Car of the Year & Flop of the Year 23 December, 2012 Car of the Year: Red Bull RB8 Dec.23 (Grand Prix 247) The Red Bull RB8 was a finicky piece of kit from the outset, as Adrian Newey penned masterpieces tend to be, but despite a somewhat subdued start to the season when it really got going, around the time the Formula One circus returned to Asia in September, it was a devastating weapon which enabled Sebastian Vettel to claim the drivers crown with a flurry of four wins in a row – Singapore, Japan, Korea, India – which coupled to his win in Bahrain and two victories by Mark Webber was enough to hand the team its third consecutive F1 Constructors’ World Championship. Not much more need be said of a car that was also bullet proof as was shown in Brazil and pretty handy in qualifying – clearly the car everyone coveted; ask Fernando Alonso… Flop of the Year: Ferrari F2012 Before it was unveiled the Ferrari F2012 was described as ugly by Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali. A few weeks later after the first pre-season test in Spain it became apparent that it was a beast too, in fact a couple of seconds off the early pace. Credit to the team for narrowing the gap considerably, but undeniably they were down on the pace setters all year despite so-so race pace. Nevertheless the drivers had to graft all weekend long to make the thing work and Fernando Alonso in particular was called on to deliver heroics every weekend. The woeful qualifying pace could ultimately be blamed for costing the team the title, had Alonso been gifted a car capable of starting on the first two rows he may not have been victim of cruel punts at Spa and Suzuka. A team with such a proud car building heritage should not be playing second fiddle to team whose claim to fame is making energy drinks… or maybe the Maranello boys should get into the fizzy drinks business! Subbed by AJN. Related NewsAlonso: Ricciardo was very, very smart – a great fightRed Bull and Ferrari considered protesting MercedesRaikkonen manager says problems similar to VettelEcclestone: Vettel needs to go where the best car isMarko: Ferrari made Newey an absurd offerVettel: Driving an F1 Ferrari is so pure, so direct!Vettel and Berger burn rubber at the Red Bull RingFerrari offer Newey €20-million per yearFerrari prepared to break bank to get NeweyTech Talk: Mercedes new front wing and other trick bits spotted in Shanghai Not Bernie Fairly BS story. The real story was how none of the top teams managed to get the Pirelli tyres to work from the outset. Hence why there was so many different winners in the first half of the season. It was almost like rolling a dice. Just as Vettel couldn’t handle the RB8 as well as his teammate Webber, neither could Alonso get the best from the F2012. The potential in both cars was there. However, Ferrari were the first of the top teams to start to understand the tyres. And that gave them the mid-season advantage when others were still struggling. The Ferrari was quick, there was nothing wrong with it’s engineering. It was only in the later half of the season was Vettel able to make the RB8 work, after a couple of updates helped his style. But that would almost be insulting to suggest he couldn’t drive the car. What Vettel has is the ability to learn how to adapt to the car, and between that and the updates he made it work. Perhaps you could criticise Vettel took too long to adapt to the RB8, and that would be fair, but what you can’t deny is that he has that ability. He’s always learning. That’s why he’s got more potential for future world championships. In the end it came down to the drivers. Quite simply Vettel is quicker than Alonso. Alonso is better than average, but not the genius Vettel is. Alonso is very good at picking up points throughout a season, but Vettel is the one who takes the victories. Nowhereman Bernie, you have no idea what you are talking about. Having the 4th fastest car in the field almost every race and pulling down as many points as Alonso did was a spectacle to watch. Every car on that grid is quick. Not one time did Vettel slice through the pack with the RB8 car as cleanly as Alonso did every race. Your blind and either your post is to garner rebuttels or your plain ignorant and just another Vettel suck up. I for one am tired of this child’s bantering and wait for the 2013 season to begin. If I could somehow have active suspension installed on the Ferrari which gave it a full second over the field in race and qual place, would you still say Vettel is a better driver? Really, post intellengence next time or don’t post at all. Psych4191 “Just as Vettel couldn’t handle the RB8 as well as his teammate Webber, neither could Alonso get the best from the F2012. The potential in both cars was there.” Not exactly the smartest thing to say. Alonso got every drop from the F2012. Saying otherwise shows a lack of intelligence. AAX You have to all agree its all about the cars thesedays..What Alonso did with this chassis was absolutely amazing..they had nothing on RB or mcLaren! You all know it!! Butterfly @AAX: I do. PlopFace You’re all biased. It’s so absurd how one can call another a delusional fan while at the same time showing themselves to be one. Human interpretation of reality is so skewed by their own preferences it’s unbelievable. Yeah Right The Ferrari was not any where near as bad as people say it was. It was clear that the Lotus was not up with the Red Bull or the Ferrari but it was close behind. Flop of the year should have gone to the Red Bull sister team as they flopped big time. After them I would say Mercedes should be next in line for flop of the year. Proof the Ferrari was not that bad of a car is it was second in the constructors championship and second in the drivers championship, but what really showed it was a great car was the end of the year when Massa started to out run Alonso. Alonso’s confidence was shaken at the end of the year when Massa started running faster then him. The Lotus was at best only the forth fastest car as was confirmed by their forth place in the constructors championship. They could have taken third if Grosjean did not have so many mishaps but still the McClaren was a faster car and may have still beat Lotus for third if Hamilton had not had his problems. Button showed his true pace last year in my opinion. If Lotus can gain a little Kimi will be the one to watch for next years championship. Butterfly Well, it was no HRT, that’s for sure, but it was no Red Bull/McLaren either. How many times did Ferrari find themselves more than .5 sec off the pace in qualy? Not to mention it was so incredibly difficult to drive for most of the season – which is why Felipe could only drive it properly at the end of the season. It ended upbest of the mid-field, worse of the top-end – somewhere in that region. Steve Maximus Red Bull bought the old Jaguar racing team which has a huge number of really qualified F1 engineers and two awesome wind tunnels. So anyone who calls them a fizzy drinks company has no idea about F1. Lotus are not an investment bank. McLaren are not a phone company. Mercedes are not a Singapore petrolium company. Red Bull are as F1 as anyone. Tripled @Steve Maximus correction mr maximus, i believe you meant to say Mercedes are not a MALAYSIAN petroleum company. Singapore do not produce nor refine petroleum. Sorry, im an F1 geek Divine Impious What a BS.. But anyway if last season has proven anything , it is that a WDC is totally worthless in terms of prestige, since the car is the deciding factor. So clearly the WDC is just the guy with the fastest car, and getting just the better parts over his teammate. Speedo How about Mercedes as the Flop of the Year. Certainly not Ferrari due to the fact Alonso was 2nd in the WDC and the Ferrari was 2nd in the WCC. Venezia Flop of the year is the merc bec they changed the who Ferrari after it flopped Forza Ferrari Ferrari F2012 flop of the year??? You guys at Yallaf1 are either very drunk or very stupid lol. No way was it anywhere near being the flop of the year! That’s just something that Alonso fanboys like to say, in order to make Alonso look better. The truth is that the F2012 was a good car, especially on race pace and it was definitely among the top 3 best cars this season. The only weak-point of the Ferrari F2012 was qualifying pace, but it made up for it with an excellent race pace. Claiming it was a “flop of the year” is a joke of the year! Get real Yallaf1 and make some sense please! The real flop of the year was Mercedes. Forza Ferrari And I just want to make it clear that I’m not trying to diminish Alonso’s achievements and superb driving this season. Of course Alonso had a big part in Ferrari’s success, but the whole Ferrari team had just as much importance and the F2012 definitely wasn’t that bad of a car at all as some people try to make it look. Alonso was absolutely fantastic throughout the season, but he wouldn’t have done nothing without a good enough car and a great team, which Ferrari certainly is. Tripled Go home yallaF1, you are drunk. Flop of the Year: Ferrari F2012??? It is clear that Mercedes is the flop of the year. the person who written this is clearly a monkey behind the typewriter, working for bananas because yallaf1 couldn’t afford someone legit.