Sour grapes: Vettel’s luck in 2011

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    what really niggled me during the 2011 season was how lucky vettel was over the course of the season. this luck usually came in the form of problems for his nearest rivals during the qualy or race. here’s my quick sour grapes summary:

    Aus- Hamilton’s damaged floor meant he couldn’t put any pressure on Vettel for the win.

    Malaysia- Heidfeld sneaks in behind Vettel into turn 2, holding Hamilton up for many laps. this gave Vettel lots of breathing space to open up a gap and control the race with ease.

    Spain- Alonso’s fast start pushes out Webber wide intoturn 1, leaving the door open for vet to grab 2nd which then became 1st as the ferrari struggled on the hard tyres. Later in the race, HAM was faster but the nature of the circuit and the DRS zone length made for difficult overtaking.

    Monaco- Hamilton was very fast all weekend until Q3 when Massa holds up Hamilton on fast lap. Perez crashes causing red flag AFTER VET sets fast lap and BEFORE HAM can get a fast clean lap in whilst the track conditions were fast. HAM starts p10 when he could’ve been on pole (BUT got p2 don’t forget!).
    In the race, red flag falls perfectly for VET. Allowing him to get new set of tyres and win easily.

    Brit- One-off exhaust rules harm red bull’s nearest rivals- Mclaren. Webber told to hold back from fighting Vet for 2nd.
    Italy- Mclaren’s fast race pace didn’t matter as Hamilton held up behind Schumacher for a long period.
    Abu- bad luck with tyre failure (doesn’t matter because already won title. so is that good luck it didn’t happen earlier in season?

    Brazil- bad luck with gearbox problem, but not terminal like Hamilton’s gearbox failure.



    I call it karma.

    In 2010, Vettel was the unluckiest of the title challengers, which benefitted Alonso the most, and made Webber look better than he was.

    Not only that, but it’s Hamilton’s fault for getting himself stuck behind Heidfeld if he had the car to challenge Vettel, and had the assistance of a long DRS zone. And it’s his fault for being asleep at the restart at Monza to screw himself over behind Schumacher and get passed by Button.


    Keith Collantine

    One of the most irritating cliches is “you make your own luck”. It’s nonsense, of course: luck is luck. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t.

    But sometimes there’s a grain of truth in it. Or, at least, what some people call “luck”, isn’t really “luck” at all. It’s what other people call “where preparation meets opportunity”.

    Overall looking at your list what stands out for me is how little luck influenced his season one way or another. He had a bit of bad luck, a bit of good luck. I think sometimes your assessment of which drivers might have been able to challenge him had they not been held up by others is a bit optimistic, though.

    And I must say trying to spin the misfortune of losing a win due to a gearbox problem into good luck for it not being terminal is a bit much. But you get maximum credit for admitting this is all just sour grapes!



    You forgot Turkey – when Rosberg was holding people back. At least until DRS kicked in and people started passing him willy nilly.

    Spain actually to be honest; the start didn’t hurt Webber. There was plenty of space around the outside of 1. Vettel swept around the outside of Webber because he was braver on the brakes; then almost had a go at Alonso. Also; Seb undercut Alonso in the pits at the 3rd time – when both Alonso and Vettel still came out on softs. Alonso actually hurt Vettel through the race as he held Vettel back a LOT in those first 2 stints.

    Monaco qualifying – Hamilton shouldn’t have stayed in for 6 minutes. Monaco’s the track where a red flag can happen at any time – McLaren should know that; being the one with the most track record of success at Monaco. The red flag was good for Vettel. I still think he would’ve won without the red flag; but the red flag would’ve helped anyways.

    Italy – to be fair; had Hamilton not been asleep at the restart – you could see that on the exit of Parabolica; Hamilton was still weaving and adjusting things on his steering wheel whilst Vettel and Alonso were already gunning it flat out on the straight towards Parabolica.

    Abu Dhabi – why sour grapes about Vettel having bad luck? I thought this was about Vettel’s good luck.



    Vettel’s good luck in 2011 made up for his bad luck in 2010.



    @keithcollantine I think the “you make your own luck” is basically, “Carpe Diem!”



    If you want to talk about a driver getting plenty good luck then it is Button

    Canada -I watched the whole race and a number of factors were in Buttons favour.
    1. Alonso had the pace to win the race but Button took him out. Hamilton was also taken out.

    2. A lot of cars dropped out of the field helping Button in the process.

    3. Most of the cars he overtook were all on used rubber
    He over took those cars using DRS, and having a safety car helped him.

    4. Schumacher and Webber battling helped Button gain sector time.

    5. Vettel was on older tyres than Button so he had less grip causing him to slide and gift the victory Button.

    Hungary- Was fortunate Hamiltons tyres were worn down causing him to spin and he got a penalty for nearly taking out a FI. Gifting Victory to Button.

    Suzuka- Red Bulls were suffering from a lot of blistering on the tyres,slowing down their pace, Hamilton was beginning to close on Vettel, but then he picked up a puncture gifting Button the lead, at the closing stages of the race Fernando Alonso was advancing in on Button but then got held up in traffic allowing Button to take inherit a win.

    So Button is your man for getting a lot of luck in 2011.



    @keithcollantine @david-a yes my list is a bit patchy. haha. wasn’t meant to be deep analysis :D . I guess you could say people make their own bad luck! either way races did always fall quite nicely into place for VET over the season. all the stars were aligned… *cough* *cringe*



    @faraz While I agree with the gist of your post in that the Canada win was not the godly drive most people seem to say it is; Button’s tyres were 2 laps older than Vettel’s IIRC.

    Hungary-Hamilton’s tyres weren’t worn then. It was because Hamilton took too much kerb; and put on too much throttle while doing so.

    Suzuka – Red Bulls had degradation; not blistering. Different. Also, McLaren and Pirelli confirmed that it was basically just Lewis chewing his tyres; not a puncture.



    I don’t think Vettel was particularly lucky in 2011, his success was just a combination of a very good car / team and a superior driver. He certainly had some unlucky moments like Silverstone pit stop where he lost the lead to Alonso and, of course, Abu Dhabi. I also agree with @steph that 2010 was really unlucky for Seb, he lost remarkably more points than Mark due to things that were out of his control and still won the title.



    @raymondu999 Thank you my friend at-least someone see’s sense , in knowing win was down to a lot of luck, its the British press as always trying to hype him up as always, but if you ask any other countries press and fans they will be realistic and say it was a very lucky win where Button had several thing in his favour.



    He were a little lucky but mostly I think he was lucky because his rivals, (McLaren I am looking at you!) seemed to search desperately for ways to get things wrong. He just stayed out of trouble and knew where to be at the right time.
    He was lucky but, at least nothing that will even get close to counteract how desperately unlucky he was in the beginning of 2010 where several wins were thrown away because his car just fell apart underneath him where Webber was quite a lot more fortunate in that respect.



    @faraz there’s no denying it was a good drive; but it was down to a lot of luck too. People say about how the safety car didn’t even wait for Button to catch the pack up before restarting – Button was lucky that the safety car was there to slow the others down while he pitted in the first place!



    @realracer The media in other countries are no better than the British press. If Alonso had won in Canada in the same way, the Spanish and Italian press would have treated it like a godly performance.



    Hang on I’ve been tagging the wrong fellow in my posts? :s

    Personally I’m not blaming any press. But I’m just saying it’s not a godly drive period.

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