Daily #F1 News and Comment: November 3rd 2013

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Marko Watch: No Alternative for Vettel

Fernando’s qualifying woes

Marko Watch: No Alternative for Vettel

Until recently most people were falling over themselves to talk Sebastian Vettel out of his Red Bull, insinutating that he won’t be a true great if he doesn’t win a title in another car. Of course that’s complete rubbish as many F1 champions, like Senna, Alonso and Häkkinen won their titles with one team and it didn’t dent their reputation. The first to go against the majority was, of all people, one who won for two teams – Alain Prost, who recently said that he sees no reason for Seb to leave the team that has built him a winning car consistently.

That of course is too good a clue for the good doctor to pass up and Mr. Marko went ahead to declare that there is no better alternative for Seb at the moment than Red Bull. “He would only want to switch teams if we no longer build him a good car”, Marko explains. “Why should he go to Ferrari or Mercedes, where he would have to cope with a Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton? And McLaren is an enigma relating to their car anyway.”

What sounds like typical Marko-speak reveals two interesting things. First is, that at least the doctor doesn’t want two top-drivers in the team. In that regard he surely has learned from the Pironi/Villeneuve, Mansell/Prost, Prost/Senna, Hamilton/Alonso pairings of the past, which all went south very quickly and publicly. But it’s also the first time he’s ever sort of admitted that in public.

Fernando’s qualifying woes

For all his Samurai tweeting, Fernando Alonso’s sword has been fairly blunt for a while, at least in qualifying. His Q2 exit in yesterday’s qualifying was the 8th time he lost out to his team mate on Saturday this year and the 10th time in the last 19 races as he also came second to Massa in last year’s USA and Brazilian Grand Prix’s. His narrow 9:8 lead over Massa this year is most likely the most disastrous tally of any world champion since Alain Prost, but the Frenchman had Ayrton Senna for a team mate at the time.

It appears that it is not only the car needs an urgent upgrade in terms of qualifying speed. His phenomenal race day speed will only get him so far.

15 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: November 3rd 2013

    • I am loving it that Massa is giving Alonso some food for thought. I may be misinterpreting it but I believe Massa is motivated again.

      When you’re told you are effectively #2 why push hard… if you have to pull over every time Alonso comes into our mirrors… or you get sub optimal strategies? Who knows, maybe Massa to Williams is what both needs 🙂

      • Massa’s only motivated to the point where he signs on the dotted, just as he’s been for too many years of wasting Ferrari’s resources.

  1. Just to point out that Piquet’s 3rd title was with Williams and not Brabham, so he doesn’t fit into the Senna, Hakkinen, Alonso group as you’ve stated 😉

  2. I have never experienced such biased views as DS regarding Vettel!!
    Any grasping of snippets to support the “Vettel is the greatest” is grasped and never released. Is there no balance to this at all?

    Piquet won titles with Brabham and Williams but also a race with Benetton.
    Prost may have won titles with Mclaren and Williams but was fighting for titles with Renault and Ferrari too.
    As for Senna, he was taken too early to include.
    In many peoples minds he won at Monaco in 1984 but politics took over.
    In 1985 and 1986, he was competing for the championship and was limited by the Lotus not being a strong enough package and if you believe he wouldn’t have won in a Williams of the mid 90’s…. Well
    Even Hill, who isn’t particularly respected, went on to prove at Arrows and Jordan, that he had talent. Both teams struggled with poor cars yet by mid season were competing at the front end. Arrows missing out on victory by less than a lap in Hungary and Jordan winning in Spa 1998.
    How anyone includes Hakkinen in to any discussion of F1 greats is still unfathomable. He was gifted his first win by the collusion between Williams and Mclaren (race-fixing? Shock horror) and his team mates subserviance.
    Then at the next race, he makes the mistake yet DC has to gift him another win, yet that team-order at the start of the year was acceptable?
    Please don’t defend him by repeating that he won in the equivalent of a Minardi, he didn’t. He won in a full Newey design that both RBR and Toro Rosso ran in 2008, one with Renault and the other with Ferrari power.
    The team was owned and run by Red Bull and it’s nucleus was Minardi some eight years previously but any comparison to Senna in a Toleman doesn’t add up.

    Look DS, I haven’t seen the Indian GP yet but I’m guessing the interviews. I like Vettel and have no problem with him winning races but if he and Newey carry on winning titles for the next 15 years, will he be the greatest? Of course not.
    If Williams had stolen MSC from Jordan in 1991, his career would read very differently.
    WDC in 92,93,94,95,96,97,98,99,00,01,02,03,04,09,10,11,12. Effectively the MSC/ Newey titles combined. We all know that Schumi liked his own team around him, took Brawn and co with him to Ferrari and then rejoined Brawn at Mercedes so would be likely he would have stuck with Newey throughout. But what makes MSC a great is not only his titles but his achievements when against the ropes. 1996-99 were incredible years of driving.

    As to Marko’s honesty about RBR, at last he admits what the world has known for years. That’s what really grates fans, it’s not the success – look at Rossi – but the dishonesty of the whole organisation

    • I guess we still need to see how Vettel reacts when he is against the ropes. But we still have plenty years left to see that so its all good 🙂

      The one thing you cannot fault Danilo for being a die heart supporter of Vettel. And I have to admit, Vettel is a great driver. He takes the tools he has, the team he has and he wins.

      I agree – it’s a pity its not done in the most honest way…

    • Carlo, could it be you’re overreacting here? I don’t see where I’m biased here. Nowhere does the news item say that Vettel is the greatest. I merely said that all the trash talk of Vettel has to win in another team is complete rubbish as others before him too have been champions for one team only. It’s not a measure of a drivers capabilities with how many teams you can win titles. He has a winning team around him and has no reason to leave that’s all I’m saying.
      Do you really think Schumacher left Benetton after 1995 because he wanted to be at Ferrari? No – he went because he was sick of being perpetually brought in connection with Briatore’s dubious methods. And basically Ferrari turned into Benetton 2.0 when Todt & Co. snatched Brawn and Byrne and several other key figures. Schumacher never won a title in a car that wasn’t designed by Rory Byrne.

      • Possibly, driving back from holland with three kids demanding attention would test anyone’s patience lol!
        I’m aware Schumi never won any titles in any car bar a Byrne design.
        If Vettel and Newey moved to Ferrari the winning would continue I guess, but would it answer any questions.
        I’ve been more impressed with Vettel this season than any other, if the car hasn’t been outright fastest, he’s still managed to secure great results throughout.

        I wrote an on this day for Clark recently, and doing the research I discovered that he was the only one who dominated in the Lotus. No matter what people think it was the Clark/ Chapman combo that dominated F1, not Lotus. After all, if Webber had been lead driver for RBR we wouldn’t be saluting a 4 time champion.

        If you look back at Newey dominant cars, there’s only been a select handful which actually made use of the equipment, Mansell, Prost, Hill, Villeneuve, Hakkinen and Vettel. All their respective team-mates failed gloriously to mount a challenge.

        I’m signing out for today before my head explodes, 🙂

        • Hey, thinking about what you said Carlo, if we just erased Seb from history, and his points too… we’d have Fernando as a 5 times world champion (after this year) and Jenson as a double world champion… that makes you think doesn’t it!

      • Its always been about the winning.

        I suppose a little more romance would be nice. But this only happens after the time has passed.

        I didn’t warm to Michael at all, due to his dubious morals and, unfairly, blaming him for being a big part of ripping the romance out of Ferrari.

        Even though he wasn’t successful, i think his time with Mercedes has humanised him and made him more liked. He still has his titles, but also a little more love. And no human being would be unhappy with that.

        Seb hasn’t had that yet. He can win all around him, and break every record going but he won’t feel the love until he is less dominant.

        At the moment he won’t care. The love of his team will be the primary source of what he wants. But in the future, when he retires, he will care.

        He can’t keep everyone happy, so he may as well ignore the negative and keep winning as long as he can.

        Danilo, i reckon the Seb comment from Carlo, and many others, are due to the theme of your posts over a period of time, and not just this one. You did help me see beyond my bias around Seb, but it took a while and i was plenty frustrated with your defense of him before i seen the light. That says a lot more about me than i care to accept 😉

    • Well I can see your post has rated well Herowas…your best line though was ‘As for Senna, he was taken too early to include’.

      I recall his era well and pretty well the eras of those who’ve taken part since around 1953. However the boredom (for some) of the Schumaker era well and truly palls when compared to all the whacking that’s going on over who was the greatest; scads and scads getting aboard not only this blog but all over the internet, often all the while manipulating statistics.
      Boring as crap.

      By all means ‘ALL’ keep your memories alive of your favourite ‘greatest’ driver, just stop trying to shove it down my throat.

      • For all those, who think it is needed to rake me over the coals for what I think is a fairly neutral piece of news: It’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. But also be informed that I’m a mere contributor to this site. I don’t own it and be assured that any unfitting piece of news would not stand for long. I used a nasty word in yesterday’s Hippo’s rant and was quickly informed about it, so even if I am collecting the news for a day or two, John and the other guys have a look at them, too.
        I also use a slightly different formatting style, so you’ll always be able to spot my contributions, even if the judge posted the news-article. That isn’t done for elitist purposes, but for the fact that people can spot the difference in author.
        After all, we all visit this place out of a love for the sport and the news articles are there for discussing them and that includes criticism. As long as it is offered in a civil way it is a vital part of what makes this community much more habitable than some of the rival offerings.

  3. So anyone see the BBC site? Hulk has a seat at lotus after all then maybe?

    “Ijaz said he regretted the situation the delay has caused with Raikkonen. “I wish the transition had been smoother between Kimi and the next driver who we believe will be Nico Hulkenberg, but sometimes in life things don’t happen as cleanly or as nicely as you’d like them to. He added: “I am confident that [Raikkonen] will run the last two races, fulfil his professional obligations to us and us to him.” He said the contract with Hulkenberg was “prepared, ready to go. I know Nico is excited about doing this and I think it’s a matter of a very short period before all that will be finalised.” If the deal falls through, Lotus are likely to sign Williams driver Pastor Maldonado.”

  4. ““He would only want to switch teams if we no longer build him a good car”, Marko explains. “Why should he go to Ferrari or Mercedes, where he would have to cope with a Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton?”

    I’m glad you highlighted that, Danilo. That is interesting that Marko would say that.

    I wonder if his view is a bit short-term though.

    It’s nearly unanimous that the esteem from others for Vettel’s abilities would be improved if he were to win another car. But currently the Red Bull car and team are superior to all others. In the mid-term or long-term it’s likely that will change. Vettel will then likely migrate to another team.

    Perhaps what the good doctor is suggesting is that Vettel would pursue a situation where he is most likely to succeed in winning races and championships. And the unspoken reality is that such a situation may be better if the other driver is very good but yet not quite as strong. That unspoken reality would explain why RB have retained Webber for many seasons, and Ferrari have retained Massa for many seasons.

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