Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011

No home advantage for Webber at Red Bull

2011 Australian GP team review

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Red Bull began 2011 the way they ended 2010 – with Sebastian Vettel charging to victory.

But the scale of his advantage will be a worry to team mate Mark Webber.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 1 3
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’23.529 (-0.866) 1’24.395
Race position 1 5
Laps 58/58 58/58
Pit stops 2 3

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58
Sebastian Vettel 98.109 93.006 92.713 92.803 92.342 92.605 92.502 92.537 93.24 92.572 92.669 92.902 93.698 112.075 98.385 91.548 90.8 91.81 91.018 91.055 91.288 91.084 90.875 92.24 91.699 91.328 91.568 91.113 91.339 91.054 91.707 91.611 91.406 91.871 92.597 113.737 99.321 93.632 91.005 90.53 90.14 90.419 90.503 89.844 90.47 90.669 90.297 90.471 90.71 90.732 90.873 91.087 90.671 90.656 90.899 89.962 90.516 91.946
Mark Webber 101.467 93.725 93.208 92.933 92.899 92.916 92.9 93.262 93.33 94.248 114.995 100.221 93.661 94.118 94.236 92.497 92.534 92.905 92.73 92.529 92.301 92.342 92.472 92.746 92.92 111.733 97.841 91.348 91.386 90.924 90.796 90.397 90.562 90.474 90.8 90.496 90.627 90.482 90.739 91.67 113.49 97.445 89.686 90.108 89.803 89.804 90.53 90.122 89.713 89.6 90.165 89.825 89.996 89.695 91.124 90.203 90.472 92.279
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011

Sebastian Vettel

Just like last year, Vettel was the fastest man in all three parts of qualifying.

He set a new fastest lap of Melbourne with a time of 1’23.529 at the beginning of Q3. He was on course to better it with his final effort until he ran wide at turn 14, but still had the best part of a second in hand over his team mate.

Though secretly concerned about the vulnerability of his KERS-less car at the start, he got away cleanly and was almost two-and-a-half seconds ahead by the end of the first lap.

Vettel was never headed in the race, except for three laps after he made his first pit stop. It was a near-perfect start to his title defence.

Mark Webber

Webber’s form in his home race has often been a weakness and the yawning gap to his team mate will have been doubly painful.

After qualifying Webber said: “Obviously, disappointed to get bumped off the front row as well. Tried my best. Mystified to the gap to Seb, to be honest. I will have to go through it and have a look at where I can improve and go from there.”

By the end of 58 laps’ racing Webber was 38 seconds behind his team mate, partly due to needing an extra pit stop for tyres.

An error on his out-lap following that third pit stop cost him fourth place to Fernando Alonso.

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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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106 comments on “No home advantage for Webber at Red Bull”

  1. Mark, Sebastian is faster than you….

    .. but seems like the tyres played a big part in it. Webber evidently had trouble switching them on, or in fact, had trouble having confidence in them to the same level Seb did.

    Either way, he looked pretty damn dejected after the weekend.

  2. At least Vettel didn’t walk away with the fastest lap, god it was tough to find any faults with Vettel’s performance all through the weekend.

    Webber on the other hand…poor pace considering his equipment and even then I would’ve expected him to be 3/4 tenths slower than Vettel, not 8!!

  3. I’m afraid that Webber lost his mojo completely. of course he is still great driver but he has not outpaced Vettel since 2010 Hungary.

    1. And even there, it was Vettel’s blunder that handed him the win.

      1. Yeah, out”paced” isn’t the right word.
        I think I would have to go back to Catalunya, where no one could touch Webber.

        1. Where Vettel had a flawed chassis that caused him problems in consecutive races… Once th chassis was changed out Webber never touched him again on pace.

          1. Mitchell Jordan
            29th March 2011, 0:47

            The Chassis was changed and Webber was given his damaged chassis?

          2. What wasn’t really reported after that race was that they inspected Webber’s chassis and it had the same types of cracks.

            And then they patched the cracks in Sebastian’s chassis, and Webber used it to win in Silverstone and Hungary (after his other cracked one was written off in Valencia). It was only the subsequent chassis for both after that where the gap widened.

    2. Ned Flanders
      28th March 2011, 21:51

      Well, he certainly outpaced him at Spa…

      1. Oh well, you’d rather call it outpaced, Vettel commit suicide.

      2. Sorry for my horrible english. You’d rather call it Vettel commited suicide rather than Webber outpaced him.

  4. Yeah, Webber was the disappointment of the weekend. I guess the telemetry would have shown where he lost ground, so I expected him to be much stronger in the race. Nevertheless, he would have been on the podium, hadn’t it been for his bad pitstop-strategy. It seems that he lost his 4th place because of his slow final pitstop.

    1. No, he went of the track to gravel and that slowed him down.

      1. That didn’t help him either, but his final pitstop was considerably slower than Alonso’s, if my memory doesn’t fail me.

  5. anyone find out why he parked it on slow down lap?

    was it out of disgust or was there a technical reason?

    baring in mind it was his home gp too

    1. I think it was because of the former reason. I am not liking his attitude of late.

      1. Don’t go accusing things like that by speculation

        As far as I know, it was because the car was overheating

        1. Whilst we are speculating I’ll throw my theory into the ring. He didn’t have time to do a warm down lap as he had to get to the airport ASAP to give himself enough time to work out how to use the self serve check in machine that QANTAS makes everyone use, and work out how to attach the luggage label to his bag, drop off his bag, and then answer question as to whether his luggage has a “q-code or a thermal tag”.

    2. I heard it was actually RBR making sure he still had enough fuel left for scrutineering. Seems its still a pretty tough job getting the fuel exactly right, DiResta also mentioned fuel was a bit of a concern during the race.

    3. The team told him to park so as not to run afoul of weight regulations.

  6. I’m sure Vettel could have easy grabbed fastest lap, but he had no need to because of his massive lead

    1. I don’t think so. Felipe did the lap with fresh soft tyres, 7 laps before the end of the race. In that time Vettel was lapping in late 1.30s so no he couldn’t.

  7. Car looks fast, but chewed its tyres up.

    Things ive read about the RB6s lack of KERs is maaking me wonder if the cars sidepods wont allow for KERs like the other teams have, or make it hard to accomadate? They are by far the smallest on the grid. Its purley speculation on my part, no doubt answered in Sepang where KERs will be nice to have.

    1. i think you’re right – horner said newey wasn’t willing to compromise the aero to fit kers. i’m sure they are working on making it fit.

      1. I was wondering if its possible for teams to remove KERs for some races, like Monaco and Singapore when its less important, and use the weight distribution to increase the handling? like i said, if thats possible.

        1. in 09 those were races that it actually helped.

          remember lewis won in singapore 09. it gave him extra punch out of the corners

        2. I am sure they can. Their system is just a bit more compromized by putting it all over the car instead of in one neat package.
          Makes them have more reliability woes with it as well.

        3. For sure, but I think it is a little more limited now because of the fixed front-rear axle weight distribution rule this season.

      2. Horner also said they do have KERS already designed into the car but removed it, the doen’t fit in with the comments about about making it fit, they already have, it was consider a reliability risk.

  8. Seems the talk at RBR is there could be a chassis problem with Webber’s RB7… being stripped down to find the issue. Incredibly bad luck at his home race, again.
    Stopping at pit lane, low fuel?

    1. Yeah I wondered about that too. No answers yet?

    2. Yeah, I just read Webber was having problems with his chassis. At least he’s not the only one who is always unlucky in his home GP.

    3. If that’s true, RBR really need to do a better job with quality control on their chassis. Vettel had chassis problems last year as well until they swapped it out for a new one.

    4. I was at the race and noticed that Vettel’s car had a good degree more black heat shielding up the sidepods (to the extent where it covered up part of the Red Bull name) than Webber’s. Could they have been running different specifications of chassis?

    5. Maybe a chassis problem. But I don’t think that explains all.

      Look at onboard footage from turn 1. Vettel was so much smoother than Webber every time. And the same for turn 10 I think. I don’t know whether that can be all mechanical, but Vettel was driving that car very smoothly.

  9. Imagine the scene, a RedBull executive meeting.

    So whats this years agenda?
    Do we back a WDC superkid, or do we back someone about to hang there gloves up, while knowing that Massa is Alonso`s tail gunner.

    It`s a no brainer I`am afraid.

  10. Did anyone hear what Horner said to Vettel over the radio after the race.

    “Great way to start the year. The trophy you wanted.”

    Fair enough he probably ment Vettel had got the first win of the year but never the less thats gotta pour salt all over a rather sore Mark Webber.

    Not trying to stir anything up, it’s just the first thing I thought when I heard it.

    1. Yes I thought it was interesting that the newly-crowned world champion apparently covets winning his team mate’s home race…

      1. He said he wanted the trophy with the Kangaroo on it as it was different to all the other trophies.

        “I like to come here, especially as a German. In our country it takes a long time before someone calls you a friend or a mate.

        “I really like the track, and if you finish on the podium they have a nice trophy on Sunday afternoon. It used to have and I hope it still has a kangaroo on the trophy. It’s something that you can get only here.

        “I love racing, I love driving the car, but I love racing also for these little things. It might be funny in a way, but little things like picking up a trophy that is special or is different to all the trophies you get everywhere else!”

        Maybe he wasn’t too chuffed with having a Santander logo the first time he won a Grand Prix.

        1. And who could blame him. Still, I’m sceptical. Or should that be cynical?

        2. I think Vettel is right. Each track should be made to have a trophy that reflects the place or the culture.

          1. Agreed. Corporate trophies are ugly and should be banned.

          2. thatscienceguy
            29th March 2011, 9:31

            have you not considered that the kangaroo on the trophy was actually a Qantas logo? They were the major sponsor after all.

          3. The worst ones are Brazils, they are even worse than the generic Santander ones. Both 2010 (green and yellow plastic brick) and ones before that were weird shaped things made out of milk bottle tops.

            That’s from 2008, the one in 2009 was more blue. In that pic, it does look like Felipe is seriously considering shoving that trophy somewhere in Lewis Hamilton.

      2. Just remember that a couple of years ago, Mark won the German Grand Prix in front of Vettel. That’s just normal rivalry between two drivers I would say.

        1. That’s true, hadn’t thought of that.

        2. Yep, that’s what I thought the comment was for

      3. Sush Meerkat
        28th March 2011, 21:34

        “Great way to start the year. The trophy you wanted.”

        Notice how he said “trophy”, not race, when talking about Monaco no one ever says “I want to win that trophy”, its always “I want to win monaco”

        Anyway I digress, the reason for Horner saying that is because Vettel likes Kangaroo’s and the trophy used to have a Kangaroo on it.

        Google “Vettel Kangaroo” and see all the results.

        1. Googling “Vettel Kangaroo” could lead to absolutely hilarious NSFW pictures.

          Challenge issued.

          1. Sush Meerkat
            28th March 2011, 22:07

            Googling “Vettel Kangaroo” could lead to absolutely hilarious NSFW pictures.

            Challenge issued.

            HAHA, I like it, me and a friend James actually started an internet game where you take 3 random words and google them with safe search off… and wonder what the hell those pics have anything to do with the original words.

      4. YouichiHophop
        28th March 2011, 21:34

        Vettel wanted this trophy, because he likes Kangaroos, and he thought the trphy had a Kangaroo on it.

        The older AusGP trophies had Roo’s on them, but the current one doesn’t.

        1. Perhaps if Vettel took a road trip through Australia He could actually have a Kangaroo on He`s car. x-)

          1. Or he could do a test at Mt Panorama next year instead of Jenson.


    2. Yeah, like Webber wasn`t dreaming of it since He started F1. I`am still surprised after what happened at Silverstone last year that He could turn up at work an still give it 110%.

    3. Vettel wanted the austalian trophy because it’s the only one with a kangaroo on it. That’s what he said before the race.

    4. I can see how it can be read that way but I don’t think Sebastian Vettel or Christian Horner would have the audacity (at least not publicly) to come out with something like that aimed at Mark Webber.

      The guy wants to set the precedent and defend his title from the off. That’s the way I see it.

      1. Christian Horner is very arrogant. He has a history of saying things like that. Recently he said “McLaren cannot catch us” or something similar. And then his comment on Lewis (not happy with McLaren) was very cheeky.

        1. Pink Pirelli
          30th March 2011, 10:34

          I’ve always thought that the Oz GP trophy of recent years looks just like a giant Mercedes logo. I know that it’s supposedly modelled on the steering wheel of Sir Jack’s Cooper, but it looks like a Merc logo to me.

  11. If Vettel continues his top form, can’t help but feel all the Red Bull eggs will be in one basket before long, specially seeing as Alonso and Hamilton will most likely get the same treatment. I’m still not entirely convinced RBR will be totally dominant this year – there were enough signs this weekend to give the rest of the teams hope.

    1. I’m pretty sure neither McLaren nor Red Bull could stand the distaste of sidelining a driver before they’re mathematically out of it.

      Just because it’s not illegal doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong.

      1. hmmmm its a nice thought, but history proves otherwise.

  12. Vettel wanted that trophy because it has a kangaroo on it. Stop looking for trouble that isn’t there.

    1. It’s only now that you’ve stated it so plainly that I realise I don’t really believe it.

      1. I think that’s quite cynical! Vettel seems like a nice kid, I don’t know why you’re so suspicious.

        1. I agree, he seems like a nice guy with a decent sense of humour.

          He’s also a world champion, though, and he’s got a team mate to beat.

          1. Id like to know what you think about Webbers lack of pace. This is very uncharacteristic of him. It is clear there was a problem with his car, now whether that is by accident or on purpose is the question.

          2. I think that summs it up nicely. I must say his words after winning the GP certainly sounded like the man now taking charge of the team to go where he wants it to go.

            A bit strange to hear his evidently young voice say words you would expect of Alonso or Schumi. But he certainly has the ambition to let these guys behind him soon.