Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2012

Horner: New exhaust layout doesn’t suit Vettel

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2012In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Sebastian Vettel reverted to the team’s previous exhaust configuration in China as the new one doesn’t suit his driving style.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Christian Horner: “It?s going to be a fascinating championship…” (Adam Cooper)

“There were some characteristics about the upgraded car which weren?t particularly suited to [Sebastian Vettel’s] style of driving, which is to carry a lot of speed into the corner. The decision to come here [with two specs] was very much Adrian [Newey’s] and a technical decision, because we want to make sure we get a direction and a clear comparison.”

Fresh Protests in Bahrain (Sporting Life)

“Police and anti-government protesters were again involved in a running battle on the outskirts of Bahraini capital Manama just days ahead of this weekend’s Formula One grand prix.”

Crown prince wants Bahrain to emerge F1 winner (AFP via Google)

“We must unify our efforts to make sure Bahrain is the big winner of this prize.”

Formula One should forget the money and pull out of Bahrain (Daily Mail)

“Filthy lucre should not always enjoy the last word. And the world would be no poorer for the loss of the Bahrain Grand Prix.”

Byron Young via Twitter

“Sitting here on a day in which I have smelt Molotov cocktails and tasted teargas wondering what the hell F1 is doing in Bahrain?”

Bahrain F1 Grand Prix a calculated risk, says race chairman (The Guardian)

Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed R Alzayani: “The race will be positive to the country, positive to the economy which has suffered a lot in the last year and a half, and it will put things in perspective.”

Bahraini Embassy roof protester threatens to jump (BBC)

“Moosa Satrawi is highlighting the imprisonment and treatment of prominent human rights activist, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and Hasan Mushaima, the leader of a banned political party in Bahrain.”

Hamilton in no rush to commit future (The Telegraph)

“When I need to, which can be within any time frame I want so long as it is before next year, then I will decide about my future. But the team are doing fantastic. I could not be happier in the team.”

Ted’s Chinese Notebook (Sky, UK only)

Ted Kravitz: “Felipe Massa again with an extremely strange strategy, seemingly going against what the tyres were doing, although that was dictated by starting on the harder tyre. But it seemed like he was almost a guinea pig for Fernando Alonso. I’ve never seen Felipe so down as he was during practice.”

Kimi Raikkonen – “A podium should be possible” (Lotus)

“It looked the best [strategy] for us and it worked for Romain [Grosjean]. If we had the same information again, we?d probably try the same approach. It didn?t work, but you don?t know these things unless you try them. We will now know better for next time. We were pretty close to finishing on the podium. We didn?t. That?s racing.”

Ferrari among teams exploring Mercedes-style DDRS (ESPN)

Technical director Pat Fry: “We’ve been looking at it for a while. I think it’s just a case of weighing up what the performance is on our car. It’s bound to vary differently from car to car and particularly if you’ve had that system in mind and developed your car to work around it, you’re further up the development curve.”

Lotus considering ??double DRS? options (F1)

“Lotus are looking into the potential benefits of developing their own version of Mercedes? ??double DRS? system, after their protest against the solution in China failed, effectively rubber-stamping it and similar designs as legal.”

It beats a box of chocolates (GP Week)

“I fear that the obvious nepotism of Susie Wolff’s appointment at Williams undermines the achievements of [Michele] Mouton and the efforts of Alice Powell (19), Carmen Jorda (23) and Vicky Piria (18), who are working their way up the traditional ladder without the benefit of such wealthy and well-connected backing.”

Comment of the day

Some great stats on Nico Rosberg’s first race win from Ilanin:

It is 1007 days since Mark Webber won the German Grand Prix in 2009. This is the second longest interval between maiden race wins in F1; the only person whose first victory ended a longer drought is actually Rosberg?s team-mate. Michael Schumacher’s victory in the 1992 Belgian Grand Prix was the first maiden victory since Alessandro Nannini?s win in the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix, 1095 days previously.

Conversely, there were no seasons between 1957 and 1983 which didn?t contain somebody?s first grand prix victory. In 1982 five drivers (Patrese, Tambay, Alboreto, Keke Rosberg, and de Angelis) won their first races, and Tambay, de Angelis, and daddy Rosberg made up F1???s only ever three races in a row won by drivers who had not won a Grand Prix before. This might explain why there were no new winners in ?83.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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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

Happy birthday to Romain Grosjean who is 26 today!

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146 comments on “Horner: New exhaust layout doesn’t suit Vettel”

  1. Ofcourse Felipe Massa in a ‘secondary’ driver to Fernando Alonso, ofcourse Ferrari favour Fernando in almost every instance! However, one must remember, what choice did Ferrari have when they took on Alonso for the start of the 2010 season?
    We all remember what happened at McLaren when the team did not give Fernando the ‘support’ he desired, and rightly or wrongly, the damage that decision caused McLaren was huge. You had a team split between two drivers, at war with itself, and it cost them a championship in the process.
    In my opinion, Ferrari made the decision to back Alonso in order to bring stability to their team to offset any risk of a repeat of the McLaren scenario.
    When you stop and think about it, its a logical thing to do!
    Alain Prost was just the same, you were either behind him or in his way! However, for Ferrari, look at the flip side! They no doubt have one of the very best drivers around in their team, and even when the car is a piece of crap, a driver who is capable of getting the job done.
    I always felt the events of Germany 2010 did massive damage to Felipe Massa’s confidence, only a year after nearly being killed whilst driving a Ferrari. I can not imagine how that betrayal must have hurt Massa, who almost lost his life whilst driving for a team that had now turned its back on him. We all know F1 is a ruthless business and there is little sentiment at times, but what Ferrari did that day was especially cold hearted and cruel, yet not unlike them. In other words Massa’s head has dropped, he knows he is about as welcome as David Cameron in a pasty shop and this, in my mind, has effected his driving and cold finish off his career totally.
    As for Christian Horner, his excuses over Vettel’s woes are not surprising at all to anybody. Vettel’s position within Red Bull Racing is well documented, and most people would agree that Mark Webber is nothing more than a ‘secondary’ driver to the German. Ofcourse, the big difference this year is that Webber unlike Massa is beating his team mate. Only three grands prix into the new season and we are already seeing good progress being made by Webber, at the expense of the defending double world champion. The problem Horner will have is if this trend continues how does he handle the situation? When Vettel was so dominant last year it was all too easy, but if Webber does better in the championship this year will Red Bull Racing support him ‘fully’?
    My gut reaction is that Red Bull Racing will find themselves in a situation like McLaren are in, with two drivers close together in the championship in terms of points, and if that is the case, I fear Horner will again support Vettel more.
    What is impressive about Webber is that he does not appear to let this knock his confidence, if anything it spurs him on. That is the one big difference between Webber and Massa in my eyes when they are faced by team mates clearly being favoured over them.

    1. I believe that is precisely the difference between those two…

    2. “When Vettel was so dominant last year it was all too easy, but if Webber does better in the championship this year will Red Bull Racing support him ‘fully’?”

      I doubt they will show or give Webber more support than Vettel. Maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it. They gave Webber’s new front wing to Vettel 2 years ago.

      1. But at that point in the season Vettel was well ahead of Webber in the championship and seemed a lot more on form.
        The roles was reversed to what we see right now, so you can’t really use that as an indicator.

        1. If by “that point of the season” you mean when the wing swap happened, then Vettel was just 12 points ahead of Webber and by the end of the British GP Webber was 7 points ahead.

          1. Yes 12 points ahead, with a total of 3 wins lost to reliability issues that Webber hadn’t suffered from. Overall it wasn’t unfair to conclude that Vettel had been driving better then Webber in that season that far, thus making it obvious to hand the advantage to him to be able to get into the lead of the championship.
            That Webber was ahead afterwards isn’t really relevant, because they could never have known that before they made the decision.

            As I say, these days the roles are reversed so we can’t really use that event to know whether they will favour Vettel again, because back then they had an argument. Whether one agree with what they did or not is a totally different matter.

          2. you make it sound the Webber drove brilliantly in the British GP and Vettel was just so-so (and Webber did drive brilliantly), when in fact Vettel had his tire punctured in the first few corners and was dead last at the end of the first lap. And without the help of a DRS or multiple tire changes, he came back and finished 7th with some pretty solid passing to boot. Vettel drove a brilliant race that day, under adverse circumstances.

            As for Webber’s “not bad for a number 2″ comment, I’m sure he wasn’t using that quip in Korea or Abu Dhabi at the end of those races :)


    Exactly, and Mark Webber went onto win the British Grands Prix that year despite Christian Horner and co. giving Vettel Webber’s new wing! If the same scenario occured at Ferrari I doubt Felipe Massa would be able to come back and win the race.
    Another point aswell is that Mark Webber was points leader in 2010 in the latter stages of the season, but his crash in Korea pretty much scuppered his chances. I am convinced that there will be fireworks between Webber and Vettel, as we saw in Turkey two years ago, due to Webber’s uptick in performance.

    1. I think there are some debatable points in the above handful of posts.

      I think FA at Mac was not demanding number one status. He just felt LH was being favoured and he called for equality on the team. Something had FA convinced that the team was favouring LH, and he became vocal about it. Part of the blame needs to fall on the team for not ensuring FA felt equally treated.

      So I don’t think Ferrari needed to avoid a repeat of what happened at Mac with FA/LH. All they needed to do was ensure FA felt an equal on the team vs. his teammate, but of course as the well documented proven WDC FA is we all know FM is not a driver who is equal to FA so there was not even a debate needed as to whether or not FA was going to be happy with his treatment on the team.

      We have all seen that life is easier for a team manager when one driver dominates the other on the track, thus eliminating any need for team orders. But that doesn’t mean the paying audience is getting value for their money if a team could have hired a better driver and had two gladiators duking it out on the track, or if a team intentionally holds even a good driver back in favour of another. We the viewing audience get robbed of potential true racing in the pinnacle of racing when teams make decisions to make their own lives easier by eliminating the need for tough decisions to be made.

      At the British GP 2010, Red Bull claimed they gave SV the wing because he was leading in the points at that particular time, and he seemed to be the one getting the most out of said new wing. Whatever the truth, just as Mac didn’t convince FA that he was an equal on the team, neither did Red Bull do enough to convince MW he was an equal, hence his comment at the end of the race when it won it…’not bad for a number 2, eh?’

      Yet MW was points leader in the latter stages of the season…ie. how subservient was he then? How held back was he? How favoured was SV if MW could do that? I think MW himself would disagree and probably take great offence that he is being called “nothing more than a ‘secondary’ driver to the German.” He raised a fuss in 2010 that weekend, he said if he knew this was going to be the way he was going to be treated he wouldn’t have signed for Red Bull, he went on the lead the points chase late into the season. Last year he was dominated by SV. And yet he is still at Red Bull this year when if anything, and if he is actually nothing more than a secondary driver, one would think he would have spent last year complaining that this was not he signed up for, and you would think he would have found a different ride for this year if that was the case.

      I think there is more racing going on at Red Bull than some believe, thank goodness. And I think that it is natural to appear to favour a driver who has just proven himself again by winning the WDC again, and who now is struggling. Of course they want to help him. He has proven what he is capable of. I’m sure they feel for him. But thank goodness it seems they are also working with MW, who as I say, is still on the team, which must mean he either has no integrity, or in fact has been well convinced by the team that he is not just there to be a secondary driver to the German, in spite of how it went last year.

  3. @mads Ah ok, so a 12 point lead is “well ahead” even though there were 225 points left to win? Fair enough.

    1. Please let us not get into a discussion about definitions, it will bring us nowhere.

      1. I’m sure of that

  4. what I find interesting about the comments regarding how Vettel is whinging about straight line speed in the race and Webber isn’t, is the total lack of understanding that we only hear what the F1 live feed gives us. It’s not like the comments they air are the only ones that are made by all the drivers during the race. We have no clue what Webber is saying or not saying. He’s probably saying the same thing at different times. I can also imagine that Vettel and his engineers are trying to find solutions to improve his track position and he’s relying the info that the back straight isn’t going to help him. After the race he talked about how he was trying everything to maintain position, adjust diffs, break balance, etc. and I’m sure he wasn’t doing that all on is own. His engineer was probably asking him to try certain things in certain places as well. That working as a team thing. Nor do we know if Rocky said something like “stay close and use DRS for the pass” and then Vettel had to respond the way he did, to say hey, that’s not going to happen.

    The other thing that this often missed is that the drivers always sound more stressed on the radio than they probably are–in the sense they sound more frustrated/whining than there probably actually feeling because they are talking while driving an F1 car on the rivet which is incredibly physically demanding.

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