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Race analysis GP Italy: Vettel's tire poker works perfectly

Red Bull
Race analysis GP Italy 2010
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Why did Sebastian Vettel suddenly slow down?

A ls Sebastian Vettel suddenly slowed down on lap 20, you had to expect the worst. Especially after the two defects with team mate Mark Webber in training. But after just one and a half laps the spook was over. Vetttel lost a place to his team-mate, but the times quickly returned to normal.

At Red Bull, after the race, you didn't really know what was going on. Team advisor Helmut Marko initially suspected a fire in the airbox, which Webber had already paralyzed on Friday. Team boss Christian Horner also considered a tear-off visor in the air intakes as a reason for the problems. In the end, Red Bull was able to resolve the mistake. For some reason, the brakes hadn't released for a lap and a half and caused anxiety in the cockpit. 'It was like crashing into a wall,' said Vettel, describing the uncomfortable feeling.

Was everything right with Vettel?

The conspiracy theorists in the paddock were quickly on the spot . Sebastian Vettel is slow and Mark Webber of all people, who has much better prospects in the World Cup, benefits from the ominous problem. Something must be wrong. Was the braking problem controlled by the pits? 'That is not technically possible,' says Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder. 'The teams are not allowed to actively intervene in the behavior of the car from outside.' If a problem is found, the strategists at the command post can only give the pilots instructions to help themselves.

Why did Vettel's strategy work so perfectly?

After the technical problems, Vettel first had to go back to the Group around Mark Webber. The German did not make an early pit stop because he wanted to try to overtake Nico H├╝lkenberg on the track. When the competition switched to hard tires, Vettel quickly realized that he could drive faster times on his old rubbers. Team boss Horner was also amazed at the speed of his pilot: 'Actually, the soft tires were only intended for around 15 laps.'

Vettel had to protect tires and accelerate at the same time. In the end the poker worked. On the penultimate lap, the Red Bull finally had enough lead to leave Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes behind after the mandatory stop. The reward for the courageous race to catch up was fourth and fourth placestill good chances for the world title.

Why did Webber use a different strategy?

Due to the problems with Sebastian Vettel's car, Mark Webber passed his team-mate without a fight. But in the end the Australian landed two places behind the young Heppenheimer. 'He lost a lot of time behind H├╝lkenberg,' complained Christian Horner. But wouldn't a strategy like Vettel's be more promising? 'We didn't know how long the soft tires would last. Sebastian's variant was much more risky. In addition, the first cars after the change looked as if the hard tires were faster,' Horner explains the Webber tactic.

At least the Australian was able to overtake Robert Kubica because Renault slept again during the pit stop. For Vettel, however, tire poker was not a big risk. If the tires had collapsed after all, they would simply have had to come to the pits earlier. He couldn't lose many points after his braking problem anyway.

Could Vettel have pitted on the very last lap?

The first two laps with the hard tires were for many Pilots as a problem. A lot of time was lost before the Bridgestone concrete rubbers finally reached working temperature. 'We saw that and therefore tried to minimize the time on the hard tires - which we did well with one lap,' said Vettel later happily.

But couldn't the German have turned into the pits on the very last lap instead of the penultimate lap? After all, the Red Bull garage is before the finish line. Vettel would have covered the last few meters of the race properly on hard tires. Team boss Horner explains: 'You cannot end the race after the only mandatory stop in the pit lane. That is why the penultimate lap was the last opportunity for us to change.'

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