Title beckons as Vettel denies Grosjean and Webber for fourth Suzuka win

2013 Japanese Grand Prix review

Sebastian Vettel scored his fourth victory at Suzuka in five years to move within touching distance of the world championship.

But this was no straightforward lights-to-flag win. As well as the anticipated threat from pole sitting team mate Mark Webber he also had to repeal an unexpected attack from another rival.

Grosjean gets a flier

Start, Suzuka, 2013With two Red Bulls occupying the front row of the grid and Webber ahead for the first time this year, pre-race speculation centred on how Red Bull would manage the inevitable fight for victory between two mutually hostile drivers.

As Romain Grosjean headed to the grid he was preoccupied by thoughts of his collision with Webber at the start of the same race last year. Thoughts of taking on the Red Bulls were far from his mind.

“We never thought we would be able to challenge the Red Bulls,” he said after the chequered flag had fallen. That had all changed within seconds of the red lights going out.

“When I dropped the clutch I said ‘woah, woah, that?s a good one, come on, come on go for it!’” was how Grosjean described his rocket ship getaway from the second row of the grid. While the Red Bulls dawdled the black-and-gold E21 dodged past them on the right and shot into an unlikely lead.

Lewis Hamilton had also got away better than the Red Bulls from third place, but in trying to squeeze between them had made slight contact with Vettel’s front wing. That punctured his tyre, causing damage to the rear of the car which later proved terminal.

There were anxious faces on the Red Bull pit wall as they scrutinised images of Vettel’s wing and data from the car. Back in Milton Keynes Adrian Newey pored over the same material. The team gave the thumbs-up.

Massa rebels

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2013The marshals quickly recovered the wrecks of Jules Bianchi and Giedo van der Garde’s cars following their first-lap tangle without the need for the Safety Car. Webber gave Grosjean a few laps of attention with his DRS before dropping out of range on lap six.

Vettel didn’t even bother pressing the cars ahead at this point, allowing the usual two-second gap to open up quickly: “We took into account that we lap a second a lap slower for two or three laps compared to them in order to get the range in the next stint and then tried to extend that to really put them under pressure towards the end.”

He wasn’t under threat from Nico Rosberg behind. Next were the two Ferraris, Felipe Massa leading Fernando Alonso.

This was very much against the expressed wishes of the team who wanted Massa to pull over as he had done three races ago at Monza. But that was before his contract with the team was terminated, and Massa was now making good on his promise to put his interests before his team mate’s.

“Multi function strategy A now please” urged race engineer Rob Smedley, the last two words a dead giveaway that Massa was not complying. Sauber took advantage of the situation, bringing Nico Hulkenberg in early enough to claim an advantage over both Ferraris.

Hulkenberg said it was a “brilliant call by the team to pit early [and], undercut the Ferraris”.

“And then we found ourselves again in front of them they’d be really upset and angry about that because again I think they lost a lot of time behind us because really they were quicker than us.”

Strategy switch at Red Bull

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2013Webber was the first of the lead trio to pit on lap 11. Tellingly, he hadn’t closed up to Grosjean in the preceding laps: this was a stop out of necessity, not an attempt to leapfrog the Lotus.

“Mark was going through the tyre quicker than Sebastian,” confirmed Christian Horner after the race. “We had to pit because effectively he’d run out of tyres on that stint which then puts the next two stints under pressure.”

Grosjean covered off Webber on the next lap. He switched to the hard tyres which Lotus had struggled with during practice after missing some running on Friday when Kimi Raikkonen had spun. “The pace dropped a little bit,” said Grosjean.

Vettel locked up as he reached the pit lane speed limit lane when he made his first pit stop on lap 14. Like Grosjean, this was to be his first of two pit stops.

Just 11 laps later, Webber was back in for the second time as the team opted to switch him to a three-stop strategy. “I was a little bit surprised,” he said.

“I asked was it the right thing to do because I felt we could get to the lap we were looking to get to.” It dropped him immediately into clear air as problems for cars behind gave Red Bull the chance to put their cars on differing strategies and maximise the pressure they were applying to Grosjean.

Alonso makes gains

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2013A gap had opened up behind them as Massa and Rosberg had been taken out of the equation with drive-through penalties for pit lane infractions.

Before Massa served his penalty Alonso had forcibly taken his position, capitalising on a momentary hold-up as they passed Daniel Ricciardo, who ran a long first stint on hard tyres.

Raikkonen also took the opportunity to demote Esteban Gutierrez who had shot forward from 14th on the grid to run in the points places.

It took until lap 46 for Alonso to find a way past the increasingly tyre-troubled Hulkenberg. “It was a bit of a deja vu from Korea,” said the Sauber driver. “I could see Alonso fighting and biting into his steering wheel and trying everything.” He eventually got a run in the DRS zone and reclaimed the place.

Vettel attacks

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2013Having cosseted his tyres for 37 laps Vettel cashed in his chips with 16 laps to go, pitting for an unused set of hard tyres that would see him through till the end of the race. His tyres were eight laps younger than Grosjean’s and he immediately went on maximum attack, hounding the Lotus into the chicane.

Accelerating towards the start line Vettel had the DRS advantage and Grosjean couldn’t move across quickly enough to stop the Red Bull drawing alongside and past. But that only put Vettel into second place. His team mate was up ahead, until two laps later he pitted for the last time and came out four seconds behind Grosjean.

“I knew that in the last stint, once we got past Romain, I knew that Mark was the biggest threat from behind,” said Vettel. “He was on fresher tyres and pretty quick.”

While he tried to leave something in his tyres to fight with if he needed it, Vettel fumed at the lapped traffic, most of all Perez who he urged race director Charlie Whiting to show blue flags to. “Charlie get him out the way that is not fair,” pleaded Vettel.

Despite the advantage of softer tyres than Grosjean, and ones that were most likely several laps newer, Webber spent half-a-dozen laps staring at the Lotus’s rear wing. “At the end of the race, the DRS is not as effective because you?re on the [rev] limiter,” he explained.

But while Perez had vexed Vettel, he inadvertently helped out Webber. Grosjean went deep at the hairpin as he caught the McLaren on lap 50. They passed the silver car in the right-hander approaching Spoon and Webber drew alongside Grosjean, forcing him off-line. The Red Bull tracked the Lotus down the hill and through the chicane, and finally Webber was close enough and quick enough to take the DRS advantage and complete the pass.

Webber was generous in his assessment of a rival who he’d labelled a “first-lap nutcase” after being taken out by him on the first lap 12 months ago. “The backmarkers didn?t work out for Romain, it?s a bit of a nightmare when you catch so many guys,” he said. “They all want the DRS, they all want to fight and in the end, it was beneficial for me to pounce when Romain got not the best run with the backmarkers, which was no fault of his own.”

Despite having finally passed Grosjean, Webber’s hopes of catching Vettel were over. The other RB9 was nine seconds up the road and the race was almost over.

Last-lap scraps

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Suzuka, 2013Also on the list of drivers Perez had irritated was Rosberg. The Mercedes driver took exception to his defending at the chicane which resulted in contact between the two.

Rosberg had little sympathy for the consequences that had for Perez’s race: “It was very good that he punctured his tyre and I had nothing,” he said. “It worked out perfectly, it got him out of the way.”

But perhaps the hardest racing was going on between two team mates. Pastor Maldonado lunged down the inside of Valtteri Bottas on the final lap, barging the other Williams aside to claim an inconsequential 16th place.

Bottas made his displeasure clear afterwards but given the miserable year the team has endured deputy team principal Claire Williams has far bigger things to worry about. “We allow our drivers to race and that’s what they were doing on that last lap,” she stated afterwards.

The chicane was the place to watch in the closing laps as Raikkonen executed a superb move on the outside of Hulkenberg for fifth place. Hulkenberg having fallen to sixth, Gutierrez joined him in the points for the first time this year.

Rosberg had to settle for eighth ahead of Jenson Button, who persevered in a duel with Massa.

Vettel set to clinch title

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2013In the second half of 2013 Vettel has turned a successful season into crushing, 2011-style dominance. Suzuka was his fifth win in a row – a standard achieved only by an elite few drivers the sport’s 64-year history.

An even greater feat – a fourth consecutive world championship – now beckons. It will take a surprise result in India to delay it any further.

But Vettel’s affection for Suzuka runs deep and in the immediate aftermath of it was this he wanted to savour – even more so than the prospect of another title.

“I?ve won now four times here in Suzuka, which is incredible,” he said. “I?m really looking forward to next year, to be honest.”

“I think we?ve proven in the last couple of years that we never give up. I think we?ve won one or two championships because of that. Obviously this year it looks very good at this stage ?ǣ but it?s not over before it?s over.”

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

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Images ?? Red Bull/Getty, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Lotus/LAT, Sauber

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67 comments on Title beckons as Vettel denies Grosjean and Webber for fourth Suzuka win

  1. Chad (@chaddy) said on 13th October 2013, 23:29

    So my calculations tell me Vettel wins the title in India unless Alonso wins and Vettel does worse than 5th, or Alonso gets second and Vettel does worse than ninth. And Ferrari has to make up a lot of points on Red Bull for them to not clinch the constructors as well. Darn I was hoping Vettel would clinch in Austin!

  2. Chad (@chaddy) said on 13th October 2013, 23:35

    Also, it occurred to me during the race that Alonso is probably the best DRS overtaker in F1. He really seems to use the system to the greatest advantage– always gets a great tow the corner he decides to go for it, and then has a relatively easy pass from that point on. A lot of races are suddenly flooding back into my mind in which he makes up a number of spots using drs overtake after drs overtake.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 13th October 2013, 23:46

      I’m not so sure about that – I mean it took him long enough to get Hulkenberg the last two races…

      • Hyoko said on 14th October 2013, 23:36

        It’s never easy to overtake the Hulk in the straight; he is a awesome defender and the Sauber gets a lot of traction coming out of the turn -in this is second only to the Red Bull- so even if the Ferrari starts the last turn right behind the Sauber, there is a nice gap at the beginning of the strait. Also the straight-line speed of the Sauber has been very good in most circuits.

        I still hope to see Nico Hulkenberg winning a WDC someday, but he needs a better car. Too bad RBR chose Ricciardo, I don’t see him as WDC material.

    • Nixon (@nixon) said on 14th October 2013, 4:02

      He does overtake using DRS, but i don’t think most of his overtakes are. Most of them are at the first lap or two before it is enabled. Ex. webber monza, and i think hamilton on the outside during another race.
      But later in the race yea most are DRS, because i think its the most efficient and least risky overtaking maneuver. I think its the same with all drivers, if not the DRS gets them close enough to go side-by-side and then outbrake.

  3. MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 13th October 2013, 23:35

    Great stuff Keith.
    I think the Japanese fans deserve some acknowledgement from us, the atmosphere they provided made this weekend very special, at least for me

  4. Daniel Ricciardo who ran a long first stint on medium tyres

    Slight error @keithcolantine, should be:-

    Daniel Ricciardo who ran a long first stint on hard tyres

    But a great review as always.

  5. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 13th October 2013, 23:58

    ‘woah, woah, that’s a good one, come on, come on go for it”

    Awkward faces at press conference I suppose…

  6. Ron (@rcorporon) said on 14th October 2013, 0:03

    Nice to see the Japanese fans have some class and refrained from booing.

    Great weekend from RBR. Can’t wait for the clinch in India!

    • @rcorporon they seem or appreciate him for what he’s worth: a genuinely nice guy and a fantastic driver!

      • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 14th October 2013, 1:46

        @vettel1

        The majority of people do.
        It’s just a very loud minority that makes it seem like a huge problem.

        He’s a great guy and a fantastic driver. Deserves all the accolades he gets. :)

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th October 2013, 8:39

          @tophercheese21

          The majority of people do.

          Good point and one that trends to get overlooked.

          • Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 14th October 2013, 9:29

            @vettel1

            Good driver, probably does not deserve 4 titles, but he is definitely one of the top 3 drivers at the moment. Can’t wait to see if he moves to Ferrari :-)

        • @tophercheese21 agreed with Keith, fair point.

        • SilentLurker said on 15th October 2013, 0:14

          I was in Monza by the podium and it certainly looked nothing like a small minority, loud or otherwise.

          I didn’t feel like booing like everybody else. I cheered as loud as I could for Mark and Fernando. For the other guy, i turned my back and remained silent.

          And I though, how would it feel, instead of thousands of people booing at you at the top of their lungs (which in a way shows appreciation), if everybody turned their backs at you in an eerie silence, ignoring you while you get the cup? Probably a lot worse than all the boos in the world.

          But nobody else did, I was alone.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 14th October 2013, 9:50

        @vettel1

        a genuinely nice guy and a fantastic driver!

        No doubt about the second part but i remember you saying Nice guys don’t win

        • David not Coulthard (@) said on 14th October 2013, 10:08

          Errrrrrrr……Fangio won many times.

          And he was charming enough to have kidnappers release him (at least according to the WWW)!

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 14th October 2013, 21:23

            @davidnotcoulthard the kidnappers were always going to release him, it wasn’t charm that got him away from it.

            But yeah, he was charming.

          • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 14th October 2013, 22:52

            IIRC, the kidnapping was a political stunt – Fangio was well treated during the whole endeavour.

          • Hyoko said on 14th October 2013, 23:50

            Certainly, Fangio was exceedingly nice, friendly, down to earth and charming… And won about 4/5 of the races he finished, always gentlemanly and with a perfect sportsmanship.

            He never said anything bad about nobody. Well, almost. Only once he made a terribly scathing comment about a driver, the more scathing because it came from the greatest and nicest and friendliest of them all. I don’t remember the exact words, but more or less he said such driver was supremely gifted but terribly unsportsmanslike and ungentlemanly.

            No prices for guessing what driver he was talking about.

          • 4/5? A bit less. El Chueco finished 41 races and DNFed 10, got 24 victories and 35 podiums. Which makes 61% victories and 85% podiums of the finished races. Beat that, Seb.

        • @tifoso1989 I should’ve been more specific: nice guys on the track and overly nice to their competitors don’t win.

        • Hyoko said on 14th October 2013, 23:42

          Not so nice when things on the track don’t go his way. Like the gesturing to Mark in Turkey after he -Vettel- had caused the incident.

      • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 14th October 2013, 10:52

        @vettel1 anyone with out any hardcore bias against him even if not a fan would say that Vettel is a truly great driver of this generation. However, I only hear fans say he is a nice guy for the most part. Many others see him cut throat and with a big ego, which isn’t bad. Though from interviews I’ve seen he comes off as a jerk and childish and tries in the past on the podium his wanting to emulate Kimi to be that guy, was fake.

        Other than that I’d say I don’t need to like the guy to respect the reality that he is a great driver and will be always remember in F1.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 14th October 2013, 9:51

      @rcorporon
      Thank you for the civilization course

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 14th October 2013, 9:56

      Nice to see the Japanese fans have some class and refrained from booing.

      Due in no small part to the Japanese culture I guess – I always get the impression the Japanese put a lot more effort into being polite and respectful than Europeans.

    • JasonF said on 14th October 2013, 10:08

      @full-throttle-f1
      Vettel is top 2 in my book. Vettel and Alonso. For me there is no longer a top three or top four. Just a top two. I think more people will begin to see this as time goes on. Raikkonen is amazingly consistent but not top two. Hamilton is brilliant, sometimes the best, but fails to string it together over 20 races.

  7. Somethingwittyer (@somethingwittyer) said on 14th October 2013, 0:08

    You know, all this talk of Sauber suddenly finding pace has got me thinking; are they putting enough of their resources into new 2014 car? I mean, I know some of their pace has been gained by the new tires, but clearly a lot of man power must of been put in to the rear aero (which they had been struggling with). Honestly unless they know they can challenge FI they should just focus their sights on creating a big enough lead against Toro Russo in the WCC and start gearing up towards 2014 as soon as possible

    • Reports say they stopped developing this car with the hungarian update, everything they’ve got is knowledge from how that package is working with the revised tires.

      I guess they know their strengths and weaknesses and are playing for the former.

      Having taken the RB/Lotus coanda path, it seems that they finally learned to use it to their advantage too.

  8. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 14th October 2013, 2:47

    IF (and I hope it happens) Lotus signs Hulkenberg and retains Grosjean, they’ll have a fantastically strong and hungry for sucess line-up.

    Grosjean’s been impressing me since Germany. It took a while for this year to come to him, but the wait has done him well. Since Germany he’s raced very well, mature and fast. Except maybe Hungary when he got the worse of himself again, but he got it back with strong drives at Korea and specially here.

    And, well, what else to say about the “Hulk”? With Webber retiring, I need a new chap to cheer for. Could be my first German… :P

    • David not Coulthard (@) said on 14th October 2013, 10:05

      @fer-no65
      You can always just watch the WEC….:p

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 14th October 2013, 14:54

        @davidnotcoulthard Endurance racing hasn’t really been my cup of tea, I have to say. I like the cars and all, but it’s not a series I wake up on a sunday morning and watch from start to finish :P

        Even if the rules might spoil F1 a lot next year, it’s hard to say no to it…

    • Akshay (@hamilfan) said on 14th October 2013, 15:00

      @fer-no65 I will cheer for the hulk any day compared to Vettel . I believe he is in the big league . The same raw pace akin to Lewis , Kubica and so on . What’s more , he defends fabulously without getting his hands dirty . I have my F1 drivers sorted to cheer for at least another 10 years I suppose .

      As for Grosjean , he has really shut my mouth . I was mumbling about his dirty racing , but my my , he has proven me wrong . Another prospective world champion “if put in the right car”.

  9. HoHum (@hohum) said on 14th October 2013, 3:47

    “Webber gave Grosjean a few laps attention with DRS before dropping back on lap6″
    @keith Collantine, I seem to recall that DRS was not available until laps 5-6 due to the cleanup at turn 1, whether Webber could have passed Grosjean under DRS on lap 3 and changed the course of the race is pure speculation but Webbers race plan was doomed once Grosjean took the lead and Webber had to fall back to conserve tyres.

  10. Jarrod (@f1ism) said on 14th October 2013, 8:09

    any video of the bianchi crash?

  11. Deana (@sammy) said on 14th October 2013, 10:12

    “Despite the advantage of softer tyres than Grosjean, and ones that were most likely several laps newer, Webber spent half-a-dozen laps staring at the Lotus’s rear wing.”
    Not several laps newer – something like 15 laps newer. It boggles my mind that Webber couldn’t pass Grosjean for so long, considering that he was on softer tyres as well.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 14th October 2013, 22:44

      …because it’s hard to pass at Suzuka because the circuit is narrow and unforgiving, not to mention that both cars were Renault-engined and have fairly decent aero-packages?

    • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 14th October 2013, 23:52

      My question on this is whether Grosjean illegally moved twice to defend against Webber at his first attempt to overtake Grosjean at the start of lap 47. Grosjean moves first from the left to the middle of the track, and then, after a second of driving in the middle of the track, clearly makes another move to the right of the track before returning towards the middle of the track to get back on the racing line for the corner.

      My understanding of this rule has always been a bit limited because a strict reading would suggest that Grosjean’s moves would have been illegal. However, they were deemed to be fine so clearly I am missing something.

      @sammy @optimaximal

  12. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 14th October 2013, 10:27

    That Red Bull in third photo looks like flying in the air :D

  13. Cosmas (@cosmas) said on 14th October 2013, 11:23

    I don’t know if this is mentioned before .
    When i looked again the video showing Vettels overtake on Grosjean in the main straight he opens his DRS just shortly before breaking for turn 1. He almost did the move without it.
    Does anybody know what happened?

  14. To be fair, Vettel didnt deny Webber the win, Redbull denied him it.

    For Horner to say things in interviews likes ‘were not thinkin about the championship’ ‘itll take of itself in due course’ bla bla , then to activly deny one of their drivers a win so that the other driver can stand a better chance of winning the title, is at very least, extremly cringeworthy, at worst, i can see why people boo this team.

    Just grow a pair and tell the public that you wanted Vettel to get maximum points to aid his championship challanege for crying out loud.

    People say ‘omg Vettel had to fight for the win for a change’ bla bla, load of nonsense, this was even easier than normal, he just sat back in 3rd, waited for his team to pit Webber early so that Lotus would be forced to pit Grosjean, then just sailed away.

    If people wanna know why RB/Vettel are getting boo’d. Theres your answer. They’re two faced, they have no integrity.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 14th October 2013, 19:10

      Yet another ‘fan’ peddling the same old tripe, because he can’t just accept that Vettel is well on his way to being one of the all-time greats.

      Red Bull and Vettel are so far as head they don’t need to engineer any results. So long as Vettel keeps finishing well, the title’s his.

      • Firstly, i have no problem with Vettels constant winning, my problem lies with people like you, and people like Horner.

        I also like MotoGP and thoroughly enjoyed Rossi’s 9 World Titles. I also like Darts and love seeing Phil Taylor utterly obliterate his opposition for 3 entire decades where he has the same equiptment as his peers.

        Secondly, saying Vettel is ‘well on his way to being one of the all time greats’ is were most of the problem lies. People are considered greats aftertheyve enjoyed a full career, and people have taken stock of the situation. Vettel has had a dominant spell in one of the most awesome F1 cars to date. Good for him, for now. If he ever puts in some awesome drives in a car thats clearly struggling, then maybe perception will change, for now though, it is how it is. Hes making the most of a great car, thats what people know. (PS, was anyone else taken aback at the sight of Vettel catching that oversteer moment in Qualifying last weekend? to see the Redbull oversteer and ‘come off its rails’ was such a rare occurance, it stuck in my mind)

        Thirdly, “Red Bull and Vettel are so far as head they don’t need to engineer any results” – Which is prisicly why its so cringeworthy to see Horner talking about them not thinking about the title, while doing everything in their power, like destorying one of their drivers races to aid anothers, to gain max points possible for the title? As i said, grow a pair and stop treating the public like we’re stupid, its that sort of attitude, like Ferrari denying Hockenhiem was team orders, that makes people reel.

        • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 14th October 2013, 22:45

          Wow, so much anger – chill out, take it easy ;-)
          I agree Vettel’s still got a way to go to be truly one of the greats, but he’s made a hell of a start on that journey.

          However, one thing I never like to see is fans belittling those who have earned their success. If you don’t like Horner and RBR, that’s fine, but please drop the anti-Webber conspiracy – it’s getting old.

        • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 14th October 2013, 22:49

          This tripe about ‘destroying Webber’s race’ is rubbish. Firstly, there’s no proof. Secondly, it’s absurd to think the Team don’t want the absolute maximum points possible.

          Whatever next? RBR are manipulating Webber’s strategy so that they have to pay less for the FIA entry fee next year, right?

          • Tripe? No Proof? Are you blind?

            Its such a wild conspiracy that RBR pitted Webber way too early on the more durable tyre, so that Lotus would have to react, therefore increasing Vettels chances – Is so absurd that even that very level-headed Gary Anderson even thought it was very odd??

            13 laps on the harder tyre? Pull the other one mate.

          • TheBass (@) said on 15th October 2013, 15:50

            You are taking this a bit too seriously. Relax a bit. F1 is not serious business.

    • SilentLurker said on 15th October 2013, 0:24

      Ferrari: “we don’t want two roosters” and they hire Kimi
      RBR: “we let our drivers race” and well, you know

    • Brian Leveque (@f1-dreamer) said on 15th October 2013, 15:40

      N, Thanks for seeing that and calling it clearly the way it happened. I and many others saw it the same way including Steve Matchett from NBCSN. While it’s true Webber ran through his medium tires 3 laps quicker than Vettel, the team could not have known yet how long they could make the hard tires last in race pace and in my opinion put Webber on a 3 stop strat way early just to force Gro to pit and give Seb the lead. Even Webber was “surprised” they pitted him that early in post race comments. However, looking at Sebs tires in the last few laps, I doubt Webber could have made both his sets of hard tires last in a 2 stop race. So in the end I have to concede that putting Webber on a 3 stop strat was the right call but it could have been decided much later in the race giving Webber his best chance at victory. Who knows, if there would have been a safety care it would have been Webber’s race! The team showed their outright desire for Vet to win by pitting Webber so early. I’m just surprised Mark didn’t have more to say about it post-race.

      • TheBass (@) said on 15th October 2013, 15:46

        @f1-dreamer

        o in the end I have to concede that putting Webber on a 3 stop strat was the right call but it could have been decided much later in the race giving Webber his best chance at victory.

        Deciding it later would have made the whole strategy entirely pointless, and that would have destroyed Webber’s race.

        The way it was done Webber was able to puch more than Grosjean and Vettel for most of the race. If they had decided later, Webber would have had to save tyres more, drive slower, lose time.

  15. Mxedmessages said on 15th October 2013, 1:31

    Have to concur that RBR fixed the outcome to favor a win by Vettel – first tip off was while Webber led a team commo told Vettel to mind his rubber since Mark would be on his heels at the end – RBR was determined on a Vettel win at all costs, in this case sending Webber to the pits when it was clear he might win – a sad day for F1 racing…everyone knows Vettel will clinch teh championship – it was unnecessary to ditch Webber (again).

    • TheBass (@) said on 15th October 2013, 15:49

      when it was clear he might win

      No idea where you got this from. If he had that much trouble passing Grosjean being 2s/lap faster, on faster and newer tyres, I have no idea what makes it clear he would have with slower, older tyres, having to save them for half a race.

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