Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2011

Red Bull: “Rules changed but not the result”

2011 European GP reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Red Bull’s Renault engine liaison Cyril Dumont summed up the consequences of the revised rules on engine mappings in Valencia: “the rules have changed, but not the results”.

Sebastian Vettel romped to an easy victory and Mark Webber joined him on the podium.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 1 2
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’36.975 (-0.188) 1’37.163
Race position 1 3
Laps 57/57 57/57
Pit stops 3 3

Red Bull drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57
Sebastian Vettel 110.32 105.466 105.186 105.488 105.16 105.033 104.712 105.15 105.03 105.055 105.269 105.315 106.358 114.845 115.873 104.558 104.549 104.108 104.307 104.123 104.191 103.904 103.655 103.399 103.799 103.743 103.857 104.036 104.127 112.827 114.355 102.491 102.771 102.42 102.539 102.359 102.916 102.273 101.926 102.651 102.287 102.172 102.382 102.237 103.221 102.376 111.208 114.443 102.202 102.503 102.244 101.952 101.852 102.998 103.11 102.659 106.179
Mark Webber 111.682 105.931 105.584 105.363 105.113 105.111 105.375 105.169 105.012 105.317 105.5 105.584 114.4 115.536 104.97 105.61 104.405 104.241 104.033 104.39 105.913 104.032 103.583 103.88 103.929 104.073 103.787 112.466 113.145 102.993 103.113 102.908 102.848 102.582 102.577 102.615 102.836 102.771 102.534 102.638 102.793 112.072 114.565 102.699 103.523 104.819 103.667 103.685 102.635 102.574 102.823 103.285 106.432 104.598 104.781 105.886 109.038
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2011

Sebastian Vettel

On Friday Vettel tested the changes Red Bull intend to run on their car at Silverstone when the full force of the restrictions on ‘hot-blown’ diffusers comes into effect.

He got down to business on Saturday, topping final practice and clinching his seventh pole position of the year.

It was business as usual on Sunday as he was never seriously threatened for the lead. He only lost it for one lap following his pit stop.

Throughout the weekend he’d faced questions about whether the engine mapping changes would erode Red Bull’s advantage, and whether his last-lap slip in Montreal had showed he was vulnerable under pressure.

A crushing win, which puts him 77 points clear in the title chase, was the perfect response to all that.

Even so, he says he’s not getting distracted by thoughts of the championship yet: “I don?t look at the gap. It is a long season.

“We have had a phenomenal start to the season and to continue that way is our target. But we have to go step-by-step and take every single race as it comes.

“Surely we don?t have to win by taking too much risks but the target is to win races.”

Sebastian Vettel 2011 form guide

Mark Webber

Webber felt he had his strongest race of the year so far. He joined Vettel on the front row of the grid but lost out in a race-long battle with Fernando Alonso.

Alonso passed Webber in the DRS zone on lap 21. But a good call on the timing of his second pit stop allowed Webber to take the place back.

His final pit stop, to switch to medium tyres, was not so well-timed. Alonso hung on for three more laps on the soft tyres, eking out the margin he needed to stay ahead.

Traffic offered Webber a brief opportunity to get past, but shortly afterwards his gearbox began to play up.

The team told him to short-shift and later said the unit was overheating. (If they need to replace it at Silverstone, he will not get a penalty, because the first gearbox change is free).

Webber took responsibility for the pit call that cost him second place: “It was my fault basically not the team?s.

“I was worried about Fernando coming underneath me around the stops and it was not really known how the medium tyre would perform on the out lap.

“For sure, it is not as good as the soft but is it better than an old soft? That was the risk I decided to take. I lost out.

“Fernando stayed out for a few more laps and also I came out behind a little bit of traffic so my fault we missed second today and Fernando drove a good race.”

Mark Webber 2011 form guide

2011 European Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images