Hamilton: Vettel “luckiest driver in F1″ after podium

F1 Fanatic round-up

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)

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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.

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

  1. mantresx said on 5th November 2012, 3:00

    Good thing the constructors championship wasn’t decided in Abu Dhabi, at least Austin will have the honors, the driver’s I think will be in Brazil but Vettel will have 15+ points advantage by then.

  2. deanmachine (@deanmachine) said on 5th November 2012, 3:01

    The major thing about Vettel’s “luck” though is the fact he seems to have so much of it. And really, it isn’t luck at all. It’s lucky he’s ended up quite often with the best car, he’s lucky he’s so damn fast in qualifying and he’s lucky the fact that his main championship rivals have never truly challenged him. Maybe that last point is the only thing that’s really lucky about Vettel, is that nobody else can really get as much luck as he’s had for the past 3 and a half years.

    • RamboII said on 5th November 2012, 3:30

      Really, what luck? Lucky about losing some 50+ points in 2010 to mechanical failures? Lucky to be more then 100 points ahead of Webber in the standings last year? Lucky to have two enginefailures and have to be set back to the back of the grid today? What would have happened if he started third? Most likely, he would have won this race, as Hamilton dropped out, so in a way, he wasn’t lucky at all today.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 5th November 2012, 3:38

        Well, he was lucky with the safety car. That played into his hands.

        He did a lot of stupid things in the race. And he was lucky that none of the damage was terminal.

        • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 5th November 2012, 4:50

          @mike actually the first safety car ruined his pre-race strategy as he had to go back to square one as last on the grid at the restart, and even then, the second safety car only ‘lucked’ him Button’s position. In the end it worked out brilliantly (and still would even in the second safety car didn’t happen), so kudos to Red Bull.

          I don’t think he did any “stupid” things yesterday. His contact with Senna was something we have seen dozens of times since the front wings became these monstrosities in 2009. Heck, if you think that was stupid, then I say Alonso clash with Raikkonen at Suzuka was even more stupid. The thing with the DRS sign was his mistake, yes, but he couldn’t see the board there, wrong place at the wrong time I say. Anyway, two small incidents is hardly ‘a lot’ of stupidity, and the damage never came even close to being terminal.

          Finally, yes, I do agree he got a fair share of luck yesterday :P What I don’t understand is people pretending he has been lucky his whole career. That’s ludicrous.

          • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 5th November 2012, 15:44

            RamboII I genuinely detest mechanical failures being seen as luck. If you retire from a race the buck stops with the team. You can’t expect a car to be the fastest everywhere and the most reliable. The engineers weigh up the advantages and ultimately take risks, so losing points due to a car breaking down is fair and just. For all we know Clark and Senna would have won every race in other, more reliable cars.

            Also, @guiliherme the safety car played hugely and undeniably into his hands. He was able to change a broken part and get fresh tyres at a net loss of five seconds. All other runners had to stop again, allowing him to run in clear air and use the maximum potential of the red bull. Then when his second stop came he had already made up enough time to pass them without squabbling. Agree very much with Kudos to Red Bull. If Mercedes had done it, it would have been ‘wise old Brawn strikes again’.

            I don’t think Vettelhas been lucky his whole career, you make your own luck and ironically Fernando turned down the oppurtunity to drive there in 08. However, his results to stem from having the best car from mid-09 over the course of a season.

          • RamboII said on 5th November 2012, 22:27

            I’m just saying you can’t call him lucky like that. He’s had his share of bad luck. Without the SC, Vettel wouldn’t have needed to change the frontwing before his pitstop. You have to also take in account that he needed to repass al the slow cars again, wich cost him a lot more than 5 seconds as they were going about 3 seconds slower a lap.

  3. I think Vettel came back from 23rd considering that de la Rosa stalled and started directly behind him in the pits. So it is a gain of 20 positions, not 21. I hope someone answers to this.
    Besides that, it was nice hearing the Finnish anthem at the podium, although I admit that there were split loyalties at the end as I support both Kimi and Alonso. I feel happy for Kimi that he has finally won a race this season after coming close on at least 2 occasions this seasons, and although it would have been better for the championship had Alonso passed Raikkonen, but its nice to have the Iceman on the top step of the podium again. The circuit that bade him an unhappy goodbye has given him his much-awaited 19th win.

  4. Oblong_Cheese (@oblong_cheese) said on 5th November 2012, 5:14

    Yes. Vettel and Ricciardo is Fuji 2007 all over again.

    The man smashed his front wing twice and got lucky with two safety cars due to a third of the field crashing out. He’s so talented, a large percentage of the other drivers simply crashed themselves out of the race in order to avoid the embarrassment of being beaten by this great racer on track! All hail Vettel, the greatest driver never to win a race from lower than 3rd place on the grid!

    • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 5th November 2012, 5:23

      @oblong_cheese COTD!

      Oh no, wait, just kidding. How many times must we say that Vettel only benefited from one retirement and from Massa’s spin, and that he was already in front of all the other guys who retired after the first lap? I’m not going to comment on your last sentence though, you sound like the kind of guy who will never give Vettel any recognition no matter what, and I don’t care, but at least get your facts straight, because reading misinformed drivel is tiresome.

      • Jono (@me262) said on 5th November 2012, 7:24

        now now, was a fantastic drive from last to 24th. But even Vettel himself would agree drive of the day belongs to the safety car xD

      • Oblong_Cheese (@oblong_cheese) said on 5th November 2012, 9:33

        It’s true. Vettel has never won a race from lower than third place on the grid. All his victories have come from 1st or 2nd. Only twice has he won from third position on the grid (2010 Malaysian GP, 2012 Singapore GP).

        • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 5th November 2012, 10:59

          @oblong_cheese I’m not sure if you understand how this F1 thing works, but the object of qualifying is to try to start as far forward as possible – it is generally accepted that getting pole position or a front row start is a good thing. The best drivers are able to qualify well and win lots of races – what more do you expect of him, to start at the back of the field on purpose and see if he can get close to winning the race….oh wait.

          Your original comment is so bad that you even contradict yourself. First you say that Vettel coming back through the field was pure luck and then you go on to say that the best drivers are the ones that can come through the field? With standards like these Vettel could continue to dominate for years to come and you will never change your opinion.

        • RamboII said on 5th November 2012, 22:34

          I truly detest that statistic. Hamilton never won from below fourth on the grid. Alonso managed three times. From 6th on the Nurburgring, when Raikkonen dropped out, from 14th in Singapore, crashgate, from 11th in Valencia, when Vettel dropped. So what’s the fuss about it, it’s not like any other driver wins races from 10th or anything more then once every couple of seasons.

  5. Dane. (@dane-1) said on 5th November 2012, 5:21

    It seems ‘luck’ is the word of the day. It was a great luck drive from Vettel & I hope he is World Luck Champion again this year :)

  6. Gill (@gill) said on 5th November 2012, 6:11

    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.

  7. Girts (@girts) said on 5th November 2012, 6:44

    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 !

  8. Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 5th November 2012, 6:46

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

  9. geekracer2000 (@geekracer2000) said on 5th November 2012, 7:02

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

  10. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th November 2012, 7:23

    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.

  11. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 5th November 2012, 7:29

    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!

  12. Tim RBR (@tim-rbr) said on 5th November 2012, 8:09

    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.

    • 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.

      • Tim RBR (@tim-rbr) said on 5th November 2012, 10:53

        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.

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

          • RamboII said on 5th November 2012, 22:36

            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.

  13. Stagger (@stagger) said on 5th November 2012, 8:46

    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.

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 5th November 2012, 11:05

      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.

      • Stagger (@stagger) said on 5th November 2012, 12:33

        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)

  14. mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 5th November 2012, 8:57

    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.

  15. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 5th November 2012, 9:02

    @keithcollantine @brum55

    Thanks again for a very well judged COTD!

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