Red Bull: Team clinch title despite missed one-two

2011 Korean GP team review

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A mis-timed pit stop cost Red Bull a potential one-two but they secured the constructors’ championship.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 2 4
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’36.042 (-0.426) 1’36.468
Race position 1 3
Laps 55/55 55/55
Pit stops 2 2

Red Bull drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55
Sebastian Vettel 107.844 105.467 105.241 105.111 105.409 105.321 105.127 105.068 104.727 104.468 104.401 104.569 104.332 104.625 104.888 109.489 148.894 147.7 167.274 154.356 102.532 102.269 102.42 102.304 102.613 102.739 102.961 102.669 102.672 102.264 102.433 102.281 102.044 105.736 118.689 100.974 101.252 101.227 101.57 101.2 101.078 101.336 101.103 101.068 100.679 101.298 101.224 100.947 100.995 101.364 100.836 100.806 100.927 101.568 99.605
Mark Webber 109.966 106.214 105.448 105.615 105.94 105.988 105.616 105.802 105.181 105.134 105.068 105.442 105.999 110.228 121.094 104.168 137.356 135.065 166.41 153.926 103.29 102.643 102.472 102.437 102.867 102.511 102.29 102.811 102.582 102.557 102.69 103.349 108.323 121.526 101.755 101.882 101.994 101.685 101.844 101.433 101.251 101.21 101.118 101.438 100.897 101.144 101.539 101.225 101.442 100.513 101.223 101.046 101.005 100.525 100.294

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Helmut Marko, Jonathan Wheatley, Christian Horner, Mark Webber, Red Bull, Korea, 2011
Start tyre Super soft
Pit stop 1 Super soft 19.985s
Pit stop 2 Soft 20.17s

Red Bull looked under pressure on Saturday as Lewis Hamilton ended their unbeaten run in qualifying and the team appeared to be concerned by tyre wear.

But Vettel’s tenth win turned out to be one of his most straightforward of the year. His eventual winning margin of 12 seconds was one of his largest of the year, second only to Australia.

He coolly dispensed with Hamilton on the first lap, squeezing through a narrow gap at the inside of turn four, and was untroubled from that point on:

“Lewis was very fair going into turn four,” he said afterwards. “I was right on the edge, nearly went straight.

“It was crucial and then I was a little bit afraid as I had really pushed hard. I knew that with the headwinds down the straight from the second to the third corner it would be very easy for the cars behind to close the gap as I would be the first one facing the wind.”

His lead was almost five seconds by the end of the first stint, but the safety car wiped that advantage away.

Having saved three fresh sets of soft tyres for the race he opted not to use any of them until he had to, instead using another set of super softs for his middle stint. He didn’t pull away from Hamilton as quickly this time, but the gap began to grow as Hamilton and Webber became embroiled in their battle over second.

He had more than ten seconds in hand throughout the final stint and cruised home to win at the track where he was cruelly robbed of victory last year.

He even indulged in his pleasure for fastest lap-hunting on the final tour, despite his team urging him not to: “I think they will kill me now,” he said after the race.

“On the radio, they said ‘you didn’t get the fastest lap’ which obviously isn’t true, and then they came on the radio and said ‘idiot, you got it.'”

Sebastian Vettel 2011 form guide

Mark Webber

Start tyre Super soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 20.828s
Pit stop 2 Soft 20.8s

For only the second time this year, Webber gained a position on the first lap of the race. He had initially fallen to fifth behind Felipe Massa, but took advantage of Jenson Button running wide at turn four to gain one place, then opportunistically took Massa on the outside of the following bend.

Unlike Vettel, Webber used soft tyres for his second stint. He closed on the leading pair towards the end of the stint, but was unhappy to end up coming into the pits on the same lap as Hamilton. It cost him his best chance of taking second place.

He explained: “The last pit stop was really what snookered us, I suppose. I was informing the team that my tyres were still good, but we still pitted.

“Yeah, that was a bit disappointing to do the same thing as Lewis because we should have done something different.”

Christian Horner said the team had been trying to get Webber in on the lap before Hamilton, but ended up bringing him in on the same lap. The team were not convinced the place could be gained by staying out longer than Hamilton. Fernando Alonso had done this to overtake Massa, but the Ferrari is kinder to its tyres than the Red Bull.

Webber spent the remainder of the race locked in a battle with Hamilton which was exciting but did not produce his desired outcome: “The fight after the pit stop was haymakers, full-on into each other. It was a good battle.

“So I think overall I’m satisfied how the battle turned out. It was nothing extreme, just a good car race.”

Mark Webber 2011 form guide

2011 Korean Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    19 comments on “Red Bull: Team clinch title despite missed one-two”

    1. Show just how fast the RedBull is and how Webber manged to get such poor results. I mean with a car like that they should have won the constructers championships a couple of races ago.

      1. It shows how Vettel has been the difference between RB being close to Mclaren, and RB being in a league of their own.

    2. I just think Red Bull should start listening to the radio and have some1 watch that McLaren pit talk app. Or just the TV feed.
      All of us heard McLaren telling Hamilton to come in almost a lap before he did, I find it quite a lapse Red Bull failed to act on that (did they think it was a dummy?).
      Apart from that, there was not much Red Bull could have done better this weekend.

      1. FOM always seem to play the McLaren “pit to overtake” messages and pretty much nothing similar from anyone else.

        I’m not blaming FOM… why McLaren haven’t got a code word for this I cannot understand – don’t they realise it might be broadcast? (They weren’t dummying I believe).

    3. Why bother pushing for a 1-2? Title gonna be wrapped up either way!

      1. @MattHT For glory! They’re probably a little perturbed by how Button stole Vettel’s thunder a little in Japan.

    4. Webber gives the best comments. He should quit already and join
      the press. He could throw some solid haymakers in the interview room.

      Vettel’s performance was really just kind of annoyingly predictable now. Remember on Saturday when everyone was sure McLaren had the measure of them? He just walked away from Hamilton in the first stint. He didn’t even use his soft tire hoard. He had this thing totally covered.

      1. I don’t think he’ll do that after he retires. He’s gone on record to say that if he retires it will be complete retirement, completely away from anything Formula One

      2. @dmw

        Webber gives the best comments.

        Hear, hear! His team mate’s getting better though.

    5. Webber should have stayed out having seen Hamilton pit in front of him. I know that F1 is a team sport, but sometimes it feels like the decisions are being made by computers and mission centers back in england rather than drivers. The teams now have so much information at their disposal and drivers are nowadays basically just blindly following orders. We rarely see teams and drivers take a chance and making risks, almost as though they are more afraid to look bad if it goes wrong, than their desire to risk and win.

      1. Webber should have stayed out having seen Hamilton pit in front of him.

        A fair point but this might have been hard to do given Korea’s pit lane entrance. It’s hard for a driver to tell if the driver one second ahead of them is coming in. Somewhere like Sepang it would be rather easier to do this.

    6. Red Bull bungled this up in Germany too where Vettel was fighting with Massa for fourth.

      Vettel was told with 3 laps to go to do opposite of Massa does next time. Massa went past the pitlane, Vettel was supposed to go in, but he didn’t. As a result, both pit simultaneously on the last lap.

      At that time, Ferrari cocked up their pit stop and Vettel got fourth anyways. But Mclaren made them pay for this mistake.

      This is about the only chink in the Red Bull armor this year, I think.

      1. Good point. Though it seems to me if they were trying for the ‘undercut’ in Germany they should at least have brought Vettel in on the penultimate lap instead of waiting until the last lap.

        Still, they got him out in front, so can’t criticise them!

        1. In Germany, I think they were only going for a clean lap for Vettel. So, the message – do the opposite.

          By seeing Alonso’s times, it was pretty obvious that a Ferrari on fresh hard tyres was slower than a Red Bull on worn soft tyres.

      2. Yea, I was trying not to be too harsh on them regarding the pit-stop with Webber and Hamilton. It worked in Vettel’s favour in Germany and could have quite easily gone Webber’s way on this occasion.

        1. As Jenson pointed out with the Rosberg situation, coming out of the pitlane as the second car and straight into the DRS detection zone is actually to your advantage. The only problem for Webber is that he couldn’t get the drive out of turn 2 that Lewis did (oversteer or not, that’s the corner that kept Hamilton ahead of Webber the whole race).

    7. I wonder, would Vettel still have got fastest lap if Hamilton wasn’t going so defensive and not suffering from under-steer?

      Who knows.

      Nice feather to have in your cap.

    8. Redbull F1 car driven on highest motor able road in world in Northern India at 18000 Feet.

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