Red Bull get faster but unreliability dogs Vettel (Spanish GP team-by-team)

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Red Bull ran one-two at the start but finished one-three

After locking out the front row of the grid with an eight tenths of a second margin, did Red Bull hide their true superiority during the race in Spain?

If so, they blundered by not allowing Sebastian Vettel enough of a margin to keep Lewis Hamilton behind at the first round of pit stops.

After that, another dose of unreliability put paid to their hopes of a one-two finish.

Sebastian VettelMark Webber
Qualifying position21
Qualifying time comparison (Q3)1’20.101 (+0.106)1’19.995
Race position31
Average race lap1’27.810 (+0.778)1’27.032
Pit stops21
Spanish Grand Prix lap times - Red Bull (click to enlarge)

Sebastian Vettel

Beaten to second place in qualifying by his team mate, Vettel fended off Hamilton at the start to hold position.

But despite getting his pit stop in earlier than the McLaren driver Vettel lost second place, partly due to having to wait in his pit box while two other cars went past.

Already struggling with a failed front wing flap adjuster, Vettel spent the last 15 laps of the race with his front left brake not working, yet still managed to bring the RB6 home in third.

While Vettel has suffered three car failures in five races, Webber has enjoyed better reliability. It’s clear the RB6, while fast, is also fragile.

Questions will inevitably be asked whether there’s something in Vettel’s driving style which is hurting the car. That would probably not account for his problem in Bahrain, but perhaps his wheel-related failures in Melbourne and Catalunya were precipitated by too enthusiastic use of the kerbs and run-off?

Compare Sebastian Vettel’s form against his team mate in 2010

Mark Webber

In recent races Webber has gone into qualifying having been quicker than Vettel, only to lose out when it came to Q3.

In Catalunya he stopped the rot. Despite Vettel producing the fastest lap of the weekend in practice, Webber beat him to pole position by one tenth of a second. This was vital for Webber to peg back Vettel’s advantage in qualifying – it’s now 3-2 in favour of the German driver.

Webber also learned from his mistake at Sepang and kept Vettel behind at the start – perhaps thanks to having wing mirrors he could actually see out of.

From that point on the race was Webber’s to lose and he duly delivered the goods, leading every lap.

Compare Mark Webber’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 Spanish Grand Prix

    Browse all 2010 Spanish Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    21 comments on “Red Bull get faster but unreliability dogs Vettel (Spanish GP team-by-team)”

    1. Hats off to Webber, showing he wants to keep his seat for 2011 an possibly fight for the title thei year. Only 7 points up to Vettel now if I’m not wrong.

      1. I hope Webber can make a good go for WDC this year. Even if Red Bull is in front we are bound to see some racing going on that way.

        I do have the same thoughts about Vettle maybe wanting too much from the car, on the other hand, just as in Lewis Hamiltons case, would we want him any different?

    2. Is it me or do you think that some of the reliability issues that Vettel is having may be because of his driving style, its a bit like Raikkonnen in the Mclaren, we know they are both very quick drivers, but they are also very harsh on their car.

      I like Vettel, but you do have to question whether sometimes he just drives the c*** out of the car. You could especially hear this on his radio over the last 5 laps when his brakes where going and he was asked repeatedly to slow down because his breaks were about to go.

    3. I guess it could be similar to what everyone said about Sato at BAR in 2004. Button was the next best behind the two Ferraris but Sato kept blowing up engines. Similar situation with Vettel.

    4. That was a drive worthy of Mark’s “AussieGrit” handle on Twitter! A magnificent performance in Q3 laid the foundations for a majestic waft to victory in the race.

      I can’t help but agree with Keith and SamS. I’m starting to get the feeling that Vettel’s early season woes aren’t so much to do with the RB6 being quick but brittle, but more to do with Vettel being a bit overzealous with the kerbs and run of areas and generally trying to get too much out of an already very quick car.

    5. FelipeBabyStayCool
      10th May 2010, 10:02

      Did Mark have any issue with the brakes yesterday? If that was the case, it would justify HAM’s pushing to the limit when he didn’t seem to have a chance to get close to Mark. Anyway the tyres of Mark’s RB did look pretty bad after the race.

      Off-topic, the news today is that the teams have agreed to ban the f****** duct and I’m glad about it. Maybe it didn’t break the rules but it was against their sense (it included a “moving part”, the pilot’s body) and felt like a kludge unworthy of F1.

      1. Sush Meerkat
        10th May 2010, 10:51

        awesome name!

        Hamilton did push Webber, I’m thinking the same as you, pushing on for the RB6 to go and kill itself. Unfortunately for poor Hammy his wheel failed as opposed to Webber’s.

        1. FelipeBabyStayCool
          10th May 2010, 11:13

          Thanks! in case you have not seen it yet, don’t miss the lullaby, it’s hilarious!

          With the benefit of hindsight I’d say about HAM yesterday: maybe unwise but truly corageous

    6. Whether it’s due to Vettel’s driving style or simple design fragility, if Red Bull can sort out their reliability issues the rest of the pack won’t see them for dust.

      Still, it’s nice to see Webber getting the good luck for a change: so often in his career his has been the ‘unlucky side of the garage’…

    7. I think what’s most important now is Webber wins somewhere, where either the crowd, or the telly audience arn’t more interested in something else.

      Just so he gets the biggest cheer from the top step.

      1. Heh yeah, I think in Germany last year he got a decent cheer, but Brazil everyone was talking about Jenson.

    8. Questions will inevitably be asked whether there’s something in Vettel’s driving style which is hurting the car.

      I’m wondering the same. Newey cars do tend to be both fast and fragile, but in Webber’s hand it doesn’t look like the clown car, programmed to fall to pieces, that it does under Vettel.

      In recent races Webber has gone into qualifying having been quicker than Vettel, only to lose out when it came to Q3.

      In Catalunya he stopped the rot

      He had a pole only 2 races before Spain ;-) As it is, it’s only 3-2 in qualifying to Vettel!

    9. I think even Webber believes it’s Vettel’s driving style, I took this comment from the post race press conference as a little jab at Vettel.

      “Looking after the car, engine, tyres as still the grands prix are pretty long and the cars are built for a distance and you need to get the cars home.” – Webber

      Adrian Newey has been known to build fragile cars for the sake of speed, maybe this was a little message from Webber to Vettel that he needs to stop riding the curbs since the car is not going to change.

    10. it looks like that Choltz, but im not complaining a little hint here and there will keep them on their toes ;)

    11. I have criticized Webber many times in the past, and although my overall opinion of him is not changed, I have to give him kudos for a perfect weekend. He was excellent in Q and dominant in the race, w/ no mistakes. Now we go to a driver’s track, Monaco, where driver ability counts for a whole lot more than most (if not all) other tracks. Which means the race should be between Alonso, Lewis and Vettel. If the RBR has indeed improved in slow-corner performance, Vettel should win it.

      1. I wouldn’t disregard Webber at Monaco either to be honest.

    12. I would definitely include Webber in your “possible Monaco winners” list… since he has only retired from Monaco once out of 8 attempts, and one of those successful attempts was in a minardi!! Monaco is a circuit that requires smooth, calm & calculated driving, so my list would be Webber, Jenson, Schumacher, Alonso, Vettel… can’t wait, it’s going to be a cracker!!

      1. christopheraser
        11th May 2010, 7:49

        That one retirement you mention was possibly one of his best Monaco drives as he hauled the dog of a Williams he had that year into third position. While catching the leaders, the cossie in the back let go. I still remember him throwing the stering wheel back into the seat and walking away in disgust.

        It’s a track he has regularly performed at, also dominated there in his last F3000 race at the principality.

        1. aaah yes, brings back some frustrating memories that video.. It seemed that Mark had all the bad luck, but good to see that has finally changed. Mark for 2010 World Championship!

    13. Better luck next time

    14. Stuart Hotman
      11th May 2010, 20:43

      Did anyone else notice the redbulls still bottoming in qualifying. How is this possible?

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