Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 14th October 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day.

Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1

Editor’s note: The tweeting of the daily news story links recently was excellent from TJ13 readers. We had a record number of new visitors from twitter – thank you

Relentless Vettel (08:00)

Brundle the bumbler (10:32)

Pirelli on the brink (11:02)

Rules, rules….. (11:11)

Vettel favoured? (11:32) updated (14:28)

Mercedes play engine catchup (13:17)

Brawn’s future and some recruitment in general (15:08)

Maldonado Madness Re-Materialises (18:13)

Abu Dhabi sell out (18:15)

Infiniti, Infinity now Quantum (18:17)

Ferrari imploding? (18:55)

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Relentless Vettel

Given that the bookmakers around the world have now given up on offering markets for Vettel to win the World Drivers’ Championship, it would seem to almost all involved in the world of F1, that the title this year was a foregone conclusion.

However, almost all, does not include Sebastian Vettel as he stated following the race, “We will keep pushing.” He continued to say, “It looks very good at the stage but it’s not over until it’s over.” One has to wonder how much of an advantage would mean Vettel himself could admit that the excitement of this years Championship is purely for who will finish in the top 3.

Is this just another example of the Red Bull marketing machine/Vettel not caring how they relate to the fans? Furthermore, this was a great opportunity to show the human side of the team. These actions only open the team and individual to further criticism. So Sebastian, do you really think the fat lady isn’t singing yet?

Let’s get real, ALonso is 90 points behind Vettel with 100 available and he is the only driver who could theoretically win the WDC. Yet to do this he has to win all 4 remaining races and Vettel score a mere 9 points. Nobody in their right mind could attribute less than odds of 1,000,000 on this occurrence.

The problem with Vettel and Horner is that they’ve become so ‘on song’  with the corporate image line, they don’t even know they are doing it any more – and they sound quite ridiculous.

Having won his 3rd world title, Senna was already the idol of Brazilian sport, and now he became a great idol of world sport. He had this to say, “There is a great desire in me of improving. Getting better. That makes me happy. 

And every time that I feel I am slowing down my learning process, my learning curve is getting flatter or whatever, then it doesn’t make me very happy.

And that applies not only as a professional, as a racing driver, but also as a man.

Of course,

“I shall have a lot more to learn as a man, than a racing driver, because my career could last not many years. My life hopefully will go still for a long time.

Maybe I’m only at the half of my life right now, so there is a lot to go, a lot to learn, a lot to do still in life. And happiness will come when I feel complete as a whole, which definitely I don’t feel today”.

Watching these words spoken, has been described to me as ‘a mesmerising and inspiring experience’. Neither Horner nor Vettel have yet demonstrated they are capable of grasping the world sporting stage as did Senna, and their persistent mantra about ‘the team, winning, the team, winning and now…. its not over yet….’, all sounds rather shallow, boring and is most irritating.

Michael Schmidt commented this weekend, that it wasn’t always this way. He believes Vettel has been subsumed by the Red Bull PR machine, and that the young German would be liked much more were he to open himself up more to the public.

Senna understood to be a great champion of the world, he had to embrace the public side of this new found Global sports star status. On the other hand, Sebastian Vettel wants to be ‘private’ and do corporate speak. What does anybody expect the fans to think?

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Brundle the bumbler

Sometimes I have to wonder why we watch some of the ‘self appointed’ guardians of F1. Having lectured the crowd in Singapore, Martin Brundle is now in possession of very secret information which he is prevented from telling anyone. This is lighting up the internet as a ‘hot rumour’.

Brundle’s last prediction was that the Pirelli deal was all signed up and complete – back in Canada – it wasn’t and isn’t.

Repeatedly throughout SKY’s 5 hour broadcast the confidence Brundle has earned over 30 years was referred to as he claimed knowledge that Nico Hulkneberg had already signed a contract – but couldn’t divulge who, where or when.

Maybe SKY feel intimidated by the BBC, and Eddie Jordan with his accurate inside knowledge has put pundit Brundle under pressure.

Anyway, what is the point of saying, I know something… but can only tell you when it’s common knowledge??? Self Promotion, Insecurity….. ?

Surely the German pundits are better than this lot?

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Pirelli on the brink

Italy’s Italiaracing reports that Pirelli are upping the anti and have threatened to quit the sport for 2014 unless they can tyre test. “Pirelli is tired of tainting its name because of a Formula One in which it is forbidden to test in a proper way”.

It appears that the company philosophy of ‘all tyre publicity is better than none’, as espoused many times by Paul Hembery, has indeed now changed. Tired of the negative publicity from all quarters over their tyres, Pirelli wants to ensure they are not the centre of attention for 2014 – and as yet there is concern they may well be so.

The Pirelli management are demanding an Abu Dhabi tests when F1’s new strategic committee meets next Monday. “Pirelli wants the same treatment that Bridgestone and Michelin had, when they could test their tyres at length,” says Raymond Blancafort of El Mundo Deportivo, adding, “Marco Tronchetti Provera could leave F1 without tyres [for 2014.

This state of affairs is absurd as we are around 3 months away from the start of Winter testing. Is the FIA completely paralysed from the infighting over the up-coming elections? If so, David Wards ‘executive officer’ responsible for F1 appears a more and more necessary appointment the FIA must make.

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Rules, rules…..

To embrace their partnership with Reneault, Remy Taffin was selected by Red Bull to attend the podium ceremony on behalf of the Red Bull team.

However, he was scuttling around in the drivers’ ready room behind the stage, panicked by the fact that an FIA official had refused him access to the podium unless he was wearing a Red Bull shirt. He had his yellow Renault Sport shirt on, as do all the Renault employees and engineers.

By the time the drivers were announced for the presentation ceremony, Taffin had found a rather large Red Bull shirt, He was presented with the trophy for the race winning constructor, and beamed with satisfaction as he repeatedly pointed to the name ‘Renault’ on the right sleeve of his newly acquired Red Bull top.

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Vettel favoured?

Red Bull have again done themselves no favours in the way they handled the decisions around race strategy for the team.

Yes, we are all agreed that in the past Webber has been harder on tyres than Vettel. Horner claimed yesterday Webber had run out of tyres on his first stint so they pitted him on lap 11. We can’t know for sure whether this was in fact the case because even though on lap 10 Webber had lost 0.4s to Grosjean, this had happened also on lap 7.

Red Bull did exactly the right thing by splitting the driver strategies when the window opened for the 2nd tyre change for a 3 stop strategy. This put pressure on Lotus and Grosjean the way the 2 Lotus drivers did so to Vettel in Germany.

However, they didn’t offer the opportunity for choice of strategy to their lead car.

Webber displayed metronomic consistency with his lap times the second run of 14 laps, and there was no sign of drop off when he was called in on lap 26. The question being asked is – why did the team not offer him the 2 stop strategy?

Webber claimed to SKY following the race he had questioned the team over the radio when they called him in early for stop number 2. “After that first stop the guys said ‘We’re still on two [stops] – no problem, look after the tyres, we can get to the target lap’. That was the plan”, It clearly was the plan Red Bull wanted Webber to hear.

Yet Christian Horner stated after the race, “The key aspect was obviously the first stint. We went in to the race hoping and thinking it would be marginal for a two-stop but we believed that probably in clear air we could do that. I think the first stint dictated everything for us when Mark put Grosjean under quite a lot of pressure and went through the tyre phases pretty quickly to the point that he’d run out of tyres by the lap he pitted on.

That was pretty early in the race, which was too short for us in our own minds to make a two-stop really work because you’d effectively run out of tyres in that last stint”.

Why not just tell Webber the plan had changed? The Aussie explains further, “I was looking to wait off the back of Romain and then squeeze up to the back of him between lap 28-31 or 32. Then I think on lap 25 the guys said we’re going to three-stop, which is five laps shorter than the two-stop anyway. I asked the guys ‘Are you sure this is right?’ And they said ‘Yes, we’re going to give it a go’, and we gave it a go; you’ve got to give it 100%.”

When asked why he didn’t over rule the team’s decision, Webber reveals, “I don’t have the whole chess match in front of me. I have what’s in front of me here, I thought that Romain was strong on the option but not so strong on the prime. When I decided to pull the pin and go straight on the back of him I could do that quite straight-forward.

Then I went there and thought ‘OK let’s wait again, we can still sit on the two-stop and wait for him to have some tyre problems at the end’ but they then said ‘No, we need to pit now, let’s go for the three’. They had more information, they always generally do in front of them and that was it.”

When Webber said this, he hadn’t heard Horner’s comments which make it plain the team had decided ABOUT 14 laps before the call for his second stop that he would be doing a 3 stop race.

The Australian was clearly upset on the podium, choosing to stand the other side of Romain Grosjean and as far away from Vettel as possible during the Eddie Jordan interviews.

Sebastian was flawless yesterday, and may well have beaten Webber and Grosjean had it been he that was put onto a 3 stop strategy; though the German’s podium comments recalling how he had been hunted down and caught in the past – had a hint of a pre-planned defence of the team’s decision to 3 stop Mark.

This is clearly just another example of why people believe Vettel is favoured by the Red Bull team. They believe this because Vettel has has been favoured, clearly he still is being favoured, and all we want is for Red Bull to admit it and stop treating us like fools.

Watch out Daniel, 2014 may get very rough!!!!

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Mercedes play engine catchup

Renault this set the new record this weekend for providing ‘the grunt’ which has taken the most pole positions in F1 history. They overtook Ferrari’s 208 powered pole positions, setting 209 as the new benchmark – this despite the company only joining F1 in 1977 as an engine supplier.

Vettel has 20% of these pole positions and the current Renault V8 has scored 62 pole positions since 2006 which is 44% of the available poles.

Renault-powered cars have won 160 Grands Prix and 11 Constructors’ titles, with 7 drivers using the engine en route to 10 drivers’ crowns.

Rob White, Renault Sport F1 deputy managing director, commented, “It is tempting to say this is just a number, but it is a source of immense pride for everyone at Renault. Since 1977 we have been able to consistently power cars to pole position, demonstrating not just the overall strength of the expertise within the group, but our ability to work with the teams to create fast cars.

Our ethos has always been to provide the means for the chassis teams to be able to design the best car they can, with as few compromises as possible. We’ve kept this tradition from the very first V6 to the final V8 that will race for the last time just a few weeks from now. To get this record gives us even more motivation to maintain our success rate into the challenging era of the new generation 2014 V6 turbo”’

Prior to the current period of domination, the Renault V10 reigned supreme in the 1990s. Between 1992 and 1997 and that was on pole for 77 races, almost 80% of the GPs held.

In between these time periods, we saw the Ferrari power unit dominate in the hands of Michael Schumacher, though whether Maranello can produce a V6 Turbo engine that will dominate F1 for the next few years, is questionable.

The common assumption within the world of F1 has for some time been that Mercedes will build the best engine/ERS package for the new regulations in 2014. TJ13 was informed earlier this year by the designer from one of the teams building a new F1 V6 engine, the trade off will be between greater reliability and weight.

Renault believe they have the balance about right, though admit to pushing the envelope on the issue of weight.

Much of the new V6 powetrain talk has been about torque. We have heard that the torque capabilities of the 2014 engines could see driver’s spinning up the rear wheels in 4th and even 5th gear.

This and recent revelations from Renault over how they have been manipulating torque in the current engine design, is causing some concern for the German badged engine outfit in Brixforth.

Toto Wolff commented this weekend that he believed the Renault engine mapping and torque manipulation has been the significant factor in the rapid advance of RB9 development since the summer. He admitted, “If that’s the case, we need to find out why we have missed something”.

With Newey pushing the limits on design in partnership with Renault – the masters of engine configuration – TJ13 has recently heard genuine concern expressed from a competitor that Red Bull/Renault may again be dominant in 2014 – unless engine reliability issues strike.

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Brawn’s future and some recruitment in general

The future role of Ross Brawn is now out in the open following the weekend in Suzuka. When asked directly by SKY about his future in Brackley, Brawn candidly replied, “I think we need a very clear definition of who is in charge and obviously I need the motivation to carry on.”

The team has senior management staff which includes Brawn, Paddy Lowe, Aldo Costa, Bob Bell and Geoff Willis – together with the ‘hands on’ shareholder interlopers – Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda. Ross was asked if he would walk away from the sport if Mercedes didn’t give him the answer he wishes and he smirked and replied,“Not necessarily walk away from the sport.”

The rumours still abound this weekend that Brawn will join McLaren/Honda sooner rather than later and a high level of credence has been attributed to Martin Whitmarsh’s comments in Korea that recruitment aplenty was happening in Woking, but “there are some as-yet unannounced, that will be headline-grabbing when they get announced.

McLaren were gleeful in Japan when briefing on their current Red Bull coup – having prised away Red Bull’s aerodynamics chief Peter Prodromou.

On the subject of technical staff recruitment, Jonathan Neale is adamant, “This is not something isolated. There are other things we are going to do to strengthen the team. It’s a series of things aimed at 2015 and Honda, to ensure we are on the road to victory.

Christian Horner was questioned about Prodromou leaving for McLaren and responded, “Peter is a valued member of the team, he is making a valuable contribution. We have got tremendous strength in team within the team.

The content of any contract obviously is confidential but the duration of his contract runs for quite a while yet. We’re certainly in no rush to release him early and he will be with the team until the end of his existing agreement.”

Horner was then questioned whether Prodromou would be allowed to work right up to the point when he leaves for McLaren. He replied, Well that’s what he did with McLaren before he came to us.”

This was a politically correct answer because as Mr. Saward suggests today, “The Red Bullies are trying to make out that Prodromou cannot start at Woking until 2015. That is pure bull.

It is a magnificent irony, but no F1 aerodynamicist can be kept out of the market for more than six months because that would affect their ability to work in F1. That ruling dates back about 15 years to when a Mr Newey applied to the court in order to escape from Williams to work with McLaren”.

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Maldonado Madness Re-Materialises

Maldonado said last week he was unhappy with the Williams effort, and his driving in Japan appears to bear out he feels under pressure. He has been criticised by his team mate Bottas for the move he pulled towards on the last lap of the race,

Speaking about the incident at the final chicane Bottas states, “There was no space on the track. It was not fair. If I hadn’t gone straight on we’d have crashed. Racing shouldn’t be like that.”

Maldonado unsurprisingly sees matters differently and criticised the team for the race strategy. “I got the position. I was faster than him but the strategy on my car was completely wrong.” Maldonado ran a 2 stop race as did Valterri. He continued, “We got 100 percent from the car. It’s not making a big difference [fighting for 16th place] but when you are a racer you always want to take a position from the other drivers.”

Mmm. If fighting for 16th is no big deal, why risk such a move on the last lap against your team mate – the person you least should want to collide with?

Claire Williams confirmed that the incident is to be reviewed.

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Abu Dhabi sell out

3 weeks before the race, the Gulf News reports that the race promoters of the Abu Dhabi GP have a mere 2,500 tickets left for sale. The circuit has five grandstand areas – Main Grandstand, West Grandstand, North Grandstand, South Grandstand and Marina Grandstand (aka Support) and has a crowd capacity of 41,093.

There are no tickets for sale as General Admission, and prices begin at over 400 euro’s for the least expensive of seats.

In a slightly confusing statement, Richard Cregan, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit, said. “With fewer than three weeks to go and only one more race before the teams arrive in Abu Dhabi, the excitement is building, We’re expecting more fans than ever before this year. As we look forward to another sell-out event, we encourage customers to book their tickets as soon as they can.”

Off-track, the entertainment the promoter “promises to bigger and better than ever before, with four after-race concerts exclusive to F1 ticket holders: Amr Diab, Elissa and Hussain Al Jasmi on Thursday night, rap legend Jay-Z on Friday, MUSE on Saturday and Depeche Mode on Sunday”.

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Infiniti, Infinity now Quantum

You have to love it when a group of investors stride into F1, dazzled by the glitter and glamour, believing they may make a fortune but certain to rub shoulders with the stars of the F1 circus. Some months ago (June was it?) when Lotus announced the consortium which was to buy 35% of the team as Infinity Racing – TJ13 poked fun over the possible confusion.

The fact that these people had no idea ‘Infiniti’ was the title sponsor of the all conquering Red Bull team says it all. However, following a few legal shots across the bow, the Middle East investors have decided to change the name of their motor racing business to Quantum Motorsports.

Even though this name change has occurred, no deal is yet completed and Eric Boullier hinted in Japan that the team is in talks with ‘a sponsor’, as well trying to persuade Renault to extend the depth of their relationship with Lotus from 2014 onwards.

Nico Hulkneberg issued a warning to teams courting his services for 2014, that he wanted matters to be finalised by the end of October. TJ13 has been regularly reporting Boullier favours the recruitment of Hulkenberg, and the Frenchman is now quoted in the Sporting Life saying, “I would love to sign him. He is our choice”.

Yet Eddie Jordan claims that the Hulk is going to Force India and Martin Brundle claims he knows where Nico has signed for 2014, but he promised to keep the information in confidence so he can’t say any more than this. Mischievously, David Croft of SKY suggested Brundle write it in a ‘sealed envelope’ so he could check post the final announcement.

Yet Hulkenberg himself when asked where he would be driving in 2014 replied to SKY News, “I’m sure it will happen in the next couple of weeks, I’m confident we will get something sorted.”

Were a deal done with Lotus, then Hulkenberg would have no need to be cautious. However, if he is to return to Force India the small matter of telling Sutil or Di Resta ‘au revois’ would require him to ‘keep quite’ until this had been attended to.

Hulkenberg to Force India would be a bit of a shock to many, and were Alonso to leave Ferrari – then the deck of cards is properly up in the air once again.

Back to the top of the story, maybe TJ13 readers could conceive of names for new ‘racing companies’ other than Infinity(i)

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Ferrari imploding?

Did the stock markets of the world collapse today? Have I missed something? Lots of angst flying around here at TJ13 today – Oh well, shall we pander to the masses? Nope – so let’s stir up some more 😉

TJ13 has been reporting for some time that Ferrari claim to have kissed and made up with Fernando, yet they appear to take every opportunity to have a dig at their current lead driver. Last week we read about Fernando on his ‘big day out’ noted to be “under the watchful eye of Stefano Dominicali” by the Ferrari.com writers.

The marriage is over, it is a matter of how long the divorce will take – and how much will it cost whom.

Fernando has said blatantly to SKY in Korea, that Ferrari have not built and developed properly a title winning car for the past 4 years. Alosno criticised the car heavily in Hungary and was rebuked by Il Padrino.

A more coded response from Fernando following the Japanese GP suggested, “The problem is our development. The problem is that we didn’t adapt to the tyres or had the steps that we planned. We arrived at the races in July with some updates that looked good on paper, but not so much on the track and I think that slowed down the performance improvement that we should have had”

To be fair to Fernando – what else can he say? Granted his qualifying effort has not been great in recent times, yet Ferrari sit him in the garage for the majority of the first half of FP3 week after week, when the rest are pounding around getting track time and gathering data.

Pat Fry is quoted on Ferrari.com today as saying, “For the last four races, we will evaluate if it is worth bringing some improvements to motivate the drivers and team over the closing stages of this championship”. WHAT!!!

This must be a comment sanctioned from above in Maranello, yet I can’t help feeling the sacked head of communications, Luca Colajanni, would never have something like this attributed to a senior member of the team in print.

Gary Anderson today suggests the root of Ferrari’s problem is their management. “I would have to question whether they have any structural management.

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

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

Can Dominicali survive as team boss for another year? He will argue Alonso has destabilised the team and ask Montezemolo for 1 more year.

Of course Alonso could have won the 2010 drivers title, but the team made the wrong strategy call in Abu Dhabi. Of course he was close in 2012, but that was due to a lead Alonso had built up whilst Vettel failed to master the driving style of the RB8 along with some reliability problems.

This year when Vettel was 40 points clear as was Fernando in 2012, many fans hoped Ferrari would do as Red Bull did in the closing part of last year and come on strong. The opposite happened. The car is miserable and they are probably only the 4th quickest car on the grid at present.

Ferrari have not been ‘at the races’ for some time and so why should we believe in 2014 they will be any different?

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117 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 14th October 2013

  1. I think this peculiar behaviour pattern is called ‘being realistic’. In 2010 only few people would have bet on him winning the title. The fat lady had mostly begun to decide whether to sing Alonso’s praises or Webber’s. He only needs 10 more points, but – lets say – two crashes and 2 mechanical DNF’s in four races are not unheard of in F1. Yes it is extremely unlikely, but not impossible.
    On top of it, it’s a no-win situation for him anyway. Would he have said ‘I’m through, nobody’s catching me anymore’, we would now read a news piece saying, how he was arrogant, full of himself and disrespectful toward the achievements of his competitors.
    And don’t try to argue to the contrary, please. I’ve been around for nearly a year now. You would never pass up a chance to get in a dig on some drivers, your honour. 😉

    • Danilo, as I said before I really like and respect your posts here, but this is silly. Don’t go on defending every little thing he says.
      And to the point, he’s not being realistic at all. Realistic means “I’m the favourite now”, not the “keep pushing” nonsense. And in 2010 RBR had the best car and Vettel the backing of the team. It’s not as if Ferrari and Alonso have the best car now, do they?

      • I’m quite OK with what he said. He basically said, that they won’t sell the bearskin before they actually shot the bear and that they’ll keep doing their best. Shall he say ‘we’ll try to finish fifth to seal the deal’?

        My main gripe is, that it was deemed a news item. It is a complete non-issue. There were hundreds of quotes on the weekend and among them were some really silly and cringeworthy ones. There are also other things to report, but why then post this piece that is completely devoid of any information. To me it looks as if the only purpose of this is to get a dig in on Vettel.

        Why could we not write about the silliness of FIA insisting on the Renault man donning an RB shirt during the podium ceremony? RB wanted to thank Renault by having one of their man collect the team trophy and FIA officials nixed it on a technicality. Now that would have been something to write and offer an opinion about instead of firing a cheap shot on Vettel or a banal statement.

        We’ve all become used to a high standard of reporting ’round here. That’s why silly things like that stick out like a Black man at a NASCAR event.

        • Why race a car, when you can do the 100 mtrs. in 9.58?
          Besides that, Darrel Wallace?

        • Actually, you raise some valid points, wasn’t even aware of FIA’s silliness with the RB shirt

          • Exactly that’s why I would’ve thought that it would be mentioned here instead of such silly claptrap. Red Bull offered to let Remi Taffin collect the team trophy as a gesture of gratitude for their contribution to their success and give Renault some exposure they deserve, but FIA wombles denied him access unless he wore a Red Bull shirt. So in the end the poor sod had to stand there in a RB shirt and Renault was again denied the acknowledgement for their part in RB’s success.

        • Danilo, you do realise they have the bear tranquilized and locked up in a cage right now don’t you?

          • Try to skin a bear that’s only tranquilized. 😉

            Of course the title is sown up for all but divine interference. But the people who deserve ridicule are the media hacks, not Vettel. He only needs 10 points, but first he has to score these 10 points, only then he can say I’m champion. Until then he is in a no-win-situation. If some media idiot asks you ‘are you through now?’ there are not too many things you can say without looking silly.

    • ” …. lets say – two crashes and 2 mechanical DNF’s in four races are not unheard of in F1. …. ”

      I can understand that caution. After all in 2007 Lewis Hamilton only needed 3 points from China and Brazil to win the WDC but in the event managed to score just 2 points (with a little hindrance from Alonso).

      Raikonnen scored 20 points (with a little help from Massa) in those last two races and clinched the title

  2. What do you want them to say?
    This kind of comment makes me wonder if you had nothing to say or … Please, I receive the Judge to avoid websites that have similar mindless articles.

      • That’s exactly what’s missing religious crap in a press conference – no thanks…

        • Wow, go easy on the religious folk mate, some of us still are…And besides it’s their choice to say whatever they feel like.

          • Religion is for people who don’t have self belief.

            I don’t think Vettel fits that category.

          • Hmm…it’s a quote from Senna, your telling me he didn’t have self belief?

          • The first part is Utter nonesense PK, and this has already got personal and far from on topic, lets drop personal religious belief and politics as much as we can from here eh folks?
            Cheers

          • “…. Hmm…it’s a quote from Senna, your telling me he didn’t have self belief? .. ”

            Yes. Think about it. Why else does anyone need to believe in a God? It is a form of madness, it is for people with a weak mind, people who need a superior being to blame for their own weaknesses or failings.

          • Whoa Nelly!
            PK, if someone is religious, that’s their thing and my statement wasn’t meant to imply it is wrong to be religious. I just think that they should be religious in private. A publically broadcast interview is not the right place or time for religious statements. There is nothing wrong with being religious, even if I personally don’t think much of it.

          • “The first part is Utter nonesense PK, … ”

            You may think so, and have a right to that opinion. You are free to believe whatever gives you peace of mind.

            ” … and this has already got personal and far from on topic, lets drop personal religious belief and politics as much as we can from here eh folks? ….”

            Sure, if that’s how you feel. Not meant to be a personal attack on anyone, it is just my personal view on the politics and foundations of religious beliefs. I have a strong enough self-belief not to need religion in any aspect of my life.

          • ” …. PK, if someone is religious, that’s their thing and my statement wasn’t meant to imply it is wrong to be religious …..There is nothing wrong with being religious, even if I personally don’t think much of it. ..”

            Agreed. If someone needs religion to keep their peace of mind, it is a good cheap placebo. Saves the NHS loads of dosh.

          • I’m an anti-theist myself (also a belief system), so I do not dispute your conclusion, just your method and forum for debating it.

          • PK, I could write an essay about your views against religion and self-belief and all that and start making comments about your character, but I’ll refrain from doing so. The point is that some people are religious and could be offended by your posts and the tone you use (including myself). Let’s just end this here as this is an F1 blog.

        • My final point on this:

          http://psr.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/08/02/1088868313497266.abstract

          “A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity. The association was stronger for college students and the general population than for participants younger than college age; it was also stronger for religious beliefs than religious behavior. For college students and the general population, means of weighted and unweighted correlations between intelligence and the strength of religious beliefs ranged from −.20 to −.25 (mean r = −.24). Three possible interpretations were discussed. First, intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma. Second, intelligent people tend to adopt an analytic (as opposed to intuitive) thinking style, which has been shown to undermine religious beliefs. Third, several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence. Intelligent people may therefore have less need for religious beliefs and practices.”

          • Applying your self belief logic further up the chain, would you feel that a person who is comfortable with their level of intelligence would feel the need to prove their intellectual superiority over billions by quoting a study?

            I’m not a fan of intellectual ayranism.

          • ” Applying your self belief logic further up the chain, …. by quoting a study? ”

            I pray that my God will forgive me for that lapse. 😉

          • What a pile of shit!

            I come from a religious family and it’s not about the lack of self belief or intelligence. My dad is a doctor and my mother a lawyer, my sisters are both accountants and I’m a civil engineer so don’t tell me religion is for the less intelligent. I belive in myself for my day to day life and work, I have to. My faith is there to help me when I’m low and have difficult choices to make. Plus there is a massive social side of it.

            Please don’t comment on things you know nothing about.

            Judge- I will stop using your page if you don’t moderate offensive comments that have nothing to do with F1.

    • Senna is dead Judge. And he was a one off. Much as i miss him i don’t judge everyones personality against his.

      Who knows, maybe if would not be the racing deity he is today if his entire career happened during the age of the internet and social media.

      If it wasn’t Seb in this position – lets say Kimi for the sake of argument – would you still say the same if they gave the same answer?

      • Hi Colin

        Senna pursued greatness – as does Vettel – Kimi does not.

        Further, I think your response has killed in advance the ‘greatest ever F1 driver debate’ re: Vettel’ – whatever stats he ends up with….

        Then again if he wants to pretend to the world he is in fact a private person and ‘reluctant introvert thrust into the limelight’ – he should stop doing the stupid frog, along with the shrieking and weeping – and of course the finger.

        In fact – When did RB start the BS about Vettel being reserved/quite ‘shy’ really??? Anyone remember?

        • Frankly, Vettel doesn’t either. Unless he was lying through his teeth during an RTL interview on Saturday, Vettel is in it for the satisfaction. Asked how great it feel to win another title, he said that the final win wasn’t the biggest motivation, the happiness is in getting there and that realisation that the journey has been completed successfully is sort of anti-climatic.

        • Vettel started the “Introverted BS” himself. He strictly keeps his private life to himself. How often have we seen his missus in the pit garage? He also doesn’t do features like “home stories” for the yellow press and gossip magazines (Schumacher did btw.) And he stays away from faceborg and twatter.

          • I cannot remember anyone describing him as introverted to begin with, so I’m using the term losely here.

            Vettel is basically a funny, bubbly character. He’s the sort of chap to just randomly do the crazy frog or whatever. We have no idea what sort of goofiness there was with other drivers on the team radio in the past, simply because it wasn’t transmitted on live TV. Seriously, moaning about his radio transmissions or the finger is so petty, that belongs in the highschool girl department. It’s nothing but a load of petty-minded bollocks really.

        • Just seems like another reason to have a go at him to me.

          If you don’t like the guy that’s fine. It sometimes seems that way to me.

          But if you’re trying to encourage him to be someone he’s not, and are disappointed because of that, well that’s something else.

          I enjoy your critiques on all who reside in the F1 world, but I’m starting to feel that your Seb criticism is losing a little bias.

          An observation more than a criticism.

          • Just to say, this response was to the original bit regarding greatness for Seb Senna and Kimi

            By the time I’d posted my response your comment seemed to have been revised and extended.

          • Tried to add to the reply before anyone read it 🙂 to make it more complete.

            However, Vettel’s image problem is a current news story and being reported widely at present….

            Respected German F1 reporter Michael Schmidt commented at length on this subject in the paddock this weekend.

            Last week we reported Ferrari civil war – and dour Di Resta on the brink…..

            Interestingly, TJ13 has purported for some time Alonso could well leave Ferrari by the end of the year… and received some criticism for reporting this

            …now this outcome is beginning to be accepted in the paddock as on the cards

            …Brundle commented ‘if he’s still even at Ferrari next year’, and Herbert agreed.

            Still it’s good to get the Monday after a race weekend off to such a hearty debate :):):)

        • I disagree TJ, about Senna pursuing greatness. In all the interviews I have of him, all the books written about him and the recent Senna film, the one thing that doesn’t come across is his pursuit of ‘greatness’.
          I have no doubt whatsoever that he was ruthless in his pursuit of success but Senna was a strange man, in the sense that even at Formula Ford level, he had sufficient self belief and self worth to know who he was. He once responded to another competitor when disagreeing about his driving, “but I am Senna”
          That’s an astonishing remark.

          Further more, he was asked about who his greatest rival was, and he spoke in hushed tones of Terry Fullerton. I’d read of his respect for him before the film showed the interview and to Senna, the greatest pleasure was the sensation of speed.
          He loved to go-kart on his own land in Brazil where he had a track built, away from the politics of F1.

          He also had a humility out of the car that someone as learned as Professor Watkins commented on. How many drivers have you ever seen stop for their fallen comrades, yet we have all seen him stop in Blanchimont for Comas, visit the scene of Donnelly’s crash at Jerez and he was stunned by the death of Ratzenberger, another accident scene that he went to.

          A complex man, from a wealthy background and a drive that everyone recognised. A strong family and belief system which was used against him by rivals and yet the only one of the superstars who understood that,
          “Wealthy men can’t live in an island that is encircled by poverty. We all breathe the same air. We must give a chance to everyone, at least a basic chance.”

          • Carlo… I feel an article coming on…. in a moment’s reply I have not conveyed what I was trying to say…

            I agree with everything you say. In the piece I quoted Senna talking about learning and growing as a man – very humble for a triple world champion.

            So if I re-phrase my brief comment you highlighted. Senna knew he was thrust onto the path of greatness – and he didn’t pursue it for self aggrandisement, but with the social responsibility and humility of those who recognise the awesome burden that ‘greatness’ brings.

            Like I said, this probably doesn’t do justice to the subject of greatness and Senna who indeed wanted to give something back, not just obsess over performance statistics and ‘greatness’ as is now defined and discussed by modern F1 fans.

            But he did pursue his destiny of greatness with humility, a human face accessible to all and despite confrontation from FIA politics, criticism from other drivers and at times the media – he knew who he was… “but I am Senna!”

            Now Sebastian Vettel……………..

  3. I think this is a little, no actually its very, unfair.

    I seen his interview on the beeb and he was pleasant, engaging and smiling. He didn’t seem distant at all, and was quite open.

    Seb has been accused of blatant arrogance, especially after multi21. Imagine the outpouring of judgmental claptrap if if had said it was over.

    I’m starting to get disappointed by the fact that this lad can do no right. No matter what he does.

    If he is in the wrong then he deserves a bollocking. Like everyone else.

    If if has done nothing wrong he deserves to be left alone.

    As it stands, he should have gotten a fantastic write up on his performance yesterday. He was immense. Controlled and calm during a fascinating game of chess. As much as i like Mark he got thought a lesson yesterday, especially in how to overtake Roman.

    • Exactly. The only disapointment for me was when he was discussing push levels, he was joking about mixed messages, then he saw how the media might construe it and you could see the PR shutters come down… poor fella must have to watch every word, its no wonder there are all these clarifications and retractions from Lewis etc with every english sylable uttered by a driver is wrung for intent, and most of them english is a seond language, and even those that it isn’t they are racing drivers, not bloody english majors!

  4. ” … Brundle … he claimed knowledge that Nico Hulkneberg had already signed a contract – but couldn’t divulge who, where or when. .. ”

    Yesterday, on BBC F1 red button Forum, Eddie Jordan was asked about the speculation on Sky that Hulk was joining Lotus. Eddie replied that he knew for a fact that Hulk had already signed for Force India.

    • Maybe Hulk should read TJ13’s article on why Force India would be better than Sauber this year and apply it to his thinking for next year… before he signs a contract 😉

    • “Anyway, what is the point of saying, I know something… but can only tell you when it’s common knowledge??? Self Promotion, Insecurity….. ?”

      Judge, isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black? You did this very thing with your ‘eathquake’ prediction.

      • Think its pretty different.

        The earthquake analogy was used specifically to describe an impending Ferrari announcement. I didn’t claim there was a confidence in place hence no more could be said.

        In fact at the time I was receiving strong briefings against Alonso and with hindsight even Ferrari didn’t know whether the Kimi announcement would be an Alosno replacement story or not.

        Further, later on the same day in a separate story in the daily news, there was a hint Kimi would be returning to Maranello.

        But good effort… 😉

  5. Anyone remember the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix? The final lap saw Nigel Mansell stop while in the lead because he had let the engine revs drop too low as he waved to the crowd in celebration, letting Nelson Piquet overtake him on the Brazilian’s way to victory. [This could be wrong, since I wasn’t alive then and therefore don’t actually remember it, but anyway…]

    The reason I mention this is because if Sebastian Vettel did decide to acknowledge the fact that he has won the Formula One championship and then somehow managed to finish behind Fernando Alonso in the championship due to some failures and lack of samurai wisdom, wouldn’t it just be a really drawn out version of that?

    Yes, I will accept that Sebastian Vettel will probably win the championship, but the respect that I have for the German would most certainly disappear if he actually believed he had won the championship by now. Max Chilton could win every remaining race this year, and just because we can say with a degree of certainty that he isn’t going to do that, doesn’t mean we can disregard the prospect of it happening.

    I’m sure that when Vettel wins the championship, he will say some good things, but until then, he has to be wary and not seem like he can show off. After all, I know it was mentioned in a previous article and on your facebook page, but in tribute to Murray Walker who recently celebrated his birthday, consider one of his quotes: “Anything happens in Grand Prix racing and it usually does.”

  6. Le Sigh

    Re: Favouritism
    Some people need to take strategy lessons. As your honour correctly pointed out, going for different strategies was the way to go, as there was no way for Lotus to cover both variants in a 2vs1 situation.

    First of all: Large gap or not, getting the maximum points for Vettel is still the order of the day. That calls for a conservative approach and the conservative approach was a 2-stopper as the 3-stopper had been calculated to be 10 seconds slower. From a team perspective Mark’s position is fairly irrelevant. He’s nowhere in the WDC, on his way out anyways and would be on the podium in any case. He was the logical choice for the riskier option.

    Second: Mark was also in the better position to make a 3-stopper work. He was closer to RoGro at the time with faster lap times throughout the first stint.

    In the end, Mark should have won it, he merely was too inept to get past RoGro whereas his teammate just sailed past. It was Mark’s race to lose. He should have won it, not despite, but because of the switch to a 2-stopper.

    quote: “Watch out Daniel, 2014 may get very rough!!!!”

    I don’t know if you have taken lessons at the Rupert Murdock School of Sensationalism lately, but that statement is the sort of bovine excrement I’d expect from the likes of YallaF1 or The Sun. What have you done to the judge and where have you hid his body? Today’s news are all over the place frankly and that’s not meant as a compliment.

    • “Mark should have won it, he merely was too inept to get past RoGro”….

      You love it on Monday after the race DS.

      However, the facts are that the common view amongst 3 different analysts I’ve spoken to is NOT that Webber would have won it had he passed GroJo – even Gary Anderson questions this fact today on the BBC.

      So DS – it is true “Some people need to take strategy lessons”….

      • He was 7 seconds behind Vettel with 7 laps to go and he was 1.7 seconds faster than Vettel before he caught up to RoGro. Basic algebra says he would have caught Vettel with a lap or two to spare had he sailed past RoGro remotely as swiftly as Vettel. He was on fairly fresh options with only 10 laps asked of them. That was less than his first stint on a much lighter car. Sorry, don’t believe that he couldn’t have caught Vettel.

        • ..aha – so the Pirelli tyres conform to the laws of algebra – tell that to Force India – it may solve their problems…

          …his tyre temps were much higher than Vettel’s within 2 laps of the final stop ….

          …then you’ve not factored in the tyre deg on even a short run like that, plus the incremental overheating from merely driving one lap right behind Grosjean…

          then after all that he would never have got close enough to Vettel through the chicane to take advantage of DRS due to his lower down force setup…

          Like I said – the analysts are pretty persuasive….

      • Anybody consider the possibility that Webber was used as the sacrificial lamb in exactly the same way as Abu Dhabi 2010 (make the other teams concentrate and re-act on Webber’s moves).

        • I don’t recall the 2010 circumstances exactly, but at least this weekend Mark was the logical choice. I don’t think he was sacrificed. To ensure victory RB had to split the strategy and Mark was in the better position to make a 3-stop work.
          The only think wrong with that are Horners piss-poor PR skills. He could have come out say, ‘we devised this plan to get both past Romain and it worked’, instead he says Mark was harder on the tires, which is true and everybody knows it, but it left too much room for them conspiracy theorists to have a wank over it.

          • YYYYYYYYYYYYeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssssssssssss.

            No conspiracy – everyone knows Vettel is the chosen one – and nobody minds if this is the case.

            So had Vettel been the lead car he would have been given the option on strategy…..

            More Red Bull Racing – ‘BULL’ – is all we hate!!!!

            Makes me think if Red Bull sacked Horner and employed Ross Brawn. we’d all love them.

            That piece of recruitment might be worth a few hundred million to Mateschitz……….

    • From a team perspective Mark’s position is fairly irrelevant. He’s nowhere in the WDC, on his way out anyways and would be on the podium in any case. He was the logical choice for the riskier option.

      DS – absolutely – so they should admit it instead of AGAIN giving us spiel nobody believes….

      … back to the RB/Vettel image problem we go.

      • There is another consideration that you conveniently forget. Throughout the season Mark has been consistently harder on the tyres and a 2 stopper required at least one fairly long stint (middle or final stint). For Mark the 2-stopper was the risky option with 3-stop being the safer variant, while for Vettel the 3-stopper was riskier than the 2-stopper as it would waste his advantage in tyre management and he couldn’t have optimized his lap times (as required for 3-stop) as he had a slightly damaged front wing with Lewis’s tyre marks on it.

        Both got assigned the strategy that favoured their strengths and/or avoided their weaknesses. Dunno were the problem is. But your closing sentence makes it abundantly clear that you have decided that Mark was shafted, so whatever…

        • Mark being harder on tyres this season is easily explained. While Vettel is cruising ahead with clean air, Mark was in traffic, dirty air causing understeer, higher temperatures contributing to higher degradation, etc.

          As for Suzuka, Red Bull needed to sacrifice one of their drivers to ensure P1 (by pushing RoGro to counter the undercut of a 3-stopper). No wonder they picked Mark, as he is leaving anyways. Vettel is here to stay until 2016, at least. They need to preserve and cherish their relationship with him.

          • Mark was harder on the tyres in Japan by definition as he had a lower rear wing setting than Vettel, which automatically translates to higher tyre wear. Since he didn’t make it work to run away at the front, he had to be switched or RB would’ve risked that his tyres hit the cliff.

            That he was in the pack all season, well he only has himself to blame. He’s beeen starting slower than the Exxon Valdez in most races and unlike his team mate he seems to have trouble qualifying his car upfront, which is neccessary to make the Newey concept work.

          • Love the Exxon Valdez comment…

            Webber had managed the traffic scenario well in stint 2 staying 2s plus back from Grosjean to preserve his tyres.

            Webber admitted he was surprised at being called in early for his 2nd stop.

            Webber was given 14 laps and Vettel managed 22 laps – the Webber incremental tyre wear has never been that great

            The tyres were far from finished at the end of his second stint. He had reduced the gap to Grosjean from lap 21 (2.33s) 22 (2.05s) 23 (1.4s) 24 (0.82s) – which is not representative of tyres going of a cliff.

            It was right for the team – it was right for Seb – they should just admit the fact that MArk was the ‘sacrificial lamb’ and move on….

          • Agreed – Yura K – so they should just admit it instead of pretending we’re all stupid and can’t read lap charts….

            and don’t understand the effects of the different setup on the 2 RB9’s…

            All we ask is for some honesty…..

          • Seriously, you start to sound like one of the butthurt Tommys on the BBC forum and it starts to irritate me massively. Whaa, whaa, my driver should have won! The evil team cheated him again, boohoo. Can you come up with just ONE credible fact that the team deliberately changed Mark’s strategy to prevent him from beating Vettel? Can you tell me ONE good reason, why the team shouldn’t assign their more successful employee to the less risky project in favour of an employee, who doesn’t deliver as reliably and is on his way out anyways?
            Until recently Vettel was lambasted for making F1 boring, because he didn’t have to fight for his wins. Now he had to and we had a three way shootout for the lead all through the race and again some lame arse bovine excrement is pulled out of someone’s arse just to explain why the evil Kraut inevitably won because of nefarious conspiracy of the dark side or anything, just not skill of his own. Watch his bloody second stint – 23 laps on one set of tyres with ridiculously low loss of time in the latter stages. It was Vettel, who had to make the two-stopper work, not the men behind the pit wall.

            I better stop, or I’ll write something that I regret once my blood pressure has returned to normal. But one thing should be said, I think some of your latest pieces are cheap shots and devoid of respect. I don’t know what beef you have with Vettel, but it’s bleeding into your writing a lot lately and that’s a definite turn for the worse.

          • Now now.. “Keep calm and carry on” DS…..

            Very feisty today… all we want is some honesty from the spin doctors of Milton Keynes..

            As I’ve said before, having some Germanic influences in my ancestry I’m not ‘Kraut’ bashing….

          • I’ll just need a few hours to calm down. I’m just badly disappointed as some of today’s news read exactly like the metabolic waste product one can just as well read in The Sun or The Daily Fail and especially their respective comment sections.

            http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/10/13/2013-japanese-grand-prix-tyre-strategies-and-pit-stops-2/

            read this – f1fanatic is a site I don’t like, but even that lot did a better job of making sense of the strategic nature of the race.
            That’s the sort of analysis I would’ve expected here (not because of the result, but because of the depth) instead we carry a one-sided opinionated piece that ends in:

            Beware Dannyboiy, they’s gonna bend you over the next piece of furniture and give you a jolly good anal seeing-to.

          • I happen to disagree with Keith’s analysis. Particularly because he doesn’t have access to some of the information we have been party to

            … including an assessment of the degradation of Webber’s tyres from stint 1 & 2 together with some tyre temperature information from during his final stint.

            I re-iterate, the original story concluded with the statement, “Sebastian was flawless yesterday, and may well have beaten Webber and Grosjean had it been he that was put onto a 3 stop strategy”.

            We just want Horner to stop talking ‘BULL’ 😉

          • Good grief dammit. If you have data the others haven’t make them available, fer crying out loud. Why not write an article presenting the data, dissecting the race and show us how Horner was talking out of his arse. That’s what we all keep coming back for. All I heard so far was ‘I have seen the data’. Well good on ye, have a cookie. But so far that’s only a claim. Except for you and the pitwall boffins, nobody seems to have seen those data.
            That’s a penalty without a goalkeeper (or Joe Hart between the posts). That’s what normally sets this site apart. The only thing I’ve seen so far is a half-arsed piece full of speculation and vague references to data that somehow didn’t make it into the final draft.

          • The point of the story is clear DS – Vettel favoured – is the title… further he was acclaimed by TJ13 in version 1 of the story as unbeatable… further TJ13 agrees his being favoured was the right team decision….

            This was never having a go at Seb – just the facts – which are – team lied to Webber and favoured Vettel.

            Nothing new really….

          • All jolly well, but a claim that the team lied to one of their drivers is quite an accusation and so far you have not delivered a single fact that backs up that claim. You say they lied, but as a judge you should be familiar with the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’. So far we haven’t seen a single credible proof that they deceived Mark.

            The combination : “team lied to Webber and favoured Vettel.

            Nothing new really….”

            implies that this is something of a regular occurance in the RB bunker. I’m no friend of their weak management either, but so far it looks more like you’re going all Freisler on them, because you haven’t presented diddly squat to back up your claims.

        • Danilo, I have to ask, were you as defensive of Schumacher throughout his career?

          I was delighted when he joined the team as I recognised him as the greatest of his era. I knew success would follow, but a lot of the flak he received during his career wasn’t due to his collisions with Hill, Villeneuve or the spinning in Monaco 2006, but things that the management did to secure victories.

          RBR have been as underhand in their management as Ferrari were under Todt.
          Austria 2002 was a case in point. Todt orders Barrichello to let MSC past, even though to the outside world everyone knew that Ferrari were destroying the opposition. Michael as the public facing figure took all the flak, but people who could read between the lines understood where the problems lay.

          I, personally, didn’t like Vettel claiming he was sorry in Malaysia, much as I always struggled with apologies from MSC, it just didn’t fit in with their actions to that point in their career. What made it worse was Seb then came out and said he would do the same again.
          I would have respected him more if he had stated that from the beginning.

          Before you assume I’m “Kraut” bashing, I wholeheartedly understood why Senna didn’t lift off and took Prost out in Suzuka 1990 and I’m a Ferrari fan but I couldn’t stand the manipulative Prost.
          What I found disgusting, other than just his actions, was his dishonesty about the accident. He only confessed it when Balestre had been removed from the Presidency of the FISA.

          If Red Bull is dominant next year, and they finish 1-2 every time, I hope that Vettel wins every race and doesn’t gift one to Ricciardo. That I personally find deplorable. But let the racing be honest..

          • No, I wasn’t as protective of Schumacher. Sure he is a great racer and he mellowed a bit later on so I sort of like the man, but he was too humourless as a person to really root for him. I know that shouldn’t influence me as much as it does, but it does anyway. I’m a person that needs humour in life, probably because I had to live through several dark times in my life and laughing at the most unopportune of times got me through many scraps with depression and hopelessness. Vettel is a person with a lot of humour, so I feel like I can identify with him.
            My absolute hero is Alex Zanardi, great man, with an all-conquering sense of humour even when facing dark times.

            my beef with the current discussion is not Vettel himself. It’s the endless claims that RB deliberately wrecked Marks race, which serves no other purpose than to denigrate Vettel’s drive. On top of that RB is constantly protrayed as the evil empire, which is unfair. They have done their job in all areas – from pitstops to aerodynamics. They deserve better than constant conspiracy theories and baseless accusations.

        • Danilo, your sounding more and more like Christian Horner everyday in the comments section.

          Your blue eyed and blonde haired boy, can do nothing wrong and there is ALWAYS an excuse !

          • Actually I am starting to wonder if Danilo is actually Seb Vettel in disguise, never has someone been viewed through such rose tinted spectacles.

            No-one is perfect, not even Vettel, Danilo asks for fair and balanced reporting, I expect nothing less than fair and balanced opinion from Danilo, when Vettel is less than perfect or makes mistakes I also expect Danilo to comment on it, not just the gushing comments please!!

          • Aha.. so Seb is actually testing out the social media waters here at TJ13 🙂

            It would then have to be a #FAIL so far…..

            When an alien meteor is more likely to destroy earth entirely in the next 6 weeks than Vettel failing to claim the 2013 F1 WDC – clearly Vettel suggesting he is not thinking about the title is utter nonsense…..

            And were that in fact to be true… given the Senna and greatness conversations we’ve had today – it would be quite worrying….

            … some would argue this would infer there is some kind of automotron driving the lead Red Bull car….

          • Fair point, VFFW, but then you must have missed that I quite recently lambasted him for the stupid idea of translating german phrases 1-to-1 into English and making himself look silly in the process. Yes, I’m probably very biased, because 60% of the people seem to be hell-bent on finding every little fault with the guy and I don’t think he deserves that.

          • This is a man who could be truly great in the panacea of world sport – and he’s too shy or can’t be arsed embracing the path of greatness thrust upon him?

            Or maybe he is in fact just part of Newey’s genius machine as Alonso suggests, and like the Borg in Star Trek is an automaton part of the collective Red Bull technical and propaganda machine…

    • I think you’re wrong, and especially surprised to hear such flawed thinking from a German engineer!
      The teams first priority is/should be the WCC, thus winning the race with either car is their primary target. They get no extra points or money for their driver winking the WDC. To play the strategy games they did risked the team finishing 2nd and 3rd behind RoGro.

      • On the contrary. Had they kept both cars on the same strategy (2 stop) Lotus would only have to cover one strategy, leaving a substantial chance that RoGro stays ahead. If they take one car out of sequence (change to 3-stop) they force Lotus to decide which car to cover and by neccessity leaving them unable to react to the other, which results in an almost 100% chance that at least one car will be ahead of RoGro at the end.

        • But why switch the lead car to the slower/riskier strategy then? It’s the one behind you usually take your chances with.

          • Because the lead car, driven by Mark Webber, was the better option to make a 3-stopper work. He is know to be harder on the tyres, so switching him to a strategy with shorter stints was the better option to avoid hitting ‘the cliff’, he was closer to the target they tried to overtake (RoGro) and he could push the car harder as unlike the second car, he didn’t have front wing damage. It wasn’t that hard a decision to make really.

  7. Off topic i know, but just to say that we seem a little more feisty than usual today, me included.

    Either there’s a full moon out, or Seb and the bulls are getting to some of us.

    Very interested to read about the situation with Mark. It looks like the bulls gave him his opportunity to win, but made it more difficult than they could have.

    There definitely seems to be a perception that they are favouring Seb over Mark, and have been for quite some time.

    I’m looking forward to Marks autobiography already….

    • Thing is, if RBR had come out and said we favour our no 1 driver, that would have been the end of it.
      Do you see people writing essays on Ferrari favouring Alonso over Massa all these years. No, they admit it themselves, it’s very clear. Anyone doubts Alonso superiority despite being favoured? No! Anyone ever doubted Schuey’s superiority over his team-mates? No! People were only complaining that they wanted to see Alonso and Schuey really work for their status. That’s all.
      RBR treats us as fools, or they just don’t want to upset Mark in the public eye. That’s why people get angry, noone doubts Vettel’s talent or being superior to Webber.

  8. RE Renault, congrats to them, but obviously they have been very lucky/clever to partner with Newey is their 2 most successful spells at Williams and RBR.

    • 1) Completely agree. Apart from the Enstone Renault concern, they have never had consistent success as a works entry. It reminds me of the era when Cosworth supplied the majority of the F1 teams and the stats showed them with 155 wins or so and Ferrari some way behind.
      The problem is, if Ferrari produced a dud in any given year, they would add nothing to their number.
      Statistics can be made to represent anything.

      2) I have to ask, but is the Ferrari engined Toro Rosso that Vettel stuck on pole and won in Monza 08 included in the Ferrari stats?

      • Yes, all Ferrari engined entries are included in that, but I think Toro Rosso is the only Ferrari customer to have won a pole/race anyway.

  9. One thing I’ve not seen commented about is the dodgy diving by Vettel at the start, he didn’t have to clip Hamilton’s rear tyre. He was just pissy cos Lewisc’ rear wheels were well past half way down his car so he knew he was there, he had the choice to either, lift, move left 6inches or clip Lewis. Seb chose to clip Lewis and remove the threat of him getting in front. Do you think if RoGro or Maldonado had done that they would be penalty free? I thought it was slack from a 3 times champ.

    I’m not anti-Vettel, I quite like the bloke and his driving, but this was just a bit on the edge from my view.

    • OMG – Clear View – Isn’t today feisty enough? 😉

      I didn’t dare mention that after the response to the Vettel ‘denial of the obvious’ and ‘race strategy analysis’ pieces received so much abuse…..

      …however, you have now provided evidence which should be examined in the courtroom of F1 opinion…

    • LOL.

      RoGro was next to vettel on the right, webber to the left and Hamilton dived between them in the middle. Lewis himself said that he thought the space was there but that he misjudged.
      You’re not anti-vettel, you just made up a complete bullshit story…

      • “…you just made up a complete bullshit story…”

        Now, now, be nice to Clear View, he hasn’t been getting on your nerves like some of us, be nice!

      • Ironically, it was Webber squeezing them all right which led to the contact – with Lewis between him and Vettel then he would have maybe had more chance of victory – unless the 3 stop was always planned, to allow Vettel a greater chance of victory if behind Webber (to avoid a Malaysia like end of race battle when Mark had lost his tyres).

      • Watching the replay, Webber swerved hard right. Lewis reacted, and unfortunately wasn’t quite past Vettel. Vettel had no where to go. If it was anyone’s fault it was Webber’s, but racing incident is really the right call here.

  10. I personally don’t see Marks strategy as being too bad. The key moment in the race was the start – I’m guessing that had Mark led into turn one, then running in clean air he could have pulled enough of a lead to make 3-stops work. We all know these cars eat their tyres unless in clean air – being in front is always the best way to control the tyre degradation.

    • Absolutely, not leading into turn 1 was the key moment…

      … but prior to the race various analysts had the 2 stop strategy between 7-10 seconds quicker….

      …the other variable even had Webber led would have been whether Grosjean or Vettel had then chosen/or been able to stay with Webber…

      …if so they could all have ended up on a 3 stop strategy together…

      Further, the 3 stop was probably only given serious consideration because of the Rosberg led train of cars falling back on stint 1 and then Hulkenberg doing a similar job on stint 2 meaning by the time Webber stopped, Hulk in 4th place was 29 seconds back….

  11. The Hulk back to Force India: it doesn’t sound very sexy, but I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be his best option. I expect Lotus to be not more than a midfield team next year, with key personel having left/leaving.

    Then again, there’s also the small matter of engines which makes it incredibly hard to read. I just hope the Hulk makes the right discussion this time, otherwise he’ll end up being the next Nock Heidfield 😉

  12. The whole alonso-ferrari-mclaren-whitmarsh thing is very interesting. If Alonso leaves in ’15 (I’m of the opinion that he won’t leave next year since its a whole new game again), then itmakes sense for Ferrari to park the Hulk in Force India for next year, with Calado taking over when he leaves for Ferrari in ’15 to slot into the vacant Alonso’s seat. Then when Kimi retires after his 2 seasons (or 3) then Ferrari will have a potent team of Vettel and Hulk. Like I said, very interesting. At McLaren JB and Alonso could be equally great. Two teams in two years with world champions! Oh i’m giddy.

  13. New racing companies: not knowing anything other than the manufacture of chocolate the famous Piedmontese family have just announced “Scuderia Ferrero” and are wondering why they have to wait until after dinner for an acknowledgement of their press announcement.

    In addition, the Chinese government have announced a new National F1 team for 2014, “Force Labour”, in association with a major US computer company “Bramley” We look forward to more news from the core of this company.

  14. I really enjoyed the ‘Vettel favoured? ‘ article. It confirmed some of the things I’d been thinking. Why wasn’t the lead driver given the strategy choice? Why delay telling Mark for so long? Had Mark known earlier he was on a three stop he may have driven the sectors differently. I can understand Red Bull wanting to favour Vettel, he’s the one almost winning the championship, he could have an accident next week and be unable to race, he needs the points, but why the lies? Why do Horner and Vettel take us for fools? Why not just say it as it is. Vettel is our future we’re giving him all the best options. But it’s this pretence that all is equal and Vettel is a superhuman driver, that insults the intelligence. They would be far more respected if they were up front, and maybe as a bonus prize they wouldn’t get booed.

    • Probably the most concise and eloquent comment on the matter I’ve read…

      thank you Anna…

      Vettel is the future who should champion ‘greatness’ for F1 amongst the panacea of world sport….. but he/Red Bull are failing miserably to promote him accordingly…

      If the argument, ‘he is merely being himself’ is true, then we have a shallow computer gaming-esque F1 champion at present.

      You cannot avoid the ‘duties’ of greatness as a world dominating star…. unless of course you are not truly great….

      Red Bull do not get this, but Vettel may yet do so if he gets out from within the RB PR machine.

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