Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain, 2014

Retirements needed for points in Australia – Vettel

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain, 2014In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel says Red Bull will need some luck just to score points in Australia.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Sebastian Vettel predicts Red Bull debacle in Melbourne (The Age)

“If half the drivers fail to finish, then maybe we could take a few points.”

Red Bull two months behind – Marko (ESPN)

Helmut Marko: “The opening race comes at least two months too early for us. This is a very serious matter. At the moment we do not know in what time frame it will be possible to catch up, or if it is possible at all.”

Grosjean: It’s far from ideal (Sky)

“Honestly, I’m not happy tonight. It’s far from ideal, we didn’t do a third of what we wanted to, but what can you do?”

Vijay Mallya Q&A (F1)

“Q: So what are your expectations for the first four flyaway races? Are you looking to cash in in on any engine advantage?
VM: The first four races present a great opportunity, particularly for the Mercedes-powered teams, because so far they are showing that they are ahead of the rest. But in the end it will be all about – here comes the word again – reliability.”

Kvyat relieved by STR improvement (Autosport)

“When we didn’t have so many reliability problems we did some important tests on the chassis side. As soon as we saw the car was running nicely we had to get something done.”

Bomb at Bahrain protest kills three policemen (Al Jazeera)

“Three policemen have been killed by a remotely detonated bomb in Bahrain during a protest in a village west of the capital Manama, the Interior Ministry has said, in one of the worst incidents of violence in recent months.”

A new position at Ferrari (Joe Saward)

“Ferrari has had a slight switch around in its management in recent days with the appointment of Antonello Coletta as the new sporting activities director.”

Daniil Kvyat drives the Toro Rosso STR9 in the wet at Misano (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)

So what do we know? (The Buxton Blog)

“From what I understand from a high level independent source after testing had finished, the reality could be even more astonishing. If the data adds up as he believes and the factory Mercedes team was able to run their cars at 100%, right now they would win every Grand Prix not by a few seconds but by two clear laps.”

Shutter Speeding (Red Bull)

“Monaco is incredible for pictures, because of the backdrop and because of how close you can get, whereas Silverstone is dreadful because the vantage points just aren’t that great.”



Porsche 919 Hybrid, Geneva Motor Show, 2014

Porsche formally revealed their 919 Hybrid LMP1 contender, which will compete in this year’s World Endurance Championship including the Le Mans 24 Hours, at the Geneva Motor Show yesterday. Mark Webber will drive the car along with Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Brendon Hartley, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb.

More pictures of the car here:

Comment of the day

Spencer White reckons there’s been too much criticism of Sauber’s driver line-up:

Sutil is a very strong midfield driver who will get consistent points finishes if provided with a good car.

Gutierrez will do the same job as Sutil and he is on a learning curve, so it won’t be long before he gets a few more points.
Spencer White (@Jojobudgie)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Idr, Jarred Walmsley, Tommyb, Jake and James!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

1994 F1 seasonJordan’s preparations for the 1994 season suffered a setback 20 years ago today.

Eddie Irvine was fortunate to escape injury when he crashed at over 100mph while testing at Magny-Cours in France, though he wrote off the first example of the team’s 194 chassis.

Images © Red Bull/Getty, Max Earey

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  • 111 comments on “Retirements needed for points in Australia – Vettel”

    1. It’s quite interesting with the new rules throwing up all types of challenges, and shaking up the pecking order a bit. But at the same time, I like F1 most when most of the field is only separated by less than a second or two. It’s going to be so spread out, I’m not sure I will even be interested in watching :(

      1. That’s one of the most pessimistic comments I’ve read about the 2014 season all winter. It’s going to be brilliant – you have my word.

        1. Just like 2009 was brilliant? :P

          1. It was varied, and at times surprisingly close even though the action on the track didn’t seem to show it.

          2. 2009 was amazing!!!! all cars were quite close and brawn gp destroyed everybody!!!! that made me enjoy F1 again!!!!

      2. Yeah, but there something truly engrosssing about sheer brutal speed as well. We have gotten used to watching cars where aero is king, and with the engine a non factor. Im sure that Its going to be a stonker this season, even with the idiotic DRS and double points gimmicks.

        I mean look at the lap time breakdown in Buxtons article. Those perfomance stats in a car thats still basically being shaken down! I cant wait to see what the hell those things can do at Monza propelling themselves out of Parabolica.

      3. Australia is going to be 90 minutes of pop goes the weasel :)

        1. I’m predicting 4 safety cars as they collect the stranded vehicles that stop in inconvenient places :-)

      4. Imagine, Redbull struggle during the first ten rounds, doing catch up all the time. Thanks to the new double points rules, RBR and Vettel snatch both WCC and WDC by a single point at the last race.

        1. Im not a RBR or Vettel fan, but if this happened, I wouldn’t be remotely mad and I would probably die from laughter

      5. So that must mean people didn’t watch f1 before 2010…

        1. This so much. I have a hard time thinking of many races AT ALL where ‘most of the field’ was only seperated by a second… And if they were, nobody was fast enough to overtake somebody else, anyway.

      6. The racing itself is surely not going to be like 2009 when the changes meant basically a reshuffle of the pack unfortunately with someone streaking ahead but with good condition for racing as cars were oversteering with lack of grip and wide front tyres. This year the torque and low grip at slow speeds should be a remedy for close quarters racing but as you say the racing will be divised by engine manufacturer and wide spreads. Nevertheless it should be very interesting and new as it is for the start of the season especially Melbourne the rest I may go with you on the pessimism.

        1. The racing itself is surely not going to be like 2009 when the changes meant basically a reshuffle of the pack

          Agree. The worst team on the grid in 2008 (Honda) became the WDC and WCC winners in 2009.

          I don’t think anyone expects that kind of re shuffle in the pack, with Marrussia or Caterham leading the pack. There are a few of the usual suspects up there – Mercedes, Mclaren and maybe even a revived Williams. Ferrari should be in their usual place as well 3rd or 4th quickest. The only drastic change might be Red Bull

          As you said, the degree of how much ahead the Mercedes powered cars are, will be seen only in Melbourne

      7. Since last season ended, everything i’ve heard about this season has had me dreading it more and more, I was afraid all the racing was going to be dreary pace-holding, (which it probably will be). But after the last round of testing, I’m finally looking forward to Melbourne: God only knows what will happen.

    2. Hamilton says Red Bull have a “sensational” car, whilst Vettel says they’ll be lucky to score points. It’s almost as if drivers are trying to manage expectations….

      1. @ads21 I bet you everybody in the paddock is nervous because no one knows where they are and the tests haven’t been as conclusive as usual – so basically they talk down their own prospects and talk up the opponents to manage expectations. Everyone seems to be doing it right now.

        1. That @tmf42, @ads21, and possibly the Red Bull is indeed great, if they can get it sorted without to many changes, but right now it can’t show it, bc. they haven’t gotten it sorted :)

          But Hamilton only really remarked on how the car looked, not on how it was on track, I think, so he sort of avoided having to play it up in that respect :p

          1. @bosyber Hamilton did say it looked stunning and that stunning cars often are very quick.

      2. As far as ams said, it depends on where you were watching the car during the test. Apparently the Red Bull was quite quick in the corners at first, but after Renault updated the software to stop the car from stopping all the time the car became hard to drive, with quite a delay in the power delivery and loads of turbo lag, which lead to fishtailing out of corners.

        1. @Dennis. A car with turbo-lag would not ‘fish-tail.’ However a car accelerating out of a corner with bags of torque, could. You can’t have both at the same time, as turbo-lag would indicate a lack of power, not too much power and a resultant loss of traction.

          These PU’s do have a specific facility to spin up the turbo and so negating any lag, however, if their software isn’t up to scratch, turbo lag could well be on the menu.

          1. turbo-lag would indicate a lack of power, not too much power and a resultant loss of traction

            No, it indicates a lack of power up to a point, then a fairly sudden dollop of it, which may destabilise the car resulting in fish-tailing. More torque would have a similar result as you said though.

          2. As matt said, if the engine delivers the power unevenly, which might be a software issue in Renault’s case, then the car will spin the wheels suddenly, resulting in an unpredictable corner-exit.
            Huge amount of torque is controllable, with a proper and smooth power delivery. You can counter turbo-lag in modern turbos with variable turbine geometry for instance, however, that’s again a question of setting the engine up.

    3. It’s starting to look like Mercedes already have the titles sewn up if you believe some people. I hope the reality isn’t that boring and one dominant team is being replaced by another. On the bright side, such a situation would make a mockery of double points in a way.

      1. Pretty much any outcome will make a mockery of double points. If either championship is close and artificially decided it would be grossly unfair; if it turns out to be a runaway season for Merc and/or any single driver, D.P. will prove to be pointless (excuse pun); if ROS beats HAM in the finale (or vice versa or anyone for that matter) due to mech failure, it would prove to be unfair. No matter how you slice it, it is a bad idea and will be ridiculed… I’m actually hoping it causes great controversy and creates a grossly unfair outcome so that it will be written off as a hare-brained scheme of a senile and constantly increasingly irritating fool.

        1. I agree entirely. Double points has to be the most ridiculous idea since the terrible qualifying ideas of the early 2000’s.

          It’s artificial, it’s unfair and usporting. If it is going to be double points in the last race then the race distance should also be DOUBLED. One GP win is NEVER worth more than another in sporting terms and only in prestige terms (e.g Monaco win vs a Hungary win, no offence to Hungary).

          They wouldn’t need to mess around to artificially inflate the final race if…
          1. There were not too many races.
          2. It was not 25 points for a win with massive drop offs in points going down the order.

        2. @colossal-squid

          It’s starting to look like Mercedes already have the titles sewn up if you believe some people. I hope the reality isn’t that boring and one dominant team is being replaced by another.

          At least we can count on a WDC fight between Lewis and Nico. Red Bull’s domination was boring because they refused to put a top driver alongside Vettel.

          1. Webber was a top driver up there with hamilton and rosberg. Vettel was just better then them.

            1. Webber wasn’t a top driver. Hamilton is and Rosberg is becoming one.

          2. @kingshark That’s going to be very exciting to see! I’m hopeful that Rosberg would be able to challenge Hamilton across the whole season, but I’d put money on Hamilton coming out on top.

          3. Yea had Vettel had a strong driver alongside him, their dominance would not have been as boring.

      2. One point about the “reliability” that nobody appears to have commented on is the use of only five engines (or the six subsidiary units) giving rise to grid penalties. This could have tremendous impact towards the end of the season, particularly for the Renault powered cars. The FIA seem to be aware of this as 28.4 (g) of the sporting regs implies that scavenged parts can be used for the “double point” final event.

    4. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      5th March 2014, 0:27

      It’s quite amazing how much Red Bulll are conceding in regards to their reliability woes. It’s either the greatest fake of all time, or complete utter despair; I’m guessing it’s the latter ; ) Looking at that Porsche and the technical nightmare F1/RBR is having, I bet Mark is rather pleased he called it quits

      Also pleased to see Jenson giving the nod :)

      1. The way it looks, seeing how much Toro Rosso, Lotus and partly even Caterham struggled, it’s a Renault problem, more than it is a Red Bull problem…

      2. It’s either the greatest fake of all time, or complete utter despair

        Or it’s them being very realistic. I don’t think there’s despair, I would think they’re handling this like they have always handled matters: professional and calm, with elaborate schedules, plans and checklists to get up to speed as soon as possible.

        It’s not like they can deny they’re in trouble. It’s there for all to see. Admitting it doesn’t really change anything for us viewers. It just shows they’re not afraid to acknowledge this obvious truth.

    5. Russia – Ukraine, is way too complicated for many of us to understand.
      It looks bad on paper, but what is the reality. I don’t think it’s right for Gary’s suggestion to be followed just yet.
      Things are never always straight forward.

      1. I agree with you wholeheartedly on your comment. Personally I believe that they rest of the world should go on without paying too much attention to Ukraine and Russia. I believe that each country needs to deal with their own problems in their own way and that the other countries should stay out of it. I know that may sound cold, but if the rest of the world had just Austria do what they wanted prior to WW1, millions of lives would have been spared… In other words, the Russia-Ukraine issue is just that, a Russia-Ukraine issue and there is no reason for F1 to avoid going to Sochi for a race.

        1. Nice to say, but when you live in a country that is right next to Ukraine or next to Russia, and you have a relatively big Russian minority population, what are the chances Putin will feel like “protecting” those in a couple of months? Not something you easily ignore.
          That is why Poland asked NATO to step up and fulfill its commitment to protect it (same goes for Baltic states) @irejag

          1. @bascb

            Biggest mistake by Poland ever. Should’ve asked UN not NATO.

            UN is the world

            NATO is the private army of the USA in Europe. Countries who have to do what the USA says because of enormous debts these countries have since WWII.

            1. Sorry, but that is nonsense @ardenflo.
              NATO is an organisation who have promised to help each other in case of outside threats , with the USA being the biggest army involved. Poland, as a member state, used its right to ask Nato to prepare defending its territory, should Putin’s forces come any closer inside of its neighbour Ukraine, or even into Poland itself.

              WWII debt has nothing to do with it, although the US as biggest partner certainly does have the biggest say.

            2. UN may represent the world, but saying it is the world makes it sound like they actually have power. They’ve surpassed themselves in their abilities to write recommendations and warnings, but I don’t see them adequately providing the same role as NATO.

          2. @bascb, NATO is nothing more and never will be anything else than a USA disguised army to prevent Europe falling for the red danger being communism. That was in the 1950s and it always kept that as purpose. It is a simple allegiance based on militairy force. Russia was never invited even although they were among the saviors of the west during WWII. All the USA feared was a domino-effect of countries falling for the Soviet-Union.

            The huge amount of money France, UK, Belgium, etc owned the USA because of the Truman Doctrine were the ideal reason to lure countries into the NATO. Note how Greece and Turkey received aid from the USA bank to find themselves in the NATO two years later.

            The united nations on the other hand is an organisation meant to bring peace, equality and a sustainable world for all.

            1. Russia was never invited because the NATO was established to protect the rest of Europe from Russia after how the Russians acted in the eastern half of Europe.
              Why would they invite the country they feel afraid of? Yes, the USA does supply a majority of troops and money and has the biggest say because of that. But its more of a burden on the US and a support of Europe than somehow hiding that the USA are the most powerful superpower (The USA has been looking at ways to lessen the burden on themselves in the last decade, as Asia grows more important to them).
              After WWII the Germans did not have to pay old debts and the Marshall help was mostly not in loans exactly to prevent a situation like indebted Germany after WWI. These countries WANTED to be in NATO because they feared that Russia would do exactly what it did now in Ukraine – invade them – not the other way round, the NATO was installed to protect them from an aggressive neighbour.
              The UN is incapable to act here, because Russia can Veto anything that goes against them. Its a nice ideal, but it just does not work here.

      2. I hope you both are joking… If no it’s really sad and you can just as good go to Russian army and help them. Unfortunately there are too many politics just as you which don’t care about anything else than themselves.
        What Russia does is pure aggression on a country that is in a most unstable situation that can happen. They were fighting for freedom and in reward they are faced with possible war. I am not Ukrainian but know many people from there and you can trust me. From tears of joy they went straight to fear as no one knows what is on Putin’s mind in this conflict.
        F1 is a great sport but if the race will happen in Sochi, 2014 Japanese GP will be the last F1 race I will ever watch.

        1. I don’t see how you can accuse me of taking sides. I simply said the situation is hard to understand by an outsider. We don’t know all the facts. Ukraine essentially didn’t have a government.
          Get your facts right, look at the entire picture, then if you see a need to act, do so, just don’t jump with blazing guns all because you saw something on TV and heard another person’s opinion

          1. But perhaps you could also see it like this: while you maybe are an outsider, and I am too, safely in the Netherlands, perhaps others here do indeed have ‘the’ facts’ to have a more targeted opinion.

            As @basCB says, for those fans either living in Ukraine, but also in the countries around Russia and Ukraine, like the Baltic states, or Poland, Slovakia, etc. who might well be on this site as fans of F1, it doesn’t feel very ‘outsider’ – that is part of the problem: will Russia let them remain ‘outside’. Hence Poland being very active inside NATO to be vigilant, for example.

        2. Born in Ukraine. Lived in Siberia, then moved to Scandinavia.

          We used to go to Ukraine for summer holidays. As soon as Ukraine got it’s independence it was all down hill for common people – no matter of pro-Russian or pro-West governments. What you see now it’s not people fighting for their rights, it’s rich getting richer on expense of it’s citizens. Where do you think 1BN US loan guarantee will go? Swiss bank accounts.

          I’m sorry, but you have no idea what is actually at play there – if all you see is aggression. Look up couple things; Kiev – capital of Russia from the beginning of the Russian history. Crimea was given to Ukraine by Khruschev while leader of Com. Party.

          There is much connection between Russian and Ukrainian people and that they share 50% (voting) of that country does not make things more simple, specially when dirty politicians and interests from outside are involved. Democracy is a great tool here, who cares about what the other 49% thinks, right?

          1. Indeed, what I see in Ukraine is more about people wanting to finally stop their “leaders” (Janukovic, Timosenkova did much the same, and those before them) stealing all that is worthwhile.

        3. What Russia does is pure aggression

          And the US or the west doesn’t? Go there and tell the Russians that, see how it feels.

        4. Like anyone would realise you are not watching? F1 would move on matey!

    6. Hartstein might be idealistically correct, but F1 risks dipping its feet into some seriously treacherous waters if it tried to take a political stance on Russia. The way I see it, any potential cancellation of the Grand Prix should only be looked at if it was thought that team personnel were in direct danger – much like Bahrain in 2011. If we were to start dropping countries from the F1 calendar because of inappropriate actions, where do we stop? China for their human rights abuses? Abu Dhabi for their migrant worker exploitation? The USA for whatever the NSA are getting up to this week? It’s a seriously slippery slope, and there’s far more risks than most people realise.

      1. Instead we are going to ideal of democracy in Kazachstan. No, I think with Bahrain, AbuDhabi, Singapore, Sochi, Shanghai its rather the countries like Belgium, UK, Italy, Spain, Australia that are going to get dropped for giving too much fuss in organising a race in the near future.

        1. Sorry, not Kazachstan, but Azerbaijan.

      2. I believe there are enough countrys in the world to get 20 races where non of the hosts are responsible for world war 3.

    7. Looks like F1 is going to have their way. They implemented new rules to end Red Bull dominance and that is exactly what they are going accomplish. I love F1, but they are making the sport far too artificial. I definitely feel that closer racing is more exciting, but the other teams should have caught up on their own without help from major rule changes.

      1. @irejag These new engine regulations have been in the pipeline for years, they weren’t created to unseat Red Bull. And since when is reshuffling the tech regulations “artificial”?

      2. I think the rules needed refreshing. The engine formula was utterly archaic and consigning the sport to irrelavance for manufacturers, with the Endurance prototypes picking up all that slack. Without changing, F1 would no way have survived in its current guise.

    8. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      5th March 2014, 1:48

      Those shutter speed images are incredible. Hello new desktop background…

    9. I have to think Red Bull will be planning their entire strategy in Melbourne towards maximizing the possibility of finishing. So I guess they will run all day on Friday to learn as much as possible on the track and then pull it back to next to nothing in qualifying, starting from the pitlane, and driving over-conservatively. It will be the first time since 2008 that they know the pace will not be there.

    10. Have any of the UK betting houses laid down odds on particular teams (I’m mostly thinking Red Bull here) actually finishing the race in Melbourne?

      1. All I’ve seen so far is podium and win, I certainly wouldn’t like to predict the odds of the number of finishers.
        when the time comes I’ll go for the lowest number possible, with something extra for the Lotus and Red Bull guys hehe

      2. Ladbrokes have
        You can get 3.25 (9/4) when I last looked on Vettel NOT finishing the race
        about 2.2 (6/5) on the Lotus not finishing the race and 4 (3/1) on Merc not finishing the race

        I think Vettel might be a good bet

    11. The Will Buxton article is fantastic. I’m excited!

      1. Yes I’m looking forward to seeing the cars squirm as the torque un-grips the rear wheels, and quite honestly if only the Mercedes powered cars are competitive it should still be a great series of races, but I fully expect Ferrari to be there or thereabouts and the Renault teams will get there eventually, possibly even earlier than anyone expects.

      2. Agreed, great article and I share the optimism. This season will make history for the engine builders and teams that get it right. So far it only seems clear who has not got it right, yet. Can’t wait for the season to begin and to see who is left standing when the new cars are driven in anger for a full race.

        This isn’t even about Red Bull or Vettel, for me. A major shake-up is good for the stale, somewhat repetitive results, no matter who was on top.

        Wheel spin through 5th gear? This could be even better than I was hoping for. I’m grinning now. :-)

      3. Well, credit to mr buxton to his well written article. I note also the excitement by some in this forum. I agree on the need for less predictability…HOWEVER
        …before we get tooo excited – let’s introduce some joc_the_man reality check really directed to the FIA people:
        i) Why take away the loud noise as that has been one of the magics ALL have loved? Higher rev would easily worked.
        ii) Why the efficiency crazyness where eco-drive and 100kg fuel will lead to drivers lifting off rather to pushing it to the limit? You have formula E for the prius people.
        iii) Why the silly looks, COME ON – not sooo difficult to predict.
        iv) Why letting tyre mgmt be the skill to have rather than race to the limit? (Yes, note that I am still a Kimi fan)
        v) Why tyre blanket ban?
        vi) Why are team & driver hazzle and potentially many many DNF’s good things?
        vii) double point rule…COME ON bernie…
        viii) Why less HP… I yawn to the torque argument?
        ix) why is merc dominance better than RBR or Brawn or Ferrari ditto?
        Change is generally good but WHY take away the magic? Why does the FIA heads hide in their ivory towers and not taking part of the debate?
        I am not excited, not at all. The magic is lost. Sad times.

    12. Marko: “This is a very serious matter.”

      Translation: “Now both cars are like the ones we gave Webber.”

      1. Dammit, now I have coffee all over my keyboard.

        Good one, @Mr_Peabody

    13. Am I the only one who thinks Mark Webber’s hybrid Porsche is worse looking than the Caterham too..

      1. probably.

      2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        5th March 2014, 6:32

        It reminds me of a pug or something. The nose is too short, as if it’s been hurled at a brick wall.

      3. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
        5th March 2014, 7:18

        It is beyond ugly, it is disgusting!

      4. I cannot decide myself whether it is nice or plain ugly :/ If it is quick, that’s all that matter in the end.

    14. I’m sure that by the deadline Renault has been able to mend it’s turbo but their new formula is completely untested and if you are aware that your dyno is not reliable the new fix may end up being a disaster, apart from that they have to rack up miles on the new turbos, and calculating the kind of mileage you can get in GP, Renault is certain to take 4 GP’s to reach the level they want and that is exactly why Helmut Marko is saying 2 months, but as I mentioned there is an unknown and that is if this time, Renault dyno has indeed resulted in what Renault wants.

    15. A week ago I was of the view that Red Bull where just talking down their chances, lowering everyone’s expectations, allowing others to take the limelight while they set about their testing duties and that they would turn up in Melbourne and be competitive. Not quickest, but there abouts. But now, I think they are in real trouble. The messages coming from all corners consistently indicate that this is a serious situation. I still think there is a bit of hyperbole going on, but at this stage I don’t see them getting near a podium until the start of the European season.

      Now that I have said that, Vettel will probably Grand Chelem the first GP for his tenth win in a row. ;)

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        5th March 2014, 9:12

        @geemac – Red Bull aren’t capable of finishing the Australian GP let alone winning it. This past month I’ve been observing the testing with a raised eyebrow, but, I agree, I too am beginning to think Red Bull are genuinely in trouble. Owing to the fact that they were a second a lap faster than anyone else in the last phase of 2013, can we now summarize that 2014 is almost a sacrificial year for Red Bull?

        1. can we now summarize that 2014 is almost a sacrificial year for Red Bull

          I think it will end up that way. For sure they’ll try to make up for lost ground and still be competitive later in the year, but I expect it will be too late for WDC or WCC.
          2014 would then probably be a year in which they get to the bottom of the problems, get a thorough understanding of the complex new PU’s, and prepare for a full attack on 2015.

        2. “can we now summarize that 2014 is almost a sacrificial year for Red Bull?”

          I tend to agree with that.

        3. I agree with that but i just don’t want RBR to focus completely on 2015. It will be scarier than what other teams did now. Just imagine Renault will fix all the issues by 2015 any way and RBR for sure rack up some wins thanks to their SV in 2014. But what they has is no pressure situation for 2014 which allows them to work on 15 car and making it as a World beater again. RBR wont care where they finished in WCC unless its P1 as they have loads of money to flow from DIDI.
          So all i want is RBR and Renault to work on 14 car than 15 car in 2014 which alteast hold up them for beginning of the season.

          1. @harsha
            I don’t share those worries, as Newey’s strength (Aero) has been neutralised.

            1. Sorry to say this but If you think so get ready to disappointed mate
              Aero- Dynamics never get neutralized in Racing over time. Its almost impossible, Designers will find aero benefits from any where
              It may look like an Engine formula for a while but im sure it will be altered to Aero formula very soon

    16. LeMans keeps the joke alive. LeMans is not like the WRC when citroen and Loeb were just simply the best for 10 years reagardless of the citroen backing, they won on fairly equal rights but even they faced the prospect of fighting against a manufacturer that wants to rule rather than race. The “24h du Mans” event is paid, sponsored, provided, published, and dare I say narrated by the volkswagen group, in their aggressive racing/marketing strategy they have dominated the dakar now the wrc and for more than a decade LeMans. Their aim is to be the top car maker by 2018, and according to them they are ahead of schedule. Whilst I like their cars especially the VW’s, their strategy bothers me. This year they bring back Porsche but unfortunately it’s not reallyPorsche, its just as they often expressed they want to be victorious over other manufacturer, Citroen/Peugeot group acknowledge they had no way to beat them so they left something that VW didn’t want, Toyota came in but as usual the Japanese play fair. Toyota’s racing division made use of their F1 program remnants and they build a car aimed at the rules the ACO had written but seeing that Toyota were able to produce more megajoules than Audi , the ACO rewrote the rules back limiting the discharge to half! Toyota has since threatened to wane their efforts in LeMans but Audi has now taken another leap, they have fabricated their opposition, with Porsche which isn’t really more than Audi in disguise. In the end bringing Porsche is a very good idea racing in prototype in LeMans is the stage for higher end brands such as Audi and Porsche and I’m sure it will prove fruitful for marketing.

      1. Being an optimist, I will keep thinking it won’t play out that way @peartree, we could hope at least Porche and Audi then end up fighting each other for a bit :)

      2. I think Porsche and Audi will fight each other, I’m sure VAG wouldn’t mind Audi being beaten by another group company, but they would mind getting beaten by Toyota.

      3. Toyota came in but as usual the Japanese play fair

        Forgetting the GT-One, I see.

        And do you really think a French organising body is going to let a German company dictate what they do? Hell, half the time the French don’t even let the French dictate what they do!

        1. @raceprouk you are right but have they succeeded? and @geemac I was talking about meaningless fighting. @gt-racer I read all the things you’re saying too about the Porsche project but as you can see the car is a carbon copy of the Audi, and as I pointed out they have been the best but they have written the rules, as is vw on WRC! VW Audi blah blah group owns 51% nuff said.

          1. @raceprouk you are right but have they succeeded?

            Irrelevant – they exploited a loophole in the rules to gain an unfair advantage.

            And if you’re going to continue with this conspiracy theory that the Volkswagen Group (not VAG @geemac – sorry to spoil the joke ;)) is writing the regulations, maybe you’d like to offer some actual evidence? Oh, you don’t have any.

            One last point: Porsche’s 919 programme was announced 11 June 2012.
            VW bought Porsche outright 1 August 2012.
            That’s right – the 919 programme was started before VW gained majority shareholding.

            1. There are instances where the ACO’s regulation changes do seem to have been favourable to Audi though, enough so for people to suspect that the ACO is somewhat biased towards Audi.

              One example would be the regulation changes for the 2006 season – in late 2005, Audi admitted that the R10 would be over the 900kg minimum weight limit, whilst rumours persisted that Audi’s turbodiesel engine was not producing as much power as the old engine in the R8 did.
              Suddenly, in December 2005 the ACO announced that the minimum weight limit of all LMP1 cars would be increased by 25kg, a move that Audi publicly admitted helped them out during the early part of the season, and that the air restrictor of turbodiesel engines would also be slightly enlarged. In fact, Audi was the sole beneficiary of those regulation changes, a move that had some wondering whether that was purely coincidental…

              As to the question of the level of co-operation between Audi and Porsche, Ulrich Baretzky, the head of Audi’s racing division, has also publicly stated that whilst there has not been any official transfer of knowledge between the two outfits, that “there may have been some unofficial exchanges of information” between Audi and Porsche during development of the 919.

              gt-racer, the reason why Porsche doesn’t use Audi’s wind tunnel is because Audi outsources their wind tunnel work – traditionally Dallara have carried out both the aero development work and the construction of Audi’s chassis, although recently Audi have started to outsource some of the aero development work to Sauber in more recent years.
              Even if they wanted to, there is no wind tunnel for them to share – in fact, a good chunk of Audi’s cars are actually developed out of house rather than by Audi, leaving nothing to share.

              As for customers, it is perhaps telling that, in recent years, the ACO has asked the manufacturers whether or not they would consider selling hybrid systems to the privateer teams. Toyota have publicly said that they are prepared to sell their system, but are currently struggling to bring the cost of their system down to an affordable level – Audi, by contrast, have so far publicly dismissed the notion of selling their energy recovery system.

          2. as you can see the car is a carbon copy of the Audi,

            No it isn’t there are some big differences between them.

            The Audi has a lower nose, Smaller/Lower front wings, The Audi’s sidepods are lower & a bit more streamlined with lower door openings.

            The aero flip ups, vents, air-intakes etc… are also totally different on the 2 cars as is the shape of the front splitters, Number of flip-ups of the nose & the interior design/shape/layout.

            When you look at them side by side the differences are obvious & the 2 cars look nothing alike.

            1. That plus Audi is 3.7 litre v6 diesel hybrid, whilst Porsche 919 is 2.2 litre V4 gasoline hybrid, so not very similar at all, let alone identical’

      4. The Porsche & Audi Le Mans efforts are completely separate operations. Its not Audi or VWG ‘fabricating’ there opponents, The Porsche board have been planning a return to Le Mans for nearly a decade.

        There is zero data sharing between Audi & Porsche to the point where Porsche designed there own simulator & did there own circuit laser scanning for that simulator. They have designed there own CFD systems & are using there own wind tunnels. They have access to none of the Audi data & Audi have access to none of the Porsche data.

        There’s nothing stopping any other manufacturer coming in & trying to beat Audi, Peugeot came in & managed to race/beat Audi at Le Mans put withdrew due to the financial crisis hitting them hard.

        Audi have earned all the success they have had in Sportscar racing, They put together a great team & ran that factory team nearly perfectly. With the R8 they gave there cars to customer teams & gave them the sort of customer support that Porsche were famous for when they were dominating Sportscar racing through the 80s.
        They came in with a Diesel engine which was something nobody thought would ever work & they made it work.

        I’ve seen a lot of people complain that Audi have ‘brought’ there success. Well if by that you mean they have brought it by spending a fortune on R&D & daring to spend cash on looking into & developing new ideas then I guess you could say they have ‘brought’ there success.
        But that ignores the fact that they have done nothing which others havn’t done before them & what any other big manufacturer could also do.
        That have done nothing but spend there budget wisely, Spend it on the important areas of car/engine development & most importantly manage there spending in such a way that nothing is ever wasted.

        Audi’s success has come primarily because its the most efficiently run team out there. You can have the biggest budget in the world yet run the team in an inefficient way & you get no success, Just look at the BAR, Jaguar & Toyota F1 teams, Big Budgets yet poorly run.

    17. Webber was a top driver up there with hamilton and rosberg. Vettel was just better then them.

    18. I sincerely hope it rains in melbourne, i dont walk to see walk it.

    19. So looks like Renault-powered cars will be the new Caterhams and Marussias. This is how Qualifying in Melbourne will go :

      Caterham, Toro Rosso, Daniel Ricciardo and Grosjean will be eliminated in Q1 of Melbourne.

      Vettel and Maldonado will scrape through to Q2 but will be fighting with Marussias and Sauber for positions 11 to 16 on the grid.

      And the teams in Q3 will be the 4 Mercedes powered teams and Ferrari.

    20. People forget that RB never used to show its hand until the real deal starts. They always show low profile in pre season testing. Even at the GPs, they seldom showed their true pace until qualy, when they more often than not blew away the “opposition”.
      If I remember correctly, Ferrari was the team that had set several fastest times and had the longest distance covered in the pre season testing in 2012. Still they were ~1.5 sec down per lap in raw speed come AUS.
      So, I believe NOTHING that RB personell say publically about this, zero. Yes, I see that they have reliability problems due to (1) engine and (2) cooling/packaging. None of those say anything about what the row speed of the car will be, when Renault fixes the power train and Newey repackages. As far as I am concerned, they could be on the podium in AUS, with a finger pointing at the camera – and people then go crazy admiring them for making “a miracle”…

      1. “…when Renault fixes the power train and Newey repackages…”

        It’s not as simple as you seem to think it is. If you read the interview with Renault Keith linked into the round-up yesterday you will see that even the smallest issues lead to major problems. Renault are miles off, which means RBR are miles off. If this was the V8 era I’d agree that RBR would still be in with a shout, but in this brave new world, they are miles off.

      2. That’s a nice theory, but we’re not talking about a time that quietly did its laps and tested its cars at a deceptively low speed.
        We’re talking massive breakdowns almost every time they tried to run the car, days and days of almost no running, and spending the first half of the tests just trying to stop the car from catching fire. We’re talking about a team who hasn’t managed to do a race sim in three tests, a team which hasn’t even managed to do HALF a race distance. The problems RB has are very real indeed.

        I don’t doubt the ability of Red Bull to fix these problems but they are nowhere close to where they wanted to be. They will not be ready in time for Australia.

    21. In Silverstone 2013, nobody cared that Rosberg took the lead. They were cheering at Vettel’s retirement, particularly the fans close to him, making the finger gesture at him, and such. Look up videos on YouTube and you’ll see. I thought it was mean and unsportsmanlike.

    22. I’m very sorry for Vettel. I already feel as this season will be used to completely break him down to an average driver in the minds of the simple F1 fan. They will not accept the RB10 is not a RB9 or RB7. They will judge Vettel on this season and he will not be judged with mercy.

      If he does not win races by mid-season people will see his four titles as a product of a car rather than his driving. Which of course would be a real shame.

      1. which would be how things really went in the last 4 years?

      2. I think that is a bit of hyperbole. In the last couple of years Vettel won and had many arguing that a large part was down to his car. Now he won’t have the car for that argument to be held against him, instead he will be in a role more like 2008 in the Torro Rosso and if he can get some really good qualifying and race results he actually has a chance to prove the people wrong on that account @ardenflo.

    23. I find it funny that nobody has said anything because of Vettel´s “wishfull” thinking… When Alonso said it last time… all hell broke loose!! Double standards??
      Anways… It´s nice to know that there might be some racing actually going on on the sharp end but it seems it´s going to be pretty much one-sided again… I really hope, for the show´s sake, that Ferrari kept a little extra hidden at these tests!

      1. I said the same thing last night, about Vettel’s comment, even though I was of course only joking, since he is only pointing out the lack of speed of his car, but my comment is now deleted. Go figure.

        1. I was searching for that comment. Thank goodness that you told me it was deleted. I thought of having my eyes checked :)

          Vettel and RB will have all the world’s eyes on them, only this time of a different reason. Good luck to thm.

    24. Loving the F1-inspired Porsche bonnet!!

    25. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      5th March 2014, 15:47

      Yesterday Mr OBE published an interesting comment about how Vettel’s words were similar to the ones said by Alonso last year.
      Let me agree with some of his facts, and disagree with others.
      I agree a parallel can be drawn between both Alonso 2013 and Vettel 2014 opinions.
      I disagree with the content of it. While Alonso specifically said “I need Vettel to retire”, Vettel says “The only way to get points is if a bunch of drivers (anybody) retires. Retirements are quite a normal problem, especally this year it looks as if it’s going to be common.

      PS: IMHO, Mr OBE didn’t attack me with his words, so please, to whom it may concern, stop vanishing well stated opinions.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        5th March 2014, 16:03

        @karter22 Look at this comment please. What OBE said was well expressed. Why was it M0d3r@t3d? No idea.

        1. @omarr-pepper

          I agree a parallel can be drawn between both Alonso 2013 and Vettel 2014 opinions.
          I disagree with the content of it. While Alonso specifically said “I need Vettel to retire”, Vettel says “The only way to get points is if a bunch of drivers (anybody) retires.

          Well, is it any less bad to want anbody to retire in order to add points than just to single out anybody? The way I remember, the opinions about ALO stating that was that it was “sad” that he actually said it and so now I also believe that it is even sadder for Vettel to say it since when ALO said it, he was fighting for the WDC. Vettel hasn´t even started the season and he wants everybody out just to add points! He might just be stating the obvious facts that his car is suffering but it´s still sad! See what I mean? I´m just trying to make the point of double standards. To be honest, it does not surprise me that sir obe´s comment got moderated, it tends to happen quite often when mud-slinging heads herr Vettel´s way. That is why I now limit my opinions and just read on.
          I for one hate the fact that he isn´t going to fight till Renault get their act together but, at least now, we will see what ALO stated by saying that Sebastian has never been in a car that is ready to be 5th or 8th. It´ll be interesting and see what he can actually do.
          I just thought of one thing…. Could you imagine if ALO would have switched over to RBR!!! He would´ve been in the same boat as Crashtor!! hahahaahhahaaha

          Just for reference:

          1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
            6th March 2014, 11:57

            @karter22 agree. It’s sad to see my fav driver being so down. And I don’t think Vet will totally give up. Let’s see how the season goes

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