New team radio reveals Vettel’s penalty protests

2012 F1 season

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2012The official Formula One 2012 season review DVD includes some not previously broadcast team radio material which reveals more about two controversial moments of last season involving Sebastian Vettel.

He received a penalty during the Spanish Grand Prix after Jenson Button pointed out he’d deployed DRS on the main straight despite yellow flags being waved. “Vettel is using DRS, Vettel is using DRS. In a yellow flag zone” reported Button on the radio.

After being handed his penalty an angry Vettel defended his driving on the radio channel, which race director Charlie Whiting and the stewards can listen to.

Vettel said: “I wasn’t going too fast. I could see everything then I took KERS and I didn’t feel it.

“What else did you want me to see? I was awake, I told you yellow flag, that I could see it down the straight. It’s not my problem if I have DRS, I cannot lift up. We’re talking four tenths.”

His race engineer Guillaume Rocqueline urged him to accept the penalty, saying: “Understood. The penalty will not be changed. Deep breath, stay focused. I don’t want any arm-waving or anything, OK?”

Vettel also received a penalty during the Italian Grand Prix. On that occasion he addressed Whiting directly on the radio to deny he forced Fernando Alonso wide at the Curva Grande.

Alonso had already said: “OK I think that’s enough, no? That’s enough… I’m at 320 kilometres an hour. OK?”

In his defence, Vettel said: “To race director. All of a sudden he was on the grass. I didn’t need to push him on the grass, I left enough room.”

After his penalty was handed down, Vettel added: “I told you I didn’t push him on the grass. There was enough room.”

The official Formula One 2012 video goes on sale on Monday. Enter F1 Fanatic’s competition to win one of ten copies here:

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119 comments on New team radio reveals Vettel’s penalty protests

  1. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 5th January 2013, 20:04

    Other sports penalise competitors for dissent. Even if Vettel’s complaints had been justified (which they weren’t), there is a time and a place. Team radio isn’t it.

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 5th January 2013, 20:11

      @red-andy – Why not? Team radio is meant for communication between the driver and the team, just because we’re able to listen it these days doesn’t make it their official Twitter account.

      • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 5th January 2013, 20:49

        Considering that in one of the messages quoted, Vettel addresses his comments directly to the race director, it’s fairly obvious that team radio is no longer just for communication between driver and team. Stewards and broadcasters are listening, and that should be kept in mind.

      • communication ok…grumbling and press conferences …no

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 5th January 2013, 20:11

      why it isn´t?

      • I’m pretty sure we all know why…

        • celeste (@celeste) said on 5th January 2013, 21:29

          No, really, I don´t, so please tell me why shouldn´t a driver talk aout and protest this kind of tings durin the race where it will be worth something… because I really don´t know… (zero sarcams intendent)

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 5th January 2013, 21:30

            *about **things

          • It’s perfectly fine for drivers to complain on the radio. If there’s a single driver out there who hasn’t done it multiple times, I’ll eat every one of my Sebastian Vettel championship hats.

            The thing is, the FOM likes to stir up controversy with its choices in radio messages to broadcast (as well as with its editing of said messages). It therefore makes perfect sense that angry messages from the likes of Vettel, Alonso, and Button will be broadcast more than others — these are what people want to hear and then go online and yell at each other about. Later, many fans will conveniently forget that their own favorite driver ever engaged in any such behavior, while remembering only the messages from drivers they loathe.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 6th January 2013, 3:15

            They can’t post them all.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 5th January 2013, 20:33

      Of cause it is the right time.
      Yes we hear some of the team radio, but in the end its a private conversation between the driver and the team. It is, bar a bit of hand weaving, the only means by which a driver can talk to his team.
      He isn’t talking to us. He is talking to his team. We just have a listen to that communication once in a while.
      If a driver has something to say to his team, then he should say so over the team radio.
      Emotions are running high and they will have had NO chance to review the incidents. Nor do they have time, or the available TV feed to get a balanced view of whatever incident before they start talking.
      Team radio is also the last means by which we can actually hear the drivers show emotions and hear some of the pressure that they are under.
      If they suddenly start to punish drivers for what they say on the team radio, then that hole will be shut down and the drivers would, just like in the post-race interviews, be afraid to say anything which might offend or annoy someone, and they will therefore be forced to act even more like PR robots.

    • davidnotcoulthard said on 6th January 2013, 12:27

      I do know that there’s this saying somewhere that “Big Brother” is watching – What you said actually supported the “Big brother” (in my view), which in one way or another doesn’t conform to the “Freedom of Speech” (Ironically enough both quoted terms I’ve written seem to be from the same country).

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 6th January 2013, 22:58

      There’s no point trying to defend yourself after the race; you’d have already been given the penalty.

  2. Jensen Button strikes me as a bit of a wringer on the radio. He is constantly trying to get other driver’s penalties it seems: such as in Japan ’11 (at the start), Singapore ’12 and this one in Spain (coincidently all incidents involving Vettel). I understand that perhaps it is part of the competition and that Vettel has had his fairly drastic rumblings on the radio also (Abu Dhabi springs to mind) although I’ve yet to hear him complain for another driver to get a penalty.

    To me it just appears slightly unsportsmanlike.

    • Steve W (@westcoastboogaloo) said on 5th January 2013, 20:21

      It’s unsporting to point out when someone has broken the rules?

      • @westcoastboogaloo – No, but if it is a marginal event (such as Japan) then I think the stewards are more qualified to make the decision if a rule has been broken. Singapore for example, I would say that was more so Button’s fault for being over-eager on the throttle yet he was quick to complain over the radio. Vettel can be bad for this on occasion as well (Abu Dhabi for example, although it differs slightly since he lost his front wing because of it).

        I’m not saying Button’s the only one, as @bosley said we don’t hear all the radio messages but from what I’ve heard from Button he seems to complain rather a lot.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 6th January 2013, 0:18

          I’d say he was plenty justified in Japan if he actually felt he was the one subjected to a dangerous/unsporting manoeuvre.

          • @matt90 – I’d rather driver’s left the decisions on what is unsportsmanlike or dangerous to the stewards and just got on with the racing, although I respect that on that particular occasion Button may have felt that move was dangerous (although I feel it was entirely justified which the stewards agreed with).

            I just get the impression though that Button always appear to be the first to point out any possible wrongdoings, which I don’t really like (although I acknowledge that likely most of the driver’s do it).

          • uan (@uan) said on 6th January 2013, 17:03

            I’ve seen fan video of the start in Japan (’11) from the grandstands and it’s clear that Button was not close to getting even his front wing along side Vettel (and what Button did with Hamilton in Canada leading up to LH’s crash was worse).

            I think there’s a question of perception though, because after the race getting ready for the podium, Button asked Vettel if he’d seen him along side and Vettel said he saw him (Button) behind him. In this case, Vettel was right.

            In general, it feels as if Button and Alonso are more likely to call for penalties against other drivers during a race as part of their overall strategy. It may be because they are older and have learned to play that game more.

    • Bosley (@bosley) said on 5th January 2013, 20:26

      It could be, or there could be loads of more radio messages we don’t where other drivers do it to even more drivers.
      I suspect it’s probably that since we didn’t hear these messages before, who knows what rants/complaints there have been going on.

    • mhop (@mhop) said on 5th January 2013, 20:31

      And Germany 2012?

    • Drop Valencia! said on 5th January 2013, 22:11

      Max you must HATE soccer.

    • JB (@) said on 6th January 2013, 15:33


      Jensen Button strikes me as a bit of a wringer on the radio. He is constantly trying to get other driver’s penalties

      Well Max… I think again, you´re being very biased about this… because anybody that has raced in ANY category, may it be rental karts, pro karts, nascar, etc… pointing out anybody elses mistakes on track is not unsportsman behaviour… it is actually that the person complaining is abiding by the rules and feels that a rival on track is having an unfair advantage over him and the rest of the field because he is cheating . How is that unsportsman like?
      So, would you have stayed quiet if you would have been Button and have Vettel pass you the way he did on Button in Germany and just take it??? Please…. sometimes you have to try and be a little less unbiassed.
      If anyone was being unsportsman-like in the whole thing… it was SV… Button just pointed out the obvious and did rightfully so because the other driver was having an unfair advantage by using DRS and to make matters worse, in a yellow flag zone were all the rest of the drivers are slowing down and so doubling the effect he is getting for ilegaly using the DRS.
      Although I hate SV…. this is something that I feel very strongly about…

      I hate on track advantages because if you want to win… do it fair and square… don´t cheat… it tastes so much better when you with without cheating!

      • @catracho504 I am by no means singling out Button in this rant of mine; as I have mentioned Vettel in this too (Abu Dhabi was the example I have which has parallels to Singapore).

        My point in the example you have referred to is that Button was in no way qualified to judge whether Vettel had backed off or not: having DRS open in a yellow flag zone doesn’t automatically mean that the driver in question is travelling at a dangerous speed (i.e full throttle). I think this point was proven when Schumacher incurred no penalty for doing the same thing in Valencia. I believe also that there is (or was) no rule expressly forbidding the use of DRS in a yellow flag zone but you may wish to back me up on this as I couldn’t appear to find this in the sporting regulations.

        I intentionally made no reference to Germany as I too felt Button was entirely justified to complain there and rightly so Vettel was given a penalty (although I felt the only reason for that was because it had been clarified pre-race) so on that occasion I agree with you.

        I just feel that the FIA should be making the decisions on what is unsporting and all the drivers (not just Button) should get on with the job! How I long for a return to the days when F1 drivers were gentlemen (such as when Stirling Moss protested Mike Hawthorn’s disqualification from the 1958 Portugese GP, allowing him to become champion). These radio messages just make the current crop of drivers look childish in comparison.

        • JB (@) said on 6th January 2013, 17:00

          having DRS open in a yellow flag zone doesn’t automatically mean that the driver in question is travelling at a dangerous speed

          Agreed but, you have to analize one thing… DRS is a Drag reduction system, thus eliminating some drag which allows you to move through air more freely than a car that is not using it at the time… It doesn´t matter if he wasn´t at full throttle, he is still gaining some advantage by using it even if it is at slow speeds.

          I intentionally made no reference to Germany as I too felt Button was entirely justified to complain there and rightly so Vettel was given a penalty (although I felt the only reason for that was because it had been clarified pre-race)

          Yes but, I somehow feel that if Button had not said anything… The stewards would have let SV keep his 2nd place. Sometimes Drivers have to point out obvious things because it has been a fact that in previous seasons, there has been great inconsistencies when it comes to applying the rules.

          I just feel that the FIA should be making the decisions on what is unsporting and all the drivers (not just Button) should get on with the job! How I long for a return to the days when F1 drivers were gentlemen

          I agree with you on this 100% but, being a gentleman swings both ways… drivers shouldn´t do something knowingly that it is ilegal… i.e. the germany pass, drs open with yellow flags, Jumping to one side when you see a compatriot or like what Toro Rosso does when they see him coming up. All these are definitely not a gentleman´s behaviour… so yes… it swings both ways Max. And I truly agree with you that these radio messages make the drivers seems childish but in all honesty it is something that comes inherently with racing. You have 24 now 22 people trying to get to the finish line first… if you think about it, racing is childish yet we love it… so the complaining is just something that has to come hand in hand with racing.

        • Agree with you completely regarding gentlemen drivers that are not today, but to single out button or vettel is wrong. i’d say alonso is by far the worst crybaby of them all. reminds me of max biaggi – when he wins he is the greatest but if he is beaten then it’s the bike, the tires or rossi was cheating.

          • JB (@) said on 6th January 2013, 18:36

            but to single out button or vettel is wrong

            I agree with you…. The reason I mentioned these drivers is because they where the object of the present debate with @vettel1 . I am not flying my Ferrari or Alonso flag on this… All drivers without exception have conducted themselves as crybabies as you say. It sometimes is easier to look at some´s faults when you loath them just as you did in refference to FA and Biaggi… Same goes for me… it easier for me to point out these things with regards to SV and Jenson because they for me are to drivers that are overrated but that is my opinion and has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

            Now, with regards to what you say about Alonso being a crybaby… I take it you mean beause he complains about the cars he has had? If it that why you mentioned it well… wouldn´t you be upset if you have come close 2 times in 3 years to being WDC and have just missed out, 1 because of strategy and 2 because your car was not good enough? I also depends on how you choose to view it… I see it as giving the whole team a call to attention… The whole team wants to win, not only alonso but who is the one delivering? The team or Alonso? In the first half it was Alonso and in the second half, the team but the team´s effort was not enough.
            Or do you mean that he complains for being blocked by Rossberg and having to go out of the track…. or when he got squeezed out by SV in Monza at 300+kph?? Other than that… I´ve never heard radio messages of him questioning a penalty that was given to him… in fact, this season he never got a penalty.

          • @bgolub – I was just giving examples from the driver’s stated in the article: Alonso I agree is very bad for it. “He pusha me of the track…all the time you have to leava the space!”, just one example from when Rosberg defended against him in Bahrain.


            He is still gaining some advantage

            I don’t agree with this. He had DRS anyway so he isn’t “gaining an advantage” in that respect, so essentially all he had to do was not be hitting the rev limiter and he has slowed down sufficiently by the FIA’s standards (in qualifying you only have to have been going fractionally slower than on any previous lap).

            I too agree about the inconsistency of the stewards, for example Schumacher not incurring a penalty in Valencia for doing the same thing Vettel did in Spain (although I have seen that Schumacher wasn’t on full throttle which I can’t say of Vettel, so any information regarding Vettel’s telemetry would be greatly appreciated). Regarding overtaking off-track, Hulkenberg also performed an overtaking manoeuvre with four wheels off the circuit in (Korean GP: at 3:58 you can clearly see 4 wheels off the track) so that is another case of stewarding inconsistency.

            To elaborate further on how I interpret the “slow down and be prepared to stop” yellow flag rule read my comment in reply to PM’s comment below and you’ll see why I believe if Vettel did indeed slow down “4 tenths” why I think he shouldn’t have been penalised.

        • JB (@) said on 6th January 2013, 17:07

          To further explain myself about the DRS issue…
          Take to exact same cars… set them on a straight line travelling at, lets say, 100 kph. Now, one has the DRS open and the other one does not… at the exact same moment, have both drivers let off the gas and let them roll to a stop…. Who will travel furthest???
          See what I am trying to say??? Drag alone brakes a car… i.e. Montoya´s blunder in Monaco involving Webber and Ralf(not sure of the drivers involved that time but i believe i have these 2 right)…. same deal… just goes to show how drag plays a major role… The throttle may be off but the car is going to travel more freely, thus showing he indeed lifted but the car continued to move throught air with no drag to stop it as fast as if he wasn´t using it.

          • @catracho504 I can’t agree with you here. there are no rules regarding speed limit under yellow flag… JB could have had more speed when he let go of his throttle than SV. It doesn’t really matter who will travel further under no throttle under yellow flags what is important that there are no risky moves and that drivers slow down enough for it to be safe. i believe that drs has no significance and the marshals proved so in MS case.

          • @catracho504 and regarding FA I think he is very good driver, one of the best but I just don’t like his personality. I can’t say he did anything wrong this season (except whine about the car but never the less when the car improved he still didn’t say so… even Massa was faster than him at some occasions) but I think it will be soon enough that we will see the good old FA from the days of Renault and McL when everybody was against him and that’s the only reason he didn’t deliver… and he did deliver with Renault and the team was behind him. Proven time and time again. But he wasn’t behind his team. As for him being ****** of for missing the WDC close this year because the car was not good enough – well he shouldn’t have been, the car was simply not good enough so it was never really that close, he just got lucky.

          • JB (@) said on 7th January 2013, 0:24


            he just got lucky.

            Surely you can´t be serious right?? Got lucky?? So getting pole in 2 wet ocassions. Winning in Malasya in a car that was over a second off the pace is getting lucky?? Or how about having a guy almost take your head off in spa… that really is lucky!!

            The only ocasion i can accept this lucky theory of your is in Valencia when the RBR kicked the bucket… and yet…. you have to be good to work up the field from 11th to be able to get “lucky”. 11th to second was an acomplishment all in itself… breaking down and handing the win was just the cherry on top!
            Like i said… you might loath FA but at the end of the day… he had such a great season that even the team principles thought he was the best of 2012… that means much more!

          • @catracho504 what i meant by saying lucky is that there were other factors that made it possible for FA to finish only 3 points behind SV. McL’s failure to be be the first. But he drove perfectly i’m not denying that. In the end it turned out that the car is not only as good as it is fast but also as it is reliable and the driver is not the only one that wins the championship but also the team helps a lot (again remember McL’s poor pitstops). In the end I’m sure FA would gladly switch positions with SV regarding who is chosen as the best driver by team principals over the one who actually won the WDC.

          • JB (@) said on 7th January 2013, 15:41


            In the end I’m sure FA would gladly switch positions with SV regarding who is chosen as the best driver by team principals over the one who actually won the WDC.

            I really don´t think he would… Everybody that knows about F1 had some respect for FA as a driver… after all, he was the one who took the 7 time wdc off his throne but, taking the championship all the way to the end using the rule book to his advantage as other teams use it to design their cars… and finishing just 3 points behind in a car that was definitely not the fastest and surely not the easiest to drive gave FA a whole new level of earnt respect from a whole different crowd. Sure…. SV won the wdc but people are still talking to this day of what an awesome season FA had… it´s funny even… SV is the youngest 3 time wdc but there are some, I include myself in this, that realy don´t care because he didn´t have to battle against others in inferior equipment… Sure the rb8 was not that good in the first half…. but he never was that far behind either… and in the second half… well, we all know the story by now.. Newey saved the day!
            In the end, some admire SV, some loath him like myself but, you always need these things in racing…. it motivates! Senna´s motivation was Prost, in the end, he even wanted him to come back from retirement! You might loath FA as a person… or as a driver and that is normal. I jst really don´t think, like he himself has stated, would not change anything about this past season!

        • JB (@) said on 6th January 2013, 17:08


          Sorry meant to mention you on the previous 2 replies.

        • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 7th January 2013, 15:18

          I think he could have got around this by lifting off slightly, keeping DRS open and then claiming that he was helping the environment; by having DRS open, he was saving fuel and therefore he was saving the planet.

          • JB (@) said on 7th January 2013, 15:28


          • @xjr15jaaag haha, +1!

            Regarding Alonso’s “luck”: yes he was “lucky” in the sense that his car had impeccable reliability and so was able to capitalise upon other’s misfortunes but of course he also drove impreccably (baring a few occasions when Massa was faster & when he rather unnecessarily in my opinion got involved in a collision with Räikkönen) to avoid any penalties and capitalise on wet conditions to win two races and get a 2nd in the other. Few can argue though things just seemed to fall perfectly into place throughout the season barring those occasions I have mentioned and of course Belgium, which can’t be said of Hamilton or Vettel (who were the closest to Alonso in terms of pace this year).

          • JB (@) said on 8th January 2013, 19:30


            he was “lucky” in the sense that his car had impeccable reliability

            I wouldn´t call that luck… it´s more like Italian passion…. they build everything in Maranello and they do it with passion…. BTW, by your rationale, was Schumacher lucky when he was in Ferrari? I believe he had the longest reliability streak while in ferrari.
            I really wouldn´t call it luck!

            Luck might be other´s breaking down but not the Ferrari´s reliability.

          • @catracho504 …which is why I was careful to put “lucky” in invereted commas: I don’t believe that is due to luck as such but in a sense you could apply it to Ferrari’s impeccable reliability in the same sense you can apply “unlucky” to Vettel’s car failure for example. I too don’t believe that it is luck because the more reliable the car the better it has been made from a durability perspective, so hats of to the guys at Marenello for that; you just need to build a faster car now!

          • JB (@) said on 9th January 2013, 6:41


            I too don’t believe that it is luck because the more reliable the car the better it has been made from a durability perspective, so hats of to the guys at Marenello for that; you just need to build a faster car now!


  3. Steve W (@westcoastboogaloo) said on 5th January 2013, 20:18

    It’s things like this that prevent me from liking Vettel, despite his well mannered and friendly appearance during interviews and so forth. Having said that, I’m sure a few drivers probably did similar things during the year, although that doesn’t mean it’s ok.

    • I agree: stop whining and get on with it I say!

    • Franton said on 6th January 2013, 11:57

      This just in: winning Formula 1 driving whinging on the team radio. While I’m not surprised that Vettel has been whining (worse than people claim about Hamilton), I am surprised it was made public.

      At least when Montoya complained it was amusing. And beeped out!

  4. Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 5th January 2013, 20:33

    Yet another example of FOM and the race feed team denying F1 fans interesting and valuable pieces of information via team radio.

    Considering some of the drivel that gets included in the feed, how can they think we wouldn’t be interested in hearing these things?!

    Whatever your opinion of the drivers involved, no knowledge is bad knowledge, and having this information conveyed to the audience is only going to enrich the experience. Who knows what crackers we missed from Brazil this year!

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 5th January 2013, 20:45

      @bleeps_and_tweaks – They often show replay of the same incident that the team radio is about, so that viewers know what they’re talking about. Broadcasting team radio material of more than one driver on an incident would prolong the replays. “The drivel” often isn’t linked to a certain event and thus it can be broadcasted during live feed. I don’t know if that’s the reason, but it seems rational to me.

      • Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 5th January 2013, 20:56

        @hotbottoms All team radio is supplied with a delay in order to remove the risk of swearing on the live feed, so delays via replays can’t really be an excuse. Plus, the parts of the race we’re talking about, including those mentioned above, are key talking points; they certainly were for the double world champion at the time! So I don’t consider it rational to not inform the audience of key information between some of the main protagonists.

        The second piece in this article is a perfect example of this; we got to hear Alonso’s feelings on that maneuver, why not Vettel’s?

        As I said in my original post; more information provides us with a more comprehensive viewing experience. Particularly this kind of information, unedited and straight from the drivers, it gives us more of an idea of how they cope during the race and their personalities.

        • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 5th January 2013, 21:15

          I know that all the team radio messages come with a delay, I was talking about the visual replays. Radio messages such as “target plus two” or “save your tyres” can easily be broadcasted half a lap later, while showing live feed. But broadcasting “OK I think that’s enough, no? That’s enough… I’m at 320 kilometres an hour. OK?” while Alonso is cruising 1.5 seconds behind Vettel would just be confusing.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th January 2013, 23:28


          All team radio is supplied with a delay in order to remove the risk of swearing on the live feed, so delays via replays can’t really be an excuse. Plus, the parts of the race we’re talking about, including those mentioned above, are key talking points; they certainly were for the double world champion at the time! So I don’t consider it rational to not inform the audience of key information between some of the main protagonists.

          It’s not just about filtering out swearing. There are no doubt pieces of sensitive technical information that the teams would prefer not to be broadcast – and that they likely only agreed to have messages broadcast in the first place on the condition that they were delayed to filter this stuff out.

          Furthermore, you seem to be overlooking the way that there are twenty-four cars on the circuit at any one time, and the teams are in constant communication with those drivers. It’s a little unrealistic to expect that the television director can somehow anticipate messages like Alonso’s complaint being made, filter them out and broadcast them live.

          • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 6th January 2013, 8:41

            I heard on dutch tv that teams keep secrets in radiotraffic by swearing. Which I think is consistent with the fact that they speak in coded messages, like ‘plan A’.

          • Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 6th January 2013, 12:20

            @prisoner-monkeys I know it would be impossible for one person to monitor all channels of radio comms for the 24 cars, and a lot of it would be unnecessary for fans. But what I am highlighting here, and have pointed out twice so far in these comments, is that these are key talking points. We’re talking about Vettel (apparently) forcing Alonso off the track at Ferrari’s home race, with both of them fighting for the championship. Vettel’s penalty and response to the situation is not a trivial piece of information.
            Maybe what I’m arguing for is an improved quality control of what is broadcast. We can’t listen to everything, obviously. But the two bits of information Keith has selected for this article, I think, would have improved the coverage had they been included.

          • davidnotcoulthard said on 6th January 2013, 12:36

            I read several articles written in English about it. Maybe I’ve also seen it on shows broadcasted in my country, not that I can clearly remember…

  5. david d.m. said on 5th January 2013, 20:58

    Keith, will you be doing a review of this DVD? by the looks of it you already have it, by the way it’s a pitty the blu ray version got delayed :(

  6. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 5th January 2013, 21:03

    Defending yourself before the verdict of stewards is one thing, perfectly understandable, nobody can deny any driver a chance to do this, no matter how ridiculous the driver’s excuses might be. But whining and getting angry after the penalty was imposed is simply childish. Thanks for this article Keith, I will link these radio messages every time someone tries to picture Vettel as the perfect young gentleman, full of sporting spirit, bullied by the bad guys (read: Alonso).

    • turbotoaster (@) said on 6th January 2013, 11:18

      It’s the “victimised” Vettel I can’t stand. He’s had so much given to him in his career that when one thing doesn’t go his way he cries, sometimes literally. USA 2012 you could hear him choking back tears when he got overtaken, then trying to find excuses for Hamilton’s overtake with back-markers. He couldn’t stand that someone could possibly overtake him legitimately and cried about it.

    • uan (@uan) said on 6th January 2013, 17:20

      You can pick on Vettel, but what about Hamilton after Monaco last year whining in the press conference AFTER the race?

      There should be two different measurements for the drivers – one in race, and one after the race (and then another for after the race weekend). In the race, all these drivers are keyed up to a level likened to fighter pilots. Of course they are going to come across as frazzled, whiny or whatever negative spin you want to put on them. Try talking at 160mph with 4Gs on you sometime, record it, and post the audio for all the world to listen. These guys are alright.

      The real thing to look for is whether their driving is impacted by what they are saying, or how they are saying it. I’ve yet to see Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton (or Button/Kimi) drive more poorly because of their feelings or begin making mistakes. For example, in Abu Dhabi, Vettel whines about Ricciardo, then comes out of the first SC dead last after lap 12 or so, then goes on and finishes 3rd. His mouth and emotions may be saying *** in the moment, but clearly his performance was flawless after that moment.

  7. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th January 2013, 21:50

    Interesting responses from people so far. I must say I have nothing against drivers arguing they shouldn’t get penalties, complaining when they do or grassing on their rivals as I’m sure if it was me in the car I’d do exactly the same thing.

    • Cristian (@cristian) said on 5th January 2013, 22:04

      +1. I react loudly even when I lose at a card game, imagine how it is when you are fighting for a result that really means something. People want to win and, if something that you feel isn’t your fault is disrupting your efforts, you will react badly. In a race, the chances that you may see an incident from your point of view only are very high. ANd when you are penalised for such a thing you will react violently, it’s just human nature.
      The events for which penalties are awarded in F1 involve close wheel to wheel racing and in most of those cases the drivers feel that they are right and the opponent. I think even Malodonado thought that Hamilton was at fault in Valencia :)

    • @keithcollantine – I suppose it’s just a matter of personalities and competitiveness! I personally wish that people just stop complaining and get on with it, which is why I show distaste at drivers complaining on the radio or footballers arguing with the referee, especially so when I feel there isn’t really a case to answer (for example Button’s radio message in Singapore). That’s just my opinion though and of course you are entitled to yours! Perhaps I may change my tone if I were sitting in 60°C heat driving at very high speeds fighting for a world title…

      • I should add though I am not as apposed to drivers protesting their innocence if I feel the point is valid: for example if indeed Vettel did back off the throttle so he wasn’t pushing then I feel he is entirely justified, although by the time the penalty had been issued it was a bit late!

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 6th January 2013, 7:10

      Agreed on all counts. All fair game in my opinion.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 6th January 2013, 20:29

      @keithcollantine Agreed! If I feel like I’ve been harshly done by of course I’m going to complain!

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th January 2013, 16:57

        Yeah while I agree that it would be hard to keep one’s cool in some situations, especially the ones where you truly feel like you were wronged, I think it then becomes of question of who can keep the cooler head. In SV’s case, sometimes he didn’t keep a cool head AND he was in the wrong as indicated by the penalties he got.

        I think this is why JV criticized SV as a bit of a crybaby, as indicated with one of the radio communications cited as having SV’s race engineer having to remind SV to stay focused and that he didn’t want to see any arm waving.

        These racers are human…they are going to snap in the heat of the moment at least on occasion. I’m sure JV has too but I think the likes of JV point out that the one’s who do it the least are the ones that show they can handle pressure moreso than others.

        • uan (@uan) said on 8th January 2013, 2:40

          being hot headed or cool headed had nothing to do with being able to handle pressure. How one’s performance is effected is key. I haven’t seen where Vettel hasn’t been able to handle pressure, immense pressure in fact.

          Take a look at Alonso and Vettel in Brazil. Vettel gets turned around in T4, and whether you feel he was in error or not, the incident wasn’t caused by him being under pressure (probably being extra cautious). Once that happens, with the championship slipping away and facing the wrong direction in a severely damaged car, what does he do? Drives back into 6th place by lap 8.

          If you look at Alonso at the same time, with Vettel at the back of the pack with a severely damaged car, Alonso can win the WDC by finishing on the podium. If he gets 4th, he’s out no matter what. So what does he do? He’s in 3rd but bakes it into T1 on lap 3 where there is a yellow flag and runs wide, allowing Hulkenberg to pass him into 3rd place. If it weren’t for the SC and then the Hulkenberg/Hamilton collision later in the race, Alonso would have finished outside the least position he needed to still be in contention for the SC.

          Each driver faced massive pressure and look out each responded. So who can handle pressure? When the championship is on the line?

  8. Slr (@slr) said on 5th January 2013, 22:43

    Whilst listening to Vettel moan on the radio is hardly a plesant experience, it is understandable. In the heat of the moment of such situations, it’s very frustrating to be penalised as you do your damnedest to win, and it is difficult to accept a penalty as you never intended to do anything wrong in the first place.

  9. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th January 2013, 23:21

    “It’s not my problem if I have DRS, I cannot lift up. We’re talking four tenths.”

    Except that a) DRS is directly controlled by the driver, b) when yellow flags are shown, drivers are expected to back off and c) there is no passing under yellows. So I’m not really seeing how having DRS was “not Vettel’s problem”. Because assuming that everyone else obeyed the rules, he could have avoided using DRS and slowed down without fear of losing position to anyone.

    • @prisoner-monkeys – Unless of course he was meaning that he had backed off (which would show on telemetry) I don’t really understand that message either. If I remember correctly though no overtaking move was attempted or such like so perhaps he was pleading his innocence in the sense that he did err on the side of caution; after all having DRS open doesn’t automatically mean that he was going at full speed.

    • crr917 (@crr917) said on 6th January 2013, 0:52

      Except using DRS in yellow zone was deemed legal in Valencia. A bit too late for Vettel though.

      • @crr917 – I don’t think it was expressly forbidden before in the rules, which makes it all the more confusing both Massa and Vettel were given drive-through penalties. Of course though the stewards have the telemetry, so they are more qualified to judge whether they slowed sufficiently but if we are to believe Vettel’s radio message it sounds like he was protesting his innocence, saying he had indeed slowed (although to me his message doesn’t really make much sense!).

        • uan (@uan) said on 6th January 2013, 17:27


          I think Vettel was have a deeper conversation with Charlie and one that I’ve heard the Brundle and Crofty have (qualifying in India comes to mind). Basically Vettel is saying that he saw the yellow flags, knew they were there, and was prepared to respond appropriately to the situation.

          The issue that Brundle was talking about is what real difference is made from going 300 kph to 290 kph. Is that really safer? We are sitting here parsing Vettels message (which he is saying in real time), but he does say “we’re talking 4 tenths”. He does have a point, how much safer would that have been?

          On the other hand, 4 tenths wasn’t going to gain or lose him a position.

          • @uan – They are of course proffesional racing drivers so what is considered acceptably slowing down to them may seem very insignificant to us! I usually interpret the slowing down part of the regulations as being at a speed where the driver is in complete control with next to no risk of him losing control. So slowing down would constitute not being on full throttle (obviously) and if you are driving round a corner not pushing to the extent where you may lose control.

            So really, it’s not an issue of how much they have slowed down, more that they have to be 100% in control.

    • This is Massa’s response who also got a DT penalty for the exactly same reason at the same lap,

      Felipe Massa (Ferrari) – 15th: “Today my race was affected by a penalty that I had to take on lap 28. Honestly, I don’t think I did anything wrong and I believe it is better to look into the detail of what happened, because I was in the middle of a group of cars and I definitely did not try to overtake anyone.

      • babis1980 (@babis1980) said on 6th January 2013, 13:30

        This is for sure due to the technology that RBR and Ferrari have for releasing DRS and KERS at the same time. If I’m not mistaken, DRS is controlled by race control so if they want to guarantee the safety of the marshals during yellow flag periods they should turn DRS off. Period.

        In Vettels defense I would like to say that they put it out there. FIA and FOM use team radio for our amusement and information. So Sebastian is doing his “duty for the show”. Is like overtake without DRS, or have a great battle between two cars. In a yellow flag situation we still need excitement and controversy so Seb helps the circus. It’s so simple.

        The thing that people really don’t know about him and is the one that we all disuse as early as 2010 is if he gives a rats butt for the fans that are offended or irritated by his ridiculous crybaby behavior in these situations. In my opinion he does not. Some people love him for that others hate him. Period.

      • Hmmm if Vettel and Massa did indeed slow in the yellow flag zone then that is very unfair that they received a penalty. I don’t mind them using DRS in the yellow flag zone as long as they slowed then they are using less fuel and obeying the rules.

        If Vettel slowed but had DRS open and got a penalty but Schumi, who did the same in Valencia didn’t, then that’s a gross misjustice. Don’t get me wrong I wanted Schumi to get a podium and for Vettel to get a drive through, but penalties must be applied fairly.

  10. Garns (@) said on 6th January 2013, 0:22

    Max- I see your point about Jenson having a whinge on the radio, but I think he actually uses it as a tool to his advantage, knowing it does go to race control. Vettel seems to loose his cool on the occasion and is reflected in the comments he sometimes makes. Yes a 3x WDC but at times seems still to have young head.

    Originally I never liked the fact that others can hear the teams radio as it is a great method for tactics, but as other teams will just tune in anyway it seems that they decided just to put it out there. Having said that I do now find it entertaining with Jenson complaining about his tyres in Q2, only then to pull out a quick lap, Marks “not bad for a No 2 driver”, and of course Kimi’s “leave me alone” comments this year- GOLD!!

    • I think he actually uses it as a tool to his advantage

      Oh absolutely @garns but I would group it personally as the same kind of tools as the ones that broke Massa’s gearbox i.e not to my liking. I’m sure many people will agree with me on this that nobody likes a whinger, so hearing driver’s complaining on the radio (only unnecessarily I may add, such as in the case with the yellow flags where it doesn’t directly affect them) doesn’t make for good viewing. Vettel is as guilty as anyone for “throwing his toys out of the pram” and personally I’d rather they get on with it.

      I certainly agree though that team radio has provided much humour in the past, such as Kimi’s comments in Abu Dhabi and of course Juan Pablo Montoya’s radio message when a deer found its way onto the track!

  11. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 6th January 2013, 0:45

    Don’t see any issue with it. Small little incidents like that (especially Monza 2012) and hearing those team radio remarks purely highlight the intensity of the conditions that the driver is under all the time, let alone wheel-to-wheel with another world champion. Every move they make on the track is the right move to them. Even if its not, their ego/pride/self assurance will tell them it is, which results in passionate team radio responses and awkward post race press conferences..
    Also, does anyone have any idea if this will be available in Australia?? I’ve never been able to get my hands on any season reviews down here :(

  12. Steven (@modtl) said on 6th January 2013, 1:02

    Guillaume seems to be a great calming influence on Sebastien really doesn’t he? Guillaume and Sebastien remind me of Rob Smedley and Felipe Massa – some engineers and drivers are meant to be together.
    Although when Seb wins I have to mute the TV …. I couldn’t stand the Crazy Frog back when it was released as a single and I certainly can’t stand it now too when he does it on the radio ;)

    • @modl

      Although when Seb wins I have to mute the TV … I couldn’t stand the Crazy Frog back when it was released as a single and I certainly can’t stand it now too when he does it on the radio

      I’m the same, I loathe it! Of all the celebrations to choose, why oh why did they decide to imitate that awful “song”!

      I suppose all the best engineers can calm their driver’s heads, even in the extremely hot cockpits of F1 cars!

  13. Eggry (@eggry) said on 6th January 2013, 1:26

    Drivers has freedom to complain espacially it’s team radio which is not necessarily supposed to be heard by fans. But we have seen many occasions from Vettel like this after penalties imposed and it doesn’t look good anyway. I feel self defence or deying of Vettel gone too far sometimes and make me think he believe he’s privileged one. After all, he looks quite different person from the one so charming(in most cases!) when interviewed which is we are familiar.

  14. Abdurahman (@) said on 6th January 2013, 6:38

    There was a blog from a F1 journalist that I think was linked here on F1Fanatic before? Or maybe i read it through that gave some real insight into team radio.
    FOM highlights certain radio feeds they think will be interesting, edits em? sends em to SKY producer who then decides what to air.
    When teams want radio messages to not go out to public, they feature a Curse/Vulgar word predominantly in the message probably at the beginning of it, thus guaranteeing it wont get heard publicly.
    So you have to figure a lot or some of the messages that are going out and being said by drivers are JUST to get out for the public to hear. Does that make any sense?

    • GT_Racer said on 6th January 2013, 15:04

      FOM highlights certain radio feeds they think will be interesting, edits em? sends em to SKY producer who then decides what to air.r

      Not correct.

      Everything is done by FOM, The only thing thats sent to Sky is the world feed which every broadcaster gets & that world feed is produced & directed entirely by FOM (exception been monaco) with zero input from sky or any other of f1’s broadcasters.

      The way team radio works is that FOM record everything & monitor team radio live for cars who’s in-car cameras are active (They have 9 in-car’s active at any time). If anything is heard which may be interesting then its passed onto the FOM director who would then decide weather or not to play it live on air.
      Last year they also had the new pit lane channel which broadcast a lot more radio comm’s than appeared on the world feed.

      Sometimes things are missed & only discovered when going through the footage for the end of year review, Sometimes things simply are not played because of things going on out on track at the time & at times things are not played on-air because the director simply doesn’t think its worth it at the time (Sometimes he’s right, others he’s wrong).

      As far as whats available to FOM, They do have access to everything as teams are no longer able to encrypt there radio messages at any time, However they do randomly swear in order to ensure certain things can’t be broadcast.

      When we had the PPV F1 Digital+ service we had access to most teams radio comm’s (Ferrari & McLaren only gave us access for post race celebrations) & we broadcast live communications including any swearing which been a PPV service we didn’t have to worry about.

      When we brought team radio back for the world feed in late 2004 we did initially play some bits live & some delayed, However we had complaints after Fisichella swore during a live transmission at the 2006 Bahrain Gp, Since then everything has been on delay.

  15. Jason (@jason12) said on 6th January 2013, 6:41

    Drivers will sometimes do or say something they are not supposed to. It’s okay, just like all of us they are not perfect beings / angels.

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