Mercedes showing their real speed now – Vettel

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel is wary of the rising threat from Mercedes following Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“I think Mercedes has been very competitive not just Lewis, also Nico [Rosberg] who won two races already this year,” said Vettel in a press conference ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.

“We know they’re very quick in qualifying,” he added. “Hungary, in a way, was the first time they… not really the first time but they had the ability let’s say, to show their speed in the race as well.”

“But really I think since Monaco I think they’ve been competitive in the races. As I said Nico won the race, in Silverstone Lewis was in the lead when he had the tyre failure. Surely the last races they were the most competitive.”

However Vettel is not becoming complacent about other rival teams: “I think Lotus has always been there scoring points with Kimi [Raikkonen], Romain [Grosjean] is fighting is way back.”

“Ferrari I think had a little bit of a low at the moment but still they’ve got good points so I think all of these teams and the drivers you still have to keep them in mind. But for us it’s not that important to pick one particular driver or person or team. We first of all have to get our own stuff sorted and then we’ll see what happens.”

Vettel also said he “didn’t know how realistic it was” that Raikkonen might have joined him at Red Bull next year. “For sure I’m talking with the team but as I said many times it’s not my decision so I don’t want to get too involved,” he said.

“As I said I think Kimi would have been nice in many ways. Now it’s not happening it doesn’t make much sense to talk about that. But who knows, he’s still young I’m still young so I don’t know, a lot of things can still happen. Never say never but probably for next year it’s not going to happen.”

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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20 comments on “Mercedes showing their real speed now – Vettel”

  1. Vettel sounds happy.

    Rooting for another lewis win =)

  2. Is Vettel saying Raikkonen is still young ? That’s… well… weird. Mind you, one is a triple word champion while the other is a single world champion so you know, you could say Vettel has had a full carreer and is ready to bow out in style.

    1. As someone who is about to celebrate his 31st birthday, I’m going to defend Raikkonen here and say that yes, he is absolutely still young at 33…

      1. Wow, 31, sorry man, I’m sure you had a good run though!

        1. Hey, steady now !
          Mansell was 39 when he won his Championship – and Fangio was 40 when he got the first of five.

          Still, I don’t think either subsisted on vodka and ice cream…

  3. Mercedes have definitely been stronger in the races as the season has progressed it seems, but it is worth bearing in mind they were a clear second fastest in Malaysia. Indeed though they have seemed stronger since Monaco onwards, with the possible exception of Germany – incidentally, after their “secret” tyre test.

    However, in points scored Red Bull have still beaten Mercedes in overall points scored since Monaco – 146 vs 136 – despite suffering from worse reliability/fortune (gearbox failure for Vettel running first in Britain and wheel falling off for Webber in Germany whilst effectively second vs tyre failure for Hamilton running first in Britain and an engine failure for Rosberg running 9th IIRC).

    So yes, though they are definitely a much greater threat than they previously were to Red Bull, I still think RBR hold a slight advantage over Mercedes on balance. So yes Seb they are showing their strength but I think your team could still win in an arm wrestle ;)

    1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
      22nd August 2013, 16:24

      @vettel1 But then, it is also a probability that Mercedes will beat RBR in the development race. So let’s see what happens!

      1. @shreyasf1fan maybe: I don’t think they are at all at a resource disadvantage but they might hit the development ceiling of the RB5, you never know ;)

        1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
          22nd August 2013, 16:51

          Exactly. Just like the MP4-27 was the end of the dev curve.

    2. If it rains, Red Bull would be strong (esp. for the pole) this race is just another story taking in account Mercedes pace… IMO we shouldn’t underestimate Lotus too! What we need is a top 3-battle-for-the-win
      The Pirelli private test might have played its part but people should recognized that the Silver Arrows are coming out on force and have been updating their car since the start of this season! I’m impressed by all their work even if I’d be also be wary of ‘any’ kind of performance! Maybe Hungary was a gamble!
      As for McLaren, last year was a massive fail. Maybe they’re using this year and testing some new parts for next year but… I still can’t get over the blunders (pit-stop, reliability) so there’s a ‘part’ of me who always think that Ferrari wouldn’t have been (finished 2nd) in the title fight if the former were so busy to shoot themselves in the foot.

      1. @ladyf1fanatic agreed with pretty much all of that: since of course the weather report is for rain on Saturday and Sunday Red Bull may be able to disguise any sort of disadvantage they’d otherwise have! (Of course they have had pole three times in changeable conditions).

        The tyre test comment wasn’t intended in complete seriousness, I just thought it was a very interesting coincidence :P

        McLaren I think would’ve won the constructor’s championship had they not blundered so many times – perhaps there were just inherent reliability problems but they seemed more often that not to be failing to maximise race results, so yes definitely at least second was on the cards.

        As for Lotus, well it all depends if it’s dry or not! If dry I think they’ll be serious contenders (as they run well on fast tracks it seems where you need good balance) and of course if they run the DRD they’ll likely gain an advantage but if wet I expect it to be firmly between Red Bull and Mercedes (the two teams with the best tyre warm-up and most superior downforce packages).

  4. @shreyasf1fan

    it is also a probability that Mercedes will beat RBR in the development race

    Highly improbable. Especially looking at how they’ve moved backwards every season since 2010

    1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
      22nd August 2013, 17:32

      @todfod Doesn’t seem so this season, though They seem to have upped their game.

    2. @todfod: as said above by @shreyasf1fan, Mercedes has reached another level! A bit premature but they’ve definitely upped the game!

      1. For sure, they’ve upped their game, but can they do better than a team that has comfortably out developed every team on the grid for the past 4 seasons?

        Seriously doubt it

        1. McLaren showed last year that it was possible to build a car faster than the RedBull was -well at least until they ruined everything and good bye championship! – Ferrari this year was faster & better, Alonso has had some pretty good races remember that in all conditions but their car now seems to lack the pace to stay with RedBull/Merc (that’s said Ferrari & Lotus still have the best race pace, qualifying not being their forte)

        2. Paddy Lowe. He is the difference.

          McLaren out developed Red Bull last season, but lost out because of the pit wall. Hamilton lost over 100 points due to pit wall strategy, blunders and car failures. The car itself, was faster than the Red Bull way before season end.

          Since Paddy was green lit by McLaren to start working for Mercedes, they have sorted out Hamilton’s problems, understood the tyres, and as Brawn commented, all their developments have ‘worked’. Their hit rate has been way above normal.

          I believe Hamilton left McLaren because Whitmarsh is a not an effective leader. I think McLaren under the leadership of Horner would have won the title last year as they had the machinery to do so. When you loose your top engineer and driver to a worse team in a single season, you clearly have a management problem.

  5. “I think Lotus has always been their scoring points with Kimi [Raikkonen], Romain [Grosjean] is fighting is way back.”

    Wrong ‘there’.

    1. @matt90 Corrected, thanks.

  6. I hope to see high on Q3 the Force India cars, they had last year a light aero package that suit nicely at spa, a pity is that i dont see the saubers that high on this one.

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