Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Vettel not sole reason for Ferrari’s title drought – Massa

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Felipe Massa, who drove for Ferrari when they last won a championship 12 years ago, says the team’s outgoing driver Sebastian Vettel should not solely carry the blame for their failure to win another title since then.

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Comment of the day

HK says the obstacles to reducing F1 car weights are largely political:

As an engineer and as a fan, I find the ever increasing minimum weight as annoying as anyone. However I do understand Ross Brawn’s frustration because politically his hands are tied behind his back. The weight factor really has to give way to all other factors considered.

Take the V6 power units. They are not pure racing engines. Far from optimal power-to-weight wise. They are merely a reflection of what the automotive industry along with its costumers and stakeholder require and expect.

Then the increasing weight of these power units. It wouldn’t have to be this way if manufactures weren’t forced to make the units last as long as they do. For example a five-engine allocation like in the old days would do just fine and would arguably be cheaper as well. However that doesn’t suit Formula Ones sustainability message. The sport cannot continue to be seen as a dirty business wasting material resources and burning lots of fuel and oil.

The car itself: Width got increased to make the cars look more aggressive. Weight got increased with it. But it’s good for marketing so its good for F1.

Wheels and tyres: We’re going to 18-inch not because an engineer deemed that to be the optimal size. No it’s for marketing and alignment with the automotive industry. Adding weight to keep another bunch of stakeholders happy.

The halo, further improved safety structures and tethers: All in alignment with what Jean Todt listed as one of the main threats to motorsport: getting a driver, marshals or worse someone from the public killed at an event.

It is politics that drive and define the regulations. Ross can’t stop it, there are too many considerations which override any desire to maintain or reduce weight. At least, with the current attitude.

What they shouldn’t forget and what Ross must continue to drive home is that a heavier object requires more downforce to go round a corner at a given speed. Also it will wear the tires faster. If they truly want to improve racing while lapping as fast as they do, they’ll not only have to cut downforce but they also have to reduce weight. But I guess they’ll try everything else before it comes to that.
HK (@Me4me)

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 48 comments on “Vettel not sole reason for Ferrari’s title drought – Massa”

    1. Massa is right. Hamilton was unbeatable.

      1. Nico Rosberg might have something to say about that.

      2. I think the Mercedes team package was best since 2014 (yes that is drivers included)

        1. Disagree, or well, I agree mercedes was the strongest package in recent times, think everyone does, but vettel did many mistakes and cost ferrari the 2018 title, schumacher or alonso at their best would’ve done that, 2017 would’ve maybe been possible but vettel wasn’t that bad that season.

          1. @esploratore That crash in Singapore 2017 also cost him any realistic change of the title though. Along with Baku, Canada, Mexico and Silverstone.

            1. Bruno Verrari
              28th May 2020, 12:55

              Singapore was started by MadMax…

            2. Ah Bruno…

            3. So I suppose the reliability in Japan and Malaysia where he lost 50pts to Hamilton does not matter just that one race in Singapore or the brake failure in Mexico.

              Delusions of Grandeur.

            4. @rockie Hamilton also had technical issues (and he got rammed by a blundering Vettel in Mexico). These things happen. A huge list of driver induced blunders however are … well driver related

              You math is also incredibly suspect. Vettel was P2 in Japan and he actually finished 4th in Malaysia. He couldn’t expect much more than that anyway. So at best he lost 18 points. Hamilton lost more points than that with his problems.

              Delusions of Grandeur

              Trying to act cool with expressions which you don’t understand the meaning of. Glorious irony.

    2. Re cotd:
      Probably in my top 10 of most sensible and balanced comment I’ve ever read in the comments section with over 7 years of me coming here. Getting tired of logging on and scrolling thru what seems to be an endless stream of negative comments and complaints. The most shocking ones till date are the ones that tried justifying the actions of Kyle Larson, using a racial slur (mostly playing it down as ‘normal’ language in gaming). And for the regular shock value comments after an announced regulation change:
      “F1 is dead!”
      “This is my last season watching”
      “Bring back *insert anything from past eras* this and that”
      Relax!

      @me4me thank you for the comment
      @anon thanks for your ever detailed comments too

      to everyone else: Just enjoy the show

      1. Anthony Blears
        28th May 2020, 2:50

        I absolutely agree with your sentiment. @Me4me – superb comment.

      2. @lums @Anthony Blears
        Same here. I also agree with your sentiment.

      3. Complaining about complaining..

        1. @balue: Spot on! We need to lobby Keith to implement a complaint cap. With built-in redundancy checks and automated opinion balancing. ;-)

          Also enjoyed the CoTD very much.

          Struggle to imagine F1 without politics unless the can magically banish money, power, fame and super-sized egos in the noble pursuit of going in circles faster.

      4. Telling teams to build the fastest car would produce the best racing. This means no limits on tyre size, engine configuration, width…

    3. Ferrari always had big title droughts and it is never their fault for loosing the title.

    4. Vettel isn’t the sole reason for Ferrari’s title drought, but he certainly carries some of the blame.

    5. Well, if a team has the two best drivers of the generation for a combined decade and has nothing to show for it, it’d take a … special intellect to link that to the men inside the cockpit. Thanks, Felipe, for stating the obvious.

    6. While I agree with the COTD in principle, there are still some things I don’t quite get and here’s one:
      Why would the PUs have to be made heavier to ‘last as long as they do’ instead of keeping the figure stable? In general, the thing about increasing the overall minimum car+driver weight just to achieve something instead of keeping the figure stable is something I’ve struggled to comprehend, the same with ‘standard’ parts as opposed to parts built in-house by the teams, etc.

      1. @jerejj the point he was making is that regulation changes which result in increased weight like, for example, reducing the number of PUs available, is more about the sustainability “message” than actually being sustainable.

        So there’s increased weight for no reason other than political/marketing—arguably the cost is the same, if not more, to have 3 or 4 PUs last an entire season of 20+ races.

      2. His post is mostly correct but the hybrid engines are always going to be heavy. Period. Even if they could be built just one for each session there is no more than 10kg you could take away from their 180kg+ weight. It is just very heavy engine. It is turbo instead of naturally aspirated. Turbos add weight, plumbing adds weight and intercoolers and whatnot add weight. 1.6 liter turbo engine is always going to weigh more than naturally aspirated engine double of its size. Hybrid has tons of electric parts. Batteries are heavy, electric motors are heavy, wiring is heavy, cooling is heavy, electronic control boxes are heavy and all of this is attached to the car with more heavy parts. And it all takes lots of additional parts that also add to the weight. More sensors, more fia mandated stuff to police the teams, more airflow to the engine components which add drag and complexity…

        Of course when you add all this weight the cars become slower. Which is why the 2017 massive increase in downforce levels happened. The cotd gets that perfectly right. To reverse some of the effects of this massively heavy tech the cars need more downforce to get that lap time deficit back. This also means bigger wings and tires. Which are also heavier. The hybrid engines are the result of basically all of the problems f1 have now. One team domination, massive aero levels which mean less overtaking and having to have drs, mid field financial problems, pirelli tire issues, customer cars, engine manufacturer teams domination…

        1. @socksolid The massive increase in downforce for 2017 didn’t happen ‘because’ of the overall car+driver weight. It was for other reasons. To make the cars faster and more aggressive, yes, but not because of the weight. The lap times weren’t very slow for F1’s standards in 2014, 2015, and to an extent still 2016 because of that. The pole laps of those seasons weren’t (most of the time) slower than in the previous seasons because of the overall weight, but mainly because of the deliberate DF-decrease ahead of the hybrid era, and despite that, occasionally they even lapped faster than during the V8 or even late-V10 era. If it were solely about the weight, not even a single 2014, 2015, or 2016 pole lap would’ve been faster than any V8 or late-V10 era equivalent.

    7. Massa must know a thing or two about Ferrari’s guts, feeling the heat himself. The 2008 championship, for those who didn’t have the chance to see it, was lost in the pit stops. Fuel hose issue, wrong tyre calls, and so on. Of course the Piquet Jr crashgate stole part of that sole point that would give Ferrari the title. Add to that some spinnings by Massa himself, and you’ll see why lady luck favoured Hamilton in that FINAL lap in Interlagos.

      1. colin grayson
        28th May 2020, 11:03

        where was the luck that favoured hamilton in the final lap at interlagos?

    8. Re the COTD – some interesting points, but I think looking purely at weight is too simplistic. On a basic level, there comes a point where ‘adding lightness’ gives diminishing returns, or even begins to harm performance. That’s if we’re talking solely about laptime without thinking about driveability, safety, reliability, and so on. In truth, there’s a very wide window of overall vehicle weight, depending on the approach taken to how performance is achieved.

      But even if you want to talk in absolutes, comparing approaches doesn’t come out negatively for the current car configuration. Let’s look at some figures:

      In 2005 the weight limit was 600kg including the driver but excluding fuel. The cars had very high revving 3000cc V10 engines, producing, supposedly, up to about 950hp with around 390Nm of torque. This gives a power to weight ratio of 1583hp per tonne. By any measure, that’s a mindblowing figure.

      In 2018> the weight limit was 728kg including the driver but excluding fuel. The cars had 1600cc hybrid V6 engines prudicing, under boost, around 1160hp and a whopping 500Nm of torque. This gives a power to weight ratio of 1593hp per tonne. Almost the same power to weight ratio than the legendary V10 cars.

      So the 2018> car is 128kg, or around 21% heavier. The power unit produces 210hp, or around 22% more horsepower. And they have access to 110Nm, or 28% more torque.

      How does this translate to performance? Well, let’s compare some laptimes. Big caveats here – even though some circuits still have fundamentally the same layout, changes to surface, kerbs, and the prevailing attitude towards enforcing track limits, mean that a laptime set in 2005 is not likely to be absolutely representative of one set in 2019. Even still, it’s an interesting exercise.

      At the 2005 Canadian GP, Button put his BAR-Honda on pole with a time of 1:15.217. Sadly JB couldn’t translate that into a win, thanks to an accident which put him out of the race. Eventually, Raikkonen won in the McLaren, with a total time over 70 laps of 1h32m09s. Along the way, he set a fastest lap of 1:14.384.

      At the 2019 race, Vettel took the top spot in qualifying with a 1:10.240 (4.977 seconds faster). Again the pole sitter failed to translate pole into a win, this time in controversial circumstances with Vettel receiving a penalty that dropped him behind Hamilton, who went on to win the race in 1h29m07s (around 3 minutes faster). Bottas took the honour of fastest lap, setting a new lap record in the process with a 1:13.078.

      Now onto Japan. The qualifying in 2005 was wet so let’s disregard that and look at the race fastest lap. That was set by Raikkonen again, with a 1:31.54, along his way to winning the race after 53 laps in 1:29:02.212.

      In 2019, it was Vettel on pole with a best effort of 1:27.024 (4.516s faster than Raikkonen’s best time in ’05). Once again, Vettel ended up finishing behind a Mercedes, this time piloted by Bottas who completed 52 laps in 1:21:46.755. Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:30.983.

      As I say, caveats apply, but what seems to come through is that the current cars are generally faster than the 2005 spec cars. Lap records which had remained unbroken since 04 and 05 are tumbling; particularly impressive given how the current cars don’t actually get anywhere near to the outright qually pace in the race. Whereas in 05, due to the one-lap qualifying setup and in-race refuelling, they often set faster times on a Sunday than the Saturday.

      So what can we conclude? On a basic level we have to concede that the overall vehicle weight, while having an impact on performance if all other things are equal, does not necessarily mean that cars are slower.

      Current cars are faster. Both in terms of single-lap performance, but generally over the course of a race distance.

      They have a fair bit more power, and power has risen by a greater amount than the vehicle weight, giving current cars a better power-to-weight ratio than the lighter cars of yesteryear.

      They are far more reliable, with considerably fewer race-ending failures throughout a season.

      You might be tempted to conclude that these big heavy cars with lots of power are straight-line specialists, making all their laptime gains on the straights. But even here the statistics don’t seem to bear this out. In 05 in Monaco, the fastest lap of the whole weekend was a 1:13.644. In 2019, not only would that not have gotten him into Q2, he’d have only just split the two Williams at the back of the grid, being slower than every single driver bar Kubica.

      Modern F1 cars are faster in every single condition. They’re also safer and more reliable. And while I won’t demonstrate it here in what is already a too-long post, they also produce closer racing. There is a fixation on the weight of the cars as if this is some kind of cure-all, or that it’s an abstract and arbitrary figure. The cars aren’t fast in spite of the weight. The weight is the sum total of the components which make the cars fast. Removing weight at this point would mean sacrificing one of the following: performance, safety, or reliability. A sacrifice made with no specific goal or justification beyond a basic emotional response of ‘weight=bad’.

      1. @mazdachris Bravo! 👏🏼 great comment! Well done.

      2. @mazdachris
        COTD!! Well said.
        We cant keep looking at the past when the current and future is beautiful.

      3. @mazdachris
        I’m sorry to say but your post is full of mistruths and imsunderstandings. You should maybe google some of the stuff before you write so you could have a basic understanding of the topic and your opinions would suit the facts and not the other way around.

        “In 2018> the weight limit was 728kg including the driver but excluding fuel. The cars had 1600cc hybrid V6 engines prudicing, under boost, around 1160hp and a whopping 500Nm of torque. This gives a power to weight ratio of 1593hp per tonne. Almost the same power to weight ratio than the legendary V10 cars.”

        V10: 950 hp. Hybrid is also 950hp. Not 1160 hp. You should really put some effort into checking these numbers. Let’s take your weights. V10 car weight is 600 + 20kg fuel. Hybrid is 728kg with 20kg fuel. V10 weighs 620kg and has 1.53 hp/kg. Hybrid weighs 748kg and has 1.270 hp/kg. You are not even close. Even if you put 100kg of fuel into the hybrid and 180kg of fuel into the v10 you still won’t get your fantasy numbers (1.15hp/kg for hybrid and 1.19hp/kg for v10). Not to mention v10 gives that 950hp all the time the driver has 100% throttle. In hybrid that peak power is only available 33 seconds per lap. The rest of the time it is lower. So the 950hp number which are going to argue about for the hybrid is also extremely optimistic. Not low.

        It is also just totally absurd how you compare lap times of modern f1 car to a v10 car with GROOVED slicks and make your “comparisons” about the engines when such direct comparison is not possible. Nobody has even said the modern cars aren’t fast or faster. Of course they are the fastest. More tire and downforce than ever before. More than the ground effect cars, more than the fan car, more than any two of the 2005 cars combined. They are fast despite of the engine they are using.

        “So what can we conclude?”
        I’d conclude that your opinions need more research and a thorough fact checking.

        “Removing weight at this point would mean sacrificing one of the following: performance, safety, or reliability”
        No. All it takes is to take out the heavy, expensive and troubling engine and put a 80kg lighter, cheaper and faster engine in the car. You get all kinds of positives out of that. All of which you sadly left out.

        1. @socksolid

          I’m afraid what you’re saying here is not really accurate. Yes it’s true, I’m counting the peak horsepower of the power unit at full deployment. Which as you correctly point out, is not available through the entire lap. However you claim that the V10 has 950hp “all the time the driver has 100% throttle” is simply not true – and not how engines work. The engine has the capability to develop that horsepower at its peak. And boy were those V10s peaky. Less so than the V8s which replaced them, but they had a very narrow power band and had to be kept very high in the rpm range to develop the power. The horsepower has a linear correlation to the rpm; as rpm rises, so does horsepower. The point is, because the V10s are naturally aspirated, the amount of power available is dependent on engine speed.

          Now I suspect you probably know this already, but for the benefit of anyone who doesn’t, in a hybrid turbo power unit the dependency on rpm is removed; air is being rammed into the cylinders by the turbocharger, not the displacement of the pistons, and additional power is being fed to the wheels by the electric motor. What this means is that there is more power available at low RPM. In a naturally aspirated engine, especially one tuned for very high rpm, there’s a significant amount of power dropoff when you shift up gears, or any time you drop out of the power band. Out of corners is an example – if you’re out of the power band on the apex and put your foot down, the torque takes time to build up as the engine RPM rises.

          Hybrid systems get around all of the drawbacks of naturally aspirated engines. They have impressive peak power figures but the real quality lies in the ability to serve up power exactly when it’s needed. There’s a tradeoff, yes. You need to carry lots of additional hardware; turbocharger, MGU-K, MGU-K, battery pack, controller units, cables, and other anciliaries. But on the flipside, there’s no way to give a naturally aspirated engine the same power characteristics in terms of useable power available exactly when the driver needs it.

          Put simply, if you took the hybrid PU out of a modern F1 car, and replaced it with a naturally aspirate engine, the car would be slower. Regardless of the weightloss.

          1. However you claim that the V10 has 950hp “all the time the driver has 100% throttle” is simply not true – and not how engines work.

            The point I was making is obvious. The v10 gives 100% of power all the time (not 950hp obviously) but the hybrid only gives 100% power at maximum of 33s per lap. The rest of the lap being a lot less.

            The horsepower has a linear correlation to the rpm

            Not really. Naturally aspirated engines make more power at higher revs but it is not linear correlation. You could say linear correlation with rpm and torque but even then… I’d suggest more reading. Every engine is heavily dependant on engine speed when it comes to torque. The v10s were not really peaky because the cars were so light. The v8s were very peaky.

            Now I suspect you probably know this already, but for the benefit of anyone who doesn’t, in a hybrid turbo power unit the dependency on rpm is removed; air is being rammed into the cylinders by the turbocharger, not the displacement of the pistons, and additional power is being fed to the wheels by the electric motor. What this means is that there is more power available at low RPM.

            Which adds a lot of weight. Your argument about low rpms is also wrong because f1 car never uses low rpm. What the heavy electric motor is used for in the turbo is to help with turbo lag and maybe prevent overboost by recharging the battery.

            In a naturally aspirated engine, especially one tuned for very high rpm, there’s a significant amount of power dropoff when you shift up gears, or any time you drop out of the power band.

            Not really. The gears are spaced very close to each other, especially at higher speeds. The engines are heavily optimized with this gap between gears in mind so they don’t really drop “outside”.

            But on the flipside, there’s no way to give a naturally aspirated engine the same power characteristics in terms of useable power available exactly when the driver needs it.

            Naturally aspirated engines are perfect for racing purpose. They deliver that high peak power, have instant throttle response and are super light. Hybrid engines are best for reducing pollution in road cars. The engines are massive in size and weight and complexity. The only real benefit for hybrid race engine is that … well I can’t really think anything. Hybrids are so heavy that they don’t even give back enough lap time to offset that weight penalty. You can calculate the numbers but to be honest I’d try to understand the topic little more before that. All your numbers are wildly inaccurate.

            Put simply, if you took the hybrid PU out of a modern F1 car, and replaced it with a naturally aspirate engine, the car would be slower.

            Put it simply a naturally aspirated f1 car with similar horsepower number would weigh 100kg less. That means that in qualifying and in race the naturally aspirated car would be faster on every lap of the race. The naturally aspirated engine can go longer on a set of tires or push harder because it has less tire wear. There is just no competition. The hybrid’s only advantage is that it can do the race with less fuel but even then the naturally aspirated car would be lighter at the start of the race.

            I really don’t want you to do any more math because you obviously have trouble finding real world numbers or using them corectly but just the energy you get from 50kg of fuel versus 50kg of electronics already massively favours the naturally aspirated engine. I’ll do a simple example for you. Let’s say we have 50kg of weight we can use for fuel or making the car hybrid. 50kg of f1 fuel has about 50 MJ/kg energy which at 30% efficiency (!) comes to 750MJ of total number.

            50kg of hybrid electronics can under f1 regulations produce 2MJ energy per lap + unlimited energy from the mgu-h. Let’s make the mgu-h really really good to really make this comparison favour the hybrid. So total of 4MJ per lap (162hp when active). Let’s say the race is 60 laps long. We get 240MJ out from the hybrid at 100% efficiency. That is less than third we get from the naturally aspirated engine. Even if we raise that f rom 4MJ to 8MJ it is still not close. The hybrid is hopeless in comparison. It is a road car engine, it is meant to save fuel. Literally the only thing hybrids do better is save fuel. Not be fast on race track.

      4. @mazdachris I couldn’t agree more with you, although there’s one little error in there and it’s the minimum weight for 2018, which was 734 kg, not 728. 728 was the equivalent for 2017 but got six kg added to it for the following season because of the Halo.

        1. @jerejj Ah, sorry about that, and thanks for the correction. Unfortunately I’m not able to go back and edit, otherwise I would. It still puts the power to weight ratio in the same ballpark so doesn’t really change much.

          I just find it fascinating that two cars which have almost identical power to weight, can have quite a big difference in performance. And counterintuitively it’s the bigger, heavier car which is the faster.

          1. @mazdachris Indeed concerning the second paragraph.

      5. Well, arguemented there @mazdachris, and a very welcome add on to the solid argumentation made against weight as the bigger issue in the CotD from @me4me.

        I kind of agree with both of you:
        1. yes, these cars are heavier. But they are about as fast, a bit faster (although i am sure that nowadays one could build a better V10 car then in 2005 to those same rules too). The racing is clearly better though IMO since we aren’t stuck on refuelling anymore.
        Also, look at how good Indycar racing was when they had big heavy machines in the 1990’s. Those were fast beasts. As impressive I think as the F1 cars of the day, be it with a different focus.

        2. The CotD is right in explaining that it is not easy to lessen the weight – it always means comprimising on some other priority that was made – be it safety, wishes to see “cool looking” wide cars with large rims, car manufacturers showcasing engines tech or showing the equipment is not thrown away willy nilly after one session anymore to playfully waste resources.

        What is important to consider, is that while having lesser weight is always good for a race car, it might not be the most important consideration in the larger view (including the views of “partners”). We need the debate, it helps find new ideas on how to improve the sport.

        1. Thanks @bascb. I think when you get down to it, there is always a compromise to be made when designing a racing car, and those compromises are framed in the technical regulations. Decisions are often made as much for emotional reasons as they are for practical.

          For instance, if you look at the change of wheel diameter, you see a lot of arguments that this change is only for the sake of it looking good. Well, of course, aesthetics are important because you want people to watch the sport, and sponsors want people to look at the cars. But at the same time there is a far more nuanced set of considerations. The bigger diameter wheels, for example, won’t be significantly heavier when paired with tyres, but they will fundamentally alter the characteristics of the car.

          Low profile tyres are more stable, they are less prone to oscillations, roll less through turns. It’s a modern approach, one which has been adopted in road cars yes, but also one which you see on most modern race cars. F1 really stands alone in having tiny wheels with balloon tyres. When you really start to consider it, you have to accept that the current type of wheel endures not because it is a technically better solution, but rather because of the aesthetics, and the familiarity with the driving characteristics.

          Low profile tyres are a better technical solution, potentially faster, but they are a compromise – getting back to my original point. The chunky tyres are a compromise. But you can’t look at the added weight of the larger diameter wheel and criticise it in isolation, because that ignores the existence of the compromise, and by extension, the benefits you’re getting on the other side of the scale.

          Applying this on a broader scale, the weight of the cars is a consequence of a compromise, and like all compromises, it’s one with many aspects. There are many positives that come from modern F1 cars regulations. They’re incredibly fast, incredibly safe, and incredibly reliable. They’re also great showcases for the technology partners, and yes, they do look very cool. Heavy cars are a compromise. But also, light cars are a compromise. The cars are wide now, before that they were narrow – made narrow because of a compromise towards safety. Every possible permutation of racing car design you can possibly imagine will balance positives against negatives. It’s very easy to get stuck in a mindset where you focus solely on those negative consequences of the compromise, and believe it would be possible to eliminate those negatives without also sacrificing some of the positives.

        2. @bascb — I would only note two caveats. They are tangential and don’t change your main points, but I think they make sense to comment on given the thread.

          although i am sure that nowadays one could build a better V10 car then in 2005 to those same rules too

          Probably, but since manufacturers are not interested in V10s at the moment, doing so would also likely be more expensive. Either outright, or at least when considering unit cost of an engine that would not have practical applications for the company.

          having lesser weight is always good for a race car
          This one will probably seem pedantic, and I apologize, but I think it should be more along the lines of, “having the minimum weight” or “having no extraneous weight” is always good for a race car. As @mazdachris and you both point out, sometimes shaving additional weight is detrimental because of what that would require removing.

          1. Valid points to consider indeed @hobo.

    9. Ferrari as a team has so much baggage that Vettel was the least of their problems. Just their history alone haunts them and puts more pressure to perform. Given the money they spend and the ‘status’ they have in F1, they can’t work as an efficient team that battles for the WCC with a clean mindset (like Mercedes), but as spoiled by FIA brat that feels entitled to success and each years’ failure builds up making them gasp and forcing them to make erratic decisions.

      They same thing happened with McLaren after 2012, instead of looking how to make well-thought decisions to work as a team back to the top, they felt entitled to their previous success and arrogant, they didn’t realise their mistakes, like claiming the chassis was the best on the field and only Honda was keeping them back…and once they switched to another constructor all the flaws of their chassis were obvious, they finished with only half the points Renault had in 2018 (like they finished with only half the points Williams had in 2014 when both had Mercedes PU). Only after they realised they weren’t the great team they once were, they started improving.

      Ferrari, if once again the car isn’t there to fight for the WCC, need to change their mindset. Spare the statements like “if a decade goes through (since 2008) without a championship, it will be a tragedy” that Marchionne once said, stop threatening that they’ll walk away if the FIA abolishes their veto and the ‘heritage’ extra payment that only they recieve, leave aside for a moment their proud history of dominance (that let’s face it, it wasn’t that big…their ‘big’ dominant seasons were just a spell in the late 70s with Lauda and Scheckter and another in the 00s with Schumacher’s dominance, which due to the big TV audiences of that time, created the perception that they always were by far the most successful team, other than that a couple wins here and there)…and start working form zero again with a goal to improve and success will soon follow.

      1. Sure McLaren imploded after Hamilton left them and Whitmarsh destructive influence on the team was more and more apparent.

        The thing with Ferrari is though, they did have a car capable of winning the championship for 2017 and they had the outright strongest car for 2018. It was Vettel’s constant on track blunders that cost them any reaistic change of the title in those seasons. Ferrari did their part for those seasons.

        For 2019 they also looked to have the better car at the start of the season. The team as a whole looked to be struggling with setup though. Australia was a disaster (same for Red Bull though), but Bahrain they were fastest again. Baku also looked like Leclerc could have taken the win there until he crashed during Q3. The weird focus on Vettel as their lead driver while Leclerc was clearly the stronger driver of the two also cost them a lot.

        So yes 2019 being such a disaster is largely to blame on Ferrari. Not so much on Vettel since he was the #2 driver (or should have been) that season. But then that also exposed Vettel as a cause for Ferrari failure. ince just like 2014, Vettel got beaten by a promising rookie driver. So who’s to say he wasn’t holding back the team in 2015 and 2016 as well?

        1. @f1osaurus From 2014 till 2016 no one other than Mercedes and their drivers could realisticly fight for the WDC. They had an almost unprecedented advantage with the best chassis and the best PU and with the token system that was in place back then, no other team could hope they’ll catch them soon. As soon as the token system was removed in 2017 and with the new regulations that Ferrari and Red Bull hoped would help them get back in the mix, the championship wasn’t out of reach, although is was still difficult to win it over Mercedes.

          • In 2015 Vettel as up until the Mexican GP (the second-to-last race) ahead of Rosberg in the standings, with a Ferrari clearly a step down from Mercedes! and in a season when Mercedes dominated, he was the only one who took a pole and 3 wins.
          • In 2016 Mercedes was even better, winning 19/21 races! Red Bull was also better than Ferrari and Ferrari didn’t win anything that year. In hindsight it looked as if Ferrari sacrificed that year to prepare better for the 2017 regs.
          • In 2017 Ferrari was in better shape, still inferior to Mercedes, but they maximised their ‘luck’ and opportunities and by the skin of his teeth Vettel was ahead until Singapore…when in a race Ferrari should have won, the start went wrong (racing incident in my opinion, Vettel could have known/seen Raikkonen’s great start) and the championship basicly went to Mercedes again after that.
          • In 2018 Ferrari finaly produced a good car (on par with Mercedes) and Vettel could have won it. And sure by the looks of it you can easily blame Vettel for losing it in Germany and he has a big share of the blame. But even after that race, the difference was far from over, only 17pts. Then Ferrari went completely in the wrong direction design-wise and wasted 5-6 races gradualy getting slower and slower until they realised that in the US GP, removing all the ‘upgades’ from the car but by then Hamilton was already with the one hand on the trophy.
          And look we can blame Vettel all day for crashing in Germany (when he was just unlucky that he slided in that place where there was no runoff and not in another where there were miles of asphalt runoff, like Hamilton did the next year), but he tanged with other drivers in every possible way, even in ways that the most logical outcome was that the other driver would spin, and he always, always found himself spinning. And i’m sorry, but i can’t understand how an 4-time WDC and 12-season F1 veteran forgot how to drive and started spinning halfway in the season, other than a problem with the chassis.
          • In 2019 Mercedes took 5 consecutive 1-2s and Hamilton won the first 6/8 races, it clear as day that Mercedes were going to win that easily. Ferrari, leaving aside all the mayhem tryning to control Leclerc and Vettel, after the summer break took 6 consecutive pole positions, with a car that had a ‘mysterious’ PU advantage that everyone (even the FIA) agrees that was illegal, but couldn’t prove it.

          In the end if you still blame Vettel, where was Raikkonen? Vettel took 12 poles and 14 wins in 5 years, Raikkonen in the same car only 2 poles and 1 win. And sure Raikkonen isn’t the great driver he once was but he was still good, but in 5 years 2 poles and 1 win will definately not win the championship against an all powerful Mercedes.
          And Vettel may not have won the championship for Ferrari but since 2015 Ferrari actually improved their car under his and Kimi’s guidance over the years (still they kept making mistakes but they improved slightly), as opposed to Alonso’s years when they went backwards from a car capable for the championship in 2010, to a good-ish mediocre car in 2011-13 and a terrible in 2014.

        2. @black 2017 they could have won just fine. If Vettel hadn’t squandered 57 points in Singapore, Canada and Baku. Plus then more points in Silverstone and Maxico.

          A better lead driver would have taken that crown for Ferrari in 2017.

          Lol you want to blame Vettels’s spinning on the car? He has done that all through his career. It’s his red mist episodes. He just cannot think straight when he comes under some pressure.

          Vettel always feels he MUST do something and then he overdoes whatever it is he feels he must do. It started already in 2009 when he crashed into Kubica in the first race. Pretty much killed his championship with that blunder too. Then he killed it some more by spinning off in the next race and then some more by crashing out in Monaco. Of course it was all because of the dominant Brawn car that he lost that championship ….

          Really Vettel is the epitomy of a driver who can only win if he has the best car by a big margin and then doesn;t have a team mate to pressure him either. Vettel only wins from the front row, rarely manages an overtake without contact and also rarely comes out of a battle without spinning.

          The issue he had in 2018 was that the whole season was one big red mist phase. He always had to battle with Hamilton who would be quite close to him. And those situations just tend to end up with Vettel spinning or ramming into someone.

          “2019 Mercedes took 5 consecutive 1-2s”, Bahrain and Baku should have been Ferrari wins. So that doesn’t really show Mercedes dominated, but rather how poor the Ferrari drivers were performing. Leclerc was unlucky in Bahrain, but Vettel was just incredibly poor in Bahrain. Baku, Leclerc had it in the bag and then he crashed. Vettel also messed up in Q3 by not taking the tow. So he started behind and you dont pass there. Unless it’s Vettel in the lead and he bottles it under braking (2018).

          That’s the problem with Hamilton being so good. People (Hamilton haters) like to pretend it’s just Mercedes domination, but the reality is that at easily half of his wins in 2019 he did not actually have the fastest car at all. In Mexico even the third fastest car, but both Verstappen and the Ferrari drivers just couldn’t get it done.

          2019 really could have been a much better season if drivers (besides Hamilton I guess) didn’t make so many mistakes.

          “In the end if you still blame Vettel, where was Raikkonen? ”
          Raikkonen was horrible. He was even worse than Massa and Alonso was much further ahead of Massa than Vettel ever was of Raikkonen.

          In fact over 2018, Vettel and Raikkonen were on par. Just imagine how bad Vettel was to be on par with Raikkonen. Only difference was that Raikkonen had one more DNF. Funny how you do see that Raikkonen was horrible, but not that Vettel was just as bad.

      2. @black — I would agree that Vettel was probably “the least of [Ferrari’s] problems,” but only because he is a good driver. However, that does not mean he wasn’t a big issue still. I personally do not think Ferrari was in a position to win the title the last few years (some disagree, that’s fine). But regardless of whether or not they were, Vettel lost them points in a lot of races with stupid mistakes.

        You say:

        …but he [tangled] with other drivers in every possible way, even in ways that the most logical outcome was that the other driver would spin, and he always, always found himself spinning. And i’m sorry, but i can’t understand how an 4-time WDC and 12-season F1 veteran forgot how to drive and started spinning halfway in the season, other than a problem with the chassis.

        You may not be able to understand it, but when Kimi wasn’t spinning, and when Charles came in and in his first year on the team outclassed Vettel, it seems difficult to blame the car. Vettel struggled at RBR when he didn’t have a car he liked. He struggled at times at Ferrari. Ricciardo drove around the issues (if there were any), Leclerc drove around the issues (if there were any). Vettel may not be the only issue at Ferrari (certainly not) and he may not be the biggest issue, but he has been an issue.

        1. @hobo

          Vettel may not be the only issue at Ferrari (certainly not) and he may not be the biggest issue, but he has been an issue.

          Totally agree with that sentence. He made mistakes undeniably, the Baku red mist, Brazil crash with Leclerc, that weird Monza spin when he came back on track and crashed into Stroll…and many more. But i believe Ferrari’s structure and their politics were far more to blame all those years.

          In the only season Vettel had a car capable to win the WDC, he crashed in Germany (unlucky because he it was one of the smallest slides in the wet, yet it was in the worst possible corners, other drivers have slided worse but due to the miles of tarmac on other corners had no consequenses). After that race, Ferrari were nowhere in the wet again in Hungary. Vettel won in Belgium and the championship was still open and after that due to their failed ‘upgrades’ they spent 2 months with their pace vanished letting Hamilton seal the WDC.

          As for the spinning, firstly i thought it was only Vettel to blame for the same reason, it didn’t happen to Kimi. But if you take a look at those infamous late-2018 spins, once Vettel touched the other car it looked as if his car was made out of feather and Mercedes/Red Bull were made out of pure steel. They seemed illogical. I don’t know…maybe Vettel’s driving style never suited Ferrari and maybe in the stressfull situations like fighting for the WDC, or having the entire Ferrari fanbase and press blame you, he tended to overdrive the car and ‘spins happened’. He seems as a much more stressfull person since he joined Ferrari. When he was at Red Bull he looked so much more confortable in that enviroment. Whether he retires or moves to another team, leaving Ferrari is the correct decision in my opinion.

    10. Regarding Massa’s comments… let’s not forget 2018 though. Kimi had more points in the second half of the season, the same number of poles and wins in the second half, until the last race when he retired.

      Beyond that, over the course of the entire season, Seb’s lead over Kimi grew by 80pts due to Kimi’s retirements. Seb lost 15pts to Kimi when Seb retired once. The net effect was Seb gained 65pts on Kimi due to both of their retirements over the season. Seb’s total points lead at the end of the season, 69.

      2018 was not Seb dominating Kimi in any sense.

      1. @hobo He was dominating Raikkonen on pace, and I’m not sure where you got the figure that Raikkonen lost 80 points relative to Vettel from. He lost 12 points in Bahrain (potentially 15), lost 10 in Spain, 15 in Belgium and 12 in Abu Dhabi. That counts to 52 points at best.

        1. @mashiat — I should have been more clear, in that the gap between them grew by 65pts in Seb’s favor during those 5 races where one or the other DNFed.

          But you are right, that isn’t exactly how it works, one would need to take into account where both were or may have been in the finishing order. But using your count puts Kimi 17 points adrift of Seb. Which is basically the same point I made. So many people say Kimi didn’t care anymore and I would even agree with him being very up and down from race to race in terms of attitude or how much he seemed to care or perform. Seb having a basically even season with a driver meeting that description, is not someone who is going to lead a team to championships, imo.

          1. @hobo Vettel was much better than Raikkonen on pace, but Vettel was extremely incident-prone throughout the season, which Raikkonen was not really. So when people state that Vettel was dominating Raikkonen, it is meant purely in terms of pace, not point accumulation, because Vettel was underwhelming in that.

    11. Well, vettel did not give the team any reason to believe that if their operations were better, he could be the WDC.

      If he were operating to the fullest of his capacity and their expectations, he would be offered another extension.

      It’s not the team’s solely fault either.

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