Switching teams wouldn’t win over doubters – Vettel

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2013In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel doubts moving to another team would convince more people of his place amount F1’s greats.


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

Sebastian Vettel dismisses need to leave Red Bull to prove F1 greatness (The Mirror)

“Even if I go to another team I will still have people who doubt or don’t like who I am and what I do.”

Vettel not satisfied with four titles (BBC)

“I’m ambitious and I want to win, and if there is a chance to win I want to take it.”

Business Unusual (Red Bull)

“His official duties were a press conference and a photo session but really the reason for coming was to say thank you to everybody who’s worked very hard to build the car that’s just won seven races on the bounce. Most people working for the team never go to a race. In fact many of them rarely see daylight (especially at this time of year) because the schedule of delivering new parts and improving the car every single week is flat out vicious. Seb doesn’t get to say hello during the normal course of events.”

Bernie Ecclestone kept Gribkowsky payment secret from F1 board (FT)

“Asked by Philip Marshall QC, for Constantin Medien, why he had not revealed the payments to the F1 board, Mr Ecclestone said: ‘I didn?t need to tell them. I told them I didn?t know anything about the matter…'”

Ecclestone trial: payment was ‘insurance policy’ (The Telegraph)

“‘What I paid [Gribkowsky] was a very small amount, what I call an insurance policy,’ Ecclestone told a hearing at the High Court in London, calling it ‘quite a cheap insurance policy’.”

Pirelli: Nothing wrong with F1 tyres (CNN)

“It was not because of tyres – [Fernando Alonso] wasn’t able to win for a number of reasons. If they didn’t use the tyres properly, it’s not our fault.”

Talking tyres (F1)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “We know that we need to make compounds more mechanically robust, but of course we can?t go to the extreme where there is no grip. It will need a delicate balance.”

Ferrari hails simulator progress (Autosport)

Pat Fry: “Pedro [de la Rosa] has made a great contribution to the efforts we have made in that area and I think things have come on quite a lot.”

Calendar chatter (Crash)

“Few expect the New Jersey event to ever take place, appealing though it is as a concept. Having been scheduled and then dropped for the past two years, it is looking ever less likely that the combination of lack of funding, piles of red tape, and necessary construction work are obstacles that will ever be overcome.”

Old dog, new tricks (Sky)

“In the days of more robust tyres, Webber was a master at maximising the braking grip and he remains slightly faster than Vettel through the high speed bends – a point that Vettel himself acknowledges. But Webber’s all-out aggressive driving style has been punished hard by the more subtle requirements of the Pirellis.”


Comment of the day

Was Adrian Newey’s claim about some teams being “lucky” the tyres suited them at the start of the season a fair point?

I?m inclined to fall in with Newey?s line of thought, I don?t think anyone knows these tyres well enough in advance to rely on anything more than luck for the early success they had. We?ve seen it each year with Pirelli, it takes the majority of teams many months after having tested and raced on them to get them under control. Yet we expect some teams were on top of them when they finalised their designs in December the previous year?

Maldonado?s win in Spain last year sums it up well enough for me, there?s a window of performance with the Pirellis that you can just stumble into and look like a genius for short periods of time, and I know they work hard, but there has to be some luck involved if you just plop straight into that window from the get go. I think that is all Adrian is saying.

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On this day in F1

Ayrton Senna scored his 41st and final grand prix victory 20 years ago today.

It also marked the end of four-times world championship Alain Prost’s F1 career. Prost finished second to Senna and joined him on the podium with team mate Damon Hill in Adelaide.

Here’s the start of the race:


Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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182 comments on Switching teams wouldn’t win over doubters – Vettel

  1. Brian (@bforth) said on 7th November 2013, 3:59

    … if there is a chance to win I want to take it.

    That reminds me a lot of when Senna famously said that as soon as a driver stops looking for a chance to take a win and settles for less, they are no longer a race car driver. Putting in the extra time to understand everything about the car, keeping his personal life under control and never letting his passion for racing diminish: I might not be Vettel’s biggest fan, but he’s certainly earned my respect and earned his place alongside the greats. He’s definitely got the same mentality of Senna and Schumacher.

    Hamilton could certainly stand to learn a thing or two from him.

    • He’s definitely got the same mentality of Senna and Schumacher.

      With one key difference, he does not have their extreme ruthlessness, their win-at-all-cost mentality that is not worthy a true champion. F1 is a sport, not a war, and Vettel – admittedly selfish as any champion – never crossed the line. While definitely more boring than Senna, as a driver-person I rank him higher than the two S’s.

  2. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 7th November 2013, 4:29

    No one ever suggested that Jim Clark needed to move from Lotus to prove his greatness. Vettel has already driven for 3 teams and won races for 2 of them, though the 2 he won races for are in the same group which is probably why people gripe about this issue.

  3. Sumedh said on 7th November 2013, 4:55

    Have to agree with Vettel.

    Even if he moves to another team without Newey and wins a championship, the naysayers will find other reasons to discredit him. Few things that the naysayers will say are: “His team is receiving assistance from FIA”, “they have the biggest budget”, “he should have got a penalty for this particular incident, else he would not have won the championship”, “he has number 1 status in his team”.

    Vettel has been in the sport for 6 years now. Firm opinions have been formed about him already. People who like him will continue to do so. People who don’t like him will continue to do so. So no point trying to please the naysayers.

    • How do you know? Do you have direct telepathic insight into the minds of all Vettel Naysayers?


      • Sumedh said on 7th November 2013, 5:37

        How do you know? Do you have direct telepathic insight into the minds of all Vettel Naysayers?

        I have seen how reasons have been invented to discredit Alonso, Schumacher and other drivers. Hell, I myself don’t rate Hamilton highly and I can easily invent reasons to discredit him even when he is the best driver in a season (2007,2008,2010). Now, that is not the right thing to do. But doubters do that anyways.

        So, even if Vettel moves to a different team, his doubters will still find some reason to still say that he is not a great.

        Drivers who have been in F1 for a significantly long period tend to have calcified opinions formed about them. These opinions do not change a lot. Take for example: Michael Schumacher, even though he won 5 consecutive championships from 2000 to 2004, for most Formula 1 fans, the 2 race-ending crashes of 1994 and 1997 define who Michael is.

        Same is true for Vettel. He has been in the sport for 6 whole years. Opinions about him will change only slightly.

  4. kpcart said on 7th November 2013, 5:11

    the thing is, of the doubters a lot are haters, so vettel is correct, he will join another team, and if he dominates, they will say its only the car again, and belittle his great ability. if he doesn’t dominate they will just claim they were correct. he doesn’t owe it to doubters to switch teams, he is having the time of his life, why should he bow to the insecure?

  5. Mads (@mads) said on 7th November 2013, 6:16

    I agree with Vettel. Before, he had to prove he could overtake, then he does that. Now a lot of people have suddenly found out that Vettel is less of a champion because he doesn’t meet a requirement, no other driver on the grid does. But it’s Vettel. A four time world champion, he has something to prove…..
    And really, who cares. He is not going to move team just to satisfy a bunch of people, who probably wont like him anyway.
    All dominant drivers have a fair share of detractors among the crowd. There is nothing to do about it.

    • iAltair (@ialtair) said on 7th November 2013, 11:08

      Won the 2010 WDC with 4 other previous World Champions.
      Won the 2011 WDC with 4 other previous World Champions.
      Won the 2012 WDC with 5 other previous World Champions.
      Won the 2011 WDC with 4 other previous World Champions.

      And he do this 4 times in a row.

  6. Hamish said on 7th November 2013, 6:22

    Is it just me or is Bernie royally screwed?

  7. graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 7th November 2013, 6:49

    As a British tax payer, I’m increasingly annoyed that HMRC have not been taking up a case against Ecclestone and his Bambino Trust.

    He has admitted now several times that he paid a huge bribe to this banker because he felt ‘threatened’ that his tax arrangements would be revealed and that he could be liable to pay out a huge amount in unpaid tax (I’ve seen £2 billion being mentioned).

    If this isn’t an admission of tax evasion I don’t know what is – he owes the UK a huge amount of money, and our government has done nothing.

    As an F1 fan I’m equally appalled – why is this guy still anywhere near involved in a high profile global sport? What he has done over the past decade is the very definition of “bringing the sport into disrepute”, but he is still to swan around the paddock each and every race despite being knee deep in legal troubles around the world and openly admitting that he manipulated extremely important business decisions to defend his personal circumstances and wealth. This wouldn’t tolerated in any other business, and certainly in no other sport.

    Bernie Ecclestone is the rotten core of Formula 1, and someone must step in and say ‘enough is enough’ before his poor judgement damages our sport further.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th November 2013, 7:20

      I fully agree. In the past eight years, the sport has rapidly expanded at a rate of one race per season to the point where the championship is bigger and stronger than ever. Viewing figures at an all time high, and … wait, I forget; what was your point?

      • graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 7th November 2013, 17:35

        I’m speaking from a moral standpoint here, although I don’t think Formula 1 is in as healthy state as you seem to imply. Bernie has built a house of cards – God forbid if he dropped dead tomorrow, because I’m pretty sure the whole thing would fall apart.

  8. Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 7th November 2013, 6:55

    Personally, I think switching teams is just one of the last ways people have of beating him over the head with a stick and saying “he isn’t great”. He went to BMW and people said he’s too young he needs to prove himself, he went and won in a STR and people said he needs to prove himself when things don’t go his way, he went to RBR and after his win at China everyone said he needs to prove he can win in the dry, he won in the dry and during 2010 everyone said he needed to prove he could stop crashing and win a championship, he’s now won 4 championships and people are saying he has to move teams to prove he’s really that good. Fangio moved teams loads and yet to this day he gets stick for the idea that he just jumped into fast cars rather than building up a team around him.

    I’m not the greatest Seb fan but I don’t really care if he moves teams. I want to see him get challenged and have a car equal to the others – although I must say when the RBR wasn’t exactly its usual monster self early in the season he was still pretty flawless albeit completely detestable at Malaysia but there you go. Sometimes I want to see drivers move but it’s mostly as I think they can look a bit trapped and stale if they stay at a team too long – like Lewis for example- but Seb seems perfectly content at Red Bull and that’s good to see. I like it when there’s good chemistry between a team and driver so I’d much rather he got someone to really push him or everyone else started building better cars.

  9. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 7th November 2013, 7:37

    When Hamilton left Mclaren last year, alot of people, including high-profile former world champions (J.Steward and others) doubted his move, and said it was too risky and he should have stayed at Mclaren. Another point of critisim Hamilton oftenly gets is about his social life, his superstar lifestyle, and the lack of friends and famility who support him at races (the reason for his 2011 season).
    Now think about it, Vettel does what Hamilton doesn’t. He stays with a team that’s been #1 for the last 4 years. He has alot of people close to him inside the team, who support him. That includes Newey, Horner, dr Marko, Rocky and besides his mom and dad visit form time to time. Now this is the perfect working environment for any driver. And what do we all want, have him move to another team? Sure, I can see why some people wish to see that. But from Vettels perspective I imagine it’s an easy choise, and he should stay right where he is. Like he rightfully said in a interview yesterday, it’s more important to be happy where you are than to please the people who don’t support you in the first place.

  10. magon4 (@magon4) said on 7th November 2013, 8:24

    Try to put yourself into a racing drivers shoes. He wins and wins, and people react by questioning how great he might be compared to other drivers and eras, usually right after dominant races.
    To be honest, I don’t think Vettel thinks that way at all. Of course he wants to be considered a great some day, but he will not react to the reports and debates by saying “you are all right, I’ll move to prove my worth for you”. It just doesn’t fit into his “I love racing with a great car, I love winning, I focus on the next race”.
    This might change in the future, but right now Seb doesn’t seem very worried about this kind of dicussion or debate, maybe just slightly annoyed.
    Having said that, I would love to see him drive another car sometime, just for the fun of it. And maybe for ME to prove to others how good he is.
    But I doubt he will ever see it that way. For him, a move will always be to try to have the best package, to drive a great car and to win races. That’s just who he is.

  11. If Vettel was to go to another team, they would have to use most of their budget just to seal the contract, then there are all the other expences that come with running a team and I don’t think that Vettel is one of these stupid ‘pay drivers’ and not for one second I don’t doubt his talent, he’s magnificent at what he does and the 4 straight WCC are a reward for having the best car, best team and the best car designer in the business (this being Adrian Newey) but it gets a little sus when Vettel is winning by almost a minute sometimes and it also gets a little boring because once Vettel qualifies any highter than fourth, you know he is almost bound to win, the only time he hasn’t won was at Silverstone, but it would be nice to see a change for once

  12. Barney said on 7th November 2013, 8:30

    What you guys do NOT WANT to understand is that Vettel is done with that part of his career! What driver on this Earth would want to go to a WORSE TEAM??? Tell me! Nobody! And for what? To prove some “critics” who doubt you? It would be utterly stupid. He should make a change when he feels he wants something else, personally I would love to see him in a Ferrari.

  13. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 7th November 2013, 9:16

    I agree Fernando, your recent struggles have been with tyres in terms of preservation, management and warm-up, but it does derive from the balance that the tyre change created.

    I shall make something quite plain; Alonso does not legitimately come home 13th when the car balance is not to his liking. He is not a “balance driver”, such as Button, Hamilton and Vettel, of whose performance almost depend on the ability to find a decent balance in the car. In the races, when the load on the tyre is not as great, and when he is not asking the maximum from the aerodynamics, Alonso’s versatile driving style can accommodate with any waywardness in the car balance. However in qualifying, especially when there is oversteer in the car, Alonso is prone to struggle.

    Alonso’s driving style asks a lot of the rear end in qualifying. By dialing understeer into the car as his preferred qualifying balance, Alonso puts a lot of lateral load on the front end mid-corner, whilst relying on the rear to maintain adhesion as he prefers not to slide the rear to turn the car like Hamilton and Vettel do, and instead keeps the car neutral on the apex before getting a clean exit once the rear load has lessened so not to spin up the rear tyres. It is not difficult to spot how an oversteery car could be problematic with technique.

    OK, he could adopt Hamilton’s qualifying approach, which would be to purpose dial oversteer in the car, brake as late as possible, and use the passive “lift-off oversteer” coupled with an aggressive turn-in to turn the car mid-corner, before nailing the throttle as early as possible. This is something of a “classical” qualifying approach, but it does make Hamilton very hard on his rear tyres, and if Alonso can find a way of finding the qualifying balance he prefers without having to resort to an approach that will damage the tyres, then why should he change his driving style?

    Common misconception: Alonso is a “bad qualifier”. He’s not anything like a bad qualifier, it is just not his greatest strength. He just has something of specific driving style in qualifying and therefore requires a specific balance, not unlike Vettel. When Ferrari have been capable of pole (and the last time I think that was the case was Italy 2010) Alonso has delivered it, and even when they haven’t, such as Singapore ’10, Alonso has still delivered. On that basis, and following on from the other factors I’ve mentioned, to call Alonso a “bad qualifier” is an uninformed reactionary response to his current form.

    • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 7th November 2013, 9:50

      Having to go back 4 years to make an argument about current form, does not make a very strong argument.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 7th November 2013, 10:27

        @mnmracer – Well, can you please be so helpful as to enlighten us with occasions since that Ferrari have capable of pole on pure pace, i.e. excluding the wet poles Alonso scored in 2012. Oh, right…there isn’t any. And anyway, it’s not an argument about current form, it’s a broader statement dispelling misguided assumption regarding Alonso’s qualifying abilities.

  14. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th November 2013, 10:05

    Vettel is both right and wrong.

    Switching teams won’t win over his doubters. What will win over his doubtersis switching teams and demonstrating that he can be just as successful there as he has been at Red Bull. I am convinced that this is why people don’t particularly like him: rightly or wrongly, there is a perception that his success has had more to do with his place in the team than with natural talent. And that is something he needs to address. This is something Red Bull and Vettel have failed to address for some time – the idea that perception shapes reality. It’s not an isolated pocket of people who don’t respect them. It’s happening en masse. And I’m dumbfounded that they are resisting addressing it.

    Perhaps the reason for this discrepancy is that they are dealing in numbers when the fans are dealing in emotions. They see the number of race wins they get and titles they have to their name, and they point to it as a measure of success. And it is. But it’s a cold, logical and ultimately dispassionate way of looking at the world. On the other hand, the fans are processing emotions that rise up and boil over during the race, and that these emotions shape things in way that Rae numbers don’t and cannot account for.

    I feel this point is best illustrated with Daniil Kvyat. He is obviously talented, placing in every major championship he contested. He is the GP3 Series champion, and was able to juggle his GP3 campaign with a European Formula 3 programme, and was able to switch between the two with equal ease and success. He has also demonstrated a marked improvement in his results this year, and the trajectory implies that he could certainly make it to Formula 1 later if not sooner. All those numbers are the things Red Bull like, the things they use to measure success. But when Kvyat was announced as Vergne’s partner, it triggered a massive backlash because he isn’t Antonio Felix da Costa. People did not consider Kvyat’s talent; they immediately assumed that he got the drive because of his money and/or his nationality. It’s an unfairness to Kvyat, but understandable: da Costa is a popular, exciting driver who has been racing cars at a higher than Kvyat. And Kvyat isn’t the only driver who takes criticism like this – Sergey Sirotkin is in the same boat, with people assuming money and nationality landed him a seat at the team. Never mind that he spent most of the year racing da Costa wheel-to-wheel before mechanical retirements robbed him of strong results; perception once again shaped reality.

    It strikes me as odd that Red Bull actively resist managing their image like this, and weirder still given that they have one of the slickest public relations departments in the sport. Offsetting the damage some of their strategy calls have done won’t make them slower. It won’t make them less professional. It won’t do them any harm in any way, so why do they reject it outright? At this point, Caterham and Marussia have more personality than they do.

    After all, we keep hearing about how funny and smart and humble Vettel is, but the team seem to be going out of their way to block it out. And then they wonder why people don’t respect them.

  15. V. Chris (@vasschu) said on 7th November 2013, 10:30

    Correct me if i am wrong, but Michal Schumacher never won a race without Ross Brawn in his team, right? At least thats what i remember, but thats more than 20 years now… i am not so sure.

    Anyway – so all this talk “Newey is god, Seb must run away from him to prove himself” is kind of BS. Vettel did exceptional well every season he had in F1 so far, with different cars, different teams, different regulations, different challenges. If you still think that he has no skill and it’s all about the car – yeah, wining in another team will never prove you anything more than what we already have. If he goes to another team with fast car? Then what – Vettel can win only with fast car?

    But there are improvements. Two years ago everyone was “Vettel can’t overtake, he can only win from pole”, i can hardly read this anywhere now. People are starting to see what Vettel is capable of and recognition is slowly coming to him. For 26 years old, who never drove for the one of the f1 icons (Ferrari, Williams, McLaren), but it’s constantly beating them (making angry 80% of the fan base) it’s not that bad.

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