Posts Tagged ‘Red Bull’

2013 Formula One Grand Prix of Korea. Sebastian Vettel Cruises to Win Seventh Race of the Season

October 6, 2013

Webber accuses Pirelli of not caring about drivers after suffering puncture in Korea before car explodes into flames (…but team-mate Vettel avoids carnage to cruise to victory)


PUBLISHED: 02:47 EST, 6 October 2013 | UPDATED: 04:09 EST, 6 October 2013


Mark Webber hit out at Pirelli after suffering a puncture which forced him out of the Korean Grand Prix which was won by his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

The Australian started 13th but had moved through the pack to be in contention for a spot on the podium before he ran over debris from Sergio Perez’s disintegrated tyre.

His car then burst into flames after spinning off before Webber accused the tyre manufacturer of not caring about the drivers.

Champion again in all but name: Sebastian Vettel celebrates his fourth successive victory

Champion again in all but name: Sebastian Vettel celebrates his fourth successive victory


Podium: He finished ahead of Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean

Podium: He finished ahead of Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean







1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
3. Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
4. Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
6. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
7. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
8. Jenson Button (McLaren)
9. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
10. Sergio Perez (McLaren)

‘That is how it is. The drivers aren’t super important – it is what other people want,’ he said.

‘The tyres are wearing a lot and they also explode a bit – but that is for Pirelli to sort out.’

Webber added: ‘I think I got a Pirelli puncture from a Pirelli tyre. Don’t think they’ll be putting that on a poster.’

Vettel, meanwhile, made it four wins on the spin as he closed on his fourth world title with yet another commanding victory.

But at least the smattering of locals that made it to Mokpo, not to mention a global television audience of millions, were treated to a cracking grand prix – once you had taken the German and his Red Bull out of the equation.

Crashes, fires and overtakes were the order of the day for the rest of the field, not that the runaway championship leader had to bother with such matters.

Vettel got off the line smoothly from pole while Lewis Hamilton – who had to settle for fifth – was under pressure from the off as Romain Grosjean in the Lotus was on his tail.

And by the tight turn three the Frenchman was making a move stick up the inside to pass the Mercedes.

That overtake was clean but behind the field was squabbling was five cars trying to make the corner together. The biggest loser was Felipe Massa who span, almost taking out his Ferrari teammate in the process. Massa’s punishment was to drop to second last but was soon carving his way back through the pack.

Smokey: Mark Webber's car goes up in flames after being hit by Adrian Sutil

Smokey: Mark Webber’s car goes up in flames after being hit by Adrian Sutil


Burning: A view of Webber's car from the on-board camera

Burning: A view of Webber’s car from the on-board camera

Trying his hardest to get past: Lewis Hamilton fighting with Grosjean near the start

Trying his hardest to get past: Lewis Hamilton fighting with Grosjean near the start


Jenson Button, however, was headed in the opposite direction, his McLaren requiring a new front wing and nose on lap four after some early contact.

At the front, Vettel was stretching away from Grosjean but not at the rate of knots he managed in Singapore, pace which promoted yet more speculation that Red Bull were sailing very close to the wind regarding the regulations. 

Such accusations were flatly denied by both Vettel and team principal Christian Horner and they certainly were not affecting the triple world champion’s focus at the Korean International Circuit.

Meanwhile, Webber, after being hit with a ten-place grid penalty for hitching a lift from Alonso in Singapore, was making swift progress through the field, the Australian up to eighth from 13th on the grid by lap eight.

Out of sight: Vettel cruised to his seventh victory of the season

Out of sight: Vettel cruised to his seventh victory of the season


Making little impression on the front two, Hamilton was into the pits at the end of lap nine for the harder prime tyre closely followed by Alonso.

The rest of the front runners – Vettel aside –  were in on the following lap with Grosjean emerging just ahead of Hamilton. The Mercedes man was all over the back of the Lotus gearbox but just about managed to hang on.

In came Vettel at the end of lap 11, promoting Webber, yet to stop, to the lead as Hamilton continued to tussle with Grosjean.

But the Australian was not in the same race and his teammate and was in at the end of lap 12 so as not to slow Vettel’s progress.

Unbeatable: Even several safety cars couldn't stop the German from securing another win

Unbeatable: Even several safety cars couldn’t stop the German from securing another win

Still, after making his option tyres last that bit longer, Webber could at least start to think of a podium finish.

Meanwhile, Webber’s replacement at Red Bull next season, Daniel Ricciardo, had hauled himself up into third place after being the only driver who chose to start the race on the prime Pirelli’s.

The start of lap 19 was as far as Ricciardo could take his Toro Rosso before stopping, the switched strategy not looking likely to do much for his chances of an eye catching finish as he returned to the track in ninth.

At the front, Vettel was receiving gentle reminders form his team to preserve his tyres as the gap to Grosjean fluctuated between four and five seconds.

Matters became processional in the middle phase of the race with tyre preservation the priority. 




Sparks fly: Nico Rosberg's front wing producing sparks after he overtook Lewis Hamilton

Sparks fly: Nico Rosberg’s front wing producing sparks after he overtook Lewis Hamilton

Button was back in the pits at the end of lap 22 for his second stop having managed just 18 laps on the primes, emphasising that the Korean tarmac was proving more abrasive than most had anticipated.

Hamilton was also on the radio complaining of a lack of life in his tyres as he continued to fall back from Grosjean at an alarming rate.

Indeed Hamilton lost a remarkable five seconds to his team-mate Rosberg in just two laps as his tyres fell off the cliff.




But those problems were nothing compare to those of Paul di Resta, yet to be confirmed as a Force India driver for next season. On lap 27 the Scots car snapped out of his control at Turn 11, pirouetting him into the tyre barriers and out of the race.

Meanwhile, Hamilton was powerless to prevent Rosberg pulling a DRS move on down the back straight on Lap 28. But, as the German pulled out to overtake, a shower of sparks shot from under his front wing as the nose of his Mercedes came loose.

Ahead: Vettel makes a quick getaway from the start pursued by Hamilton and Grosjean

Ahead: Vettel makes a quick getaway from the start pursued by Hamilton and Grosjean


Assistance: Paul di Resta, who was forced to retire early, is helped under a fence by marshals

Assistance: Paul di Resta, who was forced to retire early, is helped under a fence by marshals

Scooter: A disgruntled Di Resta was then carried away by an official

Scooter: A disgruntled Di Resta was then carried away by an official

The need for Rosberg’s repairs further compromised Hamilton who had to wait an extra lap for his stop and made his displeasure known to his team via the radio.

And as if to add insult to injury Hamilton, along with Webber who had also made his second stop, was to be on the receiving end of yet more Pirelli problems.

As Perez entered turn one, he suffered a major lock up on the right front. And as the Mexican accelerated down the back straight the rubber let go in spectacular fashion causing Webber, who had just emerged from the pits, to take evasive action to avoid the flying debris.

As ever Vettel, this time along with Grosjean, was the chief beneficiary of the safety car deployment on lap 31 required to clear the debris.

Good friends: Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber before the race

Good friends: Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber before the race


In came the race leader and the second place man for a stop under the safety car. And behind it they stayed for a serene six laps of tyre saving action.

There was nothing serene about the restart on lap 37. As the cars jostled for position, Hamilton dropped to fifth after being passed by Nico Hulkenberg and Grosjean lost second to Lotus team-mate Raikkonen.

But it was the banzai move of Force India’s Adrian Sutil that caused the most damage as he slewed backwards into Mark Webber. Off flew the Red Bull into the escape road before bursting into flames, Webber, to his credit, calmly climbing out of the cockpit.

More calamity ensued as the fire marshal’s jeep somehow replaced the safety car at the head of the field as the pack was required to slow for a second time.

But once that communication breakdown had been sorted out, Vettel once again kept his cool to stay at the front once the safety car was withdrawn once more.

Further back, Alonso managed to muscle his way past Hamilton to take sixth. But the Mercedes man had was clearly in no mood to give any further quarter and quickly elbowed his way past the Ferrari to reclaim the place.

Determined to reclaim third Hamilton set about retaking fourth, the Sauber man having also benefitted by pitting under the safety car.
Off the circuit: Felipe Massa spins off at turn three on the first lap

Off the circuit: Felipe Massa spins off at turn three on the first lap

The duel was taking longer to complete that Hamilton would have hoped as Hamilton edged past only to lose the place down the back straight as Hulkenberg hit the DRS button.

The battle was bringing Alonso back into the picture, while Button, once again trying to make his tyres last longer than anyone else, was also in the hunt.

The tussle provided an action packed finale to an event filled race, and certainly enhanced Hulkenberg’s chances of a top drive next season as he held off the chasing pack in the final throes prompting Hamilton to ask his teams for suggestions as to how to get by.

But none of the drama was heading in Vettel’s direction, the race leader’s only concern being to look after that marginal front-right tyre.

Whether being told to drive as hard as he could like in Singapore or conservatively like in Korea, a fourth successive title is just a matter of time.

Track girls

Track girls


Track girls


Track girls

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Copyright. 2013 All Rights Reserved


‘There is something fundamentally wrong’: F1 bosses worried about the future of the sport as costs continue to escalate

September 22, 2013

‘There is something fundamentally wrong’: F1 bosses worried about the future of the sport as costs continue to escalate


PUBLISHED: 05:34 EST, 21 September 2013 | UPDATED: 05:34 EST, 21 September 2013

Formula One team bosses say the rapidly escalating costs of the sport – set to climb even higher next season – mean there is something ‘fundamentally wrong’ with the sport which must be corrected. 

The switch to V6 turbo engines next season, along with the re-introduction of in-season testing, means already financially-stretched teams will face a significant increase in costs. 

‘Talks between teams to agree on cost-reduction methods have collapsed without any agreement, failing to bridge the gap between the smaller teams and the big four of Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes, who were resistant to any restrictions,’ Caterham team founder and Air Asia chief Tony Fernandes said.

Escalating costs: F1 bosses are worried about the future of the sport as costs rise

Escalating costs: F1 bosses are worried about the future of the sport as costs rise


Switch: The sport will swap to V6 turbo engines next year which could prove prohibitive

Switch: The sport will swap to V6 turbo engines next year which could prove prohibitive

‘When I came into Formula One, people talked to me about cost coming down, but I don’t think there’s been a single year it’s come down. Next year will be the highest year, so there’s something fundamentally wrong. 

‘The teams lost out an opportunity to get costs under control. Self-interest overrode the sport and we are as much to blame for this problem as a (new) engine. We screwed it up. It’s as simple as that.’

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost voted against the reintroduction of in-season testing, which was originally axed as a cost-saving measure but brought back in 2014 at the behest of the big teams. 

‘The teams are stupid enough to do tests during the season,’ Tost said. ‘On the one had they’re complaining they don’t have money, on the other hand they throw it through the window. 

‘And who wants the tests? The rich teams. As usual.’

Missing out: Small teams will suffer, according to Torro Rosso boss Franz Tost

Missing out: Small teams will suffer, according to Torro Rosso boss Franz Tost


On the move: Kimi Raikkonen in action in practice 3

On the move: Kimi Raikkonen in action in practice three

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier said costs had come down significantly since the manufacturer era of last decade when the likes of Renault, BMW, Toyota and Honda had their own teams. 

However he still urged more talks between teams, governing body FIA and the commercial rights holder headed by Bernie Ecclestone, to stabilize regulations to reduce compliance costs. 

Bob Fearnley, deputy principal of Force India, agreed regulation needs to be imposed from the top as there is too much competition between the teams for them to ever reach an agreement. 

‘The teams have demonstrated that they are not capable of being able to agree a cost control, so the answer is to take it outside of the teams’ control. It’s up to the FIA to decide a formula, bring that in and implement it.’

Arrival: Lewis Hamilton arrives in the paddock ahead of qualifying

Arrival: Lewis Hamilton arrives in the paddock ahead of qualifying

Aside from cost reduction, another means of sustaining the teams is for more of the money earned by the commercial rights holder to be passed on to the teams. 

‘We may have missed an opportunity to just sit down with the commercial rights holder and re-negotiate something which could have been more in favor of the teams, but we failed,’ Boullier said. 

Tost said getting more money flowing from TV rights and sponsorships to funnel down to the teams was not the answer. 

‘It’s easy to say we should get more money, but give the engineers one million and they ask for two. Give them four million and they ask for eight.’ 

Pastor Maldonado

Boullier agreed, saying increased revenue must work in concert with tighter regulations to control spending. 

‘The more money you get, the more money we will spend if you don’t have any safeguards around you,’ Boullier said.

‘The more open the regulations are, the more we will spend money and waste money.’




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Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd

Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

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Copyright. 2013 Daily All Rights Reserved

Vettel Wins Italian Grand Prix, but Alonso Earns Cheers

September 10, 2013
September 8, 2013

MONZA, Italy — As the Italian Grand Prix brought an end to the Formula One season in Europe on Sunday at this celebrated track, Sebastian Vettel of Germany had posted another start-to-finish victory, outpacing Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and taking a formidable step toward his fourth consecutive driver’s championship.

But much of the attention before and after the race was on Alonso, Vettel’s main rival for the championship. Although he trailed Vettel’s Red Bull car throughout the 53-lap race to finish second, nearly six seconds back, Alonso was given a hero’s welcome at the finish by a mass of Italian fans chanting “Al-on-so!” as Vettel was met with prolonged booing.

Vettel, 26, can afford to take the theatrical flourishes that are common at Monza in stride, having now won 6 of the season’s 12 races, and none more decisively than here. Accordingly, he took the crowd’s reproaches in good humor.

“The more they boo me, the better I do,” he said, smiling.

He noted that he had built a much larger lead before being advised by his team to bring his car home cautiously after signs of gearbox trouble.

“I didn’t have to push that much,” he said

“We beat the red guys, so we’re very proud of that,” he added, referring to Alonso and his teammate, Felipe Massa of Brazil.

Mark Webber, Vettel’s Red Bull teammate from Australia, finished third. Ferrari has 18 victories at Monza since the Formula One World Championship began here in 1950, and the team came here hoping it could turn around a disappointing season by winning on a high-speed track.

With superior speed on low downforce tracks like Monza, Ferrari had been expected to have an advantage here over the Red Bulls.

Vettel’s British-based team has relied on its superior aerodynamics, which have performed best on slower, more sinuous tracks, allowing the Red Bull drivers to post faster lap times even with lower straight-line speed than Ferrari and some other teams. But one of the surprises at Monza was that Vettel, with a straight-line speed of 208.2 miles per hour, was only a fraction slower than Alonso, who recorded 209.4 m.p.h.

Vettel, whose average speed for the race was 145.5 m.p.h., completed the 190.6 miles in 1 hour 18 minutes 33.35 seconds. His victory gave him a 53-point lead in the championship with 222 points to Alonso’s 169. Britain’s Lewis Hamilton of the Mercedes-Benz team is in third with 141 points. There are seven races left in the 19-race calendar, including the United States Grand Prix a on Nov. 17 in Austin, Tex., and each victory counts for 25 points.

Alonso told reporters after the race that he would need a lot of luck to overtake Vettel and win his third world title.

“First, Red Bull has to lose and Ferrari has to win,” he said. “There is a very big gap in the championship, and we will need to be lucky in all of the races that remain. And we’ll also need to have some did-not-finishes from the Red Bull team.”

But Alonso has some work to do closer to home if he is to mend fences with the Ferrari team. Known for his ultracompetitive and often fractious nature, Alonso upset the Ferrari camp and the company’s chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, when he said after a bad finish in the Hungarian Grand Prix in August that he would welcome for his 32nd birthday “somebody else’s car,” seemingly referring to Vettel’s Red Bull.

He was sharply rebuked for that comment by di Montezemolo, who said in effect that he cared more for Ferrari, its reputation and its work force in the small town of Maranello, than he did for the team’s Grand Prix drivers, who, he said, “come and go.” The response by di Montezemolo was widely interpreted as a warning to Alonso that his contract, said to be worth tens of millions of dollars a year and set to run for another three years, could be abrogated unless he became less abrasive.

At Monza, matters appeared to take a turn for the worse during qualifying Saturday, when bungled tactics by the Ferrari pit crew appeared to spoil an attempt to have Alonso follow in Massa’s slipstream and gain time in his bid for the pole position by gaining what is known in racing as a “tow.”

A broadcast of Alonso’s car-to-pit radio message after he finished fifth in qualifying, two rows behind Vettel, appeared to have him saying to his crew chief, “You’re really idiots, Mamma Mia, guys.” Ferrari officials tried to mitigate the damage by saying that the word he used was “geniuses” not “idiots,” and suggested that the Italian words in each case were similar and prone to be misunderstood by non-Italian speakers.

But a race official, who had heard another radio message by Alonso, said that there were two messages, one using the word “idiots” and the other “geniuses.”

Alonso sought to mitigate the damage by telling reporters Sunday that they had attempted to stir a controversy out of nothing, and that his relationship with the team was fine.

After accepting his second-place trophy on a podium atop the pits after the race, he appeared keen to demonstrate that he had the strong support of Italian Ferrari fans. Remaining on the podium after Vettel left, Alonso waved repeatedly to the crowd, encouraging the chants of his name.

Copyright. 2013. The New York Times Company. All Rights Reserved

Unstoppable Vettel goes on boos cruise: Ferrari no match for Red Bull at Monza

September 9, 2013

Unstoppable Vettel goes on boos cruise:  Ferrari no match for Red Bull at Monza


PUBLISHED: 08:23 EST, 8 September 2013 | UPDATED: 16:20 EST, 8 September 2013


Lewis Hamilton could at least make a joke about his plight. He said winning the championship would be ‘like climbing Mount Everest, doing it without oxygen, running up it, in swimming trunks’. 

Alas, the most famous Formula One fans in the world, the tifosi, did not acknowledge Sebastian Vettel’s dominance with so much style when they took to the pit straight at the close of the Italian Grand Prix. 

Flags were waved, ticker-tape filled the air and cheers soared in this traditional pilgrimage at Monza, Italian motor racing’s  madrigal in tarmac. 

Bubbling over: Sebastian Vettel (left), Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso celebrate on the podium in Monza

Bubbling over: Sebastian Vettel (left), Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso celebrate on the podium in Monza

Finish: Sebastien Vettel celebrates uet another win this season in Italy

Finish: Vettel crosses the line to celebrate yet another victory this term


Familiar faces: Fernando Alonso (left) finished second, while Mark Webber (right) ended up in third

Familiar faces: Fernando Alonso (left) finished second, while Mark Webber (right) ended up in third




1. Sebastian Vettel,  Red Bull 1:18:33.352 
2. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari +00:05.467
3. Mark Webber, Red Bull +00:06.350 
4. Felipe Massa, Ferrari +00:09.361 

5. Nico Huelkenberg, Sauber +00:10.355 
6. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes +00:10.999 
7. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso +00:32.329 

8. Romain Grosjean, Lotus +00:33.130 

9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +00:33.527 

10. Jenson Button, McLaren +00:38.327

Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton,1:25.849, lap 51.

But on Sunday the booing for the victorious Vettel carried an intensity rare even for these parts, where they are routinely as one-eyed as Cyclops. Red is their colour, Ferrari is their creed, so when another German, Michael Schumacher, was  strangling the life out of the sport by dint of his monotonous success, he was worshipped as a god. 

But Vettel’s feats – winner of three consecutive world titles and holder of a 53-point lead over his nearest challenger, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, the runner-up – are deemed worthy of ear-splitting  condemnation. 

His Red Bull overalls carry no allure. The decibel levels barely fell when John Surtees, world champion for Ferrari in 1964 and conducting the podium interviews, urged the fans to calm down. 

No problem: The German locked up at the beginning of the race but faced little other danger

No problem: The German locked up at the beginning of the race but faced little other danger


Tight: Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber's battle for second place was thrilling

Tight: Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber’s battle for second place was thrilling


Crash: Paul Di Resta spectacularly flew out of the race in the first lap

Crash: Paul Di Resta crashed out of the race on the opening lap to cap another bad day at the office

Now Vettel has been booed at  Silverstone and in Montreal and Monza. He is considered ripe for vilification, which one suspects hurts him rather more than he dared to admit. His serial victories are part of it, but so too is his unsporting behaviour in ignoring instructions not to push against his team-mate Mark Webber for the win in Malaysia in March. (Didn’t Herr Schumacher push the boundaries a touch?) 

Webber, despite his relations with Vettel having been turbulent to say the least, said the boo-boys were ‘not right’. Vettel was trying his best to be sanguine, smiling his way through the controversy, as is his wont

‘It is in their genes,’ he said. ‘Fernando was there and the tifosi support Ferrari so it was natural. ‘But I said to the guys on the  in lap that the more booing we get the better we have done. That obviously proved how strong we were. Maybe the people don’t like to see the same driver, the same team on the podium. There are a lot of Red Bull fans, but they are  difficult to spot here.’ 

Way ahead: Sebastian Vettel's dominance is shown with this picture of his lead ahead of the Ferrari's

Way ahead: Sebastian Vettel’s dominance is shown with this picture of his lead ahead of the Ferrari pair

Drivers' standings

For Vettel, a fourth title is effectively already won in the absence of some unimaginable turnaround. The 26-year-old has won both the last two races, at Spa and Monza, circuits that team principal  Christian Horner had called their achilles’ heel. 

The race itself was hardly gripping entertainment. Starting from pole, Vettel led into the first corner and never looked like relinquishing his advantage over the next 53 laps to notch his third victory at Monza, scene of his first career win, for Toro Rosso in 2008.

The championship now moves from Europe to the Far East and America before concluding in Brazil seven races hence. Alonso’s experience on the podium was the opposite of  Vettel’s. He was cheered to the heavens and stayed behind afterwards to take pictures of the carnival vista on his phone.

Footballers heaven: From left to right, Sebastian Giovinco, Ronaldo, Bernie Ecclestone, Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente before the race

Footballers heaven: From left to right, Sebastian Giovinco, Ronaldo, Bernie Ecclestone, Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente before the race


Wheel spin: England cricketer Stuart Broad sits with the Red Bull crew

Wheel spin: England cricketer Stuart Broad sits with the Red Bull crew

It transported him away from the traumas of the previous day, when he sarcastically called the team ‘geniuses’ for their qualification strategy. Alonso is volatile but brilliant. On Sunday he drove with his usual tenacity to move up from fifth on the grid to take second. 

‘Some people still try to create some tension between team and driver but here is the better symbol: zero tension and we fight for the championship always,’ he said.

Hmm, those close to the Spaniard tell a different story: the tensions have been very real. Alonso’s team-mate Felipe Massa, who is tipped to be jettisoned for Kimi Raikkonen next season, was asked to let the Spaniard through. He duly obliged. Webber, nursing a faulty gearbox, finished third and Massa fourth. 

Hamilton’s prospects were drastically compromised before the race even began. By his own admission he had driven like ‘an idiot’ in qualifying. He started 12th and finished ninth despite suffering radio failure and a slow puncture. He got out of the car to concede the title from 81 points adrift. 

Well deserved: Nico Hulkenberg of Sauber surprisingly battled to fifth place, well ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes (behind)

Shock: Nico Hulkenberg of Sauber surprisingly battled to fifth place, well ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes (behind)

Goodbye: It was Webber's last ever race in Europe

Goodbye: It was Webber’s last ever race in Europe

Ferrari support: The Italian fans let Vettel know who they were routing for

Ferrari support: The Italian fans let Vettel know who they were routing for

‘I was angry and definitely thought that could be it,’ he reflected an hour or so later, with his dog Roscoe snoring at his feet.

‘But I’ve been back with my engineers and I’m not going to give up. I’ve got to win every race basically. It is the tallest order. But I’m going to try. 

‘I handled the disappointment of qualifying well. I got over it way, way faster than I ever have in my life. I came here this morning  energised, drove harder than ever, I felt like I had nothing left in my heart at the end. 

‘I was angry because it sucks when you do all that work, and everyone in the factory and the garage does all that work, and you only get two points. You only make three places up. But that’s the way it goes.’







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Vettel dominant in Brazilian GP Friday practices

November 6, 2010
Racing series   F1
Date 2010-11-05

By staff writers


For the second Formula One race weekend in a row, the Red Bull team who are currently at the top in the Constructors’ Standings, have taken an early lead at the end of the Brazilian Grand Prix’s Friday practice day.

See large picture

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing. Photo by

Copyright.Motorsport Magazine.2010.

The tables turned to favour Sebastian Vettel on this occasion, who took the stop spot in practice; unlike in South Korea where his Australian team mate, Mark Webber was streets ahead. The German driver pipped Webber in both sessions, but especially picked up speed in second practice, with a final lap time of 1:11.968s.

Vettel seemed pleased with the car’s performance in today’s practice, but recognizes that tomorrow’s qualifying is where the final position for the race counts.

“I think it was pretty good today-of course it’s not the most important thing to be at the top of the timing list today, it’s more important tomorrow and Sunday – but it’s a good start,” said the German. “The car feels alright, I’m not one hundred percent happy with the balance and think we can improve it, but it’s looking okay. I think it’s likely to rain tomorrow”.

Fernando Alonso who leads the fight for the drivers’ title, ended the second session in third position. Before the first part of the day came to a close, the Ferrari driver was faced with a few technical difficulties. Although the team were due to change the old engine for a new one, between the end of that session and the start of the second, the engine blew sooner than they anticipated. Once into the afternoon practice, the Spaniard started a fresh with a new engine, and followed closely behind his Championship rivals.

However, his team mate Felipe Massa, who will take to the track for his home race on Sunday, did not experience quite as good a day as he would have liked. The Brazilian driver in the sister Ferrari, suffered with hydraulic failure, due to a suspected gearbox or drive shaft problem. Nevertheless, the start to his special weekend did not go too well, and he finished a little further down than the other title contenders, and ended up in fifth position.

See large picture

Felipe Massa, Scuderia Ferrari, Rob Smedly, Scuderia Ferrari, Chief Engineer of Felipe Massa with Fernando Alonso in the background. Copyright. Motorsport Magazine. 2010

Massa explained the problems he had in practice, “I ran wide at Turn two and went over the kerb quite heavily: I immediately noticed that the clutch had disengaged and I was unable to select any gear to try and get back to the pits. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before: it was only when the car was brought back to the garage that we discovered it was an electrical problem…Overall, I feel we can be competitive this weekend. Sure, the Red Bulls are very strong, as are the McLarens. It is meant to rain tomorrow and, on a wet track, anything could happen.”

Lewis Hamilton made steady progress throughout the day, and put himself in fourth position, just behind his three closest rivals battling for the Drivers’ Championship. The 2008 World Champion’s McLaren team mate, and fellow Brit, Jenson Button, did not quite manage to beat the Renault of Robert Kubica, and finished in seventh position. The Defending World Champion was struggling to find grip at the rear of his car, which prevented him from possibly going one place better. However, Kubica had luck on his side, allowing him to secure the higher position of the two drivers.

The Pole’s Renault team mate, Vitaly Petrov had a rather disastrous start to his race weekend in Brazil, as he had a heavy crash at Turn seven, where his car made a swift exit from the track and into some barriers. This meant the Russian could not really improve his position later in the day, and he ended up in 15th place, but he did get in front of the Force India driver, Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Nick Heidfeld seems to be impressing with his performance for the Sauber team, as he continues to drive in Pedro de la Rosa’s former seat. The German finished in a top ten position, to take eighth place, and he got ahead of both Mercedes drivers. The in team battle there saw youth win and Nico Rosberg landed himself a ninth place finish, leaving his team mate Michael Schumacher in tenth position. During second practice, Schumacher showed that even with his winning track record, even a seven time champion can still slip up. The German had a coming together with the Toro Rosso driver, Jaime Alguersuari as they were tackling Turn 1 on the Interlagos circuit. Nonetheless, both drivers had a lucky escape and avoided any damage to their cars. Alguersuari ended the session quite a bit further down the field though, in 18th position, with his Swiss team mate, Sebastian Buemi ahead in 17th place.

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Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP. Copyright.Motorsport Magazine.2010

Not for the first time this season, during practice, qualifying or even a race, Schumacher has battled with his former Ferrari team mate, Rubens Barrichello. It was the same story when practice came to an end this afternoon. Unfortunately, like the other Brazilian drivers in Formula One, Barrichello did not set out in the best way for his home race, as he finished in 11th position. Despite this he did still complete the session one place better than the other Sauber, of Kamui Kobayashi. The Japanese driver seems to have been quite fearless; with some of the driving styles he has demonstrated this season. Although he managed to avoid what could have been, a very nasty accident in practice today. He lost control of his car at the point on the track known as Ferra Dura, which was the same place Petrov left the circuit. Kobayashi was able to complete the day and finished in 12th place.

Barrichello also had one over on his Williams team mate, Nico Hulkenberg. It appeared to be a mixed session of results among the German drivers in the field. However, Hulkenberg was not quite as successful, in securing a higher finish as some of the others. He was not able to match his team mate either, but did end the day in 13th position, to put himself ahead of the other Force India of Adrian Sutil, who finished alongside his fellow countryman in 14th place. After recent speculation that he is likely to stay with Force India seat next year, sadly Sutil could not follow up the news with as quite a positive outcome in final practice, as he demonstrated in the morning run.

“Today was a reasonable start to the weekend with no major problems and some solid running in both sessions. We ran through our usual programme of long and shorter runs and tyre work and got lots of information to work on tonight,” commented Sutil.

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Adrian Sutil, Force India F1 Team. Copyright. Motorsport Magazine. 2010

On the other hand, Sutil did pull out the ninth fastest time in first practice, but his lap times were not quite as fast in the later session. By the end of the morning session, Sutil set a lap time of 1:13.918, and in second practice his final lap was a bit off the pace with a time of 1:13.741. With the results from today’s practice, Sutil will still have a fair bit of work ahead tomorrow. He still faces the five-place grid penalty from the race in South Korea. The stewards issued the punishment after he collided with Kobayashi, and that was because he was aware his car was having brake problems; thus the incident could have been avoided. Buemi also faces the same fate wherever he qualifies for the race, after he too caused an avoidable incident. He collided with Timo Glock during the race, which the stewards were less than impressed at.

After having the best debut season of the new teams in Formula One, Lotus continued to impress throughout the day in practice. Once again they beat their rivals to the higher positions in the field. Of the two drivers, it was Jarno Trulli who managed to secure the better place, as he ended the afternoon in 19th position. His Finnish team mate, Heikki Kovalainen was trailing in 20th place.

Lucas Di Grassi followed next in 21st place, after the reserve driver for Virgin Racing, Jerome D’Ambrosio put in a few laps in his place during first practice. Glock and his Brazilian team mate, were split by the Hispania Racing drivers, for the last few places in the final practice. Bruno Senna, who joins the other Brazilian contingents in the field, had a good result as he got in front of his Austrian team mate, Christian Klien, who lined up next in 23rd position. Glock had to settle for 24th place at the back of the field, as he failed to catch the two drivers in the rival team and his own team mate.

With the possibility that the Drivers’ Championship could be decided this weekend, all of the top five contenders will be gunning for that pole position grid slot. However, there is the chance that rain could change the conditions tomorrow, which the drivers will have to face, as they battle against their rivals for the highest position they can get.

Photos for Brazili

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