Vettel has “total faith” in title defence

F1 Fanatic round-up

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2012In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel says Red Bull “will do all we can to defend our titles”.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Driven To Distraction (Red Bull)

Vettel: “We now have 18 more races ahead of us and we will do all we can to defend our titles. I have total faith in the team, the car and myself. There’s still much for us to do, but together as a team we can accomplish anything.”

Time to Rethink the Bahrain Grand Prix (Huffington Post)

MP Richard Burden: “Bahrain is nothing like as bad as the terrible situation in Syria. And F1 teams do race in other countries with unenviable human rights records. But that does not mean it is right for F1 to collude in presenting to the outside world a cocooned picture of normality at the Bahrain International Circuit, when what is likely to be going on just few miles outside the circuit could be very different indeed.”

Bahrain unrest fuels calls for Grand Prix to be cancelled (The Guardian)

“Bahrain’s Shia majority is demanding rights and opportunities equal to those of the Sunni minority that rules Bahrain. Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa owns the rights to the grand prix and serves as commander of the armed forces. Although the F1 race is the island’s premier international event, many Bahrainis see it as a regime vanity project.”

Motor racing-F1 governing body monitoring events in Bahrain (Reuters)

“The FIA is the guarantor of the safety at the race event and relies, as it does in every other country, on the local authorities to guarantee security. In this respect we have been repeatedly assured by the highest authorities in Bahrain that all security matters are under control.”

Argentina F1 return in 2013? (Sky)

“The deal would pave the way for the construction of a Hermann Tilke-designed layout in the resort of Mar del Plata. It is likely to include a mix of city streets, the promenade and a former naval base.”

Magny-Cours throws its hat into ring (Joe Saward)

“Serge Saulnier, the former race team owner who is the managing director of the company that runs the circuit, says that the facility should be considered for a race.”

Lopez: Lotus ready to be frontrunner (Autosport)

“I always said that once we lost Robert [Kubica], we lost one year – so we are one year behind schedule.”

Comment of the day

Bleeps_and_Tweaks is one of many readers disgusted by the treatment the Lotus name has had in recent years:

Total farce.

This whole sorry affair shows how little respect they have for one of the biggest names in F1. They?re a multi title winning team, and have produced another great car this year. If only the suits were as diligent as the race team.
Bleeps_and_Tweaks

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to MacLeod and Josie Maunders!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The Lancia-Ferrari D50 claimed another win in the hands of Peter Collins in the non-championship Grand Prix of Syracuse 55 years ago today.

Luigi Musso was second in another D50 ahead of Stirling Moss’s Vanwall, the latter three laps behind on the 5.6km track.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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73 comments on Vettel has “total faith” in title defence

  1. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th April 2012, 0:04

    Adding to the story about the Argentinean GP returning, have a look at the forum thread I created a couple of weeks ago for a series of pictures of the place where they are planning to build the racetrack.

    http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/groups/f1/forum/topic/argentinean-grand-prix-the-circuit-in-mar-del-plata/

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th April 2012, 9:36

      If its really replacing Korea from 2013 onwards, that makes a lot of sense. I was suprised when Bernie agreed to lower the race fees for Korea to help them, but if it was a deal to make them run another year while he gets a replacement signed that sounds like good business.

      A bit of a shame for the Korean’s then, but I guess that after the initial track was built no one in Korea, apart from the real racing fans, much looked at the track anyway.

      It does look relatively cheap to do it in Argentine, but the question’s about much can you afford to put money into a GP instead of into other things remains.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 8th April 2012, 15:34

        @bascb Apparently, the goverment won’t pay the full price, as an argentine-brazilian company called “Time 4 Fun”, that organizes concerts and stuff in both countries, will pay 50% of the costs involved in the race.

        It’s said that the Argentinean goverment will pay 22 million dollars only. If so, makes “sense”, if you know what I mean. It’s a top tier international event that shows the country…

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th April 2012, 20:45

          Sounds interesting then. If its really a 3 year deal somehow replacing the Korean event for the duration of that contract it makes sense to go for a lower price, especially as it can be tied in with going into the Americas for time zone big time.

  2. javacofe (@javacofe) said on 7th April 2012, 0:06

    can Alonso win the constructors title without bettering Kimi’s point score?

    I ask because unless he can McL have it in the bag…

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th April 2012, 0:11

    By they way, considering we’re two weeks away from the Barhain Grand Prix, I guess they are already decided they’ll go… if not, then the deadline for the final decision must be heck close!

    • Diogenes said on 7th April 2012, 0:25

      There have already been stories about the teams making alternative plans to go straight home after China instead of on to Bahrain so it may not be decided until the Chinese GP weekend.

      BTW @keithcollantine your Forum Link somehow got wrapped into the Happy Birthdays.

    • bobo (@bobo) said on 7th April 2012, 12:08

      Much as it pains me to say so, I do not intend to watch the Bahrain GP. This that should not have happened did happen, and the country has simply not groveled anywhere near enough, in fact they have continued to send out a consciously self-righteous message. If it is shown on TV here in Spain I will probably make an official complaint as well. By playing along F1 is legitimising the country, its rulers, as well as the things that went on and are still going on. Until I see groveling, compensation, penal proceedings for those who have taken part in human rights abuses, and all-round accountability i will not change my tune.

      I do not think that it is an ‘ just an internal issue’ either, nor is it in the interests of F1 to be seen to support, or fail to penalise, illegal or otherwise unacceptable behaviour. Not all publicity is good publicity, even if you are into ‘strong leaders’.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th April 2012, 12:53

        And China too, then?

        • bobo (@bobo) said on 8th April 2012, 17:47

          China gets away with what it does due to its sheer size. Should it be penalised? Yes, of course it should. Will it be penalised? Well, we all know the answer to that question don’t we…

          Bahrain can be punished, however, and if F1 neglects to punish Bahrain I will see that as an endorsement of Bahrain.

          The US failure to take a strong stance on Bahrain, like F1′s acceptance of China are also endorsements, and the countries in question certainly benefit from them.

  4. Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 7th April 2012, 0:38

    @Keith-collantine Cheers for the COTD. Good to see so many other F1F’s feeling passionate about the history and importance of Lotus in F1.

  5. latina (@latina) said on 7th April 2012, 0:41

    The events in Bahrain are definitely sad and I hope the people and their government can soonest find a reasonable solution to whatever problems they are having between themselves. Having said that, I will not find it funny if the number of races are reduced again like last year. Instead of an outright yanking of the 4th race of the season from the calender, I think Bernie and Co should move the race somewhere else- Turkey maybe, that’s if the Kurds will allow.. All in all, I support an F1 that is sensitive to the plight and aspirations of the downtrodden, though one is not really sure whether the Shiite majority in Bahrain simply want to overthrow their government.
    Vettel’s RB08 has the pace to win a race and if they can just manage to get it to perform well during qualifying, then 2012 is Redbulls’ once again.

  6. Nick.UK (@) said on 7th April 2012, 0:46

    Still no apolagy to Karthikyean then…

  7. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 7th April 2012, 1:05

    Aside from the downpour in 99, Magny-Cours was never that great. Not exactly my first choice for a returning venue.

    Onto Bahrain, I hope the powers that be see sense. The Grand Prix isn’t open to being hijacked for political means (on both sides), it’s asking for it. Quite aside from the moralities of going to a country where the majority of people have few rights, it would not be good for F1 were the race to become a vehicle for either side’s political gains. While sport should transcend such issues, it does not in this case, for better or worse.

    Last year, people complained only that it took so long for the race to be formally called off, not that the race was called off. Hopefully history will repeat itself this time.

  8. Lothario said on 7th April 2012, 1:12

    Yes, and total arrogance and total unlikeability.

    And to the Argentine/Argentinian GP story, I heard that it will be replacing Korea for 2013. It’s slightly tragic, Korea on its way to making an incredible facility, and only three races in, it has gone forever! I like the circuit, but the atmosphere is absolutley dull. I mean when Vettel won the race last year, no one cheered (I mean I know it was Vettel, and if it had just been me in the audience, there would have been a boo), but if a country doesn’t like F1, why take it there in the first place?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th April 2012, 1:22

      It’s not a question of liking or not liking the sport. It’s a question of whether the promoters can generate enough interest in the sport to attract a crowd. And given the reports of the state of the circuit last year – a lot of teams thought that the circuit had been closed on the Monday after the 2010 race and not opened up again until the Wednesday before the 2011 race – I’d say the promoters failed.

    • Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 7th April 2012, 1:50

      I think in order for a race to be a success there needs to be a racing culture in the country. You can see this everywhere there is a successful race, whether that be Britain, Japan, the USA, even China and Malaysia had something in place beforehand, though the race helped things along by promoting motorsports in general.

      Where the organisers in Korea and Turkey have failed is that they think the F1 race will generate interest on its own. It won’t. Having F1 only is like having a country with one top football team — yes, it’s there, but there’s nothing to back it up, nothing to make the other 90% of the population sit up and take notice of the sport, so they just go back to following whatever sport was there beforehand. Hopefully races in places like Argentina, India and Russia can back up the F1 race with their own series, or at least get other series in so the track is used all season. Then, and only then, will people take notice of the sport as a whole.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th April 2012, 5:22

        Talking about Argentina: if the track is completed, I’m sure they’ll use it. First off, the goverment is supporting many top tier series in our country, most notably Turismo Carretera. So they could start the championship and end it there, in Mar del Plata. Same with Turismo Nacional, a BTCC-like tin top series.

        Not sure about Super TC2000 and TRV6, as they are backed by Clarin Group, a major media group that is like the “dark side” to the goverment. But I can see them racing in Mar del Plata once a year maybe.

        I mean, we have plenty of racing in our country during the year, so it’d not be too difficult to get the track going. Even the crappy ones get races, so a top F1 circuit shouldn’t be a problem!

        One thing that puts Argentina ahead of India, Russia or Corea is that I’m SURE there would be not a single seat available for the race if it happens, even if the price is atronomical. We love F1, we love motorsports, and we’ve been waiting too long for a race to happen again. We don’t have a market to support the effort of F1 that’s all, as we’re not as important to the world’s economy like China, Korea, India, Russia and so on…

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th April 2012, 5:50

          @fer-no65 – India was pretty much a sell-out last year. At the very least, there were considerably more full seats than empty ones.

          I don’t have too many concerns about Russia, either. There have suddenly become dozens of Russian racing drivers in almost every form of motorsport. Of all the countries where motorsport has suddenly become popular, no country has experienced the boom more than Russia. There are literally dozens of Russian drivers in almost every form of motorsport, particularly in Europe.

          And as for China, they are getting more and more spectators to attend the race each year. HRT signing Ma Qinghua to their fledgling development programme will sure pique a little bit of interest, and I suspect that David Zhu’s move into Formula 2 is a political move designed to get a driver to graduate from Formula 2 into a bigger series like Formula 1.

          Korea is still a problem, though. But accoring to Autosprint, Argentina will replace the Korean Grand Prix in 2013.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th April 2012, 15:02

            I know what you mean, but those places really got in F1 very recently. In Argentina, it’s quite far from that.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th April 2012, 10:15

            Especially when Argentina can look back on the likes of Fangio and other very good racers for F1 pedegree, I would say there’s quite a good chance for that race to be a success.
            And maybe the fact its a 3 year deal will make it a sell out even more.

  9. ozzy (@ozzy) said on 7th April 2012, 1:23

    Most of you guys have no idea what struggle is all about, so when Formula One enters a disturbed country many don’t realize that F1 is a very small matter when u consider the bigger problems of the country. I for one hope and pray that the real bahrainies do not allow this joke to go on. Westerners howl and cry when one of them dies but turns a blind eye when thousands die in middle east. Sooner or later reality will catch up with you. This is the only sport which does not punish racism. Think about it. If you have no idea what is all the fuss about I recommend this documentary. Notably, no western media has even bothered to find out what is going on in Bahrain.

    • I second that 110%.
      God bless you pure soul.

    • mvi said on 7th April 2012, 10:33

      Your link brings up an F1Fanatic article about testing at Silverstone in 2007. I don’t think that’s what you meant.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th April 2012, 13:20

      I don’t believe that ‘no western media has even bothered to find out what is going on in Bahrain’…if that was true there wouldn’t be debate about F1 holding a race there.

      Some of the real struggle that much of the world ignores is that of starvation in Africa. But then, that issue doesn’t have the influence of big oil so western politicians ignore it a leave the ‘awareness’ work to celebrities these days.

  10. HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th April 2012, 1:47

    Magny-Cours is very close to the center of France, midway between Paris & Lyons also about midway between Nevers & Moulins with several other large towns only 30-40 mins drive away so politics or possibly greedy Bernie must be the real reason it was dropped, it is no worse than average as a race track. Paul Ricard is OK for Michelin commercials but will be a lot harder to get to for most French, British and Northern European Fans, there does not seem to be any logic to move a GP there.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th April 2012, 3:02

      @hohum – Magny-Cours was dropped because of money problems, but there were serious problems with the circuit. The teams hated going there because it was in the middle of nowhere, and it was virtually impossible to get to the circuit. That has since been changed with the construction of a motorway that practically goes to the circuit’s door, but as someone at Red Bull once said, the circuit is near a town called Nevers, which, when pronounced properly, tells you when everyone wants to come back.

      As for having the race at Paul Ricard, the French are seriously limited in their choice of circuit. Magny-Cours and Paul Ricard are the only two circuits in France with a Grade 1 (or 1T) licence, which is the minimum required for Formula 1. There was a plan for a new circuit at Flins-les-Mureaux a few years ago, but the French government withdrew support for the project.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 8th April 2012, 10:57

        Though as joe saward reports (or was it a commenter to his blog?) @prisoner-monkeys, there has been development around Magny-Cours, that highway to its gate that was delayed once the socialists were out of office did finally get completed a couple of year ago.

        And apparently Paul Ricard also doesn’t have hotels close by, and would ask teams to go all along the coast for sleeping arrangements, with busy/bad traffic conditions to the track itself.

        So maybe now the location isn’t the biggest issue. As for the quality of racing, well yes. Though I don’t know how good Paul Ricard does with current F1 cars really either. Anyway, a boring track in France or wherever else, I wish them luck! … Especially if this track might help Spa stay on the calender for longer.

  11. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 7th April 2012, 4:29

    Speaking of Bahrain, does anyone have a link to Keith’s interview (or just a transcript) on BBC radio last night? I think I tuned in a few minutes too late and missed it.

  12. Ean (@ean) said on 7th April 2012, 7:44

    To change the subject, I have been following Formula one and motorsport in general since 1966 and the trend in recent years to wright off a persons championship hopes after just one or two races in the media is very immature . Many things can change from race to race and the top teams will always be in the hunt.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th April 2012, 14:18

      You are right, no question…there are 18 races to go, so, much can happen and likely will as the season unfolds…I do think that in more recent years we have had some dominant cars/drivers though, and that can set a tone such that if one team or especially one driver on one team starts to run away from the field early on, and another driver/team starts the year off still having to play catch up, it is a hard thing to do, and by the time they do, said dominant team or driver has already run away with it, or at least looks to be very difficult to beat, so it might be easier to default to writing off a persons WDC hopes early on too. This year it seems to be Mac, but we’ll be ok as long as both drivers are allowed to compete against each other, ala Senna/Prost, which seems absolutely to be the case.

      I think Red Bull will rise up and challenge Mac, but Merc is a real question mark because they could find a few setup secrets and suddenly translate their strong Saturdays into strong Sundays such is the obvious ability somewhere in that car, or it will remain a puzzler for them and they will continue to fall back into the clutches of Ferrari, Lotus, and Sauber due to their tire temp issues.

      But absolutely, to your point…it’s a moving target as the season goes along, and much can and will happen.

    • George (@george) said on 7th April 2012, 15:05

      Quite true, especially with Alonso leading the championship at the minute :P. I think Vettel still has a fair chance this year, he’s been top 5 in the last two races and if they fix whatever the problem is on the car I could see them catching McLaren on pace.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th April 2012, 10:20

        I agree with that too. The simple fact Alonso is leading the championship in a car that is currently a long way from being competitive shows how much scope the others have to make up ground and get ahead.

        Both Vettel and Button let a lot of points slip away in Malaysia, Hamilton is being consistent but failed to capitalize on 2 pole positions. Lotus have had either driver into some problems holding them back. Webber did solidly but also failed to make the most of it.
        Mercedes will pop up in there as well sooner rather than later, I guess. And it seems that the likes of Williams and Sauber could play a role for taking solid points when one of the top teams drivers slips up a little.

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 8th April 2012, 11:00

          Yep, agree with all that @ean, @george, @robbie, @bascb. These first two races have shown who currently has pace, who has work to do, and the good news is: a lot of them have work to do either in car or in consistency, so there is all to play for. Looking good for a close-fought and exciting season :)

  13. infy (@infy) said on 7th April 2012, 11:27

    This Bahrain news is really damn boring. To post up something _every_ time _anyone_ says _Anything_ about Bahrain, not matter how repetitive it might be is really lame.

    If something decisive is said then sure, put it up, but the current number of daily Bahrain articles are just too excessive.

    Currently we’re being bombarded so heavily with anti-bahrain articles that it comes off as obvious propaganda and really just annoys the normal, average F1 fan.

    • George (@george) said on 7th April 2012, 15:08

      Agreed, we only have to put up with it for two more weeks though.

    • mvi said on 7th April 2012, 16:50

      Obviously you don’t care to understand anything about the situation in Bahrain. Many of us are very interested and care very much what happens there and what happens to F1 as a consequence of actions and decisions taken by all those involved.

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 8th April 2012, 20:36

        The level of discussion is extremely high at the moment though and it’s bound to be just two weeks before the race. I do skip over most of it to be honest. The majority of conversation has very little to do with F1 and it just looks like bickering.

  14. Cluffy_Wedge said on 7th April 2012, 16:09

    in20years.com

  15. The Limit said on 9th April 2012, 4:04

    A nice little quote from our defending world drivers champion, which probably pleased Christian Horner more than a recent comparison concerning a certain Indian driver and cucumbers. Reading between the lines Vettel is quite right, there are eighteen races left and anything is possible. However, I can’t help but imagine what the other drivers are thinking about Vettel’s temper tantrum in Sepang? Not for the first time, Sebastien has bore his teeth when things have gone wrong which most will percieve as a sign of weakness.
    Better yet, I wonder how all the drivers feel seeing Fernando Alonso atop the championship standings driving a car which is about as much use as a pair of sunglasses on a bloke with only one ear? Another concern must be Mark Webber. Not only is the Wunderkid not beating everybody else he is struggling to take on his team mate, and that must be pure music to Mark’s ears following the whitewash of 2011.
    In other words, I am still not convinced!

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 9th April 2012, 14:11

      Still not convinced that SV will defend his WDC you mean? I think I’m with you there. Not sure if SV’s tantrum has the driver’s thinking there is a chink in the armour, but in general I do wonder, and said so in the off-season, what SV will be like this year if challenged. Of course in terms of the mental game…we all know he can drive. I think of LH exactly the same way. I still think both these drivers have shown themselves to be prone to mental errors when the pressure is at it’s greatest. Last year SV’s pressure level was not nearly what some drivers have had in other years. This year so far is different and yes in a big way due to MW having a better start relative to SV, which is going to inevitably be something in the back of SV’s mind that wasn’t as present last year.

      As to FA, I don’t think that the fact that he tops the WDC chase so far will phase the other drivers for now. It was a wet weather race that helped put that car where it didn’t belong, and in spite of FA’s incredible talent I think most drivers realize that for now he is handcuffed by his car on dry weekends.

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