Vettel: “We don’t have to prove anything”

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Fernando Alonso, Guillaume Rocquelin, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2013In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel denies his reputation would be enhanced by having a stronger driver in the second car at Red Bull.

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Sebastian Vettel?s 2013 Season Review (F1)

“I think at the end of the day we don?t have to prove anything. We?ve proven enough. We have had four fantastic years – and where were all the others in those four years? Nothing happens without a reason. Of course you need the right package – and we had that strong package – but I remember we also had a strong package in 2009 and finished second in the championship. Think of last year: the championship was not decided when I was sent to the back of the grid in Abu Dhabi and had to fight my way back. Then we had a nightmare of a race in Brazil: the car was damaged and I was last after the first lap and managed to come back. So we had our share of misfortune on many occasions and it was down to the others to seize their chances in such moments.”

Todt attacks Ward over campaign (ESPN)

“I deeply regret that in the course of these last few weeks we have had unfounded insinuations cast on the FIA’s governance, the transparency of its accounts, and the integrity of its members. Worse, the Press was used repeatedly to spread these false claims, where they only harm the image of our FIA family. Faced with this irresponsible attack, we took a decision not to engage in a public fight with the media which would have only been destructive for our organisation.”

Maldonado: 2013 my strongest year (Autosport)

“Thinking about the results and thinking about what I experienced in F1 for the past three years, I think this is my best year, even though the results are not there.”

Lotus: We can tame Maldonado (Sky)

Eric Boullier: “I think we just need to make sure he can keep his focus – actually similar issues we had with Romain last year – keep his focus on track.”

Hamilton 'withdrew' gift offer of $4m to father (The Telegraph)

“At the start of 2010, around the time [Lewis Hamilton and Anthony Hamilton] split in what later turned out to be hugely acrimonious fashion, the McLaren star suddenly offered to give his father ‘between $3-4million’.”

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Comment of the day

@PeteBaldwin is looking forward to seeing what Kevin Magnussen can achieve at McLaren:

Magnussen is seriously quick. If you look at his past record in championships, he has been there or thereabouts every year. In the last five years, his finishing positions across various championships are hugely impressive he?s won two of them, come second twice and third once. The only time he?s struggled was his first year in Forumla Renault 3.5 where he came seventh. The following, he won the championship!

Whether he is as fast as Hamilton ?ǣ who knows? One thing is for certain though, in a time where money tends to overshadow talent, McLaren deserve a lot of credit for giving someone like Magnussen a chance.
@PeteBaldwin

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59 comments on Vettel: “We don’t have to prove anything”

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 7th December 2013, 0:16

    Those Seb’s words are, as it’s said in my country, to put a bandage before you have a wound.
    Maybe Red Bull is not strong next year, but he says: “Nobody can take the 4 WDC away from me and my team.”

  2. neeyo (@neeyo) said on 7th December 2013, 1:42

    Can anyone explain to me (or point me to a site that can) exactly what changes for 2014 are “massive?” From the mock ups I’ve seen, the cars look identical except for the droopy noses, yet everyone is making such a fuss about these aero changes. When you compare the 2009 cars to 2008, the differences were numerous and visible. To my eye, the 2014 cars don’t look that different at all. Apart from the new engine, what exactly is all the fuss about?

    • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 7th December 2013, 2:00

      @neeyo. Basically the change in engine affects every part of the car. This is the first time in 25 years that turbos are allowed and an additional 160hp is available through the ERS for 33 seconds a lap. This means team must build a competitive engine which must also be extremely fuel efficient due to a new fuel restriction. The exhaust or exhausts are to be centrally mounted which with the banning of the beam wing completely changes the rear of the car where teams previously gained downforce by expelling exhaust gases to the floor. The DRS changes by allowing a slightly larger window and the mainplane of the wing is to be 20mm higher making it shallower. The front wing is also to be made smaller. These changes fundamentally change the aero package.

      If we consider the top 3 teams in the second half of 2008 performed considerably poorer in 2009 and with Ferrari clearly bailing out of this championship early to avoid a repeat, the order could change sightly. I think Red Bull will still be on top but Mercedes are confident and Ferrari have always built great engines after rule changes. Adrian Newey also admits his admiration for the Sauber team as well so the new season will certainly shake things up a little.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th December 2013, 3:09

      @neeyo, aerodynamics are very sensitive, a small change in the radius of a curve can cause a detached flow resulting in turbulence which increases drag and more importantly affects all of the aerodynamics behind it. As you observe all the cars look the same but those un-noticeable differences make RBRs invincible while mighty Williams languish down the back-end, as @rbalonso points out there are other huge changes that the casual observer could easily miss.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 7th December 2013, 3:54

      Whilst the cars may not look drastically different aesthetically most of the changes are ‘beneath the skin’.

    • @neeyo

      Dear good sir,

      this video by ted kravitz might give a better picture

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYJXR1TgpSg

    • They aren’t that different. As pointed out, the reason they are considered “Massive” is because of all the engine regulations.

      The aero changes are moderate, but by the end of the year, I’d expect the teams to have clawed back most of the lost downforce.

      • What most of you are failing to realize is you can no longer use exhaust gas to blow back under the car, creating a huge amount of rear end down force. Which, along with the engine mapping, was red bulls main advantage. That’s why everyone is saying they won’t be as strong next year.

  3. Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 7th December 2013, 2:45

    How many times is he gonna say that? His saying that so many times is confirmation that he has something still to prove – to himself, if not the world.

    • Jon (@jons) said on 7th December 2013, 8:39

      Interesting, because the guy on your avatar likes to say the exact same thing when he feels he’s going to lose against Seb.

    • Diego (@ironcito) said on 7th December 2013, 9:01

      As many times as he’s asked. They ask him about the booing, about people saying that he wins only because he has the best car, about not having a top driver as a team mate, etc. So he basically answers “whatever, I think I’ve proven myself with 4 WDCs”. And I agree with him.

      • Robbie said on 7th December 2013, 17:21

        While I agree that SV has nothing to prove, I think there is a strong percentage of fans that simply like to see their Champions have a harder go of it as they take their path to the title. It’s not strictly about numbers, it’s about how the numbers were achieved.

        Eg. Gilles Villeneuve is considered a legend, among the Greats by many people’s account, yet never won a WDC. He didn’t know how to NOT go 10/10ths be it in practice, quali, or the race, and he captured people’s hearts for that. I think he would have struggled this day and age with being a passenger there to monitored tires and occasionally being given the go ahead to push.

        I don’t think there is a right answer but instead it is up to the individual to decide who is worthy of greatness, or has proven himself, or what have you. Personally I think SV has proven himself, but I so far don’t consider him among the Greats. Especially not when drivers have gadgets like DRS at their disposal. And back in the day there was far more danger playing on the drivers’s minds that simply isn’t there now. Of course I’m not saying they should make racing more dangerous, but we just need to acknowledge that this is a different time and so the equation that makes up Greatness has changed, imho.

        • Diego (@ironcito) said on 7th December 2013, 18:22

          Well, yes, it ultimately comes down to an opinion. If someone believes that Senna and Fangio were mediocre drivers who stumbled upon their WDCs, I can throw stats and facts at them, but in the end it’s an opinion and I cannot prove them wrong.

  4. He is the only driver to win 4 consecutive WDCs racing against at least 4 world champions in each season.

    • Fsoud (@udm7) said on 7th December 2013, 8:59

      ….In slower cars.
      I find it rather amusing you saying this, since there are barely any other drivers with 4 championships.
      Nothing to be taken away from Seb, though.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 7th December 2013, 9:03

        “Slower” but still frontrunning cars (except Button in 2013, and Schumacher 2010-12).

        Still, that stat is a little like saying “youngest quadruple champion”. There’s little point in saying “youngest” anymore, like we should call Michael the “youngest 7 time champion”!

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th December 2013, 13:49

        “slower cars” In 2012 the Mclaren was clearly faster, but the team failed to capitalize on it. This year the Mercedes was faster in the first 7 races. Apart from that, that is exactly what Vettel himself says, that they got the package (chassis, engine, setup, teamwork, strategy, drivers) together the best of all @udm7, that is the way you win championships.

  5. Lotus49 (@lotus49) said on 7th December 2013, 9:26

    “I deeply regret that in the course of these last few weeks we have had unfounded insinuations cast on the FIA’s governance, the transparency of its accounts, and the integrity of its members. Worse, the Press was used repeatedly to spread these false claims, where they only harm the image of our FIA family.</blockquot

    You said it 'Don' Todt.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th December 2013, 13:51

      Pretty big words coming from a man rubber stamped back in office because no other candidate was able to do all the paperwork/nominees required due to how its set up, isn’t it @lotus49

      • Robbie said on 7th December 2013, 17:30

        I’m not up to speed on the insinuations over the last few weeks that Todt implies, but I consider his defensiveness a bit rich given situations such as Ferrari’s extra weight in F1, botched tires and the handling of the Pirelli test with Mercedes which had Whiting giving the go ahead to everyone else’s dismay, not to mention the mess BE is in, not to mention from recent years Spygate, Liegate, and Crashgate. Mr. Todt…you have homework to do before you go getting all defensive, and now you have another chance to do just that.

  6. PaulK (@paulk) said on 7th December 2013, 10:16

    For one second there I thought I was sent to the end of 2014 and was reading: “Lotus: We can blame Maldonado”. Damn, I need some sleep.

  7. karter22 (@karter22) said on 7th December 2013, 10:20

    SV`s words can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on who is doing the interpretation. I as a Ferrari/Alonso Fan, interpret it as being “scared”. If he is as good as he is, then facing a “strong” teammate shouldn`t be a problem. Take a look at Ferrari, I have full confidence that Alonso will not lose against Kimi at the end of the season, he might get beaten in some races but he will end up on top and that will put to rest some claims and will speak volumes of how good Fernando really is!!
    BTW, my comment is not taking anything away from SV`s 4 wdc… it´s just a mere opinion/interpretation of that situation and I agree with @omarr-pepper when he says that RBR might not be so strong next season… I have some doubts though but, it´s a clean playing field for everyone this season so let the best team win! And yeah… in my country there is a saying similar to what omarr-pepper says and it goes like this: “shoot the dog before it gets rabies”.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 7th December 2013, 16:05

      @karter22 – Well, I hear a rumour that Red Bull has got a fan, so I expect it is just expectation management. The root of Red Bull’s supremacy is aerodynamic efficiency, and in 2014 it is really is going to be all about engines. In other words, a huge percentage of Red Bull’s 2014 is in Renault’s hands, and if you believe the rumours, they are a way behind Mercedes in terms of development, as is Ferrari. The smart money is not on Red Bull. That doesn’t mean they won’t take both championships and win every race, but with a number of factors against them, and to some extent Vettel “the Pirelli whisperer” with such conservative tyres, expectation management is only natural.

      • TMF (@tmf42) said on 7th December 2013, 16:56

        @william-brierty I wouldn’t bet on anyone right now.
        imo, not the strongest engine will win but the most reliable and efficient one and right now it’s just gossip and rumors floating around (e.g.: Ferrari being delayed, Renault having efficiency problems, Merc having reliability issues with the fire in their factory, etc.).
        Also the fuel restriction will but a big emphasis on aero efficiency (same df with less drag) so aerodynamics will still play a huge role next year. And with the increase of torque in the low revs, managing traction will be another crucial factor.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 8th December 2013, 13:21

          @tmf42 – Oh no, you’re getting me all wrong. I’m not “betting” on anyone, I just am picking up on the very few facts we do know…

          1) Mercedes started chassis development in June 2012, whilst Red Bull and Ferrari, who were locked into a battle for the championship in 2012, didn’t start until the 2012/3 winter.
          2) A large percentage of Vettel’s advantage comes from his management of the Pirellis. With conservative tyres he won’t have that advantage, and drivers like Hamilton will be able to push for longer.
          3) Red Bull’s advantage derives from the efficiency of its blown diffuser, an advantage negated in 2014, and teams, like Mercedes, who spent 2013 trying to find performance from other areas on the car, may find themselves several steps ahead.
          4) Both Mercedes and Ferrari will be able to integrate their engine with their chassis more efficiently than Red Bull, who are to all intents and purposes a “customer team”.
          5) Mercedes reportedly have a technical budget vastly exceeding that of its rivals, although this cannot be verified.

          It is factors like these that are unquestionably the roots of McLaren’s recent claims that Mercedes are the favourites, and for McLaren, a team that tends to gravitate towards the front of the pack, admitting that a rival team are the favourites for the next season and not themselves really is saying something.

          • TMF (@tmf42) said on 8th December 2013, 14:24

            @william-brierty – you make a few good arguments, but still it’s just rumors with no possibility to verify, so I don’t think it would merit declaring Mercedes the favorites or any other team for that matter.
            Considering the life cycle of major revisions in F1 and the development curve being much steeper than in the previous seasons – even the tests won’t reveal any favorites.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 8th December 2013, 14:52

            @tmf42 – Well, there can and will be favourites, but whether they will go on to win the championship is another matter entirely. Alonso was the favourite for the title on the F1 Fanatic 2013 poll, and three races in that looked quite a good bet, but we all know how that panned out. Educated estimations based on the few concrete facts we know certainly don’t deserve to stamped with the red mark of invalidity. The clever money is not with Red Bull in 2014, and although Ferrari look excellent in terms of personnel, they simply don’t have the technical momentum of a team like Mercedes.

      • karter22 (@karter22) said on 8th December 2013, 9:47

        @william-brierty
        Please do shed a bit more light on the subject. What rumours and what fan are you talking about??
        I agree that engines will be a deciding factor and I know everybody is putting MERC down for WCC because of their engines but… Ferrari has been known to create some good turbo engines. Everybody is knocking on Ferrari but this engine stir might just be what Ferrari needs. Reliability has been a key in Ferrari and the v8s so I don´t see how they can come up short in the reliability department!
        Aero, yes, it´ll still play a big role but there are so many other factors involved, it´ll definitely be a driver´s championship! The best hands will decide this I think.

        @tmf42
        Agreed on the increase of torque and traction managing! It´ll be interesting to say the least!! It´ll definitely showcase who is who in F1!! I just hope a certaing team doesn´t carry over their alleged traction control/engine mapping over to the next season.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 8th December 2013, 13:05

          @karter22 – In terms of 2014, it is, as you so rightly say, not just about engines. And although we know very little at this point, we do know that 2014 development started at Mercedes in June 2012, whereas 2014 development for Red Bull and Ferrari, who were locked in a season long battle for the championship, didn’t start until the 2012/3 winter. Now of course, that extra development time may be no benefit to Mercedes if the package they’ve come up with isn’t a match for Red Bull and Ferrari, but in F1 all development is good development, so ironically a poor second half of 2012 may have handed them a sizable advantage for 2014.

          In terms of Ferrari, they unquestionably have a rich history of engines, but this is new technology, and no amount of history or prestige is going to help a technical team rather lacking in momentum if there are judged on previous cars. Or at least it used to be. With James Aliison, Dirk de Beer and the Kimster all poached from Lotus, you’d be illogical to say that on paper Ferrari aren’t anything less than the favourites. However, when then have to factor in rumour. The rumours say that Mercedes, both the engine manufacturer and the team, have thrown the checkbook at 2014 development, and have a technical budget far exceeding those of its rivals. Also that extra development time has paid off if you keep your ear to the ground in the paddock. And whilst Ferrari’s technical momentum is undeniably receding, if you look at the step up between the W03 and the W04, you’d have to say that the opposite is the case for Mercedes.

    • uan (@uan) said on 7th December 2013, 16:26

      @karter22

      I think SV’s can be interpreted to mean answering a questions “What do you say to those who say you need to go up against a fellow champion to really prove yourself?”

      He’s saying he doesn’t have to prove himself. Since you’re an Alonso fan, I’d love to see how FA has proven himself by the same standards? He’s never had a WDC as a teammate, yet folks are happy to call him the best on the grid for the last number of years. The one time he went up with someone who had the potential to be WDC (who was a rookie!), Fernando lost, and threw some toys out of the pram (Hungary 07).

      Fernando made his bones by beating Schumacher twice. Vettel’s made his bones by beating Fernando three times. SV doesn’t have to prove himself, and isn’t scared.

      For the record, I think Fernando is a brilliant driver despite his pseudo samurai act. I don’t think he needs to “prove” himself by having a WDC teammate. Nor does Vettel. The only drivers on the grid that have really gone up against WDCs and come out ahead (and behind) are Lewis Hamilton (and Button) and Felipe Massa. And none of them became world champion while they had a WDC teammate.

      I think at this point, the only people who really need to prove something are fans who constantly need someone they aren’t a fan of to “prove” themselves. No one ever asks a fan to prove that they can accept proof that a sportsman they don’t like is as good as the accomplishments they have.

      • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 7th December 2013, 23:09

        IIRC, the last driver to win a WDC over a WDC teammate was Senna/Prost. In fact, I can’t think of any other champion who won a WDC over a WDC teammate.

      • karter22 (@karter22) said on 8th December 2013, 10:08

        @uan
        Well, technically, in 2007 they ended up even! So he did not lose!
        Lets recap what you said!

        Fernando made his bones by beating Schumacher twice.

        Which I think is awesome considering Michael was a 7 time champ and had the best car! Not bad if you ask me! And to top it off… he did it again in 2006!!!

        Vettel’s made his bones by beating Fernando three times.

        True, very true but, he did so having the best car on the grid by a country mile! Nobody can say that the F150 Italia, the F2012 or the F138 have been contenders!! The 150 was a flop… The 2012 was a dog that got better towards the end but still a dog and the 138 did look promising but after the tyre change, everything went south! The only car that to me looked like a real contender was the F10!! And even with these hideous cars (performance wise) Fernando has managed to take it to the wire twice and has managed to end up sub champ twice as well! In inferior machinery!! So that to me is far better than winning 4 championships, 3 of them “walking” and claiming to be the best. The day Vettel wins a championship in an inferior car… That day, I will worship him, until then, i will stand by my opinion.

        The engine change has given RBR/VET the best excuse not to win this next season and that is why he says what he says! Maybe this season, he might actually have to work it!

        And about the a champ going against a champ stat, well, every streak is meant to be broken! I agree Fernando has nothing to prove by going up against a WDC as a team mate, but it´ll be a feast to watch him go to work on Kimi this next season. He might not beat him in qualy but, I believe he will beat him in the race which is what matters the most!
        Anyways… I just can´t wait to see what the cars will look like or what they will sound like! The 2014 season can´t come soon enough!!

        • and had the best car! Not bad if you ask me! And to top it off… he did it again in 2006!!!

          No, he did not have the best car… not by a long shot. Please do not make things up…

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 9th December 2013, 18:35

          @karter22

          Well, technically, in 2007 they ended up even! So he did not lose!

          Technically, Hamilton is classified as 2nd in 2007, Alonso was 3rd. So he lost.

          Remember Brazil 2008? If the race ended 1 lap earlier, Massa would’ve been champion, on equal points to Hamilton. They wouldn’t have been “even”, and both presented the trophy. LH would have lost.

          True, very true but, he did so having the best car on the grid by a country mile!

          @uan actually should’ve said “four times”. Vettel had the best car in 2010 and 2012, but not by “a country mile” (much like Alonso in 2005-06). In 2012, his car wasn’t as fast as Mclaren (but faster than Ferrari), nor as reliable as Ferrari (but less unreliable than Mclaren). RBR just had the best balance, but that didn’t put them ahead by “miles”. In 2010, RBR were the fastest, but dragged back towards their 2 main competitors (Ferrari/Mclaren), with poor reliability.

    • Anele (@anele-mbethe) said on 7th December 2013, 21:16

      and where exactly did he say facing a strong teammate would be a problem. I’ve long been a Ferrari fan but the way alonso has constantly tried to diminish vettels success is just sad.

  8. Weird nobody has yet commented on the Maldonado article?
    It seems strange to me that he doesn’t regard 2012 higher than 2013:
    – Race win
    – Clearly faster than Senna
    – Showed genuine pace and seemed to outperform the car sometimes.
    His reason for choosing 2013 over 2012 is because he’s had less penalties and good pace.
    But the problems with Maldonado begin when he has to overtake other cars, which he didn’t have to do very often because his car was usually the one being overtaken or just to slow to overtake (as the race progressed and position were more or less fixed).

    He is one of the guys that really has to show me next year that he is capable of battling at the sharper end without crashing into other drivers/walls/… (if Lotus manages to build a decent car of course)

  9. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 7th December 2013, 15:45

    @PeteBaldwin – It is important not exaggerate Magnussen here. We do not have another Lewis Hamilton or Nico Hulkenberg on our hands here, we have someone who is generally “there or thereabouts”, whereas Hamilton and Hulkenberg were the benchmarks. Raw speed is not Magnussen’s greatest strength, and it was that that rather handicapped him against the blistering speed of Frijns and Bianchi in 2012.

    However, even Sebastian Vettel struggled to make the bow waves Hamilton and Hulkenberg made on their way to F1, and speed really isn’t everything in F1. Like Vettel, Magnussen’s is measured, intelligent, consistent and violently efficient over a race weekend, and is that that saw him take the 2013 FR3.5 at a canter. But still, let’s not hyperbolise a not overtly staggering junior career for the sake of Hammo-nostalgic sensationalism. Whilst he is obviously been the best of 2013 junior stars, let us not forget the sheer unadulterated brilliance that Frijns and Da Costa also showed at times in 2012. There is plenty of talent flying around in the junior series at the moment (just not in GP2 apparently), not all of it lies on Magnussen’s shoulders.

    • karter22 (@karter22) said on 8th December 2013, 10:17

      @william-brierty.
      Hear hear!! I agree! The Magnussen situation is just smoke! McLaren will rue the day they let Perez go… 10 bucks says he crashes out in the frist race!!

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 8th December 2013, 11:43

        @karter22 – He’s not bad, he’s very very good, but to compare him to Lewis Hamilton is to announce yourself a fool.

      • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 8th December 2013, 18:11

        I wouldn’t want to do the lad down before he’s started, but I think he’s unlikely to match Perez’s performances vs. Button in 2012. This was Perez’s 3rd season in F1; a rookie can hardly hope to match an experienced performer like Button, particularly with the testing situation for youngsters these days. I see from his junior record that Magnussen is a consistent performer who doesn’t get involved in too many incidents: that’s probably an area in which he can realistically surpass Perez.

  10. Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 8th December 2013, 18:15

    I am sceptical about Boullier’s chances of taming Maldonado. With Grosjean, it never seemed to be malice that was at the root of his collisions – only poor awareness and a mental block. Maldonado seems to get the red mist, impulsive moments. Pretty difficult to deal with in the heat of the moment.

    • Solo (@solo) said on 10th May 2014, 21:21

      Exactly. Grojean never seemed to have a character problem. Maldonado seem to have and lots of his impulsive moves come from that. Character doesn’t change as easy.

  11. Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 8th December 2013, 23:51

    So, Bottas. Is he off to Monaco or Switzerland?

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