The car or the driver?

Mark Webber was quick and in contention throughout 2010, in 2011 he was slow and out of contention. Whilst I cannot argue with the fact that Sebastian upped his game and took total possession of his faculties and abilities in 2011, I must contend that a 2010 Mark Webber would have made his life a lot harder. I have no explanation for why Mark turned into a journeyman other than his contract didn't inspire him.

I think 2010 was very flattering to Webber, he had no reliability issues and still finished behind Vettel who lost over 60 points due to it. Although I admit Webber was much better in the first 2/3 of 2010, after that he pretty much went to pot...

The size of his dome tho.......he does have a very ..errr...interesting .........shaped skull,

Back to McLaren for 2015 (you heard it here first)
Without a car capable of winning races, it makes no difference who is driving it.

Coulthard said it best: "a driver contributes only 20 per cent to any victory"

So it's not all about car, but it is mostly about the car.

I believe it to be a lot less than 20% but I will have to come up with some data to prove it, I love getting my teeth into this kind of thing and then debating my conclusions...
only 20% eh? two words......

Luca Badoer

Bad drivers don't win titles, And if you are good enough make a dominant car then usally your good enough to pick a World Class Driver too.

One thing about having the best Car. It can flatter an average driver, despite example like perhaps Mark Webber this season. Barrichello time wise for instance was usually closer to Schumacher when he was dominant. And lets face it Webber goes down in history as runners up this year.
No he doesn't. He was third, behind Button (in a worse car) and one point ahead of Alonso (in an even worse car).
Whoops.. its being a long day :coffee:
Sort of helps my argument though...May flatter an average driver. Webber wasn't the 3rd best driver this year. And to pick up titles, the best drivers is very much still a prerequisite.
The gap between Badoer and Raikkonen in lap time terms was about 2% - that's less than the gap between a 2011 Red Bull and a 2011 Force India (so had Badoer been Vettel's team mate, he'd still have got into Q3 for most races).

If we restrict ourselves to talking about drivers who are of F1 standard, rather than your average Joe, then 20% driver might be an over-estimate.
Be very, very careful criticising that article.

I think I made it clear that it was my own opinion and not the forums stand point but as Mr Moore is a well respected ex international rugby union hooker who could pummel me with one hand tied behind his back, not to mention a qualified solicitor I take my misguided comment back.

Sorry Brian :friends:
I think I made it clear that it was my own opinion and not the forums stand point but as Mr Moore is a well respected ex international rugby union hooker who could pummel me with one hand tied behind his back, not to mention a qualified solicitor I take my misguided comment back.

Sorry Brian :friends:

Not to mention a member of the site who took one user to task for criticising that article!
It is fairly obvious that the difference between the best car and the worst car is quite large, measured in seconds rather than tenths, although the difference between the best and the worst drivers is more tricky to work out, I would guess that it was significantly less.

That said, a good driver could bridge the gap to the next fastest car, as has been seen before, and in order to win, you need to be faster than the guy in the same car as you, you also need a car which is fast enough to challenge, certainly within a few tenths.

Generally over the season, you will see the cars being upgraded, and these upgrades will claim to deliver several tenths per lap, and I cannot help thinking that the differences between drivers can be likened to a good upgrade package, capable of jumping up the grid by a few slots, but not able to, for example, bridge the gap between the midfield and the front of the pack.

With the cars being so highly developed (even the back end of the grid) and development costs being what they are, a good driver is worth the extra.
Immediately after Abu Dhabi 2010, Vettel began devouring everything he could learn about the nuances and limitations of the new Pirellis. It bears noting he was the only top tier driver who remained there after the race for the 2011 season tyre testing, even though he just had won the WDC and should have been in Monaco getting his drink on. He was the only driver who visited the Pirelli factory, and while he was there he asked to be tutored in every aspect of the tyres, from their construction to just how they should work, and why. And he used that learning to his decided advantage

I messaged FB before posting this because I was going to quote about five paras from the AutoSport print magazine's 2011 end-of-season synopsis. Instead, and you'll either have to take my word or go buy the mag yourself, but what they wrote, in capsule form, is that Vettel dominated while driving in a car that didn't have the best straight line speed and about half the time lacked a working KERS.

Newey's car had a DRS optimized for Q3 so it fell to Vettel to 1) take pole and 2) create at least a 1 second gap to P2 by time the DRS zone became active. He learnt a knife-edge feel for the tyres that allowed him to "‘back into’ the slower corners well before the apex, leaving the car pointed straight and allowing outrageously early throttle application." And he managed to ride the fine line between giving his tyres all the wellie they could stand without driving them off. Webber never got the knack of the "slow-corner pre-apex oversteer" trick so he was unable to match Vettel's speed without overheating his Pirellis. Vettel, OTOH, used up his tyres just fast enough to remain out of DRS reach of the car behind him.

Newey had the advantage of knowing his car only would be competitive when driven within a very narrow set of parameters, but his driver had skill enough to hit that mark almost unerringly.
I still don't buy that Vettel learnt loads from his trip to the Pirelli factory. More of PR move, not likely that they had an engineer telling him the optimum driving style for the P ZERO tyre.
Well if he didn't, then he's quick to adapt, something I have noticed from the fella, quick learner good at adapting, and those who adapt the quickest are the best ones out there, be it in sport or just in life.
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