The Vettel phenomenon and the debate of ‘car or driver’

Monday 11 July 2011 16:20


Sebastian Vettel, the Red Bull first pilot, is the one who will most probably win the Formula One championship. We  are not even half way through the world races, but the control exercised by the German and his exceptional car are overwhelming. Vettel has won six of the eight races up till now.

What does Sebastian Vettel do that other drivers don’t do? What does Vettel’s car have that other F1’s cars don’t have?

The main Red-Bull pilot has won almost all the Gran Prix and ‘Pole positions’ this year. It seems that there are not any other drivers who can beat him, not even the world winners Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. In the last GP in Valencia, Fernando Alonso started the race in fourth position and then had an exceptional race. He finished the race in second place. However, he could not climb any higher. In first position there was, of course, the usual driver, Sebastian Vettel.

Usually in motor sports championships, when a driver dominates the races and goes faster than the others (as Vettel has this year) it is brought into question whether it is due to the driver or the car. It’s clear that the Red-Bull cars of Vettel and Webber go well, -very well-, but if we take as an example the Valencia GP again we can see that the car isn’t the only important thing. For several minutes in the race Mark Webber (Red Bull) and Alonso (Ferrari) were fighting for the second place. We all know that Ferrari’s cars are not going through a very good period. However, the Spanish driver finished the GP before the German.

Is the car such a determining factor? After all, the ones who control and lead the car are the drivers, right? These are two questions which are never cleared up. However, we shouldn’t forget that Formula One is a sport, a motor sport, and in sports the person is always the determining factor, so if someone wins the championship it isn’t just because the car he drives is good, it is also because he is good. F1 isn’t just about the pilot, or the car, it is the combination of the two.

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