc on pole in Monaco in the dry - no other team has any chance vs Rosberg & Hamilton in 2014 at any circuit. Most dominant car I ever saw in 18years


The fact is that through the corners the red bull is still the fastest thing out there. There speed in the middle sectors in Malaysia and China shows that clearly. Did you see how vettel pulled away out of turn 13 yesterday when rosberg was behind trying to overtake him? The merc only had the advantage on the straights and there isn't too many straights in Monaco.


A wet qualifying in Monaco may let the Red Bull snatch pole and allow them to control the race. Has to be one of their best chances for a win this season. I do think there will be other opportunities tho'.


I'm afraid Merc will win all the races this year. No chance for the rest. But Merc deserve it. They have produced a steamroller.


Lewis has always had an extra something at Monaco. Barring mechanical defects or the vagaries induced by a wet qualifying session, I'll be surprised if he doesn't put it on the front of the grid there.


Hmmmm... did they "lie" to Vettel about him being on 3 stop just so he would let Ricciardo through. Then "change" their mind back to a 2 stop which was the real plan all along??


A 3 stopper letting a 2 stopper through? I dont recall that scenario ever happening. Its normally (almost exclusively) the other way around. Had Seb stopped a 3rd time, he would have been like 25 seconds further back at the end of the day. Back with the midfield runners like Kimi etc.


Agree, that is the question. Why didn't James mention the second part of the team radio conversation in his article?

kenneth chapman

yes sue, i did see on the broadcast that during that period horner was seen talking rather animatedly but the details of that radio discussion were not broadcast!

Still think it's not the car anyone?

No blown Seb. Tough luck! Other drivers that are used to the rear of the car moving around are clearly much more comfortable.


I am confused. Was Sebs car the only one to have this blown diffuser you speak of.


Not blown diffuser, just blown. HUGE difference where I cum from 😉

I know, I know, delete this post...


There were two styles of blown diffuser that the entire grid ran one of in 2013. Williams couldn't get it to work and took it off its car for the last few races of 2013.

McLaren was the leader of the coke-bottle style rear end in 2012 and in general had a better car than Red Bull, but messed it up for 2013. Red Bull started the blown diffuser concept in 2010 and improved it with Renault over the four season.

In 2011 the Renault team (to become Lotus) pioneered hot-blowing where the ignition was delayed to the point where off throttle the car was still burning some fuel, but after the power stroke. Red Bull adopted hot blowing after McLaren did for example. What Red Bull were doing was leaving throttles open and using the engine to pump as much air as possible through the exhausts.

In mid 2012 exhaust blowing was taken a step further in its application by Red Bull. As hot and cold blowing were stopped for 2012 by making the throttles shut when the driver came off the pedal, Vettel-Red Bull-Renault came up with a technique of getting on the throttle before the apex to quell turn-in oversteer. The oversteer helps rotate the car quickly, but normally it comes at the cost of having to slow the rear of the car down before the driver can start the exit phase. What the blown diffuser did was to allow the rear of the car to gain more grip almost instantaneously and stop the slide very efficiently, which effectively allowed the driver to achieve a very late apex without having a slow entry.

The engine maps to achieve this took some development. In Germany 2012 there was some controversy about the new engine maps Red Bull wanted to run and were stopped due to the torque demand to throttle position being quite different from the start of 2012. For 2013 Red Bull wanted to run new maps, but were told that everyone would have to have the same torque demand curves as 2012.

The final iteration of the exhaust blowing technology that I'm aware of is that in the second half of 2013 Renault came up with a map that took into account whether a corner was a left or right hand bend. The V8s would run as 4 cylinder engines to help preserve the tyres in some circumstances. By making the right hand bank be the working one on right hand bends the downforce was increased where it was most needed.

Red Bull started the idea and were the most committed to it, and it generally seemed that Vettel was the driver who worked out how to make the most use of it. You may have seen comments here about Vettel needing to have the rear of the car glued to the ground to be fast, but that is missing a key point. To get the speed the car first needs turn-in oversteer, and so the car needs to be 'moving around'. In racing conditions (as opposed to one lap qualifying) turn-in oversteer is slow as it hurts corner exits and generally chews up the tyres. In a rear wheel drive car, if the back end is sliding applying more power only makes that worse. To gain grip from the exhaust is counter-intuitive. For those who understood Senna's throttle blipping to reduce turbo lag technique, what Vettel did was significant as it was a driver going beyond what was instinctive.

So far the best theory I've read on Vettel's 2014 problems is that he's not happy with the Renault torque delivery, which is reported to be quite abrupt. I haven't been able to study the lines he's been taking too much, but I suspect he's wanting to drive in a similar way to Hamilton - make the slow corners relatively V-shaped and then rotate it quickly, using a mix of throttle and steering inputs to rotate the car quickly. If Ricciardo is taking a more U-shaped line then his throttle input demands would be simpler.




I didn't understand half of what you said but somehow I feel smarter already.

I'm an avid F1 fan, but sadly not very technical or mechanical. But for something I could not comprehend fully, I thoroughly enjoyed your explanation. A bit jealous, actually, but thank you anyway. Cheers.


Finally, an objective comment rather than the highly subjective comments posted by people with opinions but no logic...

Insightful, thank you, Martin


Well said.


Thats a really Interesting and insightful comment, thanks Martin


Red Bull had the best one by a long way; the renault engine was just fantastic at it, particularly in the slow corners. He out did Webber fairly easily but now without it, he's clearly struggling.


No, you are not confused. Seb was the only one with 'that' blown diffuser.


No. But Seb drove it to many victories. Something most others couldn't do.

Shouldn't type when tired



"Many fans worldwide believe that Vettel has been handled with cotton wool and regarded as the Golden Boy at Red Bull, with the backing of Marko and gestures such as the front-wing swap from Mark Webber’s to Vettel’s car at the British Grand Prix in 2010, have served to strengthen those claims."

Webber never wanted that front wing in the first place. He just made a big fuss of it just to appear to be a victim there. He wasn't a team player and showed less respect towards Seb than Ric.


This is absolutely true. David Howard you need to look it up. I remember them being asked before the race how they felt about the new wing and Webber said it made no difference to him. That does not make what Red Bull did (not telling webber they took his wing off) right but still its not like they took off a part he wanted or made a difference


Sorry I must have missed that quote. In that light Webber does look like he was jabbing at the team for personal reasons. I still think RB treated Webber poorly overall over the course of his time there. As one poster said above though, there is so much behind the scenes that we may never know. I would love to know why Marko and Webber seemed to be ready to kill each other all the time.


He wanted the front wing as it was worth time (a tenth), but he said it produced more understeer which he didn't like.


The wing change over showed what was happening within the team....


True. And it is not many fan's around the world, it's more like "many English language media and social media writers"

Many of us foreign non-English speaking F1 fans do not buy all the whiny Webber stories and the hate spewed by those press. Having watched Sebastian since 2007, he has always been fair and definitely a much better team mate than Webber.


Agree completely


'Many of us foreign non-English speaking media and social media writers...' there are no altruists in F1, they're in it to win it.


Absolutely. As usual here no bad mouthing the team from Vettel in public despite getting some poor strategy calls and maybe even lied to, can you imagine if Webber had been in this position?


Which psychic friend gave you this keen insight into Marc Webber's mind? I'm an American with no stake in this game but I'm sorry, RB treated Webber rather poorly. He may not have been as talented as Vettel but they beat on that man relentlessly to keep him in his place. It's my opinion that RB has a real thing about "outside" talent. Since Riccardo is a home grown he has one less political hurdle to leap. Hopefully that means he'll never have to face a Multi 21 or wing swap but we'll see.


In practise that weekend Webber was quoted as not liking the wing upgrade.... You might have an egg in your ear now or all over your chin lah.


Actually I think Webber is/was as good as Vettel but was in a car that wasn't to his style.

He was just old school in that he didn't get on with the blown diffuser with its completely different driving style.

Early last year when they didn't have the diffuser sorted Webber was equal if not better than Vettel, then they developed the blown difusser better and Vettel pulled away again.

Now that there is no blown diffuser, Vettel is struggling again...

In the very secretive, PR controlled world that is F1, I imagine there is a lot we are yet to learn about Weber/red bull/vettel/marko in the coming years....

I only hope Red Bull sponsorship of Mark doesn't trump a tell all book at some point in the future......most likely will though. Sadly.


Seb will be back soon ,hes just 2 good not two get his head around it.In saying that i live in Perth and i find this topic real good. it could of been a lot worse for Dan

roberto marquez

If Vettel was not the spoilt child he is ,Ricciardo might have passed Alonso.This should be penalised with at least 5 grid penalty.


It's all academic. Realistically Dan was never going to pass Alonso, the Red Bull was too far down on straight line speed. Even if Dan had mugged him into a corner Alonso would have sailed past on the long straight with DRS.


So when HAM and ROS race, its 'the greatest race in decades' but if RB drivers race - penalties? What a clever comment.

roberto marquez

If Rosberg had been in front of Hamilton the situation would have been exactly the same, Hamilton ahead and quicker there is no comparison between the two situations.


ROS was quiker, but HAM managed to keep him behind. Pretty much the same situation.


Oh get real man.. A give grid penalty? You are out of your mind..


Oh dear lord people, the man was clearly joking! Where is your sense of humor?


Haha sorry then. I have hard time Reading sarcasm hehe


Thankfully for other fans, you are not the race director or the Red bull team principal 😀


Why should Vettel get a 5 place penalty? He broke no technical rules nor did he crash into Ricciardo. It is a downright silly suggestion to recommend a grid drop in what is clearly a inter-team dispute

roberto marquez

It is just a way of saying that Sebastian should stop being the primma dona he believes to be. I hope Ricciardo does not need a few points to grab some position at the end of the year ,points he should have won today.


Woops, didn't mean to click send!

It's going to be interesting to see Seb come back from this. He has to adapt to these cars and quickly, or else he might end up looking silly (like he said he would if he didn't beat Daniel).

Cracking season ahead. The races might not always be dramatic but there are a lot of stories unfolding.


Sorry to be a spoiler, but in a way the battle between Daniel and Sebastian is, to a certain extent, two bald men squabbling over a comb.


Lewis was able to lap a second a lap faster than the Bull if he wanted. A second a lap. And Merc finished 1-2. And Red Bull finished 4-5.

At the end of the day, Red Bull were scrapping the final place of the podium, and I'm pretty sure Christian, Adrian and co, competitive folk that they are, are only interested in winning. So really finishing 4-5 is at best average.

Kind of puts things in perspective!


The entire rb camp would save a lot of face if they just let the boys race.... Ricciardo had the speed advantage on both occasions, he should have attempted an overtake... Its really nt necessary to radio in to the team. If or when vettel asks for 'help' its as good as blasphemy but in ricciardo's case he gets a pat on the back... Let's face it, vettel is the driver everyone loves to hate especially if u happen to be an "old f1 fan"



RB are already second fastest team on the grid. Not sure many people would have expected that after pre-season testing.

Merc are a long way out front, but if anyone can catch them it is RB; they have won four WCs on the bounce, and have an excellent record of developing their car throughout the season - last season being a classic example.

So I don't even think RIC is purely competing for the glory of beating a 4-time WC. If RB continue to improve, he has a real shot at the title and is certainly staking a claim to be the de facto number one if he is most capable of taking on the Mercs.


Red Bull will never get on competitive terms with Mercedes as long as they have that boat anchor of a Renault engine, its a slug! all the Renault engined cars are struggling, handling wise they are still the best.


I actually would like RB to catch up with Merc, for the sake of the championship.

However, I'm a pragmatist, and a lot is incumbent on Renault F1 finding more power/torque - if that is possible.

I agree the Red Bull chassis is producing excellent downforce, but the lack of straight line speed is incredible. 20 KMH slower!

You are right about Dan the Man - he can certainly challenge for a championship - agree with that.


Higher downforce is making them draggy.

That, combined wwith their short gearing, is why they are slower than the other Renault teams down a straight.


"I agree the Red Bull chassis is producing excellent downforce, but the lack of straight line speed is incredible."

You dont think the two are linked? Running a slightly higher downforce set up to overcome a power deficit, resulting in even less straight line speed?

roberto marquez

"Part of the reason is believed to be the lack of downforce and especially rear-end stability of these cars compared to the...... " Vettel is definetely not the driver he should be after 4 championship wins, he had a car that was GLUED to the track,he only had to move the wheel and accelerate, now he has to drive and he is not up to it.


You know this because you have driven a red bull?

roberto marquez

No I just watch the races.


Wow..You must be a genius, if you can get that all from watching TV


The fact is that we are witnessing a true assessment of Vettel. He is a good, quick driver who happened to have a stunningly good car, and he was able to maximise and adapt to exhaust blown diffusers far better than Webber could. He is not one of the very greatest of all time. Very good, but not from the top drawer.

He has to accept team orders, because today he probably cost Ricciardo a podium by delaying him for a few laps.

kenneth chapman

@ tim. yes, you are quite right. for those vettel apologists [and i say that in the nicest possible way] it may well prove to be differentiator in the long run to the WDC. after all vettel did say, 'i decided not to hold him up any longer'[or words to that effect] which rather proves that he did hold ricci up.


I have been very surprised at how well Dan is driving. He is showing exceptional talents and seems to be such a great personality for the sport. He shows so much enthusiasm, grit and determination. He is developing great relationships with the team, really making it his own. I am also reading that his technical feedback is very impressive.

Vettel has really lost his way. I'm certain he will work things out and start delivering more consistent results but the question seems to be when? This will clearly not be his season. I think he will continue to be outperformed by Dan for a while longer.

It seems pretty clear that Vettel does not enjoy a car that moves around underneath him in dry conditions. He seems to be very unhappy with losing his aero advantage, a formula that he had clearly mastered.

The question is how adaptable can he become? Right now he looks to be in for a long and dreary season as a quick stability fix does not seem likely any time soon.


Your analysis doesn't really stack up with comments about Vettel from the team last year. His whole technique last year was based around having the car initially oversteer into a corner and then using the throttle to energise the diffuser to stop the slide before it hurt the corner exit. To do this he had to make the back end step out in the first place, so that is the car moving him around.

As has been noted below, the German media has raised the abrupt torque delivery of the Renault engine. The suggestion is that Vettel is not getting the throttle sensitivity that he needs for his style. This to me is much more plausible than your theory.


No blown diffuser Seb? Tough luck!


Interesting how after all Vettel might not realy be in the Alonso-Hamilton league, maybe he is just in the Button-Raikkonen one. Still a very quick driver though.


Vettel has won more titles than Alonso and Hamilton together. Think about it for a minute.


Hold that thought…..


Wow Ruben, you stirred up a couple here didn't you... But you're correct in your broad assumption in that SV is not all that he enjoyed making himself out to be these past couple of years, when the story could have been so very different had the prancing horse not mucked up big-style; Vet didn't win all of his championships, he was gifted at least one if not two, but the detractors shall say whatever suits. The garbage about Hamilton being outperformed by 'There's no grip Button' when the debate has been had numerous times on this form and backed up by data to illustrate the contrary, and this gobbledygook about Webber 'not wanting' a new wing is rather unfortunate but illuminates an otherwise dark place for others to dwell and feel pity. I'm not a huge fan of Hamilton, but you are correct in putting both he and Alonso in a category where either can drive the wheels off a largely poor car and obtain results which flatter it beyond it's norm - that is the mark of a champion(s) be it a one-time winner or double, that ability affords them considerably more respect than those who have enjoyed a cakewalk.


True Webber did drop the ball and bin his car under treacherous conditions in Korea, which is widely believed to have cost him the 2010 title. But it came out later that (unknown to the team) he was driving with a broken bone from a second cycling accident and drugged up with pain killers. Can't have helped his performance.

I'm just trying to add a bit of balance.


Absolutely +1!


What is this Hamilton-Alonso league.Your fantasy league?

No champion has it handed over to them. They have won because they had worked hard and were the best of that respective year. The regulations and the car change each year and they have to get on top of it.


When I see Alonso-Hamilton league, I read cheat-liar league. Not a good league. Author of this piece (Meadows, not James) is also wrong on the old Silverstone wing story. Webber didn't like the wing, but didn't want his team mate to have it.


And you know this because Webber told you?


He knows this because it's been well reported. It's only that people tend to remember the first thing they read-which was WEB whinging about the wing and being treated as a number 2-and because believing the initial fiction because of confirmation bias-it fits in with what people already believe.

Webber had 2010 in the bag, except he binned it, all on his own, in Korea, and then totally choking in Abu Dhabi.

Overall, Webber's worse enemy has always been himself, and more specifically, his starts. I bet if you go back over his career, that he has lost more places than he's gained. With Red Bull, in a car designed to run at the front or in clean air, he consistently put himself into the pack. It's not that he was an average starter, he was bad. Fortunately, WEC have rolling starts.


Hamilton has not been at his best for several seasons. Button often outperformed him, Rosberg too. He came alive this season when the car is right. But you still put him in the same league as Alonso. Why not Vettel?


No one ever doubted Hamilton's speed. Even when he was getting beaten, and enjoying banging wheels and dnfs of his own making or otherwise, he was still fast. Vettel has had some car issues but, at the moment, ricciardo is genuinely faster.


I agree with this there has never been doubt over Hamilton's speed. Right now Vettel is simply lacking in speed.


I wonder what happened to RBR strategy analysts. Vettel was comfortably holding 2nd place during the first stint until RBR strategists let Ferrari undercut their leading car at the first round of stops.


Fascinating to watch and listen to Vettel contend with this year's challenges.


+1, and the outright gaul of KK to have the audacity to overtake him... I laughed so hard that it hurt.

all the time you have to leave da space!

James what do you make of the stories in the German media that Vettel's issues are actually engine mappings and not rear end stability like the British media like to make out.

Helmut Marko has come out saying that Daniel has been lucky to hit the right engine mapping off the bat for his driving style while during the very limited testing they had in pre-season , Vettel hasn't be so fortunate as Daniel to have it all set up it's being reported. Since engine mapping controls the whole dynamic of the car and how it handles everywhere as it's vastly more important this year than in previous years, isn't it slightly obvious that when Vettel finds a mapping he enjoys like Ricciardo will he be put back in his place because of it?

Vettel's times in the high speed have been close to Daniel this weekend and better in Malaysia even in the wet so wouldn't rear instability make this more obvious for Vettel to struggle in, rather than being better?

Vettel's soft tyre stint was faster than Daniel by 0.250 a lap on average until it went on the prime so his goose was cooked. So in certain climates Vettel is just as fast and even faster than Daniel when he's happy with the mechanical grip of the tyres.

Seems more like Vettel is struggling with these new Pirelli's in the new era rather than it being rear instability as the main cause for Daniel having the edge on him.


That's an interesting point on the torque delivery of the Renault, which is noted to be quite harsh.

I wouldn't focus too much on the first stint average speeds as they were different lengths and after lap one Vettel had clear air while Ricciardo would have dropped back from Alonso to look after his tyres and run longer.

Vettel may well improve, but that doesn't stop Ricciardo also benefiting from it too, or that Vettel will always be quicker. The Renault last year was noted for its driveability, while Dan has spent most of his racing in F1 with the Ferrari engine. That along with the lower downforce levels of the Toro Rosso may be helping him adjust.


The gap in the first stint could also be explained by saying that Daniel had a car in front of him and he was conserving tyres and fuel….long race. Seb was in clean air after 2 laps because Hamilton took off into the distance. But he still couldn't make his tyres last as long as Daniels and pitted 4 laps earlier.13 to Daniels 17.

Do you agree?



Very interesting and ties in with Dan saying he like the car straight out of the box rather than having to play around with the set up.


Well if RB run true to form then we should expect Pirelli to be forced (sorry, encouraged, owing to safety concerns) in to making yet another change as happened last year.


Only if their tyres explode again.


you are thinking of Mercedes, not RB

Bring back V12's !!!

Tyres were changed to suit RB, not Mercedes mate.


No. The tyres were changed to mercs detriment.


I think horner is covering up the fact that Vettel didn't follow team orders today. They clearly shifted vettel to a 2 stopper as heard in the radio message.


Think you right on that, the explanation by both Horner and Vettel was word perfect though flawed and neither could be relied on to be truthful.

But even if the three stopper was being considered for Vettel, wasn't he so deep into the dudu by then that a further stop could only make matters worse......I suspect this was the best Horner could concoct in the limited time available before he went in front of camera. Pity he had to insult our intelligence in the process.


Couldn't just be the truth from them both I suppose?


I think we need to measure it against the "Bernie Eccleston Truthometer (TM)" for an uneqivocal, genuine & non-spin result, don't you? 😉

Bring back V12's !!!

Horner/truthful? Both words I wouldn't normally put in the same sentence.

kenneth chapman

why change the habits of a lifetime sue?


While I love to see my countryman putting it up on Sebastian, I dare not right off the 4 time world champ. It may end up being a changing of the guard but at this stage I will hold my grin with great trepidation.

As for if Seb really pulled over, I think not until he went slightly wide and then made the decision to save face in the middle of the corner.


The issue here is not whether he's lying about letting Dan through or how badly he's performing. It should be about how he reacted to that order. If I cut off my bosses cojones in public, a large Malaysia 2013, I'd get my posterior kicked all over the shop. If I blatantly tried to do it again I'd be kicked out!!


oh absolutely, they should fire a 4x WDC, 39 race winner, who is all of 26 and has what? only has a measly 10 more seriously competitive years in him, at best? Of course VET would be incredibly lucky even to pick up a seat in F1 after RBR let him go, I'm sure nobody else would want a loose cannon such as him and he might end up hanging out with DiResta in DTM, though more than likely, he'd be looking to do some sprint racing around dirt tracks in the US, but he's probably not good enough even for that...


So your boss makes what you think is a bad decision and you just nod and do it? That's kind of sad, what kind of work are you in, want to make sure I never join that sort of industry.


You're actually doing well to be given the chance to do it a second time.... It says a lot about Horner though, and none of it complimentary.


Right, they should fire him, not cover for him. He is driving their car and they don't need him, they have Ricc and can probably get Alonso. But Vettel thinks he's Schumacher.


I notice you didn't have any issuea with Raikkonen swearing at Parmeane and Massa disobeying the team orders.


Funnily enough massa and raikkonnen haven't offended more than once. Vetted got away Scott free last year, if red bull do nothing now then it'll look like they condone the driver throwing their weight around

kenneth chapman

@rohind.....your final para says it all. why would red bull issue team orders in the first place then?


Check the statements from Dan,Horner and Vettel again and watch the highlights.He did leave a wide gap which he could have easily covered.So in short he let him by.Although I believe Dan would have overtaken him in another couple of laps.

And BTW Massa and Raikkonen are not 4 time world champions and drivers before Vettel have done worse ,like crashing into team mates ( prost/senna),deliberately screwing up team mate's qualification ( Alonso/Hamilton ). So compared to that,Vettel is a saint.

Also F-1 driving is not like your regular day job.is it? Unless u have your cohones, I doubt anybody will make it this far.

And finally,if Red bull doesn't have problems with him disobeying team orders, why would you??


Looking at what Vettel is going through makes you realise what an impressive driver is Alonso, he's constantly able to adapt himself to get the best out of what's available to him, having driven different cars under different regulations and he is always up there. Not saying that Vettel is bad, just that Fernando's qualities come out even more. Just look at Raikkonen, he is another brilliant driver that seems to struggle with these new cars.


I am not a particular fan of Alonso, but credit where credit is due. When he and Massa came together on the first corner Massa lifted and, in so doing, was nearly collected by the driver behind. In contrast, Alonso didn't even appear to blink!

If you look up the word 'formidable' in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Alonso. Mind you, if you look up the word untrustworthy, his picture should be there as well.


hmmm, and yet Vettel still has a podium finish this year - not something the "great" RIC has accomplished yet (RIC would have been P5 in AUS if RBR had use the sensor per Race Control). In fact, VET got his podium before ALO.

Folks also seem to forget that VET was pretty darn fast in 2007 with BMW and Toro Rosso, and again in 2008. He was fast straight out of the gate with RB in 2009 as well (before double diffusers etc.). Was he rough around the edges, absolutely, he was like 20/21 years old.

In 2012, ALO needed to rely on the shunt between Senna and VET and then between Hulkenberg and Hamilton to be in with a shot for the WDC. ALOs strategy is to be the last man standing, rather than grasping victory for himself. It almost paid off in 2012.

You can see this even more clearly in 2010, ALO's only needed a P4 in Abu Dhabi to win the WDC (with Vettel winning). P4 and not in the 3rd or 4th best car, but for sure at least the second fastest car on the grid. And he couldn't do it. You could fault Ferrari for having ALO cover Webber, but ultimately, ALO thought WEB was his main competitor (would would actually need to win the race with ALO finishing 3rd) and he was, wait for it, wrong. ALO didn't put in a championship drive when he needed to do it most.

WRT Hamilton, he phoned in most of 2011 and then again the latter part of 2013, and no one faults him for or calls him average?

Yet with Vettel, all of 4 races into a whole new formula of cars, requiring a new style of driving, and teams still trying to come to grips with engine maps, etc., and we have proof positive that he's not up to it? That he's not on par with ALO or HAM?



Could not have put it better.


Well said. I share your views on the gaps in Alonso and Hamilton's abilities - the mental strength that Vettel has in spades to go out and grasp a championship not wait for it to fall in his lap.

kenneth chapman

i do think that in the end you will realise that raikonnen was only ever slightly above average. his reputaion is vastly overstated.IMO.


I've been of that opinion for a long time.


Simply put why he's not won a WDC in a while!


As if drivers were not driving cars...





Fernando is quite simply brilliant. Time and time again he outperforms his car. They say that no driver wins a title in a car that is not the fastest, well Fernando came within 3 points in 2012 in not even the second fastest car. Until Sebastian stops whining and starts doing the same, his championships will always be viewed with skepticism.


Agree, Vettel needs to show he can drive in a not so perfect car.

Was not a Alonso fan until he moved to Ferrari, he has shown the world what a great talant he is.

It would be a travesty, if he does not win a third WDC.

kenneth chapman

@ tom... errrrr....it's not possible to 'outperform the car'. whatever performance anyone gets out of a car is only what the car is capable of delivering in the first place.


I wonder if Seb would have been Champion 4 times had he not had the blown diffuser, and why hasn't he figured the new car out by now. Isn't "feel" what makes a Champion stand out ?

The question is whether Daniel would have caught Alonso if Sebastian had let him past when asked. Once again he's going his own way.


With RBR's straight line speed probably not.


When silly questions likethis are being asked you start to wonder whether people just started watching F1 in 2010.

He didnt have blown diffuser in TR or in 09



Do you remember when Seb used to pull away at the start in order to get out of DRS range? And how you used to assure us it was all Seb magic and not just the car? What can have happened? Has Seb forgotten how to drive?

That must all seem a long while ago now 🙂



Don't get what point I am trying to prove? Sure you do, it's very simple. You and your fellow SV acolyte's have spent a considerable amount of time assuring everyone that SV was some kind of demigod, who could walk on water should he so desire. We, the unconverted, spent an equal amount of time explaining that it was the car that afforded SV the advantage he enjoyed. So, now the car is gone, SV is exposed for what he was - a good driver in a great car (as another poster said, he is like Button, just with more titles). Surely if he was as good as you claim, he would be able to beat his teammate at least. A 4x WDC against a comparative novice, SV should be brushing his teeth with DR.

As for your claims of schadenfreude, I can't deny it. Whenever Red Bull, Horner or Vetell have some kind of trouble it always puts a spring in my step. Not so much as when Hamilton wins of course, but a definite spring nonetheless 🙂


In that era he was the only one who could do it! Also Rosberg is doing same as Hamilton he led the race same way in Australia so I don't get what point you are trying prove.

Yes he might be struggling now but the schadenfreude display by fans of Hamilton is just funny not happy that their driver is winning, but more interested in Vettel struggling it just shows even when he's not on top its all about him.


Been watching since 1978...and observing true champions adapt to changes like ground effects and turbos for a long time.


Vettel does not spill out excuses like other drivers... in 2010 we know that he lost a couple of races to webber because of a problem with the chassi but vettel never talked about that...thats is exactly why he is GREAT. when you don't look for excuses you learn faster because you always try to see how you can improve. Vettel will be back in no time.


Vettel has no humility... You could see he was devastated after Ric knocked him off by 0.6s...

The pressure of that alone caused the "tough luck" reaction.. I'm guessing there will be more to come..



I don't know who made it known, but we knew about Vettle's chassis problem at the time and it was being commented on, so I'm thinking he didn't really need to put it forward as an excuse.


Man, the crowd of F1 followers can be really short-sighted, can't they?

Nearly every driver in the history of F1, including the greats, have gone through periods when their teammates were going more quickly. This doesn't say anything about how great or talented they are, but rather that a) their teammates are bloody quick, and b) that the standard of F1 is extremely competitive.

F1 doesn't work the way that things are usually written on paper. These drivers aren't robots who you plug into the cars and they perform according to some pre-engineered specifications. They are human beings, and sometimes human beings have a tough time figuring something out in their jobs- especially if their jobs involve the kind of complexity that a F1 car has.

The measure of a great driver is whether or not they are able to figure out what they need to do to adjust, respond, and come out on top. Vettel has been in this position before in which his teammate was challenging his pace, if not eclipsing it sometimes. And he would always come out on top in the end. So instead of saying that Vettel isn't really all that great, what we should be saying is that Ricciardo must be a bloody good driver if he is able to get right in a car and start beating his 4x World Champion teammate, regardless if said teammate is not at his best right now due to whatever.

I fully expect Vettel to respond. But with that said, it will not be nearly as easy for him as it has been in the past. Daniel Ricciardo is the real deal, and he is capable of going quicker than Vettel.


Nearly every driver in the history of F1, including the greats, have gone through periods when their teammates were going more quickly.


it never happened to Senna or Alonso,



it never happened to Senna or Alonso,"

Trulli was regularly faster than Alonso in 2004.

Lewis was matching him/faster than him in 2007.

There were also times in 2005/06 when Fisichella was getting the better of him.

As to Senna.

Berger matched/beat him a dozen times while they were team mates. Berger thrashed him in his 1st qualifying session for McLaren, Berger got pole while Senna was 5th, 8 tenths behind.

Hakkinen beat him 1st time out in qualifying at Estoril in 1993.

Barrichello & Massa proved to be faster than Schumacher on occasions while teammates.


GP, well yes there's 1989, but also in 1988 Prost beat Senna on total points gained, but not on the Best-11 results. Of course those were the rules going in, so fair's fair, and it was that year actually a better way of separating the drivers (Senna won 8 races to Prost's 7).

clyde, forget this "matched him on points" thing ... where was Alonso classified in the 2007 DWC? That remains the closest finish in the DWC from 1st-3rd.

I don't see anything sinister in that quote ... they (Hamilton's side of the garage) were racing Alonso. McLaren screwed Lewis up in China, and then there was the mysterious gearbox issue in Brazil (after Alonso's brake test on Lewis). Add that to the fact that Lewis had to play second fiddle to Alonso in the first 5 races, and I think it evens out. I'm not saying that McLaren shouldn't have favoured Alonso in the early races, they should've, but equally it's clear that that hurt Hamilton's title bid later on.

Really, that year McLaren needed Alonso to be a bit better than he was, and Lewis to not be as good as he turned out to be. That would've made the whole situation more clear cut for all.


also to compare barichello and massa to Schumacher is plain stupid


@ peterG
In 2003 Alonso beat his very experienced teammate Jarno Trulli by 22 points in the Drivers’ Championship, finishing sixth with the Italian eighth.In 2004 he finished fourth in the championship, 12 points and two places ahead of Trulli
Against Fishchella Races: 35
Head-to-Head (where both finished): Alonso 24-5
Qualifying: Alonso 26-9

In 2007 against Hamilton
Head-to-Head (where both finished): Alonso 8-6
Fernando was fighting not only hamilton but the entire McLaren team so much so that The FIA appointed a steward at Interlagos to keep an eye on the McLaren pit during qualifying. Who can forget Ron Denis comment after Japan "The problem was rain and [Hamilton's] tyres were in the worst condition. But we weren’t at all fazed about Kimi. We weren’t racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando"
That year Hamilton and Alonso scored de same amount of points,

As for Senna
In the three races he and Hakinnen were team mates
Q senna 4 hakk 3
R senna ret hakk crashed
Q Senna 2 Hakk 3
R senna won Hakk 3
Q Senna pole Hakk 5
R Senna Won Hakk ret

Senna and Berger
Senna 19 – Berger 4

Senna 17 – Berger 2.

Nuff said 🙂

GP Back To Adelaide

Re Berger vs Senna. For their first race as team mates at Phoenix in 1990 there was unexpected rain on the Saturday which meant that no driver improved on their Friday time. Over the course of the season it was Senna 12 - Berger 4 in qualifying. In 1991 it was Senna 13 - Berger 3. In 1992 it was Senna 14 - Berger 1.

Total poles in their time together:

Senna 19 - Berger 4

Total wins in 1990-92:

Senna 16 - Berger 3.

(Actually make it 17 - 2 for the gift to Berger at Japan 1991).

Total points (10-6-4-3-2-1):

223 - 135

World Drivers Championships 1990-92:

Senna 2 - Berger 0

You call that matched?

p.s. where are these "dozen times"?

p.p.s where was Mika Hakkinen in the Estoril race, and when Senna was busy winning Japan and Adelaide 1993?

Although he was beaten from "time to time" Senna is the one of the very few drivers NEVER to have been beaten by a team mate over their entire time together. Don't even start me on 1989...


Vettel went too deep and Ricciardio passed him on the inside. You could clearly see Vettel's car slide on all 4 tires.


To me it appeared they were both fanging it into the corner, and SV chose to take a non-optimal line (on the marbles) and attempt a late brake, swing back to the inside line with better traction on a straighter corner exit and simply lost it a little under braking, being on the marbles. By then his idea had been lost and tried to minimise loss of ground to DR on corner exit.


Well,Well, will all those subscribers to J.A site who beat the drum forcing their opinion how Vettel is the great if not the best F1 driver ever, come forward please.

Today F1 in China was on disply for all to se how Vettel is just an ordinary without the dominating car,but also very selfish and not one bit a team player.

To compare him to Alonso you got to be kidding he's not Alonso shoe lace when it comes to a truly great F1 deiver.


If all were on same level, he would have same number of titles.


And BBC Sport found Vettel the 4th best F1 ever. They put him above Schumi. Disgraceful and shameful on them.



I would just like to see some consistency in the comments.

Massa was widely applauded for ignoring a similar team order.

Also, let's look back to 2011 at the British Grand Prix. People were outraged that Red Bull had the temerity to order Mark Webber to "maintain the gap" in the closing stages of the race. Mark Webber ignored the team order and was supported by most people for doing so. People thought it was a disgrace what Red Bull did.


I just ask for some consistency in the comments.


I noticed that this piece and two you linked to have three different authors (Allen, Hynes and Meadows). That may set some of the tone. As to those posting comments, the moderator only censors language and some topics, not irrational, illogical or strongly biased ideas.


It's not about what you do, it's about who you are and whether they like you lol 😉


And people don't like vettel. Simple as. Multi 21 didn't help, neither did wing Gate, nor how Turkey 2010 was handled. Sad really because he seems quite likable and is an exceptional talent.


It's clear that this years' cars are posing different challenges to different drivers. At this point I'm reluctant to draw any firm conclusions when there are three teams whose drivers' performance seems 'interesting' to say the least.

Is Kimi really so much slower than Alonso? Is Rosberg really so much slower than Hamilton? And of course, is Ricciardo the next coming of Senna/Clark/whomever?

An interesting season to say the least!


Rosberg is not being "much slower" than Hamilton by any means.


Interesting to see so many people here seem to think that F1 racing is just about being able to drive faster in circles. A true racer should be able to overtake on their own merit. Nico was faster than Lewis in Bahrain, yet he was unable to overtake Lewis. That's not unusual in F1, and it's a joy watching a good defender holding off a quicker car.

Mercedes did not tell Lewis to move aside just because Nico was faster. That's what racing is about.

RBR has lost it's plot this weekend. They looked like a bunch of amateurs -- for allowing the Ferrari undercut on Vettel and issuing this team order. There's no way Ricciado could have overtaken Alonso, not with that RB10's straight line speed. This team order was as bad and as unnecessary as the one in Malaysia last year.

F1 is getting worst each year not just because we have a one team domination but also it's getting less and less about racing.

kenneth chapman

i haven't had the time to check out the times as such but i do believe that at one stage, just after ricci passed vettel, that the gap to alonso was something like 4.5/5.0secs. the margin at the flag was something in the order of 1.2 secs.

if that was the case then obviously ricci would have had a fighting chance to beat alonso as the vettel hold up would've cost ricci at least a couple of secs.

maybe someone has the details to check this assumption out?


It's been a long year since f1 was about the racing. It's about the racing and the personalities and rivalries and politics. It's a soap opera and I love it.

Real world calling

Watch something else then. It's not always about only the racing.


Well said.


A very harsh and biased article that is normally not seen in this forum and seen on the likes of Andrew Benson and BBC.

I can see many Vettel bashers have already started ranting abt him not obeying team orders.But they conveniently forget what Raikkonen said to Parmeane last year and what Massa did this year.In fact they applaud them for standing up to their team and keeping up the true racing spirits.

If in both the cases, if it was Ricciardo who had to yield, same people would have raised a ruckus.

'Many fans believe that Vettel was handed with a

Cottol wool and was golden boy in redbull'.

Yes.Many British and Spanish fans do.

James, we were also watching the race.He did give Ricciardo a plenty of space when it looked like he could have covered him easily.So no reason to disbelieve him.But yes,Ricciardo would have overtaken him eventually


You are not comparing apples with apples. During Raikkonen's tenure with Lotus, his income (salary) was detrmined by how many points he scored. Permane had no right to ask him to move over and he certainly had no call to swear at Kimi over the radio. That little outburst likely cost Lotus millions and I am surprised that he still has a job.


Is the article biased or is it that you are biased towards Vettel ....Food for thought


Spot on! Need to be responsible while writing such an article. So when vettel is faster and asks Mark to move over in Malaysia then Seb is being a brat!! Double standards! This is such a shame!

I am wondering what all anti-Seb fans will have to say when he starts beating Ric in coming races!! And yes it is going to happen, soon!! Lets see who will have the last laugh!!

kenneth chapman

yes vettel may come back with a rush. anything is possible but i would like to borrow your crystal ball for a while as there are some tasty offers on the share market at the moment.

as for what we'll say when vettel takes control and annihilates ricci... he must be cheating hahaha


Has any 'great' driver ever been shown-up by a team-mate when they had identical, healthy cars?


Not shown up, but beaten yes: Prost, Senna, Alonso are the clear examples.


Who beat Senma?



1989 Qualifying Senna 13 prost 2

race wins Senna 6 prost 4


now you know why prost won

Senna vs berger

Senna and Berger

Poles Senna 19 – Berger 4

Wins Senna 17 – Berger 2.


Alain Prost in 1989. And Gerhard Berger, who was not a great driver, in 1992 was very very close to beat him. They ended 7-7 in head to head position finishes.

GP Back To Adelaide

Alain Prost springs to mind


Agreed, but if Vettel is a 'great', then DR must be a Senna.


There are a lot of examples in F1 but in most, if not all cases they were both F1 greats.

The point is, 4xWDC should eat for breakfast a new tech car, new regulations, all competition and brush his teeth with new, young teammate. At least some voices around the world (and here) were making a lot of noise about his extraterrestrial abilities. Many of us are now surprised - where is that Superman now ?





The point is, 4xWDC should eat for breakfast a new tech car, new regulations, all competition and brush his teeth with new, young teammate.....

Absolutely spot on 🙂




2007 when rookie Hamilton matched and beat two time world champion Alonso.


In 2007 against Hamilton

Head-to-Head (where both finished): Alonso 8-6

Fernando was fighting not only hamilton but the entire McLaren team who even fiddled with his tyre pressures during qualifying in China to prevent him from claiming pole so much so that The FIA appointed a steward at Interlagos to keep an eye on the McLaren pit during qualifying. Who can forget Ron Denis comment after Japan “The problem was rain and [Hamilton's] tyres were in the worst condition. But we weren’t at all fazed about Kimi. We weren’t racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando”

Despite all this Alonso finished on the same amount of points as hamilton