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How Webber turned tables on Vettel

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Andrew Benson | 20:49 UK time, Monday, 16 April 2012

The madcap conclusion to the Chinese Grand Prix, with 12 cars battling nose to tail for second place behind winner Nico Rosberg, was packed with some of the best racing Formula 1 could ever produce.

But among the wheel-to-wheel battles and overtaking moves, one incident stood out more than most.

With 20 laps to go, Mark Webber's Red Bull ran a little wide on the 170mph exit of Turn 13, caught the edge of the kerb, and its nose reared up into the air.

The car looked briefly as if it might take off - as Webber did in the 2010 European Grand Prix, when his car landed upside down before skidding into the barriers, without injury to its driver. He also suffered two similar accidents at Le Mans in 1999.

But then the nose crashed down on to the track. "It's always a worrying moment when it gets a lot of air under it like that," said team boss Christian Horner. "He's used to that. I should think he was on the brakes."

He wasn't, as it turns out. Webber told me a "little lift" of the accelerator was enough to bring the car back down again.

For those watching, it was a heart-stopping moment. But Webber obviously did not dwell on it long - in the very next sector of the lap, he set his fastest time of the race so far.

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Shanghai was another impressive weekend from Webber, notwithstanding a couple of errors that probably cost him a podium finish.

He spent last year in the shadow of team-mate Sebastian Vettel as the German cantered to a second world title. While Vettel took 11 victories, Webber won once in Brazil - and then only when Vettel's car hit gearbox trouble.

This year is a different story. Not only have Red Bull slipped back into the pack, but Webber has so far had the edge on Vettel.

The qualifying score is three-nil in Webber's favour and the final overtaking move in those frantic concluding laps in China was Webber separating his team-mate from fourth place between the penultimate and final corners of the last lap.

It was the climactic moment of a fascinating weekend at Red Bull, whose drivers were in cars of two different specifications.

Vettel has never been happy with the handling of the RB8 in the upgraded trim that was introduced at the final pre-season test. And for China he reverted to the specification in which the car was launched, while Webber stuck with the newer one.

According to chief technical officer Adrian Newey, incidentally, the car was in exactly its initial configuration - not, as we reported over the weekend, with slightly longer exhaust pipes.

The two designs have a different aerodynamic philosophy.

The older one uses the exhausts to improve the airflow through the "coke-bottle" area at the rear of the car. The newer one aims to direct the gases at the area where the floor meets the rear tyre, to "seal" the diffuser.

Both improve downforce, but to different degrees, in different ways and with different effects.

"There were some characteristics about the upgraded car that weren't particularly suited to (Vettel's) style of driving, which is to carry a lot of speed into the corner," said Horner.

Vettel qualified only 11th, but said afterwards that he "felt happier with the car than (in) previous races". But the decision to put him back into the older-spec car in China was not, Newey said in an exclusive interview after the race, at the driver's request.

The newer car had shown "a few characteristics that haven't worked as intended," Newey explained, "so we simply brought the old bodywork for Seb this weekend to get some more data, as a direct comparison."

It was a test session, basically, and Vettel was chosen to run the older-spec car because he preferred its handling.

"We could have then put both cars to the latest spec, the spec that Mark raced, on Friday evening," Newey said. "But we felt that would be more disruptive than simply continuing. And we'd have probably burnt a (mandatory FIA working hours) curfew in the process. But both cars will be back to the new spec in Bahrain."

Newey clearly believes the newer car is faster, but he says it's "difficult to say" by how much.

I pressed him, asking if he thought the difference in performance between the two cars was in the region of the 0.331 seconds by which Webber was faster than Vettel in second qualifying, which Vettel did not progress beyond.

Newey said: "Mark seems to have taken to this car more easily than Seb at the moment, but that's simply the reverse of what happened last year."

Indeed it is. But why?

Engineers in rivals teams say Red Bull have been hurt more than any other team by the banning of exhaust-blown diffusers this year because they were exploiting the technology, which pumped exhaust gases along the floor of the car even when the driver was off the throttle, far more effectively than anyone else.

Red Bull pioneered it. If you got it right, and combined it effectively with the overall design of the car, it could gain you something in the region of a second a lap. But it was difficult to master the aerodynamic effects and most teams never did.

This year, the teams are still trying to exploit exhausts gases in a similar way, to hold on to some of the downforce-boosting effect. But the regulations now define an area within which the exhaust exits must be, engine mapping is restricted, and the gains are reduced to about 10% of what was available in 2011.

Webber never really got on with the way the Red Bull behaved last year.

But this year the cars are handling in a more conventional fashion, and he is back to where he was in 2010, when he and Vettel were evenly matched and Webber led the championship for much of the year.

The Red Bull drivers' Chinese GP results match their championship positions. Webber is fourth on 36 points, eight ahead of Vettel and nine behind leader Lewis Hamilton.

Whether Red Bull can improve their car enough to fight consistently for victories - and therefore the title - remains to be seen. But they are too good a team, led by too brilliant a designer, to stay down for long.

And the battle between their drivers adds a delicious extra dimension to their fightback.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Perhaps it's not just the blown diffuser that was at the heart of the Red Bull's dominance last year but the flexibility of the front wing? Now that the FIA are enforcing the stricter regs it does seem that Red Bull's are less powerful.
    Webber is a good driver with a lot of experience. Vettel, good driver though he is, still needs a bit of savvy. It's less easy to win when you have a car that's not quite perfect, or on the very edge of legality.

  • Comment number 2.

    I don't think he has turned the tables on Vettel... Vettel hasn't performed for whatever reason - car, having to fight his way through the pack etc. and that's making Webber look better. Webber is performing very similarly to how he performed last year and that's reflected by his results and errors every race... he's just not getting walloped by his teammate this time.

  • Comment number 3.

    Glad to see that Webber's current form is being compared to the situation in 2010. Remember when Red Bull turned up in Bahrain 2010 with the aggressive "coke bottle" exhausts to the surprise of the other teams, they hadn't yet mastered the crucial off-throttle element of their blown diffuser through engine maps - leading to the car being relatively unstable on corner entry compared to during other phases - for whatever reason Webber could make more out of this setup which is what gave him the jump over his team-mate during the first half of the season.

    Accordingly, with the team trying to run a more aggressive blown exhaust layout but without the off-throttle mapping, the advantage is back with Webber, for now at least.

    Vettel's a great train driver - but when the car's not on rails he seems to struggle. At least the myth that he can't overtake has been dispelled.

  • Comment number 4.

    Gearbox and clutch control was what split Vettel from Webber last year but in 2012 with RAND fired gears and DS Alternator switch on the wheel we are seeing a different story this time.

  • Comment number 5.

    sebastian is a good driver, much like kogayashi, perez or senna. give that same car he's complaining about to alonso or hamilton and you will see the results.

  • Comment number 6.

    That's a good reminder of 2010 and how Webber had the upper hand. I think its interesting how "ordinary" Vettel has looked this year and quite forgettable. Doesn't matter what car you put Alonso in, he's always going to do something special. Vettel just doesn't have the magic that you get from Alonso or Hamilton.

  • Comment number 7.

    @stevieeng34

    RAND fired gears and DS Alternator switch - what are they?

  • Comment number 8.

    vettel is a greaat driver and given a well balanced and set up car extracts as much as anyone we've seen I think. He was frighteningly quick last year, others with that gift are Alonso, Hamilton, Schumi and Button.

    What was a question 2 years ago when the RB was dominant but not as much as last year was in traffic or when others were fighting close to him how he delat with that and it hasn't changed (its unsuprising given he had no chance to improve last year). He is still an excellent driver but he has plenty to learn as he is young but he didn't do bad coming through last race and I don't doubt being in a slightly less brilliant car will improve him for the future. For me he sits very slightly behind a couple of driver but he isn't far away and has a good few years on all of them

  • Comment number 9.

    It's good to see Webber and Vettel in a serious battle but this is not new, they have been racing this way for the past two seasons. It does add a great dimension that Vettel is no longer on top though. Red Bull still have a good chance of winning the World Championship this year.
    I'm looking forward to Monaco: http://playwithflair.com/2012/04/12/monaco/

  • Comment number 10.

    To me this will be a pivotal season for Vettel.. Can he deliver race wins in a mediocre car as Hamilton, Button and Alonso all do?? I think Vettel is good when he is in the best car, but the jury is still out on his attitude and ability in an ordinary car.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hamilton looks in control of the RANDS but not so sure over DS. Time will tell but the RANDS changes especially following initial FOL interfaces have made for some great racing this year. Let's hope it continues.

  • Comment number 12.

    I wonder how many more races will go in Webber's favour before Herr Finger spits his dummy, and his good friend Dr. Marko comes along to put his toys back in the pram.....

    Still, cracking race this weekend, good to see Sauber getting stronger! It will be a great shame for them when Perez leaves to replace Massa at Ferrari.

    @stevieeng34 - Can you put up a glossary, please? Not many people understand all this RANDS, DS Alternators and FOL interfaces.....

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    It gladdens my heart to see Vettel not doing so well this year. Not because I bear him any particular grudge, but because his utter dominance last year was extremely dull. Let's see what he's really made of compared to his teammate with all those years of experience running in a midfield team.

    By the way, #10: do you remember Monza 2009(?) when Vettel won in the Toro Rosso? You'd have to say that was a race win in a mediocre car, and I guess he hasn't really had a mediocre car since then. Will certainly be interesting.

  • Comment number 15.

    Vettel is a fantastic driver and he'll come good soon. Not sure if he'll be winning to many GPs this year because the Red Bull car is too far behind McClaren. I really like Webber but he's not as good a driver as Seb and over the course of the season I think we'll see this reflected in the leaderboard.

  • Comment number 16.

    This season the Red Bull Maclaren relationship is reversed, but if anything the RB's aren't as fast as the Maclarens were this time last year when in full racing trim. So I don't buy the "hamilton does better in a mediocre car" argument. The only person who out drives the car consistently is Alonso. Hamilton, Vettel and Button are world beaters if the car matches their driving style.

  • Comment number 17.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 18.

    If Webber want to challenge for the title this year he needs to sort out his shocking starts.

    He's had this problem last year which cost him a lot, just as Rubens did in the 2009 Brawn car.

    Can't understand how RedBull don't have Mark, his start engineer and their software people practicing starts till they fix it for him, they could do it as a 'filming' day to beat the testing bans.

  • Comment number 19.

    It seems wrong to say which driver in a particular team is better than his team-mate without fully understanding how each one fits into the car they're given to drive. Last year Webber seemed inferior to Vettel whereas the year before Webber was stronger. This year so far Webber seems more confident. There's so much we don't know, but for me they're not so far apart in ability.

  • Comment number 20.

    Andrew what happened to those bright post-testing analyses of yours that


    "Red Bull look especially strong and will be hard to beat"

    "Their consistently formidable times over one lap & long run look worrying for McLaren"

    "Vettel was fastest and Red Bull are always disguising their true pace"

    "McLaren are close behind Red Bull"

    "you are old enough to know that Red Bull look very strong, McLaren are a bit behind" (according to an anonymous "senior insider" that one)


    Have they been brushed under the carpet?



    .

  • Comment number 21.

    10.At 09:46 17th Apr 2012, adunbar wrote:

    "Can he deliver race wins in a mediocre car as Hamilton, Button and Alonso all do??"


    Hamilton and Button have never 'over-achieved' in a mediocre car.

    On the contrary I could mention a dozen races each where they had the best car and failed to deliver wins or even podiums.

    The McLaren for the better part of last season was the fastest car.

    Button in the Brawn was often on the verges of top 10 in qualifying.

    For Hamilton-Vettel and "mediocre cars" put Brazil 08 back on tape.



    .

  • Comment number 22.

    I've said this many times before, Vettel's car has won him the last two championships not his driving ability. Let's face it, the last 2 season's Red Bull's cars have been a different gravy, no other car came close.
    I have nothing against Seb but Alonso, Lewis, or Jenson in Webber's car would have beaten Vettel. Last season was one of the most boring and predictable seasons ever but what a start this season, 3 races and 3 different winners!

  • Comment number 23.

    It was a good move on Vettel, but this blog certainly hypes it up to be more than it was.

    Vettel's tyres were dropping off - if the race had lasted much longer, he'd have started to go backwards just as Raikonnen did a few laps earlier. Webber's tyres were 3 laps younger, and while the pass was pretty well executed, I think Webber was just quicker at that point in the race and the DRS zone did it's job by helping him get alongside into the corner.

    A solid move, by a driver who is more comfortable in this years car and was on slightly fresher tyres. I wouldn't say it 'stood out more than most'.

    I like Webber a lot - but I hope we're not going to see BBC bias due to him being a blog contributor.

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    I think the adapted Fetzer Valve is making all the difference in the Red Bulls this year, especially with Quaker Stay lubrication.

  • Comment number 26.

    No suprise the Red Bull's aren't as competitive following the regulation changes.
    The exact same thing happend to Ferrari after the 2004 season.
    The FIA doesn't leave it up to the other teams to close the gap, they change the rules to almost 'punish' the winning team.

    Still can't see how Vettel can be getting criticised when he's a double world champion. Yes he had the best car last year, but so did Webber and look how big the gap was between them last year. It's easy for people to say, it's all about the car, and yes it's a massive element to winning, but he still had to drive it.
    If it's all about the car, Karun Chandock would've been world champion if he had Vettel's car last year.

  • Comment number 27.

    #25 Agree entirely about the Fetzer valve, but not sure about Quaker Stay - do they use the standard or V2C enhanced formula?

  • Comment number 28.

    Last years RB was built to suit Vettel's driving style.

    If you don't believe that then watch out for RB developing the slower package that Vettel prefers rather than the optimal package that the wind tunnel shows is quicker and Mark used in China.

  • Comment number 29.

    @CumquatMay I agree. McLaren have been innovative with their Fetzer valve system making it work well with the gelatinised homogeneous inlet exhaust dampener. I don't know what Red Bull were thinking with the Quaker stay lubrication. They should have known it would adversely affect the aerodynamics of their Finchly bargeboard suspension springs.

  • Comment number 30.

    From a technical perspective, I am reliably informed it is Mclaren's invisible go faster stripes which are providing the aerodynamic edge.

    Then there is the happy juice that Lewis is being intravenously fed at night which clearly has an effect similar to a lobotomy - without the post surgery trauma. This effect is multiplied when you take into consideration the retro pyschoanalysis Hamilton is receiving from Dad to put him back in the mental state he was in when racing remote control cars on Blue Peter. He clearly, as he described it, has found his "bubble".

  • Comment number 31.

    Let's remember just what Vettel did to win his first world driver's championship. Yes I know Ferrari threw it away, however for the last few races of that season Vettel was very good whereas Webber let the pressure get to him. I like Webber very much as a driver and am pleased to see him doing well because in my view he was the 'second' driver to Vettel two years ago. Would I say Vettel had the same ability as Alonso or Hamilton? No I wouldn't to be honest. Button isn't as fast as either Hamilton or Vettel, but he uses his brain and races very well. Sport is a confidence thing, and let's just say that last year's romp away by Vettel probably wouldn't have happened if a) he hadn't won the year before, or b) Webber hadn't thrown it away. Seems Mark has got rid of his demons now and Vettel's are starting to appear. Or maybe I'm completely wrong!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    Good to see Webber back in the mix.Shows how little we outsiders know about the actual "fit " of a driver to one years car.All these drivers are top notch,look at the quality of their unsucessful replacements(as yet).If you had to label me ,Id say Im a Button fan .I say that only so my opinion that the best bad car driver title must surely go to Alonso ,is not fan based.He can be petulant to the media ,but in a car he is brilliant.The Ferrari and Renault have never been consistently top and yet he wrings performance out of them like an old flannel.Button and Vettel both need the car under them while Hamilton,s seat of the pants style is box office .Ranking them ,personally or their attributes is a pointless task as each race throws up very different problems.Why either McLaren drivers fans would seek to mudsling at the other is beyond me ,since once this era to 2 British ,WC,s Mc Laren drivers is over ,then they will realise how lucky we currently are. Massa must be the top 6 driver looking over his shoulder ,once out of his Ferrari seat ,his fall could be as far and fast as Raikkonen,s on Sunday.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    I like Webber however he isn't a world champion as he threw it away when the pressure got to him in the season he had a car that was capable of winning a championship. Vettel is good no question of that. You don't get the chance to be in F1 without being good.

    However until he is in the same car as Alonso, Hamilton or Button to compare him to someone good enough to win a championship without cracking under the pressure (2 for Alonso) I don't think it can be said just how good he is.

  • Comment number 35.

    How remiss of me, I forgot to mention the other innovation on Lewis' car I saw in Jerez. Mclaren have very cleverly integrated the latest Bang & Oulfsen Beosound system with full suround sound Beolab high definition speakers. Ron Dennis suggested Lewis would benefit greatly from listening to Madness looped continously...

    I like driving in my car, it don't look much but I've been far
    I like driving in my car, even with a flat tyre
    I like driving in my car, it's not quite a Jaguar
    I like driving in my car, I'm satisfied I've got this far

  • Comment number 36.

    Speakers - of course!! Always wondered why the side-pods had to be that large....

    And that little hump on the front of everybody's car isn't for aerodynamics at all, just somewhere they can plug in a Scart socket...

  • Comment number 37.

    #34 - 'You don't get the chance to be in F1 without being good.'

    Ah, but good at what lol! Remember Giovanna Amati - she made her Formula One debut testing for Benetton, around the same time she was rumoured to be in a relationship with team principal Flavio Briatore....

  • Comment number 38.

    Reading too much into this. The season has just started! Webber has his confidence back and with the experience that he has, if he gets a win soon then he will be looking to go for the title. We all knew Webber struggled with his starts last year and also his tires.
    Vettel is fast, very fast and some of those ruling him out already are probably the same people who claimed he couldn't overtake.
    Hamilton is leading but he is still inconsistent. Button on the other hand is doing what he does best, using his brain and staying on the track.

    The one noticable thing though, the McLaren is very fast and Red Bull need to improve their straight line speed if they want to get ahead of the pack.

  • Comment number 39.

    Webber only has 3 4th places atm can't wait till red bull improve their car and he is fighting for wins, and to watch vettels bottom lip hit the floor, also impressed with hamiltons attitude this season, his driving style seems more considerate but mercedes look quick too fingers crossed for schumacher

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    What a brilliant season so far, but still a long way to go!

    Surely all this does is prove what is so great about F1... it is the combination of man and machine that leads to the title. One "great driver" in another man's car may not look so great and vice versa. That's why you have to love cars to truly love F1, and that's why the "put them all in the same car brigade" can go and watch the Renault Clio Cup. All that shows is who is best at driving that car, not who is the best driver!!

    This season could be anyone's, even Mark Webber's, and particularly Seb Vettel's once he gets the hang of his new car. Personally I am rooting for Button, or Hamilton (as a big fan of both of them and of McLaren), but I can still appreciate that they all have different qualities and weaknesses.

    Long may the upredictability and excitment continue!

  • Comment number 42.

    I don't think webber has turned tables on vettel, if weren't for kartikheyan he would have been placed third in the championship ahead of mark.

  • Comment number 43.

    These drivers are all exceptional drivers, and in thebest car will all win. The issue with F1 is that 1 team is always ahead in technology each season and with a good driver the championship is won. If you want a competion with a slight bit of fairness, teams can be asked to supply engines, while the FIA gets an independent manufacturer to provide the chasis just as tyres are provided idependently. This way everyone has the same aerodynamic build and tyre ware. This way the team with the most realiable engine and the driver that adapts best wins the race. This would certainly reduce he argument about whos the best driver. Until this situation occurs, th best driver statusgoes to who has the best car each season, no sulking about it

  • Comment number 44.

    Come on, lets have some lyrics used by certain drivers in their Bang & Oulfsen Beosound system with full suround sound Beolab high definition speakers or as
    #36 suggests - via their scart interface integrated platypus noses.

    I suggest this my represent Felipe's feelings...

    Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear
    And I can't help but ask myself how much I let the fear
    Take the wheel and steer
    It's driven me before
    And it seems to have a vague, haunting mass appeal
    But lately I'm beginning to find that I
    Should be the one behind the wheel

    Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there
    With open arms and open eyes yeah

    Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there
    I'll be there

    So if I decide to waiver my chance to be one of the hive
    Will I choose water over wine and hold my own and drive?
    It's driven me before
    And it seems to be the way that everyone else gets around
    But lately I'm beginning to find that
    When I drive myself my light is found

    (Performed by Incubus, entitled "Drive Lyrics")

  • Comment number 45.

    I hope you're all happy... In recent months, i have read thousands of comments signed off with (Dr) No to Sky and now they have robbed the 007 rights from ITV

    As for songs, im pretty sure i heard 'Yesterday' coming out of poor old Vettels banger

  • Comment number 46.

    @43 - i would hazard a guess that almost every one of these drivers has had to prove themselves as 'the best' in more strict series such as GP2. Quite often the results are very different to what we see at the weekend (look a Paul di Resta)

  • Comment number 47.

    I think stevieeng34, CumquatMay, telnolies, & Amanbro are suffering from a surfeit of acronyms!

    On topic, I think Mark is a better driver than last year's results suggested, and I am sure Seb's dominance and the apparent favouritism he enjoyed within the team must have affected Mark. Webber battling with Vettel like in 2010 would be entertaining, to say the least.

  • Comment number 48.

    Can ONLY hope for Mark that it continues this way as he is a passionate driver.
    But I doubt very much that he has turned the table.Seb is very focused and certainly
    only one thing on his mind to be WC again but more in 2010 style.Also then he did not
    manage to be on top during the whole year except the last RACE.
    So judge SEB on NOV25 in Brazil

  • Comment number 49.

    In general really great drivers are exceptional in the rain.

    Schum was the rainmaster
    Senna astonishing in the rain.

    Button is excellent in the rain, likewise Hamilton and Vettel.

    Odd one out is Alonso who never looks comfortable in the rain, or maybe it is just that the cars he has under him have been unsuitable.

  • Comment number 50.

    #45 TimmyNorfolk wrote: As for songs, im pretty sure i heard 'Yesterday' coming out of poor old Vettels banger

    Lovin it. So try this - Fernando to Ron

    Sure I think about you now and then
    But it's been a long, long time
    I've got a good life now, and I've moved on
    So when you cross my mind...

    I try not to think about what might have been
    Cause that was then
    And we have taken different roads
    We can't go back again
    There's no use givin in
    And theres no way to know
    What might have been...

    (Lyrics: Lonestar)

  • Comment number 51.

    I reckon Vettel isn't quite as good this year because of the BBC coverage.

    .....just kidding....

  • Comment number 52.

    Does anyone agree with me - I prefer the race commentary from Brundle and Crofty on Sky but watch the other stuff on the Beeb. I find Ben Edwards nasel tone highly irritating and when you add together with Coultards scottish drawl - its not good Auntie. Maybe Ben should get a Robbie Fowler type strip and that would sort it...

    I also think Ant Davidson is class and talks about driver mattters better than any other driver I've ever heard. Georgie bless her eh?

    Also who killed Damon and replaced him with a rotound imitation of Father Christmas called Jonny H?

    I know its an obvious one but Bernie E to Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain . . . MONEY MONEY MONEY!

  • Comment number 53.

    @49 "Odd one out is Alonso who never looks comfortable in the rain"

    You obviously did not watch Alonso destroy the field in the rain in Malaysia then...

  • Comment number 54.

    @52 Crofty is great and Davidson is brilliant with his video gizmos breaking down the action into minute detail.

    The beeb is better if you don't want much insight into F1 and prefer a bit of banter.

  • Comment number 55.

    This season is just demonstrating what many of us have been saying about Vettel over the past few seasons. When many pundits and fans were falling over themselves last season to proclaim Vettel as the new "benchmark" for F1 drivers and nauseatingly praising Vettel as an all-round "great bloke" to boot, some of us less reactionary folk were offering a more sober judgement.

    Why? Because we remember the 2010 season in its entireity rather than just its outcome. Undoubtedly Vettel was both the deserving WDC in 2010 and the way he performed in the last few races of that season - under tremendous pressure - was impressive. However, this was also the same season in which Vettel caused numerous collisions and crashed into three of his Championship rivals, most notably his own teammate in Turkey. Worse still was his spoilt and childish reaction to that collision he caused - remember his "crazy" gesture, aimed at Mark Webber?

    Fast forward to 2012 and Vettel has already made numerous errors this season - in qualifying and the start from the weekend just gone and previously by causing a collision with Karthikeyan in Malaysia. Why have these errors occurred? Because he is under pressure once again as he was in 2010. Not just from faster cars with better drivers but also from his own teammate, who has outqualified him three times out of three races.

    So rather than judge Vettel by 2011 standards (although he made notable errors even then, under pressure from Button in Canada and Hamilton in Hungary) when he had the fastest car and could simply drive off into the sunset under no pressure, the real measure of Vettel as a man and driver comes when he no longer has that advantage.

    And so far, this season is confirming the more pessimistic opinions of Vettel i.e that he is a relatively unremarkable driver in a car which isn't the best on the grid, can't overtake and outrace his rivals, that he cracks far too easily under pressure, is error prone, is erratic in the wet and has a shockingly spoilt and petulant attitude.

    Or in other words, he is a bit of a one-trick-pony. If he has the fastest car, wins PP and doesn't come under pressure during the race, then he is a dominant race winner and indeed WDC. Yet the mark of an all-round great driver is to be able to win from outside the front row (Vettel to date, has not managed to do so) and to make a lesser car over-perform. Again this is something which Vettel has not managed to do.

    And that includes his win at Monza in 2008 in a Torro Rosso. A Torro Rosso,

  • Comment number 56.

    This season is just demonstrating what many of us have been saying about Vettel over the past few seasons. When many pundits and fans were falling over themselves last season to proclaim Vettel as the new "benchmark" for F1 drivers and nauseatingly praising Vettel as an all-round "great bloke" to boot, some of us less reactionary folk were offering a more sober judgement.

    Why? Because we remember the 2010 season in its entireity rather than just its outcome. Undoubtedly Vettel was both the deserving WDC in 2010 and the way he performed in the last few races of that season - under tremendous pressure - was impressive. However, this was also the same season in which Vettel caused numerous collisions and crashed into three of his Championship rivals, most notably his own teammate in Turkey. Worse still was his spoilt and childish reaction to that collision he caused - remember his "crazy" gesture, aimed at Mark Webber?

    Fast forward to 2012 and Vettel has already made numerous errors this season - in qualifying and the start from the weekend just gone and previously by causing a collision with Karthikeyan in Malaysia. Why have these errors occurred? Because he is under pressure once again as he was in 2010. Not just from faster cars with better drivers but also from his own teammate, who has outqualified him three times out of three races.

    So rather than judge Vettel by 2011 standards (although he made notable errors even then, under pressure from Button in Canada and Hamilton in Hungary) when he had the fastest car and could simply drive off into the sunset under no pressure, the real measure of Vettel as a man and driver comes when he no longer has that advantage.

    And so far, this season is confirming the more pessimistic opinions of Vettel i.e that he is a relatively unremarkable driver in a car which isn't the best on the grid, can't overtake and outrace his rivals, that he cracks far too easily under pressure, is error prone, is erratic in the wet and has a shockingly spoilt and petulant attitude.

    Or in other words, he is a bit of a one-trick-pony. If he has the fastest car, wins PP and doesn't come under pressure during the race, then he is a dominant race winner and indeed WDC. Yet the mark of an all-round great driver is to be able to win from outside the front row (Vettel to date, has not managed to do so) and to make a lesser car over-perform. Again this is something which Vettel has not managed to do.

    And that includes his win at Monza in 2008 in a Torro Rosso. A Torro R

  • Comment number 57.

    @54

    @49"Odd one out is Alonso who never looks comfortable in the rain"

    "You obviously did not watch Alonso destroy the field in the rain in Malaysia then..."

    I saw Alonso have a lucky escape when Perez went off the track... if it hadn't been for that I doubt he will have kept the lead!


    @52 "I also think Ant Davidson is class and talks about driver mattters better than any other driver I've ever heard. Georgie bless her eh?"

    I think Ant Davidson is a fantastic addition to any coverage, he was good when on 5Live & now he has been given more air time he is great on Sky

  • Comment number 58.

    Stupid BBC comments system....cut off my reply, crashed the website on posting my comment twice (hence my double post) and now my cut and paste doesn't work meaning I've lost the rest of my post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    To finish the Torro Rosso comment, it was designed by Newey and had a Ferrari engine. Even Bourdais put that car on 4th on the grid at the 08 Monza GP. Those placings owed partially to fortune i.e Ferrari and McLaren misjudging the wet conditions meaning Hamilton and Raikkonen didn't make it into Q3. Then Vettel gave a sign of things to come - i.e that he is only comfortable winning from the front row (usually PP), and that he tends to win when being able to lead the race and comes under no pressure.

    In short, Vettel has been something of a lucky boy in having the best car since mid-2009. In his favour, he is quick over one-lap in the best car and can be a dominant and consistent race winner in the best car and from PP. Other than that he is quite ordinary - especially when compared to Alonso and Hamilton. Button is as good as him too (his major flaw being lack of blistering qualifying pace) and then Raikkonen is also his equal. Arguably, Rosberg would be as good as him given the opportunity. Ditto the dreadfully unlucky Robert Kubica although sadly I fear his best F1 days are behind him now because of the injuries to his arm...if not his F1 days full stop.

    In short, Vettel is a very good driver (rather than a great one) is even better in the best car. Without that advantage? Not a top-drawer talent.

  • Comment number 59.

    Can anyone tell me if Webber has ever gained a place at the start? Other drivers must dread finiding themselves directly behind him on the starting grid. He reminds me of the" little old dear" who's never been in a accident but has seen thousands....

  • Comment number 60.

    @57 and @54 Re: Brilliance of certain sky F1 team members.

    The exception I'm afraid id Mr. Lazenby, and in fact he's the reason why I still flick over to the Beeb.

    I thought Simon was okay in Melbourne - and his nerves probably kept him in check. But I'm getting incresingly tired of his "I can't believe I've got this job er er isn't it incredible!!!" child in a sweet shop demenour.

    Further some of the childishness in China just adds to the impression he is too lightweight for what is called an "anchor role" precisely because of the gravitas it requires.

  • Comment number 61.

    The beeb is better if you don't want much insight into F1 and prefer a bit of banter.
    ___________________________________________

    yeah the beeb come across as very humble close to the people and unassuming show thats why people love them... its a bit of a "family" show... good but a bit fake if you ask me :)

  • Comment number 62.

    60. At 17:15 17th Apr 2012, thejudge13 wrote:
    @57 and @54 Re: Brilliance of certain sky F1 team members.

    The exception I'm afraid id Mr. Lazenby, and in fact he's the reason why I still flick over to the Beeb.

    I thought Simon was okay in Melbourne - and his nerves probably kept him in check. But I'm getting incresingly tired of his "I can't believe I've got this job er er isn't it incredible!!!" child in a sweet shop demenour.

    Further some of the childishness in China just adds to the impression he is too lightweight for what is called an "anchor role" precisely because of the gravitas it requires.

    ===

    Which is, no doubt, why the BBC elected to go for the gravitas of a former CBBC presenter, namely one Jacob John Humphrey!

    I thought Johnny Herbert made an excellent addition to the Sky team on Sunday, and his obvious chemistry with Martin Brundle made for entertaining TV. Pity he forecast that the Mercedes had no chance of winning the race though!

  • Comment number 63.

    Webber would be so much further ahead of Vettel if he could just sort out his terrible starts! He moves backwards every race, where you would expect him to be challenging for the lead into the first corner. This means that he has to overtake usually at least 3 world class drivers in front of him to win.

    If he worked on his starts with the team for a few weeks during the next break in racing, he could improve his points tally dramatically and really put himself into the championship picture.

  • Comment number 64.

    @62 "Which is, no doubt, why the BBC elected to go for the gravitas of a former CBBC presenter, namely one Jacob John Humphrey!

    Hey don't knock the Blue Peter presenter development machine...

    I agree it didn't start well with the first 2:

    Christopher trace - whose undistinguished future acting career culminated in being Mr. C Heston's body double in Ben Hur
    Leila Williams - his co hostess was an ex Miss Great Britain prior to joining the Beeb, recuruited to keep the dads interested

    But Lesley Judd went on to host her own show and interview Margeret Thatcher

    Sara Greene went on to host Pebble Mill at 1 and won "Best Female on TV" SOS Award 3 years running and guest in the famous Dr Who episode "Attack of the Cybermen".

    I could go on, Ricahard Bacon (radio giant), Joan Noakes (preserver of rural England) and delectable Anthea (GMTV)....

    But there's one that towers above all others. Val Singleton OBE - replaced Sue Lawley on the Beeb, no mean feat.

    Who knows what's in store for Jacob John H?

  • Comment number 65.

    first of all congratulations to nico rosberg for winning his maiden grand prix, i am of the belief now that he could go on and win a few more much like other sports like man city if they won a title could win a few more, luke donald and westwood in golf just need a major, i think nico has broke his duck in many ways.

    my second point is that i'm over the moon the red bulls are not streets ahead of the field anymore (particularly vettel), it's no personal aggrevance with vettel i think he's an old head on young shoulders with how he dominated last year (not so much this year with some acts of petulance), but last year was hard to watch and truely believe anything other than a red bull pole and race win was possible.

    the bbc coverage saved the day in some regard last year and at the time of announcing bbc/sky split coverage i was thoroughly disappointed the bbc didnt do everything they could to control the sport outright. however from watching both channels sky have produced some interesting aspects, mainly the interactive board, but interesting non the less. where they have made the difference however is in the commentary and pit lane reports, martin brundle is brilliant and the bbc are far worse off without him i wish he was still on bbc, he seems to answer questions in more depth than anyone whilst making it accesible to someone who knows little of f1.

    whilst im on that subject i have to agree with no. 52's comment about Ben Edwards, he does bore me slightly, i for one would prefer James Allen as lead commentator, i remember his enthusiasm with brundle when f1 was on itv and i thought commentary was great then!

    finally as for vettel and webber, webber is in a car that suits him, thus he's driving well, vettel by his high qualifying standards particularly is under performing because he doesnt like his car. what would make him a truely great driver however would be if he could extract the absolute maximum from a poor car, that is where he is behind alonso, hamilton and to some respects button.

    im hoping for some more mclaren wins with the odd ferrari win to stop then complaining to the hierachy for more rule changes!

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    i wonder if mark webber kept his foot down when he was on two wheels? if he did then he got balls!

  • Comment number 68.

    @ robbieo79
    Well said :0] Agree with ALL your comments

  • Comment number 69.

    @52,50,44

    Mark Webber

    I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky
    Think about it every night and day
    Red Bull wings and fly away.........

  • Comment number 70.

    @59. I remember one very well; sitting in Copse in 2010 watching Webber get past Vettel as he tried to put him in the wall.

  • Comment number 71.

    Have I missed something? Mark Webber has turned the tables on Sebastian Vettel?

    3 races into the season? Is this journalism or hype?

  • Comment number 72.

    @70 Kate Derby

    You're right Kate and here's the footage

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAU09jPXDcE

    Another song springs to mind: Webber & Vettel

    "Move over darling..."

  • Comment number 73.

    63. Ben

    SEB is still miles ahead of Mark in some aspects of race management not only the starts.And how to deal with pressure is ONE aspect.
    3 races are not enough and they same number like last year when Mark was ahead.So SEB will be soon in front even if I dont like it.
    As I would love to see him WC.But Seb doesnt case about race wins or poles ONLY the points and GAP to the leader what counts.
    You can be sure you can awake SEB at 3.00 AM and he will tell you all scores from this season and his gap to any other driver.

  • Comment number 74.

    its funny how the bbc team always refer to the button and hamilton situation, for e..g last year if button and hamilton came behind him, ej and dc would praise the hell out of button, all these quote " he drove the car like a champion" button maybe the number 1 at maclaren, fast forward a year where webber is beating vettel clearly, quali 5th and 11th big difference, no mention is there by ej or dc, they said a line which i remeber clearly "he is one of the greats" he is up there with the likes of senna prost" really,

    why do edj ad dc like vettel, they seem and tend to lower button and hamlton when they good in some form, mostly hamilton, but when vettel does soemthing average in a good car, they highlight the thing.
    as for vettel, he is good not as good we made him up to be, for e.g. alonso he makes ferrari look like decent car, hamlton made 2010 and 2009 look like a decent car when it wasnt, where as vettel he did not, and i dont think he ever can.

    top three drivers currently:
    alonso
    hamilton
    vettel/kimi
    after kubica comes back he might get the lotus seat.

  • Comment number 75.

    Maybe a more interesting and worthy article would have been about Rosbergs first F1 victory and Mercedes first since 1955, a win in a car which the pundits were doubting its race winning ability/potential.....and even what would have happened if Schumacher hadn't have had the pit stop error.....

    but instead this nonsence...

    Australia - yes Mark out-qualified Seb but Mark finished 4th, Seb 2nd was on podium..
    Malaysia - Seb would have prob finished 4th ahead of Mark had it not been for the contact with K/keyan - not Vettels fault although the experts on here will no doubt feel they know more than the real experts on SKY....
    China - 2 different spec cars & Stategy....seb started 4 places behind mark on grid - 7 if you count thr drop due to a poor start, yet only finsihed one place behind him when webber on newer tyres overtakes on last couple of laps.....

    Table turned?? Nah....

  • Comment number 76.

    CumquatMay at no 25 makes a brilliant point about the 7th Fetzer. It's all about ball bearings these days, for Redbull and the rest

  • Comment number 77.

    With reference to Vettel being able to win in an inferior car can we once and for all stop using Monza 2008 as an example. Yes he took a Torro Rosso and put it on pole, proceeding to win the race.

    But Sebastien bourdais took the other Torro Rosso and put it 4th on the grid. It wasnt a milk float they were driving, it was the fastest car that weekend.

    This season I actually think we are seeing Vettel doing a reasonable job (and I am not a fan at all). Yes he is getting punished heavily for his mistakes, and he has been very poor in qualy but 2nd in Aus, would have finished 4th in Malaysia but for his mistake in cutting up Karthikeyan, and finished 5th in China.

    In 2 out of 3 races it could be argued he has out performed Webber this season.

    I wouldnt be at all surprised to see Vettel get stronger as the season progresses and Webber slower - RB will ultimately seek to iron out the areas of the car that arent to Vettels liking, regardless of whether they suit the number 2 driver.

    On one final note, Webber's win in the final race last year was due to gear box trouble? The kind of gearbox trouble that only affected Vettel's car for the few seconds that Webber needed to pass him, before miraculously curing itself for the remainder of the race. Serious Andrew, you didnt buy that at the time did you?
    (See also Vettel's gearbox trouble at the end of Malaysia)

  • Comment number 78.

    @77:
    "With reference to Vettel being able to win in an inferior car can we once and for all stop using Monza 2008 as an example. Yes he took a Torro Rosso and put it on pole, proceeding to win the race. Bourdais ....4th on the grid"

    No we can´t! It was a horrible day, the team had never won a race/been on pole nor has it done since. Vettel was 19 and in his first full season, never put a foot wrong. He qualified on pole, (it´s what you´re supposed to do, not an unfair advantage) and drove immaculately. Bourdais was a far more experienced driver, was touted to be a star by pundits but was destroyed by Vettel.

    Yes the Torro Rosso was a Red Bull clone (but I don´t remember that chassis winning anything, am I wrong?) and yes, it had a Ferrari engine, but a customer version (missing a few upgrades, which would make no difference in the atrocious conditions, admittedly). However, it was obvious that this was a wunderkind. You couldn´t say that he´s failed to deliver on his promise since, could you?

    Ecclestone rates Vettel highly, maybe he´s right? After a few decades of watching motor racing, it becomes quite clear when an extraordinary talent comes along. As it tends to happen once a decade, F1 is lucky to have 4 drivers on the grid this year who are extraordinary, and another 4 who are first class.

    Ref some earlier comments. Why was last year boring, by the way? There were many fabulous races, one of the best seasons I remember, despite the whitewash. The Malaysian GP was also boring if you only watched the winning car, ignoring everything else that was happening in the race. Motor racing is complicated, not one-dimensional.

  • Comment number 79.

    Re #75:
    At the time of Vettel's contact with Karthekayen, Brundle and Croftie blamed VET, as indeed did I. just because you are overtaking a backmaker doesn't mean they can disappear, VET needed to come back online later. As for China, I think we can all see that a 2 stop strategy was slightly faster, if you could keep those tyres going on the limit, RAI couldn't, VET nearly did. The 3 stop strategy didn't work because the cars were so closely matched that putting cars into gaps wasn't possible. Hence VET race position was mainly due to strategy not his relative pace to WEB. WEB is outdriving VET this year.

  • Comment number 80.

    @49, Justin150:

    "Schum was the rainmaster
    Senna astonishing in the rain.
    Button is excellent in the rain, likewise Hamilton and Vettel....Odd one out is Alonso who never looks comfortable in the rain"

    Eh?! Alonso won two marathon rain grands prix in Korea 2010 and Malaysia 2012!!

  • Comment number 81.

    @72, the judge
    Thanks, good memories there!

    @75

    Yes it's far too early to call but;

    Australia - Webber out qualified Vettel. Had superior race pace and was catching Vettel when he got past Hamilton in the pit stops.
    Malaysia - Webber out qualified Vettel. Again had the pace, particularly when the track had dried. And we can argue all day about whether the crash was Vettel's fault but whatever you think Webber never put himself into that dangerous situation.
    China - Webber out qualifies Vettel. Webber's strategy put him back to 20th at one point, then dropped back to 14th after another stop, he made 12 overtakes to Vettel's 3, so the 3 stop strategy was not the easier option at all. And Webber went past Vettel on tyres as old as the ones Raikkonen was on (20 laps) when he went backwards from 2nd to 14th.

    But yes, still too early to call.

  • Comment number 82.

    Oh Dear.
    Just when I thought he'd grown up a bit, we've got Mr Jake Humfries being allowed to use the BBC as his personal fiefdom. 'I'm presenting the Olympics', I'm doing this and that................ I DON'T CARE.................... This website should be about motorsport and nothing else. Mr Humfries being allowed to use it for his personal bleetings is an abuse of power and the BBC should stop it forthwith.
    Can we perhaps persuade him that his future really lies in the land of the teletubbies from where he came.

  • Comment number 83.

    @78 Hi Baracuda
    I didnt say, or infer, that sticking the Torro Rosso on pole was an " unfair advantage " though did I?
    I did say that it was the fastest car that weekend, evidenced by the fcat that it;
    a. won the race
    b. a rookie stuck it on pole
    c. Bourdais (a driver who is not good enough to make it in F1) got 4th place

    Maybe more reading of other people's posts and less overracting will lead to more engaging debate?

    You state Vettel destroyed Bourdais? In qualy SV was 1st and SB was 4th. In the race Bourdais stalled on the line, and so effectively started from last place half a lap down. They didnt have the opportunity to race each other therefore on the Sunday. That isnt what i would call a " destruction ", but perhaps you and I just have differing understandings of the word and there is little point in arguing over semantics here.
    Bourdais was an older driver, but he only had 1 season in F1 as a driver, 2008. So again I would argue he had virtually no more experience than Vettel.

    I believe Vettel is a very good driver and have consistently stated as such here and other forums. I would use the word Wunderkind as you did, because I believe Alonso and Hamilton to be better, and Button and Raikkonen to be his equal at least.

    The main point of my post though was in praise of Vettel, and arguing contrary to the over reactionary tabloid nonsense Benson has come out with in his blog, saying that in my opinion he has outperformed Webber more often than not on race day this season.
    Interesting @81 Kate Darby has taken the completely opposite view to mine regarding Webber vs Vettel this year, and argued it succintly. More debate like this is welcome

  • Comment number 84.

    hit post instead of preview! "fcat" should be "fact" and i would not use the word Wunderkind

  • Comment number 85.

    I think Webber has had more experience at midfield driving, whereas (aprt from the first 1.5 seasons) Vettel has spent a lot at the front of the field. (like Rosberg this race). If you dont have to fight you can keep the speed up with less strain on the tyres. Watch this vid to see what I mean http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsD71HmFswE&feature=g-upl&context=G21c86caAUAAAAAAAAAA

  • Comment number 86.

    Post #77, Bacaruda,

    Sebastian Vettel was NOT 19 years of age when he won the Italian GP in 2008. He was 21 years of age.

    Whilst it was an undoubtedly impressive win, for reasons already stated, it wasn't quite as impressive as first meets the eye. Moreover, you make reference to the same chassis not winning in it's Red Bull form...yet it was widely regarded that the STR3 was a better car than the RB4 by the end of 2008. To the point where some pundits were arguing that Vettel would be better off staying at Torro Rosso, rather than move to Red Bull. Remember?

    Certainly, the STR3 wasn't a bad car. Still impressive to win in it mind but then not quite as impressive as, say, Fernando Alonso winning in this year's dog of a Ferrari. And Vettel himself, whilst an excellent driver when he has a significant advantage over the rest of the field, seems a fairly ordinary one in a more level playing field.

    Indeed, even with this season just three races old the same doubts and question marks about Vettel's all-round driving abilities have resurfaced. For example, he is unimposing from outside PP/can't win from further back on the grid, he can't overtake his rivals, his error prone/doesn't cope well with pressure and is erratic in the wet.

    Coming back to his Monza win in 2008, it would seem that the lesson learned from Vettel then was that he is fantastic when certain factors are in his favour i.e he has PP and he remains unchallenged during the race. This was confirmed by his performance at the end of 2010 and throughout 2011. Where his victory at Monza is misleading is, that it was the first glimpse of a future "great" driver. Indeed, Senna or Schumacher Vettel is not. Not by a long, long margin.

  • Comment number 87.

    Post #77, Bacaruda,

    Sebastian Vettel was NOT 19 years of age when he won the Italian GP in 2008. He was 21 years of age.

    Whilst it was an undoubtedly impressive win it wasn't quite as impressive as first meets the eye - for reasons already stated. Moreover, you make reference to the same chassis not winning in its Red Bull form...yet it was widely regarded that the STR3 was a better car than the RB4 by the end of 2008. To the point where some pundits were arguing that Vettel would be better off staying at Torro Rosso, rather than move to Red Bull. Remember?

    Certainly, the STR3 wasn't a bad car. Still impressive to win in it mind but then not quite as impressive as, say, Fernando Alonso winning in this year's dog of a Ferrari. And Vettel himself, whilst an excellent driver when he has a significant advantage over the rest of the field, seems a fairly ordinary one in a more level playing field.

    Indeed, even with this season just three races old the same doubts and question marks about Vettel's all-round driving abilities have resurfaced. For example, he is unimposing from outside PP/can't win from further back on the grid, he can't overtake his rivals, his error prone/doesn't cope well with pressure and is erratic in the wet.

    Coming back to his Monza win in 2008, it would seem that the lesson learned from Vettel then was that he is fantastic when certain factors are in his favour i.e he has PP and he remains unchallenged during the race. This was confirmed by his performance at the end of 2010 and throughout 2011. Where his victory at Monza is misleading is in the suggestion that it was the first glimpse of a future "great" driver. Indeed, Senna or Schumacher, Vettel is not. Not by a long, long margin.

  • Comment number 88.

    Well done to Rosberg good drive but I wonder if Michael would have been there as well if the nut had been tightened properly.

    Bahrain is going to be unusual - possible track invasion, blocking of the roads to the track etc. Obviously we now know that Bernie has only one true love and that's money.

    This is post 88 on this blog not even past the first page. What's happened has the viewing figures dropped that much? Can it be that people just don't give a **** any more. Has BBC, SKY and Bernie finally killed it off?

    Listening to Bernie about years to come Spa to be every other year - the best circuit in the world and he wants to replace it with another boring Tilke design like Bahrain, Korea, India and Valencia.

    Granted F1 is a world championship but so is the Baseball World Series but I don't see them going around the world. Bernie wake up and smell the coffee, F1 is a European and North America sport that includes Japan and OZ but look at China last week apart from Lao there were no great crowds. I don't think there will be many spectators this weekend either.

    If your not interested in crowds just pick one circuit and base everyone there and save all the travel costs.

    F1 needs spectators at the circuit and Bernie money is not everything, sometimes you should put the sport/business first.

  • Comment number 89.

    I absolutely agree with all those seeing the truth in Vettel's so called skill being played out now in an average car, that is it's nothing special. The team were always behind Vettel not Webber, as for why he didn't perform as well as Seb maybe there is the key, but for sure now as a lot said last year it was the car that won the championship certainly not the driver and I think Vettel acknowledged that in one of his final interviews at the end of the year. He know's how lucky he was to have such dominant car the first for a long time. I am so glad that is all over and we are back to some actual racing. Funny hearing all the Vettel lovers whine now..I wouldn't be surprised if he never win's anything again!

  • Comment number 90.

    A bit early for this article really... time will tell if its more Vettel being poor than Webber having upped his game. Vettel just needs to ignore the overzealous criticism in the meantime and keep his head screwed on.

  • Comment number 91.

    I just wish Webber could get his starts hooked up so he'd actually have a chance to convert his better qualifying so far this year into better race results.

  • Comment number 92.

    Vettel's Monza 2008 pole/win shows how good he is...

    What? Bourdais qualified 4th only 1 tenth behind.. But he was rubbish. Maybe that car was actually pretty good. It was essentially a Red Bull with a Ferrari engine after all.

  • Comment number 93.

    71.At 20:04 17th Apr 2012, Bacaruda wrote:
    Have I missed something? Mark Webber has turned the tables on Sebastian Vettel?

    3 races into the season? Is this journalism or hype?

    -----------------------------
    Slow news day.

  • Comment number 94.

    I have some misgivings about Formula 1 in China, but having a race in Bahrain is just unbelievable. Money trumps sanity. Where next, Syria?

 

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