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  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany leads the pack at the start the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (C) leads the pack during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing leads the field into the first corner at the start of the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 27, 2013 in Noida, India. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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  • NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing leads the field into the first corner at the start of the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 27, 2013 in Noida, India. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany leads the pack during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (L) leads the pack during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (top R) leads the pack during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland (R) leads the pack during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ Indranil MUKHERJEE (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg (L) of Germany drives his car during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari drives during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 27, 2013 in Noida, India. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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  • NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives in for a pitstop during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 27, 2013 in Noida, India. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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  • NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari drives in for a pitstop during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 27, 2013 in Noida, India. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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  • Lotus driver Romain Grosjean of France drives his car during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • McLaren driver Jenson Button of Britain drives his car during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives his car during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Red Bull team driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives his car at The Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Mercedes AMG Petronas team driver Nico Rosberg of Germany drives his car during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Caterham driver Giedo Van Der Garde of the Netherlands runs off the track during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Indranil MUKHERJEE (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Caterham driver Giedo Van Der Garde of the Netherlands runs off the track during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Indranil MUKHERJEE (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg of Germany drives his car during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia (R) drives his car followed by McLaren driver Sergio Perez Mendoza of Mexico (R) during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Lotus driver Romain Grosjean of France (R) drives during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia drives his car during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • McLaren driver Sergio Perez Mendoza of Mexico drives his car during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Ferrari driver Felipe Massa (R) powers ahead of Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg (front) of Germany drives his car during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Force India driver Adrian Sutil of Germany (front) drives during the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • India F1 GP Auto Racing (Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, India, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013.
  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, India, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
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  • India F1 GP Auto Racing (Lotus driver Romain Grosjean of France steers his car during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, India, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (AP P
  • Lotus driver Romain Grosjean of France steers his car during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, India, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
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  • India F1 GP Auto Racing (Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain steers his car during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, India, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (AP
  • Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain steers his car during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, India, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
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  • India F1 GP Auto Racing (Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez of Mexico leads Ferrari driver Felipe Massa of Brazil during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, In
  • Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez of Mexico leads Ferrari driver Felipe Massa of Brazil during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, India, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
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  • NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing leads the field on lap one of the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 27, 2013 in Noida, India. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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  • India F1 GP Auto Racing (Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during qualifying at the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, India, Saturday, O
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during qualifying at the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, India, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
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  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates after winning the Formula One Indian Grand Prix and his fourth successive world title in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates after winning the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi October 27,2013.AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • F1 Grand Prix of India - Race
  • NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27: Race winner and 2013 Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing celebrates in front of the crowd by doing donuts on the main straight following the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 27, 2013 in Noida, India. (Photo by Andrew Hone/Getty Images)
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  • F1 Grand Prix of India - Race
  • NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27: Race winner and 2013 Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing celebrates in front of the crowd on the main straight following the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 27, 2013 in Noida, India. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
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  • India F1 GP Auto Racing (Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates on the track after winning the Indian Formula One Grand Prix and his 4th straight F1 world drivers championship at the B
  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates on the track after winning the Indian Formula One Grand Prix and his 4th straight F1 world drivers championship at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, India, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
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  • F1 Grand Prix of India - Race
  • NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27: Race winner and 2013 Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing celebrates in front of the crowd on the main straight following the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 27, 2013 in Noida, India. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
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  • NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27: Race winner and 2013 Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel (C) of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing celebrates with second placed Nico Rosberg (L) of Germany and Mercedes GP and third placed Romain Grosjean (R) of France and Lotus on the podium following the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 27, 2013 in Noida, India. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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  • F1 Grand Prix of India - Race
  • NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27: Race winner and 2013 Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel (L) of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing celebrates with third placed Romain Grosjean (R) of France and Lotus following the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 27, 2013 in Noida, India. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
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  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel (C) of Germany hoisted by Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg (2L) of Germany and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean (R) of France pats Red Bull Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey (L) after winning the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Indranil MUKHERJEE (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (C), flanked by second-placed Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany (L) and third-placed Lotus driver Romain Grosjean of France (R), celebrates after winning the Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2013 at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Indranil MUKHERJEE (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
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The smog around the Buddh International Circuit got so bad over the weekend that the FIA had to change the practice sessions. Then the soft tires that Pirelli brought to be the options were found to degrade so quickly that teams had to change their qualifying and race strategies. The only man it didn't seem to affect was – guess who? – Sebastian Vettel, who put his Infiniti Red Bull Racing on pole position.

Behind him came Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas, Mark Webber in the second Infiniti Red Bull and on medium tires, Felipe Massa in the first Ferrari, Kimi Räikkönen in the first Lotus, Nico Hülkenberg in the first Sauber, Fernando Alonso in the second Ferrari, and the McLaren duo of Sergio Perez and Jenson Button. The tire strategizing didn't work out for Romain Grosjean in the second Lotus, who didn't get out of Q1 after only running the medium compound tire and lined up 17th.

The Indian Grand Prix has been held twice and Vettel has led every single lap of both races. If nothing else, we knew there would be at least one new thing about this Indian Grand Prix: there'd be a lap not led by Vettel since he qualified on softs and would have to pit before Webber and Alonso who were both on mediums.

We'd have to wait a little longer to find out if a driver other than Vettel would be leading at the end of the race.


Just like in in Japan, Hamilton parked his car on the grid pointed at the gap between the front two. When the lights went out he got up in between Vettel and Rosberg, getting past his teammate into Turn 1 but falling in line behind Vettel. The next series of corners changed every position but the lead; at the end of the first lap Vettel lead by 2.4 seconds from Massa, Rosberg, Hamilton, Hülkenberg, Räikkönen, Webber, Perez, Ricciardo and Alonso.

Webber's race strategy relied on him not losing places to those behind him so that he could take the lead when the three cars in front had to stop to get rid of their soft tires. But this is Mark Webber we're talking about, so of course that didn't work out. He got off the line all right, but sideswiped Räikkönen through Turn 1 and then was hit from behind by Alonso coming out of Turn 1. At the end of the first lap he was down in sixth. Even though he led the race for a while when those in front pitted, he couldn't keep Vettel behind. His tire strategy still would have got him on the podium in second place, but his car would have none of it – again. On Lap 40, with 20 laps to go, his alternator failed and his engineer told him to park the car.



Vettel had come in on Lap 2 to change onto mediums and come out in 13th. Ten laps later he was in third, having managed to get around traffic swiftly; it appeared no one wanted to fight a guy who was obviously faster and on a different tire strategy. When Webber pitted on Lap 29, Vettel retook the lead and didn't give it up, all the way to the flag.

Behind them the order was being rearranged in the pits, not on track, except for Grosjean who was climbing up from 17th and Alonso who was trying to make his way back from 17th after that nasty first lap saw him hit Webber and Button and come in for a new front wing.



It wasn't until the last ten laps of the race that much happened, when everyone was trying to get their rather old medium compound tires to the finish. Räikkönen and Sutil were the biggest losers. On Lap 45 the Finn was running in second, the German in fourth, Rosberg sandwiched between them. Räikkönen's tires began to fall off in a big way but the team didn't want to pit him since he'd drop all the way back behind Hülkenberg in ninth place. Over the next 11 laps the drivers behind began to reel him in at more than a second a lap. On Lap 57 his teammate Grosjean came up to pass him and Räikkönen, defending an impossible situation, ran the Frenchman off the track at the penultimate corner, leading to a saucy radio exchange. At the next corner he gave up the position to Grosjean and to Massa. At the end of the next lap Räikkönen was in seventh.

A problem on the Sauber led to Hülkenberg's retirement on Lap 56, and Lotus decided to bring Räikkönen in on Lap 59 for a set of soft tires. He set the fastest lap of the race on the last lap of the race and would finish seventh. Sutil, who only pitted once on Lap 41, fell back to ninth by the end of the race.



The final order was Vettel, Rosberg (who took second without any fanfare), Grosjean (who came from 17th), Massa, Perez, Hamilton, Räikkönen, di Resta (coming off a run of bad races and DNFs), Sutil (meaning Force India got two cars in the points for the first time since Great Britain) and Daniel Ricciardo. Alonso finished just outside the points in 11th.



Vettel's won six races in a row and ten so far this year. With three races left to go, he's crowned the 2013 Driver's World Champion with 322 points. For more context, he's only competed in 117 races in his entire career and won 36 of them at the ripe old age of 26. Not that any of the drivers care once they're locked out of first position, but the next three places are taken by ex-World Champions, with Alonso probably safe for second place on 207 points if he can get another clean race weekend in, followed by Räikkönen with 183 and Hamilton with 169.



Red Bull also took its fourth Constructor's Championship with a total of 470 points. In case you're counting, that means ten Adrian Newey-designed cars have won the Constructor's cup since his first, the William FW-14B, did it in 1992. Speaking of cups, rumor is that Newey is turning his eye toward America's Cup yacht racing, once he's finished being a legend in Formula One for "the immediate future." Mercedes has overtaken second place with 313 points, Ferrari falling to third at with 309 and now Lotus gunning for it with 285.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix runs next weekend, and we'll be back then to find out if Vettel can keep his campaign going to match Michael Schumacher's 16 wins in a single season.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      Vwfanatic
      • 1 Year Ago
      Formula 1 has become a predictable bore, let's hope the rule & engine changes for 2014 will restore much needed competition and excitement.
        TrippulG3
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Vwfanatic
        The thing is, everyone says this or something similar, but if you look further down the grid, there have been some good battles. It's just a shame that the majority of the focus goes to Vettel and his dominance, which doesn't exactly make for much high drama. Yes, his accomplishments are impressive, but unpredictability and something at least resembling some sort of parity I think are what people want from this sport, not seeing the same guy on the top step of the podium week after week after week.
          JanP
          • 1 Year Ago
          @TrippulG3
          When Vettel leads a race by a large margin, normally they don't even show him a lot on TV. The last two races they did follow Vettel's car a lot on TV, and that's because both times there was a legit battle going on for the win. In Japan, it didn't become clear that Vettel will win maybe until 10-15 laps to the end. In India, Webber still had a chance to challenge Vettel when his alternator failed. For me these races were worth watching.
        rubley00
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Vwfanatic
        This. Or I'm dropping the sports package and saving some money. F1 is a snoozefest right now
        sparrk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Vwfanatic
        They change the rules every year to bring more competition and excitement...
          gtv4rudy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @sparrk
          Not really. Next years rule changes will be significant to make F1 interesting to watch again because the last 5 years or so were the same as far as the technical rules go.
        JanP
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Vwfanatic
        The problem is that RedBull's competition has completely dropped the ball and given up on the 2013 season. Ferrari and Mercedes were doing ok early on but once it became clear they won't win any titles, they just stopped all car development and concentrated on 2014. The 2014 regs in some way have spoiled the second half of 2013 season. McLaren was even worse as they were running a turd from day one. It seems like only Lotus is still trying to compete. This is why Vettel is winning all of the remaining races. Don't blame him. Blame the inept competition.
      axton72op8
      • 1 Year Ago
      i read somewhere vettel was "hurt" by the fans booing him. well he is young and he'll get over it. fans boo in every sport. in europe the fans are even allowed to chant racial slurs. so he shouldnt take it personal, just keep his head held high.
      calstag
      • 1 Year Ago
      Vettel would be gunning for 13 wins in a season, not 16.
        MVM
        • 1 Year Ago
        @calstag
        And the first F1 that Adrian Newey penned was the March 891, back in 1989.