Red Bull pleased to have “rattled” Mercedes

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014In the round-up: Red Bull believe Mercedes’ attempted to persuade the FIA to give them a three-race ban shows the championship leaders are worried about the threat they pose.

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Spy Games: China (Red Bull)

“Actually it’s quite reassuring: it means we’re getting close enough to get them rattled and sweating a bit. Back in February that looked pretty unlikely.”

Top Russian Rally Axed Due to Sochi F1 Grand Prix (Ria Novosti)

“The 2014 [Silk Way rally] was scheduled to cross Russia and Kazakhstan over 3,000km and eight days in July, but organizers said they had decided to cancel it to allow the event’s government backers to focus on promoting October’s F1 Grand Prix in Sochi.”

Lotus: Renault gains worth two seconds (Autosport)

Gerard Lopez: “We saw a clear step up from Renault’s side in China. The guys are almost talking about two seconds, which is huge.”

Rosberg expects gap to grow in Spain (ESPN)

“We want to go to Barcelona with the biggest step, that’s our ambition. Barcelona is a chance for us to extend the advantage that we have and that’s the approach that we have going to Barcelona, 100%.”

Horner: Vettel will be back (Sky)

Sebastian Vettel: “There are a lot of things in my head. Formula One got very complex and I think as a driver I think we have lost a lot of features and given a lot to the engineers. So it’s not that easy to understand and stay on top of everything.”

The First Time – with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg (F1)

“What was the first thing you did this morning?
NR: Switched off my alarm because I woke up before it. And the next important thing that I did was weigh myself, as weight is such an important thing in F1 these days.”

Can Haas reverse the tide of history? (MotorSport)

“First of all, Haas’s California-based company Haas Automation is the USA’s largest manufacturer of CNC machine tools so that Haas enjoys tremendous manufacturing and financial resources. Haas founded his business in 1985 and started his NASCAR team in 2002. Seven years later Haas went into partnership with two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart and Stewart went on to win his third NASCAR championship and first with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2011.”

McLaren well off the pace in Shanghai – again (The Telegraph)

“[China is] a vital Grand Prix, but not exactly what you would call charming.”

Tweets

Comment of the day

Nico Hulkenberg is fourth in the drivers’ championship at the moment – is a talent the top teams have overlooked?

I am getting tired of people praising ‘his majesty’ Hulkenberg, it is still too soon to call that he is “mopping the floor” with Perez, and certainly there must be a reason why no top team (the ones with money) have not even approached him (perhaps he is not a driver aggressive enough to win races?).

I am just saying, they know better…
Macrob

From the forum

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On this day in F1

High drama off the track and on it at the San Marino Grand Prix 25 years ago. Gerhard Berger was incredibly fortunate to survive an inferno when his car crashed at Tamburello and caught fire.

After the race restarted the two McLaren drivers fell out over which one of them was supposed to take the lead at the start. Ayrton Senna went on to win from team mate Alain Prost, but it was a major turning point in the deterioration of their relationship.

Berger missed the next round in Monaco while he recovered from his burns, but was back in the cockpit for the following round in Mexico. Here’s what happened to him:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkCLa7q0C6A

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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158 comments on Red Bull pleased to have “rattled” Mercedes

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  1. Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:18

    Wholeheartedly disagree with COTD. Just because the Hulk hasn’t been selected for a top drive yet, doesn’t mean he’s not an excellent driver. Some drivers luck out early in their careers, like Lewis, but often it takes seasons of hard graft before a space opens up at one of the top teams. I mean it took Button, what, the best part of a decade before he got selected for McLaren? Doesn’t mean he’s wasn’t super talented before that.

    Anyways, the way things are looking, Hulkenburg must be thanking his lucky stars he didn’t get signed by any of the ‘top’ teams. Of all the choices he could have made, Force India was probably the best.

    • SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:30

      I agree.
      He hasn’t been good this year, bot for years.
      He was doing an awesome job at Sauber and again at FI.
      And if you followed Nico before he entered F1 you would know he is very very good!

    • BJ (@beejis60) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:03

      I also agree. As well, I’d like to point out,

      and certainly there must be a reason why no top team have not even approeached him.

      It’s well-noted that Ferrari was in contact with him last season.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd April 2014, 14:08

        Indeed, and but for a certain former WDC taking their deal because his current team was not paying him, we would have seen Hulk in that Ferrari this year. Despite him being a bit bigger and therefore heavier than many other drivers.

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:12

      I also also agree.

      And @beejis60 is completely right. He has negotiated, but lost to money or shorter drivers.

    • GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:35

      yeah! teams make mistakes: for example not hiring him, or hiring perez…

    • macrob said on 23rd April 2014, 3:39

      Still, how many podiums for Hulkenberg?… 4 for Perez, nill for Nico…and driving for the same teams… why hasn’t Nico gotten a podium finish yet? Is he missing something? Don’t get me wrong, he is an exceptional driver, still I think he lacks something…

      • f1freek (@f1freek) said on 23rd April 2014, 3:51

        yeah. a top drive

      • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 23rd April 2014, 4:53

        4 podiums for perez in the same car ? Get your facts right !!!

        Nico was not in the sauber when Perez was . Agreed that Perez was more aggressive than hulk in Bahrain but that makes only one . He will get back ..

        I don’t know if you watched Korea 2013 . I don’t think Perez would ever do that !

        He is a very talented and quick driver .Period.

      • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 23rd April 2014, 8:39

        macrob

        Just circumstances. Perez was in a pretty competitive Sauber in a year when results were all over the place with teams struggling to understand the tyres. The Sauber Hulkenberg was in was nowhere near as fast, although was decent by the end of the year (notably only in his hands).

        I think Hulk has a decent chance of scoring a podium this year, but if not that doesn’t mean he’s missing something. It would be a concern for him if he is regularly outscored by Perez but so far that doesn’t seem to be the trend and with one exception, he has had the measure of his teammate.

      • Jason (@jason12) said on 23rd April 2014, 14:07

        @macrob
        +1
        Top teams won’t even mention his name.
        They instead preferred to gamble with the likes of Magnussen, etc……

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 23rd April 2014, 7:01

      @kibblesworth +1

      There are a couple of overrated drivers out there but Hulk, IMHO, is not one of them.

      Actually, if I was LdM I’d pick Hulk over Kimi…

    • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 23rd April 2014, 10:40

      It’s just circumstances. If you look at the car you get on your debut, it’s often about which team signed you when you were in junior series. Results wise, there is no real reason Hamilton’s junior record would command a race-winning car on his F1 debut and Hulkenberg’s wouldn’t (nor Robin Frijns, who is in a worse situation). It’s down to luck and timing as well as talent.

      I bet Hulkenberg is very glad he isn’t in a Sauber or a Lotus right now.

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 23rd April 2014, 14:06

      Also, people saying Perez has 4 podiums and Hulkenberg 0 are missing the point.

      I’d like to compare the number of top 4 finishes between the Hulk and Perez, pretty sure Hulkenberg has a damn good record.

      • macrob said on 23rd April 2014, 22:23

        In F1, Nico has only 2 top 4 finishes (since 2010) and Perez has 4 (since 2011, and all of them podiums)…yeah, a darn great record…………….regards!

      • mike-e (@mike-e) said on 24th April 2014, 2:53

        Hulkenburg has a pole position, how many does perez have?

        Imho they are both great drivers, I think the hulk in a straight fight comes out on top.

        Hulk almost would have won the brazilian gp in a force india but for a small error on a damp track, which had huge consequences in comparison to the size of the mistake itself.

        He’s got what it takes, he just needs the wagon to get him there.

    • Wesley (@wesley) said on 23rd April 2014, 22:41

      Looks like Keith’s choice of COD was a good call to stir up conversation.I disagree with it as well.All I know is if Fernando Alonso claims that Hulkenberg is one of the best on the grid then I won’t argue.I believe he has a good insight being on the track with him.

    • I’ve questioned myself as the COTD fellow did. I think Hulk runs the risk of settling mentally to having an handicap. I fear he will soon but I hope not, Hulk certainly has loads of talent mixed with loads of deterrents. He’s poor, tall, and peaceful, he doesn’t rave himself on the press or play pity which is also a deterrent in his career because whilst he is right to be a top man, good people end up getting left on the side of the road.

  2. Nick (@npf1) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:20

    Don’t really agree with COTD. It is too early to say how he’s holding up against Perez (not exactly unpraised himself, although that was back in 2012), but there have been plenty of drivers over the years who found themselves outside of top teams for a variety of reasons. There’s drivers like Alesi who always managed to be at the wrong team at the wrong time, drivers like Frentzen, who nearly won the WDC in a Jordan, but looked bleak next to Villeneuve in 1997.

    Guys like Fisichella, who left Benetton which hadn’t won a race for 4 seasons for Jordan, which turned sour quickly, spent some seasons at Sauber, until he joined Renault and started doing well again. It’s not as if Renault hired Fisichella because he was the best of the rest; many believed him to be able to fight for the WDC.

    Right now, Ferrari has made a clear call to have 2 experienced guys who are (theoretically) able to win the WDC. Red Bull picked one of their own drivers to join Vettel, clearly a long term move. McLaren seem content with Button and are focusing on Magnussen and Vandoorne greatly. Mercedes have their duo figured out for the long term as well, while Lotus don’t have the resources to hire 2 guys they’d have to pay.

    If anything, Hulkenberg should be wary of not becoming the next Alesi/Trulli/Heidfeld/Fisichella/etc. Any of those guys could have probably done a lot more if they had been picked up by Ferrari, Williams, McLaren or Renault or were with them at other times. It does mean something that Hulkenberg is an ‘if’ guy for McLaren, Lotus and Ferrari as of now, but unlike a lot of other drivers, at least they’re talking to him and Alonso and Raikkonen aren’t going to be around forever.

  3. RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:23

    I certainly rate Hulkenburg as a talent and do wonder if his weight is a main concern to the top teams especially considering the regulation change. After all, it seems his former team have brought a heavy car to start the season.
    If a mandatory driver+seat mass combination was set would he be chosen by the top teams? To my eyes the only real top seats available to him would have been Ferrari and McLaren. Raikkonen being on the move selected one of those seats and McLaren opted to run a driver promotion system which has worked for Vettel and Hamilton in the recent past.
    As for team-mate comparison at this stage in the season we could easily say Alonso has beaten Raikkonen or Hulkenburg is better than Perez. But remember, Nico finished last season with a real flourish and some great drives and returned to a team he had spent years with. Perez on the other hand had been booted out and only just found a drive. Therefore I’d have been disappointed if Nico had found himself level or below him at the start of the year. There is plenty of time for things to change although I personally think Nico will beat him over a season and I suppose this year will define how we view Perez

  4. ztjackson (@ztjackson) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:30

    Yes, Red Bull has Mercedes “rattled and sweating” in much the same way that my local rabbits have the hawks “rattled and sweating.”

    • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:49

      @ztjackson +100, good one!

    • GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:39

      yeah, man! that comment by rb was idiotic at best!

    • TheD4N1EL (@thed4n1el) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:50

      I agree, the only team rattled at the moment is Red Bull

    • Bumfez (@bumfez) said on 23rd April 2014, 2:38

      I’m guessing you’ve never been bitten by a rabbit then? It bloody hurts! :p

      Talking of rattles and Red Bull though, it’s only a matter of time till Vettel throws his out of the pram.

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 23rd April 2014, 5:11

      At this rate christian horner will get a nervous breakdown ;-) ( with his leg shaking in the pit wall )

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd April 2014, 14:06

      I just started reading it, and it reminds me completely of the first post by the Ferrari Horsedungtalker. I guess bad losers start talking like this.

      Mercedes took a pot shot back at RBR for asking the FIA to be tough on them last year. Red Bull put a bone in Danies mouth that they shouldn’t have had in the first place. But at least the second half of that article is turning into normal talk about the team improving because they are not doing as good a job at the guys on top this year.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 24th April 2014, 6:39

        Well summed @bascb Last year SV stole 7 points from MW, they were that crucial, and he that heroic for doing it, to some, yet 18 points from DR is a puppy bone. Probably because, as you said, it shouldn’t have existed anyway, so might as well call it what you will.

        What embarrassing trash from them. I’m surprised they would put such drivel on their site, and to me it shows more desperation than anything. Merc must be rattled because they suggested, once, a 3-race ban akin to BAR in 05, while last year RBR was what then, hugely rattled I guess, for incessantly pushing for more against Merc for the Pirelli test.

        If they didn’t have Merc’s penalty suggestion to fall back on as some sort of reverse ego boost, all they’d be left with is their own admission that they are a long ways away.

        And of course there’s no chance Merc will find anything more. They’ll just stagnate while everyone else catches up.

  5. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:31

    finding it difficult to see exactly how red bull rattled mercedes, hamilton dominated..rosberg recovered from a poor start to beat both red-bulls comfortably, and lets not forget the car closest to the mercedes pairing was a ferrari..

  6. Paul (@frankjaeger) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:36

    In regards to COTD, I too believe that the Hulk, although impressive and deserves a top seat, he does get overly hyped for someone who has never got a podium or really done something truly magical. I believe Perez will hold his own against Hulk but will be edged on finishes.

    I disagree with the notion that ‘if he was really that good, he’d already have a drive in a top team’ Although I do have a lot of faith for the staff working within F1, I wholly believe they make some outrageous decisions sometimes and can overlook suitable drivers.

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 23rd April 2014, 4:59

      @frankjaeger
      And where is Perez in the championship points again ? Did you check ? Hulkenberg will react to what happened in Bahrain and quick ! In fact Red Bull have had considerably better success in China . Hence the Force Indias where nowhere . I guess the car is not so great in the wet .

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 23rd April 2014, 6:04

      I still think Hulk was denied the win at Brazil 2012, as the championship needed to be ‘tightened-up for the show’ and thus there was a debris safety car (a la NASCAR). Hulk was already home and dry ahead of Button. Even then, he still continued to lead and only lost it to a small mistake, pushing to get away from Lewis again, and was re-passing Lewis when backmarkers got in the way (and put them both out when Hulk lost it trying to suddenly turn in tighter). I would call his performance that day as something special, also considering Di Resta was nowhere near him and then spun out to end the race. He also has that pole position from 2010 in a Williams-Cosworth.

      The decisions made that seem crazy usually revolve around money. It has emerged that McLaren took Perez partly for the $5m sponsorship he could bring along with him. Considering their position in 2013, they could have almost ran Chilton with $10m and still ended up in the same position, yet with $5m more cash to pay for the Mercedes engines they suddenly had to start paying for. And it’s not as if Perez is a million miles off Hulkenberg anyway (though he will probably beaten on consistency over the season), so it made perfect sense for them to run Perez. Hulk is the last driver that can scrape his way up with barely any sponsorship… Frijns is trying to do that now and is just about getting his foot in the door, despite 3 championships in a row, on each rung of the junior ladder, from bottom to top.

      • kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 23rd April 2014, 10:21

        To say “back markers got in the way” when Hulk ended Lewis’s race at Brazil 2012 is being disingenuous. It was a silly over ambitious move in the wet that ended a potential race win for Lewis. Button and Lewis had overtaken each other prior, and no incidents happened. I have seen less incidents receive a penalty; and he was lucky not to get one.

        • Jack (@jmc200) said on 23rd April 2014, 11:08

          He got a drive through for it…

          • JKorz said on 23rd April 2014, 14:13

            I remember that race, Nico had done everything to impress up until that silly mistake blew everything and Lewis’s race..
            Still since then he has continued to impress and his evolution is mostly in maturity, the speed was pace was already there..
            Height and weight have become so much more relevant since his arrival on the scene, and lets not forget the weight difference between him and Perez must be significant in laptimes.
            Nico is top driver without doubt, people won’t be debating that after this season, I’m sure he will come out on top.

  7. Toxic (@toxic) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:42

    Agree with COTD. I think that he is very lucky that we are in Pirelli era where very aggressive drivers can’t just go for it because of the tires. That’s what is missing in him for me. He’s not aggressive enough which in today’s F1 helps him getting the results. He is quick no doubts about that but he just got beaten to the first podium for Force India by Perez who is new to the team and have clear problems with the car. For me Hulkenberg is a bit boring, I prefer drivers who really go for it when they have a chance. You can argue that it didn’t always work for his teammate but at least he tried. The only time I remember seeing something exciting from Hulkenberg was Brazil 2012. Having said that I really want to see what can Force India do in Europe. I hope that Perez will be able to sort out his car and finally take a fight to Hulkenberg. Maybe he need it to show us some aggressiveness?

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 23rd April 2014, 6:12

      I’ll admit I am totally confused by this assessment – is it not Perez who is renowned for his tyre saving and non-aggressive driving style? The only time I remember Perez being aggressive was at Bahrain 2013 when Whitmarsh basically told him to be so (and then at Monaco again later in the season).

      Hulk lost out at Bahrain because he was too aggressive. First, he caught and passed Perez, to make up for a rare Q mistake, to be the lead car on the road again. But then, he was mugged while trying to pass Massa, and ran out of tyres at the end of the race. Perez was more strategic if anything and sat back, pinched the lead car position from Hulk and then saw that his tyres would make it to the end – well done I have to say. Hulk will be gutted to miss the podium after having Perez comfortably cornered all year.

      The fact that Hulk is the only driver to regularly give an aggressive defence of position also shows he is going for it. If anything, I think Hulk would be even more impressive in an era where you have to be aggressive and push all the time, like Hamilton in 2007 and 2008.

      • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 23rd April 2014, 7:32

        I do consider Pérez as the most aggressive of the pair (driving wise) but no where near as much as one year ago, I remember he crashed into Kimi in more than one race, like Magnussen does know lol.

  8. foleyger (@foleyger) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:42

    That Tamburello corner gives me the shivers

  9. kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:45

    Not being pessimistic, but Haas is going to get a slap in the face. To think he can apply the same principles applied to Nascar, to F1 will be his undoing.
    What does he have that Toyota, Honda, or BMW did not have? What manufacturing capacity does he have that Marusia or Caterham cannot get?? I’m waiting with popcorn for this flick to begin!

    • GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:44

      totally agree with you, though i must say that this article makes me think they might have a better chance than i originally thought. lots of money, but in rhe end i think they lack to things: a real understanding of F1 (he sees all too simplistic) and for the l

      • GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:45

        long run, the willingness to keep throwing away money to get (i believe) little in return…

      • JackJ said on 23rd April 2014, 7:10

        Lots of money is no guarantee though. Toyota spent billions and went nowhere.

      • OOliver said on 23rd April 2014, 7:24

        Except he has the good fortune of making those aerodynamic gains at the very first attempt and at minimum cost, instead of the incremental and often wasteful exercise that is the the bane of F1 R&D.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 23rd April 2014, 7:23

      @kbdavies

      Marussia is not a big car manufacturer and Caterham ceratainly ins’t either despite their long car making tradition, business wise, Haas Automation is a bigger enterprise and in terms of engineering is bigger as well. However, being a successful businessman is not a guarantee of success (Richard Branson…) but even though F1 is a complete different beast from NASCAR, it’s better to come with motorsports experience than nothing.

      He just have to spend rightly his money. Find the right key people and partners and have some patience.

      • kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 23rd April 2014, 10:45

        You neglected to explain what he has that Toyota, Honda and BMW did not have. Haas is NOT even a car manufacturer; and no mater how big his “manufacturing” abilities are, or how much money he has, or how much intelligence and the “right” people he can garner, or how much “motorsports” experience he has, ALL the 3 organizations outlined above have far much more in every single aspect that he does, or indeed will ever have. His simplistic approach and attitude will be his undoing.
        I mean, he expects to be winning races in one season!!!!
        Mark my words, the more he gets into the business of F1, the more he will realise his current thinking will not work, he will have to change it to succeed.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 23rd April 2014, 21:06

          @kbdavies

          Toyota and BMW had high goals and left F1 amidst poor financial performance of their parent companies (many Japanese manufacturers left motor sports even those with some success: Suzuki, Honda (bar motor bikes), Subaru). In fact, both Toyota and BMW failed to win a championship but they did land some good results that would be encouraging for a guy like Gene Haas.

          I cannot assure that Haas will be successful but but we can’t either claim his project is doomed. There some good examples of non-car manufacturers outperforming big names in the game, Red Bull being the most visible and Force India to some extent is doing a respectable job. Let’s give the guy some time, he has the will, the money, some technical means and lets hope he manages to get the missing pieces.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd April 2014, 14:45

      I do think that one big (enormous?) difference between Haas and the likes of Toyota, Honda and BMW is that they were corporations, and corporate structures on top of the team burdening down the operation ultimately hurt them despite all the resources thrown at it.

      Haas has both experience with running a racing team as (part) owner, and he has shown he knows how to do it in a clever way. On top of that, he is betting his own money (largely, I guess he will have others participate) and is the one able to make tough desicions, just like a Tony Fernandes can, or a Frank Williams/Patrick Head, a Ron Dennis, a Flavio Briatore, an Eddie Jordan or a Jackie Steward.

      And as Haas himself mentions, he is very well situated both to know what technology is needed as well as perfectly positioned to acquire that.

      All that said, I still think it would make far more sense for him to sound out Marussia, Tony Fernandes or even Monisha Kaltenborn or Mallya and see at what conditions their teams can be taken over. That would likely be cheaper, and give far more chance of success than starting anew. And it would be a huge leap from the downright stupid notion of wanting to base the team in the US.

  10. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:46

    When it comes to Sebastian, the cynics are going to have a field day as the media are starting to lean toward “maybe it was the car all along” narrative. On the face of it, yes it looks like that, but perhaps he should be given some slack? 4 times a World Champion, surely?

    If the season so far is anything to go by, he has proven that he isnt a Hamilton or Alonso who can wring the maximum out of any car. Horner has mentioned a number of times that Seb is very sensitive to setup, so is that good or bad. For a driver, only recently touted to be in the company of greatest, is 4 races enough to judge that maybe he isnt that good afterall? Too soon to tell. Lets see how the season progresses. If Danny Ric can continue “annoying” Vettel, what more will be learn of the defending champions character? If his recent demeanour is anything to go by, he certainly doesnt seem very enthused of late.

    Afterall, the guy is only 26, this season and maybe the next could a long way to some character building.

    My support is firmly behind Danny Ric. I live in Perth, Western Australia, there is plenty of support for Danny out here.

    • kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:53

      Totally agree. Seems like the bubble around Vettel is deflating slowly. This does not mean he is a rubbish driver, but that the degree of domination was definitely down to mastery of the EBD and the car – undue sensitivity to setup is certainly NOT the hallmark of a great driver. Now he is unable to miss apexes wily nily and still get pole, we are witnessing him driving a car that requires more precision; and he is not doing it well.
      Lewis or Fernando would not have been beaten comprehensively and consistently on quali speed and race pace by a teammate like this.

      • GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:48

        who knows! we will never know!

      • davey said on 23rd April 2014, 2:29

        LOL, All this rubbish about Vettel not been that good again.

        when vettel has easily bested ricciardo in the points table at the end of this year what will the excuse be then?
        oh right we will be back to the people spouting nonsence about red bull giving ricciardo the rubbish car to favor vettel.

        vettel has already proven himself to be a great, you don’t win 4 championships (2 very closely fought, 1 to come from behind) & all the races he has if your not one of the greats.

        he got pole & won a race in a toro rosso (next you will be saying that was the best car & that he should have won a championship in it) in the wet, the sort of weather conditions which show the greats from the good.

        the fans sitting at home watching on tv who sit there going on about how vettel isnt good, its all because he had a good car & all that obviously know more than all the people in f1, the engineer’s, team bosses & other drivers who have access to all the data & who all talk about vettel been one of the greats.
        guess these guys dont know as much as fans who have no data but tv pictures.

        • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 23rd April 2014, 2:55

          I think you are missing the point people are trying to make, which is that Vettel won the championships because of the unison of car & driver, neither one was wholly responsible. The Red Bulls have been excellent cars and Vettel has been able to get them setup to exactly the style he prefers, now with the rule changes the car is a lot less precise and as such he is struggling to adapt, similar to how Schumi struggled when he came back in 2010.

          No one is saying Seb’s a rubbish driver, just that he is not adapting well enough or fast enough to the current regulation cars, whereas Dan is.

          • @Jarred, “unison of car & driver, neither one was wholly responsible”, you just referred to every single championship. Not even the fanboy favorite Senna was wholly responsible.

          • Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 23rd April 2014, 7:48

            Glad that some people got the point.

          • Ron (@rcorporon) said on 23rd April 2014, 17:57

            @jarred-walmsley
            Which driver has won a championship without the help of the “unison of car & driver”?

          • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 23rd April 2014, 19:23

            And thats exactly my point, Thats what wins championships, a good driver getting the best out of a good car.

            Vettel isn’t getting the best out of the RB10, Dan is.

            Thats all

      • TMF (@tmf42) said on 23rd April 2014, 9:50

        @kbdavies I think people are too quick to judge. HAM got beaten by Button in 2010 and ALO struggled to keep a rookie HAM behind him in 07. But still I regard them both as great drivers, because nobody is perfect – 1 off season or not mastering every situation perfectly is no sign of weakness or something that chips away from your achievements. Just like the bad start into 2012 didn’t make VETs WDC any less deserved.

        About the missing apexes: you should read the interview with HAM where he mentions this particular thing about VETs driving style. Bottom line it had less to do with inaccuracy and more with optimising the EBD effects.

        • kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 23rd April 2014, 10:51

          @TMF – HAM got beaten by Button in 2011, not 2010; and he got beaten mainly because he did not finish quite a few of the races – due to his own faults with incidents and various penalties.
          Button never beat HAM in 2011 based on outracing or outqualifying him. Even in this year, Lewis still matched Button on race wins, and demolished him on poles. Let’s be objective with the facts.

          • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 23rd April 2014, 13:58

            @kbdavies

            Let’s be objective with the facts

            Being objective is taking out all factors that are personal to the drivers except for the one factor you are trying to measure. Under that basis, the fact that Hamilton always finished ahead of Button when they both finished is irrelevant. The points at the end of the season is how you determine the best driver, and Button had more points than Hamilton in 2011. If Hamilton had a bad year for whatever reason, then that shouldn’t impact on Button’s achievements..

          • kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 23rd April 2014, 14:12

            @KeelyObsessed – I do not disagree with your premise. I was simply responding to the tired “He beat him over the 3yrs they were together”.

        • Jason (@jason12) said on 23rd April 2014, 14:43

          @tmf42
          You’re not being very clear-headed about this one.
          We’re not sayin ALO and HAM have never been beaten.
          We’ve just observed that they show an adaptation level and racing killer instinct that seems to be particularly lacking with Vettel. Who of course will happily take a fast car home to victory.

          Even in the past 4 years, in rear instances when the RBR car has been slightly difficult to drive Vettel would just disappear from the face of the earth.

          • TMF (@tmf42) said on 23rd April 2014, 15:17

            @jason12 I think that is even harder to judge. RBR had an abysmal preparation. Out of 6 days in the car I think VET got only half the laps RIC did or even less and he raced only 5 laps in Melbourne and RIC had both days in Bahrain in the car.
            Also we don’t know how the simulator time was split between the 2 so it’s entirely possible that VET is on the back foot in terms of preparation.

            I don’t know how you can make an assertion by observing only 4 race weekends as an outsider – it’s already hard enough to make an assertion for an entire season. So I think it’s simply premature to conclude things or read anything into individual performances, if you wanna at least keep the appearances of objectivity.

        • @tmf42 absolutely correct: compromise corner entry, floor the exit. That gained you significant laptime with the EBD cars, and why Vettel simply blew Webber away towards the height of its power.

          But that very same refined style is currently his undoing I reason. That style harms the tyres and does not gain you laptime with a lack of rear downforce, and it will take Vettel time to unlearn his honed method and become re-educated on how to drive more “traditional” cars, as he was doing so brilliantly at Toro Rosso in 2008.

          • TMF (@tmf42) said on 23rd April 2014, 19:36

            @vettel1
            think so too. I’ve been following Vettel’s career since the ADAC days and I just think 4 race weekends aren’t enough to doubt him.
            Also another factor is that RIC was probably underestimated by most, but I also followed his career since 2007 and he has just as much potential as VET has.

          • aka_robyn said on 23rd April 2014, 23:46

            @tmf42 The people who are “doubting” Vettel after four race weekends never needed those four weekends to happen in the first place — they’re the same people who have been doubting him all along and would doubt him no matter what he did. He could win every race for the remainder of the season, and it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference. He could win every championship until he retires in 10 or 15 years, and the doubting would continue!

            Best to just walk on by, in my experience. (Unless you enjoy arguing with people like that, of course!)

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 23rd April 2014, 7:41

      Totally agree.

      Last year, Seb said:

      Next year I’m sharing the team with Daniel. If he wins the championship then I will look pretty stupid, but equally he then deserves to win. The year after that would mean I’d be racing with a world champion in the team

      Man, I think Seb is well aware that being beaten by “The Aussie Grit 2.0″ will not look good. And it’s not looking good so far, he needs to get his act together and bounce back and he has time to beat Daniel, there lots more races to come. Gary Anderson in his track side analysis of the Chinese GP basically said Seb is missing EBC badly and must adapt his driving style to the new car.

    • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 23rd April 2014, 8:33

      Daniel has done a great job in Red Bull, but this “Ricciardio is showing Vettel” is very narrow-minded. Bar Q3 and the second and third race stint in China, Vettel has been faster than Ricciardo every time his car was not breaking down one way or another.

      Australia: Vettel’s car doesn’t work all weekend
      Malaysia: outqualified Ricciardo and build a 13 second gap before Ricciardo’s troubles
      Bahrain: ahead in qualifying before gearbox issues, 6 seconds ahead in the race before MGU-K issues
      China: couldn’t get the mediums to work, but was comfortably faster on soft.

      That’s quite a different story than the popular narrative we hear left and right.

    • number5 said on 23rd April 2014, 9:22

      Your comments seem well balanced compared to many on the internet. It’s unbelievable to me, though, how much of a villain Vettel is for so many fans. I think Vettel was excellent at closing out championships in the right car. And I believe we can all give him that. It’s kind of like how he’s still ahead of Ricciardo in the points. That’s due to bad luck on Ricciardo’s part but also because Vettel got that one podium. This is how Vettel really wins. Raikkonen, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Alonso -they’ve all had bad luck. But not Vettel. He’s the luckiest champion alive and there is something to be said for that. It’s why he’s golden through and through. Personally I’m still hoping Vettel wins it all on the last race due to the double points. That would just be awesome.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 23rd April 2014, 14:33

      @jaymenon10

      but perhaps he should be given some slack? 4 times a World Champion, surely?

      We can’t give him slack because the signs have been there all along.
      This is not a new realisation for us.

    • Sven (@crammond) said on 23rd April 2014, 21:40

      If the season so far is anything to go by, he has proven that he isnt a Hamilton or Alonso who can wring the maximum out of any car.

      That gave me lols ^^

      Where was Webber all those seasons? And when was Lewis ever competing in an uncompetitive car? He even turned a champioship into a very close one when he had a dominating car and a weak teammate, and that´s his only championship.

      Yes, Vettel seems uncomfortable at the moment (which might change), and Ricciardo was probably underestimated before the season. He was still good enough to score his 4 championships in a row with a car good enough to give his reaonable teammate 3rd to 6th places in the championship.
      So yes, one might doubt wether Vettel is all that great as he was hyped as a “legend”. But he´s good enough to be compared to fellow multiple champions, not to lucky one-timers.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 2nd May 2014, 9:55

        @crammond

        And when was Lewis ever competing in an uncompetitive car? He even turned a champioship into a very close one when he had a dominating car and a weak teammate, and that´s his only championship.

        Are you seriously implying that Hamilton had a “dominant” car in 2008? Because that’s by far the silliest thing I’ve ever heard.

        Ferrari F2008 >>> McLaren MP4-23

  11. Joaquin (@fat-tyre) said on 23rd April 2014, 0:58

    You’ll be starving soon Kevin.

  12. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:01

    Disappointed with the choice of COTD, and disagree on many levels. First of all, I find it quite negatively worded (and nobody mentioned “mopping the floor” but the author himself). Second, why would the other teams know better? ‘We’ watch every session and analyse’/discuss them endlessly. What more is there to know short of running the guy himself? Finally, as for the opinion that Hulkenberg is not as hot as some make him out to be, fair enough, though in my opinion he is that good.

    As mentioned above by others, there were reasons why other teams chose other drivers (or already had drivers under contract). If Red Bull didn’t have a junior driver programme, they might have taken a more serious look at Hulkenberg (didn’t Marko once praise him to that effect?), and personally I think Ferrari made the wrong choice in hiring Raikkonen. Easy to say now that Kimi is struggling with the F14T, but I was of that opinion last year also (I’m too lazy to look up my comments from last year, so you’ll have to take my word for it – or look them up yourselves ;-)

    • BJ (@beejis60) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:11

      I believe Kimi was doing very well last year up to the signing and Hulk not so well.

      • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:44

        @beejis60, Kimi was certainly impressive last year, especially in the first half, and Hulkenberg’s most eye-catching moments came after the summer break, following Raikkonen’s announcement – as in 2012, when his run of strong results came mostly after Perez’s announcement at McLaren. So it looks like Nico’s performances have been at the wrong moment.

        Still, in 2013 those 2012 performances were already in the books (as well as his 2010 Brazil pole), and his first half of 2013 was also good, if not eye-catching as the Sauber was no good until after the summer break.

        Also, Ferrari knew Kimi could be sensitive to tyre/setup struggles, as he had struggled in a Ferrari in 2008. With LDM not really keen to get Raikkonen back, I was therefore surprised they re-hired him anyway.

        • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 23rd April 2014, 11:01

          It’s hardly surprising Ferrari would go for a ‘known quantity’ in the shape of a former World Champion with all of the regulation changes. That doesn’t mean Raikkonen would necessarily be the better option.

    • macrob said on 23rd April 2014, 3:40

      Still, how many podiums for Hulkenberg?… 4 for Perez, nill for Nico…and driving for the same teams… why hasn’t Nico gotten a podium finish yet? Is he missing something? Don’t get me wrong, he is an exceptional driver, still I think he lacks something…

    • Aqib (@aqibqadeer) said on 23rd April 2014, 6:42

      ferrari didn’t make a mistake lotus did i’m sure kimi will be back once he gets the issues sorted out

    • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 23rd April 2014, 9:28

      @adrianmorse

      I wouldn’t get too wound up about the choice of COTD, often they’re chosen to promote discussion and debate (which this has done) rather than on something universally accepted. Also, the teams have masses of useful data to analyse driver performance that fans don’t have access to so i’m pretty sure they know a lot better than us. Take Ricciardo for example, must admit i didn’t rate him that highly, and never saw him being talked up on the forums, but now it looks like Redbull have made a good decision as he seems very competitive so far (early days i know).

      I think Hulkenberg is very good, and has just been unlucky with circumstances. He’s not in one of the driver programmes which teams seem keen to use to recruit from, has no major sponsorship, and this year in particular had a further penalty for his weight (maybe less of an issue in future years?…). Maybe he could do more to try and pick up sponsors, but he has no built in advantages of nationality or anything like that (there are many German drivers companies could back if they wanted).

      Hindsight is always 20-20, but the season so far makes me think Ferrari did miss a trick signing Raikkonen over Hulkenberg. That’s not purely on performance, although so far Raikkonen has been underwhelming, but also they need to plan for future years. At the moment they are very reliant on Alonso, if he moves on i’m sure they’d want to benefit from some continuity from their other driver. Raikkonen will improve his performance once he gets the car set up how he likes it i’m sure, but he’s no spring chicken so could feasibly retire within the next couple of years.

      So there could still be opportunities coming up for Hulkenberg at Ferrari within the next couple of years. McLaren seem set on their driver programme so i’d be more surprised if he ended up there (if that’s even a step up!). All he can do is keep pounding out the results and make sure when the driver market comes around, his form is enough to grab someone’s attention. I hope he manages a podium or two this year, i feel from the last 3 years he deserves it more than any other driver who hasn’t been up there before.

  13. Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:21

    I could only laugh at this quote from the Red Bull article:
    “The powers in Paris have decided Daniel can’t have his trophy back from Australia – which is the F1 equivalent of seeing a happy little puppy gambolling cheerfully around with a bone and then taking it away.”

  14. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 23rd April 2014, 1:44

    … it means we’re getting close enough to get them rattled and sweating a bit.

    Keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep at night.

    The facts are these:
    – Mercedes have won every race.
    – Mercedes have had three 1-2 finishes in a row
    – Mercedes have qualified on pole at every race
    – Mercedes have lead every single lap, of every race.
    – Mercedes are more than double Red Bull in the WDC after only 4 rounds.

    But yes, I’m sure you have them “rattled”. Good work RBR, if only your performance on track was as good as your journalism is tabloid then you’ll be catching Mercedes in no time.

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 23rd April 2014, 5:07

      @tophercheese21
      Yeah .. RBR could have said something on the lines of “We’re getting there guys, watch out ” but they use the word “rattled” LOL
      Really ?
      Ferrari , please get you sticks in line , you want to beat red Bull or not this season ? I’d say they are most vulnerable now before they start massive developments.
      Please bring some updates and show who is boss .
      Meanwhile , Mercedes will keep doing the rattling at the front .

  15. Jacko said on 23rd April 2014, 1:55

    Red Bull pleased to have “rattled” Mercedes

    Personally I perceive it as Mercedes paying back for what Red Bull had done to them over last year secret tyre test in Barcelona.

    It is quite amusing to see how Christian Horner revelled in his own fantasy when Mercedes had dominated F1 2014 for four races so far and Red Bull had rattled them (unless Mercedes boys were slacking off during the 3 weeks space).

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