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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:10 am 
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In this thread, I will analyse Sebastian Vettel's overall performances from 2010 to 2013. How much of his success was down to his car advantage, and how well did he actually drive?

I actually believe that Vettel was overall the best driver of this period, by a small margin over Alonso, which goes against the popular consensus.

Hamilton was excellent in 2010 and amazing in 2012, but his 2011 season drags him too far down to be a contender in this debate.

Who drove better between Alonso and Vettel from 2010 to 2013?

I have them as equal in 2010
Vettel in 2011 and 2013
Alonso in 2012

Anyway, in this thread I'll analyse each season individually.


Last edited by KingVoid on Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:43 am 
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2010 Formula 1 season

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Source: Reuters, pickle92’s worldpress blog

The 2010 season is remembered for two reasons:

1. The only season where four drivers had a mathematical chance at the WDC going into the final race that season.
2. The spectacular RB6 car which was considered the clear fastest car on the grid.

If you add 1 and 2 together, you might come to the conclusion that Hamilton and Alonso drove miles better than Vettel that season. While I agree that Lewis was probably the best driver that year, I disagree with the notion that Alonso drove any better than Vettel.

Let's look at a race-by-race basis:

Bahrain:
If Red Bull had any kind of advantage over Ferrari, it was minuscule. Alonso qualified half a second behind Massa when pole was a clear possibility. In the race, Vettel leads the whole way until lap 33, when an engine failure drops him down to 4th. Alonso wins in the end, but overall I think Vettel did a better job this weekend, qualifying taken into account.

Australia:
Red Bull has the best car. Vettel takes pole and leads the entire race until a brake failure. Alonso did well enough in qualifying, but turned into Button at the first corner and span. I've seen the incident from Button's POV, and not much he could have done. The incident was Alonso's fault, and in hindsight, probably cost him the race win. Vettel did a better job.

Malaysia:
Webber takes pole after a clever gamble on intermediates at the end of Q3. Vettel overtakes him at the start and leads the whole race to win. Alonso is out in Q1 along with both McLaren's and Massa after they were caught napping. In the race, his engine expires from P9. Vettel wins for this weekend.

China:
Vettel takes pole on Saturday as the Red Bull seems to like the warmer conditions. On Sunday however, in cold and wet conditions, both him and Webber lack any kind of pace. Alonso jumps the start and gets himself a drive through penalty. The SC helps him close back up the disadvantage. He goes on to finish 4th. To Alonso's credit, he did drive very well in the second part of the race, but P2 was possible if not for the drive through. Draw.

Spain:
Vettel lacks pace this weekend, but a brake problem costs him second place to Alonso. Alonso drove better though.

Monaco:
Alonso crashes in FP3 when it looked like he had the pace to win. Vettel is slower than Webber and finishes 2nd. Despite Vettel's lack of pace, you could argue that he drove better than Alonso, because Alonso's mistake left him down in 6th place. Let's call this a draw.

Turkey:
This is complicated. The accident in the race was Vettel's fault, but the fact is that Vettel was 0.400s up on Webber in S2 until the anti-roll bar on his suspension failed. Without this mechanical failure, he takes pole position and cruises to victory from there (he was quicker than Webber in the race). Alonso was slow and finished behind Massa, so he had a dud weekend himself. Let's call this a draw.

Canada:
Vettel is outqualified by Webber who has a gearbox penalty. In the race, he has good pace in the first stint, but then both Red Bulls drop away like stones due to technical problems. Alonso has a decent race and finishes 3rd. I'll give this one to Alonso.

Europe:
Vettel takes pole and wins. Alonso is in third until a very unlucky safety car moment puts him way down the order. He makes a mistake at the end of the race to allow Kobayashi through. Vettel better.

Britain:
Vettel takes pole but receives a puncture on the opening lap after Hamilton understeers into him. Alonso receives a drive through after illegally overtaking Kubica off the track. Vettel works his way back up to 7th after a good fightback. Vettel better.

Germany:
Now this is a controversial opinion, but Vettel was better here too. He beat Alonso on merit in Q when Ferrari had the best car. His start was not great, but Alonso directly benefited from team orders when his teammate Massa was winning on merit. Vettel never benefited from team orders at any point in 2010. On the basis of qualifying, I give this weekend to Vettel.

Hungary:
Vettel takes pole position and leads the race until a safety car. He hangs back too far after the team instructed him to help Webber and gets a drive through. Alonso drives an excellent race and finishes P2. Alonso was better.

Belgium:
Draw. They were both outqualified by their teammates, and both crashed in the race. Alonso's crash lead to a DNF, Vettel did not DNF but finished out of the points.

Italy:
Alonso takes pole, loses the lead like Vettel did in Germany, but gains it back again because Ferrari was overall the fastest car this weekend. Vettel is outqualified by Webber, but goes on to finish ahead after an excellent 52 lap stint. Alonso wins overall.

Singapore:
Alonso did a better job. Red Bull was slightly better than Ferrari this weekend, but Vettel hit the wall on his final Q3 attempt, and once Alonso got the lead he never gave it back.

Japan:
Draw. They both maximized their result.

Korea:
I have to say draw. Alonso drove a fine race, but Vettel was dominating until the engine failure.

Brazil:
Again draw. They both maximized their result.

Abu Dhabi:
Vettel. I don't blame Alonso entirely for the final result, but he did have a poor start, and he could have been more aggresive against Petrov. Vettel drove a perfect race and beat Hamilton in a straight fight for the win with relatively equal cars (that weekend), while his teammate folded completely and finished 8th.

Overall, if you look at the season on a race-by-race basis, the argument that Vettel was equal to Alonso in 2010 seems fair.


Last edited by KingVoid on Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:47 am 
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Regarding Vettel vs Alonso in 2010, I can't help but emphasize just how many more points Vettel lost than Alonso due to bad luck.

Bahrain - engine failure from the lead
Australia - brake failure from the lead
Spain - brake problem from P2
Britain - puncture from P2 at least (Lewis understeered into him)
Korea - engine failure from the lead

That is equal to 78 points lost, and Alonso inherited another 19 points directly as a result of Vettel's bad luck, so the net difference goes up to 97 points.

Turkey is a grey area. The accident in the race was Vettel's fault, but the fact is that Vettel was 0.400s up on Webber in S2 until the anti-roll bar on his suspension failed. Without this mechanical failure, he takes pole position and cruises to victory from there (he was quicker than Webber in the race).

The only case of bad luck suffered from Alonso was Malaysia, where his engine expired from 9th place (2 points lost). Alonso was responsible for the vast majority of his poor results that year. He made mistakes in Australia, China, Monaco, Silverstone and Spa. Then there's also Hockenheim, where Alonso directly inherited a win thanks to team orders. Vettel never once benefited from team orders in 2010.

Adjusted for misfortune, Vettel would have finished the 2010 season 99 to 126 points ahead of Alonso (depends how you view Turkey)

This kind of difference in reliability is colossal, especially given that the RB6 wasn't that dominant.

Anyway, 2011 up next.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:26 am 
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Not a huge difference in the grand scheme of things but I think Hamilton was ahead of Vettel at Spain 2010 before the Vettel’s break issue. Hamilton got ahead due to a poor pit stop. Vettel then got the place he lost due the brake failure back when Hamilton retired.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:18 am 
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JN23 wrote:
Not a huge difference in the grand scheme of things but I think Hamilton was ahead of Vettel at Spain 2010 before the Vettel’s break issue. Hamilton got ahead due to a poor pit stop. Vettel then got the place he lost due the brake failure back when Hamilton retired.

FYI, in that post I am specifically comparing Alonso to Vettel, and not taking the fortunes or misfortunes of any other driver into account. In that context, Vettel lost second place to Alonso.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:47 am 
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Vettel knew how to drive that Red Bull.

Much as Vettels reputation has taken a bit of pounding, and I think 4 titles flatters his ability...... I am not sure any other driver could have done what he done in 2011 and 2013. Very much the right driver, in the right team, at the right time. A perfect fit.

Alonso's 2012 was an outstanding performance, 2010 very good too.

However whilst I rate Alonso a tier above Vettel, you have to give 2010-13 to Vettel.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:55 am 
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:thumbup:

Nice idea. While the past few years have taken the shine off Vettel's legacy somewhat, it has led some people to declare that it proves Vettel's four titles were lucky or purely down to the car and I don't agree with that. He drove superbly for those four seasons and when I reflect on his career the way I see it is that he absolutely mastered that generation of car; the exhaust blown diffuser demanded a very particular driving style to maximise its effectiveness and Vettel's studious approach allowed him to hone his driving style to get the most out of it. He then struggled to reach the same heights when the regulations changed, which is why for me he is not at the same level as Alonso and Hamilton who bossed it in every configuration of F1 car they ever competed with. However it should not detract from his 4 championships which were fully deserved at the time.

It is also worth noting that Webber did not finish 2nd in the championship once during that period, and for the majority of Vettel's wins Webber was not following him home in 2nd place, not something you'd expect to see when "it's all because of the car". With 2 Webbers in their driver line-up, Red Bull might not have won a single championship.

On the subject of 2010, it was a particularly weak season for Alonso with numerous uncharacteristic errors (I'd forgotten about him getting caught napping by Kobayashi at Valencia) so I would agree that Vettel drove better.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:10 am 
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KingVoid wrote:
JN23 wrote:
Not a huge difference in the grand scheme of things but I think Hamilton was ahead of Vettel at Spain 2010 before the Vettel’s break issue. Hamilton got ahead due to a poor pit stop. Vettel then got the place he lost due the brake failure back when Hamilton retired.

FYI, in that post I am specifically comparing Alonso to Vettel, and not taking the fortunes or misfortunes of any other driver into account. In that context, Vettel lost second place to Alonso.


Ah yeah, fair enough. I thought I read he lost the second place to Hamilton.

Interesting read though, thanks for sharing :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:59 am 
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KingVoid wrote:
Adjusted for misfortune, Vettel would have finished the 2010 season 99 to 126 points ahead of Alonso (depends how you view Turkey)

This kind of difference in reliability is colossal, especially given that the RB6 wasn't that dominant.

Wait what? You can't take Vettel's adjusted score and use it to say what a performance that would have been in a non dominant car. The RB6 did not dominate because of its poor reliablity and incidents - two of which, Spa and Turkey - were of Vettel's own making.

If he had all the wins he lost out on, the RB6 would have dominated that year just like the RB7 and RB9 did in 2011 and 2013.

I feel that 2009 should also be included in this thread because had it started the year with a double diffuser, or the loophole not existed, that would have also been his year and many people consider the RB5 to be the better car from that year.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:29 pm 
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Alienturnedhuman wrote:
KingVoid wrote:
Adjusted for misfortune, Vettel would have finished the 2010 season 99 to 126 points ahead of Alonso (depends how you view Turkey)

This kind of difference in reliability is colossal, especially given that the RB6 wasn't that dominant.

Wait what? You can't take Vettel's adjusted score and use it to say what a performance that would have been in a non dominant car. The RB6 did not dominate because of its poor reliablity and incidents - two of which, Spa and Turkey - were of Vettel's own making.

If he had all the wins he lost out on, the RB6 would have dominated that year just like the RB7 and RB9 did in 2011 and 2013.

I feel that 2009 should also be included in this thread because had it started the year with a double diffuser, or the loophole not existed, that would have also been his year and many people consider the RB5 to be the better car from that year.


Yes,

there's no way Webber basically equals Alonso without a dominant car.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:44 pm 
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mikeyg123 wrote:
Alienturnedhuman wrote:
KingVoid wrote:
Adjusted for misfortune, Vettel would have finished the 2010 season 99 to 126 points ahead of Alonso (depends how you view Turkey)

This kind of difference in reliability is colossal, especially given that the RB6 wasn't that dominant.

Wait what? You can't take Vettel's adjusted score and use it to say what a performance that would have been in a non dominant car. The RB6 did not dominate because of its poor reliablity and incidents - two of which, Spa and Turkey - were of Vettel's own making.

If he had all the wins he lost out on, the RB6 would have dominated that year just like the RB7 and RB9 did in 2011 and 2013.

I feel that 2009 should also be included in this thread because had it started the year with a double diffuser, or the loophole not existed, that would have also been his year and many people consider the RB5 to be the better car from that year.


Yes,

there's no way Webber basically equals Alonso without a dominant car.

Depends how you define a dominant car. It was the best car for sure, but with only four 1-2s all season (McLaren had three, and Ferrari two) it was less dominant than, for instance, last year's Mercedes.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:01 pm 
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j man wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
Alienturnedhuman wrote:
KingVoid wrote:
Adjusted for misfortune, Vettel would have finished the 2010 season 99 to 126 points ahead of Alonso (depends how you view Turkey)

This kind of difference in reliability is colossal, especially given that the RB6 wasn't that dominant.

Wait what? You can't take Vettel's adjusted score and use it to say what a performance that would have been in a non dominant car. The RB6 did not dominate because of its poor reliablity and incidents - two of which, Spa and Turkey - were of Vettel's own making.

If he had all the wins he lost out on, the RB6 would have dominated that year just like the RB7 and RB9 did in 2011 and 2013.

I feel that 2009 should also be included in this thread because had it started the year with a double diffuser, or the loophole not existed, that would have also been his year and many people consider the RB5 to be the better car from that year.


Yes,

there's no way Webber basically equals Alonso without a dominant car.

Depends how you define a dominant car. It was the best car for sure, but with only four 1-2s all season (McLaren had three, and Ferrari two) it was less dominant than, for instance, last year's Mercedes.

About that, Vettel cost the team 1-2s at Turkey (which McLaren inherited) and at Hungary (by getting a drive through for the safety car violation) and the team should have got 1-2s at Korea and Silverstone as well, which would have put the car at 8 Vs 2 Vs 2. Of course it wasn't as dominant was the W10 but it was probably more dominant than the W08 and W09, certainly on a par..

The W05-W07 has kind of muddied the picture on what a dominant car needs to be, other than the FW14B/15C there isn't a car that has had so much pace in hand to it's rivals in the modern era. But a car doesn't need to have that much pace to be dominant, it just needs to be able to have enough place to land pole and build a 6 second gap by the pit stop. And do that reliably every race. The cars are no longer fragile and the experience and knowledge of the teams make the races fairly predictable for them to manage. The Red Bull had all the ingredients to be dominant, but unlike the Mercedes it didn't such an edge that when things didn't go to plan they could turn up the wick even more and salvage it.

Also, Vettel was still very inexperienced in 2010. A 2013 Vettel would have performed far better in that car.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:14 pm 
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Cars like the MP4/4, FW14B, and W05 were basically the fastest cars on every circuit.

The RB6 was inferior around circuits like China, Canada, Germany, and Italy. It was equal to McLaren around Belgium and Abu Dhabi. It’s advantage over Ferrari around Bahrain and Singapore was minimal.

Again, I would call it “the clear fastest car” instead of a dominant car.

But the main focus should be on Vettel’s points lost from unreliability and bad luck instead.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:39 pm 
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Alienturnedhuman wrote:
KingVoid wrote:
Adjusted for misfortune, Vettel would have finished the 2010 season 99 to 126 points ahead of Alonso (depends how you view Turkey)

This kind of difference in reliability is colossal, especially given that the RB6 wasn't that dominant.

Wait what? You can't take Vettel's adjusted score and use it to say what a performance that would have been in a non dominant car. The RB6 did not dominate because of its poor reliablity and incidents - two of which, Spa and Turkey - were of Vettel's own making.

If he had all the wins he lost out on, the RB6 would have dominated that year just like the RB7 and RB9 did in 2011 and 2013.

I never denied that the RB6 was the clear fastest car, but I don't consider it to be that dominant compared to truly dominant cars like the 1988 McLaren, 1992 Williams or 2014 Mercedes.

The RB6 had too many weekends where it was slower or equal to its opposition, unlike those cars above.

Quote:
I feel that 2009 should also be included in this thread because had it started the year with a double diffuser, or the loophole not existed, that would have also been his year and many people consider the RB5 to be the better car from that year.

I don't.

It was less reliable than the Brawn, and I don't think it was any quicker overall


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:12 pm 
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KingVoid wrote:
2010 Formula 1 season

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Source: Reuters, pickle92’s worldpress blog

The 2010 season is remembered for two reasons:

1. The only season where four drivers had a mathematical chance at the WDC going into the final race that season.
2. The spectacular RB6 car which was considered the clear fastest car on the grid.

If you add 1 and 2 together, you might come to the conclusion that Hamilton and Alonso drove miles better than Vettel that season. While I agree that Lewis was probably the best driver that year, I disagree with the notion that Alonso drove any better than Vettel.

Let's look at a race-by-race basis:

Bahrain:
If Red Bull had any kind of advantage over Ferrari, it was minuscule. Alonso qualified half a second behind Massa when pole was a clear possibility. In the race, Vettel leads the whole way until lap 33, when an engine failure drops him down to 4th. Alonso wins in the end, but overall I think Vettel did a better job this weekend, qualifying taken into account.

Australia:
Red Bull has the best car. Vettel takes pole and leads the entire race until a brake failure. Alonso did well enough in qualifying, but turned into Button at the first corner and span. I've seen the incident from Button's POV, and not much he could have done. The incident was Alonso's fault, and in hindsight, probably cost him the race win. Vettel did a better job.

Malaysia:
Webber takes pole after a clever gamble on intermediates at the end of Q3. Vettel overtakes him at the start and leads the whole race to win. Alonso is out in Q1 along with both McLaren's and Massa after they were caught napping. In the race, his engine expires from P9. Vettel wins for this weekend.

China:
Vettel takes pole on Saturday as the Red Bull seems to like the warmer conditions. On Sunday however, in cold and wet conditions, both him and Webber lack any kind of pace. Alonso jumps the start and gets himself a drive through penalty. The SC helps him close back up the disadvantage. He goes on to finish 4th. To Alonso's credit, he did drive very well in the second part of the race, but P2 was possible if not for the drive through. Draw.

Spain:
Vettel lacks pace this weekend, but a brake problem costs him second place to Alonso. Alonso drove better though.

Monaco:
Alonso crashes in FP3 when it looked like he had the pace to win. Vettel is slower than Webber and finishes 2nd. Despite Vettel's lack of pace, you could argue that he drove better than Alonso, because Alonso's mistake left him down in 6th place. Let's call this a draw.

Turkey:
This is complicated. The accident in the race was Vettel's fault, but the fact is that Vettel was 0.400s up on Webber in S2 until the anti-roll bar on his suspension failed. Without this mechanical failure, he takes pole position and cruises to victory from there (he was quicker than Webber in the race). Alonso was slow and finished behind Massa, so he had a dud weekend himself. Let's call this a draw.

Canada:
Vettel is outqualified by Webber who has a gearbox penalty. In the race, he has good pace in the first stint, but then both Red Bulls drop away like stones due to technical problems. Alonso has a decent race and finishes 3rd. I'll give this one to Alonso.

Europe:
Vettel takes pole and wins. Alonso is in third until a very unlucky safety car moment puts him way down the order. He makes a mistake at the end of the race to allow Kobayashi through. Vettel better.

Britain:
Vettel takes pole but receives a puncture on the opening lap after Hamilton understeers into him. Alonso receives a drive through after illegally overtaking Kubica off the track. Vettel works his way back up to 7th after a good fightback. Vettel better.

Germany:
Now this is a controversial opinion, but Vettel was better here too. He beat Alonso on merit in Q when Ferrari had the best car. His start was not great, but Alonso directly benefited from team orders when his teammate Massa was winning on merit. Vettel never benefited from team orders at any point in 2010. On the basis of qualifying, I give this weekend to Vettel.

Hungary:
Vettel takes pole position and leads the race until a safety car. He hangs back too far after the team instructed him to help Webber and gets a drive through. Alonso drives an excellent race and finishes P2. Alonso was better.

Belgium:
Draw. They were both outqualified by their teammates, and both crashed in the race. Alonso's crash lead to a DNF, Vettel did not DNF but finished out of the points.

Italy:
Alonso takes pole, loses the lead like Vettel did in Germany, but gains it back again because Ferrari was overall the fastest car this weekend. Vettel is outqualified by Webber, but goes on to finish ahead after an excellent 52 lap stint. Alonso wins overall.

Singapore:
Alonso did a better job. Red Bull was slightly better than Ferrari this weekend, but Vettel hit the wall on his final Q3 attempt, and once Alonso got the lead he never gave it back.

Japan:
Draw. They both maximized their result.

Korea:
I have to say draw. Alonso drove a fine race, but Vettel was dominating until the engine failure.

Brazil:
Again draw. They both maximized their result.

Abu Dhabi:
Vettel. I don't blame Alonso entirely for the final result, but he did have a poor start, and he could have been more aggresive against Petrov. Vettel drove a perfect race and beat Hamilton in a straight fight for the win with relatively equal cars (that weekend), while his teammate folded completely and finished 8th.

Overall, if you look at the season on a race-by-race basis, the argument that Vettel was equal to Alonso in 2010 seems fair.


It's a really good write-up, pretty charitable. Vettel did drive a perfect race in Abu Dhabi but the victory hinged on McLaren's pit strategy with Hamilton. They put him behind not only Kubica but also Kobayashi at his stop, which was unforgivably daft. Hamilton dispatched Kobayashi in decent time but had a harder go of it with Kubica who was lapping near the leading pace. I don't think Vettel had to negotiate any midfield traffic in the race and that was pretty much that. Otherwise, I think Hamilton would at the very least have hounded Vettel to the flag like he did in Spain the next year. If anything I think that was a signal race as far as Red Bull's strategy team showing they were best on the grid, a reign that has extended unbroken really to this very day.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:28 am 
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I'm not Vettel's biggest fan but you have to give him credit for 2010. I'm not at all convinced that the RB that year was clearly dominant, though it did - in his hands at least! - have a pace advantage at some circuits.
Vettel should have had a comfortable lead after the first four races but for reliability. He may well have had a bit of a cushion going into Abu Dhabi had his engine not blown up in Korea.
I also feel that it was a little unfair to give him the title The Crash Kid on the basis of two race incidents (Turkey and Spa) that year and felt that the SC penalty in Hungary was as much a team error as his.
All in all, I'd give Vettel the vote for 2010.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:52 pm 
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KingVoid wrote:
2010 Formula 1 season

Image
Source: Reuters, pickle92’s worldpress blog

The 2010 season is remembered for two reasons:

1. The only season where four drivers had a mathematical chance at the WDC going into the final race that season.
2. The spectacular RB6 car which was considered the clear fastest car on the grid.

If you add 1 and 2 together, you might come to the conclusion that Hamilton and Alonso drove miles better than Vettel that season. While I agree that Lewis was probably the best driver that year, I disagree with the notion that Alonso drove any better than Vettel.

Let's look at a race-by-race basis:

Bahrain:
If Red Bull had any kind of advantage over Ferrari, it was minuscule. Alonso qualified half a second behind Massa when pole was a clear possibility. In the race, Vettel leads the whole way until lap 33, when an engine failure drops him down to 4th. Alonso wins in the end, but overall I think Vettel did a better job this weekend, qualifying taken into account.

Australia:
Red Bull has the best car. Vettel takes pole and leads the entire race until a brake failure. Alonso did well enough in qualifying, but turned into Button at the first corner and span. I've seen the incident from Button's POV, and not much he could have done. The incident was Alonso's fault, and in hindsight, probably cost him the race win. Vettel did a better job.

Malaysia:
Webber takes pole after a clever gamble on intermediates at the end of Q3. Vettel overtakes him at the start and leads the whole race to win. Alonso is out in Q1 along with both McLaren's and Massa after they were caught napping. In the race, his engine expires from P9. Vettel wins for this weekend.

China:
Vettel takes pole on Saturday as the Red Bull seems to like the warmer conditions. On Sunday however, in cold and wet conditions, both him and Webber lack any kind of pace. Alonso jumps the start and gets himself a drive through penalty. The SC helps him close back up the disadvantage. He goes on to finish 4th. To Alonso's credit, he did drive very well in the second part of the race, but P2 was possible if not for the drive through. Draw.

Spain:
Vettel lacks pace this weekend, but a brake problem costs him second place to Alonso. Alonso drove better though.

Monaco:
Alonso crashes in FP3 when it looked like he had the pace to win. Vettel is slower than Webber and finishes 2nd. Despite Vettel's lack of pace, you could argue that he drove better than Alonso, because Alonso's mistake left him down in 6th place. Let's call this a draw.

Turkey:
This is complicated. The accident in the race was Vettel's fault, but the fact is that Vettel was 0.400s up on Webber in S2 until the anti-roll bar on his suspension failed. Without this mechanical failure, he takes pole position and cruises to victory from there (he was quicker than Webber in the race). Alonso was slow and finished behind Massa, so he had a dud weekend himself. Let's call this a draw.

Canada:
Vettel is outqualified by Webber who has a gearbox penalty. In the race, he has good pace in the first stint, but then both Red Bulls drop away like stones due to technical problems. Alonso has a decent race and finishes 3rd. I'll give this one to Alonso.

Europe:
Vettel takes pole and wins. Alonso is in third until a very unlucky safety car moment puts him way down the order. He makes a mistake at the end of the race to allow Kobayashi through. Vettel better.

Britain:
Vettel takes pole but receives a puncture on the opening lap after Hamilton understeers into him. Alonso receives a drive through after illegally overtaking Kubica off the track. Vettel works his way back up to 7th after a good fightback. Vettel better.

Germany:
Now this is a controversial opinion, but Vettel was better here too. He beat Alonso on merit in Q when Ferrari had the best car. His start was not great, but Alonso directly benefited from team orders when his teammate Massa was winning on merit. Vettel never benefited from team orders at any point in 2010. On the basis of qualifying, I give this weekend to Vettel.

Hungary:
Vettel takes pole position and leads the race until a safety car. He hangs back too far after the team instructed him to help Webber and gets a drive through. Alonso drives an excellent race and finishes P2. Alonso was better.

Belgium:
Draw. They were both outqualified by their teammates, and both crashed in the race. Alonso's crash lead to a DNF, Vettel did not DNF but finished out of the points.

Italy:
Alonso takes pole, loses the lead like Vettel did in Germany, but gains it back again because Ferrari was overall the fastest car this weekend. Vettel is outqualified by Webber, but goes on to finish ahead after an excellent 52 lap stint. Alonso wins overall.

Singapore:
Alonso did a better job. Red Bull was slightly better than Ferrari this weekend, but Vettel hit the wall on his final Q3 attempt, and once Alonso got the lead he never gave it back.

Japan:
Draw. They both maximized their result.

Korea:
I have to say draw. Alonso drove a fine race, but Vettel was dominating until the engine failure.

Brazil:
Again draw. They both maximized their result.

Abu Dhabi:
Vettel. I don't blame Alonso entirely for the final result, but he did have a poor start, and he could have been more aggresive against Petrov. Vettel drove a perfect race and beat Hamilton in a straight fight for the win with relatively equal cars (that weekend), while his teammate folded completely and finished 8th.

Overall, if you look at the season on a race-by-race basis, the argument that Vettel was equal to Alonso in 2010 seems fair.


I think you need to do this for 2012 as well, a lot of folks will be surprised at the results as well.

I recently watched the 2012 season again and I was astonished by the commentary, where Brundle and co were always rooting for Vettel to fail so Alonso can win!


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