Vettel’s dominance of Webber shocks Schumacher

2013 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Interlagos, 2012Michael Schumacher says he’s glad he doesn’t have Sebastian Vettel for a team mate after the Red Bull driver’s dominant form against team mate Mark Webber.

Schumacher praised Vettel for a “very consistent” season after taking his fourth championship title.

Look at his team mate,” said Schumacher, “that’s your reference point that you’ve got to take”.

“I mean [Vettel] won all those races, 13 this year I think. Mark Webber he won none in the end, if I’m right. That’s pretty shocking. I’m glad I’m not his team mate!”

Vettel equalled Schumacher’s record for scoring the most wins in a single season this year. “I’m really happy for him and if somebody can break all these records then I’d prefer him to be than somebody else,” said Schumacher.

The seven-times champion added he doubts the overhaul of the engine rules next year will lead to a massive shake-up in the competitive order.

“I think you shouldn’t expect too many changes because of the engine,” he said. “Aerodynamics always out-play the engine, it will always be in future.”

“So the better car, the better package in the end will win. Yes if you have two identical package then the better engine might play a difference. We know that Mercedes has always been on the top side on the engine side.”

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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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70 comments on “Vettel’s dominance of Webber shocks Schumacher”

  1. Have Red Bull confirm that both their drivers had exactly the same car?

    1. yes. Every race.

    2. @dumb_man by definition, they cannot possibly have exactly the same car: the drivers have different anatomies, so there are different packaging constraints which may affect reliability slightly.

      That is the same for every team though; in terms of aerodynamics packages, I would bet my last dollar on the fact Red Bull are no different to every other team almost in providing both their drivers with the best equipment possible to win them the constructor’s championship. Claims to the contrary are naive at best, ridiculous conspiracies at worst.

      1. @vettel1

        How dare you say that, he is just expressing his opinion and you!!!!…. oh… that’s, that’s his name, whoops, my bad :-)

        1. @full-throttle-f1 +1, “good job mate” (to quote Rocky) ;)

    3. They don’t need to any more than Ferrari does.

    4. I thought the Vettel-Webber conspiracies had finally died down.. Ugh.

      1. I thought Mark had made it pretty clear they had the same car, it’s just that the car suits Vettel more than it does Mark who prefers the older style cars.

        1. @danbrown180 He’s certainly not the type to keep quiet if it isn’t. On the one occasion it wasn’t – Silverstone in 2010 – he made sure everyone knew.

          1. Due to Mark his length the KERS system is located differently from Vettel his car. Horner once stated this might be the cause of all those KERS issues.

          2. @ardenflo
            Really? The KERS batteries used to sit underneath the gearbox.
            Can Marks extra height really make a difference that far back?

          3. @mads
            Yes it can… It isn’t just height either, it is weight as well. The cars have a mandatory front/rear weight distribution which negatively affects the packaging possibilites for larger drivers. Jenson Button was complaining about how it will be even worse next year.

          4. @shane-pinnell
            But that’s pretty theoretical isn’t it? Most cars these days run 50-100kg of ballast to get to the mandated weight limit. Packing that ballast differently will overcome that problem. While some cars run closer to the weight limit then others. Making it individual from car to car.

        2. what did Mark achieve in ‘older style cars’ ?

          Its like the champaign on the podium. Same bottles, different anatomies and spraying styles. Some more eficient and able than others.

          1. Nearly a championship?

    5. The cars are definitely not the same … at each race there is one obvious and glaring difference. One car is driven by a great driver and the other is driven by a good driver.

    6. Why should they? Has anyone else done it in the past? Look at teh cars and judge for yourself.

    7. @dumb_man
      I don’t think they had the same car (reliability wise), and that is something that mr. Schumacher seems to forget – just look at causes of Webber’s retirements this year and their frequency.

      1. @dujedcv
        Although this isn’t updated, swinging things more in Vettel’s favour, this still shows that the difference between their reliability isn’t that great. Webber having more issues, but more of Vettel’s issues being race ending.

    8. Unless Webber is crap at setting up the car which is Vettel’s high point ability

  2. It’s good to see Schumacher gracious over Vettel’s sometimes quite astounding achievements: you could reason (perhaps fairly) that he wouldn’t be best pleased a driver has come to take his records so soon , such that he may not even have much of an opportunity to bask in his glory after finally retiring.

    However, one statistic I think he will have ownership of for the foreseable future is number of race wins: 91 is a long way away, even if Vettel is already at 39.

    1. I don’t think being second with ‘only’ 7 titles and ‘only’ 91 wins is something Schumi will feel bad about :)

    2. Is shocking the rithem a driver should have to reach Schumacher´s record. Vettel would have to win an average of 6 races in the next 10 years to beat him

      1. Considering he won 13 this year and another 13 in 2011 (Is it? It was at least 10), suddenly it seems pretty plausible… of course, RBR will eventually decline one day like Ferrari did in 2005, so it’s just a matter of when RBR will decline (Assuming Vettel doesn’t change teams); that will decide whether or not Vettel can beat Schumi’s record.

        1. @woshidavid95

          and another 13 in 2011 (Is it? It was at least 10)

          11 is the number you are looking for :)

          so it’s just a matter of when RBR will decline (Assuming Vettel doesn’t change teams

          I think he will have to. The most championships won in a row by a team (constructors) is 6 by Ferrari: Red Bull have already won 4 in a row.

          It’s inconceivable almost Red Bull maintaining that level of performance for long enough to allow Vettel to snatch the record.

          Interestingly though, I think this is also a good illustration that Red Bull haven’t been as dominant as many like to believe. He’s only 6 ahead of Schumacher in terms of race wins at this respective stage in their careers (120th races), despite Schumacher only being world champion in two of the 9* seasons he had participated in at that point.

          *incomplete seasons in 1999 (2 rounds competed in) and 1991 (6 rounds competed in).

        2. Jasmine (@jasmineellaine)
          1st November 2014, 5:41

          without adrian newey and mercedes engines, they will be declining next year

  3. It’s only slightly shocking, Seb is currently the best driver out there, in the fastest car. Not to mention Mark is 37 and in his own words, no longer has the drive required. It’s no surprise Mark didn’t get a win, when looked at like this. I don’t know about Schumi, or other F1 fans but I haven’t seen Mark as a true “reference point” for a couple seasons now, no offence to him.

    Even at 37 (oldest driver on the grid) he still managed 5 second place finishes this season. Vettel is great etc etc, but I wish Mark was getting more credit for hanging in there so long. I doubt Vettel at 37 will be getting 5 second place finishes in one season

    1. I think the last sentence of the first paragraph slightly contradicts the second paragraph. So, I think to sum it up,- Mark was consistently fast, but also consistently not fast enough

      1. well reasoned if not said :) +1

    2. I doubt Vettel at 37 will be getting 5 second place finishes in one season

      He will get at least that many 2nd places, in addition to half-a-dozen wins or so. ;)

  4. Since when Mark Webber has been a top driver ??? I don’t think he is even better than Barichello

    1. 2010.

    2. You think Vettel is bad so you continue to draw the line to RB and Webber. They both are class-acts and one should strive to be as good as Webber and with some additional natural talent be as good as Vettel.

      1. Saying Webber isn’t a top driver (which is true), isn’t suggesting Vettel is bad at all. It takes absolutely nothing away from Vettel.

    3. @tifoso1989 – I considered him a top driver sitting in the wrong cars. Similar to what we see with Hulk now. Webber won against all team-mates until Vettel came along. And pre-Hamilton/Vettel I considered him to be the fastest guy on one lap. The age difference and the Pirelli’s made him look worse than he was.

    4. At least since he beat Rosberg as a team-mate, and considering everyone’s still comparing rookie Hamilton and Alonso, you can’t use the ‘rookie’ excuse.

  5. Michael Schumacher says he’s glad he doesn’t have Sebastian Vettel for a team mate after the Red Bull driver’s dominant form against team mate Mark Webber.

    I don’t know what the context was, but I find this statement appalling. The entire point of Formula 1 from a driver’s point of view is to show you are the best, and what better way to prove it than by beating a great driver in the same machinery?

    1. If you watch the video, you’ll see he was laughing when he said that:

      (I think most drivers would probably prefer to have a teammate they can comfortably beat, though.)

      1. I guessed it must have been like that. But still, if I were a top driver, I would want the best teammate, to prove that either I am better, or accept that he is better and work harder to try and beat him in the future. Either way, I would be happy.

      2. Thanks for the link! I wonder why that wasn’t in the article.

    2. David mcgrory
      22nd May 2017, 3:18

      He was being humble because Michael was the best that ever lived

  6. I think Michael is just intimating that if Vettel had been his team mate 10 years ago he may not have had all the wins that he did.

  7. I find MS being disingenuous with his comments, but then that isn’t anything new for him. I highly doubt he is ‘shocked’ that MW didn’t win a race. When he was at Ferrari the team was centered around him and he had RB handing him wins, benefitting from RB obeying team orders, and yet MW had a win stolen from him by SV disobeying a team order and deciding it was more about him than the team…just like MS/Ferrari.

    And it’s easy for him to say now that he would not want SV as a teammate, but then he never would have gone up against a WDC, and in fact in order for him to succeed he had to have non-competing teammates by contract at Ferrari.

    Do I believe MW, like RB, we’re driving the same car as SV and MS? Sure…but that would be MW driving a car that better suited SV, and RB driving a car built with only MS in mind. Same car sure…just not ‘their’ car. So I reject the notion that MW was the benchmark and SV went above and beyond that, just as it would be silly to suggest that RB was the benchmark at MS/Ferrari.

    1. @robbie

      “but that would be MW driving a car that better suited SV”

      I think China 2012 proved that the car is not designed with particular driver in mind (where the design was moving towards a car that Vettel wan’t liking and Webber was getting better results).

      It’d be more accurate to say that Newey designs the fastest car within the formula irrespective of driver preference (but with both drivers giving feedback in different areas), and it just happens that Vettel has a better feel for the car, along with the Pirelli’s.

      If Newey built a car that was suited to Webber, it wouldn’t be the fastest car on the grid, regardless of who was driving it.

  8. I think it’s quite similar to the situation we had at Ferrari for the last few years. As much as Alonso and Vettel are good, their teammates are equally bad. I don’t doubt that Vettel or Alonso would win a battle against their teammates over the course of the season, but it wouldn’t really be that one sided if they had better someone better sitting in the other car. Both Massa and Webber were not too good in 2010 already, only Webber had much better car so he was able to get a few wins. If you look at it realistically, I think perhaps Alonso was making more of a difference than Vettel did over the course of the last 4 years, but this year I really think Vettel was as good as Alonso. Even Alonso wasn’t perhaps at his best in some of the races this year.

    So to sum it up, the gulf is so large not only because Alonso and Vettel are that good, but as much because Massa and Webber are no good any more. Massa is a confidence driver who lost confidence when he realized just how good Alonso is, leading to Ferrari throwing even more emotional support behind their #1, while Webber lost motivation because team was always showing that Vettel is their driver of choice and he simply ran out of motivation to go at it one more time at his age.

  9. Says the man who raced with Barrichello and Irvine. Both of those were hardly validation for his talent. Don’t mean to detract from Vettel here, just that it’s funny coming from Schumacher, he always had “bad” team mates.

    1. haha +1 too true

    2. not his choice, he didn’t care

  10. Michael Schumacher’s dominance over Rubens Barichello was also ‘shocking’ to Rubens.

  11. Always surprises me how hard people are towards Webber, Barichello and other famous ‘number 2’ drivers. Most of the time this comes out of just not being happy with the dominance of the number 1 in that particular team.

    1. Well when it is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing, and in particular at MS/Ferrari one driver is not to race the other by contract, then yeah I have a big problem with the viewing audience being robbed of racing in the pinnacle of racing. Imagine how much better it would have been when MS was in dominant Ferrari’s if it was like Senna/Prost…you know what car is going to win, pretty much, but you don’t know which driver.

  12. “I think you shouldn’t expect too many changes because of the engine,” he said. “Aerodynamics always out-play the engine, it will always be in future.”

    What Michael has said above is my biggest fear. Mercedes might have the engine with the highest horsepower, but if fuel saving is the name of the game (which it seems to be), this extra horsepower will amount to nothing as Hamilton and Rosberg won’t get to use it without using up too much fuel.

  13. Who do you guys would win the team mate battle over one season between a primed up Schumacher and a primed up Vettel?

    1. @lightnin-hopkins
      Schumacher, just. If with “primed up” Schumacher you mean the beast from ’96-98.

    2. @lightnin-hopkins Hard to tell since we don’t know if Vettel “primed up” yet (most likely not since he’s still 26).

      1. @guilherme He has shown over the last few years he’s still improving too

    3. It is difficult to tell, I think I’ll withhold judgement until next season (where I expect Vettel will have to show a different skillset as I don’t expect Red Bull to be as strong a force). Certainly if both were in as good a car as the RB9 though, I think Seb would be difficult to beat (but certainly not impossible).

      1. So far SV has not gone head to head with a WDC, and without doubt MS went out of his way to not face a WDC, and that puts a whole different face on things. I think we don’t know how Seb would do, but we certainly saw how MS did once he had a legitimate competing teammate, who wasn’t even a WDC, namely NR at Merc. I think MS proved to us that he needed a non-competing teammate, so I guess I’d give the nod to SV, although I think he too would show some chinks in the armor if pressured psychologically and physically on the track.

  14. According to Giorgio Ascanelli who had worked with both Schumacher at Ferrari and Vettel at Torro Rosso, Vettel is the better driver. Schumacher has to work harder for his success whereas Vettel has more natural talent

    1. He also worked with Senna.

  15. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    29th November 2013, 20:32

    Impressive to see that comparison of the 120 races between both Seb and Schum. It makes you wonder if Seb can achieve 9 titles or more, given that he has 4 now, and that he is 4 years younger than the time when Schum raced 120 times. I mean, even if Vettel has 4 years of bad luck from now on, he can be ready, at 30, to get other 5 titles again. And as I’ve read many times, drivers ar at their best at 30. We are seeing a “true monster in the making” named Sebastian Vettel.

  16. I’m a little surprised Schumacher made that comment. Has he forgotten how he too was ‘out gunned’ by Nico Rosberg last year the year before? !!

    1. When he was in his forties, and a shadow of his former self (pre-Silverstone 1999 Michael I think has an argument for being the best driver ever).

      1. Hmmm…I doubt that MS, nor his friends, nor family, nor advisors in F1, the likes of Ross Brawn for example, were considering that MS was a shadow of his former self, nor that being in his 40’s was an issue, when he decided to come out of retirement. I don’t buy those things for a second as excuses. He was in F1 for 3 years at Merc. He was fair game. Everything was fair game, and MS simply did not have all the advantages at Merc that allowed him to compile all the numbers he did at Ferrari. At least…F1, as the supposed pinnacle, better be a series where everyone on the grid belongs there. In fact, as I recall, Brawn had MS as 2010 WDC before the season started, so I don’t think you can just look in hindsight at how it went and let MS off the hook.

        I think maybe if anything has actually shocked MS about SV in 2013, it’s that SV didn’t need endless testing, a tire maker with a headquarters at his team’s private track, an extra 100mill from the FIA just because, and to run people off the road, to achieve what he has.

  17. 2013, Vettel’s best season :)

  18. After 55 years of following F1 and any other motor racing I class a great driver as someone who can drive an uncompetetive car, grab it by the throat and still win with it.
    Schumacher and Vettel have had their wins in the best teams having the fastest and most reliable cars at that time, yes very quick drivers but not the greatest.
    Cheers Skippy.

    1. “After 55 years of following F1 and any other motor racing I class a great driver as someone who can drive an uncompetetive car, grab it by the throat and still win with it.
      Schumacher and Vettel have had their wins in the best teams having the fastest and most reliable cars at that time, yes very quick drivers but not the greatest.
      Cheers Skippy.”

      Why this continuous lies over 55 yrs of watching really so in this period you have been watching who are this drivers that have done what you are proposing?
      Due to Alonso’s failings we have fans who want to turn F1 into a mediocre sport by saying the lesser driver is better!

    2. By “still win”, do you mean the championship, or win races? Because both drivers you mention have won races in such machnery. No-one can get a backmarker to win. No-one.

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