And I look at how the drivers drive the cars. Seb uses lots more wheel movement, and he's like Alonso, almost violent with the wheel when he's initiating the turn-in. . This is not someone who prefers a loose rear. I am not talking about steering corrections due to a loose rear either.
And this year, Seb's problem is that his late braking is not possible. Last year, he braked very late, swung the car across violently and then the EBD kept the rear locked down. The transition to rear grip is not at all "oversteer". Oversteer is really driving a car with the throttle. This year, Seb can't go deep and then engage rear grip technology.
Webber is much more a throttle guy, and uses much less steering wheel. That is fact, because I've looked at the telecasts. *
RBR will get the car back to Seb, no doubt at all. He's doing great considering the car is so much different, and his technique is going to have to change. Those days are over. Still, they did not last for long anyway. In days gone past, Seb'd be stuffed for half the season. But with the simulator, he'll be back any minute now.
Webber's weight loss has helped him too, its not an insignificant change. It can't be good for him though, and I reckon he may get sick this year.
If people doubt about the late entry issues of Seb, just read what RBR have publicly said.
* OK OK ... its opinion substantiated by fact ... IMO ... etc ;)
As for reading what Red Bull said:http://www.motorspor...ore-than-vettel
The latest issue of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport magazine quotes Webber, 33, as admitting that he is enjoying the narrower and more durable 2010 tyres provided by sole supplier Bridgestone.
"The new generation of tyres better suit my driving style," he confirmed.
"The fronts do not bite as extremely and the rears have better lateral stability. Sebastian prefers it the other way around," added Webber.
Though Vettel has generally had the upper hand in outright pace, the difference is much smaller than 2009 when he trounced Webber 15-2 in qualifying.
"I think that is about the front tyre being less powerful this year and that has made the car a bit less nervous on corner entry and so possibly that helps Mark's side more than Sebastian's," Newey commented.
Here you have it straight from the horse's mouth. In general, more front grip suits Vettel, more rear grip suits Webber.
Some of your observations are spot on but I think the conclusions are wrong. Late braking and big steering wheel movements can't be the approach of somebody who likes a looser rear? Hamilton is a classic late braker who thrives under a looser rear, so it's not that black and white. First of all I don't like the words 'likes' or 'prefers', it's better to use 'copes' or 'utilizes' as I'd imagine every driver prefers a neutral-handling car, with that neutral state being subjective. For one it would be a slighty looser rear, for the other the opposite.
But coming back to Seb vs. Mark. From my observations of their onboards it seems that - and these thoughts are very simplified for the sake of making a point - Webber indeed begins turning a little bit earlier with less initial steering lock. Vettel starts with more initial steering done more abruptly which 'induces' over-steer and this gives him the needed direction change done quicker with Webber still busy with his steering. As a result, Seb has the car pointed at the apex earlier and is back on the gas earlier. That was the case last year.
This use of over-steer to hurry up the direction change is the more successful the more powerful the EBD is. The off-throttle EBD suited Vettel because with it he could just add more front wing which allowed him to lean on the front into the corners nicely, without worrying about the rear stepping out. Now he can't run the grippy front end and lean on it on corner entry because the rear gets too twitchy with no extra grip from the EBD. That's why he's complained about an unstable rear this year, not because he as a driver can't cope with one as good as Webber but because he's tried to drive the car the way he did so successfully last year, which now doesn't work.
So ergo, in my opinion Seb lost his advantage on corner entry and Mark gained on corner exit when the EBD kicks in and makes the car more under-steery which is more Webber territory. As I said, it's counter-intuitive but the new exhaust and mapping rules may overall just be playing to the strengths of those drivers like Webber who are more, not less dependent on a stable rear.