Horner: ‘We want the strongest drivers we can get’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Christian Horner says he wants to hire the best team mate for Sebastian Vettel that’s available, as speculation links Fernando Alonso with a move to Red Bull.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Red Bull’s team principal gives Fernando Alonso link wings (The Guardian)

“We want to put the strongest drivers in the cars that we possibly can and Mark [Webber] leaves some big shoes to fill.”

Analysis: Miracles do happen for Hamilton (BBC)

“We need these to come immediately for Spa and Monza to be able to have the same performance as the cars we are fighting for the world championship. We need to react. We need to win three or four races in a row to close the gap.”

Lewis Hamilton Q&A (Sky)

“I feel like…the thought on my mind through the whole race was of someone who is special to me and I wanted to dedicate it to her [ex-girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger]…”

Grosjean didn’t deserve penalty – Massa (ESPN)

“I think it’s wrong if he took the penalty for what he did with me.”

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix – Post Race Press Conference (FIA)

Vettel: “First of all, Kimi [Raikkonen] is not an idiot and secondly, it’s a narrow part of the track so it was clear but I was pushing very hard, trying to create a chance, put him under pressure and as I said, it was clear I didn’t pass him there, but maybe two corners later or something. Yeah, I was not too happy but as I said, it was quite hot this afternoon, I was pushing very hard and it was quite narrow and I was a little bit on the dirt, turning in. You feel that you have to say something so that’s what I said.”

Nico Rosberg DNF Hungary GP 2013 video message (Nico Rosberg via YouTube)

Pirelli ponders wider rear tyres for 2014 (Autosport)

“This idea has been floated with the teams, but many of the leading outfits are not keen on the move as it would lead to an expensive redesign of suspension concepts.”

Lewis Hamilton drive hailed as “best I’ve ever seen” by F1 legend Niki Lauda (Daily Mirror)

“He won the race because he drove sensationally. All the passing he did. He was the best today I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Aufregung um 17-J??hrigen ohne Fahrerlaubnis (Die Welt, German)

Die Welt claim Sauber’s engine supplier Ferrari are among their creditors, and are owed ??19 million (??16.4m).


Comment of the day

I’d love to see Vettel and Alonso in the same team and so would @PMCcarthy_Is_A_Legend:

I think Red Bull would give F1 a massive boost next year by daring to have two top drivers on their cars. The sport and the fans would benefit from it and they would cement their place in the history of the sport.

Besides this is what Red Bull (the brand) stands for: Daring, competitive, cool. Please no more second-rate drivers on the second seat, we want to see great rivalries, that’s how history is made!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Kevin and Mandev!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Roger Williamson lost his life in a dreadful accident during the Dutch Grand Prix 40 years ago today.

Willamson’s car hit a barrier, flipped and burst into flames. As Williamson was trapped in the burning car, fellow racer David Purley stopped and tried to right the machine. He managed to obtain a fire extinguisher but was unable to douse the flames, and onlookers shied away from helping at the scene of the accident.

Purley was later awarded a medal for his bravery.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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74 comments on “Horner: ‘We want the strongest drivers we can get’”

  1. Good on Massa for telling it how it is with regards to Grosjean’s penalty. After last week’s forum discussion regarding track limits (prompted by the Laguna Seca Moto GP), I think it’s clear to see that F1 is far too strict with enforcing these rules.

    Massa v Grosjean was racing at it’s finest. And I’m a Ferrari fan :)

    1. @cduk_mugello Um I’m not so sure.

      Tarmac run off areas have made that a grey area. Grosjean DID go out of the track, even if just by a very small margin. I remember not too long ago at Singapore, Mark did the same at turn 5 I think it is (a left hander that has the kerb in the middle of the avenue) and he got away with it, but shouldn’t have.

      I mean, if there was grass and gravel (as in the original circuit), Grosjean would’ve been delayed. But as it’s tarmac, kerb, artificial turf and then tarmac again, they just go around and lose almost nothing.

      It is too strict, I admit, and it was a harsh penalty… but I’m not sure, I can’t decide about it. Felt the same about Marquez at Laguna.

      1. Webber didn’t get away with it. He was given a penalty post-race, dropping him from 9th to 7th

        1. You mean from 10th to 11th.

      2. Uh-on, I’m expecting lots of penalties at Singapore. There are several places there where the track limits could just be the wall, but instead there’s a white line and cars regularly cross it. Abu Dhabi’s just as bad.
        That and the increasingly petty, meddling approach of the stewards won’t be a good combination.

        Red Bull should organise a World’s Strongest Driver showdown during the summer break.

      3. @fer-no65 I think the FIA have started to become far stricter with regards to gaining an advantage by having four wheels off the circuit (eg Alonso in Monaco having to give the place back) and are leaving it largely up to the teams to remedy any infractions (eg Rocky telling Vettel to give the place back to Grosjean after having passed him with four wheels off in Abu Dhabi) otherwise they are handing out penalties. So at least it’s consistent enough.

    2. f1 shooting again itself in the foot. It was one of the best overtaking manouvers, and he was penalized. Maybe because he didn’t do it on the straight with the drs!!! Oh my god, he must be a lunatic this french driver.
      Who was in charge of that call. It must be a friend of a friend of jean todt’ son.
      I am afraid that f1 could go downhill when ecclestone is axed. I don’t like the guy but…

      1. Personally I don’t know why everybody is having a go at the FIA: it is obviously trendy. The frank truth is that they applied the rules correctly and however harsh it may feel rules are rules: he only gained the position because he left the track.

  2. I see what you did there Horner.


    Gonna be a tough break for Ferrari.

    1. Even if Red Bull are not seriously after Alonso, they know the game, and to play mind games with Ferrari can only make things worse for Alonso and his championship hopes. Now there will be at least 4 weeks of talk about it, getting into the Ferrari team, and possibly affecting their development, to go along with the difficult task they already have. Ferrari would be hoping that James Allison can get on board sooner rather than later, but I think its all too late, the two early races where Alonso had bad results have put the WDC too far out of reach.

      Just on the whole James Allison to Ferrari thing, what governs this whole ‘gardening leave’, I mean, he could work from home and still have an input into the team surely?

      1. what governs this whole ‘gardening leave’

        The terms of his employment contract with Lotus will determine that, as well as any variation that might have been negotiated when Allison resigned.

      2. I think the focus is probably already on Byrne’s 2014 car and Allison for 2015 onwards, with the current team cracking on with what they can do for 2013 – not helped by a dodgy windtunnel, which at least ‘looks the part’, as I think it was designed by a top architect.

  3. I was gutted for Grosjean. Even his contact with Button didn’t merit a penalty. How many times did we see cars touch. It’s not like either of them lost a wing or something. It was Grosjean’s responsibility, but it didn’t merit a penalty. It’s ridiculous.
    And don’t even get me started on that move on Massa. That was one of the best moves of the season. It’s not like he cut the track or something. They were simply going side by side and he ended there. If Massa wasn’t next to him, he wouldn’t leave the track.

    And then you think about Perez ramming Kimi and driving people off the road in Monaco and not getting any penalty… Think how many times you’ve seen people touch and even lose a part of the bodywork and nobody gets a penalty.

    1. Exactly right. This RoGro business is a complete joke.

    2. I think he deserved one penalty for repeat infractions but two I agree was unnecessary. He was marginal on the first (I’d definitely have given him a reprimand for that because it wasn’t purely a racing incident, he’s just not spacially aware enough) and the second was a rule violation as he did gain an advantage by going off the track (if I were Lotus I’d have just told him to give the place back) but as a collective I think he merited a drive through, not two though.

      1. @vettel1
        i believe technically, judging by this screenshot, Grosjean didn’t even leave the track, he still had 2 wheels on the kerb. it’s indeed incredibly unfair he got a penalty for such a great move.

        1. @andrewf1 the kerbs do not define the boundaries of the track, the white lines do. That’s why he was punished.

    3. I have to disagree – F1 is a non-contact sport, and avoidable infractions of that should be punished. I understand the rational that we don’t want to discourage racing, but surely that’s what makes these guys the best, knowing when to go for a gap and when the gap isn’t really there?

      Anthony Davidson said a telling line in his analysis of the incident – “Massa was always going to run out a bit further than that”. Massa could have done nothing else. In the turn, on the edge of the limits of what the tyres can give, Massa wouldn’t have been able to keep any further left – if he could, then he’s not taking the corner as hard as he can. So Grojean has effectively either: 1) Deliberately put his car in a position that would cause a crash if he stayed within the confines of the track, or 2) Misjudged the line Massa was going to be forced to take. Either way, leaving the confines of the track was purely Grojeans fault.

      However, that by itself is not grounds for a penalty, and that’s not really what got the penalty for. What he was actually punished for was not giving the place back – he gained an advantage by leaving the track, and didn’t rectify the situation. He could not have completed that move without leaving the track, therefore it was illegal and he should have given it back. Really is that simple.

      What I can’t understand was why they didn’t investigate the incident with Button until after the race. In my eyes that was much more serious. Again, either Grojean was deliberately trying to force Button off the track (which I simply don’t believe) or he just got it wrong again – AND significantly left the track in order to complete the move. The stewards decision on that one was bizarre.

      I’m all for drivers going for it, but if they can’t make the move stick legally, they need to give the place back and have another go. If drivers were much more willing to put their hand up immediately and admit when it didn’t work, then they’d probably be more willing to have a go in the first place.

      It certainly should be emphasised that if Grojean had given the place back immediately then a penalty wouldn’t have been given.

      1. @fluxsource absolutely, which raises another debate: should it be the responsibility of the teams and drivers to come to an immediate decision on whether a driver should give the place back or is it the responsibly of the FIA? I would argue that if the FIA could come to a quick consensus that they should notify the teams but there would surely be time constraints preventing that, so on balance I think the teams should be responsible for policing their own drivers. For example, Vettel was told last year almost immediately by Rocky to give the place back to Grosjean after he’d overtaken him with four wheels off the circuit in Abu Dhabi and consequently incurred no penalty, so I would argue Grosjean should’ve done the same.

    4. John (@johnmyburgh)
      2nd August 2013, 8:21

      THe challenge Grojean has is that everyone expects him to do something stupid. Other drivers take advantage of that, like Vettel at the start of the race. He really squeezes Gro as he knew if they touched everyone would climb on his case.

      I like Gro, hope he can learn a bit spacial awareness and become a world champion.

      Re his overtake, the rules are the rules unfortunately. That said, I am all for kirbs and gravel… or spikes to give you a flat if you run out of the track. All these landing strips on the edge of the tract is making it way too easy. IF you make a mistake at Monaco, Singapore or Valencia (when there was still a race) you are into a wall…

  4. The writing is on the wall for Ricciardo.

    So they felt Lewis was gonna be too much for Seb, and they are okay with Alonso.

    Of course Lewis is on another level!…

  5. Bigger tyres? Yes please, less aero-dependence, more mechanical grip and durability, just don’t forget to reduce the size of the wings,please.

    1. They are being reduced. Not by much, but they will be narrower than they are this year.

    2. No exhaust blowing, more torque, smaller wings, and if they give us big rear tyres (and Pirelli keeps with its mantra of going “conservative” with compounds next year) its something to really look forward too. And the possible return of mechanical issues to put the drivers to the test is a bonus for me as well

      1. @bascb – until all the races turn into processions and we all start to remember why all these things were introduced in the first place ;-)

        But seriously, I’m looking forward to next year’s F1. I think it’ll be a bigger challenge for the teams and the drivers, and a shakeup could be just what some teams need to be able to bring themselves back into contention with the likes of Red Bull.

        1. That is the part what I like most – its a challenge with more differentiators than just things like strategy or things made to “spice up the action” like DRS and the tyres.

        2. @mazdachris, It is the wings need for clean air that creates processions, without the wings it’s all tyre and suspension and the tyres work the same on the car behind as the on the car in front. I know that you know this but others reading your comment may not.

  6. If Kimi does go to RBR it will be for the money, I imagine he will want to be paid top dollar and a 3 year contract to top up his retirement fund. If Enstone had the money RBR has I don’t think he would move to be in Webbers shoes.

    1. I dont think money is the only motivator for Kimi during his last few seasons in the sport. He wants to be in a championship winning car… as simple as that. I dont think he cares if Vettel is his teammate

    2. John (@johnmyburgh)
      2nd August 2013, 8:22

      Red Bull sponsors Kimi’s motocross team, he already has commercial ties with Red Bull. Apparently both Red Bull and Ferrari know he is talking to both of them… could we see Kimi in Red again? ;)

  7. Michael Brown (@)
    29th July 2013, 3:17

    “Pirelli pondering wider rear tyres…”


    1. It’s not mentioned in the Autosport article, but I believe AMuS mentioned it regards 1 cm in width and 2 cm in diameter, so the difference would be barely noticeable. Would be sweet to see 1970s-like rear tyres again, but on the other hand the smaller the tyres are, the higher the chance of wheel-spin… which is also pretty sweet :)

      1. So no need of huge investment to redesign suspension?

        For me it’s a go. But if’s minimal, how much of effect will we get?

        1. Torque will almost be doubled next year. Drivers from the turbo era claimed they were able to get wheel-spin even in top gear. It depends a bit on if Pirelli (or possibly Michelin) get it right or not: if the tyres get designed properly, than wheel-spin should be minimized.

  8. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    29th July 2013, 3:33

    I know this victory spices things up, but to consider Lewis as a real menace right now is too early, as too early is to say Seb has all won already. I mean, a couple of victories for Rosberg and people could have thought he was the real deal to fear this season, but the car’s inconsistency to deliver results have put him well behind Hamilton. Good overtakes by him BTW. The Monaco victory and today’s one have the similarity to be on the narrowest (alongside Singapore) tracks, where overtake is hard (and that shows how much Lewis has fought this one) and to be on tracks which are not so tyre-crushing (the track was hot but I read some other user’s comment indicating this fact, so if I’m wrong don’t blame me please).
    About the infamous “secret test” I mention so much (as jotted down by other users as well) it will be the splinter in my eye I think, the same way the lowering nose was for many people last years… don’t blame for being paranoid about that issue, just to see how Mercedes has won 3 races after that day makes me feel suspicious about it. Apologies again for the Ham-fan ofended. Yes, he drove a great race (he’ll be my DOTW choice) but in a suspicious car. I guess now the Ham-fans will fill the same I feel whenever somebody says “Vettel just wins for the car”. It’s not revenge. I feel it that way about any other wins Mercedes gets this year.

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      29th July 2013, 3:40

      I meant the RB lowering nose of course

    2. Seriously, stop downplaying the Mercedes car.

      I was looking at the live timing all the while, and couldn’t find a clue about them being slower than rbr at all. The last 15 laps lewis was cruising and easily clocked 1.24-1.25.

    3. It’s too soon to tell if Mercedes are for real or not. Hungary is a very unrepresentative circuit: I believe in the last ten years the eventual champion only won it once. Spa will give a clearer picture of whether Merc have solved their tyre issues.

      1. Agree with that. And Spa will also show the other teams differently too. Merc might well be strong at the next race, but RBR and Lotus a titch stronger.

        @omarr-pepper I think by now all you are witnessing is Merc doing better on better tires, as all teams will now be doing. Since the Pirelli test in May there has been exploding tires, so I question whether Pirelli has provided today’s revised tires based on ANYTHING they did in May with Merc, and rather have gone backwards to tires that all the teams have a ton of data they can use. We now know that 90% of the test was on next year’s tires which will be completely different by their own recent admission (much more conservative) so I think it a safe bet to say a portion of 100km of testing was done on 2013 compounds of kevlar not steel construction tires, not the currently provided 2012 compounds with revised 2013 contruction.

        Mercedes ‘gain’ from this would be so miniscule you needn’t have this paranaoia toward their improved perfomances, and realistically, they did 1000km of tire testing of no data sharing and lost out on far far more with their banning from the test last week. So it’s even now and everybody is dealing with tires that shoud be much easier for them all to adapt to….and the bonus for us…much less delta time running and drivers able to push their cars more. And I’m sure Pirelli was relieved to see all the teams survive tires-wise in that heat.

  9. We want the two fastest drivers we can get who can work collectively together and achieve the best results for the team.

    Last year Lewis Hamilton was desperate to get Mark Webber’s seat , unless you consider Hamilton a slow driver there is no way a driver of the caliber of Hamilton or Alonso will partner Vettel in Red Bull that will make only more damages to the team imagine how Horner , Newey & Marko will look like but the problem is not with Horner who plays mind games the problem is with Ferrari Boss who reacted badly & said that Fernando is under contract with the team, if i was in his place i will say to Horner he can negotiate his move just to prove that he is playing mind games
    Hiring Alonso with the highest salary on the grid & giving him the same treatment as Vettel for what ???
    To play Call of Duty Modern Warfare with Seb on the track or to play Call of Duty Black Ops with Marko off the track

    1. the damage both lewis and fernando bring are their ego and always the first to throw out the socks when things doesn’t bode well for them.

      If you think they will beat vettel easily, you are delusioned. Lewis hasn’t look good in consistent manner so far in 2013. Massa easily performed better than alonso in past two gp but retired before he could make an impact.

      1. If you think they will beat vettel easily, you are delusioned.

        Thanks for the compliment, another Vettel fan that responds before even he read my comment
        Let me explain to you this time but please try at least to read my comment
        If Lewis & Fernando are going to beat Vettel easily there will be no war in the team

        Lewis hasn’t look good in consistent manner so far in 2013. Massa easily performed better than alonso in past two gp but retired before he could make an impact

        Vettel is better than both Lewis & Fernando !!!!!! Keep telling that to yourself !!!!!!!!

    2. @tifoso1989 Lewis wanted the Red Bull seat but there was no vacancy and his contract demands would be significantly higher than Webber’s, which wouldn’t be good for the team.

      As for Alonso to Red Bull rumours, I wouldn’t pay much attention to them. Sure it’d be an explosive partnership which would surely be the best driver line-up since Hamilton and Alonso in 2007 – I’d say since Senna and Prost personally – but I doubt it’d do Red Bull many favours in terms of the continuity within the team. Alonso wouldn’t be too happy I’d imagine without the undisputed number one status he has been enjoying at Ferrari all these years (as Vettel would have the number one status, albeit far less than he has enjoyed) and I think they’d both have notably different demands with regards to the development direction due to their different driving styles (Vettel tends to brake very late and almost push the car through the corner which works very well with the high rear-end downforce whereas Alonso tends to hustle the car more).

      So as much as I’d love to see it, I’m still 70% sure the seat will go to Ricciardo, 28% Räikkönen and 2% wild-card.

      1. I’m still 70% sure the seat will go to Ricciardo, 28% Räikkönen and 2% wild-card

        Maybe i disagree with the percentage, i think that Red Bull are very interesting in Raikkonen’s services, hiring Kimi alongside Seb & having a car capable of podiums that means the strongest drivers line up and the constructors championship in bag, i don’t think that Fernando is the ideal choice because he simply doesn’t get well with Vettel & Marko so Red Bull’s interest in him i personally think is a bit of a tactic to put the pressure on Kimi maybe to reduce his contract demands i remember that back in 2010 he preferred leaving F1 rather reducing his salary and driving with McLaren he’s very tough in that side
        As for Dan i think that he will be a very good alternative to Kimi after all he’s fast young & a Red Bull product & maybe that will help him to be the leading Red Bull driver if Vettel decided to change in 2016 , i forgot something he’s always smiling !!!

        1. @tifoso1989 the primary reason I think Ricciardo is the number one choice at the moment is because he can act as a replacement for Seb should he choose to leave in 2016: Räikkönen cannot due to his age as I reckon he’ll be retiring around 2018 at the latest. Also of course there is the fact he is from the Red Bull pipeline and he is the ideal brand image for Red Bull (cheerful and always willing to do PR). So of course it’s all about how each of us view the situation but for me I’m still fairly confident that Ricciardo will drive for Red Bull in 2014 (he tested with them also in the YDT bearing in mind).

          Not that I’d at all be disappointed if Räikkönen joined as I’d actually prefer that to be the case purely from an ‘experimental’ point of view but logically speaking Dan is the top man and so he’d be a very good choice too!

          1. If anyone could have acted as replacement for Seb, he would have been in RB car already. If you notice, they trend of spotting extra ordinate drivers is very simple. They get in and perform straight away. No Vettel type driver, takes time or needs time to become a legendary driver – they are from the beginning.

            Riccardo is a great driver, better than your average F1 driver – maybe. But he is no Vettel, Raikkonen or Hamilton, otherwise he would have been in top team already.

      2. When I read “wild card” I thought of Charlie from Always Sunny in Philadelphia with the famous “because I cut the brakes” scene and subsequently had a good chuckle.

    3. Last year Lewis Hamilton was desperate to get Mark Webber’s seat

      I don’t believe a word of that. There may have been some talks, but there are talks all the time between different drivers agents and various teams. Hami followed the money. If he’d told RB he’d be happy to drive for a euro a year, he could be at RB now. He made the right choice I think, but it was his choice. He was never desperate to move to Red Bull.

      1. I never got the sense LH was ‘desperate’ to replace MW either, but I’m sure the thought of it has been tempting for him and many drivers. Why wouldn’t it be intriguing to think of being in the best car (not just by moving into one but by evolving one), which is virtually always the ingredient needed to win a WDC?

        I also never got the sense that MW’s seat was available for this year, and I sure got the sense that LH needed to leave Mac, and felt from the getgo he made a good move. I certainly don’t believe LH followed ‘the money’ only. He was always going to make fair coin no matter where he went, and I don’t believe LH would need to offer up his services for free, nor do I think he would, to go to SV’s RBR. At Merc he was always going to have the opportunity to make it ‘his’ team. And it couldn’t be going better for him all things considered. Nobody thought they’d be where they are so far, so it’s only onward and upward (and some downward yet too) and let’s see what they come up with next year when all the balls are back up in the air.

        I hope Horner sticks to his guns and hires the best driver, KR, to partner SV. Best for the fans, mainly, because even if DR was super strong, I don’t believe he would be allowed/able to be anything but a natural number 2 to SV, whereas only the likes of a WDC KR can truly be touted as the strongest driver possible and someone who will actually be expected to take it to SV on equal footing. And thus giving us the show we truly pay for.

        So please CH, pick up KR if you possibly can and keep the racing in F1. DR will be there when you need him…KR likely won’t if you don’t jump on him now. Make the harder choice that ramps up F1 to it’s fullest for us fans even if it gives you some headaches to deal with. They’re worth the purer and much more compelling show for millions, in the pinnacle of racing. Imho of course.

  10. Why does Lauda always hail Hamilton’s drives as the best? Sometimes I feel the Austrian triple champion is infatuated with Hamilton.

    1. It’s funny, really.

      I recall a few seasons ago Lauda heavily criticised Hamilton for driving aggressively, which is the way he drove today. One imagines that Mercedes badge on his car makes all the difference.

    2. This coming from a man who a mere 2 years ago was saying Hamilton’s is going to kill someone on track…haha

  11. Alonso-Vettel at RBR would be an absolute wet dream for me – and I don’t think that Alonso will dominate (or even be a clear “better” driver) as most seem to think.

    I WANT it to happen. Sadly, I don’t THINK it will.

  12. As much as I would like to see Fernando at Red Bull, this is not likely to happen. Why? Because I doubt he would be interested in going to a team where the support is built around Seb. Alonso is a driver that thrives in building a team around him, just like Michael Schumacher. Thats just the way he works, its how he gets the best out of himself, the team and the car.

    Why didnt it work at Mclaren? Well I think he has said a number of times since 07 that it was Ron Dennis he had an issue with. He was probably promised support that he felt he didnt receive. Ron Dennis’ chequered track record is pretty substantial proof that he had a part to play in the whole debacle.

    But having said all this, could Alonso potentially take the view that his best chance being able to challenge for a championship would Red Bull? I doubt he would. He has still a few good years left in him. A sensible thing would be to wait and see how the 2014 Ferrari is out of the box. I have a feeling that if by the end of 2015, if Ferrari are still where they are, we could very well see Alonso leave the sport…unless he swaps with Seb of course.

    1. Alonso’s stint at Ferrari hasn’t actually yielded anything though….

      1. I agree that FA should stay where he is. I’m sure he is just frustrated and mostly speaking in the heat of the moment, but ultimately I think FA knows he is in the best place he could be right now and for the revised coming years. He needs to see his tenure through with Ferrari, and right now he has unfinished business that he needs to tackle. They may have lost a step with their latest upgrades not being fruitful, but they’ve always got great potential and FA will I’m sure remember that they have brought him within mere points of WDC(s) as recently as last year, so what is today, is not necessarily the decider on tomorrow, and what it will bring.

  13. The COTD’s ideas of great rivalry is all very good , But to call webber second rate is sacrilege ! . He may not be in Vettel’s league , but how can you call him second rate ( a second driver maybe but second rate is ridiculous ) ?

    OK , I have figured it out .
    @PMCcarthy_Is_A_Legend must be Christian Horner . Not bad for a second identity .

    1. If Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton are FIRST rate drivers, then what rate is Webber?

      1. Well…SV, FA, and LH, not to mention KR, are WDC’s, so that rates them higher than MW who is not a WDC.

        I agree with COTD and if we get away from whatever he is calling MW, because after all MW will soon be gone, the main point is RBR needs to hire KR.

    2. @hamilfan exactly, I really think a large proportion of the members of this site lack respect for Webber. For sure he isn’t on Vettel’s level but that’s no insult and certainly he has been much better than Massa and more consistent than Grosjean. Despite him losing out to Vettel 10-0 in qualifying this year he’s also still one of the top qualifiers in the sport, I’d argue better than Alonso. Finding a replacement for him isn’t as simple as picking up any old driver.

      He is only “second-rate” in the sense that he isn’t on Vettel’s, Alonso’s, Hamilton’s or Räikkönen’s level.

      1. We also have to remember that Webber is 36, and is giving away many years to the rest of the field. His times at Jaguar at his peak (27, the same age as Rosberg, Maldonado and Hamilton now) showed what clear speed Webber had developed, in conjunction with the car he was driving. You could say that all the older (30+) drivers have lost a tad of pace, but developed into all round drivers – Webber, Raikkonen, Button, Massa, Alonso (perhaps 29yo Sutil too). Webber has arguably held onto his Q pace the best, due to an intense fitness regime which holds him below his natural body weight. Button is trying to do similar.

        In another sense of age, we could say that the youngest drivers on the grid (21-22) still have the most potential pace to gain – Gutierrez, Chilton, Vergne, Pic and Perez; those aged 23 are reaching their peak – Bottas, Bianchi, Ricciardo; while those at 25/26 are at their peak – Hulkenberg, Vettel, Grosjean, Di Resta. VDG, 27, is I think past his peak already, but he did beat Pic at Hungary so maybe it just takes him time to adapt, his career so far would back that up.

        Vettel now is at the same point Webber was when he joined Minardi! If Vettel can still be this sharp in 11 years time then he’ll have done as well as if not better than Webber. That would be the 2024 DWC! How many titles could Vettel have by then…..

        1. I’d actually say that you’re at your peak around 30 – that was certainly the case with Michael Schumacher and to an extent Ayrton Senna. By that stage you have the experience, you have developed the race craft but you still have the natural speed. Of course it is dependant on the driver though.

  14. Massa’s no doubt in his last season with Ferrari, maybe Alonso doesn’t want to deal with the pressure of a good team-mate beating him at Ferrari. Alonso is the established driver, the team is built around him, whoever goes to the team he will be expected to comfortably beat.

    Going to Red Bull would take all the pressure off his shoulders and he’ll have zero to lose. If you beat Vettel you look like a superstar, if Vettel gets the upper-hand you have any number of excuses — car is built for Vettel’s style, team is favouring Vettel, etc, etc.

    1. I think that’s a very good point. Additionally, all Red Bull would have to offer Alonso would be parity with Vettel and I think he would take it. They’re both in the sport to win World Championships and nothing else; if Alonso believes the Red Bull will be the faster car, he’ll want to get in it. Nothing else is as important.

  15. I really don’t think it will happen, but taking Alonso would show that RBR is serious in their racing and not just a tool for Helmut Marko to play with drivers and a marketing scheme.

    Off course it also helps Horner when he mentions Alonso might be interested, because that should give Kimi that little bit more incentive to decide sooner rather than later.

    1. Its hard to take Horner’s comments seriously.. its just a little jibber jabber for the media.

      I doubt Red Bull would put their golden boy at risk by having Alonso in the same machinery.

      You could be right about getting Kimi wound up though… I think it does add a little pressure on Kimi to make a decision sooner rather than later

      1. @todfod
        Yeah, I don’t see Alonso going to RBR, but if they want Raikkonen, then Alonso wouldn’t be such a significant extra “risk” on track to “their golden boy”.

        1. I think Alonso is better than Raikkonen. But I guess.. that topic is always debatable .

          Also not so sure if Horner and Red Bull have really made Raikkonen an offer yet.. I’m pretty sure they would discuss this issue internally with Seb before they take a decision. It does help to make sure that Raikkonen is interested though..

    2. If you feel a billion dollar company like Red Bull needs to “show” that they’re not a tool for Helmut Marko, you must ask yourself if you are worth it being shown. Do you really believe for one second what you’re implying there? In what world?

      1. Ask yourself what your comment adds to the discussion here @mnmracer.

        Yes, I do think Mateschitz has let Marko’s influence on running of the team become unhealthy for a racing team. Their driver desicions (for both teams) are not about best driver choice, they have made desicions based on preferences and dislikes for drivers based on it too and it has certainly done their image with many fans not good at all.
        And its also at times undermined the team leadership because of the lack of clarity who really is the boss.

  16. Lewis clearly desperate to get his ex-girlfriend back.

    1. @ajokay I’m surprised you’re seemingly the only one to comment on it. To me that was a very sucky comment and whiffs of desperation!

  17. Great COTD, although I wouldn’t exactly call Webber a ‘second rate driver’…

  18. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    30th July 2013, 16:24

    Who would go to Ferrari if Fernando did leave? Has Massa still got his seat too?

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