Sebastian Vettel, Bernie Ecclestone, Monza, 2011

Ecclestone defends Vettel after latest apology

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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.”


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.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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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

119 comments on “Ecclestone defends Vettel after latest apology”

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  1. 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.”

    I also noticed this in that article:

    Andy Webb, chief executive officer the Russian-licenced team, did not reveal the financial details of the one-year deal with Liga Stavok (Betting League) but saw it as just the start of many good things to come.

    I’m sure Liga Stavok are legitimate, but I couldn’t help but think back to the team’s time when they were known as Virgin Racing, and their ill-fated sponsorship deal with Full Tilt Poker which ended when Full Tilt was shut down by the FBI for violating gambling laws.

    1. Online gambling and Bernie E. area good match morally speaking but back to the real point, $1,890,000 per week is a lot of money to field a tail-end team, one can only wonder at the amount being spent to win.
      You really would think that with these sort of budgets they could afford to re-build there engines and gearboxes between races, of course with 16 people employed, transported and accommodated at every race just to change tyres you can see how easy it must be to spend the money.
      The FIA should look more thoroughly at the costs imposed on teams by their efforts to spice-up the show, I for one would gladly trade pit-stops for engine development.

      1. @hohum

        I for one would gladly trade pit-stops for engine development.

        I wouldn’t.

  2. Personally i think the Rosberg /Hamilton saga was worse. Nico was way faster than Lewis and should have been allowed to pass .I’ve watched the race again and haven’t heard anything about Nico being told to save fuel only Lewis. Regardless of what Mercedes say Lewis is number 1

    1. I disagree. It’s race 2 of the season. The teams are still learning about their cars and how their cars treat the tires and the tires treat the cars. The conditions in the first two races has been variable. I think all we saw with MW and LH is them driving a strategy used with team decisions, from lap one, and the other drivers on a slightly different strategy, because why put all your eggs in one basket in that regard? So why should MW and LH pay for racing a strategy they were told to use, which ultimately was perhaps not the best, but occurred at a time of a steep learning curve for all the teams and drivers at the start of the season?

      And given how contrite LH was post-race, saying that it was NR that should have been up on the podium instead of him, I doubt LH would accept a number 1 role this early on, nor feel it was deserved, and I am 100% confident that there was no intention to designate a team leader at Merc in race two of this season. They will have learned a lot about their cars and preferred strategies for the next race, albeit this last one was in variable weather so that may have shaded the strategies and their impact somewhat.

  3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    29th March 2013, 14:55

    I’m sorry Bernie, but ***? So a driver that is very much ruining the excitement of your sport breaks direct team orders all out of irrational desperation to win, thus revealing himself as the spoilt “golden kid” he is, and you think he deserves your support? I’m sorry, but is he giving you a percentage of his salary?

    1. @william-brierty

      a driver that is very much ruining the excitement of your sport

      By daring to race his team mate for the lead? Looked more exciting to me than what was going on at Mercedes.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        1st April 2013, 11:22

        @keithcollantine You have completely misunderstood my point. Vettel did not ruin the excitement of the Malaysian Grand Prix, quite the opposite in fact, he has ruined the excitement of the past few championship campaigns. Every since the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel and Red Bull have been enjoying a sweet spot of performance and have stolen a degree of the intensity from WDC. I think the general tone in Brazil last year was that of sympathy for Alonso, not happiness for Vettel. Most would agree that last year would have been a greater spectacle had Alonso taken the championship he so deserved. In fact, by pulling that move on Webber, Vettel has already diluted the excitement of the championship in his inevitable march to his fourth consecutive championship.

        1. @william-brierty

          Every since the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel and Red Bull have been enjoying a sweet spot of performance and have stolen a degree of the intensity from WDC.

          That’s the “fault” (if one wants to put it that way) of the other teams and drivers, really.

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            2nd April 2013, 11:18

            @david-a Once again, my point in misunderstood. At no point do assign “fault” to Vettel and Red Bull, I’m simply saying that a dominant figure in sport is never a good thing, so I really see little in the way of justification for Bernie’s die-hard support for Vettel. Also his argument is completely invalid. He, and Gerhard Berger, claim that the ruthlessness Vettel showed in the Malaysian Grand Prix is passive, a natural part of a champion’s make-up if you will. So on that basis all great racing drivers aren’t subject to team-orders and are therefore allowed to do as they please. Gilles Villieneauve was a great racing driver, but he was also an honourable man, a man that a) was mortified when Didier Pironi overtook him to win thus breaking an agreement, and b) would never consider turning up his engine again when he knew his teammate was in a lower mapping, thus “stealing” the win. Essentially this whole, hugely complex issue boils down to a single word: justification. Was there any justification for Vettel’s actions? Is there any justification for Bernie rather laughable support? No is the answer on both accounts. Vettel may be the youngest triple world champion, he may have put the name of a energy drink brand on the tongues of the most affluent sport in the world, and he may be on his way to the pantheon of all time motorsport greats, but nothing justifies such sheer irrationality and an oblivious, blinded desperation to win.

          2. @william-brierty – You could say the “justification”, is that Red Bull and Mercedes don’t need to be using team orders at this early stage of the season.

          3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            2nd April 2013, 19:43

            @david-a OK, it was rather harsh on Rosberg that Mercedes used team orders, but Hamilton definitely had less fuel than Mercedes would have intended, especially bearing in mind the fact that there was a “wet phase” where the cars use less fuel anyway. I would wager that there was some form of operational error on Hamilton’s car, because I have never seen a car struggling for fuel in a declared wet race, so Mercedes must have thought that it was only fair that he kept the position and did not loose it all out of a simple team mistake. However, that is sheer speculation and it was rather harsh. At Red Bull the scenario is far more cogent. As I have said, Red Bull had tyre degradation in practice to an extent I that have never seen on such a front-running car before. Preserving the tyres and fully exploiting the gap created by Hamilton’s fuel issues therefore cementing the one, two was the only sensible decision. Red Bull weren’t under any pressure from behind, so holding station seems perfectly justified don’t you think? Also racing to the final pit-stop has been used by many teams for many years now, regardless of how early in the season. Its not about driver preference or championship standings in either case, its was all motivated by the want for mechanical and vehicular preservation, although Vettel had other ideas.

    2. @william-breirty – it was great to watch and has generated huge amounts of publicisty for F1, so it’s reasonable to assume Bernie’s happy.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          1st April 2013, 11:34

          @vettel1 It’s not the on-track battle I have an issue with, its the resultant diluted championship on top of Bernie’s frankly puzzling and rather die-hard loyalty to Vettel that irritates me. Here he is, F1’s “golden boy”, and he’s flouting a frankly sensible plea from Red Bull thus damaging his global image, but as you so rightly say, generating a hugely complex global debate (one that you can probably guess which side I’m on). I don’t see why Bernie has to enter the fray, defending motorsport’s latest darling. And by stating that his ruthless nature is some kind of justification of his actions, he is essentially saying that drivers of a certain level are allowed to practically do as they please; which is frankly, a rather laughable argument.

    3. I am sure Bernie was more looking at the millions of people being exited to see the Red bulls fighting for the lead a week ago, as well as all of us now making headlines and letting the internet boil with comments about this matter doing F1 a great favor @william-brierty

      1. Yeah for sure @bascb controversy equals dollars for BE. Think of the audience there will be for the next race. BE is eating this all up. He couldn’t be happier.

        @william-brierty I think you make a great point if I’m correct in your assertion. Sure, as, according to Keith, he and many would far rather see SV snub the team order and pass his teammate for the excitement of it vs. a procession, but what if that were to now mean SV is the designated number one on the team and that would then mean the remaining 90% of the season will be a bore-fest at Red Bull.

        Fortunately for now I think that the team order was in fact to favour MW(well…that’s a fact), it was SV’s selfishness and giving the middle finger to the team and it’s sponsors that caused himself the win, and given the win’s unpopularity and the awkward position SV put himself and the team in, including harming the atmosphere on the team, I doubt we will see Red Bull now favouring SV from now on. But now their jobs are certainly much harder and the balance between the drivers has been thrown way out of whack. No other team would envy the postion Horner is in right now.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          2nd April 2013, 12:04

          @robbie My point has little to do with team status. If anything the incident has acted to centralize the team balance, with more alienated team members swaying away from Vettel and towards Webber. However team status is a non-tactile concept anyway, because although Barrichello was nailed in a number two position, that didn’t stop him from driving faster than Schumacher, he just wasn’t fast enough. The problem here is that Vettel flouted a sensible team order and there is nothing stopping him from doing it again. He gave an insight into an irrational, oblivious part of his mentality, a part blinded and bleached by a love of winning. Another problem is he has corrupted the championship ranking, a ranking that Webber should be heading, but is instead lead by Vettel…again. I’m sure Vettel some how mentally justified his actions by feeling that he was short-changed by a premature move to slicks, a move that should have lost him the race. But that decision was Vettel’s through and through, so there is in fact no justification for what is the blackest mark on his gleaming C.V. to date.

  4. Bernie’s man crush on Seb borders on ridiculous. He needs to at least pretend his interest is the sport rather than his favorite driver. It’s starting to feel like Prost and Balestre which takes away from the accomplishments of the driver ultimately. People will look back historically and ask if rules favored Red Bull which I don’t believe will be fair. It really comes down to Newey’s brilliance and the fact that Seb is a good, possibly, POSSIBLY a great driver. We’ll never know until Bernie gets out of the picture and Seb has to try and grab a car by the scruff of the neck the way Alonso did last year.

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      2nd April 2013, 12:06

      @daved Couldn’t agree more. You have illustrated the scenario perfectly.

  5. You also forgot the fact who these drivers are racing for who is paying there wages and who is supplying them a championship winning car, it shows Vettel has NO respect for his team or teammate and only wants to rewrite all record books no matter what it takes

  6. What should be set onto SV’s desk calendar at RBR… JF
    Honour is like a Ming Vase.
    If you drop it, then the pieces are not simply ‘put back together’. It takes a long time to glue the shards back into form, and it never holds the same appearance or value as it did prior.

    1. Well said.

      I think that if SV wins the WDC this year, there will be an asterisk beside it. But ultimately that may not mean much. There are plenty of people that seem to feel the ends justify the means. That SV is simply ruthless and it is honourable because that is supposedly what it takes to be a winner. Forgetting of course that some guys win being of higher moral quality than that. Look at the MS/Ferrari era where year after year MS had a contracted subservient, so the results between the two Ferrari drivers were decided in the boardroom well before the season started, and yet he is revered by many. But it’s also polarizing. There are many who can never honour that. I don’t honour their one rooster policy as it takes away from the racing in the pinnacle of racing. But that doesn’t mean I honour SV for disobeying the team. MW did as he was asked all day long, and needn’t necessarily be blamed for the car needing dialing down. So why should he pay, and in fact he was not being made to pay, for the team strategy, that saw him as a sitting duck to SV come the closing stages. So while some applaud the ‘exciting racing’ that we saw with MW vs. SV thanks to SV giving everyone the middle finger, it kind of takes a lot of the excitement away knowing that MW’s car was on a lesser setting and really took the challenge out of the equation for SV. So…really SV…was the broken vase worth it? You totally changed the atmosphere at Red Bull, and gained an unpopular win, by passing a dialled down teammate. Is that really the type of ‘champion’ we want on the podium? For the sake of a little short term thrill?

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        2nd April 2013, 12:26

        @robbie Also fantastically well said.

        The atmosphere at Red Bull is transformed beyond recognition. Let’s leave the rather rosy ranking Red Bull currently holds in both championships to one side for the moment and focus on the fact that Red Bull is a weaker team now than it was a few weeks ago. They’ve had a PR nightmare. Meanwhile, at Maranello they are enjoying a nice few weeks improving a car that is already closer to the Red Bulls than the car that preceded it, a curvy Italian lady is feeding Alonso grapes and Massa is in for another session with the psychologist. Joking aside, Ferrari are loving this. They know they have the best driver in the world, they know they have a good car and they know they are running a team that was nearly operationally and strategically blemishless in 2012, unlike their rivals from Milton Keynes and particular those from Woking. Ferrari will be a force for the next few Grands Prix, and I’m not saying that in a die-hard Ferrari fan way either. OK, Hamilton and Mercedes will be the ones to watch in China and Monaco, but aside from that, these next few tracks have been traditionally very kind to Ferrari.

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