Ecclestone defends Vettel after latest apology

F1 Fanatic round-up

Sebastian Vettel, Bernie Ecclestone, Monza, 2011In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone defends Sebastian Vettel as the Red Bull driver makes another apology to his team.

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Bernie backs Vettel decision (Sky)

“If I was Sebastian Vettel, having won three world championships for the team and somebody came on the radio and started giving me instructions, I’d probably do exactly the same as Kimi Raikkonen did when he came back and they gave him some instructions. I’d say, ‘I know what I’m doing’.”

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel: Red Bull say row is settled (BBC)

Christian Horner: “He’s apologised to the team and to every single member of staff for his actions, because he recognises the team is vitally important and being part of the team is a crucial aspect to being able to challenge for those championships.”

Mercedes hails Rosberg’s team spirit (Autosport)

Toto Wolff: “Imagine the two Red Bulls crashing; you look like an idiot and he looks like an idiot. So we took a conservative approach. Because of where we were last year, it was a good call.”

On the pace and in the points (Toro Rosso)

Jean-Eric Vergne: “At the start I was blocked by everyone on the outside, so I had to take an inside line. At that point I decided to back it off. I knew I was going to lose a lot of positions but I just wanted to stay out of trouble. If I had held the position I would almost certainly have crashed.”

Marussia look to Russia to boost budget (Reuters)

Chief executive officer Andy Webb: “It costs us 1.25 million pounds ($1.89 million) per week just to stay in Formula One, to maintain this level. Obviously if you want to move up you need a much bigger budget.”

Born in the USA (ESPN)

Alexander Rossi: “The fight with Marussia wasn’t a major surprise, mainly because we knew that for the first four races we’re running a 2012/2013 hybrid car, one that realistically wasn’t going to be our full 2013 spec car that could possibly help us challenge the midfield until Barcelona.”

Thailand planning for 2015 (Joe Saward)

“The route agreed includes the main Ratchadamnoen Avenue, with the track using Din So Road to the Giant Swing and Wat Suthat Temple and then down to the Grand Palace and the Navy Club, with a run close to the Chao Phraya River.”

Silverstone works to avoid rain chaos (Crash)

“As well as improving the drainage systems, Silverstone has also worked to improve transport links and will improve the shuttle services for users planning to travel by train or by bus.”

F1 Engine Maps (F1 Framework)

“The engine torque map. This is a 2-dimension table with engine speed and throttle as inputs and torque as output. This map is defined point-by-point or by ramps at the test rig with the fired engine and the torque meter. Sometimes is trimmed on track if the car is equipped with torque meters on the transmission.”

The Finishing Line – with Sebastian Vettel (F1)

“The last time I lost my temper was??
SV: I lose my temper over small things – but calm down again very fast. A well-tempered personality…”

Vettel is true heir to Senna (The Telegraph)

“Why did he insult his inquisitors? intelligence by mumbling that the move was ‘not deliberate’, only then to shrug, ‘I f—– up’? Here was no ordinary competitor but a calculating marksman, far more of an heir presumptive to Senna and Schumacher than even his most strident advocates had imagined.”

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Comment of the day

@Red-Andy on Mark Webber’s dissatisfaction with the current generation of tyres:

I remember Damon Hill saying that one of the reasons he fell out of love with F1 was that he couldn?t get acquainted with the change from slick to grooved tyres.

Webber?s a similar age now to Damon in 1998 when that change happened. Sometimes the rules change and the older drivers find it difficult to adapt ?ǣ some suggested that Michael Schumacher?s struggles on his F1 return were because he found it hard to get used to the way the cars had changed between 2006 and 2010 ?ǣ but I don?t think that?s a reason to go back to the old way of doing things.
@Red-Andy

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On this day in F1

Mika Hakkinen made it two wins in a row at the start of the 1998 season by winning the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Team mate David Coulthard was second ahead of Michael Schumacher. But more controversially, the stewards ordered McLaren to remove a ‘brake-steer’ system they had been running since the season before.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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119 comments on Ecclestone defends Vettel after latest apology

  1. celeste (@celeste) said on 29th March 2013, 0:05

    Ready to read the reaction to that telegraph article… how many will be calling sacrillege…

    • Sankalp Sharma (@sankalp88) said on 29th March 2013, 2:17

      @celeste

      As a neutral who is neither a fan of Senna or Vettel, I think the article entirely ignores some key issues of comparison. First of all, to be the heir of Senna you have to be on pole, multiple times during a season with the third best car on the grid ( circa 1986). Vettel although quite clearly already one of the greats, perhaps has yet to quieten some voices. These voices claim that he has done little with a poor/ill handling car. These become even more vehement when we use Senna as a reference point. Vettel would need to produce some spectacular seasons like Senna’s 86 or 92 to appease the doubters. When the car is no where near the best.

      The temperament needed, which the article addresses, is there but not quite. I don’t recall Vettel punching people in the face, just because they didn’t move out of the way on the track. And no I don’t mean backmarkers.

      Vettel is ruthless. As ruthless as Senna? Nope. Not yet anyway.

    • telegraph? No one uses that any more, useless.

    • kowalsky is back said on 29th March 2013, 9:47

      After the way he acted against team order in search of victory, and watching his rate of wins and poles against all time greats like stewart, prost or even senna. I think it’s time we can start comparing him with the great brazilian. You can argue he has the best car, but all time great always did. How he acts out of the car, after the malaysian affair will compare him as well, and that will be much more difficult for him to come out on top.

    • Traverse (@) said on 29th March 2013, 19:24

      Clearly Hamilton is the one true heir to Senna. Both are in a league of their own when it comes to skill, tenacity, speed and fearlessness.

      • Sankalp Sharma (@sankalp88) said on 30th March 2013, 3:50

        @hellotraverse

        Clearly he is not.

        Hamilton does not have Senna’s consistency. Hamilton does not have Senna’s focus. Hamilton cannot drag Senna’s 1992 MP4-7 to three wins.

        Having said that he still is a remains a very very good driver.

  2. Giggsy11 (@giggsy11) said on 29th March 2013, 0:10

    far more of an heir presumptive to Senna and Schumacher than even his most strident advocates had imagined

    There is a difference between being an heir to Senna, and taking advantage of a slower, weaker team mate when he was told not to…

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 29th March 2013, 0:20

      @giggsy – the idea he was taking advantage of Webber may be flawed in itself, but besides that what it shows is that like Senna and Schuamcher he takes every opportunity that presents itself to him, not matter what the implications – they can be dealt with later. It is that attitude that allowed them to be as successful as they have.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 29th March 2013, 1:47

        @vettel1

        I disagree. Being a very fast driver in a very fast car is what gave him three championships.

        A win at all costs attitude is not only not part of his visible personality, but in my opinion likely to not have anything in connection with the last race’s incident.

        • @mike – I’m just curious as to what you do believe then? He was told by his team multiple times to hold position (or whatever the exact order was), so I think it’s safe to assume he knew fine well he was ignoring protocol…

      • Metal Mr. L (@metalluigi) said on 29th March 2013, 5:27

        So did Lance Armstrong.

    • ivz (@ivz) said on 29th March 2013, 0:23

      I can see this article sparking a lot of talk. So many people will have their opinion, which I guess is why we are allowed to comment. I mean for sure Vettel is a rare talent, which is why he is the youngest 3 time WDC (yes credit must also be given to Red Bull Racing), but there are links to the almost ‘win at all cost’ attitude that was Senna and Schumacher.
      Its just a shame that he won the race in such circumstances, the fight for the lead last year between Alonso and Perez was more interesting.

      • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 29th March 2013, 15:54

        And in light of Perez’s admissions, who’s to say that the Sauber radio message was also a coded “do not overtake Alonso, from Ferrari with love”, i.e. we need this position, else we will be screwed over by Ferrari from now on for overtaking team leader!

        • @fastiesty – even as a member of the anti-Ferrari brigade, I found that claim nonsense. We have to remember also that both Ferrari’s were overtaken by Perez at Monza, the home race of Ferrari.

          • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 30th March 2013, 18:08

            (@fastiesty) Inclined to agree with (@vettel1) here. Although neither anti/pro Ferrari, I felt that when he said ‘we need this,’ he meant Sauber’s highest ever result. To a mid-field team I feel that there isn’t quite such a difference between a first and second to say RB or Mclaren, as they won’t be challenging for them regularly. It seems that getting on the podium is a high aim for them, a la a vitory for the front runners. To challenge for a victory is risking a podium and decent set of points, when they’re aware they won’t be able to challenge consistently for wins throughout the season.

          • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 5th April 2013, 17:56

            True, I was probably stoking the pot a bit.. It’s just a shame however that Sauber were not a little bit more aggressive with their pit strategy to give Perez an even better shot at winning the race!

  3. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 29th March 2013, 0:13

    Not calling sacrilege, but my my, Vettel’s pockets are getting very full. Lucky Bernie is only small & can squeeze easily between Matesizch and Marko.

  4. Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 29th March 2013, 0:17

    I think the telegraph article raises a very good point: as a driver Vettel is incredbly talented, and as a consequence he has an element of ruthlessness in his approach: he has an overriding desire to win, which isn’t simply doused through team orders. Of course there will always be divided opinions in the matter of disobeying the team for personal gain, but that is all part of the thirst to re-write the record books, and I admire ambition greatly!

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 29th March 2013, 0:42

      (@vettel1) Read CavallinoRampante’s comment in the Telegraph article on the Newey cars, beautifully succinct.

      (@celeste)
      Comparing Vettel to Senna is sacrilege, and in many ways I admire Prost more.

      The only trait they share is a certain level of ruthlessness.

      Senna was an extremely complex, perhaps obsessive but mystical man, and certainly one of the greatest drivers to have ever lived. I don’t condone some of the things he did in the slightest, but he was an extremely complex and layered man.

      Vettel is a spoilt child who thinks he has the innate right to win, something he can’t do without a Newey car, and has virtually no wheel-to-wheel ability. He’s simply a guy who got lucky by rising up the ranks of a team that happened to have the best car at the time he arrived in it, but now he has to be touted as a ‘driving great,’ or it makes a mockery of the sport by showing it’s too machinery based.

      Painted on top of this is his ‘happy-go-lucky’ jovial nonsense he’s told to spout to desperately try mediate the inevitable loathing from another German ruining the sport in a dominant car.

      And if I hear someone compare Monza 2008 to Monaco 1984 I’ll be physically sick.

      • @sgt-pepper – the response to that comment highlights it’s flaws.

        Vettel is a spoilt child who thinks he has the innate right to win, something he can’t do without a Newey car, and has virtually no wheel-to-wheel ability. He’s simply a guy who got lucky by rising up the ranks of a team that happened to have the best car at the time he arrived in it, but now he has to be touted as a ‘driving great,’ or it makes a mockery of the sport by showing it’s too machinery based.

        There are so many things wrong with that statement, namely the idea that he can only win because of Newey, that I barely know how to begin.

        Every great driver has a lust for winning, so point one irrelevant. Point 2 is also irrelevant, because you can’t say that simply for the reason he hasn’t driven anything else in his short career, and also because it’s based on the assumption everything Newey designs is the fastest (we only need to look to last year to dispel that notion).

        The major flaw here is the machine-based comment: I will simply respond with “would you say Jim Clark was making a mockery of the sport”?

      • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 29th March 2013, 12:18

        I not a huge fan of Vettel, but I disagree so strongly with your assumptions of Vettel.

        You say he has no wheel to wheel ability, when that notion has been proved to be complete ********. The boy can race, if you watched anything from last season, then you’d know full well that Vettel can overtake. And even this season too! His move on Sutil into T3 in Australia was a balls out move. Much respect for that move.

        You also say he’s a spoilt child who thinks its his innate right to win, when in actual fact that also is complete ********. Vettel is a student of the game. (I.e. Japan 2011, BBC forum)

        IMO the boy is going equal if not better Schumachers records.

        People shouldn’t be hating him, he’s achieving something special that isn’t seen in sports very commonly, we should be embracing it and enjoying seeing history in the making.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th March 2013, 13:24

        @sgt-pepper – That is one of the most laughable comments I’ve read on this website! So full of double standards and nonsense, I really commend you.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 29th March 2013, 1:48

      which isn’t simply doused through team orders

      Which falls down when you consider he only realized the situation after he’d left the car.

      • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 29th March 2013, 2:03

        No.

        Vettel knew exactly the situation the entire time he was attacking Webber. 100% no confusion. He knew what he was doing; getting the best result possible now that Alonso was out of the race.

        He just said he was unsure of the situation to make it seem like he’s innocent. But really, he had worked it all out in his crash helmet, and took the opportunity when it came.

        He’s ruthless and that’s a good thing for him, he’ll most probably equal if not best Schumachers records if he has that attitude.

      • @mike – I think that was a reaction more so to the unexpectedly vocal complaints to him, but I highly doubt he didn’t know what he was doing. He has expressed genuine sorrow though.

        I think @tophercheese21 has hit the nail on the head.

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 29th March 2013, 4:36

      Yeah the big thing I’ve taken out of this whole situation, without passing opinion on who was right or wrong, is that Vettel undoubtedly has a ruthless streak.

      Looking through F1’s past, it’s littered with drivers who have gone above and beyond what is deemed fair or sporting or even legal in pursuit of victory…Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Piquet and on and on have all in one way or another brushed up against a moral or legal line in the sport and often smashed past it. There’s always those who defend them, and others happy to denounce their actions.
      Me? I can see why Prost used politics in his favour, why Senna used his car as a weapon, why Schumacher parked his car at Rascasse. In a way it’s an inalienable part of what makes them great. But in another way I’m also a bit disappointed that the men I spend so much of my time following don’t always live up to the lofty standards I expect of them in all areas, including often paradoxically their ambition and also their sportsmanship. Maybe I’m the one who’s wrong to expect these drivers to always be paragons of sportsmanship while at the same time being the most driven and ambitious drivers in the world, operating under huge pressure, acting and reacting in cars going hundreds of miles an hour.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 29th March 2013, 12:33

        Well said @clossal-squid, I was equally outraged when Michael Schumacher rammed Damon Hill to win the championship, I later managed to accept that as a driver being paid multiple millions of dollars per year to put his team on top it was a business decision that overrode sportsmanship, after all if Hill had finished Williams would have taken all the glory.
        This incident goes even further than the one above in that it involves pure individual gain, it is not a “duty calls” incident, even Piquet jnr. had that excuse, not only was it not for the team, it was against the team and purely selfish.
        Little wonder Mark Webber says Sebastien will be protected, when even the man he defied is declaring it the action of all GREAT champions and Bernie E. of all people is trumpeting praise for the win at all cost attitude, but since Bernie has screwed every F1 team and fan to gratify his own limitless greed his praise should be seen for what it is.
        Bernie of course likes to take advantage of the rules of society and decency but if we lived by the law of the jungle he would have been picked up and thrown under a bus long ago.

  5. ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 29th March 2013, 0:21

    Talent-wise, yeah I see something Senna-like. Behavior-wise, just as much. Charisma-wise? Sorry Seb, no offence :)

  6. Traverse (@) said on 29th March 2013, 0:28

    So Bernie isn’t (completely) senile after all.

  7. TimmyA (@timmya) said on 29th March 2013, 0:29

    vettel isn’t sry now he knows he can get away with it and hes going to do whatever he wants.

    And seriously when is bernie going to go away.

  8. leotef (@leotef) said on 29th March 2013, 0:38

    Hmm, Seb must be very happy and has every right to be arrogant ’cause so many big guys are standing behind him, has built a lot of records already with 3 WDC titles under his belt at the youngest age etc. Now that his childhood idols will soon be behind his name, then he can do whatever he wants, like crashing opponents, blocking race lines during quali, using launchers arguably, to name a few. Good for him though which means bad to everybody else lol.
    Personally I can’t help but thinking that maybe Bernie is marketing this biz by building a formidable villain character. If true, not that good to Seb a still young boy with fragile hissy fit, too young to know the balance. Sure the people shall be herded to believe in something or somebody they expect them to believe, and will cheer, praise, or even worship for the sake of their biz.
    Just like the world is heading into the dark-ish age, so goes F1 similar to the so far all time greatest of the great MSC era.

  9. vickyy (@vickyy) said on 29th March 2013, 0:57

    “Marussia look to Russia to boost budget”.. for a minute my eyes read “Marussia look to Razia to boost budget”, it would have a good joke had he stayed in the team.

  10. Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 29th March 2013, 1:29

    It’s impressive the cognitive dissonance manifest in fans like @hellotraverse, who continue defending Vettel even after Vettel himself acknowledged (albeit fatuously) the impropriety and shamefulness of his betraying Webber.

    At what point did F1 adopt a ‘I won’t overtake you because it might hurt your feelings’ policy?

    • @joepa – The main issue currently is not the fact Vettel was in the wrong in his disobedience of team instruction, but the fact that it appears to be taken as fact in certain camps that Webber was “caught off guard”; that is simply nonsensical. As racing drivers racing in current F1, the drivers must recognise everyone is out to win and some without care for the consequences – I believe Vettel is firmly in that camp.

      Webber will have seen Vettel was closing on himself, so he would not have been “caught off guard” as so many are proclaiming. He must realise that, as an advocate of ignoring team orders himself, Vettel was preparing for a strike. So the only way in which Webber was handicapped in this battle was from his own doing: he had used more fuel earlier in the race to pass Vettel, as Horner has already discussed. He then had to make up the difference in the last stint, in stark contrast to Vettel who had brand new mediums (which he had saved in qualifying for we can presume exactly this eventuality) and an engine on full attack mode with the extra fuel relative to Webber.

      So Vettel was in a similar position to Rosberg – the only difference here is that he stuck the fingers up to his team, who seem to be forgetting there’s a drivers championship going on. Rosberg though was obedient, which made me as a fan disappointed because I strongly believe the faster driver should always be allowed to utilise his speed. Without Vettel’ actions, the last quarter would have been incredibly boring.

      • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 29th March 2013, 20:10

        @vettel1

        The main issue currently is not the fact Vettel was in the wrong in his disobedience of team instruction, but the fact that it appears to be taken as fact in certain camps that Webber was “caught off guard”;

        For whom is this the main issue? B/c the main issue for me is most decidedly that Vettel directly disobeyed a valid order from his superior (sanctioned by his employer), and scores of people are rushing to defend the indefensible, even as Vettel himself acknowledges and admits to his own shameful treachery.

        • @joepa – I for one have viewed a whole heap of comments aimed at giving Webber moral high ground by portraying him as a defenceless bystander to Vettel’s shamefulness, which is misguided rubbish.

          I wouldn’t call it “shameful treachery”, rather racing driver instinct. As a fan of the sport (ignoring any driver preferences), I’d support team disobedience any day of the week if it meant we are saved from a formation-finish boredom fest.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 1st April 2013, 16:56

            Agree @joepa The main issue is not whether MW was caught off guard, and even if it was I don’t think @vettel1 is using it in the right context. If MW was caught off guard it was only because he had been told to dial the car down to a lower setting and didn’t expect that that would by default open the door for the team to allow SV to pass. He may have initially assumed that would mean SV would be having to dial it down too.

            In race 2 of the season, on a team that touts racing between their drivers, I would hope MW would be very reasonable in not assuming ‘dial it down’ means ‘SV is the teams number one and you will be subservient to him for this race and the rest of the season’. In fact, the team order did favour MW in that SV was to hold station behind MW.

            And after thinking about it I shy away from blaming MW (and LH) for wearing out their cars permaturely and therefore deserving to be passed. The first two thirds of the race also saw MW and LH driving according to team decisions on strategy visa vie tire wear and knowledge of fuel consumption at the time. Should MW and LH pay for doing as they had been told all day, including up until the controversial radio comms that we were allowed to hear and their timing thereof? It’s been team orders this, team orders that, for over a week now, but for the first two thirds of the race MW and LH were free to burn their fuel and tires prematurely all on their own like it was solely their decision on how to drive the first 40 laps?

      • Drezone said on 31st March 2013, 11:17

        Ummm

        He didn’t catch up to webber if you watched the race

        He was 4 secs behind coming into his last pitstop and came right our behind him and attacked him right away into the next slow corners which webber defended beautifully and for two laps whilst he was caught off guard and probably trying to work out what the #%# was going on

  11. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 29th March 2013, 1:50

    Hey, Keith, it’s my birthday today…

  12. Anyone else surprised by Rossi’s/Caterham’s plan for only really developing the car ‘spec’ by Barca? Obviously that’s when the first major upgrades come in, but to hear them put it as the first time they have a true 2013 car seems strange. I’d have expected them to put their efforts into the front of the season, try to snatch the high place early on while other teams have issues to work out for the constructor’s prize money, then shift focus to 2014 early on in hopes of making a dramatic jump on the rest of the field.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 29th March 2013, 10:45

      Yes I do agree @darak. Maybe they feel they don’t understand some fundamentals yet (seeing how their car didn’t improve much in pace since 2011), choosing to get a lot more time with that, while working on the simulator too, so they can judge the merit of different solutions for future better?

    • Barça is a football team. A shorter way of saying Barcelona is Barna

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 29th March 2013, 16:03

      Maybe they are already focussing hard on developing 2014 and 2013 is merely the sideshow? A la Honda 2008 ;)

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th March 2013, 13:49

      I do recall reading some comments from Red Bull along the same lines though @darak. With the small team, I guess its pretty sure that money had a lot to do with that at Caterham.

  13. celeste (@celeste) said on 29th March 2013, 2:48

    We could be here every minute, of every hour, of every day until next race an people who think Vettel did wrong wont be convinced that he did good; same as those who think Vettel was in the right, wont chance their opinion.

    So why don´t we agree to disagree and sing Kumbaya, and embrace as the F1 one community that we below to.

  14. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 29th March 2013, 4:25

    (insert comment about toto wolff loving dorothy ross and hating the wicked lauda of west austria.)

  15. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 29th March 2013, 4:49

    For just .25 million pounds a week you can make a real difference, you can give a formula one team with hopes and dreams a chance to fight for it’s first worldchampionship point and survive in the arid terrain that is elite level motorsport. Formula one teams aren’t asking for a hand out…they just want a colossal ammount of money to spend constantly like mr freeze living off diamonds in batman please…pickup the phone today….

    /Satire off

  16. SlackBladder said on 29th March 2013, 8:17

    ‘WallyHood’ coud not have scripted a better attention getter if their careers depended on it!

  17. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th March 2013, 8:40

    Based on Saward’s article, I’m guessing the circuit will probably look something like this:

    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5867051

    Or possibly this:

    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5867053

    Or … actually, I should stop before I spend all day coming up with layouts.

  18. Well, Vettel now has one thing in common with ‘Bernie’ – no one with any sense would now put any trust in him.

  19. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 29th March 2013, 9:23

    The similarities are certainly there between Seb and Senna. Rather than look at the differences between them though, I think its useful to look at the differences between Senna and other drivers. Things like pulling up at Blanchimont to help a crashed driver in a practice session, visiting Rubens in hospital, even having an Austrian flag furled up in his car to honour Ratzenberger. He seemed to be aware of the ruthlessness required to race and still be respectful of the danger. Its a huge contradiction: to be able to intentionally put people at risk, and still be concerned for their safety, and to have these two facets fairly well resolved with each other. In this way, I’d argue his driving was less ‘dirty’ [than it could have been]. He took a lot from racing, but he also felt a need to put something back.

    Vettel and Schumacher both represent, to me, a step above the usual will-to-win of most drivers, but this isn’t balanced by other parts of their approach to racing.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 1st April 2013, 18:59

      @splittimes – That is an interesting post, and your examples that show that Senna had a respect for the danger are good.

      While I agree Vettel does appear to have that ruthless streak of Senna/Schumi, I believe he does respect the history and danger of the sport also. One of the first things he did after winning in Singapore was to dedicate the win to the recently deceased Sid Watkins on the radio. On the podium, he said he was “one of the biggest reasons that we can go out on a circuit like this and enjoy ourselves, and be reasonably safe”.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st April 2013, 22:34

      @splittimes I’m inclined to agree with regards to Schumacher, although he does clearly also show a certain level of compassion (remember him breaking into tears after he beat Senna’s record for pole positions I believe). @david-a has also stated a good example with regards to Vettel, but indeed Senna was a great human being, if not a ruthless competitor.

  20. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 29th March 2013, 9:34

    I hate it when people keep drawing comparisons to Shuey and Vettel.

    For me, the big difference between them in my view is that Shumacher was a great driver and Vettel drives a great car.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th March 2013, 13:19

      @full-throttle-f1

      For me, the big difference between them in my view is that Shumacher was a great driver and Vettel drives a great car.

      Tell me which great didn’t drive a great car? I’d like to see you respond. I could get a good chuckle.

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 29th March 2013, 15:59

        +1

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 2nd April 2013, 12:52

        @david-a Can someone remind me which one of Hamilton’s cars was “great”? Actually, I’ll go through them myself…
        MP4-22 – Lacking in front downforce in comparison to the Ferrari and was very much underdeveloped in the later half of the season.
        MP4-23 – Often poorly balanced because McLaren over compensated for its predecessor’s poor front downforce by creating a car that was very rear-limited and that often overheated its rear tyres whilst badly wearing its fronts.
        MP4-24 – A dog of a car plagued by a fundamental lack of downforce.
        MP4-25 – A car that required an incredibly stiff setup in order for it to work. This made development avenues very narrow, and was far behind the Red Bulls and Ferraris by the end of the season.
        MP4-26 – A complex concept that forced McLaren once again along a narrow path of setup and development. The unchallenged but ever distant second fastest car of the season.
        MP4-27 – Fast but unreliable. Once again McLaren made a car that forced them along a narrow setup pathway, but if the car was correctly setup with its favoured rear-limited orientation it was unquestionably the fastest car on-track, however McLaren were unable to do this consistently.

        Hardly a catalogue of McLaren’s “great” cars is it? I believe that for only a handful of races in 2012 and 2007 could Hamilton put his hand on his heart and say, “I have the fastest car in F1″; something that Vettel has had since the 2009 British Grand Prix.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 2nd April 2013, 16:19

          @william-brierty – The 2007 and 2008 Mclarens were more or less the best cars of their respective years, having been voted the Autosport Racing Car of the year for 2007 and 2008. In 2007, their combined driver points would have won them the constructor’s title. In 2008, they won the driver’s title (with Kovalainen just being lacklustre).

          In 2009, while they started poorly, mid-season developments led to the car actually becoming very competitive come the end of the year.

          In 2010/2011, Mclaren did not have the best car, but were competitive with the Ferraris and Red Bulls- taking 11 wins in that time.

          In 2012, yes, they were definitely the fastest (and for more than a “handful of races”), but unreliable (much like Red Bull in 2010, actually).

          Collectively, I fail to see how anyone can claim Hamilton hasn’t driven “great cars” in his time with that team.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 2nd April 2013, 20:15

            @david-a Being the Autosport Racing Car of the year has nothing to do with whether it was actually the best car on track. The Red Bull RB8 was the 2012 Racing Car of the year, although it was, as you say, slower than the McLaren for much of the year. In 2007, McLaren had one of the best driver line-ups in their history, so no wonder they scored more points than Ferrari. However both the F2007 and the F2008 were unquestionably faster than their chromed rivals, and had none of the setup, tyre and balance issues that plagued the MP4-23 in particular. In 2009 we do see a positive performance curve at McLaren, but even though they managed to cure some of the traction and balance issues of the car (thus enabling them to regain speed in slower corners and giving them fair performance at tracks like Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Valencia, Monza and the Hungaroring) fixing the inherent and fundamental lack of downforce was too big a task to be taken on in-season. At no point was the MP4-24 “very competitive”. And then we arrive at the MP4-27, perhaps the most inconsistant car of Hamilton’s career. Although, as admitted at the MP4-28 launch, McLaren had the fastest car for 14 Grands Prix last year, the reliability, setup and balance issues of the car made the raw speed of the car very difficult to extract. The McLaren MP4-27 could have been a great car, but McLaren failed to extract the available performance and ultimately couldn’t understand the immense complexity of the chassis, and so it is thrown onto the same dump as the MP4-20; cars that were “great”…on paper. Every car that Hamilton has driven has either been naturally slow, as with 2009, or limited by excessive complexity thus narrowing development and setup pathways, and therefore not allowing McLaren to maintain winning momentum throughout the entire season. Seldom has Hamilton had the clear fastest car on track, and never has had a “great” car, like the Red Bull RB7, the Brawn BGP01, the Renault R25 or the Ferrari F2004. And let’s not forget, McLaren have not won the constructor’s championship since Hamilton joined the team.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 2nd April 2013, 20:35

            @william-brierty – Well, it depends on your definition of “great”, when it comes to cars. I consider a “great” car to be a championship contending one, while your definition may differ.

            For me, his 2007 (WCC winning, if not for the DQ) and 2008 cars at least, were great. Not dominant, but great in my eyes. The MP4-24 was surely the worst LH drove, and not “great”, but still, helped him win 2 races and 4 poles, in addition to 3rd in the constructors championship, hence I believed that in the 2nd half of 2009, it was “very competitive”. Only during that season was his Mclaren not competitive with the frontrunners.

            Going back to what @full-throttle-f1 said, he considers Schumacher to be a great driver, but Vettel only to be in “great cars”. SV has enjoyed a run of success in “great cars”, having drove midfield cars early in his career. Thus the appropriate thing would have been to claim that Vettel is a “great driver, currently in a great car”.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 3rd April 2013, 11:57

            @david-a Exactly, it does depend on perspective, but if you consider a “great car” to be a car that contended for the championship, would the Ferrari F2012 be considered “great” your eyes? For me “great cars” are milestones, leaps forward like the Lotus 79, the McLaren MP4-4, the Ferrari F2002 and the Red Bull RB6, and dominant because of technical advances, not driver skill. However, that is simply perspective, so let me introduce a new word: dominant. Has Hamilton driven a dominant car? My answer would still be no. There is no doubt in my mind that the 2007-8 McLarens were slower than their Italian rivals, and therefore were not in the least bit dominant. The 2009 car, which you claim to be “very competitive” was interestingly on pole through the slow corners of Valencia (and would have won had McLaren not had a pit-stop error), and purple through the “point-and-squirt” final sector of Spa, but over a second off in the middle sector, through corners like pouhon, curva paul frere and the fangia chicane. Do you see what I am getting at? Even though McLaren had a car that was competent through low speed corners by the second half of the season, at no point was the car able to find the downforce needed to maintain pace through high-speed corners. And if a car is compromised to this extent, how can it be called “very competitive”? I shall enter another phase of this debate by asking, has Vettel ever driven a dominant car? Now at this point you are probably rolling your eyes and muttering something along the lines of “so subjective…”, but the Red Bulls of the past years have been dominant. I don’t think you can question the fact that the Red Bull RB7 was dominant. In qualifying at Silverstone 2011, the Red Bulls were taking abbey flat with the DRS open, whilst the McLaren of Button was having a lift and keeping his DRS very much closed. The Red Bull RB7 was a dominant car. Fact. So was the Red Bull RB6, and the only reason that Vettel and Red Bull didn’t wrap up the championship sooner was the fact that they were fighting teams and drivers accustomed to fighting for the championship on a regular basis…twinned with the occasional reliability issue. And although both the Red Bull RB5 and the RB8 were at times not the fastest cars on track, in the second half of both seasons, Red Bull development made them very much the dominant team. The Red Bulls RB5-9 are an enviable line-up of cars for any driver, and certainly better than the equivalent line-up of McLarens. So if I go back to what @full-throttle-f1 said, there can be no denial that Vettel drives “a great car”, but it is Vettel himself that is the difficult one. Vettel is a conundrum, and I think the whole “Vettel: benchmark or benificary” is one of the best debates around F1 at the moment. What I see in Vettel is not what I see in Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg, Di Resta or Hulkenberg, who all very much dominated in the lower formulae. Vettel, who was rather mediocre in the lower formulae, is more comparable to a Button, a Massa or a Perez; a driver that lacks a natural versatility, but can get the maximum out of himself and his machinery if he gets the balance and feel that his driving style requires. So I would amend the initial statement made by @full-throttle-f1, to “Schumacher was a great driver, but Vettel can be a great driver if he gets a great car.” I know it not very catchy, but it seems more representative to me!

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 3rd April 2013, 13:59

            @william-brierty

            I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on these “great cars”. While I agree that the RB5-9 have surely been better than the Mclaren equivalents (MP4/22-27), it wasn’t by such a significant margin, in my opinion. I can see where you’re coming from regarding the F2012, but the general consensus was that it was “dragged” into contention, rather than being outright good enough, like Vettel’s last 3 Red Bulls, Hamilton’s first 2 Mclarens, or Schumacher’s 2000-2004 Ferraris.

            I still believe the 09 Mclaren chassis, while not “dominant” or “great”, while not capable of fighting for the championship, was developed mid-season to become “competitive”. Back then, Jonathan Neale of Mclaren obviously didn’t believe they had the best package, but knew that they had a decent package, and claimed there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the car- just that they needed to develop.

            http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2009/8/9815.html

            I would also say that I do not believe Vettel was mediocre in junior formulae, in comparison to the drivers you mentioned (except Lewis Hamilton and maybe Nico Hulkenberg, who have probably the best junior CVs on the current grid). Vettel was leading the World Series By Renault Championship, but finished 5th because he missed over half the season- after leaving to make his F1 debut. The common result used against the driver is that he didn’t win the F3 Euroseries title, coming 2nd behind Paul Di Resta- Rosberg failed to win this in his 2nd attempt, coming 4th. Even Fernando Alonso was 4th in Formula 3000, behind a certain Mark Webber.

            For the last few years, SV has driven championship winning cars. While you do raise an interesting point with Vettel doing even better when he gets a balance an feel for the car, I believe that he can still get amazing results when not in a frontrunning car (top 8 WDC finish in 2008), so I stick by my amendment to Lucas Wilson’s comment.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd April 2013, 14:09

            @william-brierty

            Vettel, who was rather mediocre in the lower formulae

            I’m interested to hear which of his junior career feats you think was the most “mediocre”: winning 18 out of 20 races in Formula BMW in 2004 or winning his first two starts in World Series by Renault?

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 3rd April 2013, 18:01

            @david-a – I think we may have to agree to disagree with regards to “greatness”, however I would imagine that most F1 Fanatic readers would agree with me in saying that Vettel’s cars have been significantly better than Hamilton’s. Regarding your article, it proves nothing. This is a sport in which two articles can be found that almost contradict each other almost word for word, and that particular article seems little more than propaganda. The facts are these. McLaren developed the MP4-24 over the course of the 2009 and in doing so fixed the traction and balance issues of the car, but the inherent lack of downforce of the chassis was all too natural and fundamental to be fixed in season. I would imagine that McLaren copied Ferrari in 2009, and turned the focus to 2010 earlier than normal. Everything I am talking about regarding the MP4-24 can be seen in Hamilton’s Abu Dhabi pole lap; nervous through the high speed turns 2 and 3, but planted and well balanced through the clunky curbs of the rest of the terrible track.

            Perhaps “mediocre” was too strong a word, but he simply was not the sensation that Hamilton or Alonso were. Alonso appeared from nowhere and won the hugely competitive Euro Open by Nissan, and Hamilton won five different championships before arriving in F1 whereas Vettel only won one, although admittedly he would have won the championship in World Series had he not been parachuted into F1. I was in the paddock a lot in 2007 (it was back when I was still a journalist) and there simply was not the excitement surrounding Vettel that there was around Hamilton, Rosberg or Alonso, he simply “popped” onto the scene in F1. I think it is fair to say that Vettel was really noticed by F1 when he actually was in F1, however, that is me by no means saying that F1 soon didn’t sit up and see that they had a serious talent on their hands. However, not wanting to pour cold water on your argument, but I think it is all too easy to take Vettel’s 2008 Italian Grand Prix victory at face value and say that he won in a “midfield car”. The Toro Rosso STR3 was at the time, a very fast car. Bourdais only just lost the chance of a podium the race before, and had qualified fourth, and had the race pace to finish second to Vettel had he not had a clutch issue on the dummy grid. And this grand prix also puts Vettel in the scenario in which he has a clear advantage; the wet. Not wanting to compare him to Schumacher again, but he is the new “rainmeister”, and seems almost peerless in the wet. However, with regards to his dry weather performance I will vehemently stick to my gut hypothesis, and say that Vettel requires a heavy nose and a planted rear if he is to perform at his best. When this craved rear stability is not present, we see some of the lackluster performances we saw in early 2012, and becomes a really rather average driver.

            @keithcollantine Hi there, Keith, and thanks, as ever, for the effortless way in which you make us all look rather stupid. With regards to Vettel, I’m not really talking about statistics on a sheet of paper, as outlined above, I really mean the lack of excitement surrounding Vettel. He was rather like Timo Glock in that he was rather anonymous before he came to F1, but obviously did a bit better than Glock when he arrived. Vettel could have so easily become a Robert Wickens or an Edoardo Mortara, who have both melted away into DTM obscurity, and only really failed to get into F1 because they didn’t manage to impress in the only series that is consistently producing F1 drivers at the moment; GP2. Unlike Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Alonso or Rosberg, who all seemed very much destined for F1, Vettel’s future in F1 didn’t really become cogent until it hit in the face.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 5th April 2013, 4:22

            @william-brierty
            In fairness, it’s true that an article from a member of Mclaren’s staff that claims there was fundamentally nothing wrong with the MP4-24 doesn’t necessarily prove much. But nor does the claim that a car that finished 6th in the WCC was a “very fast car”, or the claim that that the MP4-22/23 were slow or lacking compared to their Ferrari counterparts.

            Given that Vettel was given a chance when so young, and that (as you said) he would have won a GP2-equivalent title had it not been for him being given an F1 debut, he certainly was “destined” for F1, like the other names you mentioned.

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 30th March 2013, 18:15

      (@full-throttle-f1)

      For me, the big difference between them in my view is that Shumacher was a great driver and Vettel drives a great car.

      +1.

      Beautifully summarised.

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