Race rating slump continues at Italian Grand Prix

2013 Italian Grand Prix

Start, Monza, 2013The Italian Grand Prix, like the previous race in Belgium, did not get a high score from F1 Fanatic readers in Rate the Race.

No one looked likely to get on terms with Sebastian Vettel during the race – only when Red Bull noticed a problem with his gearbox in the closing stages did his sixth win of the season come under threat. And it gave him a lead in the championship which, with seven races remaining, is starting to look unassailable.

The potential interest in Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton’s recovery drivers also failed to produce much excitement.

Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers made of the Italian Grand Prix:

Leader off into the distance, Ferrari strategy failure, recovery drives from ‘championship contenders’ that led to respectively two and zero points, bunching up and ‘DRSing’ – standard race in terms of excitement, but the final death blow for the championship (Vettel’s lead is more than two race wins now).
@Gdewilde

Very good job by the top five, I feel sorry for Alonso, it looks like from here the only thing he can achieve is second (at best), Vettel is going to win the rest of the races.

At least I hope we see some good fights.
@zoomracing

The first half was average at best, but Hamilton and Raikkonen being out of place on particular created some nice on-track action.

Webber was nicely pressurising Alonso and the tension with the Red Bull gearboxes added a nice spice to the end of the race.

Still an easy win though, and the championship is just going further and further towards Vettel. 53 points now.
@Vettel1

While not a lot was happening at the front the midfield produced some interest:

Raikkonen smashing into the back of Perez at the first corner: If I didn?t see that it was car seven I?d definitely assume it was Grosjean, it?s the type of mistake Grosjean would get lambasted for but in this race he was pretty solid, he drove cleanly and made tidy passes on the McLarens and were it not for that botched pit stop he?d be in seventh ahead of Ricciardo. Role reversal between the Lotus drivers anyone?

That aside, the midfield scrap kept the race alive.
@woshidavid95

I thought the midfield battles kept it exciting. Being a Ricciardo fan it was nail biting to see Hamilton chew his way through to 9th, and Hulkenberg had a great drive as well. So there was enough there at the end to keep me completely interested, although the middle stint made my attention wane a little.
@Nackavich

The race sagged in the middle, but the initial and final laps did feature some close racing and hard-fought battles. Excellent recovery drives by Raikkonen and Hamilton were a treat to watch, as was the slow-burn tension of Red Bull’s mechanical problems, and the melee in the midfield as always.
@Bobthevulcan

And there were the usual mixed views on what DRS contributed to the race:

[DRS] still produced too many boringly unexciting highway passes for my liking.

When you had a couple of cars in a line it didn?t do much as they all hit the rev-limiters in the tow but when you have just two cars alone its still too effective more often than not.

A couple of the DRS passes (especially with Hamilton towards the end) would have been done without DRS so it’s not needed.
Dizzy

DRS was right, tyres were right. Some good overtakes, the midfield was pretty competitive with Raikkonen and Hamilton thrown in there.

Glad Toro Rosso and Sauber caught a good weekend here and made the whole thing a bit less boring. Otherwise, pretty average at the front, not much different than what happened at Spa really. Some rain probably would have helped.

But to be honest I?d be very surprised if the forthcoming races up to Abu Dhabi will deliver results of a different nature. This is probably as good as this end of the season is going to get, bar Yas Marina, COTA and Interlagos (races which probably won?t matter in the economy of the drivers’ and constructors’ championships anyway.
@Tony031r

Not for the first time this year the race ended with the crowd booing the winner, which provoked some strong views:

I can?t say this enough. Booing is never acceptable. Worse than Vettel dominating the season is the fact that none of the teams are going public and saying their fans should not be booing the winner.

Ferrari which fans are the first to boo, probably the worse fans I have ever seen in my life, and I?m ashamed of being one. This behaviour needs to stop and I firmly believe all the teams need to campaign for treating the winner with the respect they deserve.
Andre Furtado (@F1Andy83)

It didn?t turn out to be a big battle for the lead. I don?t think every race needs super action drama to be good to watch. The only thing I didn?t like was the booing Vettel. I?m no Vettel fan, but come on!
@Mike

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36 comments on Race rating slump continues at Italian Grand Prix

  1. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 19th September 2013, 21:26

    4 out of the bottom 6 are Vettel wins, now there’s a surprise.

    Though ironically enough, I actually liked the Malaysian GP a lot.

    • @kingshark take away the orders, and teh Malaysian GP was a great GP. Webber and Vettel battle was the best moment of the season so far, IMO. It was tense, it was very close and it was very fair. And it was for the win.

      Also, it was wet, then dry, it was full of surprises like Alonso ramming into the back of Vettel and not stopping, which put him out.

      But people were quite short-sighted and saw it all as a matter of Webber getting robbed by Seb. Sad. And this from a Webber fan !

    • Broom (@brum55) said on 19th September 2013, 21:33

      And the top rated Italian Grand Prix was a Vettel win. Now that IS a surprise :-)

    • Malaysia & Germany were easy 8 or 9/10 races and how Hungary got rated up the top was baffling (if you take out the name of the winner being a factor). Even Silverstone was lively for once, though too lively sadly. I know its not being the best year for mega races but it’s not been so bad that nothing has got 8/10

    • I think it has a lot more to do with the style in which he wins. From start to finish.

    • Nick.UK (@) said on 19th September 2013, 23:13

      Bahrain 2013 was a Vettel win; the highest rated this season. It isn’t the winner who determins the rating. I think most people have a bit more credibility when voting than that.

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 20th September 2013, 9:34

      A close battle for the lead with Vettel coming out on top would be great to watch. Vettel managing his pace from the 2nd lap onwards isn’t.

  2. Not to divert this to far away from assessing the quality of the actual racing these days, but does anyone else in the UK think that the coverage by BBC and Sky is a factor in our lack of enjoyment? I’m finding Sky’s coverage to be painful to watch especially. Apart from Brundle and Davidson’s analysis the rest of the presenters might as well not be there, and David Croft has become James Allen 2.0. BBC’s coverage has nosed dived since they cut back and Jake Humphrey left as well, I like Suzi Perry but she is not as good as she was on MotoGP for some reason.

    I find I am watching none of the build up to a race, or post race discussion anymore on either channel there is almost too much of it on Sky. I never would have said that even in the “boring Schumacher” years on ITV.

    Just a thought, not meant to generate any arguments!

    • I personally find myself watching the sky pre/post race coverage far more than I ever did on ITV or the BBC.

      I find many of the pre-race features & analysis interesting & love all the post race stuff they have.

      As to the actual commentary, I love the Croft/Brundle partnership & think its the best UK commentary duo since Martin was with Murray. Hated James Allen, Johnathan Legard & David Coulthard when they were with Martin on ITV/BBC & likewise hate the Ben Edwards/Coulthard partnership on BBC currently.

      The only thing hindering my enjoyment of F1 is Pirelli’s tyres & the DRS, If anything is going to see me totally turn off F1 it will be those artificial gimmicks.

    • I certainly miss Brundle and Humphrey on the BBC (actually I miss all the presenters that went to Sky), Suzi Perry seems very stilted and mixes up her words too much and we hear far too much from Eddie Jordan. I have to walk out of the room when he does the grid walk, it’s cringeworthy.

      The commentary side is alright, I think Brundle/Coulthard were pretty much perfect but Edwards isn’t bad. They do tend to miss things I think Brundle would catch though. Anderson and McKenzie are good too.

      From what you’re saying it seems that they’ve basically split the TV coverage in two and now we have half of a good show on either channel. Of course this will probably only last until the BBC drops the rights completely and Sky poaches the rest of their team though…

  3. The booing is not going to stop until vettel and Red Bull come up against a meaningful challenger. The crowd turned against the team a long time ago, I feel because they’ve always come across as disingenuous and insincere; a billionaire pr firm with the most massive paddock accommodation claiming to be “just a small team” while burying everyone else in spending, torpedoing the RRA, lying about equal status for their drivers, and getting a seat on f1′s board over teams with decades of racing pedigree. Furthermore, they’ve stripped the suspense and excitement out of too many races and seasons now. The points may tell one story, but the truth is that other teams have only challenged red bull when red bull have given them the opportunity. Not one team looks like a genuine, tough, season long challenge to their dominance. They’ve earned their success but not a place in the fans’ hearts, or even their minds.

    As for Vettel, the booing was inevitable after Malaysia. While the refusal to obey team orders was something the fans would normally cheer, the condescending radio messages and hard-nosed u turn showed him in a very bad light, particularly against a driver who is a fan favourite, and who is viewed as struggling against forces within the team who are trying to sabotage him. It coalesced a number of vague impressions people may have kept in the back of their minds about vettel being a driver who lucked into a fast car in his first years, who didn’t have to fight to get into f1, who has a political advantage within the structure of the team which has usurped the official team boss, and whose success isn’t just down to speed and talent.

    But Hairs! I hear you cry, what about team x who behaved just like that, or driver y who had the same career path, or person z who was so unpopular, they never got booed!

    Well, those are all logical arguments but they miss the point. The booing is about perception, not logic. Red Bull and vettel are percieved as villans now by a lot of fans, casual or otherwise, right or wrong. The solution to that is not for logical and clinical arguments; mob mentality negates that option. Vettel and Red Bull need to show by some method that they’re not the bad guys.

    On the inevitable trek to their fourth consecutive double it doesn’t look likely, and with no brain in the paddock to match Newey, and no team showing the combination of talent, organisation, attention to detail, money, stability, or stamina to put up a year long challenge, next year probably isn’t their year either.

    Like it or not the booing, like a fourth title, is here to stay.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th September 2013, 22:06

      @hairs

      The booing is not going to stop until vettel and Red Bull come up against a meaningful challenger.

      They’re already beating Ferrari who have more money, a far greater pedigree for producing great racing cars and a driver widely consider as one of the best or the best in the sport.

      Red Bull are currently beating them for the fourth year in a row and have done so fair and square (some may complain about borderline technical rule interpretations but none of it has been anything F1 hasn’t seen before). Time to give them that credit, I think.

      • @keithcollantine

        Time to give them that credit, I think.

        I think most people give them credit, whether they admit it all the time or not. What most people don’t give is their support. For better or worse, teams and drivers that dominate for stretches of time without fail lead to resentment. Schumacher is a good example where people really hated how dominant he and Ferrari were (granted there were a lot of reasons tangential to that) during his stretch. And when he came back with Mercedes people who used to dislike him started pulling for him to get results.

        One could argue that Red Bull has had close years but so did Ferrari, that’s not really enough. If Red Bull had a few tough years in terms of design/performance or reliability (which could theoretically happen with next years changes), and then came back to challenge in 2016 or ’17, I bet you’d start to get more support; more credit, as you say.

        I can appreciate what Vettel, Newey, et al have achieved and I don’t blame them for making things more boring than they could be. That’s their job. But I don’t particularly like it either.

      • Actually they’re not my perceptions at all. My post is a description of what is (possibly) going on. It isn’t a reflection of my actions.

        I haven’t booed Vettel.

        And your last sentence indicates you’ve missed the point of my post entirely. Arguing logic against emotion is pointless. If you say “I like the colour Blue”, and I then start telling you the many logical reasons why, on the chromatic scale, yellow is the optimal colour, that doesn’t do anything to negate your liking for the colour Blue. The only way I could change your mind is to do something which makes you like yellow more.

        • Sorry, weird double post there. This one above belongs down below, if you see what I mean.

          To answer your question @keithcollantine, I do give them credit. But the booing isn’t about credit, worthiness, or justness. That’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t change matters.

    • Well, those are all logical arguments but they miss the point. The booing is about perception, not logic. Red Bull and vettel are percieved as villans now by a lot of fans, casual or otherwise, right or wrong. The solution to that is not for logical and clinical arguments; mob mentality negates that option.

      But those are your perceptions, your arguments, your mob mentality. You can’t make them in once sentence and in the next try to say “This is the way other people think”.

      no team showing the combination of talent, organisation, attention to detail, money, stability, or stamina to put up a year long challenge, next year probably isn’t their year either.

      That sounds like a good argument for, perhaps, booing Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren etc. Why Vettel should get booed in response to the incompetence of other teams escapes me. But I suppose that’s another one of those pesky “logical arguments” which you’ve already deemed irrelevant..

      • Actually they’re not my perceptions at all. My post is a description of what is (possibly) going on. It isn’t a reflection of my actions.

        I haven’t booed Vettel.

        And your last sentence indicates you’ve missed the point of my post entirely. Arguing logic against emotion is pointless. If you say “I like the colour Blue”, and I then start telling you the many logical reasons why, on the chromatic scale, yellow is the optimal colour, that doesn’t do anything to negate your liking for the colour Blue. The only way I could change your mind is to do something which makes you like yellow more.

        • The words you write constitute your actions.

          If you want to like the color blue, you are perfectly free to do so. if you want to write all sorts of factually incorrect things about the color blue (“Wearing blue will make you taller and richer!”) then it is appropriate and necessary that somebody refute these things with logic.

          If you want to dislike Vettel, fine, go for it. if you want to make factually incorrect statements in order to justify that dislike, then you need to be corrected on them.

    • burying everyone else in spending, torpedoing the RRA, lying about equal status for their drivers, and getting a seat on f1′s board over teams with decades of racing pedigree.

      You acknowledge the reality that a lot of people have misconceptions, but you repeat many of the misconceptions yourself. RB do not “bury everyone else in spending”. In fact they spend less than some other less successful teams. RB did not torpedo the RRA – Ferrari are likewise opposed to it. There is not a shred of evidence that RB favor one of their drivers over the other. And unless you’re a monarchist the notion that influence should be based on “pedigree” rather than current reality is farcical.

      • @jonsan As above, you are still confusing my opinions, with the generalised conclusions I’ve drawn about what perceptions might motivate people in general, or in a crowd, to hold such opinions.

        Re: Spending, I don’t believe that there are truly accurate figures for what each team spends on its racing per year. There are too many ways to hide spending, and there is no incentive to publish the figures anyway. Red Bull state they spend less than other teams, and have a smaller budget. Much like their claims in 2009/2010 that they were a “small team” while standing in front of the gargantuan Energy Station and doing photoshoots with their 2nd string team, I take that statement with a massive pinch of salt.

        Assuming that the headline numbers are either incomplete, or admitting that they’re mostly guesswork on the part of anyone outside each team, the best way to judge spending is on production. Unlike teams with supposedly larger budgets like McLaren or Ferrari, Red Bull bring parts to every single race. Lots of parts. Bigger parts. This has been commented on by just about every paddock dweller going. According to F1 Kate, they are the only team who actually bring a team of fabricators, with equipment, to every single race to manufacture parts at the trackside.

        So in terms of headline public-guesswork budget, they may or may not have more money than Ferrari or McLaren. But it’s clear that more of their money goes onto the track. If Team A’s budget is £200m, but £100m of that goes on non-track related costs (say, debts or taxes, or whatever), and Team B’s budget is £130m, but £120m of that goes on the track, which team has the larger budget?

        Furthermore, Red Bull has one thing every other team lacks: Ready Cash. No need to look for sponsors. No worries about a corporate sponsor getting cold feet. (Until Mateschitz gets bored or sales start to tank).

        If they’re struggling in the championship, and they need another £50m, they can get it whenever they want it or need it. Or, they can get their junior team to spend it for them. No other team can do that. So on that basis, I stand behind my claim they spend more than any other team.

        As to the RRA, Red Bull were the first to jump. Ferrari followed.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 20th September 2013, 0:04

          Agreed. For some people such as myself, its things like being the first to jump the RRA ship that give off a bad impression of Red Bull Racing. For instance, McLaren on the other hand often seem to at least try to be supportive of such initiatives for the long term future of the sport, because they are in for the next 20 or 30 years. Red Bull Racing won’t be here in 20 years time I bet my life on it.

          Of course, they don’t really care what a small minority of F1 fans that know about the RRA and probably don’t consume fizzy drinks think, but why would they anyway.

          Like it or lump it, I have to say @hairs makes some good points in his post.

          • The RRA runs until 2017 and is still binding on both RB and Ferrari. Ferrari and RB withdrew from FOTA simultaneously. Presumably Ferrari don’t expect to still be in F1 for the next 20 or 30 years?

        • Albert said on 20th September 2013, 4:17

          Unlike teams with supposedly larger budgets like McLaren or Ferrari, Red Bull bring parts to every single race.

          So do Mercedes and Ferrari.

          • Quote the rest of the paragraph, you’re missing my point.

            All those teams talk about planning big upgrades for various points in the season, send stuff out by sea freight, and bring small, incremental, or unimportant parts to other races. Red Bull don’t do that. If they need a front wing next week, they get it. They don’t say “Oh there’s one on a boat we’ll wait an extra week.” Multiple commentators have said red bull will bring trollies full of rushed parts through airports while other paddock members with worse cars are standing around empty handed.

            And nobody else brings fabricating equipment to flyaway races.

          • Albert said on 21st September 2013, 0:50

            @hairs

            It’s the exact same thing I’ve heard from Mercedes and Ferrari.

    • Giuseppe (@giuseppe) said on 19th September 2013, 23:01

      My hate for Red Bull has little to do with their recent F1 success. It has more to do with other sporting reasons, mostly outside of F1 (for example their franchising schemes in football). There also was Red Bull’s take over of Minardi, a team I’ve always had a soft spot for. I hate(d) the “Torro Rosso” bullcr*p.

      So their recent dominance has merely made it worse. You could say I hated Red Bull before it was cool :))

      As for Vettel: cracking racing driver that comes across as a smug *******. I’ve tried to like him, but I just couldn’t.

    • George (@george) said on 20th September 2013, 0:17

      I’m trying to think, was Schumacher ever boo’d for winning races (not after he’d done something worthy of booing like crashing into someone on purpose or getting his team mate to pull over)?

      I think Vettel’s issue is more to do with his personality. On the surface he seems like a very nice guy but occasionally the facade breaks and you see the ‘competitive animal’ shining through. I think people percieve that as him tricking them, as a kind of wolf in sheep’s clothing. That’s why Alonso and Schumacher never inspired so much hate (even though they’re guilty of much worse sporting misdemeanors), because they always act like they will do anything to win, so people just accept that as who they are and dont feel cheated.

      That’s just my theory anyway, as with @hairs I’m just acting as devil’s advocate, I actually like Vettel.

      • George
        I totally disagree it has to do with Vettel`s personality. When Vettel won his first race at Monza in 2008 everybody hailed his personality and were so happy we got a “breath of fresh air” in F1. It was a great moment for F1.

        The real problem is the combination of Red Bull and a dominant Vettel. Here`s a relatively new team without history in F1 that dominates the sport for years and years. That will not go down too well with the supporters of Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Sauber and the rest. It`s a slap in the face for these teams. To add insult to injury Red Bull picked up a young kid back in 2009 that has dominated proceedings ever since 2010. If not for reliability issues he would have dominated 2009 too.

        Success is indeed a two-edged sword. At first people urge you on, but when you win too much people get fed up. I think there`s an element of envy in it too. But if you push through and continue winning at some stage envy turn into reluctant admiration and you`re popular once more. We get to the point when people say “what can you say, love him or hate him, but he keeps winning”.

        Schumacher was not very popular at the end of his career in Benetton. Then he went to Ferrari and all Ferrari drivers are popular as per job description. The he fell on hard times 96-99 before sominating the next 5 years. Sure some were not happy with his dominance, but he was in the most popular team and racked up numbers that demandes admiration.

        If Vettel went to Ferrari tomorrow and started dominating F1 the way he`s done in Red Bull he would be the most popular driver in F1.

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 20th September 2013, 4:38

      @hairs is trying to relate to the reason why people generally dislike Red Bull . Actually Nice argument there with a concise structure . I believe he respects Red Bull as much as any Red Bull fan as they are formidable opponents . But that does not mean you necessarily have to like them.This team has always seemed a bit artificial to me . I don’t know if they can go through a period like what Mclaren are going through ( Things change quickly in f1 ) and still remain in the sport if their revenues go down, to stand the test of time . It was different back in 2007 as they were midfield . To go from a string of successes to failiure and then to remain and bounce back . Is it possible ? I certainly don’t find the charisma there . Maybe I am wrong and money is everything and people , designers , the best of drivers can be lured in with money and money alone.

  4. I think I ought to says thanks for the mentions in the last couple of reviews Tom!

    I, being my pedantic self, immediately notice that I’ve made silly typos all the time though! :D

  5. Bring Kimi to the front and you will have good rating, trust me.

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