Webber has champion’s luck but lacks Vettel’s pace (Red Bull race review)

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Red Bull were fastest in all three practice sessions but missed out on victory at a circuit where they were expected to dominate.

Mark Webber made an unlikely strategy work with some excellent passes but had a dose of ‘champion’s luck’ when he survived heavy contact with Lewis Hamilton to finish the race on the podium.

Sebastian VettelMark Webber
Qualifying position25
Qualifying time comparison (Q3)1’45.457 (-0.52)1’45.977
Race position23
Average race lap1’55.965 (-0.473)1’56.438
Pit stops11

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Sebastian Vettel

Looked a likely candidate for pole position but he caught Michael Schumacher during his first timed lap in Q3 and brushed the barrier during his second. Despite that, he shared the front row with Fernando Alonso.

Vettel got away well and held second place. During the first stint he seemed comfortable to keep Alonso in sight and not push the Ferrari too hard.

The way the race unfolded behind him mean Red Bull had no chance to use strategy to get Vettel ahead.

Pitting earlier would have meant getting stuck behind one or both of the McLarens. Pitting later would have meant losing time on the very worn super soft tyres he started the race on.

Once Lewis Hamilton pitted, Vettel had to come in on the same lap as Alonso. And a stuttering getaway from his pit box in second gear didn’t help matters.

Immediately after that he sprang into action, quickly hunting Alonso down, only for the safety car to come out.

It wasn’t until the final laps that Vettel made another serious attempt to get by, and he eventually chased Alonso across the line just three tenths of a second behind.

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

Mark Webber

A bold strategic gamble, some gutsy overtaking, a controversial collision and a huge slice of luck – Webber’s Singapore Grand Prix had it all.

He never had his team mate’s pace all weekend and wasn’t able to out-qualify the McLarens, leaving him fifth on the grid.

Bravely, his team opted to bring him in during the first safety car period. This left him behind some cars that hadn’t pitted, but Webber was able to pick off most of them, including Timo Glock, Kamui Kobayashi and Michael Schumacher.

That last pass was vital, for without it he wouldn’t have been ahead of the McLarens after their pit stop.

Then came the wheel-banging incident with Hamilton at Memorial corner which he was extremely lucky to get away with considering the damage to his tyre. Bridgestone’s director of motorsport tyre development explained:

Not only did Mark’s tyres continue to deliver strong performance, but they also withstood the contact with Lewis. In this contact the front right tyre sidewall was pushed out of alignment with the rim, yet it retained its inner pressure for the rest of the race. We can say that this tyre displayed true Japanese grit today.
Hirohide Hamashima

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

2010 Singapore Grand Prix

    Browse all 2010 Singapore Grand Prix articles

    Image © Red Bull/Getty images

    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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    46 comments on “Webber has champion’s luck but lacks Vettel’s pace (Red Bull race review)”

    1. According to Ted Kravitz that tyre had something like half a mile left before deflating…true luck!

      (UK only, sorry)

      But although I’m not going to go back to blaming Webber for the incident, what Bridgestone are saying suggests that it was quite a big risk he took and if it had gone the other way it we would be saying what a fool he was for doing so, compromising his championship like that.

      1. As soon as Hamilton went for the outside and inched ahead of Mark in the braking zone I instantly knew there was going to be a collision. When they touched I thought Hamilton would be tipped into a half spin, losing a few places, and Mark would be facing the wrong way with his right-front wheel dangling from its tether.

        …it was quite a big risk he took and if it had gone the other way it we would be saying what a fool he was for doing so, compromising his championship like that.

        It could have so easily gone the other way, in which case we would indeed be criticising his ill judgement given his place in the championship. Yet he finished third and he is a hero… But the accident was inevitable and unavoidable and Mark did well to nurse his wounded bull back to a podium with Jenson breathing down his neck.

    2. Nothing to say about vettel´s race, unless that he did everything he could to win the race, as for webber, no doubt he had what we call the lucky of the champions with the incident with Hamilton but also his crew was smart getting advantage in strategy.
      It´s the 2 incident that he got by with no damage, maybe it´s time for him to not stretch more the string, time to recover is getting less.

      1. Disagree whole heartedly, I think this weekend showed more then any other where Vettle is lacking as a Grand Prix driver. He had the pace and the car to win this Grand Prix, hell he had the pace and car to grand Chlem, an yet who walked away with a relativley easy victory?

        Vettle should have pushed Fernando much harder at key stages, his tyres worked the hards slightly better so the SC was unfortunate but he didn’t push hard enough at the re-start. He should have been up Alonso tailpipe for the majority of that race but he wasn’t, it never looked like he had a chance of winning it. You have to say if it’d been Kubica or Hamilton in that Redbull, Alonso would have had to fight like a demon for that victory, all he really had to put up with in the end though was two laps of watching his mirrors with the end in sight.

        1. He was pushing Alonso at a very key stage only for the second safety car deployment to put pay to do that…

      1. they all deserve to be WC… even Alonso!

        1. Webber crushed Hamilton twosie in this 2010 seasons along, causing two costly DNF for Hamilton.


          1. Very nice second vid. It compares the superb overtake by Kubica to Hamilton’s failed attempt. Kubica went wide enough to leave room for Sutil inside, but Hamilton didn’t.

            About the first vid, the surprising thing is that both drivers were able to go on and lose only one position (to Rosberg). But Webber had to change his nose and lost 2 more positions. A total of 6 points (6th to 9th) that could prove invaluable for the WDC.

            1. And Hamilton lost only 2 points (5th to 6th), no DNF here

            2. Yeah, that vid doesn’t say about Webber really, but certainly shows by contrast what a great overtaker Kubica was yesterday compared to Hamilton. Kubica really seems to love street circuits with tight walls, and shines when he races on them.

            3. Indeed, plus there’s something else.

              Kubica had a much bigger advantage over Sutil than Hami had over Mark.

              First of all, the car Kubica is driving is clearly faster than the FI, and he also had fresher tyres.

              Plus, he left a lot more room (he actually took the racing line)

            4. US Peter, doesn’t really show that Hamilton is a worse overtaker than Kubica at all, Hamilton tried to overtake Webber in an aerodynamically inferior car under much higher preassure and with tyres not fantastically superior (15 laps on tyres that lasted the whole race in decent shape for Massa) should have given him more space but he was unlucky none the less.

              Kubica overtook a car with much older tyres in an aerdynamically superior car with characterstics suited to the circuit, with nothing to loose. It was a thrilling moove and all credit to him but it does not make him better than Hamilton as the comparison is so poor.

              Remember Australia round Nico? Hamilton is undoubtably a fantastic passer in F1 possibly the best, in Kubica’s position do you really doubt he wouldn’t have done as well?

            5. Hamilton left nearly as much space (30cm gap?) as Kubica, anymore space will result in running wide in turn 7 which is deemed as cutting chicane and ensuring 20 sec penalty.

              The difference is lies between Webber and Sutil. Webber was driving an awkward line into the corner and braking on the dirty side while Sutil did it on the clean racing line.

              Sure it was unintentional but his racing craft is slightly on the ‘crude’ side as happened before in Melb. Dont get me wrong though, i would love for him to win the WDC this year.

          2. That’s interesting work on the video.

            All I see is that Kubica is farther ahead at the apex than Hamilton was, However, in the end its only a couple feet, and, as we know, Webber’s front tire hit Hamilton’s rear tire. They both left the same amout of room inside at the apex, in fact. It’s just that Sutil was off-set because his front wheel was behind Kubica’s car at the apex, not next to it. If Hamilton carried a smidge more speed in, or if the RBR was as crummy as the FI, you get the same picture at the apex.

            My view is that Webber knew that this corner has that area behind the curb, (which he knows from his incident there with Alonso) and in his mind he hoped/thought that Hamilton would take to that area upon seeing him zooming up the inside, or be encouraged up there with a little bit of english from his front wheel. He knew exactly what he was doing, but obviously he didnt aim to take Hamilton out, just to shove his way in there, as so many drivers did in that race, without penalty, e.g., Schumacher and Kobayashi sumo-ing their way to the apex many times.

            1. There’s massive difference between between the two incidents. It’s on entry, not at the apex.

              Kubica takes a wide entry thus allowing plenty of room on the inside for Sutil who in turn also takes as a wide an entry as possible into the apex. Plenty of room at the apex and exit for both cars.

              Hamilton is already thinking of squeezing Webber on the inside and takes a much narrower entry and Webber is close, they both brake late and now there’s no room at the apex for both cars.

            2. Not only that, Hamilton turns in much early from a shallower angle and Kubica much later from a wider one.

            3. What’s more, it is clear from the still shots of the two sets of cars at the apex that Hamilton’s car is pointed at least 20 degrees more to towards the left side of the road ahead than Kubica’s car (which is pointed towards the right side of road).

          3. As i recall similar incidents of Hamilton’s making did happen in 2008 and Lewis was hailed as WDC nevertheless.
            For god’s sake the guy couldn’t even break under red lights….

          4. Filmon, let me get you a tissue, he didn’t have a DNF in Melbourne. In Singapore, the marshals deemed it a racing incident (They know more about racing the you buddy). These things happen at high to low speed entry corners… Like they did for Hamilton in Italy.

      2. Are you Spanish or do you speak it? I think your video actually blames Hamilton for the collision ;)

        1. It does (sort of)

          Here’s the key paragraph and a more or less literal translation

          Solo un poco menos de ángulo hubiese rebasado a Webber sin estropear su propia carrera

          With a slightly wider angle he would have overtaken Weebber without ruining his own race

          1. Fairly reasonable. Bang on it in fact.

            1. Actually, the video is grossly unfair and proves nothing. If you look carefully at the two crucial pictures, you will see that its author chose two different moments for comparing positions. Kubica’s picture is cut from when he was already going out of the curve, so obviously he is more away from the curb. It is easy to spot, since there are red and white squares on the curb, you can see the position of Hamilton’s and Kubica’s rear wheel in the two pictures and compare.

              The basic rule of statistic and indeed any other comparison is that one should compare comparable situations :-). What the video proves IMHO is that both Hamilton and Kubica took pretty much the same path through the curve, but Sutil eased off somewhat in order not to go against another car, unlike Webber.

              I wonder, for the past 30 years or so I have been hearing that a driver who is first into a turn has the right to choose a way. It was still so when Hamilton rammed Massa a few months ago. It is not true any more?

              Of course, then there is a question of being wise. I’d say Webber made a mistake and caused the accident, but Hamilton was not driving prudently under circumstances.

      3. Yep Webber made an error in the first crash. Does that make him underserving of any future success?
        Hamilton clearly turned in too early from the outside in the second trying to overtake the championship leader, am pretty sure most drivers would defend that position to the end. Drivig round the outside is a bold move…when it works. Maybe you would just get out the way?

      4. Hey Filmon, Who deserves to be a champion? you? If webber was with ferrari wayback 8 years ago. He is a multiple champion now!

    3. Great race with enough luck to make it work for Webber. Compare that to Singapore last year!
      He is on a rollercoaster ride towards the WDC this year, i would love it if he wins it.

    4. According to Bridgestone his tire shouldn’t have held on really at all after the crash. It was 5mm from slipping off its seat on the rim and losing all pressure. If there had been any high speed left-handers he probably would’ve lost his tire.

      Asked if they’d ever seen a tire hang on like that before:
      “A few times I have seen it for a few laps, but over 25 laps is incredible.”

    5. The Redbull strategy this season seems to be,as regards McLaren-
      if we can’t beat them ,or they overtake,take them out.

      Webber has now done this twice to Lewis,and Vettel sliced Jensen’s car like a sardine can at Spa.

      The standard of and safety of the RedBull drivers leaves alot to be desired-and this is no way to win the championship.

      You just don’t see that sort of bad sportsmanship /Schumi style driving- from the McLaren duo–it would not be tolerated.

      Vettel is an extremely dangerous driver-he has taken out his own team mate this season,amonst various others.Webber is barely in control of his car at times-it is too fast for his skill -set.

      RedBull will not win this year-what goes around comes around,Vettel and Webber…just wait and see…

      1. I agree, I thought you kind of read my mind. Redbull the team do not deserve to win any F1 title this year.

        1. I have several incidents in mind from 2007 and 2008 where Hamilton bullied Webber (in a rather slower RB at the time) off the track, not exactly unfairly, but hardly sportsmanlike, either. To me, Australia this year was a bad mistake by Mark – but Singapore was sweet, because I know he’s not at fault but it will enrage the Hamilton lovers anyway.

      2. I don’t think it’s fair to go so far, but if it had been Schumacher himself punting out McLarens…there would probably be a much bigger backlash.

      3. Yes, I’m sure you’re right – Red Bull have strategy meetings based around taking McLaren out.

        When both McLaren and Hamilton refuse to blame Webber for the racing incident in Singapore, as well as the race stewards, then perhaps it is time for the fanboys to wake up to reality. McLaren urged Hamilton to pass Webber – he failed. End of story.

      4. Yeahhhhh…….Now all we need is for Vettel to take Alonso out;)……..Get real.

      5. Thought I must have been reading Planet F1 with all the McLaren bias. A newbie to to this (or planet’s)boards would think that it was Formula McLaren and all the other cars and drivers are there just to make up the numbers. The Webber/Hamilton incident was excatly what the stewards called..A racing incident. Webber is held up out of the previous corner. Hamilton takes the opportunity to get a run on him. Webber defends the inside of the corner. At turn in, they are alongside one another. Hamilton (carrying more speed from the wider angle, clean side of the track sweeps into the apex. Webber, braking hard on the shallower, dirty side of the track tries hard to slow enough to get around the corner. They touch. Hamilton should have given more room, Webber should have braked earlier….They are racing for a championship. They both want to win. Would you have done anything differently? If Hamilton didn’t make that pass, he was pretty much resigned to following Webber the rest of the race. Vettel had a faster car than Alonso and spent the whole race looking at a Ferrari wing.
        Its fine to have favorites and support your team/driver but take off the rose tints when posting.

        1. I don’t agree. Here’s what I wrote about the collision in a different article:

          Hamilton seized an opportunity to reclaim the place at the second restart. But he came off worse in a collision that was plainly a racing incident and only invited different interpretations because two major title contenders were involved.

          1. I agree with what you are saying Keith. Its the other posters on the boards (not just here) that can only see things from their favorite driver/team perspective that really get under my skin. Its fine to have favorites but some people allow their support to unduly cloud their posts.
            And, btw, I’m an Aussie so GO MARK!

    6. How stupid are the comments from people suggesting RB are targeting McLaren. Now I have a lot of respect for Hamilton, but it was Hamilton who bullied and pushed Vettel off the track in the Spanish GP if I remember. It was Hamilton who sliced Vettel’s tyre in the British GP (not that it was wholly his fault). It was Hamilton who took himself out of the Italian GP with an overly aggressive pass on Massa at the start. And there is little doubt that Hamilton cut back too severely in the Singapore GP. That is obvious from the footage. I just hope Webber can back on top of his game and win one or two of the last few races.

    7. The only thing Horner & the whole team needs to think is how they will manage their two drivers who can bring them the title. All the circuits from now on except Abu Dhabi have high speeds corners which should favour them.So game on.

      1. Oh dear. You have used the words Horner and manage in the one sentence.That cannot possibly be correct.

    8. And no-one seems to have mentioned Hamilton shoving Webber off the road at China on the restart after SC either…That cost Mark prob 4th or 5th, and Lewis got to 2nd (and yes, I think LH would have got past both RBR drivers that day).

      It happens…and these two have had a few run ins this year. To say ANY of the leading drivers would not be worthy champions is foolish in the extreme.

      Webber – easily the best overtaker of the year so far and been dominant when he has got it right.

      Hamilton – until last two races, error-free and superb in an inferior car. Unlucky in both accidents in last 2 races and certainly not worthy of being strung up for them.

      Alonso – Brilliant as always, and could be leading but for early season mistakes.

      Vettel – Certainly shown the speed required to be WDC although a few errors/ mech failures hurting.

      Jenson – consistent if not lightning quick this year.

      1. GB2009 some good points there that i agree with, however in China it was vettel into Hamilton that put mark off.

        1. Hamilton also had Vettel on the inside of him, remember.

    9. Honestly, we should be grateful that Webber and Vettel are driving the RBs and not Alonso, Hamilton or Kubica. Any of these three drivers would have dominated a season with a car that fast.

      For both the RB drivers being serious title contenders is unchartered territory, and their lack of experience in leading a championship is giving us suck a stellar WDC fight.

      If Webber or Vettel do not win the WDC this season, they should both be very ashamed of themselves. There is no pride in finishing second with an RB6 throughout the season.

      1. The drivers haven’t been that bad. remember china, australia, and germany (for webber), RBR got the strategy completely wrong and compromised the race. hence, webber had to try to pass hamilton, alonso and so on (in australia). the team is just as much (if not more) to blame for RBR’s gross underperformance this year. (oh and canada too!)

    10. suck* = such


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