Vettel targets victory as Alonso hopes for rain

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2012Sebastian Vettel said his final run in Q3 was slightly conservative after making a mistake on his first attempt:

“Overall I think we can be pretty happy,” he said. “It was quite close. I would have loved to do a little bit better job in Q3 I did a mistake in the first run, second run was quite run but it was most important to get a lap in.”

“I think there was a little bit left on the table but for tomorrow it’s a long race, a lot of things that can happen.”

Vettel added he wasn’t concerned about starting in the pack and said he will treat the title-deciding Grand Prix like any other race:

“I think if you look in the neighbourhood there’s always going to be cars around you. I think it would be boring if it would be just me on the grid or just someone else, I think that’s pretty normal, nothing unusual.

“We have mirrors on the car but we try not to use them too much! Our eyes are heading at the front and obviously as I said tomorrow is a long race, a lot of things that can happen and our target is to win.”

Championship rival Fernando Alonso said his qualifying position was typical of his car’s performance but believes he can still get the podium finish he needs to have a chance of winning the championship:

“We were seventh in Abu Dhabi, we were ninth in the USA, we are eighth here so no surprises on that. We finished in the podium in the last races starting in those positions so hopefully tomorrow we can repeat the performance on Sunday and be on the podium.”

He added that rain could improve his chances: “I think we need some chaotic race in a way to mix a little bit the positions, etc…, and maybe the rain can help but we never know. I think we need to push the maximum, to enjoy tomorrow’s race, and as I said try to be on the podium.”

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31 comments on Vettel targets victory as Alonso hopes for rain

  1. alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 24th November 2012, 18:44

    Apparently Maldonado has been penalised (putting Alonso into 7th), any chance you could confirm this?

  2. mclaren (@mclaren) said on 24th November 2012, 18:44

    Rain, rain, rain!!!!!
    Anything can happen tommorow!
    Vettel chocked a bit, Alonso has wet setup, brilliant efforts from both Mclaren men.
    Whoever wins will deserve it, anyone here Bernie on beeb saying Lewis deserved this years title.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 24th November 2012, 18:49

      @mclaren Alonso isn’t on a “wet” setup – he’s on a dry setup, but on a wet setup too. Because there is no difference.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 25th November 2012, 0:27

        Well, they can make changes that would help in the wet, The Red Bulls for example have obviously gone for high down force, in the event of a wet race, that will help them.

        • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 25th November 2012, 2:09

          @mike nowadays it’s minimal changes, most of which are changeable in parc ferme anyways. Wing levels are one that is constantly romanticised, and there is some truth to that – but a small fraction only.

    • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 24th November 2012, 19:09

      How did Vettel choke if he is in a position to take a careful approach, when Alonso, who needs to be in full attack, was further behind his team-mate?

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 24th November 2012, 19:12

        @mnmracer Alonso choked. That is a given. But Vettel choked in that he pushed too hard on his banker into T4 – which left him in the position of needing the careful approach on his 2nd run.

        • @raymondu999

          actually, you’d be more careful with the banker, so Vettel was gunning for it on his first run. I don’t think either Vettel or Alonso choked. There’s a huge huge amount on the line for both these guys and it’s understandable they’d be a bit more cautious. Being cautious isn’t choking. And making a mistaking on one hot lap doesn’t indicate choking either.

          One thing that sets both Vettel and Alonso apart from many other racers, is that they understand that to finish first, first you need to finish (something Perez and Grojean need to learn for instance).

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 25th November 2012, 2:11

            @uan if it were another driver I’d say it wasn’t. But for Vettel, who has error-free qualifying laps as his key strength – I’d call that choking.

          • uan (@uan) said on 25th November 2012, 2:57

            @raymondu999

            well it’s hard to get in the heads of the drivers, but I have seen Vettel earlier crock up his first effort in Q3 then stick it on pole (iirc he did this in India).

            I’m sure he was tighter than normal, as was Alonso – who had a pretty scruffy lap in Q3 himself. At the end of the day he qualified ahead of Alonso which is where he needed to be. And don’t forget the McLarens were fastest and should have been 1-2 regardless, and Mark is a pretty mighty qualifier himself.

            In general, it’s hard to define what choking is, though interestingly, I saw a few years back a documentary that went into the science of it. The example they gave was a soccer player taking a penalty kick then totally muffs it. Apparently, when we learn something new, are brains work in a very specific way while making the new neural connections. Once a skill is mastered, the brain activity changes.

            When someone cracks or “chokes” because of the pressure, what happens is that the brain has reverted to the same neural pathways of when the person was first learning a specific skill.

            In this case, while both Vettel and Alonso had a lot to lose and were probably driving a bit more tight than normal, I don’t think either “choked”. It’d be similar to lap 2 in Abu Dhabi where Hamilton had a major lock up out of one of the back straights and if Kimi was closer it could have been hugely costly. Hamilton was clearly pushing it, and clearly under pressure from Kimi, but I don’t think he “choked” for making a mistake. (or Alonso who was totally caught out on the restart after the first SC in Abu Dhabi). I think you could say Mark choked on the start at Abu Dhabi, getting a pretty bad start even by his own standards – especially since he knew a good start could put him in with a great chance for the win (not needing to worry about playing the good teammate for Vettel).

            At least that’s my take on it. I could be wrong. I think it’d be different if it was one lap and pole for the WDC, but it wasn’t.

    • George (@george) said on 24th November 2012, 19:15

      anyone here Bernie on beeb saying Lewis deserved this years title.

      Yup, an unusually astute observation for him.

    • JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 24th November 2012, 20:15

      Yeah, I saw Bernie say that. It was either that he has no idea what’s actually going on, and is spouting nonsense. OR, he’s very sympathetic of the problems that have fallen upon him this year, given that he had a great car, but still lost a vast number of points from pit stop mistakes and mechanical failures, both through no fault of his own, which I think we all are somewhat sympathetic towards both he and Jenson for as they should be further up in the standings. For me, Alonso is still the worthy victor on the grid, but it could be that his team let him down too.

    • mharker said on 24th November 2012, 20:30

      Vettel did make a mistake on his first run, but he seemed to be more careful on his second. Like the article says it was more important for him to get a lap in. That is probably why he was slower than he should have been.

      It should be a good race tomorrow.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 24th November 2012, 20:56

      Bernie was either saying Hamilton to just dodge the actual question (not wanting to say that one driver really deserved it more than the other out of Vettel and Alonso), or the equally realistic idea that he thinks Hamilton has been the best driver this season. To be honest, if Hamilton wins tomorrow, I would be hard pushed to rank him below Vettel or Alonso.

      • I’m not the biggest Hamilton fan (though I actually like him a lot more than I like Hamilton fans :), but I’d concur. Hamilton’s been consistently the best driver the entire year.

        One thing that Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel (as well as Kimi) and what separates them from the other drivers on the grid, is that they have all made hay while the sun shined. Each one throughout the season has consistently gotten the most out of what their cars could give them. Each is also in their respective positions because of failings of their cars or the team, and have benefitted to some extent by the misfortunes of others. Though Hamilton I think has suffered the most by team mistakes and car failures and benefitted least due to the misfortune of others.

  3. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 24th November 2012, 19:18

    Does anyone remember the last time Alonso went for the inside line at turn 1 at the start of a grand prix? He seems to have developed a preference for going around the outside lately.

    • JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 24th November 2012, 20:19

      Given that many drivers (especially inexperienced ones) seem to want to shoot down the inside, and a lot of the time the racing line from the outside of the first turn leads to the inside of turn two, you can’t really blame him. Will be interesting to see if it works tomorrow, when it matters most. Seeing Alonso gain as many places on the grid as he did in Austin would certainly be great to see.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 24th November 2012, 20:26

        @jamiefranklinf1 still not as clear cut. There have been times when going around the outside of T1 has plain not worked for Alonso.

        • JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 24th November 2012, 20:38

          @Raymondu999 – Well, of course, there is no right way of doing it. It’s all based on adapting to what is going on around you and trying to find the best solution, as I’m sure you know. This has worked well for Alonso on quite a few occasions, and not so well on others, but it seems to pay off more often than not.

          Or perhaps he wants to try and make people believe that he always goes around the outside, hoping that they’d eventually try it themselves, only for him to slip up the inside… ;)

    • AmirAnuar (@amiranuar) said on 24th November 2012, 20:34

      that would be spa maybe…

  4. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 24th November 2012, 20:04

    It’s going to take more than just rain for Alonso to prevent Vettel from having his 3rd world title from eluding him.

    I quite dislike the narrow-mindedness people are associating with the weather conditions influencing the race regarding Ferrari expecting to exceptionally thrive in those conditions, not mentioning the fact that the RB7 isn’t bad in wet conditions if anything, on par with the Ferrari, it’s other teams, namely McLaren that have issues with getting the optimum temperature into the tyres. Plus, Ferrari will need every extraneous variable (i.e. mechanical issues, sluggish starts, poor pit-stops etc) they can get for Alonso to gain track position over Vettel.

    The last competitive session in wet/mixed conditions was in Hockenheim for qualifying, a lot should & has changed since July, with the teams having much more knowledge on how the tyres & surely the complexity in regards to the behaviour of the cars is altering with the constant upgrades the teams are bringing.

    Looking forward to the race tomorrow as always, the anticipation for almost any race for me is that anything can happen & given what I’ve mentioned, I won’t be too perplexed if McLaren are ‘astonishingly’ quick in the wet, if rain happens to feature in the race.

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 24th November 2012, 20:33

      @younger-hamii

      I quite dislike the narrow-mindedness people are associating with the weather conditions influencing the race regarding Ferrari expecting to exceptionally thrive in those conditions

      I don’t think anyone is making that association or necessarily expecting the Ferrari’s to thrive in the wet; it’s more that in a wet race things become less predictable and the result a bit more of a lottery whereas in the dry it is pretty much inevitable that the Red Bull’s will be fast enough for Vettel to stay ahead of Alonso.

      So as far as Alonso and Vettel are concerned Vettel should beat Alonso in the dry whereas in the wet it could be either one of them getting the result they need.

      • JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 24th November 2012, 20:43

        @Younger-hamii

        Exactly what @beneboy said. The wet weather provides somewhat of an equalizer amongst the performance of the cars, as we saw today in Q1 with the damp track. Caterham are usually a second or so off of making it into Q2, and yet today they were a mere tenth or two from it, with Marussia not far behind either.

        Without a superior car, Alonso would have a greater chance at finishing in front of Vettel than in normal circumstances, simply because the gap in performance would decrease. It also provides more opportunity for making mistakes, which could aid or hinder Alonso, but at least raises his chances at securing the result he needs.

        • I know Alonso is the sentimental favorite for the title for many people, but I think it’s rather sad that people are hoping for misfortune, rather than superior driving, to carry him to the title. The truth is, whether or not Alonso is the better driver (or Hamilton) the differences are much much too small to make the difference in the outcome. If Vettel isn’t as good as Alonso, it’s only by the smallest of margins.

          If Alonso wins the title this year it’s because he’s been the luckiest driver, not the best. That Lewis isn’t winning it is because he’s been the unluckiest of drivers. Vettel is in the goldilock’s position-in a competitive car and not the luckiest, but not the unluckiest of the three.

          Driver of the year should go down to Alonso or Hamilton, with Kimi getting comeback of the year.

    • JB (@) said on 24th November 2012, 22:17

      I quite dislike the narrow-mindedness people are associating with the weather conditions influencing the race regarding Ferrari expecting to exceptionally thrive in those conditions, not mentioning the fact that the RB7 isn’t bad in wet conditions if anything, on par with the Ferrari, it’s other teams, namely McLaren that have issues with getting the optimum temperature into the tyres. Plus, Ferrari will need every extraneous variable (i.e. mechanical issues, sluggish starts, poor pit-stops etc) they can get for Alonso to gain track position over Vettel.

      @keithcollantine COTD right there!!! Very well said!!!

  5. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 24th November 2012, 21:26

    I know Vettel is a born winner but winning should not be his priority at the moment. I would think that just trying to finish ahead of Alonso is where the main attention should be at.

    Let’s just face a fact here: Vettel never expected to be fourth here.When he arrived he believed that another one of those easy poles he’s been enjoying (except Austin)was surely his. However, trough the FP-sessions he noticed the McLarens had the very good one lap pace. So second was his for sure if not pole (never give up). Jenson won’t beat me (he has oversteer for sure), nor will Mark (Christian sorted that out). He finished fourth, stange didn’t see that one coming.

    Tomorrow: 80% chance of rain, Alonso only three places behind me. Concerned? He’s never been the hunted one. Are his nerves keeping it together? Maybe, maybe not, he’s a pretty relaxed boy but he ain’t no “Iceman”.

    We’ll have to wait and see! ENJOY THE RACE EVERYONE!

  6. Musthaq said on 25th November 2012, 7:58

    Why Ferrari is not breaking the seal of gearbox again? , Let Alonso can Grab one more grid place, Alonso could be consisiant, But he always exploits his teamates, When he was in Renalut , few of times Fisichella has give him a way…… he is not a true racer….

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