Editor’s note- It’s an interesting concept given the current domination of Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel. Sitting in pubs, pondering the next decade of Schumacher-esque dominance and wondering what might have been if only McLaren and Lewis Hamilton had truly held the course. The inevitable dialog comes around to the thought of Sebastian Vettel. As you take a sip from your second pint, you contemplate the thought of what would have happened had Vettel chose to drive in DTM instead of Formula 1 in 2013? That’s what F1B reader Dan Gough wondered and here we offer his thoughts and math(s) on the matter.

To liven up my lunch break I thought I would see what the championship would look like if Vettel had not entered the 2013 Championship.  I thought it would be been fun to guess what we might have all been talking about (especially as in the UK there is plenty of talk about F1 being boring with Vettel winning).  I have completed a graph and I thought I would share it as I reckon there would have been some juicy stories out there:

  • Alonso would be heading to Austin looking to win the Championship after a hat-trick of wins post the season break decided his season-long battle with Kimi.
  • The battle for second would be hotting up as late charges from Webber and Rosberg made it a 4 way battle with Kimi and Lewis.
  • In the constructers (I removed Red Bull entirely) Lotus would have faded post Spain from a 3 way battle with Mercedes and Ferrari.  Merc would have just regained the championship lead in Abu Dhabi by a single point.

What might we have been talking about?

  • Lotus would have been the bad guys with stories such as:
  • Lotus not paying championship leading driver and driving him to fierce rivals Ferrari
  • Possible sabotage of Kimi’s title charge following him signing Ferrari contract
  • Possible team orders questions after 1,2 finishes in Bahrain, Germany and Korea with faster Grosjean behind each time?
  • Failing floor deflection tests in Hungary (Grosjean) and Kimi at Abu Dhabi might have caused more scandal in the pit lane than they actually did.
  • Ferrari wind tunnel issues would have been forgotten as gains made during the mid season break look to carry Alonso to the title
  • General hysteria about the prospect of the 2 championship contenders sitting in the same car in 2014!
  • Alonso un-happiness rumours even louder following Kimi signing.
  • Webber heart break of missing another championship chance in final season with 3 retirements since Italian GP podium
  • Grosjean touted as new wonder kid with 5 second places. When will he get his first win?
  • Mercedes having the best all round team with most consistent car and very closely matched team-mates.
  • Possible team mate squabbles between Merc drivers following Lewis holding 2nd in Malaysia. Rosberg would have 3 wins to Lewis’ 1 and only 11 points separating them after Abu Dhabi

constructors without vet


drivers without vet

An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • danfgough

    Ha! I am amazed and flattered that you posted my random lunch-break speculation! Its definitely made my day!

    I’m not sure whether the season would have been more or less exciting (Alonso running away with the second half of the season), but Kimi would certainly have been centre of attention (even more than he already is!)

    • uan

      Great job speculating, very fun!

      One change in your speculation: Alonso un-happiness rumours even louder following Kimi signing.

      I don’t think Fernando would be unhappy if he was winning. We’d probably all start moaning about how boring F1 is with the soon to be 5 times WDC (no Vettel in F1, so 2010 and 2012 would have been his, not to mention Button as a 2x WDC himself lol). Then the talk would be is Alonso the greatest ever? Then we’d have an anime series about the Samurai Driver, sort of the new Speed Racer, who does battle on and off the track!

      Then there also be speculation that there is some kid/driver out there who, if only he had the chance, might have taken it to Alonso…

      • PeterFan

        There would be an article on F1B wondering how the season would have looked like if Alonso was driving in DTM :D

  • Jason Blankenship

    I’ll probably catch hell for this, but I’m tired of Vettel and the uncompetitive and frankly boring races we’re getting because of his dominance. I have no problem with dynasties necessarily, but I want good races, and being able to know, after three turns of Lap 1, that Vettel will win and everyone else is fighting for second or third, ruins the race a bit for me and it’s starting to suck a bit of the love I have for the sport out of me.

    • mini696

      You cant blame Vettel/RBR for being so good, blame the other teams for being so bad.

      At least Webber is doing his best to bring RBR back to the rest of the field.

      • Jason Blankenship

        Part of the fun of watching a race, a pro football game, a basketball game, whatever, is seeing how the game/race will shake out, and who will win. When I turn on an NFL game and watch two teams play football, I don’t know after the opening kickoff if a certain team will win. When I watch F1 the last couple of years, usually, you can tell within the opening lap or two, if Vettel will win, and unfortunately, that not only makes the race less enjoyable, but takes all the drama, speculation, what have you, out of it. That bothers me and isn’t what I like. I miss the times when not just races, but CHAMPIONSHIPS came down literally to the last lap of the last race, but the past couple of years, there is no drama, there is no excitement, there is just RBR/Vettel winning 3/4 of the races and me sitting there, literally praying that the car breaks, just so SOMEONE……ANYONE, else wins the race.

    • cconf1

      That’s something I’ve never had a problem with. I love to watch a master craftsman at work. I also watch Jeopardy! and enjoyed watching Ken Jennings’ run of dominance in that back a few years ago. In most of his games, it was a foregone conclusion by the end of the first round that he was going to be the winner.

      The saddest part to me is that we don’t get to see more of Vettel as he is never involved in any “view-worthy” fights.

  • mini696

    I thinks this shows the consistancy that Alonso has.
    My problem with Vettel is he is just so dang good, and he got better this year.

    Seeing the constructors championship in Graph form really stresses the gap between the front runners and the also rans.

  • dude

    I can’t even comprehend how Vettal is so far ahead after each first lap.

  • tom

    This once again shows how far ahead Red Bull and Vetter truly are. Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus are very close overall, despite having cars with very different preferences. It is a heck of a fight for second in the constructors championship and yet, Vettel alone has more points than any of them. Also interesting how far back McLaren really is.

    At the same time, Webber really isn’t doing so stellar, so either he is an overrated driver who couldn’t even become champion in the dominating car, or Vettel is underrated and it is him who is carrying the Red Bull car to those heights…the truth is probably somewhere in-between.

    Lastly, of course you can’t just take out Vettel and pretend that the season would still have happened the way it did. Teams like Mercedes or Lotus might have established a true #1 earlier on, since they would have had a much more credible shot at the championship. Also, the dynamic during those races would have changed with drivers covering different drivers, etc.
    My guess would therefore be, that in a 2013 without Vettel (or even a replacement), it would have been a very tight championship between Alonso, Webber, Hamilton and Räikkönen.

    • Danfgough

      Of course you are right and the numbers don’t necessarily stack up but as someone further up the chain said, it does really show how close the chasing teams are.

      The real interest for me was in the stories we might have been talking about, but also the different ways similar events might be interpreted:
      – red bull RB9 would be a moderately good car; at best a missed opportunity in Webber’s hands
      – would it put webber in a different light if his level if performance relative to Kimi, Alonso etc. was where the graph shows?
      – would we be talking about the design team at lotus achieving so much with smaller budget?
      – the Hamilton, Rosberg team order in Malaysia would have been a scandal
      – massive conspiracy theories around Lotus turning away from Kimi.
      – the first lap crash at Abu Dhabi would be replayed as a championship defining moment! Etc.
      – would brawn be on his way? Or would the constructors championship charge have created a power struggle pushing him out anyway?
      – also, there would have been less thinking about 2014 as Ferrari, Litus and Merc would have been fighting it out all year. Red bull and McLaren would be running their hands for 2014.

      All good fun!

  • Danfgough

    Oh, and for clarity, I did change drivers points as if Cettel wasn’t there so there are differences in how the championship panned out.

    But the numbers can’t show any change of team emphasis. That’s the fun bit discussing it!