Vettel’s Valencia pace worries Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2012In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel’s pace at the start of the European Grand Prix is a cause for concern at Ferrari.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ferrari concerned by Vettel’s pace (BBC)

Stefano Domenicali: “They did something very good this weekend; they improved the car. We are not at the level we should be in terms of performance. Red Bull was the quickest.”

McLaren: Maldonado incident avoidable (Autosport)

When asked if he thought Hamilton should have defended so hard, Whitmarsh said: “Clearly not, but you are dragging me into the conversation. In my mind, you saw him defend with [Romain] Grosjean and with [Kimi] Raikkonen, and he didn’t do anything different with Maldonado. It was a different outcome, but he didn’t do anything different with those drivers.”

Lewis Hamilton: “You have these ups and downs” (Adam Cooper)

“I don?t really know what happened if I?m honest. I went in the corner and I didn?t come out. To be honest it happened so fast I really don?t remember what happened. All I remember is sitting in the wall with only a lap to go.”

Horner sure Alonso will stumble (Sky)

“Fernando has done a tremendous job, scoring in every single race, but statistics say he has to have one bad weekend in 20. It will hopefully balance itself out over the course of the season.”

RB8 now a good all-rounder – Horner (ESPN)

“I think that we see form fluctuate from circuit to circuit, but we’ve had three poles in the last three races and that’s encouraging. We were in a commanding position here, tyre degradation looked very low and we were able to match that of our nearest rivals this weekend, and on that side it’s been positive.”

A rush of adrenaline, an emotional moment (Ferrari)

Luca di Montezemolo: “I saw all three champions of ‘my’ Ferrari hugging each other. Thinking back to so many amazing wins in these last 15 years and to the people who have contributed to that ?ǣ from Michael to Kimi, from Todt to the other drivers, from the engineers to the mechanics ?ǣ I was really touched.”

Comment of the day

Another great addition to Stats and Facts from Bleu:

It was first time since 2008 Brazilian GP since the driver won his home race. The longest such streak is between 1958 (won by Peter Collins) and 1962 British GPs (won by Jim Clark). Besides these two, the other time as there has been three years between two wins, is gap between 1995 European GP (Nurburgring, won by Schumacher) and 1999 British GP (won by Coulthard).

But then, nowadays we have a lot more races with no driver having home race. Since that Brazilian race, all Malaysian, Chinese, Bahrain, Monaco, Turkish, Canadian, Hungarian, Belgian, Singapore, Korean and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix have been held without a local driver with the exception of last year?s Belgian GP where Jerome d?Ambrosio was driving (and no one was believing that he would win).

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On this day in F1

Last year’s European Grand Prix was one year ago today – Sebastian Vettel scored a straightforward win at a track which has previously struggled to produce exciting races.

F1 Fanatic readers rated it 3.8/10 which was by far the lowest score of the season – next was the Indian Grand Prix with 5.5/10.

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114 comments on Vettel’s Valencia pace worries Ferrari

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th June 2012, 11:02

    The way I see it, the Hamilton-Maldonado incident was just that: a racing incident. Both drivers probably could have done more to avoid contact. Maybe one driver could have done more than the other to avoid it, but that does not exonerate the other from wrongdoing. Debating over precisely how much of the blame each driver deserves – whether it’s a 51-49% split, or a 99-1% split – isn’t going to achieve anything, because neither driver got anything out of it. Lewis Hamilton ended up in the wall; Pastor Maldonado was demoted to twelfth, outside the points-scoring positions. Successfully proving that one driver was totally responsible for the contact isn’t going to change anything about the outcome.

    • Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 26th June 2012, 11:55

      Sorry PM, as per Keith its unequivocally Maldanado’s fault and anyone believing otherwise is wrong

    • davidwhite (@davidwhite) said on 26th June 2012, 13:01

      @prisoner-monkeys What a surprise, PM arguing the opposite to 99% of people’s views. Yawn. For the record, it was so obvious that it was Maldonado’s fault it’s not funny. Whether Hamilton should have just waived him past given Maldonado’s prior history IS a valid point of debate, however. My own view is that with just under 2 laps to go, Hamilton was right to put up a firm but fair defence. I would have been disappointed with anything less (and much more disappointed than a few lost WC points – I want to see a racer doing just that – racing). Far too many people are looking at the incident with the benefit of hindsight and passing judgement.

      • Paul A (@paul-a) said on 26th June 2012, 14:28

        You seem to find the post “surprising” based on a majority view (“99%”) and a personal opinion (“it was so obvious that it was Maldonado’s fault.”) But whatever the merits and demerits of the incident were, two facts remain: Hamilton’s tyres were not as fresh as Maldonado’s, and Hamilton is by far the more experienced driver. When I saw them tangle, my first and only reaction was “why did Hamilton not leave a bit more room?” My point of view seems to be held by Whitmarsh — and also perhaps by the stewards who only gave a drive-through (20 secs.) which can be seen as adding to Maldonado’s career experience.
        With more than sixty years of watching F1 behind me, I don’t play the “blame game” and I believe that less experienced drivers are more dangerous than more mature world champions. But your mileage might vary …

        • Gogog said on 26th June 2012, 19:36

          The question really is, did Maldanardo drive into Hamilton from outside the track while experinecing a Spa/Monaco red mist, and did Hamililton fall into to a `not having it` negative feed back loop?

        • davidwhite (@davidwhite) said on 26th June 2012, 23:39

          @paul-a I don’t understand you’re point. What i said was that it was clearly Maldonado’s fault – which 99% of people agree with because, well it was that obvious. Where i think it’s valid for views to differ is whether Hamilton should have known better and given him more room (though he was perfectly entitled not to). My PERSONAL view is that Hamilton was correct. If you give in to a bully then they’ll just come back for me. So while yes in the short term he’s lost points, in the many races Hamilton will have in the future he won’t have Maldonado or other like-minded thugs sending it down the inside of him knowing he’ll jump out of the way. In my “many” years of racing, it’s an important aspect to establish with your competitors.

          • disgruntled said on 27th June 2012, 0:34

            You think because of what happened Maldonado wont be attempting to overtake Hamilton in the future? 99% people? Is that 99% of people in your mind? You think Hamilton was correct yet he walked away with 0 points because of this incident where he played his part in this incident where he potentially could have picked up a handy 4th or 5th had he yielded room? You dont sound as if your happy with this outcome, actually you sound quite cheesed off. I certainly wouldnt like to meet you on a race track :). ‘There’s a time to give absolutely everything you have. Then there are times you must hold everything you have’. Wise words

          • Paul A (@paul-a) said on 27th June 2012, 0:38

            “To finish first, first you must finish.” Hamilton blew away any possible points in Valencia — not just my opinion, but also that of his team boss, Martin Whitmarsh. Maldonado is not a “thug”, he’s one of the world’s 23 F1 drivers racing on Sunday; less experienced than Hamilton but also a very competitive super-licensed driver (and unless I’m mistaken, they both have the same number of race wins this year, so not exactly a slouch.)
            As I said earlier, I don’t play the blame game, but in this incident there was enough competitiveness, testosterone and stupidity to complicate the stewards job. They ended up deciding on a drive through rather than a 10 place penalty for Silverstone, so maybe they didn’t see things quite as “obvious” as you did. But you are of course perfectly entitled to your opinion.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th June 2012, 1:46


        What a surprise, PM arguing the opposite to 99% of people’s views. Yawn.

        I might be arguing against 99% of peoples’ views, but that does not automatically make me wrong. My belief is that the rule that allows a defending driver to force an attacking driver off the circuit is a bad rule.

        For the record, it was so obvious that it was Maldonado’s fault it’s not funny.

        The rules state that a defending driver is entitled to force an attacking driver beyond the confines of the circuit when defending his position. With such a rule in place, incidents like the Maldonado-Hamilton one were an inevitability.

        My own view is that with just under 2 laps to go, Hamilton was right to put up a firm but fair defence.

        Forcing another driver off the circuit might be firm, but it is never fair – regarldess of who does it.

        • davidwhite (@davidwhite) said on 27th June 2012, 9:08

          @prisoner monkeys
          My point is you just look to pick arguments. It’s a little tedious.

          In terms of forcing off the road – it’s simple really – two cars don’t go into one racing line. It’s not forcing a car off the track….it’s call defending your line. Pretty basic really which is why i don’t get why people are apportioning blame to Hamilton. May i be so bold as to suggest those that don’t get this concept stop typing on the internet, jump in a kart and try racing – maybe you’ll then get it.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 27th June 2012, 8:14

      @prisoner-monkeys I’m tempted to agree with you though I still believe that most of the blame lies with Maldonado. Hamilton may have been able to defend from previous laps but his tyres were going when Maldonado caught him. Although many will argue my point, defending when your tyres are going is almost futile. However, Maldonado could have left it a couple of corners more than anything, he seemed to be in a rush and he didn’t need to be.

      • davidwhite (@davidwhite) said on 27th June 2012, 8:46

        Wow. People really do seem to have it in for poor Hamilton. I guess it’s just tall poppy syndrome. No other driver could create such a response – which tells you a lot. Remember this “racing incident” with Button and Alonso last year in Cananda:
        Were people jumping up and down and saying Alonso should have let Button go? Were people saying Button was overly aggressive in trying the pass? Not a bit of it.
        I can’t believe some of the people that read this website actually think Hamilton was at fault but i guess that’s the GP for you. If you’ve ever raced in any form of motor sport you’d appreciate that he had the line, had defended very nicely, and was pushing on expecting Maldonado to back off and no doubt attack later in the lap. As for those actually defending Maldonado, he’s not a top F1 pilot, and IMO is going to do someone some serious damage one of these days. TRy reading his bio and here’s a little clip of his work.
        The sad fact for me is that people are actually suggesting Hamilton (or other drivers) stop defending their positions against Maldonado because he’s “Loco”. On the contrary, get rid of Maldonado and we can have wheel to wheel action without people being punted into the wall and lives being risked.

        • davidwhite (@davidwhite) said on 27th June 2012, 8:53

          @ paul-a “Maldonado is not a “thug””. Ha, ha, ha – LMAO! He seriously injured a marshal in Monaco during F3000 under yellow flags and received a 4 race ban (from memory i think it was originally a life ban from racing at Monaco as well), he nearly killed someone by not slowing down for yellow flags a year later – see post above – he deliberately crashed into Hamilton in Spa last year and Perez in Monaco, the list goes on. Please tell me again what a smashing chappie he is again…..! His mum must be so proud of him.

          • Paul A (@paul-a) said on 27th June 2012, 14:17

            You have the right to laugh your **** off at reasonable comments. I disagreed with your assessment that Maldonado was a “thug.” You now add that he “deliberately” crashed into other cars at Spa and Monaco last year yet offer no justification — Spa led to a five-place grid drop for Maldonado and a reprimand for Hamilton, the earlier Monaco GP included two incidents including Hamilton getting a 20-second penalty for what looked very similar to this latest Valencia incident but the other way round. As to his four race ban, the BBC reported: “I feel very bad … but a penalty under such circumstances is justified,” [Maldonado] said.
            I try and look at drivers dispassionately and analyze facts. It’s relatively clear that Hamilton and Maldonado have magnetic attraction that has tended towards some rather over-competitive, perhaps unsportsmanlike, behaviour. But, as Keith wrote a little while back: “Maldonado’s calm resistance to Fernando Alonso’s pressure on his way to victory in Spain was a further sign he’s put his ‘wild man’ days behind him.”
            None of this adds up to labeling an F1 driver as a “thug.” And as far as I’m concerned, this thread has now run its course.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th June 2012, 14:33

            @paul-a I did write that about Maldonado after Spain and I’m not sure I’ve ever come to regret my owns words more quickly.

            His swerve into Perez in Monaco – which to me looked just as deliberate as his collision with Hamilton at Spa last year – and that silly incident with Hamilton in Valencia all pointed to Maldonado not having his temperament under control yet.

            He needs to get his head sorted, because he’s thrown away a ton of points for himself and Williams this year.

      • disgruntled said on 27th June 2012, 8:55

        Hamilton has made leaps and bounds in the ‘keep it cool’ stakes compared to his nearly weekly on track fracas with Massa last year. But there is work yet to do – take Alonso in Canada as an example. I get a feeling Hamilton dislikes Maldo? He lets both Lotuses thru no worries but dosent grant Maldo an inch laps later with his tyres further deteriorated. Then there’s Monaco 2011 where he punted him off from 5th place. Yet there he was cool as cat for sixty laps at Monza tryin to find a way thru Schumi…

  2. AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 26th June 2012, 15:41

    That is an absolutely cracking CotD, love our stats at this site.

  3. F1Rollout (@f1rollout) said on 26th June 2012, 19:14

    The last thing we want is the repeat of 2011. But i think Webber may outshine Vettel in few races and this year may end like 2010..btw How come Rosberg is ahead of Raikkonen in points? Raikkonen has 3 podiums with some points finishes as well.

    • katederby (@katederby) said on 26th June 2012, 22:46

      Despite all the talk of consistency wins still matter. Thanks to the points system we have a win makes a big difference… Webber has only had 1 podium so far but seeing as it was a win he’s running 2nd at the moment. (Obviously consistency still plays a big part in driver standings).

      • F1Rollout (@f1rollout) said on 7th July 2012, 3:59

        Yes wins does make a huge difference. But because of one win Rosberg is ahead of Raikkonen in points..But if we compare their performance over the 9 races. Raikkonen has done a better job…I am not blaming the points system.But it can be improved. maybe 25 20 15..According to that, Raikkonen by now had 77 points. which somehow shows the true picture.

    • Kimi4WC said on 27th June 2012, 6:14

      DNFs, thats what matter this season :)

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th June 2012, 8:19

      How come Rosberg is ahead of Raikkonen in points?

      Because Rosberg has 75 points to Raikkonen’s 73.

  4. MW (@) said on 27th June 2012, 16:47

    I was at the GP in Valencia at the turn off just before the bridge..(Stand M7).. I don’t know if it was as obvious on TV but the sound of the EBD on Vettel’s car (not on both RB8s) was very similar to the awful rasping we last heard in 2011..
    Newey may have found a way to get around the engine mapping regulations and create a 2011 type car that suits vettel..
    Anyone else heard this??

    • Nickpkr said on 27th June 2012, 23:15

      New EBD Newey got it from lotus but seem made it better and lotus also keep developing it, but then if abused burns out
      : )

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