Vettel and Tilke

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    I ran a few numbers (and please correct me if I’m wrong), and this is what I found:
    Out of the 71 races Sebastian Vettel has driven for Red Bull Racing, he finished 60 times (not counting the DNFs where he was also classified). He was won a whopping 40% of those races (24 wins), but I was interested to find out how he faired in TilkeDromes compared to the other traditional races.
    My suspicion proved correct: Vettel has won 63,6% of all TilkeCircuit races he has finished in, an astonshing number. He has “only” won 26,3% in the traditional circuits (that’s 10 victories). In short, he’s 14-8 on TilkeCircuits, and 10-28 on traditional ones. That can’t be a coincidence.
    Any suggestions to why this is?
    It can’t be the car. Mark Webber has won 9 races since teaming up with Seb, and ALL NINE WINS came from Traditional Circuits, he has not one single victory in TilkeDromes!


    It’s a German conspiracy!


    Interesting stats, not sure what they mean only as a Webber fan I wish this pairing had been racing in the pre-Tllke days!


    It’s quite possibly a combination of Vettel’s driving style and the Red Bull car.

    Tilke designs circuits with similar characteristics – look at Sepang, Abu Dhabi and Istanbul and you’ll see plenty of spots where traction out of slow corners and medium-speed downforce is tested. Both areas happen to be Red Bull’s forte, hence the higher incidence of Vettel domination at those circuits.

    As for Webber’s performance at Tilke circuits, or lack thereof, I think it has to do with driving style. Vettel has always seemed more comfortable in the Red Bull than Webber, so maybe that’s why Webber has never really been able to exploit the car’s performance advantage in the same way that Vettel has.


    It seems that Red Bull, more than any other team, do everything they can to perform at their best on Tilkedomes and it has paid off handsomely for the past 3 years and I expect it will increasingly continue to do so in the coming years.


    Here’s a curveball – other than unsuited driving style to the track layout, I’m going to throw in another possibility. The surface.

    In Abu Dhabi, India, Mark has always had the problem that he is less able to get in the groove of the car’s feel, and he always seems to kill his tyres quicker, even in the Bridgestone days. Abu Dhabi 2009, he was struggling a lot to the end, and Abu Dhabi 2010 he pitted way earlier than Vettel due to his tyres going too.

    Look at the modern street circuits – Valencia, Singapore, Melbourne. Webber (to memory) has also never finished higher than Vettel there on merit (as opposed to on reliability grounds). In 2009 and 2010 Webber had the upper hand in Monaco, either through tyre life (2009) or pace (2010), but in both years Vettel outpaced him in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, not to mention Vettel’s tyres outlasted him.

    Toro Stevo

    You’re right, but it’s a combination of car and driver. For Webber, his performances are simply related to his enjoyment of a track, that’s always been his biggest problem. And he doesn’t like any of the Tilke dromes, except Sepang which is the only one he’s come close to winning on. Although I was under the impression that the Nurburgring (which Webber won on) had like Hockenheim had been Tilkeified?

    Also, a lot of the non-Tilke circuits they race on every year are not circuits where Red Bull are the strongest (Melbourne, Monza, Canada and Spa). That’s 15 right there for only 3 Vettel wins, with none to Webber. Although on the remaining Red Bull suited non-Tilke tracks, they are evenly matched.

    Comes back to the irritating similar design that all modern built circuits have, and they suit Vettel’s driving style. A few long straights into hairpins, a left right esses bit, a long fast corner somewhere, and some slow corners preferrably around some concrete structure or building where sponsors can watch from, all artfully rearranged to look like a different track. Most of the old ones aren’t bound to the same limits, they tend to not have at least one or two of those elements, or in the case of Monaco have only the one (slow hotel section).


    I don’t think Red Bull are particularly more focussed on these newer circuits than other teams. And if they are, that’s just bad management by the others.
    But one can come to the conclusion that, in general, Seb seems to be the more flexible driver compared to Mark, and that might be the main reason he does better.


    That’s very interesting; I new Vettel was very good at new tracks, but I never knew it was as stark as this.
    Maybe it’s that Webber needs to take a lot of time to learn a race track before he can be scintillating around there; when he entered F1, the classic tracks were on the calender, and those are the ones he drives very well around (including Malaysia).
    Maybe Vettel has the ability to almost instantly learn a race track and therefore the fastest way around it within a few laps or so?
    Any thoughts?


    Could well be. He was on his way to win the first Korean Grand Prix, won both since, and he made everyone look like amateurs in India. Will make it interesting to see what happens in Austin.


    imho hallmarks of vettel’s style are early braking, wide corner entry, and incredibly early application of the throttle which newey’s diffuser magic (especially the RB7) has only further enabled. these aspects of his style are perfectly matched to the stop and go nature of the tilke-dromes.


    Maybe it’s that Webber needs to take a lot of time to learn a race track before he can be scintillating around there

    That might explain why Webber is best on the classic tracks (it might not too) but it doesn’t explain Vettel’s inferior win record at those tracks compared to the Tilke-dromes.


    @katederby is it really inferior? Other than the Nurburgring and Hungaroring, Vettel has won at every racetrack Mark has won at.

    Silverstone, Brazil and Monaco Mark has won twice while Seb has won once – though Seb probably would’ve won in 2011 Brazil – where Mark won either by a team gift, or by a Vettel gearbox issue.

    Barcelona both have won once.

    Nurburgring, Hungaroring are the two circuits where Vettel hasn’t won, while Webber won – but to be fair, on the Hungaroring – Vettel has never been outdone by Webber on pace there. Quicker in 2009 (could’ve won, had Alonso not done that ultralight qualifying strategy), quicker in 2010 (would’ve won without the penalty), and quicker in 2011-2012.

    Nurburgring is the one circuit where Vettel hasn’t matched Webber, ever.


    @raymondu999 Err, except I wasn’t comparing Vettel to Webber… I said Vettel’s inferior record at classic tracks compared to his record at Tilke dromes!



    Although I was under the impression that the Nurburgring (which Webber won on) had like Hockenheim had been Tilkeified?

    The Nurburgring has really only had a small tweek when compared to other circuits. See the link
    here, previously the track skipped from Turn 1 to Turn 5, Tilke just changed Turn 1 to a hairpin and added the first complex Turns 2-5.

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