April 14th, 2013 (F1plus).- Yes, it might be to say brand this weekend and race as "one of those" where things don't go the desired way as none of the Red Bull drivers qualified well, and none was able to make the point with one retirement included.
This was a different type of weekend for the Milton Keynes outfit. Even before the actions started on Friday, tension could be the best word to describe the situation within the team. After the Malaysian episode, comments here and there, it might be hard to focus and find the perfect level of concentration. We know, they are professionals, but they are humans for that matter.
None did particularly great in the three practice sessions and the yesterday, Vettel did not look good as usual to fight for pole, but the interesting note came with Webber running out of fuel in just Q2, which prompted and penalty that made start from the pit lane.
Coming from 9th on the grid, it was expected for Vettel to start climbing quick, and he did, he pushed to establish himself in fourth at the very end stages (after deciding making the legal tyre change with 4 laps to go) and from there a brave effort followed to hunt Hamilton who was running out of grip and loosing time.
Vettel got really close in the very last lap (eating 3 second per lap gap in the process), but a slight mishap of a fraction of a second robbed us of what would have been a great final 2-3 turns battle for third.
“After the last stop, the team told me there was quite a big gap to the cars ahead, but also a big gap behind, so we thought we should go for it in the closing stages. When I came on to the long straight and saw Lewis at the other end turning into the hairpin I thought ‘well, that’s a bit too far’, but obviously we had much more speed on the fresher tyres.
“It was a little bit disappointing to lose out by such a tiny bit; a few corners more and we could have tried something. Nonetheless, our strategy seemed to work today. We knew it would be difficult and that it was crucial to get clean laps, but we didn’t in the first stint.
"I was faster than Nico (Hulkenberg) but if you follow another car you lean on your front tyres too much and it was hard to find the right compromise, but overall we can be happy.” Said Vettel.
The Australian did not have the odds on him this weekend. He was penalized and had to start from the very back, and then the team decided it was better from the pit lane, so changes could be made on the RB9.
Things did go decently at first, but an incident with Jean-Eric Vergne left him crippled and having to go for pits to check on damages, and no long after rear right tyre came loose and his race was over.
“The start of the race was going okay; we elected to get rid of the soft tyre quite quickly and then came back through the field pretty well.
"Regarding the incident with Jean-Eric, I was coming from a reasonable distance behind, Jean-Eric was really wide, but when we came close to the apex he wanted to hit it, which he is entitled to do, but by then I was committed to the inside and the incident happened.
"It was a couple of laps before our pit stop window, so I had to come in early. The guys thought the tyre was fixed when we left the stop, but it came off on the out lap.
"We have had a few problems this weekend; I think we could have done something from our start position today, but it wasn’t meant to be.” Webber said.