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Season Review 2012 6

Season review: Red Bull

Constructors’ Championship: 1st
Points: 460


Sebastian Vettel
Points: 281
Best qualifying: 1st
Best race result: 1st

Mark Webber
Points: 179
Best qualifying: 1st
Best race result: 1st

season review 2012  Season review: Red Bull


  • Two more world championships for the Red Bull super team.
  • Fourteen more podium trophies to add to the already bulging cabinet in Milton Keynes.

It’s interesting how much Vettel splits opinion. Some say he’s one the best drivers that has ever graced the Formula 1 grid while others put his three World Championships down to being in the best car. The latter has no doubt helped him, but the best drivers in F1 usually end up in the fastest cars. Once they’re there it’s up to them to deliver and this Vettel has done time and time again.

He likes putting the car on pole and leading from the front, but he’s also equally as devastating in midfield. The safety cars helped in Abu Dhabi, but to drive from the pitlane, and last, to third, was a testament to his tenacity and ability to scythe through the field – something he did equally well at Spa and in the Brazilian Grand Prix. It’s no easy task when you drive a car that has a very poor top speed.

Vettel, whatever you may think of his sunny disposition when things are going well, is an incredibly driven character, but he’s one of the best there is on the grid. Only outbursts aimed at Karthikeyan have blotted his copybook this year. But did he deserve the championship? Put simply, yes. He may well have had a faster car than Alonso during 2012, but it wasn’t that quick at the beginning of the year. Also if you add on the 25-point loss in the European Grand Prix there would have been less pressure at the end of the season. There’s no point in dwelling on ‘what ifs’, but the Red Bull was one of the more fragile cars on the grid.

season review 2012  Season review: Red Bull

Strangely, at the start of the season, when the car wasn’t as balanced as it was in pre-season testing, it was Webber that was getting the best out of it. That was until new updates meant that Vettel could put it on pole in Bahrain and then disappear in the race. It wasn’t all over for Webber, though, and the two victories in Monaco and Britain were perfectly executed. The Australian left the UK 16 points ahead of his team-mate, with every reason to be hopeful for another shot at the title. However, from then on his season started to unravel with the only highlights being two podiums in Korea and India, and a fourth-place finish in Brazil. By then, though, all eyes were on his team-mate. Webber struggled with poor reliability – the Red Bull alternator proving to be the Achilles Heel once again in the United States Grand Prix, but his performances also dropped away compared to Vettel’s.

Red Bull has shown many how an F1 team should be run over the past three years. Of course, it hasn’t been perfect (wing swop, Silverstone) and it does have one of the less modest budgets on the grid. However, Christian Horner signing Adrian Newey and allowing him the freedom to operate how he liked has been one of the decisions of the decade. As long as the current team stays in place you would be mad to discount them from the 2013 title fight. The regulations are stable and Newey’s design team isn’t known for going backwards. And as for those ‘Vettel to Ferrari’ rumours – would you leave Adrian Newey on his current form?

Add your comments

6 comments on Season review: Red Bull

  1. dave cubbedge, 4 January 2013 17:34

    Is there still the same mystique to racing for Ferrari now as there was when Enzo was alive? Despite the resources, the team has only had the Schuey period of success since the 1970s. I am one who believes maybe not anymore and for that reason why on earth would Seb want to go there? Alonso, for all the good that he is and despite the fact that he’s narrowly lost two titles since arriving, must be frustrated a bit by the team not being able to give him the same kind of aero-performance advatage that Newey brings to Red Bull when it matters most in October-November.

    I imagine that Seb has a good laugh at the ‘Ferrari rumors’…..

  2. Bill, 4 January 2013 18:20

    What championship wasnt won in the best car? Didnt Vettel also win at Monza 2008 on merit in not the best car in the field? The first genuine win from a midfield team since Jordan in the late 90′s? I find it asthonishing, this crazy excuse.

    Vettel didnt win this year because he won in the best car, he grinded out results when he didnt have the best car. His finishing record is awesome. Newey and Red Bull regard Vettel as the best, over hamilton. Ferrari have said exactly the same thing.

  3. Steve W, 5 January 2013 08:23

    Red Bull slow?

    At the 2011 Italian GP at Monza, Vettel got pole by almost a half-second. However, he was dead last of the 24 participants in the trap speed in qualifying. 327.7 km/h vs Perez the fastest at 349.2 km/h.

    He won the race handily, leading 49 of the 53 laps. In the race, he was 20th out of 24 in the trap speed but three cars went out on the first lap while a fourth only completed one lap.

    And this is at Monza… The fastest circuit of all in F1.

    (Source: FORIX)

  4. Bill, 8 January 2013 17:24

    Dr. Marko hits out at Vettel critics:

    “There is a lot of nonsense being said,” he said. “‘Vettel can’t overtake.’ Ridiculous; just look at Abu Dhabi and Brazil. ‘He is only able to win because he’s sitting in a Newey car.’ We have two Newey cars, so why aren’t we clinching one-two at every race?

    “Then the comment of the great Jackie Stewart that Vettel must go to another team to prove himself. This is said by someone who scored all his greatest successes in just one team, Tyrrell.

    “I can’t take it seriously.”

  5. Rob Elwell, 9 January 2013 19:22

    Vettel to Ferrari? Not as long as Alonso is there. And besides, Ferrari just isn’t Vettel material…..

  6. Scott Coe, 12 January 2013 09:59

    Regarding Dr Marko’s recent comments about Vettel not making “political” comments in the way Alonso has, indeed he didn’t. Instead, Vettel chooses to attack other drivers, as evidenced by his branding Karthikeyan as a “cucumber” and an “idiot” after their incident in the Malaysian GP. And as for Marko’s assertion that Vettel doesn’t read any papers or the Internet because he’s “fully focused” on the job in hand…well, one should consider the flip side of that approach. In Bahrain last year, that was all too clear as he expressed his wish to concentrate on tyres and wings and “stuff that matters”, rather than inconsequential events such as everyday Bahrainis being killed or tortured for expressing their views. And as for Marko’s comments about Webber’s inability to handle pressure, and his past comments about the merits (or lack of) of his former Toro Rosso drivers, Buemi and Alguersuari…I just can’t help thinking his only role at Red Bull is really to continue to ‘big up’ Vettel by denigrating others’ efforts. Sebastian is more than good enough not to need such clumsy efforts to boost his confidence. Marko should shut up and get on with his driver scout role.

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