Sunday, 10 July 2011

A chink in the Vettel armour?

It might not seem immediately obvious that today represented light at the end of the tunnel for anyone hoping for some kind of championship fight, given that Vettel seems now to have explicit number one status at Red Bull, but I think it did expose one weakness.

It is the same weakness that means I think he cannot be regarded in the same light as Hamilton and Alonso in terms of pure speed. Vettel is an accomplished driver, more than that, he is lightning fast and almost 100% reliable when he's puts it on pole and can just cruise off into the distance. But when he has to battle his peers? He's no Fernando or Lewis in that regard.

He's still young enough of course to prove me wrong, he may go on to become a racer in the mould of the two mentioned, but he's not there yet.

Not to mention the fact of course that he didn't win today, Fernando Alonso picked up his and Ferrari's first win this season, and first win since the Korean Grand Prix last October. He might still be 92 points behind but the extent to which Ferrari seem to have genuinely closed the gap on the Red Bulls mean he is the most likely to mount any kind of challenge, however unlikely it may seem that anyone but the German can win the title now.

The race also marked something of a return to form for Mark Webber (despite having his wings clipped by Horner) and Felipe Massa, who although still well short of Fernando's pace, is quicker than three or four races ago.

Two weeks hence is the German Grand Prix, where Ferrari bagged a 1-2 last season (and their own team orders controversy), if they can do something similar and Vettel has a rare off day, who knows what it might spark.


haitchjg said...

I think its a false sawn fir the prancing horse....after all the teams will return to blown exhausts in the next race and we lnow Ferrari is not up there with the rest of them in this technology. Also McLaren must surely sort out their car else they will lose both drivers at the end of the about Webbers body language on the podium and in parc ferme....very hands-on with Ferrrari people! Actually think he may enjoy a season at the fiat team.

GreenJJ said...

Maybe so, but we can only hope not. Mclaren were off the pace in Valencia, and indeed Ferrari were close(ish) to RB there. Webber is the most logical choice for Ferrari next year - but he'll have to accept number 2 status there for sure!

haitchjg said...

For interesting to see wouldn't it cos he obviously has difficulties accepting team orders....that could be his undoing. Vettel pretty much can cruise from her on just picking up points as long as no one other driver keeps winning. Noticed big Ron was onsite at the last couple of races....probably unsettling the Whitmarsh crew....why on earth were they flagging Lewis's every move, surely they could have had a coded msgm something very weird going on a McLaren what with Lewis being so vocal as well....tho that could be his new Managers influence I suppose.