Unreliability costs Vettel another win

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.

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48 comments on Unreliability costs Vettel another win

  1. FLuidd said on 28th March 2010, 19:04

    Vettel is pushing that bull to it’s limit.

    • patrick(uk) said on 28th March 2010, 19:50

      NOW THAT the teams know that the Redbull is fragile the natural thing is not to loose any sleep if they take pole again…just stick to the Redbulls tails and push hard and within 20 or 35 laps something will give way….we still have no information on the big plummes of smoke we saw from Webbers car in Bahrain at the start and then Vettels spark pludg went burst and now the BREAKS at Melbourne….something is not right here…
      REDBULL need to think very hard and i dont see them winning the championship at this rate

    • Maybe even slightly over the limit on occasion.

  2. statix said on 28th March 2010, 20:13

    vettel pushes very hard.
    it was obvious at Q3 in AUS. he pushed over the limits…
    the car seems to be fragile and he destroyes it.

    • patrick(uk) said on 28th March 2010, 20:27

      Vettel needs a Redbull with the body of Ferari and the soul of a Mcaren with the spirit of REDBULL to win ….

  3. There’s something weird about this car. I have a feeling Vettel’s failure had something to do with the ride height control, as his RF wheel went up in the air, which shouldn’t happen on a LF brake failure.

    Also, if you watch Webber’s first pit stop, there is something inside the hub rotating and sparking, and big sparks coming out of the new wheel as the nut is being tightened. I guess it could just be a wheel nut thing but I’ve never seen it happen like that on another car…

    Could there be something in the hub moving the suspension mounting points as the fuel load lightens?

  4. Stephen said on 29th March 2010, 0:41

    Could Vettel’s rough last sector in qualifying have started the problem?


    • vet4snak said on 29th March 2010, 6:29

      great picture

      i suppose that must be one of the related factors to vettel’s brake failure.

      but surely, the team would have checked to see if that is alright?

      any how, if we watch the race again, right before the spin, vettel braked and there were some sparks coming out from the LF tyre. much like the picture above, although with less sparks flying…

      guttted. 50pts vs 12pts

    • sjlyons50 said on 30th March 2010, 17:50

      Nice picture. I saw one from I think Darren Heath of Schmacher riding a kerb and getting sparks from what looked like the edge of the plank. It looks like this may be the same thing, as Seb is riding the kerb at this point and the sparks seem to come from about the area where the plank starts.

  5. Stoat said on 29th March 2010, 0:50

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

    So… was it not a spark plug failure, as they said in the days after the race?

  6. GeeMac said on 29th March 2010, 10:53

    “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”…

    • Patrickl said on 29th March 2010, 11:08

      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).

      • vet4snak said on 29th March 2010, 11:56

        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)

        • Patrickl said on 31st March 2010, 13:36

          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.

  7. MacLeod said on 29th March 2010, 10:58

    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?

  8. Chaz said on 31st March 2010, 16:46

    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…

  9. wasiF1 said on 1st April 2010, 8:51

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

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


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