Vettel wins in India but Alonso limits the damage

2012 Indian Grand Prix review

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2012Sebastian Vettel edged away from Fernando Alonso in the drivers’ championship after scoring his fourth consecutive win of 2012.

Vettel had little to worry about as he led every lap for the second year in a row at the Buddh International Circuit.

Alonso limited the damage has best he could, rising to second place during the race, but was unable to keep Vettel from his fifth win of the year.

Alonso takes on the McLarens

Red Bull preserved the advantage of their front-row lockout at the start as their rivals furiously disputed third place. The McLaren drivers went side-by-side down the long straight as Alonso appeared alongside them heading to turn four.

Lewis Hamilton lost out to the Ferrari despite diving back down the inside of Alonso at turn four. He ran wide, allowing Alonso to claim the position back.

While the Red Bulls made good their escape Button temporarily held third place. But he was soon passed by Alonso and Hamilton, who simply out-gunned him on straight line speed in the DRS zone.

Already up to third, Alonso began a race-long pursuit of Mark Webber. The gap between the pair of them crept up for most of the first stint, reaching over four seconds.

Problems for Perez

Most drivers were aiming to get through the race on a single pit stop. Surprisingly, Sergio Perez was the first to hit trouble with his tyres and was passed by Nico Hulkenberg in the DRS zone.

Perez made an early pit stop on lap 14 and dropped down the running order. He then picked up a puncture while passing Daniel Ricciardo, and incurred car damage which forced an early retirement.

Kimi Raikkonen spent a frustrating stint stuck behind Massa, his Lotus’s poor straight-line speed leaving him unable to launch an attack even when Massa made an error late in the first stint.

That prompted Lotus to try to use the ‘undercut’ to get Raikkonen ahead. On lap 27 he was told to pit if Massa didn’t – the Ferrari stayed out, so the Lotus came in.

After Massa made his pit stop the pair were side-by-side heading to turn three – and then appeared to compete over who would be the last to reach the DRS activation line. Massa won the unusual contest, and although he followed Raikkonen onto the straight he was easily able to activate his DRS and re-pass the Lotus.

The other Lotus of Grosjean had started on the hard tyres. He briefly ran as high as fifth before being passed by Hamilton after the McLaren driver’s pit stop. Following his late change to softs Grosjean gained on Hulkenberg. But faced the same problem as Raikkonen had with Massa – he was simply unable to get on terms with the Force India on the straight.

KERS problem costs Webber second

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2012The single round of pit stops produced no change in the running order at the front, though Alonso gained on Webber and was briefly able to put him under pressure in the DRS zone before dropping back.

Hamilton remained fourth after an impressively slick McLaren pit stop which included changing all four wheels plus Hamilton’s defective steering wheel with no loss of position, or much in the way of time.

Back on the track, Hamilton edged closer to the Webber-Alonso battle for second. That dispute was resolved when Webber suffered a KERS glitch, allowing Alonso to pass him easily in the DRS zone.

Hamilton produced a series of quick laps as he closed on Webber’s ailing RB8. But he only got within DRS range in the final two laps, which proved too little too late.

There was further cause for concern on the Red Bull pit wall as sparks began to appear from beneath the front of Vettel’s car. The problem was immediately relayed to Alonso, who redoubled his efforts to reduce Vettel’s 11-second lead.

The Ferrari driver had hit down to under ten seconds when he went off at turn 14. The tarmac run-off meant he only lost a second to Vettel, but it finished off any hopes he had of catching the only driver left in front of him, and the one he most wanted to pass.

Schumacher’s spoiled race

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Buddh International Circuit, 2012Button had a quiet run to fifth while Massa held off Raikkonen for sixth despite running low on fuel – he pulled to a stop shortly after crossing the start/finish line.

Hulkenberg did the same after finishing eighth, though he was unsure why the team had told him to stop. Grosjean finished on his tail in ninth and Bruno Senna claimed the final point after a battling drive, passing Nico Rosberg and Pastor Maldonado on the way.

Maldonado joined Perez in spinning off with a puncture, his caused by contact with Kamui Kobayashi. In all, three drivers suffered the same fate as Michael Schumacher picked up a puncture from Jean-Eric Vergne on lap one.

The delay cost Schumacher almost a full lap and he found himself being lapped by the leaders within minutes of the start. Hamilton was one of several drivers who complained about how slowly Schumacher responded to the blue flags, which the stewards will look into after the race.

Schumacher pulled in with five laps to go. The other Mercedes of Rosberg finished outside the points in 11th, followed by an unhappy Paul di Resta who had struggled with drag on his car early in the race.

Toro Rosso’s run of points scores came to an end as Ricciardo and Vergne were 13th and 15th, separated by Kobayashi. Maldonado’s puncture left him 16th followed by the Caterhams and Marussias.

Narain Karthikeyan was the last running driver in his home race after Pedro de la Rosa crashed out with another HRT brake failure.

Vettel’s fourth consecutive victory means his lead in the championship has increased to 13 points. With three races to go and 75 points left to be won he is far from safe yet, and Alonso knows that if Ferrari can produce some more pace from his car in the final races he is still in with a chance of winning this championship.

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171 comments on Vettel wins in India but Alonso limits the damage

  1. F1Rollout (@f1rollout) said on 28th October 2012, 13:02

    Imagine this race with refuelling and bridgestone tyres and without DRS. 2 or 3 good non DRS passes. Hamilton pushing all the way to the end. Someone on the pit wall messing up the strategy and someone acting brilliantly. Result : Great race.. Poor era of F1.

    • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 28th October 2012, 14:34

      Refuelling was pants. At least they’re racing another guy on the track now, not someone 30 secs up the road who may or may not come out of the pits ahead of them. And the tyres today were more like Bridgestones. But I agree DRS didn’t help today.

      • F1 Theist said on 28th October 2012, 15:46

        I agree with @bullfrog.

        My belief is that a ‘right philosophy’ is always3 important – to F1 and everything else – since a dimwitted raceday feature like DRS is nothing more than a quickfix gimmick.

        By outlawing refuelling, drivers are more ‘in sync’ with their immediate competitor, somethng that promotes racing, and if it has not been evident without DRS, it’s because issues like dirty air, turbulence, etc., have actually stifled most genuine overtaking attempts.

        Look at what the ban on traction control did – it brought out the weakness in drivers like Massa, and such pro-racing rules will ensure the coming of age of talent.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th October 2012, 21:18

      @f1rollout

      Imagine this race with refuelling and bridgestone tyres

      Rose-tinted glasses. I watched plenty of races like that to not be in the slightly bit interested in seeing any more.

      • F1Rollout (@f1rollout) said on 29th October 2012, 0:05

        I dont agree with many points. You should recall the reason of introduction of refuelling. It was introduced to attack all the way to the end. My problem with managing tyres is that drivers should be allowed to show their true potential i.e attack every lap. They cant do it now. Everyone wants show and they think by introducing DRS, KERS and non-durable they are helping the cause. Racing is more artifcial now. Who remembers who made a superb overtake because no one finds them so special and there are so many. Why we remember Heikkeinen passing Schumacher in SPA and Raikkonen passing Gincarlo in Suzuka. Because they were not down to DRS or tyres. They were genuine. down to the driver. I will take a boring race but genuine over an artificial but interesting race because F1 is not a show. It was an idea of competition between engineering and drivers of different teams. I never felt bored in Schumi era because drivers were allowed to show the true potential of their cars and how quick they can be pumping in consecutive fastest laps. In 2006 Spanish GP, it was joy to see Alonso setting 10th consecutive fastest lap and i miss those days when we used to predict the fuel level of different cars and strategy calls. Competition was more fierce on track at that time and top teams were more close over the course of season.

        • Agree with F1Rollout. Its becoming more of a endurance race now without refueling.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th October 2012, 7:51

          If you want to see drivers pushing all the way, then why complain about this race? After all, the harder tyres Pirelli brought made everyone do exactly that!

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th October 2012, 23:47

          As I remember it, Bernie said re-fuelling would give F1 more to be interested in and more for press to report. Never heard anything about allowing the cars to attack all race, if anyone said it they were dead-wrong, however longer wearing tyres would help achieve that in todays rules as can be seen by comparing Alonso in Korea with Alonso in India.Otherwise I mostly agree with you @f1rollout, and @bascb.

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 28th October 2012, 13:02

    Good read Keith!

    I would love to see the championship go right down to the last race in Brazil, but I fear that if Vettel’s run of dominance continues, only a mechanical failure can hold him back from the coronation of triple world champ (even though he almost had a mech. failure with the floor in India). Because as stunningly as Alonso drove, i dont think it’s enough to beat a Newey car in the hands of a driver of the calibre of Vettel.

    I’m really torn, because i would love to see Alonso win it, just because of how hard he has worked, and how many points he has scored for Ferrari when, early in the season, they weren’t in the position to get huge hauls of points. And it has really proved that he is the best all round driver in Formula 1.

    But at the same time, i would like to see Vettel win it again just for the history books, of becoming 3x Champion.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 28th October 2012, 14:56

      @tophercheese21 I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes I just wish Alonso didn’t perform so well this year, and performed well next year instead… There’s something about seeing history in the making, like only the third guy to get 3 crowns in a row, that has a very sexy allure.

      • Rocky (@rocky) said on 28th October 2012, 23:43

        i would like to see Red Bull win the Championship so long as they give the trophy to Newey Vettel although not completely with out some driving skills just sat in the best car.

        • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 28th October 2012, 23:53

          @rocky to be honest it’s not that simple. You try sitting in that Red Bull. You might not win a race, let alone win the title.

          Put Karthikeyan in the car. Probably won’t be champion. Put Webber in the car (which he is) and he’s 86 points down on Alonso

          • Enigma (@enigma) said on 29th October 2012, 0:13

            Yep. Webber is one of the very best drivers in the world and he’ll finish the championship behind someone from another team for the third time running.

            Red Bull has got the best car on the grid, but with the likes of Alonso and Hamilton in not much slower cars, you need someone to take full advantage of it. Vettel’s been doing just that in the last 3 seasons.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 3:35

            @enigma IMO Webber can be somewhat underrated. Few people remember his near-poles in 03 and 04, or that he beat Alonso in F3000. And my memory is fuzzy, but didn’t he thrash Rosberg in Monaco 06, before he retired from the race? Rosberg is rated very highly – so why not Mark?

            I don’t think he’s on HAM/VET/ALO level, but I think hed give Button/Rosberg/08 Massa a run for their money.

          • Enigma (@enigma) said on 29th October 2012, 8:21

            @raymondu999 Yep – even if Vettel is on it the entire weekend and dominates it, Webber usually still gets within a tenth in qualifying and doesn’t get left behind in the race (except for 2011, but that’s another story).

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th October 2012, 0:43

          @rocky Red Bull get a trophy, for the constructors championship.

          • Webber is Under Rated! I think its clear the top 3 in F1 are Alonso/Hamilton/Vettel but on his day Webber is pretty unbeatable, a bit like Button when the car is exactly how he needs it. But that’s what seperates The top 3 form the Rest, they don’t need the car to be perfect to Win.

            Webber will end his career with a decent total of wins but over a season he can’t perform as consitently as Vettel even though for the last 3 years he’s had the best car the majority of the time. I also find it puzzling how all the KERS problems Red Bull have only ever seem to affect Webber….bad luck? or down to the way he drives the car perhaps? Interesting 1.

            Similar I guess to Ferrari when Schumacher & Barrichello were there. 9 times out of 10 any mechanical problem happened on Rubens Car.

            Back to the original point though, Mark is no slouch!

  3. Ben (@benchuiii) said on 28th October 2012, 13:08

    7 winners in the first 7 races
    1 winner in the past 4 races

    Alonso/Ferrari will have to do something special if they want to catch Vettel. On another note, the Alonso-Vettel-Hamilton podium once again failed to materialize.

  4. https://twitter.com/jdelfo/status/262519269328302080/photo/1

    The update of the red bull…we will see what FIA thinks now….this is the 4th for this season…Monaco,Canada,Germany,India…the show must go on

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th October 2012, 13:11

      What is it? Hard to tell from the fuzzy picture.

      • It’s a mechanical device added manually before the race at the rear of the redbulls to adjust the height of the car…

      • @keithcollantine apparently it’s the thing that caused the floor problems to Vettel. Actually here in Italy some journalists are sure that Red Bull did that on purpose.

        • I don’t think Red Bull would violate a clearly stated rule; it’s their job to bend the wording of the regulations, not just blatantly ignore them!

          • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 28th October 2012, 14:31

            I don’t think Red Bull would violate a clearly stated rule

            I’m not discrediting the efforts of the 2 Red Bull drivers Seb & Mark they obtained their victory on track & they fought hard for it but their team is expert in cheating & the funny thing that if they got caught & they were BTW the rules will be changed in the next race without penalizing them remember the hole,engine mapping;ride height………………

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 28th October 2012, 14:50

            @tifoso1989 The thing is though they’ve never been breaking the rules. All of their floor holes, engine mapping, were all playing with words. They have never broken a well-worded rule.

            For example the engine mapping rule they “broke” talked about what should happen when the throttle pedal was at 0% and at 100% – and they then messed with 0.01% – 99.99%

        • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 28th October 2012, 13:34

          @yobo01 that thing was dangerously almost stalling the diffuser. Why in the name of feck would Red Bull make Vettel’s car slower?

          • @raymondu999
            I agree.
            I mean, it’s a very important moment of the championship and everyone wants Alonso to win it in Italy. For example, yesterday they thought that Red Bull told Webber not to complete his last lap in quali, because Vettel was on pole. They even saw the mistake he made on T3, but they didn’t care.

            So, yeah, italian journalists are probably making up things, but I thought it was worth saying.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 28th October 2012, 14:55

            @yobo01 ah I get what you’re saying now.

            While I was in the Korea paddock actually, I had a similar experience. There was a member of the press, though I’m not sure if he was Spanish or Italian, that actually asked Kimi something along the lines of “Do you have any negative feelings towards Alonso? Why did you give him a puncture on purpose? Have you apologised to him for doing that?”

            I wanted to throttle the guy on the spot. Needless to say Kimi frowned, shook his head, and pushed the guy out of his way, and just walked off.

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th October 2012, 19:27

            @raymondu999

            Awesome, ice cold Kimi is awesome. And Ice cold. :)

      • Eggry (@eggry) said on 28th October 2012, 13:29

        @fanser @keithcollantine Hmm, What is this? sort of tilting(like) floor parts? I don’t know such thing actually exist though.

        • one thing that perhaps should be noted is, what ever the reason, cause, broken part, missing bolt etc that made the car drag on the ground, he then went onto set his fastest lap of the race at that stage with it.

          which is quite impressive with a ‘broken’ part lol

          • JB (@) said on 28th October 2012, 18:44

            Maybe… just maybe…. it´s supposed to do that??? There is always 2 ways of seeing things! just saying….

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 28th October 2012, 23:26

            @Q85 @catracho504
            That thing was sparking everytime he opened the DRS – because then he was quicker in a straight line, and the front then had a lot more downforce (because he was going quicker with the same front wing setting) which was pushing the front further down. Whenever Vettel didn’t deploy DRS everything was fine, and he was only using DRS that one time.

            I guess they set the ride heights up very marginal for qualifying, and maybe only had 1-2mm of clearance in qualifying (remember that the car becomes 1-2mm lower in the race anyways thanks to fuel)

          • @raymondu999 damn you and your common sense :P Way to go ruining a perfectly good conspiracy theory ;)

          • JB (@) said on 29th October 2012, 12:04

            @raymondu999
            Fair enough… It´s just that your whole “the car becomes 1-2mm lower with fuel” theory didn´t happen at the beginning when it was fully fueled… it happened near the end when he had burnt most of it…. And he did use DRS while lapping Michael and it didn´t happen there either. Webber even had to give Vettel a push so in MHO, Vettel´s RB8 was light on fuel… Anyways, it wouldn´t be the first time we see something weird happen with the RB suspension… remember Webber´s rear suspension failure?
            just saying….

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 12:27

            @catracho504
            Webber never had a rear suspension failure this year though. Which race are you talking about?

            I maybe didn’t really explain myself well. My point was, the front of the T-tray was skidding across the tarmac because of the additional front downforce with DRS open. (DRS open -> extra top speed -> extra front downforce -> lower front ride height)

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 28th October 2012, 20:06

        Looks like a car key to me…Soon Red Bull will be acussed of killing Kennedy… will be interesting to see that one, becuase Red Bull starting existing in 1987 and Kennedy was killed back in 1963

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th October 2012, 7:56

          I’d expect a decent conspiracy theorist to find a wholly unbelievable theory backed by all sorts of evidence! You know RB had Baumgartner jump only to hide some of the evidence of not having visited the moon, don’t you :-)

    • weresf1gone said on 28th October 2012, 18:30

      The thing in the twitter photo looks to me like a temperature probe or a non latching switch, to the right under his thumb you can almost make out what looks like 3 small wires, the like you get in phone cables (orange/white, blue/white etc). thats what I would say if someone showed that photo without any knowledge of where it came from or where its going.

  5. was unable to keep Vettel from his fifth win of the year

    It’s strange to think that just 1,5 months ago the question was who’ll become the first driver to achieve four victories this year, Alonso or Hamilton.

  6. Vettel’s come on very strongly towards the end of the season yet again: it is the first time he has won 4 races in a row in one season and what a time to do it! In the last 4 races he has out-scored Alonso by 52 points: more than double what Alonso has scored in those 4 races.

    Ferrari desperately need to make up some ground on Red Bull or the driver’s and constructors championships could be sealed by Vettel before the end of the season.

    • Captain Sorbet (@captain-sorbet) said on 28th October 2012, 13:47

      This summarises why Vettel just isn’t as popular as his abilities and statistics suggest. Many of his victories involve starting at the front and leading the entire race. Say what you like about the skills this requires, but the fact is that it’s just not interesting racing. Hamilton and Alonso, for example, always guarantee on track action, overtaking etc. It’s easy to see why liking Vettel is difficult because cheering for him means cheering for a dull race, much of the time.

      • But it makes a dull race exciting.

      • F1 Theist said on 28th October 2012, 15:58

        It’s easy to see why liking Vettel is difficult because cheering for him means cheering for a dull race, much of the time

        gotta agree with you, but this didn’t stop schumacher’s fans from chanting his ‘accomplishments’, even when he did a 10(?) racewinning streak, and ‘poor’ vettel has just managed 4!!

        • 23kennyboy23 said on 29th October 2012, 10:38

          Schumacher had already proved himself by the time he moved to ferrari. Vettel, other than a couple of races, hadn’t befor he moved to redbull.

        • Ivan B (@njoydesign) said on 29th October 2012, 12:15

          Mind you, prior to that we were gifted with 5 seasons of incredible, on-the-edge racing. He earned it.

          While Vettel has to prove a lot. I don’t disregard him as a driver, and I am sure he is a nice chap too, but there is more to gaining people’s respect than winning in a cheat car.

          Remember, when Hamilton earned his reputation? Not when he won the title, but when he was showing tenacity and commitment and a dog of a car McLaren in 2009

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th October 2012, 12:52

            Remember, when Hamilton earned his reputation? Not when he won the title, but when he was showing tenacity and commitment and a dog of a car McLaren in 2009

            And Vettel earned his reputation by similarly punching way above his weight in a lower midfield car in 2008. The RB8 isn’t a cheat car… it hasn’t even been the fastest for most of this season, yet here he is, leading the way, having fought hard for position earlier in the season.

    • Nixon (@nixon) said on 28th October 2012, 15:37

      Constructors championship is obviously Red bull. but for the drivers championship, Ferrari really need to push hard and deliver good updates.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th October 2012, 22:37

      @vettel1, hello Max, did you notice at the start how much Webber had to slow when Seb cut across in front of him, lucky for him it was Webber, had it been another driver Seb might have found himself back with Schumacher.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 28th October 2012, 23:41

        @HoHum Maybe he only did that because he knew it WAS Webber? He’s done it to other drivers before, yes – but maybe… just maybe… he could have learnt from that and changed his habits?

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th October 2012, 2:30

          @raymondu999, my point exactly. Webber actually got the better start for once and was under no obligation (except to the team) to back of and allow Vettel an easy lead into the first cnr. Had Alonso been in Vettels place I am sure they would have wanted Webber to fight all the way even if wheels banged and front wings were deranged.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 2:35

            @hohum To be honest I think since the Korean weekend Webber was always going to do that. He will obviously push, but he won’t do it at Vettel’s expense.

            The start is always a touchy one because to be honest they wouldn’t ever do a team shuffle or anything fancy at the start – because there’s the chance that it would lose the team more positions in the long run.

            My point was, I think given that it was Webber, Seb knew that he could be a little bit more aggressive in signalling “hey mate, I’ve got this. As you were.”

          • @hohum – I think that was more due to the fact that the team would not at all like it if Webber pit Vettel out of the race; they don’t want a repeat of Turkey 2010. Vettel knew this so he knew he could defend vigorously against him.

        • suka (@suka) said on 29th October 2012, 8:57

          @raymondu999, if it was Grosjean it does not matter if you are careful or not, the guy cuts across and takes you out off the track.

  7. Eggry (@eggry) said on 28th October 2012, 13:32

    the championship is on wire.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 28th October 2012, 13:35

      “on wire?”

    • Traverse Mark Senior said on 28th October 2012, 14:58

      the championship is on wire.

      Really? I watched it on Sky F1 via my Virgin Box, which is cable… :P

    • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 28th October 2012, 20:17

      You mean down to the wire

      I barely even look at the standings (both Drivers & Constructors) nowadays, with the points system, the complexity it brings to do mental calculation is just incredulous, I look towards the quality of the racing now.

      With the almost impervious form & package Vettel has got underneath him, Alonso & Hamilton being exactly 13 & 75 points respectively with three races, with no signs of a convincing update from either McLaren or Ferrari a DNF from Vettel is what is desperately needed to keep the title battle alive it must be said.

  8. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 28th October 2012, 13:35

    Nice read but a below average race overall. No overtaking except in the DRS zone tells you all you need to know about these new circuits.

    I wish India, Abu Dhabi and Korea would all alternate to save us the pain of watching the dull, soulless atmosphere they provide, plus they all look the fricking same. Not to mention there were less people watching the race than there is at a under-7s game of football.

    And Bernie wants to remove move European races. I’m all for a more global championship but if we end up removing the likes of Spa and Monza for more Tilke designed snoozefests than that would be sad. I don’t understand why the FIA don’t hire others to design circuits as the effect of the Tilke ones are pretty obvious.

    Just my opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 28th October 2012, 14:32

      We could do with some sort of ‘Trust’ which preserves the classic tracks place on the calendar!

      In all honesty though, I don’t think the two races we’ve seen at India do justice to the track. If this race had been with the earlier flyaway races this year when we were having different winners (and if we had no DRS) then there’s a chance it’d be a different story.

      • Mads (@mads) said on 28th October 2012, 14:56

        @electrolite
        Exactly. I think that some of the problem was also the tyre selection. They could just as well have ran on the 2010 spec bridgestones. The tyres should have been softer I think.

      • smokinjoe (@smokinjoe) said on 28th October 2012, 17:11

        yes mate i agree the track is impressive,but this time of year the teams already had a good measure of tyres so teams are more conservative with the strategy,as the element of unpredictability is almost gone which was there at the start of the season when every team is trying unveil the mystery of pirelli, the other factor is red bull domination ,if vettel pull up a lead of 2-3 sec after first few laps then he control the race and win it from there.Last four races are almost the flash back of last season .I am afraid rest of the season ends up in this fashion which ever track it was…sad but true

  9. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 28th October 2012, 14:27

    The tyres certainly held up too well this time. Just compare this race to the first half of the year: Kimi was stuck behind Massa for the whole race. In the opening races, he would’ve slipped by easily when Felipe’s tyres would’ve gone off after 15 or 20 laps. Now, if you don’t have the straight line speed, you just can’t overtake.

    • Grant Gordon said on 28th October 2012, 15:47

      Assuming of course that Massa’s tyres would have given up before Kimi’s. And given that Kimi, was following Massa so closely, I find it unlikely that that would’ve been the case. Anyways, far too much speculation for my liking. Massa drove a good race under constant pressure while needing to save fuel.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th October 2012, 3:21

        Agreed, I was surprised that Ferrari were the only team to follow the Toro Rosso/Korea example of going for long 7th. gear, not even STR themselves learned from their (relative) success.
        For Ferrari this tactic is a tradition that goes back to the wing-less era when Ferraris V12s were often the most powerful engine.

  10. sumedh said on 28th October 2012, 14:46

    A stat I realized:

    On all the new tracks that have been introduced since 2008, Vettel has either finished 1st or not finished that race at all: Abu Dhabi – 1st, 1st, retired, Korea – retired, 1st, India – 1st, 1st.
    So, Vettel will either win at Austin or retire!

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 28th October 2012, 16:11

      I’m quite sure he finished at Valencia and Singapore in 2008….

    • Lets say 2009; then there is another statistic to consider: he has won the inaugural races twice and the other time he retired from the lead. So he will probably be leading based on that, but will his car fail him? I’m hoping not!

  11. There are many corners on this track, the last corner certainly that from the tv are impossible to tell if you are watching malaysia, china, india etc…

    all the tracks are the same! but its hardly surprising as it design but the same guy. what an easy job he has. no matter how bad each track is he still gets rehired!

    • I have some sympathy for Tilke; he does have many restrictions due to safety and the land he is given is usually just reclaimed swamp or some other area the government are happy to give away. Yes though he could make certain tracks a lot more interesting than they are, such as Abu Dhabi (which had its own bloody island constructed specifically for the race with a practically unlimited budget; they could’ve made it absolutely epic)! India isn’t bad though, the drivers like it and I think it’s an okay track, just that it’s had two boring races in it’s early years sadly due to RBR dominance.

      • fair point

      • Jason (@jmwalley) said on 29th October 2012, 15:54

        excellent point regarding the restrictions the track designers have to deal with. I am beginning to wonder if the reason only Tilke does F1 tracks is more because no one else wants to deal with all the restrictions and make mediocre tracks. Only Tilke is willing to sell out.

  12. Ron (@rcorporon) said on 28th October 2012, 16:22

    Congrats to Seb for his fourth win in a row. As mentioned above some find it dull but this RBR fan sure doesn’t!

  13. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 28th October 2012, 18:22

    Alonso is a beast. Watching him push lap after lap and eventually nail Webber in an inferior car was a huge entertainment.

    • JB (@) said on 28th October 2012, 18:51

      @kingshark

      My feelings exactly!! Maybe if he wouldn´t of had that runoff and if maybe he would of had another 10 laps… maybe, just maybe he would have nailed Vettel as well…
      It´s just amazing how he can extract 100% out of the car and just add another 20% on sheer abilities!

      • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th October 2012, 19:37

        @@catracho504

        Doubtful, seeing as Alonso was punishing his tyres just to try and get closer to Vettel. That’s the reason why he went off in the first place.
        And extracting 100% and adding 20% above the car’s actual capabilities? Right….

        Then they say people exaggerate about Vettel…

        • JB (@) said on 29th October 2012, 12:12

          @f1fannl

          And extracting 100% and adding 20% above the car’s actual capabilities? Right….

          Then they say people exaggerate about Vettel…

          I´m sorry sir but, even a Blind man could “see” that…. I guess my comment was not liked by you but in honesty, we haven´t seen Vettel do similar perormances with an inferior car, thus, that is why most people are saying this about Fernando. Common man… give credit where creit is due…
          When has Vettel given such performances? Oh that´s right… he hasn´t, most of the time he is in front with clean air (at least the 2011 season and this last 4 races…) and with no added pressure of having to pass anybody…

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 29th October 2012, 15:05

            @catracho504,

            Funny how you talk about giving credit where credit is due and then say we’ve never seen Vettel do what Alonso did yesterday…

            I guess you ‘forgot’ the Australian GP.. Oh wait, Vettel actually did more there.
            Spa then? No Vettel was far more impressive there than Alonso was yesterday as well.

            I guess Vettel’s performance in Singapore is best compared to Alonso yesterday. One O.K. pass at the start and a place gifted to him when someone else hit trouble. So apart from one easy DRS pass I’d say those two performances were pretty similar.

            I’m sure you disagree but facts are facts. Just as it’s physically impossible to perform at 120%. Even a 100% is impossible. That would mean a perfect lap every lap of the race. I doubt even a computer would be able to do that.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th October 2012, 19:32

      @kingshark

      Before Webber lost KERS Webber was pulling away. Similar to Korea. When the KERS problem kicked in Alonso obviously had the better car seeing as he was going about 7 tenths a lap faster.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 28th October 2012, 23:46

      @Kingshark Looking at the info at hand, that Ferrari was the equal of Red Bull (at least Mark Webber) in race pace today to be honest. KERS would give you 3 to 4 tenths, tops around India. 5 at a stretch. Mark Webber wasn’t even able to keep up with Alonso after his KERS failure, and he was only able to match (not catch) Alonso after his KERS came back to life

  14. I retired from the race on lap 38 due to exhaustion.

    I could complain about the state of modern F1, but I’ll probably get told ‘why watch it then if you don’t like it?’ Ok, fair enough. I have no desire to watch the ‘United Arab Emirates’ Grand Prix or United States GP. My last race will be Brazil.

  15. I think Newey vs Alonso is very good for the formula 1. They both can wins world championships, they have different skills…but without no doubt they are the best in what they do.

    Someone may ask which are the most important Alonso’s skills or Newey’s skills?
    The answer is easy Newey’s skills. Newey can beat Alonso’s skills. Alonso can’t beat Newey’s skills.
    The battle from this two men will be very exciting through these 3 remain races. Without this two guys the formula 1 will lose 60%-70% of the interest. I’m hoping that in the future when this two guys will retired, another Alonso and another Newey will born.

    Someone may ask what will happen if those two guys work for the same team?
    Well something bad will happen in the hole Universe, we may have the second coldest era in the univers (the first happened 300 million years after the big bang) but this one will called the most BORING era…and may last for a very very long time…:)

    So it’s important that this two guys never be teammates…because if that happens is all lost.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 28th October 2012, 23:49

      @fanser what’s to say that Alonso’s driving even suits a Newey car? For all we know Newey’s cars might be very quick but very difficult to drive. Look at Patrese. He couldn’t feel the car at all when he was at Williams.

      • Jono (@me262) said on 29th October 2012, 1:55

        when Newey designs a car, 1 of the 2 drivers will generally win the WDC xD

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th October 2012, 2:56

          Like he did in the early 2000s.

        • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 6:36

          @me262 he’s now hailed as the end-all and be-all of car design, but how about during his dry patch from 2000 – 2009, where he won 0 titles?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th October 2012, 8:04

            Probably proves how McLaren are able to get things perfectly right but fail to achieve (Arguably the second half of 2009 did see RBR already as the car to beat). And it shows how Ross Brawn & Co. are the only ones to be able to build a team of people to consistently beat Newey!
            Hm, that will be exactly what Mercedes would have been telling Lewis, right.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 11:35

            @bascb I’m sorry, I don’t understand the analogy to McLaren. Could you rephrase please?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th October 2012, 11:48

            @raymondu999, sorry. Reading it back it almost looks like I deleted part of the text.

            I meant to say that it shows how McLaren, still having Newey on board failed to use that to win a championship despite having fast cars, after the 2 times Mika won it.
            They have been paying enormous attention to getting every detail right, but more often than not have been perfect at throwing away their chances by things getting out of control (engine, management, driver hiccups, pitstop gaffes, and not to forget a fair deal of controversy, etc.)

  16. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 28th October 2012, 20:04

    Alonso had one of his best drives of the year, what a driver! Vettel put 12s on his teammate using the same equipment, had it been Alonso in second from the start we would have had an amazing race.

  17. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 28th October 2012, 20:07

    I know webber is well liked due to his down to earth, Aussie straight talking demeanour, and I admire that too. But as a driver he is totally underserving of that red bull car, once again he proved that today. He’s a midfield driver.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 28th October 2012, 21:26

      @pmccarthy_is_a_legend
      And who do you think would be a good replacement for him then?

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th October 2012, 22:49

      So how come Webber can qualify ahead of Vettel and win races against Vettel ? Perhaps Vettel is also undeserving of the Red Bull.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 0:11

        @hohum to be honest which driver has ever had a clean sweep against their teammate, even those who are considered greats? Fisichella was at times able to beat Alonso on track. Irvine/Barrichello were at times able to beat Schumacher. The thing about F1 is that drivers are consistently inconsistent.

        • Alonso this year (but also the last year)
          All the qualification that Alonso was able to qualify he has been ahead of Massa.
          All the race that he was able to finish he finished ahead of Massa.

          In my life i never had seen someone so dominant versus his teammate. Im not a fan of drivers, im a fan of cars, and a Ferrari fan…i dont like Alonso,vettel,hamilton or karthikeyan or any driver…but personally i consider Fernando Alonso the best driver i ever seen, i satrt watching f1 from 1996.

  18. Jorge Lardone (@jorgelardone) said on 28th October 2012, 22:52

    I’m tired of reading: if Red Bull (Vettel) wins, is because of the car. If loses, is because the driver.
    If Ferrari (Alonso) wins, is because the driver, if not is because the car.
    I can only remember that it was Alonso and not Vettel who benefited from a win when his teanmate Piquet crashed deliberately in Singapore.
    That makes a difference.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 28th October 2012, 23:51

      @jorgelardone exactly. The win in Singapore 2008 was entirely down to the driver. Not of the winning car, but of the sister car :P

    • Jono (@me262) said on 29th October 2012, 0:36

      you must believe that all cars in formula 1 are equal in performance?

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th October 2012, 0:41

        lol he didn’t say that at all.

        • Jono (@me262) said on 29th October 2012, 1:39

          oh he didnt? sorry what did he say then?

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th October 2012, 2:45

            He didn’t say every car is equal. He said that according to some, if Vettel wins, people say it’s the car, but if Alonso wins, its him, as if Ferrari aren’t (and have never been) frontrunners.

            Then he for some reason referenced Singapore 2008.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 4:36

        @me262 what @jorgelardone is saying is that Vettel and Alonso have both won races where they have had a car advantage, and have won races where their car wasn’t the out-and-out quickest

        • Jono (@me262) said on 29th October 2012, 4:39

          which race has Vettel won without being in the quickest car?

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 5:52

            He’s generally been on pole when he’s won, but that does not mean he has the quickest car, though it may look to some that it does mean that.

            Spain 2011, Hamilton was catching him at 8 tenths a lap until he caught Vettel – which then resulted in 13 laps of the gap never being more than 7 tenths.

            China 2009 is dicey. The Red Bull may have been the quickest wet car, but it was certainly not the quickest dry car.

            Abu Dhabi 2009, Hamilton was quickest by a mile. Hamilton did retire, but that was from P2, from suspected brake problems. The problem turned out to be nothing, but the team couldn’t risk him turning up at a braking zone with failed brakes.

            Bahrain 2012, the Lotuses were quicker, at least for 3 quarters of the way.

            I would sort of say Singapore 2012, but I won’t, because it was pseudo-inherited.

            Monza 2008. People say “oh but look, his teammate was also on P4 in quali, and was only disadvantaged because he stalled off the line” – but that’s ignoring that Vettel (on a dry setup, no less) outqualified Bourdais (on a wet setup) by 9 tenths

          • Jono (@me262) said on 29th October 2012, 6:23

            in 2012… not comparable to alonso’s Ferrari…by a mile. Even Newey would testify to that xD

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 6:38

            @me262 to be honest, in its current form, the race pace of the F2012 is quite underrated.

          • Jono (@me262) said on 29th October 2012, 6:44

            no doubt…if ferrari can better their qualifying alonso would have a chance

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 7:13

            @me262 yes – where they fall short right now is qualifying. On Sunday their pace was better than the Red Bull in India. Had Alonso been on pole he would have been pulling away. But because he qualified low, he HAD to make a good start and naturally got held up by traffic.

            The Alonso + F2012 package has the race pace to win – of that there is no doubt. But they need to qualify better.

          • No wrong. The ferrari race pace is good but not at the level of Red Bull. When Alonso overtook Button was 5.3 sec behind Vettel at the end of the first stint the differenc he WAS 11.4 sec behind Vettel. Alonso overtook Webber because of a kers problem. Vettel was not pushing in the end of race, because the win was guaranteed…so no Ferrari is not yet in race pace in the RB level. Ferrari is the second best car in the race pace and Third in the quali pace.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 11:29

            @fanser I take your points, all true. But on the very last lap, I’m quite sure Vettel was pushing, in his habit of trying for fastest lap. Alonso’s fastest lap was quicker than that lap.

        • which race has Vettel won without being in the quickest car?

    • tigen (@tigen) said on 29th October 2012, 1:35

      There is a contingent of Vettel haters who always say these things. Especially the Alonso fans who think he has magical abilities. Alonso is good, but he looks especially good simply because Massa always sucks. Alonso is not superhuman and makes mistakes like other drivers, he does every weekend and the same this time. And the Ferrari is never as bad as people make it out to be. It’s consistently quick although never the best, but one of the best in reliability.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 9:08

        @tigen he does make mistakes. The Ferrari being a good race car but bad quali car also makes him look even better because people tend to look at quali to define who is quick/not.

      • suka (@suka) said on 29th October 2012, 10:57

        I honestly doubt anybody hates Vettel here but when you Vettel fans make comments about Vettels’ skills (which are just as good Hamilton’s or Alonso’s)you usually take bashing either at Alonso or Hamilton whoever is hot at that moment. and this time Alonso is the hot shot.

    • Broom (@brum55) said on 29th October 2012, 7:14

      Maybe because in all of Alonso’s wins this year he wasn’t in the fastest car. In Malayasia it was Sauber, in Valencia it was Red-Bull and Renault and in Germany McLaren and Red-Bull.

      In Singapore was Vettel arguably slower than McLaren but then he was ‘lucky’ as according to some here an unreliable car = bad luck, ignoring that imperfect reliability is a risk some teams take to make their cars go faster/fastest. Taking the rough with the smooth. Since then 3 1-2 qualifying lock outs and only Grosjean has prevented both Red-Bull drivers from both being on the podium in each race.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 7:51

        @brum55 To be fair though – Alonso was the fastest car that didn’t bin it, in both Malaysia and Valencia. Once Grosjean and Vettel died in Valencia then Alonso’s car took on the title of “fastest car.” Kimi was there, but got held up for too long to be a victory threat. Malaysia, Perez’s off spooked him IMO, and he stopped giving it his 100% – toning it down a notch to maybe 98%

        While I get what you’re saying on Germany, you’re forgetting dirty air. The McLaren and Red Bull were on out-and-out pace probably quicker in Hockenheim, but once they were close to Alonso the cars became slower thanks to losing downforce.

        I’m not saying Alonso hasn’t been impressive, but I’ve been more impressive with his damage limitation rather than his wins. I was watching FP1 and FP2 in Malaysia when I thought, “My God… this Ferrari could be awesome if it were to rain in the race.” The early signs were there – as they were for the Sauber too.

        Yes reliability really is linked to speed, and a lot of people forget that. A second spent on making the car quicker is a second that is not spent making it more robust. In that sense the Ferrari has been mighty since 2011. Alonso’s last mech DNF was (to memory) Malaysia 2010.

        But if lack of reliability is not classed as bad luck, then similarly – lack of pace is not classed as bad luck, because that is “ignoring that imperfect speed is a risk some teams take to make their cars go reliably”

        • Broom (@brum55) said on 29th October 2012, 8:16

          Alonso was ahead of both Renaults when Grosjean DNF’d this was despite starting behind both.
          Dirty air is an issue but Germany is a track which allows for overtakes and there was a good DRS there also. It was a very hard fought win.
          Regarding reliability vs speed I tend to argue that both can be considered lucky or not. But if people consistently say Alonso is lucky because he had had fewer problems than Vettel than you could than argue he is unlucky to be driving an inferior car. Or you could say that Vettel’s car advantage is negated by the points Vettel lost due to DNFs. Personally I think given the option of a slower car with 0/17 mech DNFs or the faster car with 2/17 DNFs most would chose the faster as you would be able to make up the difference lost on those DNFs as Vettel has done.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 8:39

            @brum55 it is – but Hockenheim’s hairpin is so tight and narrow that it’s easy to defend. If you have a motorway style pass then it’s difficult to defend in Hockenheim – but if you need to do it under braking it’s difficult.

          • crr917 (@crr917) said on 29th October 2012, 11:57

            @brum55 but the faster car has the lowest top speed of all so no motorway overtaking.

      • F1fanNL (@) said on 29th October 2012, 21:46

        @brum55

        What about the races where he had the fastest car and did not win?
        He should have won Silverstone. Even Massa (yes, Massa) was doing faster lap times than Alonso at the end of the race. Whether it was Ferrari or Alonso that made the wrong decision doesn’t matter. He lost a race he should have won.

        • Broom (@brum55) said on 30th October 2012, 8:09

          Not sure what race you were watching but Red-Bull was the fastest . Both Webber & Alonso chose the full range of tyres and Webber won comfortably in the end lapping nearly a 1s faster at the end of the race and overtook him with ease. Ferrari was so poor on the softs. So what if Massa put a faster time? Massa probably was faster at that point, just like in the race Webber was faster than Vettel.

  19. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 3:47

    That Ferrari is a raceday monster. Very quick in the last 3 races. I think a lot of people are taking their quali pace for granted and assuming it is a reflection of their race pace – which it hasn’t been.

    Vettel in the end posted 3 green sectors, and was clearly doing his habit of going for fastest lap, but was still pipped by the Ferrari.

  20. Interesting Stat about Mclaren.

    First 3 races Hamilton finished 3rd every race. Since then he’s finished on the podium 3 times: Canada, Hungary & Italy; The 3 races he won. That’s where Mclaren/Hamilton have lost the title. Probably the fastest car in the first 3 grand prix, nowhere mid season, then a 4 race run where they were best again, back to nowhere now.

    Alonso has consistently been on the podium or in the Top 5 all season long! Vettel has scored good points usually the Red Bull has always been 2nd/1st in terms of car performance all season.

    That’s been my major frustration with Mclaren since 08..over a season they cant deliver a consistently podium capable car. You dont win titles like that.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 29th October 2012, 11:38

      @aledinho he’s had a couple of bad results though – a 7th (or 8th?) in Bahrain, and something like 9th in China.

      But yes, the key to his title hunt this year has been that his lows are not very low, while his highs are as high as others’ highs (a win is a win)

      • Yeah true, Britain was another bad GP for him but that was because of poor car performance (my original point) other than potentially Valencia where he could hagve just let Maldonado past, Hamilton has driven superbly this season. I would guess another factor in his decision to leave, since 08 Mclaren have never really made a championship winning capable car…always there or there abouts but not enough to win the title. Bahrain was a bad result but that was another race where pitsop problems plagued him.

    • crr917 (@crr917) said on 29th October 2012, 12:07

      @aledinho

      Red Bull has always been 2nd/1st in terms of car performance all season.

      Even in Malaysia, China, Catalunya, Italy? Canada?

      • In malesia was difficult to say because it was a chaotic race…we can’t obtain pace raking from that race.
        In china they weren’t in the top two but maybe in race pace they were 3rd.
        Catalunya no they weren’t 2nd or 1st. Mclaren and Williams were.
        Italy they were 3rd
        Canada not. In canada Mclaren ferrari red bull were very close to each other. Butif we take in term of pure performance it was Mclaren 1st Red Bul 2nd Ferrari 3rd… with e very close gap form each other. Yes in canada they were 2nd.

        Another important point is that in thefirst part of the season there isn’t a Dominant car so nobody was able to put a gap in points or in victorys…like Red Bull is doing now. Maybe Lotus in average had the best car but for some reasons they didn’t capitalise a lot. Mclaren had a good pace in quali but not in race and they also made a lot of mistakes.
        The first part of the season was chaotic (7 race 7 different winners) in this type of competition the driver ability is important and we all know Alonso is the most complet driver that’s why he built a point gap. The problem is that when you have a first part like that but with a second part completely different with a dominant car…that’s GAME OVER.
        There is nothing a human can do now, and unfortunately Alonso is a human.
        u see the differenc:
        7 first race 7 different winners.
        4 last race 1 winer.

        Only DNF from Vettel can give Alonso the championship or a wet race (Brasil??)
        I have also a question if someone knows in Austin there is a rain possibility?? I know that in Abu dhabi is 0 but in Austin?? did anyone knows?
        We will be in novembre so can God help us….:)

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th October 2012, 15:01

          The first part of the season was chaotic (7 race 7 different winners) in this type of competition the driver ability is important and we all know Alonso is the most complet driver that’s why he built a point gap.

          Without unreliability or team errors, Hamilton and Vettel wouldn’t have let that gap build up after Valencia.

      • Point taken about Malaysia/china/italy but Canada Vettel was on pole & set fastest lap!

        When Mclaren had their slump Red Bull were more or less the pacesetters (close with ferrari though) and now they have a good advantage! that was my point, not saying they ahven’t had their bad races but they have been more consistent in performance than mclaren

        • crr917 (@crr917) said on 29th October 2012, 19:31

          @aledinho, Vettel set pole but had worse race pace. Fastest lap was due to late pitstop (4 laps before finish?). It’s hardly representative of the race pace, when Alonso chose to not pit, and Hamilton pitted much earlier.
          @fanser gave me the answer I wanted to read – it has been hard to judge the teams positions relative to one another most of the races. Just look at the Indian GP – McLaren’s cars stint on hard tires was great, but they were off pace on softs.

          And no “we” don’t know if Alonso is the most complete driver of the grid but some choose to believe so :P
          (and of course there is nothing wrong about it!)

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