Vettel recovers to surprise fourth after mid-race drama (Red Bull race review)

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Sebastian Vettel bounced back from a mysterious car problem early in the race to claim fourth place by pitting on the final lap.

Team mate Mark Webber further added to the team’s constructors’ championship lead with sixth place and put himself back in the lead of the drivers’ championship.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 6 4
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’22.675 (+0.242) 1’22.433
Race position 4 6
Average race lap 1’27.033 (-0.058) 1’27.091
Laps 53/53 53/53
Pit stops 1 1

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Sebastian Vettel

Vettel was fastest in second practice but could only manage sixth on the grid – his worst starting position of the year. The qualifying speed trap showed he had only the 16th highest top speed.

He slipped behind Michael Schumacher at the start but re-passed him at the first Lesmo on lap one.

On lap 19 Vettel slowed with what he believed was an engine problem – reports now claim that a brake stuck as he came out of the Ascari chicane. Mark Webber took seventh place off him.

But Vettel took it back by gambling on delaying his mandatory pit stop until the final lap of the race. He kept his soft tyres alive for an impressive 51 laps allowing him to move up to and hold fourth place.

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

Mark Webber

Webber lost practice time when his car stopped in the second and third sessions. Despite that he out-qualified his team mate, taking fourth on the grid.

But he slipped to ninth at the start and had to fight his way past Schumacher for eighth on lap five. That became seventh after Vettel’s problem.

He spent several laps trying to pass Nico Hulkenberg, becoming increasingly frustrated at the Williams driver’s chicane-cutting and complaining about it on the radio.

He eventually passed Hulkenberg but had no time left to chase down Rosberg and was jumped by his team mate in the pit stops. Despite a frustrating race he finds himself back in the lead of the drivers’ championship.

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

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    45 comments on “Vettel recovers to surprise fourth after mid-race drama (Red Bull race review)”

    1. It was actually commented on TV, looked very suspicious Vettel reporting engine problems that lasted half a lap, enough to get Weber thru. Never seen a F1 engine recover after damage, really weird. The outcome of the race might prove that there were no team orders, or the way RedBull did it might have been responded and RB backed up.
      In my opinion there were no team orders, mainly because I think Vettel is still considered as nº1 driver in the team

      This was Eddi Jordan @ BBC, who also incredibly suspects from Massas pit stop slowed done on purpose by the team!! Such a nonsence. If you check the FIA race pit stop summary you’ll find Massa was only 0.6s slower than Alo and 0.2s faster than Button.

      1. As I said, it’s now believed to have been a brake problem.

        (I don’t see how the Massa thing is relevant here though).

        1. people have gone nuts about team orders…

          1. Fer no.65. You have got it spot on. People are shouting murder at every little thing now and it’s very annoying.

            People were even saying that Helmut Marko ordered Webber to pit at that time and give Vettel the better strategy.

            Why on earth would anyone sacrifice their own drivers world championship. Some people need to calm down and get some common sense.

        2. Any possible relation to kerb banging?
          What of Webber’s first laps, is the power getting down just a problem off the line or is it right through the lap on the software?

    2. I still think it’s not right for a driver to be able to go the full distance without needing to pit (Vettel only pitted because he was bound by the mandatory tyre change rule). I’m not saying that mandatory pitstops are the solution, but I sure hope that Pirelli come up with compounds that force the drivers to make 1-2 stops per race, instead of the FIA forcing them to.

      I know Canada was a rare case, but nobody can deny that the excitement of that race was partly down to how ‘bad’ the tyres were.

      1. Thing is, it’s in a tyre company’s best interest to make long-lasting tyres. That’s why they’re partners in F1, to get data and try to transfer some over to their road tyre research, plus get some advertising.

        What we need Pirelli to do is to focus on one tyre that will be the most durable thing ever, and to focus on another tyre to have the best performance ever. Inevitably one will end up having shortcomings the other would make up for. Then qualifying on the performance tyre will be much more of a risk in the race and we might see some more mixed strategies in the Top 10, like we sometimes saw last year (Melbourne stands out as a particularly good example).

        1. This is very true. I totaly agree that they should have a bigger performance/durability ratio between the tires they bring! This will make for interesting strategies!

        2. Yeah, bigger steps between the compounds would help a lot I think. The super softs should be ridiculously sticky, and the hards should be like rocks.

        3. Qualy tyres and Road Legal tyres…

          you gotta use them both each race…

    3. Its Hammer time
      13th September 2010, 14:04

      Has it escaped the attention of everyone other than me that the Redbull is truely shocking at making competitive starts – both drivers have consistently gone backwards in the last 4-5 races when the lights go out. Is it the design of the car?

      Surely this should be a key area for Redbull to focus on goign forward. You don’t get any points on Saturdays after all…

      1. No. :-) I commented on that before the race and predicted Hamilton would be ahead of Webber and Webber could easily be out of the top 10, I was almost right

      2. Webber has always been a bad starter, not only this year.

        1. Disagree. Webber was never considered a bad starter until this year. Plus Vettel’s also having bad starts. Clearly a Red Bull problem, which Cristian Horner has acknowledged already.

      3. I think Christian Horner mentionned that on the BBC forum. He noticed that their car seemed to have problems with the starts since the last races

      4. The opposite of Schumacher, who always seems to qualify poorly, and make up four or five places right in the start, only to then be slowly picked off by one driver after another and fall back to around where he qualified…

      5. I don’t think you can blame webber for the bad starts over the last few races as he made great starts earlier in the year. Especially in his three wins.

        For some reason the RB cars have been duds of the line since mid season. They have been consistently bad for the last few races that I don’t think it can be driver error. At this level the drivers are to good to get so many starts wrong.

        I certainly hope it is something RB can address before the next race. Drivers should have their fate determined over the full race and not just the first 200 meters.

        1. Drivers should have their fate determined over the full race and not just the first 200 meters.

          That’s why they developed the overtaking work group… No one wants processional races. (Except for the guy at the front of the procession).

        2. I agree with you about not blaming Webber. I think that their car is missing something at the start of the race.

          Webber did very good starts : Silverstone was a great one for instance !

    4. i really want to see all of webber’s first lap. i just don’t understand what happened. sure he lost a place off the line but he was ahead of vettel out of the first chicane. then by halfway round he was behind vettel and then shuey passed him. so confused i am…

      And hulkenburg, seriously, i’d feel jipped too if i was webber. he potentially lost 2 places because of it. i wonder if he could have got past rosberg towards the end if he was released from behind hulkenburg a few laps earlier.

      vettel finally had some luck… sort of. to recover to fourth was a pretty good effort. isn’t it funny how things change from race to race? most seemed ready to write off button, alonso and vettel after belgium and then this week they all finish ahead of webber and obviously hamilton. i’m really loving this season.

      1. Webber put a couple of wheels in the gravel coming out of the Roggia, losing him a couple of places.

      2. I don’t think he would have had an easy time passing Rosberg (who isn’t exactly a slouch) to be honest, so he would have still ended up 5th-6th behind Vettel.

        1. I believe Webber had the pace to pass Rosberg had he manage to pass Hulkenberg earlier. Actually, if I’m not wrong Hulkenberg was slowing down Kubica, Vettel and Webber, helping Rosberg getting away.

          1. He couldn’t pass Hulkenberg either, so why should it’ve been easier to pass Rosberg?

            1. Sorry, I didn’t mean that he would have certainly pass Rosberg. Just that he had a good pace to at least chase Rosberg.

              What I’m sure of anyway is that Webber lost a lot of time behind Hulkenberg (thanks to the rookie’s mistakes). I believe he could have finished in front of Vettel, passing him during his pitstop.

            2. He couldn’t pass because Hulk was gsining an advantage by cutting chicanes.

            3. @Alex : agreed.
              Hulkenberg managed to win 0.3 secs away from Webber each time he cutted a corner (according to what I saw on the F1 Live Timing).
              A shame he didn’t get a drive through

          2. He certainly was being held up by the Kubica train as when they pitted he actually made up time and came out of the pits in front of them. But he was rugged upon rejoining the track and made a meal of passing Kubica and was overtaken by Hulkenburg. He had every opportunity to stay in front of those two and put pressure on Rosberg.

      3. He was passed by two drivers at the exit of Rettifilo, Kubica and I think Hulk, pretty easily. He is really horrendous at starts, not just the clutch setting protocol, but in positioning himself for the first corner.

        1. Most of the times Webber actually is pretty good at starts, been so throughout his career actually. Both Red Bulls are having problems with starts in recent races. As for the positioning, I think he was a bit over cautious not to get punted off, mindful for the WDC. That’s how Kubica and Rosberg passed him there. So as I said, a bit over careful, but someone like Hamilton could benefit from a bit of that. Webber still came in the best position for WDC after Monza.

    5. I still believe that Webber would have caught Rosberg had he not been stuck behind Hulkenberg. The fact that Nico got away with that and Alonso was penalised for the incident with Kubica at Silverstone is ridicolous. You can’t change things around race by race with who you are giving penalties to and who not, sure the stewards change for different races but surely they are given the same briefing as all the rest.
      Personally I would have given Hulkenberg a stop-go, for failing to yield when he probably knew he should have been punished.

      1. The fact that Nico got away with that and Alonso was penalised for the incident with Kubica at Silverstone is ridicolous.

        No, the two are completely different. Alonso gained a place by going off the track at Silverstone. Hülkenberg didn’t do that – it’s not even clear he gained any advantage by going off the track. Sure, Webber says he did – but he would say that, wouldn’t he?

        Like it or not (and I have my misgivings), stewards tend not to penalise drivers for going off the track and ‘failing to lose a position’ – like Schumacher at Montreal for example.

        That point is debatable but the Alonso comparison doesn’t hold any water.

        1. but 3 times? i think he should have at least been told to yeild

        2. How about Jaime Alguaseri then? Says he didn’t get an advantage and didn’t disadvantage anyone yet he got a penalty. Or is his account b/s?

    6. If either RBR have a bad start at Singapore it will cost them big.

      1. Its Hammer time
        13th September 2010, 15:30

        I agree. I am starting to think ferrari and Mclaren can be content with 2nd-3rd row, knowing that the RB6 seemingly makes such terrible starts.

        1st corner is a left hander at Singapore, but think maybe 2 row/ right hand is the place to start, given that is where the racing line is…

        1. Its Hammer time
          13th September 2010, 15:31

          *2nd row/ right hand side

    7. Webber made up 2 seconds on Rosberg once he got past the rule breaker, Hulkenberg, so yes, given another lap or 2 Webber could have taken 5th or even 4th.
      The stewards made a big mistake in not penalising the Williams’ driver.

      1. I totally agree with you. I was watching the live timing at the same time and every time Webber closed the gap, Hulkenberg’s mistakes opened it back.
        Hulkenberg really gained advantage of those “errors”

      2. technically, I don’t think he broke any rules at all. as far as I know, there are no regulations or penalties for cutting a chicane and holding your position. Usually the penalty is that the chicane beats up your car. I think the stewards can issue a warning at some point and then a penalty can be applied. This said, it was quite sloppy driving by Hulk and he is lucky that his car was able to hold up, next time he won’t be so lucky…

        1. Technically, all drivers were told by Charlie Whiting before the race that there would be penalties for cutting the chicanes the way HUL did…

      3. Rosberg probably made a mistake on lap 51, where he lost a couple of seconds (check the Mercedes lap chart). Otherwise his pace before and after that in the final few laps was similar to that of Webber’s.

    8. I agree that Hulkenberg should have yielded to Webber after his first cheating through the chikane, but I also think Webber called it somewhat on himself by waiting for Hulkenberg to get a punishment, thus wasting more time behind him. He should know that the stewards take for too long to decide, and just finish the job on his own, and leave Hulkenberg to get a drive through if punished…In the end it turned out the waiting was a total waste of time.
      Vettel on the other hand drove superbly, and was on of the very best to get a 4th, comming from 8th after a terrible start, which was made even worse by Webbers obvious fighting his teammate first, then fighting the rest, choice of line strategy towards first corner.
      And Alonso and Button were also very impressive I think – Alonso actually managed to win almost on his own. He only got the help from a perfect pitstop which gained him 0.8 sec over Button.

    9. I was glad to see Webber do poorly (especially after Hamilton’s crash) just in the interest of the championship fight tightening back up! It would be great to see Webber and Hamilton do poorly in Singapore with Button, Alonso, and Vettel doing well. I’m hoping for a 5 way fight at Abu Dhabi, it would be epic!

    10. Good result for Seb, only 24 points to Mark. Despite all the incidents and mistakes over the season, I still think Seb is going to be champion 2010!

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