Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013

Vettel: “The usual teams” will be ahead in 2014

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel doesn’t expect the new rules for 2014 to lead to a major shake-up among the front-runners.

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Vettel: Top teams will still lead way (Autosport)

“Nobody really knows what is going to happen but I think it will help the big teams at the front again, so the usual teams.”

Adrian Sutil: Up Close & Personal (Sauber via YouTube)

V8 Supercars could race for championship points at Melbourne Grand Prix (SMH)

“F1 rules did not allow V8 Supercars to use the main pit lane, precluding the pit stops that are required at championship events.”

Comment of the day

Does Esteban Gutierrez deserve a second season at Sauber? Here’s @Andae23’s view:

I?m still a bit undecided about Gutierrez. Purely from a driving point of view: I was watching him at turns 10-11 of the Hungaroring in GP3 2012, and I noticed he was the only driver that could really nail those turns. But if you look at onboards from 2013, he just looks very nervous. So perhaps the car just didn?t suit him in 2013.

I think he deserves a second chance in 2014, hopefully to redeem himself.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Pierre Levegh was born on this day in 1905. The French driver piloted his own Lago-Talbot in half-a-dozen races in the first two years of the world championship.

But his real passion was the Le Mans 24 Hours, which he once came within an hour of completing single-handedly, in the days before rules required multiple drivers to share a car.

Tragically, Levegh was killed along with over 80 spectators in one of the worst accidents in motor racing history when his Mercedes was launched off the back of Lance Macklin’s car and landed in the crowd.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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  • 40 comments on “Vettel: “The usual teams” will be ahead in 2014”

    1. Well…..There’s only 11 teams and 7 of them are skint.

      So, yeah Seb….Probably

    2. Vettel “I’ve seen how much we spend, so it should be another walk in the park. I’m going for all titles consecutively, before moving to Ferrari to do the same there”. Scary thing is, that this is actually possible.

      1. Noooooooo!

      2. Isn’t making quotes up that were never uttered libellous?

        Very naive take on it IMO

    3. Yes Vettel, because that’s exactly what happened in 2009 didn’t it?

      1. David Livingstone
        22nd December 2013, 4:29

        That’s a special case. Honda committed probably the most resources to the ’09 car (in terms of both time and money), while the big teams continued to develop for the ’08 titles. They then turned around and left the sport, and Ross Brawn picked up the team for a bargain, with the car already sorted.

        1. yes, but you can hardly uphold that the other team that rose to the top, Red BUll, was “one of the same old teams” up until 2009 David

        2. McLaren in 2012, anyone? It was not long ago.

      2. You could argue (and I will because it is true;)) that Red Bull coming to the fore in 2009 was a change to the established order. Yes Red Bull are the dominant force in the sport now, but if you told someone what they would achieve by the end of 2013 mid way through 2008 they would have laughed in your face. Coulthard only managed to score points twice and Webber only scored in half the races and the team had barely had any podiums, never mind a win. Red Bull benefitted from a rule change, someone else could next season too. It isn’t impossible.

      3. 2009 was aero-changes. Aero is the bigger part of F1 and hence when aero rules changes, F1 changes.

        Engine changes are not that big anymore. I remember Keith had written an article on how the pecking order of teams changed when there was an engine change. That article concluded the same thing that Vettel has said, that change of engines does not mean change of pecking order.

        1. Agreed that aero is the key factor, but when the engine changes are as substantial as they are in 2014, who knows what it could do to the pecking order. It could open up an opportunity for someone is one of the manufacturers gets it wrong. I don’t think we’ve had such sweeping changes in engine, sorry “powertrain” regulations since the 1988/1989 off season.

          1. And the same team that dominated in 1988, dominated in 1989.
            Engine changes occurred in 1994/95 as well. And again, the same team won, Benetton.
            Engine changes occurred in 2005/06 as well. And yet again, the same team won, Renault.

            1. as @verstappen mentions, those last engine changes didn’t mean any big change to the cars as such, but for next year not only the power delivery will be quite different (far bigger change than number of cylinders), but it will also mean that Red Bulls sharpest weapon – exhaust blowing – all but disappears, meaning a lot of changes on the aero front, almost as much as from 2008 into 2009 really.

        2. The last engines had an enourmous effect on aero: blown diffusers and aerobased engine mapping.

          Due to the new exhaust lay out this is now over. So there are chances for everyone.

        3. I hope we do have multiple teams at the front, not just one team – or one car.

          The engine situation’s interesting though. Nobody has exclusive use of an engine, not yet – although the works teams (Ferrari and Mercedes) are making a big thing of developing chassis alongside engine (and, presumably, supplying amusingly-shaped power units to their customers).

          I guess power output will be similar between the three manufacturers, as it is in Indycar, but there’ll be differences in driveability and fuel mileage, so one make will have to save more fuel than the others in the marginal races. No idea whether that’s enough to affect race results, but it may cause a few retirements and dramas late in the races.

      4. Vettel is right – 2009 will not repeat. Not only will midfield teams like Sauber, FI not rise to the top like RBR and Brawn did, they will be even further behind.

      5. First, he didn’t say the pecking order would be exactly the same next year. There’s bound to some change. He really didn’t make any prediction firmly. As for 2009, I think the biggest difference is back then there were a few underperforming teams compared to the size of their budget. A few got it right, others failed to do so. Now basically every mid pack teams are suffering from financial issues to be expected to pull off Brawn’s or Red Bull’s. Plus, as David Livingstone pointed out the fact that Ferrari and McLaren couldn’t fully focus on the regulation change early on in 2008 was a big factor too. Of course, nobody is saying Vettel must be right. It’s just his educated guess. Nothing more nothing less.

    4. Regarding COTD, a very important thing to grade a driver is his or her ability to jump from one car to another and have minimum difficulty in adjusting. Gutierrez was a GP2 sophomore last year, and he was in what was probably the best team, maybe equal best with DAMS. He nailed those turns in the sprint race, but if I remember correctly, he was all over the place in the feature. I guess this year, it would more a case of, he didn’t adjust well to the change, rather than ‘it didn’t suit him’.
      Having said that, I’m actually a believer in second chances, especially for Gutierrez, because he was a Formula BMW Europe champion in 2008, and a GP3 champion in 2010. Both times, he won in the best team (Josef Kaufmann and ART respectively), but still, Gutierrez’s achievements will mirror the respective junior formula seasons, and doubts might be cast on them (yes I know Formula BMW is dead) if he fails to fulfil his potential. He’s got a chance, let’s hope he makes full use of it.

      1. maybe it should be GP2 2012?
        however as far as I know, Chilton won the feature race while Gutierrez sealed the sprint race, both from pole position.

    5. the highlight of the sauber video for me was Jennifer becks! she’s gotta be one reason SUT is at sauber. I remember how much coverage FI got during the weekend and the race coz of her this year. mebbe that’s one of the things sauber are counting on in 2014, out-WAGing the others!

      1. @philip-mathen I don’t think Sauber is that misogynist.

        1. guess not..but the extra tv time sure won’t hurt!!

    6. Well Webber is no more so I’m abandoning my favouritism for the number 2 car and return to my old habbits of supporting for the Williams team whatever drivers they have. Luckily for me there is this little finnish guy who seems to be quite the talent. Besides that, Massa is a fine bloke and welcome for sure.

      Williams for 2014 constructors title, aw yeah. Or wins, or maybe just a podium. I’ll be so happy if they score points!

      1. Williams for 2014 constructors title, aw yeah. Or wins, or maybe just a podium. I’ll be so happy if they score points!

        Well, that de-escalated quickly ..

    7. Thanks for the video clip – it was interesting to listen to Sutil.

      Hopefully, no single team will dominate in 2014, despite Vettel’s prediction. Red Bull will possibly stay at the top for a number of reasons: car development, Vettel’s skill (and the continuity factor) and, not least, a whopping budget. But I do hope as many drivers as possible score good points.

      I don’t throw my support behind any team or any driver; I like to watch the racing, that’s all. I have misgivings over Maldonado, but that’s simply because I can’t warm to the man, rather than anything to do with his driving. My like or dislike of any driver is neither here nor there though. As long as the teams and the drivers do their level best in 2014, I’ll be happy. Even though I don’t really ‘support’ any team or driver, I’m hoping Force India, Marussia, Sauber and Williams can all take points off the big boys. I also hope Grosjean continues to develop as a driver.

      Regardless of who wins, F1 will still keep me riveted to the television. The only real downer will be if no-one can challenge Vettel.

    8. Sorry to be pedantic but I think Levegh’s Mercedes was launched off the back of Lance Macklin’s Austin Healey…

      1. Not at all, thanks for the correction.

    9. @keithcollantine Kevin Magnussen seems to be missing from “Which drivers do you support”-list. Just saying because I would like to support him :-)

      1. @diceman Apologies, he’s in there now.

        1. Great, thanks :-)

    10. That Sauber promo video is tragic

    11. I would expect Constructors’ who build their own engines to have the advantage, in that they’re building the designs from the ground up and would’ve been able to take packaging concerns and such into consideration. I’m not sure how much of this engine info gets out to the teams in advance, but I would think Mercedes/Ferrari have an advantage… I would imagine Renault has been working closely with RBR (it would make sense, right?).

      It’ll be a huge mix of factors: how do drivers handle the new engines, how reliable are these new engines, how will RBR get the exhaust-blowing effect which Vettel has mastered… I’m just hoping the tyres will not be as huge a discussion point next season. I don’t want to talk about them anymore.

    12. Yo, Seb…Denial: It’s not just a river in Egypt. LOL

      He’s dreaming if he thinks changes THIS major won’t cause some wild results.

      1. @daved – He’s probably just asserting that he has confidence in his team to be strong or near the front. Meanwhile, it’s expected that the other strong teams will be the previously nowhere… Ferrari and Mercedes. And they weren’t exactly scrapping with Caterham in 2013. So while the gaps may change, and there will be some shuffling in the order, it would still be bold to predict anyone who can seriously upset the current top 3-4 teams.

        1. I’m not so sure about that. Between reliability issues and a shift away from TOTAL dominance of aero and back towards powertrains and mechanical grip, I’d expect to see a shakeup and one or two of the midfield teams to even get lucky and be towards the front for a least half a season while everyone sorts things out. I think that by 2015 the top 3-4 teams will start to reassert themselves, but RedBull used the last major changes to become a front marker.

          OK, it doesn’t hurt that they have Adrian Newey either LOL.

          1. @daved – And again, who is expected to benefit from that shift towards powertrains? The engine manufacturer teams. So the guys who finished 2nd and 3rd n the WCC, while RBR are also considered the “works” Renault team now. So while, something can happen, but it is hardly wild for a driver to claim the order won’t change significantly even in 2014.

            1. Ahhh, agreed. But look at what is most likely to happen: ONE of the three engine manufacturers is likely to get it “more right” than the others. Let’s assume it’s Ferrari…then Ferrari dominates and Sauber is most likely to end up 2nd in the constructors championship. If Mercedes gets it right, then they rule and McLaren and Force India are probably close behind. Renault? Obviously if they get it “right” then RBR continues to dominate with Torro Rosso jumping way up the order.

              In other words, I’m betting that the power train changes will SO dominate this year that whoever gets it right will have all their teams dominating.

              There’s also a chance that two of the engines will get it right and some group will be left FAR behind while they try to fix things and get it right.

              Clearly, I’m just giving my opinion…but I think the power units (engine, turbo, KERS and the ER off the Turbo) will totally dominate the differentiation during the first season. Either way it’s just fun to speculate right now. :-)

            2. @daved – Guess you’re right there too. If one of the engine suppliers gets it more right that the others, their customer teams could well be boosted up the grid, even though the works team would likely (not guaranteed though) be ahead of them. May the best team at adapting to the latest regs win next year :)

            3. Yeah, and even though I know aero isn’t going to be quite as dominant (and that is Newey’s specialty), he really is like Leonardo so I’ll never count RBR out while he’s there. Over the course of a 19-20 race season he seems to ALWAYS find a way to make a major move.

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