Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Sochi Autodrom, 2017

Vettel hopes Red Bull join title battle

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel says he wants to see Red Bull join the championship fight between Ferrari and Mercedes.

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Is there a downside for Mercedes to Valtteri Bottas’ breakthrough victory?

This victory for Bottas was extremely important in relation to his position at Mercedes.

It couldn’t have come at a better time. He’s basically laid down a marker, that he isn’t an also-ran or a number two. He comprehensively out performed his team mate and showed that he has the mental resolve to stay out front and win.

He is growing more comfortable with the team, and he will get better. Can he upstage Hamilton? Highly unlikely, but he will definitely put up a fight.

Funnily enough, yesterday’s win actually gives Toto Wolff a massive headache.
Jay Menon (@Jaymenon10)

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  • 39 comments on “Vettel hopes Red Bull join title battle”

    1. Perez talking himself up again. This is precisely where FI should be. Their degradation level is good, which is why their race pace is more competitive than in qualifying trim. Ocon proves that this is where FI should be finishing.

      1. He said the team is doing a great job with strategies and reliability, and the drivers (Perez and Ocon) a great job taking the places Stroll, Massa and one of the redbulls often lose due to poor driving and reliability, in this Russia race the Renault started 2 places ahead and had the same race pace than the F.I.’s but Hulkenberg couldn’t match the starting skills of Ocon and Perez.

        The natural place to finish a race for the Force India’s is p9, p10, p11 or p12, not p6 and p7.

        1. P6, P7, excellent, SFI is a well running racing team. They are the envy of any midfield team.

      2. Actually he is praising the team.

        If he was talking himself up, it would have sound more like this:

        “it was on of the best raves of my career” “I did a perfect lap, I don’t remember qualifying so well”

      3. @spafrancorchamps I agree with Perez and so does SFI though SFI doesn’t like to attract the attention of preying sharks afraid it might lose it’s drivers. SFI has performed almost 100% of the points they might have gotten considering the problems they admit facing, when it comes to general pace.

    2. Thanks for CoTD @keithcollantine !

      So, Sauber is effectively the Mclaren junior squad then..

      1. Very good COTD. While the Mercedes top brass would have expected Bottas to win few races through the year, the manner of this victory would have surprised them. On a weekend where they were conclusively the slower car and were outpaced in every session, Bottas managed to pounce on the one and only opportunity available to Mercedes (the race start) and converted a 3-4 result to a 1-4 result. Teams expect such performances to come from drivers such as Verstappen, Vettel, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Alonso. It remains to be seen how consistently Bottas can do this. But considering this weekend and this weekend alone, he has shown he belongs to the very top tier of F1 drivers.

        1. Aye, all he has to do, is repeat this 5-7 times per season, for several years and we will consider him top driver.

      2. I don’t think it gave Toto any headaches.

        He did what they want him to do. Like Nico, he won when Lewis didn’t and I expect Toto will want to see that happen every time Lewis has a bad day for whatever reason.

        Bottas IMO was a good choice and so far I think he’s justified that.

        1. Neither does Toto:
          http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/129269/mercedes-no-extra-aggravation-with-bottas

          Which (arguably) suggests that the problem last season was not so much Hamilton as his former teammate.

          Of course, it’s rather early in the season to draw conclusions.

          1. The issue last year was the fact that both drivers couldn’t pass the same door without a fight. Ros. was worn thin of being bullied by Ham, and while Ham is a bit faster, he couldn’t handle being defeated by Ros, even occasionally. It is to be seen how Bot/Ham will work at the end of the year, or even longer.
            Merc would’ve chosen to keep their lineup of Ros/Ham, even with the difficulties, but would’ve chosen to keep Ros. and retire Ham. with a new teammate over the current situation if it were their choice.
            I’m writing this, knowing this site has a high percentage Brits / Ham fans. Mercs. interests are not the same as these of a F1-fanatic :)

          2. @Nigel Similar to what @George.be has just said, surely you aren’t suggesting Nico is to blame for the ‘headaches’ at Merc, other than simply by his presence on the team.

            Firstly, the rivalry was very unique having come from their youthful friendship that saw them karting together and LH even hanging out with the Rosberg family. Secondly, the rivalry was completely a two way street 50/50 and wouldn’t exist but for their presence together on a dominating team. Thirdly, Merc happily brought this rivalry upon themselves because they are racers and would prefer the difficult task of managing a tough rivalry than to have one driver there who is not worthy of a top seat and not a challenge to the other driver. Fourthly if they had their way, including contractually, the rivalry would still be in front of the worlds’s eyes.

            It is only the on-track rivalry between VB and LH that will exist. There is no off-track rivalry anywhere remotely comparable to LH/ NR nor will there ever be.

            1. Dude– You’re going to make the F1 press cry if you keep being reasonable. :)

      3. First of all congrats on COTD. @jaymenon10

        And yes I agree, It will be interesting to see how Totto proceeds forward. He brought in Valtteri thinking he might not fight it with Hamilton. Totto wanted a peace of mind without having the same rivalry relationship between his drivers in the past, but after this win , oh boy things will change, Bottas has every reason to disobey an order should it come in the upcoming races. We will need to wait and see.

        Oh man interesting season, lots to look forward to !

      4. On Cotd, Russia is a bogey circuit for Hamilton, he was always slower than Nico here. In australia the last sector has a couple of 90º corners did suit Bottas better than Lewis, I just think their driving style and the car will make a difference on their relative pace as I think this car is not as well balanced as the 2016 and 2014, I think like 2015, Mercedes will struggle sometimes. Lewis a bit like Raikkonen needs that front end feel but this car just understeer and then snaps on the rear, a more classic driving style seems to suit it better.

    3. I think Sepang Circuit of Malaysia will be fun to watch this year. It was design during the Pre-DRS era. We will see how the 2016 modified track design will affect overtaking. The number of overtaking in MotoGP has increase because riders can take different line and brake late on the last corner. I think Sepang will be a lot better than Marina Bay circuit in Singapore.
      I will be going to the Malaysian GP this year. Its my first time going there and hopefully it will be memorable.

      1. Sadly it will also be the last in at least a few years – though I remember thinking Vettel was the last to win an F1 race at Silverstone before all that changed (move to Donington cancelled, new Silverstone paddok, yadda-yaddee) so I guess we’ll never know.

        1. Agree. I’m going to miss Malaysia on the Formula 1 calendar. We’ve had some great races there over the past few years. It was the 1st Grand Prix race I visited in 2007 and witnessed a classic Ferrari vs McLaren battle.

    4. If Sauber are to start a collaboration with McLaren and Honda, I wonder if Ferrari are glad Sauber could only afford to obtain their 2016 engine for this season (thus making Sauber’s engine data old in comparison to this year’s development).

      1. It’s probably why they run the 2016 engine

        1. Same happend to STR former Ferrari engine team. Maybe they have same contracts…

      2. So, who takes the other Ferrari engine, Force India? Do the Slims really want to buy in?

    5. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      2nd May 2017, 4:25

      Hopefully Red Bull’s Spain update can bring them into the leading fight. Would love to see Danny Ric and ‘Crazy’ Max going toe to toe with the Mercedes’ and the Ferrari’s. Even though the two Silver Arrows took themselves out of last years Spanish GP, it’d be brilliant to have a three way version of what transpired last year.

    6. It’s funny how people are saying Sauber will be Mclaren’s B team. I would think McLaren is Sauber’s B team given the current results.

      1. Monisha , will you be the Prost to our Arrows?

        1. I’m sorry i don’t get the joke. Is it about Peugeot?

    7. I really enjoyed the race. There was tension for the whole race: will bot burn his tyres out, will ham close rai (first stint), will rai beat vet, wth is vet doing going long, will bot wreck his race with that lock up?

      There was plenty of racing action and strategy even with no overtakes. It reminded me of one of the good races from pre-2009.

    8. Bottas after his run: “…..I REALLY could’ve won Silverstone 2014 with this thing! I know I could’ve!…”

    9. Amazing! To quote Alonso on Honda’s current situation.

      Another failure and they still haven’t found out what is the cause. Luckily they will continue to ‘investigate’ .. which means stand cluelessly in front of a drawing board trying to figure out a job that is rocket science to bunch of duffers.

    10. dont we all hope that red bull get backinto the mix in the next race. we dotn hold high hopes of anything spectaculer as a redbull front row lock out but we can always dream of something similer :)

      1. Yeah for sure, from a fan’s perspective. But I have to chuckle when drivers like SV or LH say they hope so and so gets closer, or they hope for closer racing in general. They always say this from a position of strength over the rival they’re heaping said hope on. SV can say he hopes RBR get stronger because he’s pretty sure that shy of a mid-season turnaround of historical proportions, they won’t catch up enough to be a threat this year. LH wanted closer racing too, but does anybody think that today he is sitting there saying gee I hope VB and Ferrari are even stronger at the next race?

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          2nd May 2017, 18:05

          @robbie
          I remember Vettel making a joke about this in 2015 when Rosberg said the usual “Hopefully these guys will be a little closer.” Vettel said, “Come on, do you really mean that?”

    11. Fukobayashi (@)
      2nd May 2017, 17:52

      Hate to say it but this was one of those Lewis weekends that starts on Friday and just spirals further down. His demeanour on the track parade could have told me without watching the race that holding 4th was the best he was going to do. I think F1 is ready for Max in a top car now, the old guard is slowly fading.

    12. Vettel just wants someone else to take points off Mercedes.

    13. “No obvious reason for Hamilton’s lack of pace in Russia”

      He’s unexplainably off in Singapore, Baku and now in Sochi. All new tracks with walls close. Not able to let loose and find the limits on those?

      1. But then again.. he’s ridiculously fast at Monaco. I don’t remember Hamilton being slow at Singapore.

        1. @todfod He was very slow last time out in Singapore. Same situation as in Sochi now.

          And I said new tracks here. Monaco is an old track. He knows that one well.

      2. He’s unexplainably off in Singapore, Baku and now in Sochi. All new tracks with walls close. Not able to let loose and find the limits on those?

        Hamilton was fast in FP 1 and 2 in Baku, Mercedes then made an enforced setup change to both cars that interrupted his rhythm on Saturday. On Sunday they setup his PU wrong leaving him down on power for a large part of the race. When he managed to fix this issue he immediately put in the fastest lap of the race before coasting to the checkered flag to conserve his PU.

        As for Singapore in recent races he:
        – Took pole and the win in 2014
        – Both Mercs were dreadful in 2015 but Ham was leading his teammate before retiring with mechanical issues.
        – Was hampered in practice with mechanical issues again in FP2 and FP3, never got on the pace from there.

        Then as Todfod says he has always been pretty on it in Monaco so I think your premise is flawed

        1. He was hopelessly slow in Singapore last year, same as in Baku qualifying. And now Sochi the whole weekend.

          To me suggests nerves are starting to creep in. Newer tracks which he is not 100% on it out of the box and has to warm up to, and can’t at the thought of binning it in the wall. Too big a reputation now, much to lose looking like a newb.

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