Webber still has doubts over Japanese GP strategy

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2013Mark Webber remains unsure that his mid-race switch to a three-stop strategy in the Japanese Grand Prix was the right decision.

Red Bull split their drivers’ strategies at Suzuka after both fell behind Romain Grosjean at the start. Webber finished second after passing Grosjean in the final stint.

But Sebastian Vettel, who stayed on a two-stop strategy, moved ahead of his team mate in the pits and also passed the Lotus to claim victory.

Speaking at the press conference for the Indian Grand Prix Webber said he hadn’t looked into why his strategy was changed.

“I haven’t gone over any data from the last race whatsoever,” he said. “I still stand by what I said at the time that I was a bit surprised that we elected to do that.”

“Having to three-stop you’ve got to pass three cars to win the race against that of maybe sticking to a two where you’re just focused on trying to beat Romain.”

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98 comments on Webber still has doubts over Japanese GP strategy

  1. Loup Garou (@loup-garou) said on 24th October 2013, 19:50

    (@vettel1) said on 24th October 2013, 18:22
    How I saw it, Vettel clearly planned his move before the chicane, leading Grosjean to take a compromised line into it and allowing Vettel to out-traction him. Webber couldn’t (or didn’t) pull the same stunt.

    Exactly. Vettel threw Grosjean off balance before they got on to the straight and was ready to pounce when they did. Webber repeatedly left it too late.

  2. Ron Mon (@henslayer) said on 24th October 2013, 21:52

    The team knew that they could put Finger Boy on top by three-stopping Webber. That’s what they did. Is anyone really surprised?

    • TheBass (@) said on 24th October 2013, 22:09

      @henslayer Even if the team did it on purpose, he had a fairly decent chance to get the vicory if he had passed Grosjean as quickly as Vettel did.

      Which he didn’t. So at the end of the day, it was his fault and his only.

    • You don’t understand strategy, do you @henslayer?

      There was an unusually large gap to P4, so a three stopping driver would not be caught in traffic as per usual. So naturally the team split the strategies, meaning Lotus were pressured into committing to one decision instead of having their options open.

      That leaves the question: who two stops and who three? Well since Webber couldn’t maintain his tyres as well as Vettel, obviously Vettel will two stop.

      It’s then down to the drivers to maximise their result: Vettel did, Webber didn’t. It’s as simple as that.

      The strategy was designed to allow the team to achieve a 1-2 result and they did. Frankly, they don’t care in what order it is, as Malaysia showed. It’s not like Vettel desperately needed the 7 points anyway.

  3. Being paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you, they say.

    I say it’s never nice to play the victim, even if you are.

  4. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 25th October 2013, 0:55

    Let’s get some hits out of a nothing statement and make an argument out of it. Webber states that he hasn’t look over the data, he doesn’t care, but someone has to keep ruffling the feathers.

  5. Girts (@girts) said on 25th October 2013, 8:05

    I haven’t gone over any data from the last race whatsoever

    Whaaaat? Isn’t that something that every driver does after every race? I believe that debriefs where drivers and engineers discuss their performance & strategy are an integral part of a race weekend.

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