Team-Mate Wars: Nurburgring

Tuesday 09-July-2013 23:07

Team-Mate Wars

Because in F1 the first person you have to beat is your team-mate...

Red Bull Racing
Race: Vettel
Season: Sebastian Vettel 8 - Mark Webber 1
This was a race where there really could have been a raw edge between the two team-mates, a circuit where Mark has won before and could really match Seb. There's no love lost between them and what better way to P*** off Vettel than win your team-mate's home GP. What's more, Webbo got a flying start and was up into P2 right from the gun. If you were a lover of conspiracy theories you might well say that Mark's Lap 9 pit-stop debacle managed to separate the two of them quite conveniently.

Race: Button
Season: Jenson Button 6 - Sergio Perez 3
McLaren looked far more like contenders this race. Going into the weekend the prediction was that Mercedes would only get stringer and that Lotus, Force India and to a smaller extent Ferrari would fall back. As it was Mercedes fell back, Ferrari held station, Lotus looked the fastest team and Force India trailed back to where they used to be. McLaren were better and Jenson Button would have held on for fifth if it wasn't for a pair of dozy Caterhams.

In the race, both overtook each other while on different strategies, and neither made it easy for the other, despite the fact that they were racing other people. Although none of them was as as obstructive as Nico Rosberg with Lewis Hamilton

Race: Hamilton
Season: Lewis Hamilton 6 - Nico Rosberg 3
Hamilton will be pleased that he's re-established the qualifying edge, but it will still burn that Nico's got two race wins and he's got none. Ross Brawn has said that not being able to reverse the tyres has really hurt them, but getting more use out of tyres isn't quite the same as getting more performance.

Race: Alonso
Season: Fernando Alonso 7 - Felipe Massa 2
Is Felipe Massa having problems with his braking because he's forever changing the brake bias? It seems odd that an experienced driver like Massa should have two spins (at Monaco and now Nurburgring) caused by locking his brakes. That's the kind of thing that rookies do. To harvest energy for KERS the drivers constantly have to alter the brake bias round the lap. Next year, when the energy harvesting is really ramped up under the new regulations, they will have a system (or be allowed to have a system) that does it for them. Alonso has really hit his stride in terms of grinding out results, but Massa's starts are still the class of the field.

Race: Grosjean
Season: Kimi Raikkonen 7 - Romain Grosjean 2
A fantastic race from Grosjean, whose first stint on the Soft tyre was a race-winning performance and who could have gone faster if Lotus had taken the politically (especially at this stage of contract negotiations) suicidal decision to ask Kimi to move out of the way. He had far more life in his tyres than Raikkonen and Vettel when the Safety Car came out and lost it all in one stupid decision from Race Control. At the end he was obliged to move over for Raikkonen - Kimi didn't get to overtake him. Maybe Romain will be able to store this experience and have the same radio trouble that Raikkonen endured when he's asked to move over in the future.

Force India
Race: Di Resta
Season: Paul Di Resta 6 - Adrian Sutil 3
There was hardly anything to separate them in Germany, but with neither car making it into Q3, they were back racing in familiar territory from seasons past. It might be interesting to know what some of Paul's Force India team think of him constantly saying he's ready to move on to a bigger team in interviews. If you had one development part for the car would you give it to the bloke who constantly says he's looking to move on, or the one who's grateful just to be there?

Race: Hulkenberg
Season: Nico Hulkenberg 8 - Esteban Gutierrez 1
Another race where Hulkenberg nicked the point that was destined to go to Williams. With the news that Sauber can't pay him all his wages he knows he has to find a better team quick and hence can't afford to let Gutierrez get the better of him. At one point, near the end of Q2 on Saturday, Esteban was in P8 and Hulkenberg was well outside the top 10. If we'd had the yellow flags out at that stage it could have been an interesting Q3.

Race: Maldonado
Season: Maldonado 6- Bottas 3
Maldonado and Bottas used their medium tyres well in the first stint and Pastor looked like he was going to make it into the points as a suitable celebration for Williams' 600th GP. The botched tyre stop saw to that.

Torro Rosso
Race: Ricciardo
Season: Daniel Ricciardo 5 - Jean-Eric Vergne 4
Ricciardo followed up his Silverstone shakedown (of his team-mate) with another impressive whacking of "JEV". Vergne couldn't even take advantage of the Safety Car because by the time it had disappeared into pitlane he was already there - with faulty hydraulics. Daniel got a pretty good start too, he may have lost places to Massa, but these days almost anyone in front of Felipe does, as the big Ferrari bungee drags the Brazilian forwards.

The only cloud on the horizon is Kimi Raikkonen -but it's a stonkingly big one at that. Kimi looks increasingly likely to move to Mark Webber's Red Bull seat. If he does, then that surely makes Helmut Marko redundant because why develop new drivers if you're never going to employ them.

Race: Bianchi
Season: Jules Bianchi 9 - Max Chilton 0
Bianchi. We know it was ablaze Jules, but try and park it somewhere better next time, mate.

Race: Pic
Season: Giedo van der Garde 2 - Charles Pic 7
The Nutcase Brothers were at it again in Germany - losing Jenson Button a place that is very valuable to the team in 2013. They must have realised that the fifth place car would be through soon because the first, second, third and fourth had already passed them on track. Always a strong clue that.

The Kimi is Disappointed File: We were disappointed this race. Kimi wasn't.

Star of the Race
Alonso 2, Sutil 1, Brawn 1, Perez 1, Rosberg 1, Vettel 1, Hamilton 1, Grosjean 1

Overtaking Move of the Race
Vettel 2, Raikkonen 1, Grosjean 1, Alonso 1, Button 1, Bottas 1, Webber, Hamilton 1

Dull vs Exciting GPs
Exciting 8 - Dull 1

Sat on the Naughty Step
Van der Garde 2, Maldonado 1, Vettel 1, Red Bull 1, Gutierrez 1, Hulkenberg 1, Grosjean 1, Hembery 1

Media Watch
David Coulthard was chuckling at the message from Lewis Hamilton's engineer after he qualified his Merc W04 on pole: "We're so used to Lewis saying, "that's what I'm talking about!".
Now, would that be Lewis Vettel...?

Andrew Davies

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