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Horner cites Vettel's sensitivity for slump

NEWS STORY
22/04/2014

Red Bull boss Christian Horner claims that it is Sebastian Vettel's failure to understand the team's 2014 contender that is causing him to lose out.

Ignoring, the problems suffered by both drivers in Melbourne, Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix saw Vettel beaten by new teammate Daniel Ricciardo for the second successive race.

Furthermore, in a move which will have given grist to the mill of various sections of the media the German was none too happy when asked to allow the Australian by on Sunday. Querying the call to let Ricciardo past, the world champion was advised that he was on fresher tyres. "Tough luck!" was the tetchy response.

Nonetheless, a few corners later the German appeared to move aside for his teammate, trailing him home to take fifth, fifty seconds behind winner Lewis Hamilton, and a fastest lap 0.7s slower than his own teammate.

"Seb is having a tough time at the moment because he can't get that feeling from the car that he is looking for," said Horner. "He's tremendously sensitive to certain aspects of the set-up and he's not getting the feedback from the car that he wants.

"The compound effect of this is that he's damaging the tyre more, which is very unusual for him, as we've seen since the Pirellis were introduced. It's highly unusual for him to be going through the tyre life quicker. That's just the culmination of the issues that he's currently got and as soon as we've worked those out he will be back with a bang."

Asked about the German's reaction to his team's request to move over, Horner said: "No driver likes that call, but he abided by it. He's a team player at the end of the day and the one thing you can be assured of is that he will be looking extremely hard at this weekend and this race to understand where the differences are, what he's struggling with and where we can improve. There will be no driver working harder in the three-week gap to bounce back in Barcelona."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Toe_Dragon, 22/04/2014 21:12

"Lol, Fernando called it last year. Said Seb might have a harder time in a less than dominant car..... Looks like Ricciardo will make Seb his biotch this year lol"

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2. Posted by Kkiirmki, 22/04/2014 19:36

"Something a 4 time world champion should be able to deal with?"

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3. Posted by jasman, 22/04/2014 17:30

"Perhaps Vettel misses Webber's development work."

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4. Posted by scott, 22/04/2014 15:33

"Seems like he's really sensitive to not having traction control. Funny how he, like Schumacher at Bennetton, all of the sudden got significantly faster than Webber, but now with the new engine formula he's getting schooled. Also funny that Red Bull wants to use their own fuel flow sensor..."trust us". The whole situation is just comical"

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 22/04/2014 14:16

"Poor young Seb appears to be a victim of his team's success. The V8 RBR cars managed to extract every ounce of performance from the previous Sporting Regulations, and many suspected a little more that was a bit dodgy as well.
Consequently Vettel got used to a car with excellent straight-line speed but more importantly phenomenal grip, in both slow and fast corners, as well as excellent stability under braking. As the team leader the car's characteristics were further tuned to suit his preferences and driving strengths. This gave him the tools to consistently win World Championships, but little experience in adapting his driving to suit less than optimal cars.

2014 cars have lost many of the aero tweaks that gave the previous RBR cars their edge, particularly in respect of exhaust-blowing plus rear and front wing performance. It seems that these factors, coupled with the torque delivery of the turbo powertrains is not to his liking. Ricciardo has not enjoyed the benefits of the previous RBR car, and appears to have adjusted more rapidly to the characteristics of this year's car.

History suggests that Renault\RBR will successfully reduce at least some of Mercedes' speed advantage, which seems to be mainly a consequence of engine power and drivability: the RBR chassis already seems a bit faster around corners than the Merc.
It's also highly likely that the car will be developed to suit Seb, and that he'll be able to adapt to its foibles. I'm expecting that Seb & RBR will be competing with Lewis & Nico within a couple of races, at least on circuits where power is less important."

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6. Posted by Darvi, 22/04/2014 12:29

"Of course Seb is a team player, until the team tells him something that he doesn't want to hear.... like "Multi 21" and then he reverts to every man for himself......."

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