Unreliability costs Vettel another win

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

For the second race in a row Sebastian Vettel took pole position and led convincingly – until his car failed.

After the race he rued that his car problems meant he only has 12 points when he should have 50. Are Red Bull’s reliability problems going to cost him a shot at the championship?

Vettel’s exit from the race on lap 25, while he was leading from Jenson Button, seems to have been caused by brake failure.

At Bahrain two weeks ago he was leading comfortably when his car slowed with an exhaust problem.

Before the season began Red Bull designers Adrian Newey took the decision to miss the first test session of the year in order to spend more time developing the RB6.

With its low-slung exhausts and rumoured clever ride height-controlling device it is clearly the quickest car in F1 at the moment. Vettel and Mark Webber locked out the front row of the grid for the Australian Grand Prix.

Newey has some form in producing cars that are very quick but not always reliable – a trait that famously dogged the 2005 McLaren MP4-20 – and it looks like that could be the case with the RB6.

The team could be playing the long game in this 19-round championship. The points system now favours a car that sacrifices a little reliability in the pursuit of performance. With winning a race worth more compared to finishing second than before they may be able to afford the odd DNF providing they win the races they finish.

But even so Vettel will be anxious that his run of car failures doesn’t last any longer. It’s true that he was as much to blame for his finishing record last year as the car was, but so far this year it looks like the RB6 that’s letting him down.

48 comments on “Unreliability costs Vettel another win”

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  1. “After the race he rued that his car problems meant he only has 12 points when he should have 50. Are Red Bull’s reliability problems going to cost him a shot at the championship?”

    If you were being cynical you could have ended the second sentence with the word “again”…

    1. Why would you put “again” there? How many races did Vettel not finish due to technical failures? Only one.

      Vettel lost 4 races by his own mistakes (Australia rammed Kubica, Malaysia 10 place penalty and spun out, Monaco rammed the wall, Hungary rammed Raikkonen and damaged suspension).

      1. Relax, I think GeeMac meant to say Red Bull’s car problems have cost Seb to loose vital points when he is not winning the grands prix.

        If you remember the Renault engine chewed itself up in more than one occasion during free practice. Valencia alone chewed up 2 engines (if i remember correctly).

        On another note, Kate was fairing much better in 2009. At least she was completing races whenever she started from pole position.

        I wonder if Seb made a mistake dumping Kate and her dirty sister for luscious liz. (jokes)

        1. Yeah, that’s one race where he was really plagued with mechanical failures. Yet I see over and over again that people claim that Vettel lost the championship to reliability issues.

          He didn’t. Not even close.

  2. Seems the tyre wasn’t ‘connected right’ during the pitstop that caused vibriations and destroying the disc.

    You notice Sutil dropped out with a motor failure just after the pitstops?

    1. Mercedes powered!
      No engine is bulletproof.

  3. I really hope these firt two races are not the two races that lost Vettel the championship. I have simpathy for him but then again Webber seems to get the car home so perhaps there are more questions to be ask…

  4. Vettel is probably the unluckiest driver out there on the grid.

  5. Please, what is torque drive to wheel.? Is it splined shaft?


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