Ferrari rubbish Raikkonen rumours

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Monaco, 2013In the round-up: Ferrari deny they are considering rehiring Kimi Raikkonen.

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Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Raikkonen link ‘unfounded’ Ferrari (BBC)

“Ferrari say there is ‘no foundation’ to claims they are considering Kimi Raikkonen as a team-mate for Fernando Alonso next season.”

Vettel critics disrespect Webber – Horner (Autosport)

“Asked what he would say to anyone who still doubted Vettel, Horner replied: ‘I think that’s very disrespectful to Mark Webber, because we run two cars and Mark is a good race driver, a very good race driver.'”

Contract in place, initial payments made (Sauber)

“The collaboration with Russian partners, as announced by us, is progressing well. The contract with driver Sergey Sirotkin is in place.”

Perez gives himself 6/10 at McLaren (ESPN)

“Right now I am in a good position to always try to maximise the full potential of the car and explore the limits and the way we set-up the car. To maximise every single bit because that’s the difference between Q2 and Q3.”

Ducati?s winning secret (MotorSport)

“If this was Formula One, his team PR would probably commence each debrief with the words, ‘Please, ladies and gentleman, we?d appreciate it if you only asked questions relating to Cal [Crutchlow's] performance on track this weekend. Thank you for your understanding…’ Or maybe MotoGP has already stooped to these levels and journalists will be told to do just that at Indy. I hope not.”

Inside Williams F1 ?ǣ all in a good cause (The Telegraph)

“The Save the Children charity, in association with the Williams Formula One team, is holding another gala dinner on Saturday, September 28.”

Comment of the day

Thoughts on safety in F1 today from @Bullmello:

It is a safer era for racing and F1 in particular. Even if some up and coming young drivers were not born yet or too young to remember the death of Ayrton Senna, they obviously will know the history.

Nowadays it is safer in F1 to be in the car than on the track in an official capacity, statistically speaking. Racing is still dangerous and F1 is very fortunate to be on such a safe streak for drivers for so long. You can’t blame the drivers at any age for wanting that to continue.

Recently at one of the local race tracks a car spun during a race and somehow leapt over a proper barrier and landed on an track official killing him. You just never know. It was a freak accident. The barrier was in place, but the angle of the car, the speed and trajectory led it to pitch itself right over the wall. The track official in the pits was not out of place, just in the wrong place at the wrong time. All that can be done now is to re-evaluate the safety precautions to try and make sure it never happens again. But, racing can be dangerous.
@Bullmello

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Lin1876!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Damon Hill scored his first ever Formula One race victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix 20 years ago today.

Hill led every lap of the race after team mate Alain Prost stalled his car on pole position and had to start from the back of the field.

Riccardo Patrese was second for Benetton ahead of Gerhard Berger’s Ferrari.

Here’s Hill becoming the first ever son of a grand prix winner to win a race himself:

Image ?? Lotus/LAT

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87 comments on Ferrari rubbish Raikkonen rumours

  1. Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 15th August 2013, 0:07

    I think it’s the Finnish paper just trying to grab a little bit of attention from the F1 world. Kimi would not even entertain the idea of going back to a team who disrespected him the way Ferrari did especially if he has an opportunity at Redbull.

    • Thats what Ferrari said about James Allison, tricky statement would be “Alonso-Raikkonen”, not going to happen unless 1 of them taken out!

    • Every time one of these “regional tabloid says X; team rubbishes report” I want to know something about the provenance of the rumor, not just who rubbishes it. Is this the Finnish national newspaper of record found mostly on antique coffee tables in Espoo salons, or is it just for Finnish pet birds to relive themselves on? I have no way of knowing. Help us out.

      • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 15th August 2013, 20:14

        The only Finnish newspaper I think that has been reporting the rumors from its own sources is Ilta-Sanomat which is a tabloid (the biggest one in Finland). I think they were the first ones to call Kimi’s Ferrari move for the season 2007 so I wouldn’t count them out from being right.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 15th August 2013, 15:25

      If Kimi himself were to speak up on this topic, I think he would rubbish the notion of going to Ferrari just based on going to a team where he has the best chance to win another WDC, or not.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 15th August 2013, 17:09

      Frankly it would make sense – Kimi said that the decision is based on the new regs and what engine/car he sees as the best for next year. Lotus and RBR have both Renault, so I assumed a while ago that there is a third option for him.
      Although I think it’s a bit far fetched that Kimi will return to Ferrari, I also thought the same about Mark leaving F1. Just like Porsche denied that there is anything to it – I wouldn’t take Ferrari’s word for granted.

  2. Dave (@raceprouk) said on 15th August 2013, 0:10

    @Bullmello – Rarely have I seen such utter sense – a worthy COTD if ever there was one ;-)

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 15th August 2013, 0:21

    so the silly season is everywhere, even inside teams…
    About Hill, now there is also Rosberg. But after watching Piquet Jr and Senna (ok, just a nephew) I doubt we will see another F1 champion’s around winning titles. Is Schum’s son into the sport?

  4. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 15th August 2013, 0:57

    Hey Ferrari, just throwing this out there but Montoya is a free-agent for next year now…. haha

  5. helava said on 15th August 2013, 1:09

    “Ferrari say there is ‘no foundation’ to claims they are considering Kimi Raikkonen as a team-mate for Fernando Alonso next season.”

    Not sure that’s a quote directly from the article or something that’s linked to from the article – but that quote would be entirely consistent w/ Raikkonen replacing Alonso & Alonso going to RB. :P

  6. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 15th August 2013, 1:10

    Let’s be honest, Ferrari would never not deny they are considering him even if they are, would they?

    • I don’t think Raikkonen will ever drive at Ferrari again. He has his pride, he was fired in a way of speaking, also at Ferrari he has/had PR responsibilities and we know he really hate these things. Also Ferrari would have to admit they were idiots to push him out the way they did…
      If he really [still] wants to win a championship he will go to Red Bull . If not… Lotus is the perfect team for him.

      • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 15th August 2013, 19:30

        I know it seems unlikely but the more I think about it, the more I could see it happening. He’s endured PR stuff before with Ferrari and McLaren so I think he’d put up with it for the sake of a shot at the championship, whether that’s at Red Bull or Ferrari. Ferrari must be more desperate than ever to get a title, and Massa hasn’t delivered enough points for them to be able to do that in years, so maybe two top drivers is required, for both championships.
        It will be interesting to see what develops nonetheless.

      • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 15th August 2013, 20:02

        I don’t know why everybody keeps mentioning his hate toward PR. The man himself has said it’s not an issue.

        And out of Ferrari and Red Bull, with the regulation changes in mind, I feel the better option is actually Ferrari. With downforce losing a bit of its relevancy and engines’ increasing it makes sense that Red Bull with Renault engine would suffer more than Ferrari (who have actively pushed for this kind of change to be made). There have been rumors about Ferrari being a few steps behind in the engine development but I don’t really believe them.

        • @tmket yea I think the PR thing is blown out of proportion: he’s more talkative that most people would lead you to believe, just that he doesn’t like stupid questions and keeps his answers concise!

          Besides, I doubt he’d care all that much about PR if he can win the world title due to a move so really it’s just about taking the right option (as Hamilton so evidently did whilst in a similar position last year).

  7. scratt (@scratt) said on 15th August 2013, 1:19

    The only thing that article tells me is that Ferrari have not got a clue!
    If they think that Alonso needs someone to push him harder, and that he could give even an ounce more effort than he does already, and that the problem isn´t entirely the fault of their terrible cars the last few years, then they seriously need a sanity check.

  8. vincentc said on 15th August 2013, 2:11

    My my…. If Raikkonen joins Ferrari AND wins the WDC again…oh what an irony.

    • No confest said on 15th August 2013, 13:01

      It would end Ferrari’s Kimi curse. What they did to him was diabolical and they’ve not paid enough for it. Kimi needs to win another WDC before Ferrari is free of their sins.

  9. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 15th August 2013, 5:16

    Well, to be honest, if Kimi’s move to Red Bull doesnt work out, it is not entirely inconceivable that he wont move to Ferrari. They real question is, if Lotus can come up with the money, will he stay?

    I think Kimi and Fernando could be a good pairing, the only issue is that both of them are getting on a little. If Ferrari want continuity, they should sign a younger driver. As I have said before, Nico Hulkenberg ticks all the boxes to be a Ferrari driver. As we know, the Ferrari philosophy is to always sign an experienced driver, and Nico is just that. There arent many drivers with just the right level experience on the grid.

    • Nathan (@il-ferrarista) said on 15th August 2013, 5:52

      Ok, so what is this current statement from Ferrari, just public talk, and they are really trying to get Kimi for 2014?

      ..And ditch Massa on route..

      • dimitris said on 15th August 2013, 10:10

        My guess is that they leaked to the press the story of being interested in Kimi as a conter measure to Alonso’s overtures to Red Bull. But they may have to seriously consider Kimi if Alonso does indeed join Red Bull, which is a very remote possibility at the moment.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 15th August 2013, 10:06

      Hulkenberg has two and a half years under his belt, with 3 (likely soon to be 4) different teams. He’s talented, but he doesn’t qualify for experience yet unless he’s up against a rookie.

      • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 15th August 2013, 11:46

        Massa only had 3 seasons experience (’02,’04 and ’05 all with Sauber) before he joined Ferrari in ’06 and certainly wasn’t out of his depth at the time. I’d say Hulkenberg has given a better account of himself so far than Massa had at the same point in his career. Massa only started to stand out in ’05 and that was in comparison to his uninterested team-mate Villeneuve.

        • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 15th August 2013, 13:37

          Would Kimi or any ‘top’ driver want to move to Ferrari considering their recent years?

          • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 15th August 2013, 15:54

            If the Kimi to Red Bull deal didn’t happen for some reason where else would he realistically go other than Ferrari? Lotus can’t afford him unless they find a lot of money from somewhere.

  10. Just for your information. The “rumor” in the Finnish tabloid came from a jiourno who is a family friend with the Raikkonens. According to the original article, Kimi has made his decision already. This means, it is not going to be Lotus, other vise Lotus had made it public already.

  11. Lance (@lancelot) said on 15th August 2013, 10:31

    “Right now, we’re really not giving any thought to the driver-market situation,” said a Ferrari spokesman.
    He added that the team were focused on reviving Fernando Alonso’s title push.
    “That is our priority,” he said. “Drivers are not a problem for us even if we were to change Felipe.”
    —–
    Ferrari didn’t actually deny signing Kimi if we read the statement carefully.

    • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 15th August 2013, 20:29

      I find Benson’s article very poorly written (at least on terms what the title says and makes you expect). He claims that Ferrari simply denies the Kimi rumors (by saying they are “unfounded”) but if you actually read the article, you notice that they didn’t even come close to doing that. It might be the case that they actually denied everything and talked about them being “unfounded” but if it was so, it would have been nice if Benson had actually quoted those parts of their comment – considering that’s what the article was about. Now it only includes some mysterious words by Ferrari’s representative that do a very good job only at avoiding the subject and the rest is just irrelevant statistics and Benson discussing some even more irrelevant details.

  12. Horner raises an excellent point that I have mirrored for quite some time – absolutely Webber is no Alonso but he’s a great driver, yet he has finished 12 (3rd), 134 (3rd) and 102 (6th) points behind Vettel in each of his championship years, with the numbers in brackets indicating his final championship position in each. 2009 I’ve ignored initially because it was run using a different points system and Vettel didn’t win the championship but nonetheless he still finished 46 points behind Vettel in new money (206 vs 160) and two places behind him in the championship.

    So taking Webber’s quality as a given (do we think it’s fair to say he’s one of the top 8 current drivers?) then it must stand to reason that Vettel deserves to be spoken of in the same company as Alonso, Hamilton and Räikkönen. I do agree I don’t think he’s reached the truly legendary status yet, but he has an easy 10 years left in which to achieve that should he chose (and I wouldn’t beg against him being a 4 time world champion by the end of this season). That in itself is a remarkable feat.

    • alexx_88 (@alexx_88) said on 15th August 2013, 11:47

      Vettel will be put there by most fans when/if he is successful in a car that is not the best. In my opinion he has the talent and the driving skills to be there, I am still not sure if mentally he is strong enough for the challenge.

      • @alexx_88 I’m very confident he has the mental ability, whether or not initially he’ll have “culture shock” though I’m not so sure. He can hold himself very well under pressure (Brazil 2012) but with being in a bad car brings new pressures which it may take him time to adjust to.

        I’m not so sold on the notion that he absolutely must move teams though – he’ll be 75% there IMO if the RB10 ends up a bad car. I would still agree with the mass consensus that I would like to see him in another team (inevitably Ferrari I think) but in my opinion it isn’t a necessary evil – after all, Jim Clark didn’t move teams (it’s not entirely fair as he died but the point still stands) and Ayrton Senna never really had much of a chance in another team (obviously I’m discounting Lotus in the same way as discounting Toro Rosso for Vettel).

        • I should really have just said teams previous to their first world title – of course Senna also raced for Toleman before McLaren!

        • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 15th August 2013, 12:21

          @vettel1 Thing is, the Lotuses had awful reliability, and while it was usually the fastest car, whether or not it was the best is debatable. As for Senna, I think he is given a bit of leeway for various reasons (in particular challenging – and beating – Prost at McLaren).

          • @journeyer that is very true but if anything that played into Jimmy’s hands – having a fast but fragile car as apposed to a not as fast but solidly reliable one. He always had great mechanical sympathy and an unbelievably smooth driving style but wasn’t quite as good when under pressure from behind.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th August 2013, 12:04

        That is why I rate his driving as high this year (I would say he comes out on top so far this season) – he did not have the fastest car, and couldn’t run RBRs “trademark” strategy of building a 2 second lead early on, and then cruise to victory.

        The racing we have seen from Vettel has been very good in traffic as well, apart from a little bit lacklustre Hungary. Sure, Hamilton has stepped up recently, but he had a slow start to the year. Kimi keeps getting beaten in qualifying too often and Lotus have had some lapses on strategy. Alonso was best for me last year, but so far he has been outqualified several times by Massa, has made 2 unforced errors (he/the team) that cost them dearly, and we haven’t really seen any outstanding performances from him either. Compare Vettel, and you really find only very little to support not putting him on top of the pile so far.

  13. karter22 (@karter22) said on 15th August 2013, 12:40

    “If we had the best car, we would have finished 1-2 in all the races and in each of the world championships, but we haven’t.”

    With all due respect Mr Horner, you might be able to finish 1-2 consistantly if it wasn´t for all those times Mark´s KERS has failed in qualy, or those gearbox changes or all the times you call in Mark to pit, etc.
    As a matter of fact, Mark has started more times from the back than SV ever has and odly enough, Mark always manages to climb up the grid by the end of the race. I agree Mark is a very good race driver but it cannot be only his talent that pulls him up the grid everytime he starts from the back! I think it´s safe to say that the car has a lot to do with it too
    I´m sorry but I just think that Horner´s comment was a bit hypocritical. It´s like the Ricciardo/Vergne arguement. I believe Vergne is the better driver since he has hauled in more points than Ricciardo but you never see the media talking much about him because he is not a good qualifier. Ricciardo puts the STR way up the grid, barely manages to get points and all of a sudden he`s Thor! Vergne on the other hand, starts way back and manages to get into the points sometimes or very close to it and he´s not considered?!
    I think this all goes to show that people for some reason consider that races are won on saturday rather than on sunday! The talent of a driver is shown on sundays not on saturdays just because he can drive fast in one lap with an almost a clear track!!
    Sorry for the rant, it´s just an opinion!

    • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 15th August 2013, 13:54

      Yes, Webbers car is a good one, but as you stated, team failures can also play a part, not only in qualifying, but also in the race. DR has great raw pace, Mark has shown that also, but if the team don’t play the right strategy, as you say, it only counts on Sunday. I’m not undermining Vergne, maybe he is better at setting up his car for race day, maybe a change in teams could help both drivers. By the way @karter22 are you saying Mark is a better race driver than Seb?

    • @karter22 I actually don’t agree with that quote from Horner – it’s almost as if he’s mis-defined “best car”. The “best car” is the one that is the fastest most consistently (which naturally includes reliability) so by that logic I think it is fair to say Red Bull have had the best car since 2010 (not necessarily the fastest though – the MP4-27 was quicker than the RB8, it was just inherently unreliable and had an unreliable Button at the helm more often than not).

      What I think he was intending to say is that Red Bull haven’t had an MP4-4 or an FW14B which is an entirely fair comment and what I think he was alluding to with finishing 1-2 in everything. Basically, if it were all the car then why has Seb not won every race and why has Mark not been 2nd in each championship year?

      I’m not in agreement with you over this though:

      all those times Mark´s KERS has failed in qualy, or those gearbox changes or all the times you call in Mark to pit, etc.

      That would seem to imply that Webber is outwardly hindered in terms of reliability, which isn’t the case. What follows is details of race-ending events in each year of their partnership.

      2009
      Vettel – 5 retirements: 2 collision; 1 spin; 1 suspension; 1 engine

      Webber – 2 retirements: 2 collision

      2010
      Vettel – 3 retirements: 1 wheel; 1 collision; 1 engine
      Webber – 2 retirements: 2 collision

      2011
      Vettel – 1 retirement: wheel
      Webber – 1 retirement: collision

      2012
      Vettel – 2 retirements: 2 alternator
      Webber – 3 retirements: 1 tyres; 1 collision; 1 alternator

      2013
      Vettel – 1 retirement: gearbox
      Webber – 1 retirement: wheel

      So at least on purely race-ending failures it would not be credulous to presume it were actually Vettel who has had the lion’s share of reliability problems. Now onto premature eliminations from qualifying, grid penalties caused by problems and disqualifications:

      2009
      Vettel – 10-place penalty in Malaysia (for collision in Australia), starts 13th.
      Webber – Impeded in Bahrain, starts 19th. Crashed in FP3 in Japan and so no time set in qualifying.

      2011
      Webber starts 18th in China following electrical problems in FP3.

      2012
      Vettel – excluded from qualifying in Abu Dhabi for fuel infiringement, starts from pit lane.
      Webber – hydraulics problems in Europe, starts 19th. Gearbox change results in 5 place penalty in Belgium, starts 12th

      2013
      Webber – excluded from qualifying for fuel infiringement in China, starts from pit lane. 3 place penalty in Bahrain for causing a collision in China, starts 7th. KERS problems in Hungary, no time set in Q3 and so starts 10th.

      So it is true Webber has been more unfortunate with respect to qualifying but Vettel has had the most reliability problems where it matters, in the races.

      I think this all goes to show that people for some reason consider that races are won on saturday rather than on sunday! The talent of a driver is shown on sundays not on saturdays just because he can drive fast in one lap with an almost a clear track!!

      Is the implication from this what @funkyf1 suspects that you think Webber is a better race driver than Vettel? Why then has Vettel won 29 races with Red Bull and Webber only 9?

      I would beg to differ with respect to the races really showing a driver’s talent – I would think qualifying does that as you need to be supremely talented to wring every tenth out of a lap. What the races do is show your mental capacity and skill set in being able to manage the car, the tyres, the strategy and overtaking. I would still class being able to do all that as a talent but qualifying is definitely more of a talent-based event IMO.

      • karter22 (@karter22) said on 15th August 2013, 18:31

        @vettel1
        Well Max, once you bring out the stats like that, then of course they look about even but, for some reason it would appear as though Webber always gets the worst part.
        Now with regards to what I imply, I am not implying that Mark is better, I definitely preffer him over SV and feel he would do much better if it wasn´t because of his grid positions during qualy but I am not implying that which you and the other member think.
        With regards to qualy well we will have to agree to disagree on that because like I said, qualy is done with an almost “clear” track. In the race, you are all bunched up at the start and sometimes the run to turn one is difficult and then pushing when you need to is a lot more difficult like if you´re trying to beat an undercut or make an undercut work, so in that aspect, I definitely feel that the race is more important than qualifying. How many times have we seen Alonso start way back and almost always he ends up in a podium finish or just miss out? What does that mean? He might not be quick in qualy but he is a genius when it comes to race day!
        That is why I always look at sunday rather than saturday but that´s just me.

        • @karter22 the stats don’t lie my friend ;) I think the reason it would appear that Webber has the worst of the problems simply stems from the fact that it is always overhyped when Webber has a failure because of Silverstone 2010! Actually if we compare both qualifying and the races it has been almost equal over the four years, if not slightly against Vettel. Just less of a fuss is made over the latter than the former so I can understand why you would presume it to be the case that Webber bears the grunt of the reliability problems.

          I don’t disagree that racing is an art in itself but I’d say it were more of a skill set as appose to a talent – the two are different IMO as I think one can be learned whilst the other relies more heavily on natural ability. That is not to say that everybody could be as good as Alonso in terms of intelligence in the races (it works the same way as in normal academics – some are better than others) but nonetheless I’d still argue one was more talent based and the other skill based.

          Again though that is not to say one holds more value over the other – I hold them in equal stead.

          • karter22 (@karter22) said on 16th August 2013, 11:56

            @vettel1
            Fair enough but, you must take into considration in qualy that not everybody drives the same car! I know ALO is not the fastest qualifier but is that entirely true? Why would HAM say that having ALO behind you is like having a bull chasing you? HAM regards him as quick! and so here comes my arguement: Not everybody drives the same car, some are better qualifying cars and some are better race cars so, is it fair to presume that ALO is slow because he has a slow Qualy car or a car that doesn´t help all that much?? Probably. The RBR has been by far the best car for some years now and that alone is to be taken into consideration! I think we will never know who is faster than who over one lap since they all drive different cars. The best way to settle this would be if ALL drivers were to drive the same car on a given day and get “x” amount of laps. Then and only then could we really know who is faster or who has more talent. It´ll never happen but that is why I don´t see qualy as that important to judge who is more talented.
            Crazy example: How far could SV put a Marussia up the field?? Not very far I would presume! See what I mean! It´s a case of apples and oranges! Or how far could ALO put a Caterham up the field! Heck, could HAM beat nico in one lap if both drove a Marussia?! What I´m trying to say is that these years the car has played an important roll in qualy! I just hope that with these new regulations it´ll be more even! Not depending on aero work will be interesting and might be going back to what the purists love, racing!
            Like I said Max, we will have to agree to disagree!

  14. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 15th August 2013, 14:12

    I’m sorry Christian but you go from being right on the gearbox of Vettel in 2010 to miles off him in recent years without Mark loosing some of his speed. Vettel didn’t transform from the “crash kid” to the “golden boy” over the course of the winter in 2010. However Webber also didn’t go from challenger to whipping-boy in the space of a winter. Neither arguments hold weight. What is much more likely is that Vettel was, quite rightly, given control of the developmental progression of recent Red Bull, and because Vettel’s style depends so heavily on a planted rear end, thus lumbering Webber with a tonne of the understeer he so hates. So whilst a comfortable Vettel was allowed to flourish in a tyre saving era that suits his smooth style so emphatically, whilst the hard charging Webber fell away dramatically. Also, and Horner will deny this, but Webber has also been subject to the aged degradation of pace that ended the careers of Heidfeld, Barrichello, Trulli, Schumacher and probably Massa before too long. With that taken into consideration, Webber entered 2012 already profoundly beaten by Vettel. Understanding driving styles and the hugely their hugely influential natures are invariably the answers to many questions raised by fluctuations in performance from drivers. That said, I think Horner would lying to himself if he said that Raikkonen couldn’t improve upon Webber’s recent challenges upon Vettel, in fact I have proposed the idea, much to the amusement of this forum’s less imaginative readers, that Raikkonen may even have an edge on Vettel in terms of race pace and tyre/fuel saving (I lump the two concepts together because saving the tyres in 2013 will involve a similar style required to save fuel in 2014).

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 15th August 2013, 14:31

      Since 2009 they’ve had very similair set ups.
      The reason Webber can’t keep up is because vettel adopted the counter intuitive driving style that puts the Exhaust blown diffuser to maximum effect in the corners (take massive speed in and slide the car then floor the throttle to pin the rear and stop the slide, then exit the corner).
      Webber can’t drive like that. The EBD is faster than non-EBD, but webber prefers non EBD (despite the fact its slower).
      Did you notice that at the beginning of 2012 Webber was much closer to vettel because Vettel couldn’t use his preferred technique. Then, as the power of the EBD increased, vettel pulled out more of an advantage to Webber.

      • dimitris said on 16th August 2013, 6:42

        Good point. This is the fastest way to drive an F1 car and three active drivers have mastered it. Lewis, Seb and Kimi. Schumi was the ultimate master. This is the reason Kimi asks for more downforce, you do need a lot to stabilize the rear when exiting the corner, and is perhaps the reason why the Lotus, which has the least downforce of the three, is slow in qualifying.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 16th August 2013, 13:46

        @xjr15jaaag – You are perfectly the articulating the point I clearly failed to convey. Vettel really found his feet in 2011 when Red Bull brought out a car that aggressively exploited the exhaust blown diffuser, thus allowing him to adopt his preferred style of approaching a corner with moderate speed, before putting aggressive amounts of throttle on either on the apex or even before apex, thus rotating the car on throttle, but using the rear grip not to kick the rear end into a full blown oversteer slide. Because of this somewhat unconventional, yet brilliantly effective way of attaining massive apex speed and consistently excellent exits so heavily depends on immense rear end grip, Vettel performs better in cars that tend to understeer, and has therefore resulted in the front end of recent Red Bull chassis being rather less developed than the rear ends. Webber drives the car in what seems to be a similar manner, with both drivers rotating the rear end with oversteer, but Mark prefers a loose rear end that will step out slightly with an aggressive turn in. The highly developed rear ends of the RB7 and RB9 haven’t enabled Mark to drive as he prefers. The lower rear downforce of the earlier specs of RB8 enabled Mark to finish the first half of 2012 ahead of Vettel, but by the Singapore GP the planted rear end of the Red Bull was back, and enabled Vettel to take his third world title.

        • Eric (@) said on 19th August 2013, 16:19

          @william-brierty

          Webber finished ahead of Vettel on merit in China, Monaco and Silverstone 2012. In Bahrein and Valencia Webber was miles behind. The rest of the races he managed to ‘keep up’ with Vettel. In no way shape or form did he finish the first half of 2012 ahead of Vettel. He had the edge somewhat in qualifying. That’s about it.

          Also, Vettel was faster the moment he joined Red Bull in 2009. Better yet, Vettel was already faster in 2008 driving a 2007 spec Red Bull.

          I know you and others like to think Vettel’s succes is all down to a simple trick in his car or because Vettel gets to choose what the team does but the fact of the matter is he’s been beating Webber for 5 and a half years now. Only one and a half of those years involved (aggressive) EBD.
          When you hear hooves think horses not zebras. It is that simple, Vettel is faster than Webber.

    • @william-brierty it is absolutely true that the Red Bull design philosophy is more suited towards Vettel’s driving style than Webber’s and so he can maximise the gains from it more prolifically but I wouldn’t agree that is a sign of Red Bull therefore bending to suit Vettel’s style as such. After all, as @xjr15jaaag has said an EBD-equipped Webber is still faster than a non-EBD equipped Webber so their pursuit of rear downforce is mostly for outright performance gains, not to suit Vettel’s needs as such. I’m not sure I agree that is what has been the greatest single influence in Webber’s loss of pace as after all Red Bull had been using the double diffuser from halfway through 2009 and I believe the off-throttle EBD in it’s early stages of development throughout 2010, so it can’t have been hurting Webber that much having to adapt to driving a car with massive amounts of rear downforce.

      So one can only presume that as you said the effective gap between the drivers has continually multiplied due to age degradation on Webber’s part, greater maturity and experience on Vettel’s part and Vettel finding bigger gains from Red Bull’s rear-end updates (which is perhaps partly due to him having a greater word in what kind of set-up he wants from the car, as you said quite rightly).

      I have a feeling the true performance gap in both 2010 and 2011 may have been skewed by greater unreliability and more collisions for Vettel in relation to Webber for the former and Webber never really finding his groove yet Vettel doing just that for the latter (2011 also played very much to Vettel’s strength of sticking the car on pole and controlling the race from the front – the two drivers become slightly more equal when that isn’t possible such as in early 2012).

      No doubt Räikkönen would improve on Webber’s current standing though – I wouldn’t go as far as to suggest he’d be more than a match for Vettel on his turf (I’m actually fairly confident Vettel would have the measure of him comfortably enough). You have raised a very good point though that fuel conservation will be a useful skill to have but Vettel isn’t bad for that judging from their “tyre whispering” – I agree Räikkönen is better in that respect though.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 16th August 2013, 20:53

        @vettel1 What I was explaining to @xjr15aaag is that I clearly failed to articulate the fact that I was referring the EBD effect when I said that the Red Bull chassis of the past three seasons have had highly developed rear ends. I accept that Webber with EBD is faster than a Webber without the EBD and that it is not “hurting” Webber, and I equally accept the fact that it was a natural development in pace race of F1, and not a specific request from Vettel, but one cannot help by looking at the RB7-9 that the front end has gone rather unchanged in comparison to Ferrari, McLaren and especially Mercedes. Even the front wings of those Red Bull chassis have simply been evolved to suit the surrounding aero and made ever more overt with more flap elements. However the rear end of a Red Bull is the constantly changing face of engineering at its most extreme, of the downforce dependent era F1 is currently in, even. Remember Valencia 2012? Red Bull rocked up with a completely revised rear end, a revision that conveniently solved the issues Vettel had been having with RB8, issues that Webber hadn’t been experiencing.

        I would agree with you in saying that the gap between Webber and Vettel is ever widenening, but I would fall short of implying that Vettel has had Webber comfortably under wraps during their entire partnership. In 2010 Webber was very much the better driver during the European phase of the championship, often outqualifying and outracing Vettel. And although Vettel was impaired by reliability, you cannot discount Vettel’s collisions in 2010, as they were arguably a byproduct of having that internal pressure upon him. Also Webber is massively track specific, so although you could say he is falling away from Vettel, he still manages to put Vettel under pressure at tracks like Monaco, Silverstone, Nurburgring, Suzuka and Barcelona (although admittedly Webber performed poorly at the previous two Spanish GPs). For me, Mark Webber is still a very competitive driver capable of putting the “golden kid” under pressure when he is comfortable, and I do not think for one moment that the gap on track in the past three seasons is representative of the true gap between the two Red Bull drivers.

        In terms of Raikkonen, I cannot believe how so many people, people who presumably have watched the same races I have, find the idea of Raikkonen pushing Vettel in the same car such a laughable proposition. Raikkonen is the fourth best driver in the world, and is aggressively snapping at the heels of the podium sitters, and his race pace, consistency and tyre saving ability is truly world class, and I would wager that it is better than Vettel’s; although I’d fully admit that Vettel may crush Raikkonen in qualifying more easily than Webber in the remote prospect of Raikkonen being paired with Vettel next year. Also I don’t think the Vettel being on “his turf” is really a factor, because arguably Massa was on “his turf” when Alonso joined Ferrari in 2010, and was actually regarded as a competitive driver back then. Did it stop Alonso sliding into the seat with ease before commencing to crush Massa? No. Would Raikkonen slide into a Red Bull with equal ease? Yes. When you’re talking about a highly sensitive driver like Button, or a more visceral driver like Hamilton, a change in team is a big deal. When you’re talking about a monosyllabic Finn that rocks up to a Grand Prix venue on a Thursday afternoon, it isn’t.

        • one cannot help by looking at the RB7-9 that the front end has gone rather unchanged in comparison to Ferrari, McLaren and especially Mercedes. Even the front wings of those Red Bull chassis have simply been evolved to suit the surrounding aero and made ever more overt with more flap elements. However the rear end of a Red Bull is the constantly changing face of engineering at its most extreme, of the downforce dependent era F1 is currently in, even.

          Absolutely I agree and having a car that naturally tends more towards understeer is not one which is to Webber’s tastes and you have made a very good point that Red Bull have heavily focused on the rear of the car, but the reason for that is because that is where the gains are!

          Remember Valencia 2012? Red Bull rocked up with a completely revised rear end, a revision that conveniently solved the issues Vettel had been having with RB8, issues that Webber hadn’t been experiencing.

          Convenient, maybe. However I’m not sure I agree with the implication I believe is behind it: the updates were extensive and clearly resulted in a much faster car (with Vettel qualifying 0.324 seconds ahead – I imagine a performance which would be matched more closely by Webber had he not suffered from hydraulics problems). Then in the race Vettel retained his lead after the first stops (having made up four seconds by lap two and extending it one second per lap thereafter) and was comfortably 20 seconds ahead before the safety car and alternator failure, which was truly indicative of the Red Bull’s pace. Mark Webber eventually finished third from 19th also (albeit benefiting from Vettel and Grosjean’s alternator failures and Hamilton and Maldonado’s collision). So I still think that was an purely performance update, even if it helped solved Vettel’s problems.

          but I would fall short of implying that Vettel has had Webber comfortably under wraps during their entire partnership.

          “Comfortable”, perhaps not. Definitely ahead, yes. Even though Webber was definitely the better man in the European season of 2010, Vettel was still pretty conclusively the faster driver over the course of the season (he was just unfortunate to have suffered from so many reliability issues and had a couple of brain-fade moments causing those two costly collisions in Belgium and Turkey – maybe caused by internal pressure, maybe not. I personally think they were just legitimate errors). Overall though I think it’s always been fairly obvious who is the better driver of the two.

          For me, Mark Webber is still a very competitive driver capable of putting the “golden kid” under pressure when he is comfortable

          I absolutely agree – I by no means am discrediting Webber’s credentials as a driver, in fact I rate him very highly and think there is a general lack of respect for his abilities.

          I do not think for one moment that the gap on track in the past three seasons is representative of the true gap between the two Red Bull drivers.

          Not entirely – Webber had a bit of a Hamilton year in 2011 (referring to the latter’s less than admirable performance in that season) but I think the others have actually been fairly accurate representations on the basis of the car they were driving – I am not discounting the possibility that it may not have been the case had they driven a different car. Nonetheless, one would have to rely heavily on speculation to come to a hypothesis on that alternate reality, so I’d say it were best to play with what we have.

          In terms of Raikkonen, I cannot believe how so many people, people who presumably have watched the same races I have, find the idea of Raikkonen pushing Vettel in the same car such a laughable proposition.

          I personally do not find that to be a laughable proposition at all – that doesn’t mean I agree with it though! I personally would not expect Räikkönen to be anything like the threat Hamilton was to Alonso in 2007, at least initially. A far stronger threat than Webber unquestionably, but for the “establishing period” I do not think it outlandish to presume Vettel would have it relatively easy (in the context of the Alonso/Hamilton anecdote) in the initial period of their partnership.

          The only reason I would think the turf argument would apply in this case is that despite his lack of infamy in being one to struggle with adaptation, he did have problems with his power steering in Lotus for quite some time. It’s nothing truly major (definitely not to the extent of Button) but it’s something. I wouldn’t say that would be the problem though – Vettel’s major advantage will come with acclimatisation within the team and knowing the employees – that will take a little time for Räikkönen (should he go to Red Bull at all which I agree is not a highly likely proposition) to get used to. Again nothing major, but it’s the small things!

          To conclude, I think we ought to celebrate this occasion – a proper debate! :P

        • Eric (@) said on 19th August 2013, 16:34

          In 2010 Webber was very much the better driver during the European phase of the championship, often outqualifying and outracing Vettel. And although Vettel was impaired by reliability, you cannot discount Vettel’s collisions in 2010, as they were arguably a byproduct of having that internal pressure upon him.

          In Europe Webber was the better driver, yes. But not by much. He didn’t qualify ahead of Vettel by 4-5 tenths as Vettel has done to Webber so many times. And he didn’t finish the races 30-40 seconds ahead of Vettel (except Spain 2010 for obvious reasons).
          And as for the collisions. That was 2010. About 3 years ago. There’s nothing to suggest Vettel is still as impatient or careless as he was back then. If he was, he would have retired several times with collisions this and last year. The fact he didn’t shows Vettel has matured. Just like any other driver his age would. Now you’ve got a Vettel who’s not only faster than Webber in outright pace but makes less mistakes and doesn’t become impatient like he used to. That, and the fact Webber is getting older, is in my humble opinion the reason why the gap between Vettel and Webber is getting even bigger. Vettel is now getting consistent as well as fast.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th August 2013, 18:24

      Webber probably has lost some speed, but if anything, he was more consistent and less error prone in 2011 than in 2010. Aside from what you’ve mentioned, Vettel was pinned back by bad luck and car unreliability in 2010, that cost Vettel numerous wins, meaning that Webber looked better relative to his teammate in the championship than he actually was.

    • That’s some historical revisionism on your part. Webber only superficially appeared to be “right on the gearbox” of Vettel in 2010 because the latter suffered severely from reliability issues that year. Looking at 2009, and allowing for car problems in 2010, Seb was very clearly superior to Mark from day one.

      I do agree that the tyre saving Pirelli era has played to Vettel’s strengths. But, as people kept telling me whenever I complained about the Pirelli’s, “the tyres are the same for everyone” and “tyre management has always been a part of F1″.

      Webber remains one of the better Saturday drivers on the grid, and Raikkonen (who has been out-qualified by Grosjean on a few occasions this year) will probably get crushed by Vettel in qualifying if switches to RB.

      • @josan

        I do agree that the tyre saving Pirelli era has played to Vettel’s strengths…
        Webber remains one of the better Saturday drivers on the grid, and Raikkonen (who has been out-qualified by Grosjean on a few occasions this year) will probably get crushed by Vettel in qualifying if switches to RB.

        All very true.

        On tyre saving though, it has through much of the sports history been the duty of the driver to at least conserve something, if not the tyres (although that was an important skill in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s for sure) such as engines and gearboxes. So I think it was a logical step to introduce slightly **** tyres, although the current levels aren’t necessary. One/two stoppers would be fine IMO.

        The tyres are the same for everyone also, that is true. However, they do not therefore by extension suit everyone equally – it plays to some’s strengths more than others (in RBR’s case Vettel > Webber). So yes I very much agree with that point but I think it’s only fair that drivers have to adapt and the concept was a good one in principle I feel (unlike DRS), but I’d have preferred it to have been a stop-gap to actually solving the problem of dirty air not allowing cars to follow each other. Then we could’ve had “pure” racing so to speak.

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