Sebastian Vettel, Helmut Marko, Jonathan Wheatley, Christian Horner, Mark Webber, Red Bull, Korea, 2011

Red Bull: Team clinch title despite missed one-two

2011 Korean GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

A mis-timed pit stop cost Red Bull a potential one-two but they secured the constructors’ championship.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 2 4
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’36.042 (-0.426) 1’36.468
Race position 1 3
Laps 55/55 55/55
Pit stops 2 2

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
Sebastian Vettel 107.844 105.467 105.241 105.111 105.409 105.321 105.127 105.068 104.727 104.468 104.401 104.569 104.332 104.625 104.888 109.489 148.894 147.7 167.274 154.356 102.532 102.269 102.42 102.304 102.613 102.739 102.961 102.669 102.672 102.264 102.433 102.281 102.044 105.736 118.689 100.974 101.252 101.227 101.57 101.2 101.078 101.336 101.103 101.068 100.679 101.298 101.224 100.947 100.995 101.364 100.836 100.806 100.927 101.568 99.605
Mark Webber 109.966 106.214 105.448 105.615 105.94 105.988 105.616 105.802 105.181 105.134 105.068 105.442 105.999 110.228 121.094 104.168 137.356 135.065 166.41 153.926 103.29 102.643 102.472 102.437 102.867 102.511 102.29 102.811 102.582 102.557 102.69 103.349 108.323 121.526 101.755 101.882 101.994 101.685 101.844 101.433 101.251 101.21 101.118 101.438 100.897 101.144 101.539 101.225 101.442 100.513 101.223 101.046 101.005 100.525 100.294

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Helmut Marko, Jonathan Wheatley, Christian Horner, Mark Webber, Red Bull, Korea, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Helmut Marko, Jonathan Wheatley, Christian Horner, Mark Webber, Red Bull, Korea, 2011
Start tyre Super soft
Pit stop 1 Super soft 19.985s
Pit stop 2 Soft 20.17s

Red Bull looked under pressure on Saturday as Lewis Hamilton ended their unbeaten run in qualifying and the team appeared to be concerned by tyre wear.

But Vettel’s tenth win turned out to be one of his most straightforward of the year. His eventual winning margin of 12 seconds was one of his largest of the year, second only to Australia.

He coolly dispensed with Hamilton on the first lap, squeezing through a narrow gap at the inside of turn four, and was untroubled from that point on:

“Lewis was very fair going into turn four,” he said afterwards. “I was right on the edge, nearly went straight.

“It was crucial and then I was a little bit afraid as I had really pushed hard. I knew that with the headwinds down the straight from the second to the third corner it would be very easy for the cars behind to close the gap as I would be the first one facing the wind.”

His lead was almost five seconds by the end of the first stint, but the safety car wiped that advantage away.

Having saved three fresh sets of soft tyres for the race he opted not to use any of them until he had to, instead using another set of super softs for his middle stint. He didn’t pull away from Hamilton as quickly this time, but the gap began to grow as Hamilton and Webber became embroiled in their battle over second.

He had more than ten seconds in hand throughout the final stint and cruised home to win at the track where he was cruelly robbed of victory last year.

He even indulged in his pleasure for fastest lap-hunting on the final tour, despite his team urging him not to: “I think they will kill me now,” he said after the race.

“On the radio, they said ‘you didn?t get the fastest lap’ which obviously isn?t true, and then they came on the radio and said ‘idiot, you got it.'”

Sebastian Vettel 2011 form guide

Mark Webber

Start tyre Super soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 20.828s
Pit stop 2 Soft 20.8s

For only the second time this year, Webber gained a position on the first lap of the race. He had initially fallen to fifth behind Felipe Massa, but took advantage of Jenson Button running wide at turn four to gain one place, then opportunistically took Massa on the outside of the following bend.

Unlike Vettel, Webber used soft tyres for his second stint. He closed on the leading pair towards the end of the stint, but was unhappy to end up coming into the pits on the same lap as Hamilton. It cost him his best chance of taking second place.

He explained: “The last pit stop was really what snookered us, I suppose. I was informing the team that my tyres were still good, but we still pitted.

“Yeah, that was a bit disappointing to do the same thing as Lewis because we should have done something different.”

Christian Horner said the team had been trying to get Webber in on the lap before Hamilton, but ended up bringing him in on the same lap. The team were not convinced the place could be gained by staying out longer than Hamilton. Fernando Alonso had done this to overtake Massa, but the Ferrari is kinder to its tyres than the Red Bull.

Webber spent the remainder of the race locked in a battle with Hamilton which was exciting but did not produce his desired outcome: “The fight after the pit stop was haymakers, full-on into each other. It was a good battle.

“So I think overall I?m satisfied how the battle turned out. It was nothing extreme, just a good car race.”

Mark Webber 2011 form guide

2011 Korean Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images