HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014
Still the best but for how much longer?
Sao Paulo, November 28, 2011
First Published: 23:06 IST(28/11/2011)
Last Updated: 01:51 IST(29/11/2011)
Surrounded by members of their team, Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel of Germany, center row, center left, and Mark Webber of Australia, center row, center right, hold trophies as they celebrate at the end of the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Interlagos race track in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Webber won the race and Vettel finished second place. AP Photo/Andre Penner

Formula One's paddock army were bleary-eyed on Monday after the end-of-season celebrations following yet another Red Bull triumph in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

But as they packed and prepared for their final homeward flights of a memorable if predictable 2011 season, there were signals that the double champions may not have it all their own way again next year.

Rivals counting on power of continuity

McLaren, with an unchanged line-up and bristling with determination, marched out of Interlagos with nothing less than a bid to end the Red Bull domination on their minds.

Ferrari, also unchanged for 2012, issued much the same kind of confidence in their own future and, with Mercedes improving rapidly and few changes to the technical regulations, a much more competitive season appeared to be in prospect.

All of the top teams and their drivers will be doing their utmost to stop German Sebastian Vettel, 24, and his Red Bull team from completing a hat-trick of title triumphs in both the drivers' and constructors' championships.

McLaren adamant things can change

McLaren team chief Martin Whitmarsh captured the defiant mood when he said: "Red Bull have done a very good job in terms of performance and reliability, but it can change. We want to make sure of that if we can.

“We've been there. We've had back-to-back world championships and then lost form, so we have to attack and go for it. We need to be on the pace right from the opening day."

He said that early feedback from his engineers suggested that McLaren were making encouraging progress with the design of next season's car.

“I sat in the project review meeting last week and we had made some really good progress -- so I came out of it really feeling good," he said. “I think we had a shocking winter last year, probably one of the worst we have had.

“We were nowhere near competitive and had not done a race distance before we finished the Australian race. I am sure have learned from that."

The consistency of an unchanged driver line-up will be a boost for McLaren, Ferrari and champions Red Bull with Mercedes also unchanged ahead of the 63rd F1 season.

comment Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of
blog comments powered by Disqus

F1 car vrooms on Rajpath
more »

In the know
Every racer's first step

In this week's column, I thought I would look at the most basic form of motorsport  - Go-Karting. When I was 6 year's old, my parents gave me a small cadet kart as a birthday present. Karun Chandhok writes.

In The Know
One for the road...

As I write on board the flight to Singapore for the Grand Prix, I thought it's a good time to go slightly off track with this week's column and talk about the travel in F1! Karun Chandhok writes. Going the distance
more »

Never thought I'd race in an Indian GP, says Narain

Narain Karthikeyan
"Since the day I started racing, I dreamt of being in the Formula One," said Narain Karthikeyan. "But never in my wildest dream did I think of racing in an Indian GP." That's how the country's first F1 racer wants to sum up his excitement about the upcoming event next month. "It's going to be the most special thing in my life," he added.

Formula One driver regimen

It’s not all glamour for the Formula One drivers who endure demanding conditions while in the cockpit. They’re subjected to incredible wear-and-tear. HT reveals their fitness regimens.

more »
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved