Hamilton: Vettel “luckiest driver in F1” after podium

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton believes Sebastian Vettel was lucky to get his podium finish in Abu Dhabi.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Vettel’s podium lucky – Hamilton (BBC)

“Incredible how he came up from the pit lane. He must be the luckiest driver in F1.”

Horner: Seb’s silenced critics (Sky)

“Hats off to him today. That’s one of the best drives I’ve seen him produce and any doubters that said he can’t race, he’s definitely proved them very wrong today.”

Abu Dhabi GP – Alonso: “A very full glass” (Ferrari)

“It’s true that with Sebastian last, there was an opportunity to reduce the gap more significantly but it’s equally true that our performance and our grid position could have seen us lose points in this Grand Prix. I repeat, they have the quicker car, we have the better team.”

Ricciardo mystified by Vettel incident (Autosport)

“I have to look and see if did anything wrong but he should be watching me. Everyone was doing the same thing, it’s exactly what you do under the safety car.”

Mercedes F1 W03 – passive ‘double DRS’ system (F1)

“Mercedes’ solution at the rear will [still] be allowed [in 2013], as it is totally passive and relies on F-Duct-style air pressure switches. Even so, team principal Ross Brawn has suggested it is unlikely we will see this system on the 2013 Mercedes.”

Teams turn to pay-as-you-go drivers (The Independent)

Vitaly Petrov pays for his seat at Caterham even though he is very quick, but may yet be ousted by Dutch GP2 racer Giedo van der Garde, who could bring a decent budget, or his rival Luiz Razia from Brazil. Spaniard Dani Clos and Italian GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi are also trying to make deals work.”

Abu Dhabi GP – Conference 4 (FIA)

“We saw some numbers going down and in order to save the engine at last, save the pumps in between etc, we decided to stop the car, convinced that we had enough fuel in the car to provide a sample but, as I said, for some reason we didn’t have enough fuel so I don’t know what happened. There must have been a mistake somewhere which was a big hit, like I said, but I’m sure we will learn from that and it won’t happen again. I think we have done the exercise a lot of times, we know the rules. As I said, we are talking two hundred millilitres that were missing.”

Why the FIA stewards accepted Vettel’s force majeure (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“The Renault engineers had spotted dropping fuel pressure and, according to sources, the message to stop was passed to Vettel’s engineer after some 15 seconds.”

Message from Sebastian (Red Bull)

“I’m terribly sorry for using the wrong word on the podium today and I’m sorry if I have offended anyone who was watching. In the heat of the moment, I didn’t use the right words and I apologise. I’ll do it better next time.”

F1 legend Prost reveals French GP plan (CNN)

“We were very close to organizing a French Grand Prix in Paris a few years ago and now I’ve been asked to advise and see if everything is correct.”


Comment of the day

A sensible perspective on the debate over the merits of Vettel’s drive in Abu Dhabi from Broom (@brum55):

I think the problem is everything is so absolute. It wasn’t the best drive of all time. But it wasn’t all down to luck either.

You have to give him credit though, begrudgingly. To get 3rd from 24th was always going to rely on fortune falling his way but he took it just like Alonso, Schumacher, Hamilton and countless others have done in the past. If you micro-analyse every great F1 performances you can always find that luck plays a massive part. But it was a thrilling performance.
Broom (@brum55)

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On this day in F1

Ten years ago today Toyota announced Champ Car champion Cristiano da Matta would join their F1 team for 2003.

Da Matta was dropped halfway through his second season with the team and later returned to Champ Car. However he suffered severe head injuries when his car struck a deer during testing at Elkhart Lake in 2006. Since then he has competed in closed-cockpit series.

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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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226 comments on “Hamilton: Vettel “luckiest driver in F1” after podium”

  1. I think its a little unnecessary for Red Bull to issue such a thorough apology regarding Vetel’s podium language. If Kimi had said the same thing he would no doubt be in line for a knighthood. We can hardly complain about Vettel being one-dimensional and some drivers being robots if they can’t speak freely. To me the statement sounds as if he made a bad Michael Jackson joke or similar which couldn’t really be further from reality.

    1. @rbalonso
      Kimi used the S word, Vettel the F word, and as George Carlin taught us; they’re 2 of the 7 words you can’t use on TV :-)

      1. @beneboy Yeah man, I agree he shouldn’t have said it but the statement reads as bad schoolboy on the naughty step to me.

        1. @rbalonso
          To be perfectly honest mate I’ve got no problem with them using that sort of language on TV – kids hear far worse in the playground and it’s hardly a serious issue in my opinion.

          I was trying (and obviously failing) to make a humerous reference to one of my favourite comedy routines which is all about the hypocrisy in the way censors and regulators judge certain words acceptable and others unacceptable.

          1. ‘Kids hear far worse on playground’
            so lets promote it by saying these on TV at middle of the day, why not?! Vettel should know better and his English is very good. I was surprised to hear HIM use such a language on TV yesterday. Some things are simply not acceptable and this is, in my view, one of them. No swearing on TV. Terrible message from the sport yesterday…

          2. @zicasso It’s only a couple of swear worlds. Hardly the end of the world. FFS.

          3. I hardly think a small slip-up is that serious.

          4. @ajokay
            You clearly don’t get it do you? Don’t use it but hear it all the time with no problems at all… That is not just a couple of swear words, that is poor language coming from F1 at the middle of the day. These kids who @beneboy says say far worse things it in the park are a small minority or a myth because I don’t see any when I go to a park with my son. Wrong place, time and programme for that. It’s ridiculous to say ban him but a massive fine would teach him a lesson.

          5. @zicasso Definitely not a small minority or a myth. I remember the school playground. It was only 15 years ago. Swearing all the time, so long as it was out of the range of a teacher’s ears. Definitely no myth. Although we are talking secondary school here. I’m sure you probably don’t hear other kids swearing when you’re at the park with your son, as I’m guessing he’s probably less than 10 years old.

    2. Drop Valencia!
      5th November 2012, 1:33

      You do realize the penalty for public swearing in Abu Dubai is 6 months prison? An apology was essential, Bernie for one would have been FURIOUS!

      1. If that’s true, no Scotsman will ever live in Abu Dhabi!

        1. @rbalonso I do and I’m a Scotsman! :p I was also standing right in front of the podium when they were doing the interviews and I have to say that they turned the PAS system down so much after the race that we couldn’t hear the podium interviews at all.

          1. LOL @geemac! I bet all 30.000 or so of you at the race must have a thoroughly and surprisingly great time this year! They must have known why they turned it off with Kimi being on the podium and giving them only rose water to drink :-)

          2. @GeeMac I had exactly the same experience at Spa. They should get rid of the podium interviews if they cannot ensure that the fans below hear them as TV audience already have the traditional press conference.

          3. @girts I totally agree. I see nothing wrong with the podium interviews if the fans at the track can actually hear them, but if they can’t (which we’ve proved at two separate races) then they should either get rid of them or have a short podium interview followed by the traditional TV interviews. The drivers have a lot of commitments but they do a million interviews after races, so a couple of FOM sanctioned ones won’t hurt.

            @bascb Yeah, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Kimi up there, his first win in his comeback year and all he had to celebrate with was rose water!

      2. Not to mention RBR might get into trouble for it. I agree that the apology was probably because of these laws more than thoughts about image etc “Drop Valencia!” (Oh, and as it seems Valencia is getting itself off the calendar, wouldn’t you like to change to using “Drop AbuDhabi! ?) :-P

    3. I think it was not an appropriate moment to swear. To me, Seb looked like a child, who tries to imitate the ‘big boys’.

      I believe that the swearwords are there to express your emotions in situations where the ‘normal’ vocabulary just ain’t enough anymore. However, the usage of them shouldn’t be encouraged, I don’t really want to hear ‘this was an effing good race, I effing loved it’ after every GP…

      1. It was said somewhere yesterday that it seemed as if Vettel swore because Kimi had.It did seem that way to me

        1. In fairness to Vettel, he does seem to drop the odd f bomb on BBC in the past. Not particularly fussed about swearing, but clearly Kimi and Mark are the only ones that are excellent swearers.

    4. I don’t feel Vettel should have apologised. I feel FOM should, because performing post-race press conferences on the podium in the heat of the moment after the champagne is/was always going to be a recipe for disaster.

    5. Both Kimi and Vettel acted like a bunch of uneducated western kids. Honestly, I felt embarrassed as a fan especially because this took place in Abu Dhabi. Total disrespect towards everything and everyone. In my view, I would give them both a ban until they learn manners and learn how to communicate.

      1. @maksutov

        Really ?

        I mean, really ?

        Abu Dhabi is a nation where it is acceptable to beat and rape women, where foreign workers from Africa and Asia are treated like slaves and where a horrific number of human rights violations are committed every year and you’re embarrassed that a couple of drivers swore on the podium.

        Personally I’m far more embarrassed that F1 goes to such countries in the first place.

        1. In what precisely do you vase those rants? Just because of worker riots in major construction sites in the past? Does that mean we should also ban countries like Canada, France, Italy, USA, UK and…. oh, the list will be pretty long!

          Do you even realize how rapidly the UAE have moved from a traditional muslim country to a modern, multimational, human rights protected country of freedom and speech, religion and opinion? Yes, there has been problems and the same goes for our own countries during major reforms and it’s only expected.

          I am sure you never went there because if you did you would realize that UAE is very safe and open and liberal toward western ways. I know workers from Kenya there and they are treated very well indeed with normal working hours, flexibility, good salary and more than four weeks vacation.

          Women can wear bikinis at the beach, sexy outfits at the mall, (and trust me, the Arab women do it to, only slightly covered by fully-open-front-see-through-traditional-wear) you can buy alcohol everywhere that has a license and you can even buy pork.

          Women are certainly not raped without consequences like in Sharia enforced muslim countries and in fact UAE have a government act to increase the empowerment of womens role in society.

          I think it would suit us a lot better to embrace a country formerly ruled by heavy tradition and religion but which is actually doing the right thing by working overtime to adapt and conform, despite naturally occuring problems.

          1. @poul

            I base my comment on my experiences from visiting the country and from the many reports of human rights abuses that are easily available to anyone with an internet connection.

          2. Thank you @poul. I have spent a significant amount of time in the Middle East and always face the problem explaining to others that it is not as bad as they think it is.

          3. Do you even realize how rapidly the UAE have moved from a traditional muslim country to a modern, multimational, human rights protected country of freedom and speech, religion and opinion?
            Really @poul?
            Because I am pretty sure its not quite there yet with the real freedom (not that its easy to stay like that, as several examples in the whole world show all to regularly)

          4. there are not many Muslim countries that would allow a woman to present a trophy like happened yesterday

          5. So liberal that the tradition to use champagne is not allowed… I am utterly sure that you cannot put your feet an inch wrong before to be severly corrected. And it is easy to find tons of litterature on this subject. Poor Vettel needed to apologize, very sad.

          6. @ ubik
            Then you are “utterly wrong” because it is not at all the case. Do you you honestly think UAE would be a top tourist attraction of the day if it was?

            It is “utterly annoying” how many people are making public statements based on prejudice assumtions.

            You expect people to respect your traditions so what is the problem with respecting their tradtion of not drinking alcohol in public?

            @ beneboy
            Mind you, I am not saying that there have never been problems, but I am saying that at least this young nation is trying hard to reform in the best possible direction. Do you really prefer to fight that with fire instead of recognizeing it in order to help it along when the leaders are truly trying to improve?

            And why is it that I don’t hear these complaints during the Chines grand prix when China is indeed easily the superior human rights offender by a very grand factor with no intentions of improvement ever shown?

          7. @poul

            I have regularly complained about F1 going to China and several other countries too. I think that the FIA/FOM willingness to support corrupt dictators and tyrannical regimes reflects very badly on the sport and those of us who follow it.

        2. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
          5th November 2012, 14:09

          +1 billion at bene

      2. I happen to swear fairly often. I am western. I am not uneducated. What on Earth do you mean by that statement?

        1. @matt90 – I think he means… nope, I can’t work out his nonsense either.

        2. @beneboy

          Fair enough. I was not referring to any special treatment to the community in Abu Dahbi, or its Muslim nation but rather how we as a western society represent ourselves to others.


          I am western. You know very well what I mean, so stop pretending like you don’t know what I am talking about. The point here is “not” about the general Muslim community. I don’t give a “f” about any fanatical religious faction or group. There is your “f” word; I use them a lot too. But wait, I’m not being interviewed right now, nor am I getting paid to represent my team or my sport.

          These drivers are paid to do a job and represent their team and the sport in the best possible manner. Do you want everyone in the paddock to start using the “F” and “S” word when they are interviewed?

    6. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      5th November 2012, 9:36

      What the helix….there was no need for an apology. As for UAE public nuisance laws kimi was drinking a beer when celebrating with his team so formula one must be in some way exempt from those local laws that in the rest of the world we might call rollox.

    7. I have to say that, while I believe an apology should be issued, I don’t think this should be regarded as a serious incident.

      Seb and Kimi both speak English as a second language. They have probably learned most of it through their racing careers, and likely most of that has been spent speaking to their engineers and mechanics. This is why swearing is probably a good chunk of their vocab.

      As native English speakers, we generally develope an instinctive filter which knows when swearing is OK and when it is not. We normally do not even have to think about it, our language just changes to match our situation. If we were to learn, say, German in an environment in which it is acceptable to swear, we would likely say those words in the wrong situation, too.

      The apology needed to be made by someone. This was broadcast live and some will take offense. Seb and Kimi will both learn something from this, and will be a little more careful in future. But, to them, this is probably normal English, the English they speak every day. Without the instinctive filter, “****-ups” like this will occasionally happen. Don’t like it? Don’t expect them to speak a second language at a live interview!

  2. Good to see there is no “Message from Kimi”…

    1. @tomsk I just imagined that.

      Message from Kimi: F-word it.

    2. And if it will be, it will be from Raikkonen’s PR guy

    3. Kimi is still busy partying, you wont hear a thing from him until the Thursday in Austin :)

  3. Hamilton’s been very unlucky this year, sure. But the COTD sums up exactly why it wasn’t just down to luck for Vettel, it’s unfortunate Hamilton can’t see that.

    1. I must have missed where he said it was entirely up to luck.

    2. Ah, give him a break, he’s meant to have a sweeping sense of historical perspective every time he opens his mouth, even after a race where he retired through no fault of his own from the lead?

      1. I just think it’s not fair to be so flippant about another’s success. Chuckling and saying “that guy’s SO lucky” to me appears to be highly dismissive of another’s achievement. No need to have any grand perspective.

        Hamilton should have easily won that race, and yeah he deserves another win before leaving McLaren. I hope he gets it. But I dislike people who say Vettel was lucky today, Alonso was lucky in Valencia or even Hamilton was lucky in some other race. It’s a reductive statment which doesn’t reflect the true state of things.

        1. I think the reason Hamilton “appears to be highly dismissive of another’s achievement” is because he is.

          You can’t deny, things did fall into place for Vettel.

          1. It’s tasteless to make those kinds of comments over and over. Normally people don’t wear jealousy on their sleeve. You don’t see other drivers saying stuff like that. Alonso implies it I guess but still not the same.

          2. You should also consider that, without the bad luck on Saturday, Vettel would have almost surely finished ahead of Alonso and gained points in the WDC instead of losing some. Technically this weekend was bad luck for him overall.

          3. In fact let’s be honest: with Webber’s starts, Vettel would have been the favorite for the win even starting from third.

          4. vettel had bad luck on Saturday? They “cheated” by low fuelling the car. Then they made up some bogus story about Renault telling them to switch off the engine. For cheating and blatantly lying about it like that, people would have demanded Lewis would have to hand in his racing license.

        2. I think that if you look at what Hamilton actually said, its something many of us would agree with

          “(It was) incredible how he came up. He must be the luckiest driver in F1,” said Hamilton, who retired from the lead before half distance.

          especially after he got so unlucky the second time in a row when leading the race himself!

        3. It was lucky, I mean Keith put up the last time this happened which was 3 decades ago in cars that didn’t have any of the advantages to help someone climb up the field. Also let’s not forget that redbull seems to have given him a much different yet faster setup car than from quali.

          So having fastest car, with better setup than in quali, starting from pit lane and the abilities given with DRS and KERs. I think luck was on his side, especially when you stop and see how many close calls. Still you seem to be making a villian of Hamilton.

          1. Oh and let’s not forget the safety cars as well. If they weren’t there who knows if Vettel would have been that far up. I think Vettel could have easily got into the points. I mean he is driving the class of the field vehicle

          2. @magillagorilla

            “I mean he is driving the class of the field vehicle”

            The RB was certainly competitive (no-one who makes up so many positions isn’t driving a fast car), but “class of the field” is a stretch. Mclaren were the class of the field in terms of speed, much like people claim the same when Vettel leads from pole.

          3. It’s not my intention to make a villan of Hamilton. I’m just, as many others around here are, trying to parse out more information than possibly is in his comments. Alonso has stated things along the lines that he’s fighting Newey for the championship, that Vettel has by far the faster car ect. Now Hamilton comes out with a small, but in my mind telling comment on Vettel’s success.
            I think there might be growing resentment or jealousy of Vettel’s success by some drivers, just as he’s resented by some on this site.

          4. @David-A yes it is quite a stretch, especially when that car has produced four wins in the last five races. Three of the last five qualies the car was on top in one two fashion. Five of the last five the car was in podium position after qualifying.

            Yet some how the car isn’t the class, even though both drivers have shown how good it is. One more than the other. Yes the Mclaren at one time was the best but as the season progressed it has been shown the red bull even in race trim outshines the MP4-27. Also with all the suspension, gearbox and other failures the attrition rate on that car seem almost as bad as the back markers. Yet the RB8 isn’t the class of the field…uh sure I see the stretch between the lines

          5. @magillagorilla I’m referring to this weekend, where Mclaren were on pole and pulling away from the rest. And it wasn’t even long ago that Mclaren had 3 wins in a row and 4 straight poles themserlves. I’m just saying that Red Bull have been fast, but not the fastest by any large margin, as people are so eager to claim.

            That is why your claim was a stretch.

          6. Okay as far as this “weekend goes” Hamilton never put a major gap on Kimi. Plus this is straying away from the point at hand which is Vettel probably has one of the best if not the best car. Stats from the past 6 weekends onward show favor to RBR, thus it can be deduced that Vettel has the class of the field car for this period.

            And thanks to that along with other factors I find his positioning more luck driven. Which is the main point. Also the irony is the attrition of the supposed faster Mclaren only further helped Vettel along with overpowering Button. So the faster McLaren really doesn’t hold up. Which is the only thing that impressed me about his race.

          7. For that period of Japan-India maybe RBR had the fastest car, but this weekend, Mclaren took pole, and their lead driver led comfortably. Lewis wasn’t under any pressure from Kimi’s Lotus except for immediately after his early off. So in terms of speed (not reliability), Mclaren had the fastest car this weekend. That’s what I was pointing out- Red Bull were not as fast, even though they were one of the fastest (which I already said).

    3. @colossal-squid

      Hamilton said:
      “It was still a good weekend for me. It was a shame I couldn’t continue because I think we were on for the win, but I was unlucky. I then got to watch the race and it was incredible how Sebastian came up from the pit lane. He must be the luckiest person in Formula One.”

      Now, to me at least, that sounds like he’s saying Sebastian’s performance was incredible and the luck part of the statement is just a comparison between what’s happened to him (which was clearly unlucky) and what happened to Vettel (which involved a fair bit of good luck).

      Maybe I’m reading more into Hamilton’s comment than is there but I don’t think he was trying to say Vettel’s performance was just down to luck.

      1. @beneboy Maybe I’m reading into Hamilton’s statement the wrong way. I guess after reading so many people dismiss Vettel’s drive today as pure luck I’m starting to see it everywhere. There isn’t anything majorly wrong with what he said. He should have won the race easily, that much is true. But I took his statment to read that Vettel being “the luckiest person in Formula One” makes his result less legitimate or worthy somehow.

        1. You are definitely reading it the wrong way. It was a flippant statement, not a declaration that the podium was undeserved.

        2. It’s the choice of headline making you feel that way. How about Vettel saying f**! on the podium? No, Hamilton is the bad man who should know better. *sigh* again. Imagine Hamilton saying F**! on the podium?? Now you know what I’m on about.

          1. @john-h There’s a difference between offhandedly swearing on the podium (which Vettel has apologised for anyway) and attributing a good drive to being lucky, without also commenting on the skill that was also a large part of the ‘lucky’ drive. One is a mistaken choice of words, I think the other shows greater insight into a driver’s opinion and state of mind.

            As I’ve stated in another comment I don’t wish to villainise Hamilton, I do however think that he is a bit jealous/resentful of Vettel’s success and that his comment can be read as being dismissive of a great drive by largely attributing it to him being “the luckiest driver in F1”.

          2. @colossal-squid Fair point.
            I think I have more of a problem with the choice of headline here (and on the bbc site which has got 560 comments on it) than your initial comment. Apologies.

            For instance why do I not read Button: “Sebastian ‘lucked’ in” on the head of this page or the BBC one? It’s just been ongoing for so long that there is so much put on just a few words spoken by Hamilton, that I feel like commenting on the fact that actually he is not that bad a bloke, despite what these debates inevitably lead us to insinuate (we all know that they do).

            There will of course be envy there, who doesn’t want luck in life? But if you listen to the interview with Button it is just the same as Hamilton, and yet we hear nothing about it.

            My point about Hamilton dropping the F-bomb just highlights the fact that if he did that the masses would be down on him like a tonne of bricks. I just feel like typing out about it.

            All good fun though $:)

          3. @john-h No apology necessary! As you say it’s all good fun! :)
            I can understand the attraction the media has with Hamilton – he’s a pretty unique character in F1 for many reasons.
            He’s dramatic gold many times for the 24/7 news cycle, and I’m as guilty as the next one for feeding off of it. Look no further than my above comments!
            Is all this fair? No. As you rightly point out undue attention and analysis is given to all he says. But I think that over analysis by armchair pundits (myself included) will always follow him. It’s just too much fun!

      2. I think you are 100% right.

        But this Vettel and luck thing is a theme. People do like themes.

    4. Definitely Vettel was lucky, but how much of his “luck” was down to pure universal forces, or him and his team making sure his car is in the right position to take advantage of his track positioning and other drivers errors?

      It’s not his fault, or rather it should not be held against him, that cars ahead and behind of him self destructed or decided to play bumper cars.

      Vettel overtaking can do with a little more work IMO. He did damage his wing by placing his car where it shouldn’t be, however he did overcome that by taking advantage of a sleeping Button.

      1. I have been following motor racing since 1967 (all sorts) and luck has always played apart like 1987 when Mansell burst a tyre in Australia and Piquet won the championship or like Hamilton when Glock”s tyres gave up right at the end of the Brazilian GP and he lucked into his only world championship and he has not finished higher than fourth since then. Luck ?

        1. I think this is a great point. Hamilton had luck to thank for his championship, but on the other hand he had terrible luck in that race when the car went into neutral for no apparent reason.

          Likewise Vettel was terribly unlucky yesterday that he had to start from the pitlane, but was lucky with the second safety car timing.

          Too much focus is put on good and bad luck, particularly in the final races of a season, and generally it is used selectively to support a pre-conceived opinion (for example little is made of the terrible luck suffered in the last two races of 2005 by Schumacher without which Alonso would only be a single world champion – mainly because Alonso was a popular victor).

          Ultimately the best drivers generally get the most out of the situations they are in over the course of the season and that’s what brings podiums, wins and championships rather than luck.

          1. The reference above should have been to the 2006 season of course, not 2005!

        2. How is that luck? Surely he was incredibly unlucky that Glock even got ahead of him in the first place by not following the convention of pitting like every other single driver bar his team mate?

        3. @ean Glock was gambling, pretty much the same way when he pitted for wets at Spa (2008) some races before, calling that luck is quit unfair. Luck was on Lewis side in Monaco 2008, not in Brazil.

        4. “or like Hamilton when Glock”s tyres gave up right at the end of the Brazilian GP”


          Glocks tyres didn’t ‘give up’, his team gambled to keep both cars on dry tyres in wet weather. Everyone else pitted for inters/wets, which is why Glock ended up infront of Hamilton in the first place. Had Glock pitted like everyone else, he’d had ended up 20+ seconds behind Hamilton.

          Did you not watch the race?

    5. C’mon! He just said he was lucky, and he was indeed. He did not say Vettel did not put on a great performance to end up there. You need to mix some luck with performance to produce a podium starting from pit. But he had some issues too, like his damaged front wing and smashing DRS sign.

      In my book, it still was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from him.

      Lewis said:

      (It was) incredible how he came up. He must be the luckiest driver in F1

      Domenicali said:

      He did a great race. He had moments when he was lucky and moments when he was unlucky.

      He had a safety car at the right moment, which took his gap down from 22 seconds to 10 seconds. He was able to start last and finish third, so he maximised the situation and it was a perfect race for him

      1. Once again, its the F1F and may I add BBC headline making people react in this way. I’m dissapointed in the choice of headline.

        Like I said earlier, imagine LH saying “****” on the podium? I wonder whether we would hear the end of it.

        1. @john-h I don’t say how I’ve ‘made’ anyone do anything. Hamilton said what he said, the headline is a fair representation of that.

          I chose it as the top story for the round-up because it’s rare to see drivers assessing other drivers’ performances negatively or positively. And Hamilton’s views on Vettel seem to be a running theme at the moment – in the past two weeks we’ve had ‘I’m not as lucky as him’ and ‘Alonso is more accurate’.

          1. Thanks for the reply @keithcollantine , apologies for getting a little carried away here.. it can happen sometimes with me. I was just disappointed, I read the BBC headline and thought of all the things to talk about, Benson goes for Hamilton again. Then I read the roundup, and its the headline on F1F, so went a little mad! I still stand by my dissapointment, but I also understand the reasoning you give. There is definitely some jealousy there but who wouldn’t be jealous I guess?

    6. I can understand Lewis’ frustration. He’s lost probably 100 points through no fault of his own this year and it’s true that Seb was a bit lucky yesterday. Then again, the luck wasn’t on Seb’s side on Saturday when he lost the third grid position entirely because of the team’s slip. He would most probably have won the race from there so some lucky circumstances on Sunday were just a partial compensation.

      I guess it’s hard for Lewis to accept that Seb might become a triple world champion in a couple of weeks, while he will still be only a one-time champion. It’s easy to see why he believes that these statistics do not fully reflect the actual quality / potential of both of them. But you could find many similar examples in the history of F1. Stirling Moss never won a championship, Nelson Piquet Sr did it three times but I think many would still put Moss ahead of Piquet in the list of all-time greats.

    7. He didn’t say it was all down to luck. It’s a shame this is lead headline when there is so much else that is more important to feature. Hamilton Hamilton Hamilton, what a bad guy he is.

      How about Hamilton asking about whether the drivers were ok in the HRT shunt? Or shaking hands with the team that lost him a chance at the title through bad management.

      Still we focus on this.

      1. but no… Lewis is the devil…

        certainly Lewis must be jealous of Vettel though. Not just in seeing how much good fortune Seb has, but also relative to Lewis a lot of drivers on the grid have had a lot of luck. Button’s only a few points behind him? That’s not how I’ll remember this season for Mclaren.

        1. Yeah, that’s the thing, you can look at the points table and how closely Button’s points tally will be compared with Hamiltons after 3 years as team mates. But other than the 2nd half of 2011…Hamilton has out performed Buttion pretty convincingly during their time as team mates.

          Button has done admirably well and picked up a lot of victories in tricky conditions through great judgment calls…but on balance Hamilton has always been the quicker Mclaren driver over the 3 years.

  4. I really wish Hamilton would quit with being an Alonso sycophant and a Vettel denier. He sounds like those people that say Vettel can’t overtake, its just luck, the car, he’s never proven himself in less capable machinery etc. Hamilton’s ego has been fed enough recently with this romantic notion of turning round a team that were the previous team to do the constructors/drivers double before Red Bull just another example of it. I liked you when you let your driving do the talking in the first 11 races. Now that you actually talk again I’m bored. Accept it mate, Vettel is great and you could be up on his and Alonso’s level if you just shut up and got on with it.

    1. Jacob Larsson
      5th November 2012, 0:34

      The manlove/lovefest between Hamilton and Alonso is getting pretty dull. It’s enough now. We don’t need to hear you say every single week how great the other driver, just to hear the other driver say the same about you. To be fair, partly the media’s fault.

      But, I wonder why. Honestly, it feels like they hate Vettel. Jealous that he will very likely get his third title soon?

      1. Alonso is playing the psychological game… trying to place doubt in to Vettel´s mind about his capability… I think this could have worked back in 2010, now I don´t think so…

        And Hamilton is talking about the man in his same generation who being two years younger, for whatever reason, has taking his place as the Number 1 and heir of Senna (Ayton not Bruno) people were giving him after his 2007 debut and his 2008 title… So he wants to deny Vettel talent…

        1. @celeste

          I think I’m missing something… maybe we’re not talking about the same comment…

      2. It might be me reading into Hamilton’s comments a little too deeply, but it could be a hint of jealousy in his words of late.

        Remember it was not that long ago that Hamilton was considered to be the “wiz kid”, the one to pop into F1 and storm to victory and multiple championships. He was the one to come in, challenge the old guard, make people look slow, and set multiple records; however, due to his/McLaren’s issues they never realized that potential. Vettel was the one to do what he couldn’t, set his name in the record books and achieve was Halmilton was supposed to do.

    2. @gavmaclean

      Please show us where Hamilton is being these things.

      And stop waving your arms when you rant, it looks silly.

      1. Well, it’s obvious that Alonso and Hamilton are making Vettel believe that they are the two big dogs and best drivers on the field, while he is just an inferior driver with a Newey car.

      2. Awww Mike please! It may not have been the most elegant of comments but I feel there are valid points made within it. Other people seem to have debated my comment without accusing me of being wavey…

        1. But your comments are a bit unfair. The real issue is yet another McLaren failure. Imagine if Hamilton had still been in contention at this point. We’re simply now totally used to McLaren’s operation failing at some level. Which all goes to show Hamilton has good reason to try another team. And obviously it’s frustrating to lead the whole weekend and then simply lose power! I thought Hamilton’s comments were pretty measured and just a bit playful over a real fact: Vettel did have more luck. As he has had more ‘luck’ to have a Red Bull car and team backing his championship bid over the past few years. But compare to last year and seems clear Hamilton has actually recovered from some of the disappointment with his later McLaren years quite well. Sure it’s relative and he himself is ‘lucky’ to have driven for McLaren but this year they’ve thrown away the drivers championship, at least, if not both, with a series of blunders and mechanical problems all the way from start to end.

          1. It’s not really unfair if we’re honest. Vettel has lost a Valenica win and Italy points anyway to failures and the 2010 title went to the last race simply because of Vettel’s troubles in Bahrain, Australia and South Korea. McLaren would probably be struggling even without the failures given the net gain would only be like 20 points of Hamilton finishing. He should be a double world champion sure, but it’s McLaren’s competence rather than luck that’s ultimately been the cause.

            My point is not about the cars or whatever, it’s more about (what I see to be) Hamilton’s continual disrespect of Vettel. Hamilton seems to have this romantic notion that this is meant to be an era of a great rivalry between Alonso and himself. Whereas Hamilton bemoans Vettel’s luck, Alonso gets on with the job and is in his 2nd title decider with Vettel. Hamilton has had effectively one title decider with Alonso. So yeh, I restate my point that Hamilton needs to just get on with it.

    3. Hard to let your driving do the talking when you can’t get beyond half race distance.

  5. Ah Lewis. What ever happened to the British stiff upper lip?

  6. Very good references there in your tweet Keith. I think we can also add Monaco 2008 Hamilton also to it. A safety car just after his pitstop (which happened due to Hamilton’s mistake) which gave Hamilton a helping hand.

    1. Valencia 2010 too when Webber crashed and Hamilton overtook the safety car, but was able to get away with it while the stewards dithered.

  7. Vettel and Red Bull normally set the car up for 1 lap quali pace, which works well enough in the race when starting from the front of the grid. The revised setup for race pace that Vettel used in this race may show other teams that a similar strategy for car set up could make for more consistent points finishes. Imagine starting from 11th or 12th (having missed out in quali) with a car set up like Vettel’s was today, on a Tilkedrome. Of course, that may only apply to cars engineered by A. Newey.

  8. “any doubters that said he can’t race, he’s definitely proved them very wrong today”

    Erm, but didn’t he smash his front wing on two separate occasions? As far as I’m concerned he kind of cemented his reputation! Of course, he did well to make up so many positions, but given all the attrition, the safety cars, and the pace of his Red Bull, it was nothing too remarkable

    1. I think it was a great performance but a few factors to consider. Firstly, DRS which made it easier to pass, twice passing 2 cars at the touch of a button. We’ve not really seen a champion elect have to come from nowhere under these rules. Perfect SC timing also contributed but monaco 08 for ham was no different. And lastly the grid is so close at the minute that a different strategy can give you a podium from around 12th on the first lap, see perez etc. There was luck but to be fair he would have probably run Hamilton very very close for victory had he started 3rd. What do you think? @ned-flanders

    2. I agree that he didn’t really disprove that reputation by that one bad attempt at a pass, but he did pull off a nice pass on Button. The potential is there IMO.

    3. Plus a typically illegal pass.

      1. which he gave back, so not a “pass”. He then came back and re-passed. Everyone has a right to their opinions, but not to made up facts.

        1. Don’t worry, it’s what people do on the internet; make up facts.

          It all sounds very much like sour grapes to me. Whatever the reason, I think Vettel had a fantastic race, and kudos to him for ending up on the podium. It’s funny people criticize him for damaging his front wing, as it if proves to him he’s a crappy driver, because all it did is make his performance even more impressive, as he had to start all over again, except this time with 13 (or so) laps into the race.

          If Vettel takes pole and wins the race people complain it’s boring, if he makes the podium from the pitlane people complain he’s lucky. Guess he can’t do a thing right.

          1. Are you trying to suggest that he didn’t make a pass which he had to give back due to it being illegal? There is no doubt in that being a fact.

        2. @uan

          I think the fact that he gave the place back proves that he made an illegal pass – if the team didn’t think he’d broken the rules they wouldn’t have told him to give the place back.

        3. It wouldn’t be a re-pass unless there was an initial pass…

    4. I think it was noteworthy. Way more incredible than Alonso’s win in Valencia but many things helped his cause, we cannot deny it but a podium from the pits is always something special.

    5. Exactly, he is a good driver and with the all the things that lined up for him, he or any other driver in the same setting should have been able to do that or close to it. I wasn’t impressed.

    6. “Erm, but didn’t he smash his front wing on two separate occasions? As far as I’m concerned he kind of cemented his reputation! Of course, he did well to make up so many positions, but given all the attrition, the safety cars, and the pace of his Red Bull, it was nothing too remarkable”


  9. Sebastian Vettel! ‘**** it up’ – what a man. If there were any lingering doubts about the man, today must surely have proved he is an amiable guy and a great racer of cars. And I’m a Hamilton fan.

    1. @iamdanthomas +1 I’m a Lewis fan too!

    2. Wait as in I agree with your view on Seb.

  10. 2 safety cars at the absolute perfect time is more than a little bit of luck. Let’s not forget he damaged his front wing on another car by making a bad move and then damaged it further after almost taking Ricciardo out. He is flattered by his car more than any driver ever, even more than Schumacher was in his dominant years.

    1. @spawinte – Of course he needed some luck. No major comeback where you gain so many positions is done without luck. He also needed the speed and racecraft to pull off the necessary passes finish 3rd from 24th. And he is not “flattered by his car more than any driver ever”, given that the thoroughly decent (not yesterday though) Aussie in the same machinery is behind him so much of the time.

      1. But like I said he didn’t just have some luck did he? Webber was a good driver but he’s on the down slope towards the end of his career. Vettel is a very good driver. He has good days where he does remarkable things but so do other drivers and I just can’t shake the fact that it’s mostly coming from the car.

        In my eyes he has yet to show that he is a consistently great driver in the way Alonso, Hamilton and Raikkonen are and the fact that he will soon have as many championships as the likes of Stewart, Lauda and Senna is a travesty.

        1. He has been consistent al season long, being in the top 6 in every single race, bar Malaysia, where he was 4th before meeting Karthikeyan. He won when he had the car to win and maximised when he didn’t, like today. What more do you expect him to do?

          1. I want him to do what other drivers have done and win when he doesn’t have the car to win. I want him to take a car to victory through sheer force of willpower and ability. The only occasion that seems to come close is Monza 08. I get the impression that if either Hamilton or Alonso were his team mate this year they would have absolutely crushed him.

          2. “”What more do you expect him to do?”

            It’s funny, every time someone asks a Vettel hater this question they go mumm… and then get onto repeating their dribble in a separate post..

          3. @spawinte – Yet he has won various times on days when) haven’t necessarily been dominant, or even the fastest- Bahrain, or Spain last year. It’s unfair to clain that he hasn’t done so, and his rivals have, as if fortune hasn’t played similar parts in their results.

          4. spawinte, Vettel is winning when he doesnt have the fastest car, many times between 2010 and this year Mclaren had the fastest car, but vettel won on race day. Mark Webber is a great driver, but Vettel dominates him. Vettel gets on rolls which make people jealous. Hamilton for instance never gets on such race winning rolls, even though he has had the car to dominate in the sport also. Also now button has more points then Hamilton in their time together in mclaren. Why would vettel need to go to an inferior team now, just to prove himself to the likes of you? he is having too much fun heading for his 3rd championship at 25! he is Ayrton Senna reincarnated, especially the qualifying.

          5. @Roberto38

            Nice attack Rob but I don’t see you explaining yourself.

            As I said David he does have good days like any driver but that doesn’t spell greatness, certainly not triple champion greatness.

            Canberra I’m not sure what you mean by “the likes of you”. You sound like a fan but then of course success tends to attract bandwagoners.

          6. @spawinte – And his good days come about more often than most other drivers ever in F1. When he drove for STR he pushed his cars far above its expectations on a consistent basis, and over at Red Bull, he has regularly proven himself to be supremely fast in qualifying, and a damn fine racer too. It’s not up to me or you to determine if he is flattered by his car- his results speak for themselves.

          7. “I want him to do what other drivers have done and win when he doesn’t have the car to win.”

            When did other drivers do that? You can’t win if you don’t have the car to win. de la Rosa hasn’t had the car to win, that’s why he hasn’t. Who are you refering to now? Alonso? He had the car to win in Malaysia as he was well and truly fastest in the wet, he had the car to win in Hockenheim as nobody else could really challenge him and he himself admitted that he could have gone faster and he had the car to win in Valencia because al the faster cars dropped out. You can’t win if your car isn’t up to it, that’s just cheer logic.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      5th November 2012, 2:58

      If I ever buy a lottery ticket, I’m going to take a picture of Vettel with me as a good luck charm;-)

    3. smashing the DRS sign was hugely bad luck for Vettel. It compromised the benefit of the first SC. He was sitting 12th 10 seconds or so behind the leader at the point, then had to go all the way back to P21 on the restart and start repassing people all over again.

      The second SC helped him get in position to go from P4 to P3, but he was already ahead of the crash that caused the second SC.

      So basically Vettel was P21 after lap 14 and the first safety car and P4 after his second pit stop on lap 37 or so and before the last SC.

      Not bad.

      1. Well, was that really bad luck, or a moment of silly getting to him @uan?

        The point @Keith-Collantine made that for such race results you will always need some amount of luck (and usually a lack of it to get into the position, of course), the right circumstances and then add a great driver to take that opportunity and make the most of it still stands very solidly.

        Vettel has had an amazing set of results since Monza. Of course he couldn’t have done it without a close to perfect car, but he still had to drive those races close to perfection and did so.

    4. @spawinte

      He is flattered by his car more than any driver ever, even more than Schumacher was in his dominant years.

      I take it you never watched Jacques Villeneuve struggling to win races in a car that was sometimes a couple of seconds a lap faster than the competition ?

      1. LoreMipsumdOtmElor
        5th November 2012, 12:46

        When would that have happened? In 96? Well, it was his rookie season … in 97? The Ferrari was on par with the Williams back then, sometimes the McLarens were faster than both.

        1. When was that? Villeneuve was a full 2 seconds faster then Schumacher in the first qualifying of the season. In Brazil, he was half a second faster, 1.3 seconds in the third grand prix and so on. Taking into account that Villeneuve himself was clearly not as good as Schumacher was back in the day, that is huge. Schumacher would have wrapped up that championship easily in the Williams.

      2. I remember the Williams cars he drove as being very good, maybe even the best in the field but by no means dominant to the tune of a couple of seconds.

  11. Is it right that Red Bull having explained on Saturday night that they were removing their car from parc ferme to investigate the missing fuel, then change gearbox and the ratios along with the entire aero package and suspension settings?

    It made for exciting racing but clearly mitigates the FIA penalty they were awarded from being thrown out of qualifying http://wp.me/p2HWOP-l5

    1. They are perfectly allowed to do that if they start from the pitlane. Heck, any team can do that if they wish.

    2. Its rather the other way around. Because they got ditched from the qualifying results, they had nothing more to lose and a lot to gain to take the opportunity and redo the car into a racing monster.

      As RamboII writes, everyone can do it. And we did see people taking a new engine or GB after being relegated to the end of the grid before. Not to mention the HRTs and Marussias getting all sorts of GB penalties in the past that have no bigger effect than a max 1 spot grid drop.

    3. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      5th November 2012, 10:03

      Short answer. Yes.

      long answer

      It’s in the rules people need to stop crying about it. In his position every single person here would have done the same. JEV did do exactly this when he started at the back one race this year and no one was upset about that Mclaren i would hope did do this when hamilton was thrown out of qualy. If they wanted to any team from ferrari to marussia could do the same at every race. It’s the same for everyone and it added another layer to a race that people are now calling a classic.

  12. The thread is ludicrous. Hamilton retired because a failure of his team, was magnanimous about it and if you watched the interview you could see that he didn’t try to diminish Vettel’s race.
    This site is turning into a Hamilton bashing site.

    1. I read hamilton’s entire comment before coming here this morning. It’s very reasonable and he does give Vettel credit. I see it as a headline grabber that could have been avoided. How about this instead,”to start from the pit lane and have to go under a tunnel, come up and then be behind people and end up third in the race is probably unheard of. Great job.” LH

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        5th November 2012, 10:06

        you sir should work for the tabloids with that headline writing skill!

    2. I don’t think it’s this site in particular, though it’s disappointing that the BBC article was the headline article of the round-up. Just reading the top-rated comments on that article show the real picture. Whitmarsh, Domenicali and Button also said Vettel was lucky and the headline is an unfair reflection of what he said.

      1. So did Alonso.

        I don’t understand why people love to hate Lewis, I find him a very interesting character, far from the jealous and irresponsible crying baby as some people portray him. (and I don’t think Keith is of of them)

    3. +1
      It’s dissapointing.

  13. No one could deny Vettel’s achievement in Abu Dhabi GP, but it seems that Christian Horner is talking not as a team principle but as a “Vettel Fan” just like he’s trying to prove something & i’m sure that he will repeat this every time Vettel will have a “good comeback” , i still believe that Vettel’s grate drive this year was in Spa, i mean this race he was far from being perfect he damaged his front wing while trying to overtakes senna then he made a huge mistake when he was behind Ricciardo in the SC period & let’s forget the number of cars in front of him that retired & the SC but this does not hide the fact that he drove very well & he was there to capitalize
    No one mentioned the Torro Rosso drivers that give him space especially J Vergne moved like he was blue flagged that was clearly an insult for the sport & his team (that never use team order) telling Mark not to fight him & then telling him to box

    1. I really can’t laugh more than a Ferrari-fan saying another team is hypocritic about team-orders. Massa himself said that “for sure there are no teamorders at Ferrari”. Alonso even daired to ask live on TV if “Massa had a problem” after Hockenheim 2010.

      1. Ferrari them selves admitted that they use always Team Orders & the regulation was changed because of the Hockenheim 2010 & this year they used team orders in Korea & Monza but what i don’t understand is that a week ago Helmut Marko said that they don’t use team order because they have “wise drivers”

        1. Webber demonstrated yesteday that he wasn’t as wise as they had thought. It was a no brainer for him to let Seb through, Red Bull gave him a chance to be sensible and when he decided to be a silly boy he ended up being sent into the pits.

        2. Ow, so Massa just isn’t a part of Ferrari when he says that “for sure we don’t have teamorders”

          They even told Massa to hold back in stead of just saying “let Alonso trough” in Monza. Even now that they are allowed.

      2. I think Rambo is missing the point. It wasn’t just Webber who moved over for Vettel it was even the Toro Rosso of Vergne. That is like Massa moving over for Alonso, and then Kobayashi or Perez moving over for Alonso as well!

        Ferrari had to deny team orders in 2010 since it was illegal then… but they have never denied using team orders after they were legalised. Red Bull are the ones who said they would never use team orders just to have Webber and a Toro Rosso move over for golden boy.

    2. Yeah I was pretty disappointed when they made Webber pit. It was obvious they were trying to move him out of Vettel’s way and damn the consequences for Webber. Why else would they deliberately pit him into the middle of a pack of cars that were fighting for position? He ended up the victim of someone else’s accident when he most likely would have finished and scored points had they kept him on a normal strategy.

      The only positive that can come of it is that it’ll hopefully stop Red Bull from insisting that they don’t use team orders or favour one driver over another. They’re allowed to do it, why not just admit they do it and move on?

      1. They’re allowed to do it, why not just admit they do it and move on?


        1. They probably pitted Webber because he was being obtuse. Vettel’s on a wholely different strategy in the race tire wise than Webber, Vettel actually has a chance to win the WDC this year and needs to maximize his positions on the grid without any delay. So Mark decides to go purple (his fastest time) in one of the sectors when the team wants him to let Vettel through. Go up and down the grid and every team and every driver would agree that Webber should have let Vettel through w/o any issue. I mean what is Webber’s hang up? Last year Hamilton was having some issues and let Button through in Suzuka. That’s being a real man about the situation.

          To top it all off, Webber’s race was already woefully compromised from lights out when he went from P2 to P5 in less than a lap. And that for sure wasn’t in the team’s plans for the day. I don’t know if it’s Webber or his fans, but even thinking of slowing Vettel down by the merest thousandth of a second under the circumstances just buggers belief and the team shouldn’t have to order him to do anything there.

          I guess Helmut is wrong about having wise drivers …

          1. Maybe Webber set a purple sector in front of Vettel so that he wouldn’t be slowing Seb down through the twisty bits? And then Mark could ease Seb past in the DRS and settle in behind, comfortably setting faster laps than Grosjean, Di Resta and Perez and get past them all at his pitstop.
            But the blockheads calling strategy at Red Bull don’t give a damn about Mark – they just get him out of Seb’s way or use him as a guinea pig for strategy. In fact they treat Webber just like Massa is treated at Ferrari, even when Webber is leading Seb in the WDC. That’s what buggers belief! (btw – great Freudian)
            Totally agree that Webber’s race was ruined at the start – if he’d maintained position there he probably would have comfortably won the race once Hamilton conked out, but instead had his worst race of the year, fighting with (and banging into) slower cars.
            It’s often been said that if Webber didn’t have bad luck he wouldn’t have any luck at all, but in Abu Dhabi it was definitely a case of him making his own luck…

      2. @davea86

        Why else would they deliberately pit him into the middle of a pack of cars that were fighting for position?

        To pass Maldonado:

        2012 Abu Dhabi GP tyre strategies and pit stops

    3. Jacob Larsson
      5th November 2012, 10:12

      The problem is that FOM didn’t play the whole radio message. It was something like this:

      “Mark, if Seb get a run, don’t fight him. He’s on a different strategy.”

      1. I was unimpressed with that rather misleading piece of selective editing. Here’s a little more of what was said:


      2. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        5th November 2012, 14:17

        that must be sky f1 for you because i got that message in full on the bbc…

        1. That doesn’t seem right as both the BBC and Sky use the world feed for the races which is the same footage and the same team radio.

          Sure enough I just had a look at the BBC footage and the clip is exactly the same as it was on Sky – on lap 30 the Pilbeam to Webber message is heard as “if Sebastian gets a run, don’t fight him”, omitting the significant addition of “he’s on fresher tyres and a different strategy”.

          It’s possible the BBC later played the rest of the message (which aired on the pit lane channel which is carried by both broadcasters) on their main broadcast. I’ve not watched the BBC’s coverage of the race all the way through, but they definitely didn’t do this before lap 35.

          1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
            5th November 2012, 15:54

            It’s likely i simply read between the lines on it, i was monumentally tired as watching i fell asleep lol :-X

  14. enigmatic me (@)
    5th November 2012, 2:08

    i dont like alonso, & i dont dislike vettel, but yesterday race was show us that vettel dont deserve the WDC. after the second SC i was hoping vettel would easily passed the front runner (KR, FA, n JB) and that would be a super fantastic win n to prove that “the finger boy couldnt pass” is wrong. but with fresher tyre, softer compound n newey formula, he couldnt do that. in fact he had to wait for couple of laps to pass JB… what a dissapointing. and for now i change my support to alonso.
    sorry for my english. i dont speak english.

    1. That is why I disagree with F1 Fanatic tweet about little difference between this and Canada. The difference is actually quite big. Button did more stops and didn’t have tyre advantage compared to his rivals. Vettel have a tyre advantage and people seems to forgot that his car was geared for the race only. At Canada probably almost no one expected Button to win even after the last stop. Compared to this race where, at least for me, expected Vettel to win after the last stop or at least take 2nd. It’s still impressive, but the problem is I expected more from it.

      1. Button had the freedom to go for every best move. It was clear that tyres did make a difference in speed that race, as was shown by Schumacher and Button who both gambled right. Not to mention the McLaren was the quickest car and the fact that overtaking in Canada was a lot easier then it was in Abu Dhabi.

    2. on BBCs coverage they said the soft tire that Vettel had on would give him .2 sec advantage over the primes. So that takes time for Vettel to get closer to make DRS effective. Also, for the first several laps after the restart, Button also had DRS as well behind Alonso.

  15. Vettel drove very well today, but I can’t find myself hailing it as a fantastic drive for several reasons. He was actually quite sloppy, hitting one driver and damaging his wing, narrowly missing another and further damaging his wing, and making a pass on Grosjean that was clearly illegal (there was no reason for him to try and pass on the left, as Grosjean was hugging the white line he second he exited the previous corner). So he was incredibly lucky to come through all that and have the safety cars ease the situation. Also, he had the fortune of changing so much of his car so that it would be specially suited to passing- that is certainly a very good idea, but does mean he was driving a car quite unlike the one he and his team mate qualified with. It was no longer as fast over a single lap, but was optimized for moving through the field, which is a privilege most drivers don’t get if they find themselves massively out of position. I was quite surprised that making changes like those were legal.

    1. He gave back the place, so what’s that about? He actually lost time as well there. Button himself admitted that the Ferrari was incredibly quick on the straights, but Button got DRS himself for about 4 laps, after 7 laps, Vettel went past him.

      1. It’s about it being a silly move in the first place- he gave it back because he was told to, not because he had the sense to do it himself. He often doesn’t respect the limits of the circuits when overtaking. I don’t know what your point about Button and the Ferrari is.

        1. Can you give me one overtake where drivers give back a position before they are told to do so? It’s just being critical for the sake of it. In fact, I know a lot of drivers that just didn’t gave a position back and got penalised. (Alonso and Webber spring to mind).

          My point was that you just don’t overtake someone like that. Alonso was very quick on a straight line, so that would have been difficult no matter what. Button had DRS from Alonso for about 4 laps, so he didn’t have a DRS-advantage in the first few laps and he was losing a bit of time in sector one. When Button didn’t have DRS, it took Vettel 3 laps to pass him, not bad on Abu Dhabi.

          1. But I was never commenting on Vettel’s ability to pass Button or Alonso anyway. That was of course one of the best parts of his drive. My point is that the early part of his race was quite scrappy, and that for me detracts from the quality of what was nevertheless a very good drive, and making a miss-judged pass on Grosjean was a part of that.

    2. It was no longer as fast over a single lap, but was optimized for moving through the field, which is a privilege most drivers don’t get if they find themselves massively out of position. I was quite surprised that making changes like those were legal.

      Such sour grapes. any driver is free to do the same thing if he is willing to start from the pitlane. Also, drivers are also free to setup their car for better race speed then qualifying speed if they want, and qualify with that setup, effectively doing the same thing.

      Absolutely completely illogical complaint.

      1. Well, I certainly would like to see drivers try it more often if they have trouble in qualifying, could make for much more interesting races!

      2. Illogical how? I know it is legal, and it made sense for Red Bull to do so. My point is that it detracts from the idea of it being a storming drive through the field in the typical sense. Most cars, even if they are set up with a preference towards qualifying, are still at least part way optimised for quali due to the significance of grid position, and optimisation of single lap pace requiring such difference to a car with fuel. Given the changes and the way that a few elements of the race fell into place, he was bound to make a large push towards the front of the grid. Of course he should be congratulated for making it work, and probably getting a place or two higher than other drivers might have given the same circumstances. If it was sour grapes, I wouldn’t have started my comment by stating that it was a very good drive regardless, and I certainly wouldn’t still be considering that he might be DOTW. After all, he made some very good passes on the way, particularly on Button.

  16. Good thing the constructors championship wasn’t decided in Abu Dhabi, at least Austin will have the honors, the driver’s I think will be in Brazil but Vettel will have 15+ points advantage by then.

  17. The major thing about Vettel’s “luck” though is the fact he seems to have so much of it. And really, it isn’t luck at all. It’s lucky he’s ended up quite often with the best car, he’s lucky he’s so damn fast in qualifying and he’s lucky the fact that his main championship rivals have never truly challenged him. Maybe that last point is the only thing that’s really lucky about Vettel, is that nobody else can really get as much luck as he’s had for the past 3 and a half years.

    1. Really, what luck? Lucky about losing some 50+ points in 2010 to mechanical failures? Lucky to be more then 100 points ahead of Webber in the standings last year? Lucky to have two enginefailures and have to be set back to the back of the grid today? What would have happened if he started third? Most likely, he would have won this race, as Hamilton dropped out, so in a way, he wasn’t lucky at all today.

      1. Well, he was lucky with the safety car. That played into his hands.

        He did a lot of stupid things in the race. And he was lucky that none of the damage was terminal.

        1. @mike actually the first safety car ruined his pre-race strategy as he had to go back to square one as last on the grid at the restart, and even then, the second safety car only ‘lucked’ him Button’s position. In the end it worked out brilliantly (and still would even in the second safety car didn’t happen), so kudos to Red Bull.

          I don’t think he did any “stupid” things yesterday. His contact with Senna was something we have seen dozens of times since the front wings became these monstrosities in 2009. Heck, if you think that was stupid, then I say Alonso clash with Raikkonen at Suzuka was even more stupid. The thing with the DRS sign was his mistake, yes, but he couldn’t see the board there, wrong place at the wrong time I say. Anyway, two small incidents is hardly ‘a lot’ of stupidity, and the damage never came even close to being terminal.

          Finally, yes, I do agree he got a fair share of luck yesterday :P What I don’t understand is people pretending he has been lucky his whole career. That’s ludicrous.

          1. RamboII I genuinely detest mechanical failures being seen as luck. If you retire from a race the buck stops with the team. You can’t expect a car to be the fastest everywhere and the most reliable. The engineers weigh up the advantages and ultimately take risks, so losing points due to a car breaking down is fair and just. For all we know Clark and Senna would have won every race in other, more reliable cars.

            Also, @guiliherme the safety car played hugely and undeniably into his hands. He was able to change a broken part and get fresh tyres at a net loss of five seconds. All other runners had to stop again, allowing him to run in clear air and use the maximum potential of the red bull. Then when his second stop came he had already made up enough time to pass them without squabbling. Agree very much with Kudos to Red Bull. If Mercedes had done it, it would have been ‘wise old Brawn strikes again’.

            I don’t think Vettelhas been lucky his whole career, you make your own luck and ironically Fernando turned down the oppurtunity to drive there in 08. However, his results to stem from having the best car from mid-09 over the course of a season.

          2. I’m just saying you can’t call him lucky like that. He’s had his share of bad luck. Without the SC, Vettel wouldn’t have needed to change the frontwing before his pitstop. You have to also take in account that he needed to repass al the slow cars again, wich cost him a lot more than 5 seconds as they were going about 3 seconds slower a lap.

  18. I think Vettel came back from 23rd considering that de la Rosa stalled and started directly behind him in the pits. So it is a gain of 20 positions, not 21. I hope someone answers to this.
    Besides that, it was nice hearing the Finnish anthem at the podium, although I admit that there were split loyalties at the end as I support both Kimi and Alonso. I feel happy for Kimi that he has finally won a race this season after coming close on at least 2 occasions this seasons, and although it would have been better for the championship had Alonso passed Raikkonen, but its nice to have the Iceman on the top step of the podium again. The circuit that bade him an unhappy goodbye has given him his much-awaited 19th win.

  19. Yes. Vettel and Ricciardo is Fuji 2007 all over again.

    The man smashed his front wing twice and got lucky with two safety cars due to a third of the field crashing out. He’s so talented, a large percentage of the other drivers simply crashed themselves out of the race in order to avoid the embarrassment of being beaten by this great racer on track! All hail Vettel, the greatest driver never to win a race from lower than 3rd place on the grid!

    1. @oblong_cheese COTD!

      Oh no, wait, just kidding. How many times must we say that Vettel only benefited from one retirement and from Massa’s spin, and that he was already in front of all the other guys who retired after the first lap? I’m not going to comment on your last sentence though, you sound like the kind of guy who will never give Vettel any recognition no matter what, and I don’t care, but at least get your facts straight, because reading misinformed drivel is tiresome.

      1. now now, was a fantastic drive from last to 24th. But even Vettel himself would agree drive of the day belongs to the safety car xD

      2. It’s true. Vettel has never won a race from lower than third place on the grid. All his victories have come from 1st or 2nd. Only twice has he won from third position on the grid (2010 Malaysian GP, 2012 Singapore GP).

        1. @oblong_cheese I’m not sure if you understand how this F1 thing works, but the object of qualifying is to try to start as far forward as possible – it is generally accepted that getting pole position or a front row start is a good thing. The best drivers are able to qualify well and win lots of races – what more do you expect of him, to start at the back of the field on purpose and see if he can get close to winning the race….oh wait.

          Your original comment is so bad that you even contradict yourself. First you say that Vettel coming back through the field was pure luck and then you go on to say that the best drivers are the ones that can come through the field? With standards like these Vettel could continue to dominate for years to come and you will never change your opinion.

        2. I truly detest that statistic. Hamilton never won from below fourth on the grid. Alonso managed three times. From 6th on the Nurburgring, when Raikkonen dropped out, from 14th in Singapore, crashgate, from 11th in Valencia, when Vettel dropped. So what’s the fuss about it, it’s not like any other driver wins races from 10th or anything more then once every couple of seasons.

  20. It seems ‘luck’ is the word of the day. It was a great luck drive from Vettel & I hope he is World Luck Champion again this year :)

  21. This Gp proves that in F1, car is of utmost importance. If you have a great car and a GOOD driver, you can win a champioship. And I am not referring to Vettel here. As in Suzuka 2005, both Kimi and Alonso were at the bottom but were able to be on the podium because they had great cars. Vettel coming to 3rd is an achievement but he could not have done it without a great car.

  22. Ferrari are red
    Red Bulls are blue
    Kimi’s gone to bed
    His dream has come true

    Is Lewis better
    Than Seb & the rest?
    That doesn’t matter
    Cause KEITH is the best

    Happy birthday, @KeithCollantine !

    1. @girts, nice one!

      And indeed, a very happy birthday to @keithcollantine

      1. Good work @girts! And have a great birthday @keithcollantine!

    2. @girts @bascb @bosyber Thanks very much guys, and special thanks to Girts for the poem :-)

      A nice day to pass 40,000 Twitter followers too!


      1. Immediately thought so too when I saw that tweet today Keith. Amazing job with F1F.

        Did you know that some surveys asking about how people take in their F1 news have F1F as one of the few choices (and listed prominently) for people to tick as their sources (Autosport did one last week)?

        1. @bascb Really? Wow – would like to take a look at that data if anyone has a link.

          1. It was linked from a pop-up when looking at their articles last week (maybe by using most of their free article limit in October? Not sure) Can’t find it now, but I will keep an eye out for it Keith.

    3. Fantastic poem @girts !

      Happy birthday @keithcollantine !

    4. Happy birthday @keithcollantine . Nice one Girts, although I hope you got clearance from @magnificent-geoffrey !

  23. I think Vettel was lucky, but he had to make the best of his luck that went his way.

  24. “Luckiest driver in F1” ?! Let us look back at 2008 Monaco’s GP.

  25. Maybe it’s a bit of a whinge from Hamilton, but he does have a point – the stars really did line up for Vettel during the race. Both safety cars, other teams’ pit strategies, and even the conditions themselves played right into his hands at every turn.

  26. Knowing Seb is a history buff I was half expecting him to say (on the Ricciardo collision): “It’s kids isn’t it… kids with not enough experience – you do a good job and then they f-word it all up.” – as an inside joke, of course!

  27. Hamilton should think back about Interlagos 2008 when he points someone as «lucky»…

    Till now Hamilton has a single WDC and it was a very very «lucky» one.

    1. There was nothin lucky about Brazil 2008, the Toyotas stayed out on dry tyres on a wet track, it didnt work.

      If they pitted as everyone else did, they’d have ended up 20+ seconds behind Hamilton anyway.

      1. Massa won the race and Hamilton passed Glock in the last turns before the «chess flag»… A Glock 30s slower than Hamilton that last lap.

        1. Again, thats not luck. Toyota took a gamble, it didnt pay off.

          1. It is luck in a sense that McLaren, nor Toyota, couldn’t predict the weather that precise. So it was luck in one way, but off course, it wasn’t luck in another way.

  28. There are three ingredients someone must have to be a World champion, or at least fight for it:
    Driving skills, Car (Team) performance and Luck.
    Each one of these factors will help them to win and as result will end up as a WC. I bet you can find find each of these factors on every WC till now on a different degree.
    As for Vettel, it seems that most of the times 2nd and 3rd factor helped him much more than his driving skills, noone from here can deny that he has driving skills above the majority of the grid (top 3 for me is Hamilton Alonso and Raikkonen), but cannot deny either that he has better equipment and a good portion of luck.

    1. I disagree with your conclusion. Certainly you are right about the three elements and also that he has benefited a lot from the second one (I see no evidence to suggest he has more luck than others). However everyone seems to make the unsafe conclusion that his driving skills are not good just because he has a great car and this is a completely flawed piece of logic.

      Having 2 and 3 might mean you don’t need as much of 1, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have it – he has destroyed team-mates and won a race in a backmarker car. I think he has demonstrated plenty of 1 and 2 and a sufficient amount of 3 to turn it into a short period of domination.

      1. However everyone seems to make the unsafe conclusion that his driving skills are not good just because he has a great car and this is a completely flawed piece of logic.

        As i said " noone from here can deny that he has driving skills above the majority of the grid" but for sure this one doesnt make him the best one, in my eyes. I could have said that, if in the start of the season he was up there because of his driving skills on a "not perfect car" but he wasn't. So in Vettel's case for me these factors will go in order of : 2 (car performance), 1 (driving skills) and in the end 3 (luck)

  29. If not for the first safety car:
    * he would not have damaged his front wing to the point it needed replacement.
    * he would not have had to go in to change his front wing.
    * he would not have dropped to the back of the field again.
    * he would have kept setting times similar to the frontrunners, while their soft tires were starting to drop off earlier.
    * he would have made a stop in lap 40 for a late run on fresh softs (the only set he had left, which he now had to put on in lap 15)

    Now, dropping all the ** like “many drivers DNFing ahead of him” (1) and “all the drivers pitting ahead of him” (4), how was Vettel lucky with that first safety car? The only luck Vettel arguably had was the second safety car which put him right behind Button, but considering his pace over Button before the first SC ruined his strategy, there’s a good chance he would have caught him without the safety cars.

    1. That first point makes it sound like Vettel damaging his front wing under the safety car was due to the conditions, rather than his own error.

  30. @keithcollantine @brum55

    Thanks again for a very well judged COTD!

  31. So the argument is regarding how lucky Vettel was. Hamilton labelled him the luckiest driver in F1, maybe true but how do you turn it into a statistic, but comments from Whitmarsh and Brundle also stated that he had luck on his side for the day while Dominicali danced round from what he really wanted to say. Now in my opinion I think that Vettel had alot of luck on the day but when in clean air he did the job needed too.

    Martin Brundle stated before the race that this could be the making of Vettel regarding his racing abilities and Horner believes he has silenced critics. Now I have to disagree with Horner there, albeit Vettel has some serious driving skills, I still doubt his racing skills. I believe the Red Bulls and Hamilton were the fastest around Abu Dhabi this weekend and with RB changing set up to Vettel car then he should have had the best car for the race but beyond the usual back markers, he never really overtook anyone once beyond them (Toro Rosso don’t count) and he required Webber to pit to breeze past him. Now I’m not saying he can’t race, I just believe that he doesn’t have the best race craft and it would be interesting to see what Vettel can do if he was in the Ferrari at start of the year.

    Also, either Red Bull or Toro Rosso shouldn’t be in F1. I dislike this two team partnership, Every driver should be racing 23 other drivers and not 21.

    1. ban team orders. .simple. .
      its the most ridiculous thing, be it for RB / TR or Ferrari.

    2. In the cycling world you are not allowed to have two teams in a race which have the same major sponsors – the reason being that as a team sport then you could double up your resources to dominate a race by working together having twice as many riders as the opposition.

      In my opinion it’s not a major problem at the moment in F1 because the teams are generally operating at opposite ends of the grid and it is a factor which only occasionally comes into play. Co-ownership of two teams occupying the same part of the grid could, however, cause problems. Perhaps it’s better to sort out this potential problem now rather than waiting until it is a significant issue.

  32. sometimes it feels people started watching F1 only last year or perhaps when Alo won the championship (who is a great driver in my opinion) . .keeping their views in mind, it seems that for decades, F1 was just pure 2 hour ******** that people paid to watch, MSC’s and a lot other driver’s victories mean nothing and just Alo is the champ. .
    its getting way too old and I am sick of this now. .
    times like these i wish Alo had never joined Ferrari and stayed with McLaren. That way, we’d have had great team-mate battles. . i really hope Seb joins Ferrari with Alo as his teammate. .maybe we will see who’s the best, and i am not saying Seb is because we don’t know that. .

  33. I completely agree with the tweet that Button’s win in Canada was just as lucky as Vettel’s comeback here.

    More so Buttons win though. He drove like a complete nut, ramming Hamilton and Alonso off the road, chaning tyres at the wrong moments. All that stupidity (like Vettel’s) was erased by safety cars situatons.

    Still, it’s not all luck obviously. Both Vettel and Button drove well in their respective races and they had the fast(est) car under them. So both their team and the driver do deserve some praise.

    1. BTW maybe Red Bull finally learn from this. How often have Webber or Vettel (when the team focus wasn’t 100% on him) had their start compromised then to find themselves unable to overtake anyone in their fastest of the field car?

      It’s what Alonso has been doing all year. Compromise your qualification and make up for it in the race. Although last sunday he was to busy calculating points when I’m pretty sure he could have just put some more effort in earlier and won the race.

  34. Hamilton has got to be the unluckiest driver, well placed to make the call.

    Seriously, Hamilton could be the first driver to score less points than he lost through operational team errors and technical failures. Mental. Do people realise that he is clearly the best driver in 2012 by a distance?

    1. No, people do not realize that at all. The reason is that we don’t judge a driver purely on his maximum capacity for single lap speed at his top form on his best day.

      Lewis is still easily affected by his emotions and even though I will agree that he could be the fastest of them all when at his best I still don’t regard him a very complete driver – yet. (I still hope he will be.)

  35. Sorry but Vettel did have a lot of luck on his side, there’s no denying it. Hamilton isn’t whingeing, and neither am I, just merely stating that a lot of luck was given to him during the race.

  36. Whatever the percentage mix of good driving and luck might have been, the one point that has been undermentioned here is that RBR had enormous freedom to set the car up for the race rather than qualification; this includes engine mapping, gear ratios, aerodynamics and suspension — maybe more…

    With the enormous difference in set up between a single, light-fuel lap and full race trim, I am convinced that Vettel had a very different car from his normal “pole-winning” one. All other teams had to compromise, Vettel/RBR did not.

  37. I don’t have a problem with swearing, swear as much as you like for me. However, that said, I do think that these folks should err on the side of caution and an apology is appropriate just for the sake of being polite more than anything.

  38. Vettel was lucky – but also damn good – this race. Hamilton was damn good – but unlucky, as he was in Singapore, and in Valencia as well he lost plenty of points through no fault of his. However, as has been said in some Forum threads, I think Alonso is the luckiest driver in F1. Apart from being hit by Grosjean in Spa (where he wasn’t the only one, so he had a certain benefit) nothing happened to him on track. Vettel retired from the lead in Valencia and was excluded from qualifying just two days ago.

  39. Vettel lucky?!?! What a load of ‘insert Kimi Raikkonen expression here’

    I don’t see what’s so lucky about not being able to prove you had enough fuel left in the car, starting from pitlane, fight your way up through the field, going backwards again because you were avoiding a driver in front of you, having to replace the front wing and having to fight your way back up the field again!

    If this had been Hamilton, no doubt it would be praised as the best drive of the year.

    1. ” starting from pitlane, fight your way up through the field ”

      Had his car optimised for overtaking, had multiple crashes infront even by turn 1, crashed himself, nearly crashed into the Toro Roso while they were all heating up tyres and brakes (he himself said he should have been payin for attention), HAD to pit for a new wing because of his _own doing_. Got a nicly timed safty car, had cars move out of the way for him (toro rossos) and passed Button on much better tyres with better top end speed.

      There is a reason Redbull where only expecting 8th position max before the race, because thats what Hamilton achieved in Spain when there was no crashes and no safty cars, and no cars giving him places.

  40. All I have to say. Yes, he was lucky, but you can’t deny he wouldn’t have been on podium if he wasn’t pushing like a mad man.

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