Sebastian Vettel, Yas Marina, 2012

Hamilton: Vettel “luckiest driver in F1” after podium

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Yas Marina, 2012In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton believes Sebastian Vettel was lucky to get his podium finish in Abu Dhabi.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Vettel’s podium lucky – Hamilton (BBC)

“Incredible how he came up from the pit lane. He must be the luckiest driver in F1.”

Horner: Seb’s silenced critics (Sky)

“Hats off to him today. That’s one of the best drives I’ve seen him produce and any doubters that said he can’t race, he’s definitely proved them very wrong today.”

Abu Dhabi GP – Alonso: “A very full glass” (Ferrari)

“It?s true that with Sebastian last, there was an opportunity to reduce the gap more significantly but it?s equally true that our performance and our grid position could have seen us lose points in this Grand Prix. I repeat, they have the quicker car, we have the better team.”

Ricciardo mystified by Vettel incident (Autosport)

“I have to look and see if did anything wrong but he should be watching me. Everyone was doing the same thing, it’s exactly what you do under the safety car.”

Mercedes F1 W03 – passive ‘double DRS’ system (F1)

“Mercedes’ solution at the rear will [still] be allowed [in 2013], as it is totally passive and relies on F-Duct-style air pressure switches. Even so, team principal Ross Brawn has suggested it is unlikely we will see this system on the 2013 Mercedes.”

Teams turn to pay-as-you-go drivers (The Independent)

Vitaly Petrov pays for his seat at Caterham even though he is very quick, but may yet be ousted by Dutch GP2 racer Giedo van der Garde, who could bring a decent budget, or his rival Luiz Razia from Brazil. Spaniard Dani Clos and Italian GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi are also trying to make deals work.”

Abu Dhabi GP – Conference 4 (FIA)

“We saw some numbers going down and in order to save the engine at last, save the pumps in between etc, we decided to stop the car, convinced that we had enough fuel in the car to provide a sample but, as I said, for some reason we didn’t have enough fuel so I don’t know what happened. There must have been a mistake somewhere which was a big hit, like I said, but I’m sure we will learn from that and it won’t happen again. I think we have done the exercise a lot of times, we know the rules. As I said, we are talking two hundred millilitres that were missing.”

Why the FIA stewards accepted Vettel?s force majeure (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“The Renault engineers had spotted dropping fuel pressure and, according to sources, the message to stop was passed to Vettel?s engineer after some 15 seconds.”

Message from Sebastian (Red Bull)

“I’m terribly sorry for using the wrong word on the podium today and I’m sorry if I have offended anyone who was watching. In the heat of the moment, I didn’t use the right words and I apologise. I’ll do it better next time.”

F1 legend Prost reveals French GP plan (CNN)

“We were very close to organizing a French Grand Prix in Paris a few years ago and now I’ve been asked to advise and see if everything is correct.”


Comment of the day

A sensible perspective on the debate over the merits of Vettel’s drive in Abu Dhabi from Broom (@brum55):

I think the problem is everything is so absolute. It wasn?t the best drive of all time. But it wasn?t all down to luck either.

You have to give him credit though, begrudgingly. To get 3rd from 24th was always going to rely on fortune falling his way but he took it just like Alonso, Schumacher, Hamilton and countless others have done in the past. If you micro-analyse every great F1 performances you can always find that luck plays a massive part. But it was a thrilling performance.
Broom (@brum55)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Adam Dennehey, Amadis and SomersetRaceFan!

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

Ten years ago today Toyota announced Champ Car champion Cristiano da Matta would join their F1 team for 2003.

Da Matta was dropped halfway through his second season with the team and later returned to Champ Car. However he suffered severe head injuries when his car struck a deer during testing at Elkhart Lake in 2006. Since then he has competed in closed-cockpit series.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

226 comments on “Hamilton: Vettel “luckiest driver in F1” after podium”

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  1. This Gp proves that in F1, car is of utmost importance. If you have a great car and a GOOD driver, you can win a champioship. And I am not referring to Vettel here. As in Suzuka 2005, both Kimi and Alonso were at the bottom but were able to be on the podium because they had great cars. Vettel coming to 3rd is an achievement but he could not have done it without a great car.

  2. Ferrari are red
    Red Bulls are blue
    Kimi’s gone to bed
    His dream has come true

    Is Lewis better
    Than Seb & the rest?
    That doesn’t matter
    Cause KEITH is the best

    Happy birthday, @KeithCollantine !

    1. @girts, nice one!

      And indeed, a very happy birthday to @keithcollantine

      1. Good work @girts! And have a great birthday @keithcollantine!

    2. @girts @bascb @bosyber Thanks very much guys, and special thanks to Girts for the poem :-)

      A nice day to pass 40,000 Twitter followers too!

      1. Immediately thought so too when I saw that tweet today Keith. Amazing job with F1F.

        Did you know that some surveys asking about how people take in their F1 news have F1F as one of the few choices (and listed prominently) for people to tick as their sources (Autosport did one last week)?

        1. @bascb Really? Wow – would like to take a look at that data if anyone has a link.

          1. It was linked from a pop-up when looking at their articles last week (maybe by using most of their free article limit in October? Not sure) Can’t find it now, but I will keep an eye out for it Keith.

    3. Fantastic poem @girts !

      Happy birthday @keithcollantine !

    4. Happy birthday @keithcollantine . Nice one Girts, although I hope you got clearance from @magnificent-geoffrey !

  3. I think Vettel was lucky, but he had to make the best of his luck that went his way.

  4. “Luckiest driver in F1” ?! Let us look back at 2008 Monaco’s GP.

  5. Maybe it’s a bit of a whinge from Hamilton, but he does have a point – the stars really did line up for Vettel during the race. Both safety cars, other teams’ pit strategies, and even the conditions themselves played right into his hands at every turn.

  6. Knowing Seb is a history buff I was half expecting him to say (on the Ricciardo collision): “It’s kids isn’t it… kids with not enough experience – you do a good job and then they f-word it all up.” – as an inside joke, of course!

  7. Hamilton should think back about Interlagos 2008 when he points someone as «lucky»…

    Till now Hamilton has a single WDC and it was a very very «lucky» one.

    1. There was nothin lucky about Brazil 2008, the Toyotas stayed out on dry tyres on a wet track, it didnt work.

      If they pitted as everyone else did, they’d have ended up 20+ seconds behind Hamilton anyway.

      1. Massa won the race and Hamilton passed Glock in the last turns before the «chess flag»… A Glock 30s slower than Hamilton that last lap.

        1. Again, thats not luck. Toyota took a gamble, it didnt pay off.

          1. It is luck in a sense that McLaren, nor Toyota, couldn’t predict the weather that precise. So it was luck in one way, but off course, it wasn’t luck in another way.

  8. There are three ingredients someone must have to be a World champion, or at least fight for it:
    Driving skills, Car (Team) performance and Luck.
    Each one of these factors will help them to win and as result will end up as a WC. I bet you can find find each of these factors on every WC till now on a different degree.
    As for Vettel, it seems that most of the times 2nd and 3rd factor helped him much more than his driving skills, noone from here can deny that he has driving skills above the majority of the grid (top 3 for me is Hamilton Alonso and Raikkonen), but cannot deny either that he has better equipment and a good portion of luck.

    1. I disagree with your conclusion. Certainly you are right about the three elements and also that he has benefited a lot from the second one (I see no evidence to suggest he has more luck than others). However everyone seems to make the unsafe conclusion that his driving skills are not good just because he has a great car and this is a completely flawed piece of logic.

      Having 2 and 3 might mean you don’t need as much of 1, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have it – he has destroyed team-mates and won a race in a backmarker car. I think he has demonstrated plenty of 1 and 2 and a sufficient amount of 3 to turn it into a short period of domination.

      1. However everyone seems to make the unsafe conclusion that his driving skills are not good just because he has a great car and this is a completely flawed piece of logic.

        As i said " noone from here can deny that he has driving skills above the majority of the grid" but for sure this one doesnt make him the best one, in my eyes. I could have said that, if in the start of the season he was up there because of his driving skills on a "not perfect car" but he wasn't. So in Vettel's case for me these factors will go in order of : 2 (car performance), 1 (driving skills) and in the end 3 (luck)

  9. If not for the first safety car:
    * he would not have damaged his front wing to the point it needed replacement.
    * he would not have had to go in to change his front wing.
    * he would not have dropped to the back of the field again.
    * he would have kept setting times similar to the frontrunners, while their soft tires were starting to drop off earlier.
    * he would have made a stop in lap 40 for a late run on fresh softs (the only set he had left, which he now had to put on in lap 15)

    Now, dropping all the ** like “many drivers DNFing ahead of him” (1) and “all the drivers pitting ahead of him” (4), how was Vettel lucky with that first safety car? The only luck Vettel arguably had was the second safety car which put him right behind Button, but considering his pace over Button before the first SC ruined his strategy, there’s a good chance he would have caught him without the safety cars.

    1. That first point makes it sound like Vettel damaging his front wing under the safety car was due to the conditions, rather than his own error.

  10. @keithcollantine @brum55

    Thanks again for a very well judged COTD!

  11. So the argument is regarding how lucky Vettel was. Hamilton labelled him the luckiest driver in F1, maybe true but how do you turn it into a statistic, but comments from Whitmarsh and Brundle also stated that he had luck on his side for the day while Dominicali danced round from what he really wanted to say. Now in my opinion I think that Vettel had alot of luck on the day but when in clean air he did the job needed too.

    Martin Brundle stated before the race that this could be the making of Vettel regarding his racing abilities and Horner believes he has silenced critics. Now I have to disagree with Horner there, albeit Vettel has some serious driving skills, I still doubt his racing skills. I believe the Red Bulls and Hamilton were the fastest around Abu Dhabi this weekend and with RB changing set up to Vettel car then he should have had the best car for the race but beyond the usual back markers, he never really overtook anyone once beyond them (Toro Rosso don’t count) and he required Webber to pit to breeze past him. Now I’m not saying he can’t race, I just believe that he doesn’t have the best race craft and it would be interesting to see what Vettel can do if he was in the Ferrari at start of the year.

    Also, either Red Bull or Toro Rosso shouldn’t be in F1. I dislike this two team partnership, Every driver should be racing 23 other drivers and not 21.

    1. ban team orders. .simple. .
      its the most ridiculous thing, be it for RB / TR or Ferrari.

    2. In the cycling world you are not allowed to have two teams in a race which have the same major sponsors – the reason being that as a team sport then you could double up your resources to dominate a race by working together having twice as many riders as the opposition.

      In my opinion it’s not a major problem at the moment in F1 because the teams are generally operating at opposite ends of the grid and it is a factor which only occasionally comes into play. Co-ownership of two teams occupying the same part of the grid could, however, cause problems. Perhaps it’s better to sort out this potential problem now rather than waiting until it is a significant issue.

  12. sometimes it feels people started watching F1 only last year or perhaps when Alo won the championship (who is a great driver in my opinion) . .keeping their views in mind, it seems that for decades, F1 was just pure 2 hour ******** that people paid to watch, MSC’s and a lot other driver’s victories mean nothing and just Alo is the champ. .
    its getting way too old and I am sick of this now. .
    times like these i wish Alo had never joined Ferrari and stayed with McLaren. That way, we’d have had great team-mate battles. . i really hope Seb joins Ferrari with Alo as his teammate. .maybe we will see who’s the best, and i am not saying Seb is because we don’t know that. .

  13. I completely agree with the tweet that Button’s win in Canada was just as lucky as Vettel’s comeback here.

    More so Buttons win though. He drove like a complete nut, ramming Hamilton and Alonso off the road, chaning tyres at the wrong moments. All that stupidity (like Vettel’s) was erased by safety cars situatons.

    Still, it’s not all luck obviously. Both Vettel and Button drove well in their respective races and they had the fast(est) car under them. So both their team and the driver do deserve some praise.

    1. BTW maybe Red Bull finally learn from this. How often have Webber or Vettel (when the team focus wasn’t 100% on him) had their start compromised then to find themselves unable to overtake anyone in their fastest of the field car?

      It’s what Alonso has been doing all year. Compromise your qualification and make up for it in the race. Although last sunday he was to busy calculating points when I’m pretty sure he could have just put some more effort in earlier and won the race.

  14. Hamilton has got to be the unluckiest driver, well placed to make the call.

    Seriously, Hamilton could be the first driver to score less points than he lost through operational team errors and technical failures. Mental. Do people realise that he is clearly the best driver in 2012 by a distance?

    1. No, people do not realize that at all. The reason is that we don’t judge a driver purely on his maximum capacity for single lap speed at his top form on his best day.

      Lewis is still easily affected by his emotions and even though I will agree that he could be the fastest of them all when at his best I still don’t regard him a very complete driver – yet. (I still hope he will be.)

  15. Sorry but Vettel did have a lot of luck on his side, there’s no denying it. Hamilton isn’t whingeing, and neither am I, just merely stating that a lot of luck was given to him during the race.

  16. Whatever the percentage mix of good driving and luck might have been, the one point that has been undermentioned here is that RBR had enormous freedom to set the car up for the race rather than qualification; this includes engine mapping, gear ratios, aerodynamics and suspension — maybe more…

    With the enormous difference in set up between a single, light-fuel lap and full race trim, I am convinced that Vettel had a very different car from his normal “pole-winning” one. All other teams had to compromise, Vettel/RBR did not.

  17. I don’t have a problem with swearing, swear as much as you like for me. However, that said, I do think that these folks should err on the side of caution and an apology is appropriate just for the sake of being polite more than anything.

  18. Vettel was lucky – but also damn good – this race. Hamilton was damn good – but unlucky, as he was in Singapore, and in Valencia as well he lost plenty of points through no fault of his. However, as has been said in some Forum threads, I think Alonso is the luckiest driver in F1. Apart from being hit by Grosjean in Spa (where he wasn’t the only one, so he had a certain benefit) nothing happened to him on track. Vettel retired from the lead in Valencia and was excluded from qualifying just two days ago.

  19. Vettel lucky?!?! What a load of ‘insert Kimi Raikkonen expression here’

    I don’t see what’s so lucky about not being able to prove you had enough fuel left in the car, starting from pitlane, fight your way up through the field, going backwards again because you were avoiding a driver in front of you, having to replace the front wing and having to fight your way back up the field again!

    If this had been Hamilton, no doubt it would be praised as the best drive of the year.

    1. ” starting from pitlane, fight your way up through the field ”

      Had his car optimised for overtaking, had multiple crashes infront even by turn 1, crashed himself, nearly crashed into the Toro Roso while they were all heating up tyres and brakes (he himself said he should have been payin for attention), HAD to pit for a new wing because of his _own doing_. Got a nicly timed safty car, had cars move out of the way for him (toro rossos) and passed Button on much better tyres with better top end speed.

      There is a reason Redbull where only expecting 8th position max before the race, because thats what Hamilton achieved in Spain when there was no crashes and no safty cars, and no cars giving him places.

  20. All I have to say. Yes, he was lucky, but you can’t deny he wouldn’t have been on podium if he wasn’t pushing like a mad man.

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