How would you rate Vettel if he was leading?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  matt90 5 years, 2 months ago.

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    Working on a mid-season ‘championship without misfortune’, I immediately noticed two things: of the top 5 drivers in the championship, only Vettel and Hamilton have retired a race: both one with mechanical and both one due to a collision by another driver.

    The half-season driver rankings, with other comments through the season, show that a lot of people are completely dismissing Vettel. I was just wondering how people would rate him this season if he was leading the championship.

    Take his 4th place finish he lost in Malaysia with Karthikeyan, and the Renault blow-ups in Valencia, he would be up to 159 points, with Alonso at 157 points. That’s not even taking into account Grosjean in Valencia and that he was catching up to 3rd in Malaysia (which would have put them at 162:154).

    Now, there’s much more to this, and like I said, I’m working things out, but it does show how relative things are.



    You need to take in account that Alonso lost 15 points in Canada due imcompitent strategy by the team. Not only was he catching Hamilton and had a lead large enough to pit on the next lap and come out ahead, he had a fresh set of options available while Lewis was on primes. Vettel lost only 3 points in the same race, also due a strategic mistake.

    I also don’t believe Vettel would’ve gotten third in Malaysia, catching Hamilton is one thing, passing Hamilton is a whole other ball game isn’t it? Also, in Malaysia Vettel lost only 10 points, not 12. You need to remember that Webber was leading Vettel until his slow stop; which dropped him behind all Nico, Seb and Kimi. If you take in Vettel’s bad luck, you also have to consider that of other contenders.

    Frankly, I don’t believe Grosjean would’ve passed Alonso after the SC. Fernando is a master defender and doesn’t crack under pressure when fending off a faster car, and he brilliantly saved his tyres until the end.

    Also, why do you even count Grosjean misfortunes if he’s not a main title contender? By that logic, Vettel should only have been 7th in China as Grosjean pitstop took 5 seconds longer than normal, and Schumacher retired due a loose wheel-nut, both who should’ve finished ahead of him. But that’s a bit silly, don’t you think? That is far too confusing, let’s stick by the misfortunes of the championship contenders only.

    So if we count in all the misfortunes from the season that both Vettel and Alonso have had, Vettel would be at 160 points, where’s Alonso at 172 points. Thus Alonso would still have a fourth place advantage over Vettel.

    Also, we must take in record that Ferrari was a dog of a car in the first four races of the season, and also clearly inferior to Red Bull in Europe and Hungary. In fact, I don’t think there’s been a single race this season where you could safely say Ferrari had a better car than Red Bull. I can’t believe that people consider an occasional misfortune to be unlucky, but your car not being competive until Spain, and still inferior to your rivals not being unlucky.

    So even taking in account misfortunes, Alonso would still be leading Vettel by 12 points; despite the Ferrari being inferior to the Red Bull throughout most of the season. What does that prove? Alonso is a better driver than Vettel.



    “If ifs and buts were pots and pans we’d all be scrap metal merchants” Guy Martin.



    For the top 4.

    Australia, Schumacher doesn’t retire, Vettel and Webber get past, Alonso doesn’t.

    Hamilton – 15
    Vettel – 18
    Webber – 12
    Alonso – 8

    Malaysia, Webber isn’t held in the pits and retains 4th ahead of Vettel, who avoids cucumber.

    Hamilton – +15, 30
    Vettel – +10, 28
    Webber – +12, 24
    Alonso – +25, 33

    China, Schumacher wheel is attached properly and he finishes second.

    Hamilton – +15, 45
    Vettel – + 8, 36
    Webber – +10, 34
    Alonso – +1, 34

    Bahrain, Lewis doesn’t have those pitstops, finishes fifth.

    Hamilton – +10, 55
    Vettel – +25, 61
    Webber – +12, 46
    Alonso – +4, 38.

    Spain, Webber is sent out for another run in Q2, makes it, finishes fifth in race. Mclaren fuel Hamiltons car properly and he takes pole and win.

    Hamilton – +25, 80
    Vettel – +4, 65
    Webber – +10, 56
    Alonso – +15, 53

    Monaco, no changes.

    Hamilton – +10, 90
    Vettel – +12, 77
    Webber – +25, 81
    Alonso – +15, 68

    Canada, Alonso and Vettel pit in response to Hamiltons last stop, Webber doesn’t have gearshift issue in first stint.

    Hamilton – +25, 115
    Vettel – +15, 92
    Webber – +12, 93
    Alonso – +18, 86

    Valencia, with no technical issues a RB one-two on grid and in race. Hamilton overtaken by Maldonado and Schumacher at end as tyres go off, no car failure for Grosjean.

    Hamilton – +6, 121
    Vettel – +25, 117
    Webber – +18, 121
    Alonso – +15, 101

    Britain, no changes.

    Hamilton – +4, 125
    Vettel – +15, 132
    Webber – +25, 146
    Alonso – +18, 119

    Germany, no gearbox penalty for Webber, finishes fourth, no puncture for Hamilton, finishes fifth, Vettel told by Horner to give place back to Button and finishes third.

    Hamilton – +10, 135
    Vettel – +15, 147
    Webber – +12, 158
    Alonso – +25, 143

    Hungary, Webber does not have differential issue and finishes fifth.

    Hamilton – +25, 160
    Vettel – +12, 159
    Webber – +10, 168
    Alonso – +8, 151

    NB. Removing speculated result for Webber in Spain and not giving Vettel +5 for Germany.

    //Edit1 – Vettel -7 for being dropped down to 6th in Germany, classifying potential result as Alonso->Button->Webber->Hamilton->Raikkonen->Vettel.

    //Edit2 – Hamilton +3 with gearbox penalty in China removed and finishing position adjusted to third.

    Hamilton – 162
    Vettel – 152
    Webber – 161
    Alonso – 151

    Alonso’s season looks even better, to be within 11 points of the lead with the championship adjusted like this.

    Don’t support him, but if he wins this season I’ll boot Senna out of my all time top 5 for him :p .

    All IMO of course. //Webber/Schu fan for any forthcoming accusations of bias ;) .

    I wouldn’t rate Vettel any differently than I do now, which is bloody fast but not top level yet in racecraft
    ( not far off though ).



    Canada, Alonso and Vettel pit in response to Hamiltons last stop, Webber doesn’t have gearshift issue in first stint.

    Hamilton – +25, 112
    Vettel – +15, 92
    Webber – +12, 93
    Alonso – +18, 86

    Alonso would’ve won in Canada. He only was he catching Hamilton drastically before his second stop, and had a lead large enough to pit on the next lap and come out ahead. He was 14.8 seconds ahead and the average pitstop in Montreal only costs you about 14 seconds (knowing the Ferrari pit-stops you can take another second off that). And even if that didn’t work, he had a fresh set of options available for his final stint while Lewis was on primes. On the same strategy Alonso surely would’ve won.

    So Alonso should be at 158 and Hamilton at 150. Other than that I pretty much agree with you.



    Saying that Alonso would have won Canada doesn’t seem to me to be based on any fact or logic.

    When you took the points off Vettel in Germany you forgot to increase Hamilton’s and Webber’s accordingly.



    Adjusted score for Germany, cheers Matt.

    King, I can’t see Alonso winning the Canadian GP. James Allen’s strategy analysis indicates he would have been alongside Hamilton at best if he pitted in response and could have been passed in the DRS zone as he was the first time.


    Alonso’s interview after the race indicated he and the team didn’t think they could win the race on the pace of the F2012.

    “Today we tried to win the race, but the gamble of only making a single stop did not pay off. When Hamilton came back into the pits for his second stop, we chose to try and play our hand: now it’s easy to say that we should have made that choice too, but it would have meant we had tried nothing and we could also have lost position to Vettel.”


    Adrian, will add 3 to Hamiltons China race as I feel the Mercedes were the fastest cars on the day.



    @kingshark, are you sure Alonso had unused option tyres left in Canada? I actually missed much of that qualifying session, but the only occurrence I remember of a dry qualifying this year where a Q3 runner completed qualifying with one set of options to spare was China, where Rosberg set a blistering first lap, and then sat out the rest of Q3 while track conditions got worse. In other qualifying sessions this year, drivers often had to use two sets of options already to get through Q1 and Q2. On those occasions that drivers make it through to Q3 having used only one set of options (mostly Hamilton), they usually did two runs in order to gain a place on a very competitive grid. This in contrast to some occasions in the past two years, such as Barcelona 2010, when RBR did only a single run as they were almost a second faster than anyone else. Finally, with around 20 laps to go, I’m not sure option tyres would actually be faster over the stint than (also new) primes.

    @njack, you forgot to take into account that Hamilton had a gearbox penalty in China, otherwise he would have started from second on the grid, with race pace to match Button, who was challenging for the win prior to a disastrous second pit stop.






    Ah yes, that gearbox penalty (and was there a bodged pitstop for Hamilton as well as Button) in China took what could well have been 1st or 2nd from Hamilton.

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