Marko: Vettel has had to change his approach

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has explained how Sebastian Vettel has had to change his approach to Formula 1 after a difficult start to the 2014 season.

For the past five years, Vettel has enjoyed racing the fastest car on the grid with Red Bull, winning four world championships. However, Red Bull has not enjoyed the same kind of advantage at the beginning of this season, with Mercedes instead dominating proceedings.

Speaking to the BBC, Marko explained how Vettel has had to change his approach to deal with the new style of F1.

“Sebastian was complaining about having such a bad car,” he explained. “Sebastian wants everything absolutely right. His main problem was the downshift was always destabilising the rear and he couldn’t understand that we couldn’t solve it.

“Furthermore, he thinks the way F1 is going is not the right one. The cars should be monsters, not relatively easy to drive. With all these problems, maybe he wasn’t as committed as he should have been, but that has changed. Already in Spain we saw already a different approach from this guy.”

Marko also revealed that he had given Vettel a pep talk to up his game – something a four-time champ may not expect to get.

“I told him ‘there are 50 engineers working on this engine and they can’t sort it out. You’re a top driver, it’s up to you. You have to do it.’

“If he can’t sort out the car, the easiest thing is the driver. He has to raise his game.”

Vettel secured just his second podium finish of the season in Canada last weekend, but he has been outclassed in 2014 by teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who claimed his maiden grand prix victory in Montreal.

With four world titles under his belt, though, it is unlikely that Vettel will be kept down for long. As we saw in 2012, it takes him a bit of time to become accustomed with a new set of regulations, and although a fifth championship might not be on the cards in 2014, a race win before the end of the year will certainly be the target.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.