Minardi raises Vettel 'traction control' doubts (3rd Update) UPDATE #3 Reports that Sebastian Vettel has sped into a position of dominance in the second half of the season with the help of some sort of traction control-like system, but Red Bull and the FIA have dismissed suggestions it is illegal, and Vettel said on Thursday: "We are pretty proud of the system. "The others have to figure out how we have done it," the German is quoted by the Associated Press.
10/02/13 (GMM) Red Bull has slammed reports it is flouting the rules as Sebastian Vettel stamps his dominance on the 2013 season.
|Did broken exhaust header slow Vettel in Singapore?|
After Singapore, former F1 team owner Giancarlo Minardi raised doubts about the German's RB9, saying its handling and engine tone reminded him of traction control.
"Utter nonsense!" Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told the German newspaper Bild.
Reports have suggested Red Bull might actually be mimicking the banned 'blown exhaust' era with a clever engine mapping solution.
Bild said F1's governing FIA would not comment. 10/01/13 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel's dominance is being powered by a clever post-'exhaust blowing' solution, a specialist Italian magazine claims.
After the reigning world champion extended his 2013 points lead with a dominant performance in Singapore, former F1 team boss Giancarlo Minardi raised doubts about the legality of Vettel's Red Bull.
Minardi, watching trackside at Marina Bay, said Vettel's car displayed worryingly good handling, while his Renault engine "sounded similar to past seasons when traction control went into action".
Indeed, Autosprint has now revealed an exclusive video that depicts the odd mid-corner sound of Vettel's car in Singapore.
It can be seen here.
The cover of the latest edition of Autosprint reads 'Il segreto di Vettel' (Vettel's secret), and reveals reportedly "confidential information" about the German's recent dominance.
Autosprint, however, doubts Red Bull is using some kind of 'traction control', but rather a clever engine mapping that mimics the behavior of exhaust-blown diffusers in the wake of the FIA's clampdown in that area.
British journalist James Allen, writing on his blog, agrees: "Rather than traction control, some kind of mapping to blow into the exhaust within the rules is more likely". [Editor's Note: Or maybe he had a slightly broken exhaust header that made that sound, and if not for that, would have been even faster. The sister car of Mark Webber was not reported to make that sound.]
Toto Wolff, Mercedes' competition boss, is quoted by Speed Week: "In this form, Sebastian could win all the remaining races of the season."
That could lead to more booing on the podium.
Pirelli boss Paul Hembery told the German newspaper Bild: "Sebastian will only be popular again when he loses.
"He will have to stand up in defeat, laugh and be humble. Nobody likes a bad loser.
"Maybe we can help him out by supplying him with only three tires?" he joked.
09/29/13 (GMM) Former F1 team owner and boss Gian Carlo Minardi has raised doubts about the legitimacy of Sebastian Vettel's dominance in Singapore last weekend.
|Up yours Gian Carlo|
The 66-year-old, who sold his team before the 2001 season, was trackside at the Marina Bay circuit where Vettel commandingly won.
Minardi, whose Faenza based team was subsequently sold to Red Bull and became Toro Rosso, admits he has been troubled by Vettel's often multiple-second advantage over his rivals under the Singapore floodlights.
"It's not my intention to devalue Sebastian Vettel, who always manages his Red Bull in the best way," he told his website.
"I just want to tell what I personally saw and heard during the three day event," Minardi explained.
He said he is concerned that, while only just ahead of the likes of Lotus' Romain Grosjean and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg in the pre-race sessions, the reason for Vettel's subsequent dominance at key moments on Sunday is "not clear".
Referring to the stretch leading into the first chicane, Minardi said Vettel was able to negotiate it "without making any corrections, unlike all his rivals and also his teammate" Mark Webber.
"His lap time was also remarkable in T3, which is the track's sector with the highest concentration of corners," he added.
"On the same stretch, Sebastian was able to speed up 50 meters before any other driver, Webber included."
But the handling of the Red Bull was not the only thing troubling Minardi.
"The thing that surprised me the most was the engine's sound," he said.
"It sounded like none of the other Renault engines on track, including Mark's. It sounded similar to the engines in past seasons when traction control went into action.
"Furthermore, that sound was only heard when Vettel chalked up his excellent performances," added Minardi. "For example, after the safety car went in. In those moments it was more powerful (sounding) than any other engines -- Renault and the other brands.
"I would like to have some answers," he continued. "I don't want to blame anyone, I just want to get to the bottom of it."