SEPTEMBER 9, 2012
Red Bull laments repeat alternator failure
By Tony Dodgins (@TonyDodgins)
The second alternator failure this season cost Sebastian Vettel his second place in the world drivers championship table as the reigning double champion retired from sixth place in the Italian GP with six laps to go. By Tony Dodgins (@TonyDodgins)
The same failure robbed Vettel of a dominant lead in the European GP at Valencia back in June and also hit Red Bull in the third session of free practice at Monza on Saturday morning. Vettel said ahead of the race that he was confident that it would not be an issue but that proved not to be the case.
"I've not seen the component but it caused another DNF," said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. "Two race-stopping failures, one certain victory and another sensible number of points is costly and needs to be rectified.
"There was another similar issue with another car, and a repeat failure is disappointing and we need to work with Renault. It's our first non-points race since Korea 2010 and it was an engine failure that day as well. It makes our mountain a bit higher but we still lead the constructors championship by 19 points with seven races to go."
Mark Webber was running seventh when he lost control of the second RB8 in the quick Ascari chicane on old tyres, spun and badly flat-spotted his Pirellis. With points gone and severe vibrations, the team felt there was no option but to retire the car on safety grounds.
"We felt we could one-stop but we knew it was marginal," Horner said.
Vettel now drops to fourth in the championship standings as he fights to win a hat-trick of titles. Fernando Alonso now has 179 points to Lewis Hamilton's 142, Kimi Raikkonen's 141 and Vettel's 140. Webber is fifth with 132.