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Red Bull tensions reach new high

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Andrew Benson | 20:29 UK time, Sunday, 11 July 2010

At Silverstone

Eddie Jordan called it "poetic justice". Mark Webber described it as "an appointment with karma". Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said it was "a great team result". But whatever your view of Webber's victory in the British Grand Prix, it is difficult to see how it will do anything other than store up a whole load more trouble for Red Bull Racing.

There have been a fair few angry racing drivers at various points during this brilliant Formula 1 season, but it is hard to recall one more upset than Webber was after qualifying on the day before his dominant win.

In the seeds of that emotion lay the result of the race - good for Webber and bad for team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who finished seventh after suffering a puncture caused trying to prevent the Australian passing him at the start.

As he sat in the news conference at Silverstone on Saturday afternoon, Webber, face like thunder, could barely even bring himself to look at Vettel, who had just beaten him to pole position.

Webber's anger had been provoked by a team decision an hour or two earlier to take the only remaining new front wing off his car and give it to Vettel after the German's similar wing had fallen off in final practice and been damaged beyond repair.

Red Bull responded angrily on Saturday afternoon to suggestions that the decision - which Horner said was his - was evidence of favouritism towards Vettel.

But neither I, nor any journalist I know, could find anyone in the paddock outside Red Bull who shared their view. Most were flabbergasted by it to the point of incredulity.

"They did what?" asked one veteran technical boss, when the story was relayed to him. Another simply described Red Bull's actions as "ludicrous", adding: "To take it off one car and put it on another - I've never heard of that. Unless you have a clear number one driver and a novice, in which case you'd give the number one both wings."

Horner's argument was that it was not Vettel's fault that his wing failed in practice, that the incident left the team with only one, and he had to decide whom to give it to.

Mark Webber and Sebastian VettelWebber's stare speaks volumes as Vettel congratulates him on his win. Photo: AP

He claimed the advantage the wing gave was minimal - the common view from speaking to people at Red Bull was that it was worth about 0.1secs a lap - and he added that he made the decision on the basis that Vettel was ahead in the championship and had expressed slightly more preference for it on Friday.

Any suggestion that the decision was effectively saying Vettel was the de facto number one driver was batted back.

It is absolutely clear that Red Bull bosses do not understand why the rest of F1, and most of the media outside Germany, perceive this as favouritism towards Vettel. They think they are being even-handed.

"Mark knows how we operate as a team," Horner said. "He knows there was no malice behind it or manipulation."

But that is not the way it looks to most observers - and that has absolutely nothing to do with Webber's popularity as a man in the paddock.

The wider view within F1 is simple:

You have two cars and two new front wings, which give a small advantage. One of the wings falls off one of the cars and cannot be used again. That's bad luck for that driver.

If you are treating your drivers equally, that one reverts to the old wing and the other continues with the new one. Any intervention by the team to change that is altering the natural course of events and, by extension, manipulating them.

The problem for Red Bull in terms of public perception and - more importantly - the rising tensions within the team is that this comes six weeks after the controversy at the Turkish Grand Prix, when Webber and Vettel collided while disputing the lead.

The team's immediate response to that - effectively blaming Webber for an incident that most thought Vettel was more responsible for - was perceived as being the final confirmation of what had been suspected for some time - that Vettel was Red Bull's favoured driver.

Even without that, Horner's decision on Saturday would have been regarded as favouritism. Add the two together, and it becomes even harder to see it any other way, regardless of whether the team mean it that way or not.

Of course it is Red Bull's prerogative to treat their drivers in any way they see fit - but they can't have it both ways. If they want Vettel to be their lead driver - and it would be understandable if they did - they can't at the same time claim to be treating them both equally, and employing Webber on those terms.

One senior figure in F1 described Horner's decision as "declaration of war" by Red Bull against Webber, adding: "It guarantees trouble at the first corner."

His prescience was remarkable. Webber made a better start than Vettel, who squeezed his team-mate towards the pit wall before realising he had no choice but to give way.

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With nowhere to go because Lewis Hamilton's McLaren was coming up the inside too, Vettel tried to sit it out with Webber around the outside of Copse, the 170mph first corner, which was never going to end in his favour. And he got a puncture after a touch with Hamilton, ruining his race.

So yet again Red Bull have failed to capitalise fully when they had the fastest car, the two drivers have swapped positions in the championship, but remain third and fourth, and McLaren drivers Hamilton and Jenson Button have consolidated their advantage.

In Hamilton, Red Bull face a rival who is absolutely at the top of his game and on Sunday brilliantly salvaged a second place from a race that, on Friday evening, looked like turning into a disaster for McLaren. It was a stupendous performance by the 2008 world champion - and Button's in finishing fourth from 14th on the grid was very nearly as good.

Meanwhile, not only are Red Bull not realising their potential, but they are letting their rivals score more than they should, and they will not have the car advantage they had at Silverstone at all the remaining races.

On top of that, these rows are driving a wedge inside the team.

"Not bad for a number two driver," Webber said on the radio on the slowing down lap. "Do you think you'll manage a smile now?" Horner responded.

And Vettel made thinly veiled remarks that seem to have been aimed at Webber: "Sometimes good and bad you get to know people a little better and see their true faces. So I think I have learned my lesson and focus on myself."

Horner said after the race that having "two such competitive drivers" was a "very good problem to have". That may be how he sees it. But from the outside it looks like it might end up costing Red Bull a championship that has always been theirs to lose.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    The events of yesterday just confirmed the favouritism in Red Bull.

    Even those who defended them after Turkey must now see that the team favours Vettel over Mark.

    How about an FIA sanctioned observer to ensure Mark gets equal treatment for the rest of the season?

    It happened at McLaren in 2007 so why not Red Bull in 2010?

  • Comment number 2.

    still small sparks of a much bigger bang that'll happen in the climax of this season

  • Comment number 3.

    It'd be nice to see Webber win this season, Hamilton and Button have had titles and Vettel will undoubtedly pick up one or two at some point, Webber's not getting any younger and he knows it. He's got every right to be absolutely livid at his team for this. I can only imagine how sweet his champagne must've tasted this afternoon.

  • Comment number 4.

    andrew benson


    any chance of the bbc showing the full replay on bbc i free sat as i missed some of the race today

    they have showed the full replay for previous races

    cheers

  • Comment number 5.

    Red Bull as an organisation have gone down in my estimation as a race team this season. It is ridiculously disingenuous the way they have treated Mark Webber whilst continuing to spout on about parity and equal treatment to the media. It is clear to anyone with half a brain that Vettel is favoured. What is impressive is the way Mark Webber has outperformed Vettel this season despite having senior members of the team against him. This situation and the way he has responded to it has made me an avid supporter of Mark Webber for the remainder of the season. I'd like for the world championship to go to Hamilton or Button but if Webber was to win with everything he's had to endure from his own team this season, I wouldn't be disappointed. As it is, it seems to me Red Bull are doing their best to sabotage their own season, they are conjuring in house tensions better than Big Brother ever did.

  • Comment number 6.

    There is much speculation (mainly from Red Bull) that the tension between Hamilton and Button will also explode - the difference, however, as I see it is the man in charge.

    Christian Horner is amateurish in his approach to managing this situation - in fact he has brought it on himself and continues to stoke the fire of any burning tension.

    Whitmarsh however seems to be able to stay neutral and manage any tension which undoubtedly there has been, without it coming out on track or through the media.

    Best comment Eddie Jordan has ever made pulling Horner on his lack of enthusiasm for Mark's win - coupled with the huge hug for Vettel I think we've seen all we need to.

    Also interesting that Stirling Moss made a point of shaking Webber's hand on the podium having remarked before the race that the best thing Webber could do was go out and beat his team mate.

    Come on Mark - wipe the floor with them !

  • Comment number 7.

    Like nearly all Australian's Webber has a very strong sense of "fair play" and will see things simplistically in terms of black and white with very little grey. Its seems bewildering that a team with so many capable people haven't really got to grips with the Australian psyche and with Webber's in particular, unless of course their actions this season topwards Webber are a doubhle bluff designed solely to fire him - just like we saw today after Saturday's debacle.

    An Aussie with a grievance and a point to prove is a sight to behold, just like today and Webber's first win after the drive through penalty. So maybe Red Bull are being cleverly by upsetting Webber? No doubt Eddie J would have an opinion on that

  • Comment number 8.

    i think mark webber has been treated poorly by red bull and they should know better and i did feel proud that mark webber won today because i think he is a very nice guy and a geniune guy don't get me wrong i want hamliton or button to win the world title but if webber won i won't mind because he is being treated really badly at red bull and i think vettel is getting to much off red bull and horner is just trying to cover it with smoke screens

  • Comment number 9.

    Since when is driving into the back of someone the not the fault of the tailing driver Benson?? When I took my driving test in the UK 40 years ago the guy behind was always responsible to make sure he didn't drive into the back of the person in front as Hamilton did to Vettel.
    Using your perverted logic it would seem it was HK's fault for MW accident 2 weeks ago.
    Yup, Webber had a fantastic start and drove great and given the circumstances deserved the win. However, besides SV's catch up drive through the field, albeit helped by the safety car and hindered somewhat by aero damage ( still think he can't overtake??) the man of the race was JB who through skill drove from 14th to 4th.
    The Loser's were once again the Marshals and FA for their questionable drive through decision, when in effect no damage had been done to RK with an honorable mention to MW for his poor sportsmanship towards his team when he could have garnered so many brownie points for showing a little magnanimity.

  • Comment number 10.

    All the comments the same for once, Red Bull favour Vettel. Simples

  • Comment number 11.

    I guess its difficult from the outside to truly know or understand the motives and logic of Christian Horner, and I agree with one of the earlier posts that the manner in which he is dealing with the situation is exacerbating the problem.

    What baffled me after the incident in Turkey was that the stewards didn't investigate at all. Had the incident been between drivers of different teams I'm sure they would have (though of course they did for Alonso/Hamilton in Hungary). I would have expected a penalty for Vettel for causing an avoidable accident.

    Without the team (i.e. Horner) making things worse such issues often arise when a team has two closely matched drivers - Hamilton/Alonso, Prost/Senna, Mansell/Piquet - and those are just the famous ones racing at the sharp end.

    I expect Webber knows how Alonso felt in '07!!! Using that as a reference, Hamilton has been with Mclaren for a long time, something similar is the case for Vettel and the "Red Bull family". I imagine that RB's (and Mclaren's in the Ham/Alo situation) concious actions are to deliver equality, but they will inevitably and unconciously favour Vettel due to the relationship they have.

    My big concern out of all this is the potential damage to Vettel's reputation. Up until the last few races he has been positively received by most, the unfolding situation risks parallel's being drawn with the Schumacher/Ferrari "favouritism" we saw for many years. If the team does favour him it isn't his fault (?) and it may be worth Webber remembering that (ref the cold stares!!)

    I'm fairly neutral on who wins this year's championship, I'm a fan of each of the current top five drivers (Ham, But, Web, Vet and Alo) I just hope the championship is free to run it's true course and isn't sullied by team orders - though could anyone imagine Webber allowing Vettel past now? Having said that, I'd like to see Webber win, he's one of the few drivers older than me - there's hope for me yet!!!

  • Comment number 12.

    I think the way Red Bull is acting as a team is outrageous. The way they have treated Mark Webber is disgraceful. Before the race, Vettel was grinning like a spoiled kid. I really wanted to see the smirk removed from his face. It was nice to see Webber get some payback against them and stuff that obnoxious jumped up little idiot at the first corner. I can’t believe Vettel tried initially to push Mark off the track. I feel so sorry for Mark Webber. I know what it is like to be in a team that you feel for whatever reason doesn’t support you. He genuinely is being treated as the second rate choice! I would love to see Webber win the championship.
    I walked into my local supermarket tonight and saw cans of Red Bull on special offer. I saw the Red Bull F1 car on the side of the cans. I was surprised to see Vettel is on the can also but there was no sign of Mark Webber on it. Mark, don’t let them get you down; prove them all wrong and win the championship!!

  • Comment number 13.

    Surely Vettel isn't blameless in all this either...

    He's obviously quite happy being the 'chosen one' and reaping the advantages of this, but how will this affect his development?

    Surely a bit of adversity, having to prove himself to his own team would help him to prove himself to the rest of the world?

    Webber has been through it all - he knows the price and value of victory, and Vettel should be looking to learn from him, not undermine him.

    I've lost a lot of respect for Vettel through all this - owners and principals can dictate policy, but the drivers can express their own personality (like Webber does).

  • Comment number 14.

    Did anybody else notice in the replay when Vettel almost touched Lewis at the start, The tyre on Vettels car was already showing the rim so he had a problem before he got near Lewis
    Or is it my eyes

  • Comment number 15.

    I am sorry luqa1906, your driving test and the road law in the United Kingdom (Road Traffic Act 1972 was the relevant legislation at the time) have no bearing to what goes on in Formula 1 on a race track. Yes, on a road, the driver hitting someone from the rear is likely to be blamed for the cause of the RTA; however, on a racing track when you are not line astern and drivers can cut across, take different racing lines and be the offending driver without being to the rear. Vettel is a hot headed (not to mention smug and arrogant) immature driver who was trying to intimidate. He hit Lewis Hamilton. And how dare he even suggest during interview that Hamilton may have deliberately tried to cause his puncture. He should stop blaming other people and take some responsibility.

  • Comment number 16.

    Thumbs up: Mark, Lewis, Jenson,Nico, Rubens,MaClaren,Williams, Sauber, Sir Stirling Moss,Silverstone,the Beeb,The great and fair fans, and the stewards. Thumbs down: Red Bull, Cristian Horner,Alonso, Ferarri,and Vettel. Mr Horner found out that he can't put a good man down, nor can he manage a team fairly. I think he will pay a very heavy price for this weekends fiasco.

  • Comment number 17.

    Red Bull may make great cars but they are a pathetic team. Horner's attempts to justify team decisions and the apparent favouritism are pathetic and transparent. He is an unworthy representative of a team supposedly heading to be world champions.

    Lets be clear, the collision between the two drivers a couple of races back was entirely Vettel's fault, despite the political "smoothing" comments made since. Horner's decision to physically remove an advantage from one driver and give it to another was unnecessary and disgraceful. Surely the fairest solution was for the problem to stay where it lies. The whole world will be laughing at Horner and Vettel now. In the first few yards of today's race Vettel clearly tried to push Webber into the fencing. All the trouble is one way and Webber should be applauded for continuing to hang tough where a lesser human being would be daunted .

    Meanwhile Vettel, smug, with an overreaching sense of his own ability is liable to kill someone. Will Red Bull continue to love him when that happens?

  • Comment number 18.

    Webber deserved this win. And if they new front wing did give the drives 0.1s over 1 lap then maybe Webber could of had pole position if he had it as there was only 0.1s in it between Vettel and Webber.

    I am wanting Lewis to win the title, but like 'jason shorty' wrote, i really wouldnt mind if Webber won it. I would prefer him to win it over Vettel, Alonso and Button.

    But flip - that Red Bull is such an awesome car. Flat through Copse and flat through the new abbey right hander. We are lucky about Red Bulls mistakes and reliability issues. Otherwise they would of won every race besides the Canadian GP and this season would of sucked. Now we have an awesome season. So close.

    In old money (points system) this is how the standings would look:
    1. Hamilton60
    2. Button54
    3. Webber50
    4. Vettel49
    5. Alonso39
    6. Rosberg35
    7. Kubica33
    8. Shumacher13

    Awesome Season.

  • Comment number 19.

    fishcantswim - Vettel cetainly isn't blameless, his gesitculations are the collision in Turkey for example.

    However, I couldn't honestly say that I would act any differently to Vettel in the same situation so I wouldn't say I respect him any less. F1 drivers are all uber-competitive and will take any advantage they can - F1 would be rubbish if they weren't.

    I read something at the beginning of the season (I can't remember who by, but it may have been Brundle) that was written about Jenson going to Mclaren, the article said that all F1 drivers assume they are better than their team mate until proven otherwise - my point being that Vettel won't be thinking about learning from Webber, he'll probably just be thinking "I'm quicker than this guy, I have to beat him".

  • Comment number 20.

    To be fair to Vettel, he can't help the fact that the team are flagrantly and even recklessly giving him preferential treatment over Mark.

    When Horner (who I agree behaves so childishly - he's happy to give out the banter to EJ and DC but goes off in a strop if they criticise him such as post-Turkey) announced to the team the wing was going to be switched, what was Vettel supposed to do?? He could hardly have said "no no, I want my team-mate to have the tenth advantage please" could he!!

    I reckon he himself was surprised at the decision but after it was made he did what every other winner would do and took advantage. Mark is also a winner and he responded as a winner should!

    Also agree that the favouritism doesn't help Red Bull the team, the brand or the ethos, nor does it help Vettel's image (see Hamilton vs Alonso in Spain for details...

  • Comment number 21.

    Apologies for typos..Christian.....McClaren (HOW did I get that wrong?)

  • Comment number 22.

    Why is everyone ignoring the fact that at the start Vettel CLEARLY tried to push Webber off the track? He tried that one in Turkey and look what happened. Can Vettel really afford to end up with no points by taking out his teammate again, or is he buoyed by the fact that Webber has been instructed to always yield yo Vettel? If so it's a sad day for fans. Horner is really treating the fans and spectators with contempt, and I suspect history will be cruel to him.

  • Comment number 23.

    ps forgot to say, great article Andrew. Thanks for preparing and posting tonight while the passion is still there. I can't believe how worked up everyone's getting, it's great, it totally makes the season more engaging!

  • Comment number 24.

    Andrew, who do we need to talk to to get the red button radio 5 commentary in sync with the video on TV? It's bordering on unwatchable at the moment. (the sound's about a second ahead.) Please don't make us all have to switch back to Leggers! Any chance of getting it looked into, it's been dodgy like this all season...

  • Comment number 25.

    Another point - I haven't yet seen any praise directed to Sutil yet, who once again drove outstandingly well for so little reward.

    First he passes Michael with a ballsy move through Brooklands, then defended so intelligently against Vettel for so long - deliberately taking a wider entry into "the loop" in order to get a better drive out consequently stopping Vettel getting the drive out of Aintree to pass down the Wellington straight, as he'd managed vs Petrov and Schumacher beforehand.

  • Comment number 26.

    agreed Sutil did outstandingly well today well pretty much all season

  • Comment number 27.

    I like most have lost respect for Red Bull and Mr Horner in particular. The more he said today just confirmed what everybody was thinking.

    Well done Webber and excellent drive. Though my driver is really Jenson Button, I would really love Webber to win this years championship. So come on Webber no more mistakes like 2 weeks ago!

    Show Red Bull that if they need a number 1 driver you are it!!!

  • Comment number 28.

    I'm really happy for Webber, but I also feel for Vettel. When Lee is interviewing him (around 2min) he seems to be a bit down on what Webber has actually said in the car about being number 2, which is just fuelling this fire more. Being favoured in the team is not solely Vettels fault, Red Bull have made this situation and its not going to go away.

    So happy that Button and Hamilton improved from qualifying, fasinating season!

  • Comment number 29.

    Dear Andrew Benson,

    I cannot believe you think Hamilton's drive was better than Button's!!

    The majority of viewers, I'm pretty sure, would call Button's drive by far the best of the day!!

  • Comment number 30.

    I am sick and tired of Christian Horner and Sebastian Vettel.

    How Horner can deny clear favourtism with a straight face is simply laughable. And more laughable still is how Red Bull rate Vettel so far above Webber.

    The plaudits have come too thick and too strong for Vettel, supposedly "a future title winner." That he has been rated by some pundits and many fans as being in the same class as Hamilton and Alonso - 3 F1 Titles between them - is delusional. And let's face it, Vettel doesn't have Hamilton's or Alonso's racing instinct nor the race craft of someone like Jenson Button. Moreover, Vettel is allegedly "King of the Wet" despite ditching his Red Bull twice in the wet last season alone.

    At this point I will admit that until this season Mark Webber had more talent than I gave him credit for. In direct comparison to Vettel I think he's at least equal but increasingly I think he is the better driver. He's more aggressive and willing to take risks and is just as quick as Vettel over one lap. If anything, Red Bull have backed the wrong driver! Vettel is too timid, has poor racecraft and only seems to win from the front of the grid.

    And Vettel's reaction to the coming together in Turkey - suggesting that Webber was crazy when clearly Vettel was at fault - coupled with his "true faces" comment today showed him up for the petulant little spoilt boy that he is. Christian Horner telling Webber "you can now smile" was an outrageous comment from a team leader who cannot admit to his mistakes - and clear bias towards Vettel.

    I now wish Christian Horner and Sebastian Vettel every ounce of misfortune for the rest of the season but best of luck to Mark Webber. If Hamilton or Button don't win the F1 title this season then I hope the Australian is Champion come the end of the season. After the way he has been treated by Horner and Vettel this season he would deserve it. Oh, and because he is the better Red Bull driver too.

    Good luck, Mark!

  • Comment number 31.

    After this weekend i have no respect for Vettel or Red bull, also anything on Ferrari, Alonso ruining first Massa's then his own race, must be some tension within Ferrari when they had a car which should of been 2nd and 3rd today

  • Comment number 32.

    Not really a Webber Fan, never have been for various reasons, though this season, the guy has gone up in my estimations and come over pretty well in the media so i actually wouldn't mind seeing him win the Championship over Vettel just to upset the apple cart at Red Bull.

    As for Vettel, still think he's a top bloke and a real crowd pleaser - Love his Driving Style. I wouldn't say any of this is his doing. He'll do what he's told, just like Webber. The problem has been created by the Team

    Horner's congratulations over the Radio to Webber that we all heard were as flat as a pancake when compared to other occasions. He knew there was trouble ahead and Webber let him have it with everyone listening.

    Today also illustrated the beauty of the BBC employing Eddie Jordan, a man who will ask any question to anyone. Great piece of TV watching him tackle Horner about his lack of enthusiasm over the radio, which was apparent to all, but no one dare ask about it. Well done Eddie, thats what we pay you for - great TV.

  • Comment number 33.

    this might make you laugh,as i noticed that on a pack of 4 cans of redbull the packaging only has vettel on them coincedence mmmmmmmmm dont think so.

  • Comment number 34.

    @gibgas you think jenson's drive was better than lewis? Lol he had a good start and waited until cars dropped in front, did nothing of note. For the topic the red bulls are too fast and it's only a miracle they not leading the wdc and wcc.

  • Comment number 35.

    Christian Horner is a disgrace to the sport. Whether he makes the decisions or is merely a puppet for others he clearly has no integrity. I can't contenance for one instant that he believes the tosh he spouts.

  • Comment number 36.

    This year Red Bull has a great chance to win the championship. They've had the better car for most of the races so far, except they keep shooting themselves in the foot! And in the end McLaren is the laughing third.

    Red Bull management (whether it's Horner or whoever's fault, I'll leave that in the middle) is doing a great job splitting up the team. They want to win the championship this year, but by creating a rift in the team people will be looking in different directions, and maybe more importantly, no data will be shared anymore (if that still happened anyway). And that's not the way to win a championship. This weekend's events will not help at all. The media will start digging for more. More frustrations will come out. I can't imagine the Red Bull PR department to salvage anything from this disaster. And if they happen to come out with a wonderful love story between Webber and Vettel, nobody will be there to believe it.

    It actually makes me wonder whether we'll see Webber at Red Bull next year. They did extend his contract, but I just can't imagine that Webber will want to stay under the current management (or with the current team mate for that matter).

  • Comment number 37.

    I have a little prediction (though very far-fetched!):
    Massa to retire, Webber to Ferrari, Kubica to either replace him after a year or take his seat at Red Bull!

    stranger things have happened...

    I've already commented on a few things so here's my last thoughts of the night:
    I was delighted when Alonso was given a penalty. Never has there been a more whining and petulant driver in F1. He's simply getting his comeuppance after some very good luck at the start of the season: anyone remember how his jump-start went almost unpunished because of a safety car?? This was exactly the same in reverse, but totally avoidable on his part. I'm sure most drivers would have let Kubica back through as soon as the FIA were investigating, rather than wait to see if they'd got away with it.
    Its so sad that its going so badly for Massa at the moment. A genuine good guy, equally gracious in victory and defeat, but unfortunately not quick enough anymore. His qualifying performance, coupled with his failure to overtake slower cars for the rest of the race confirmed to me that he'll never challenge for the title again.

    Finally I concur with Andrew that Lewis had the better weekend than Jenson. He drove on the limit of the car with consistency throughout all the sessions, even on Friday with the ill-fated upgrade package. Button kept is nose clean on the first lap, then simply matched Lewis's pace for the five or so laps he needed to in order to get passed slower cars, but he never looked like challenging Rosberg for the podium and ended a long time after Lewis, despite the safety car.

  • Comment number 38.

    Vettel was the architect of his own doom, with Lewis quite properly looking to take advantage of any space left by the weaving Bulls. Having watched the replay in slo-mo several times, I think it more likely that Vettels' puncture was picked up during his sojourn in the run off area, than in contact with the McLaren.
    Red Bull are providing an object lesson in how not to run a team, whilst Mark Webber grows in stature with every race. Only 2 weeks ago he was taking flying lessons at Valencia, yet he put in a champion's performance at Silverstone. If he wins the WDC, this Button fan for one will be cheering him.

  • Comment number 39.

    Good article and that photo is top class. The look on Webber's face is worth a thousand words.

    Also have to say that EJ was absolutely spot on with his comment about Horner on the radio. The difference between that reaction and the one we hear when Vettel wins was like chalk and cheese. Fair play to Eddie for saying so to Horner too. Fearless punditry!

    Having said that, I don't particularly blame Vettel for what happened. Is there a single driver on the grid who would refuse to take the better part from their team mate in the same circumstances?

    And I agree with Brundle that Horner is in a very difficult position. If RB fail to win the DC this year when they've had such a prolonged period of superiority, it'll be a disaster for them. Although I don't agree with what they did, it is understandable. You also have to give credit to Horner for coming out and doing what he knows are going to be very difficult interviews. Many a team boss in the past would have been doing their best Macavity impression at that point.

    Finally, a quotation from Horner: "Mark is by my maths ahead on the points, if we ever found ourselves with one component we'd act differently at the next race."

    Perhaps I'm being overly generous but I take this to mean that he'd give the part to Webber next time as he is now leading the DC. I'd love for it to happen at the next race so we can be sure. If that doesn't happen however, perhaps EJ could ask him to clarify.

  • Comment number 40.

    @luqa1906

    "Since when is driving into the back of someone the not the fault of the tailing driver Benson?? When I took my driving test in the UK 40 years ago the guy behind was always responsible to make sure he didn't drive into the back of the person in front as Hamilton did to Vettel."

    I'm sorry, but firstly what race were you watching? If you watch the replays, it's Vettel's car that moves across slightly and hits Hamilton's front wing. It typically comes down as a racing incident, but Vettel put himself in that position and hung himself out to dry.

    And secondly, it wasn't a case of the person behind not going into the person in front. Using your rather unrelated example (of comparing road driving, to motor racing) if you were driving on the motorway, and someone changed into your lane, in front of you and clipped the front of your car, it would be their fault.

  • Comment number 41.

    Lets call a spade a spade: The fact is Red Bull have a favourite driver and its S.Vettel. At this stage of the season, its quite clear that Webber is just as good as Vettel and should be treated equally with Vettel if they stand any chance of winning the constructor's title. And the Team Principal should know this.

    I think Webber has been really mature about this and it shows clearly that he is the older and more experienced driver.

    I'm going for a Webber-Hamilton-Button championship!

    End of discussion!

  • Comment number 42.

    Such a shame for the Red Bull car... Adrian Newey designed the best car on the grid by an absolute mile! The team have really messed up on this one, and as has been said before, the WDC and contructor's was theirs to lose... it looks like they are truly shooting themselves in the foot. Hopefully the McLaren upgrades get a reshuffle and work, because if they can pull back half a second on saturdays, the Red Bull superiority is over... Opportunity missed!

    Glad for British-dwelling decent guy Webber... hopefully he wins the head to head with Vettel just to annoy the owners in Austria!

  • Comment number 43.

    #7: Since when have Australians be known for 'fair play'??? You should start following cricket, where Aussies are known as 'Ugly Aussies' for the Materrazzi-like insults they use to unnerve a batsman and spoil his attention. I agree with you that Webber is a good bloke, and seems to see things in black and white, but perhaps he's an anomaly...a fair Aussie. I do hope he goes on to win the Championship...a good lesson in man management for Chris Horner.

  • Comment number 44.

    There seem to have been a few occasions recently where Vettel and Hamilton have come together in the first few corners, or at least come close. In this case it is hard to blame either of them - Seb cut across a bit more than was wise but he was trying to keep it on the track. Lewis was trying to balance avoiding Mark, keeping the rest behind him and getting around the corner as fast as possible. I'd also say that at those sort of speeds it would be near impossible to so finely judge a hit to the tyre that would puncture it but not damage your front wing that it could not possibly be intentional.

    Lewis does seem to like going for gaps that aren't really there but maybe Seb leaves a few too many inviting half-gaps for Lewis to try his luck in.

    As for the Red Bull situation, I wouldn't be surprised if we see some major changes there soon. Things were calming down after Turkey then the wing farce happens. As others have said, Seb got the bad luck, not Mark. If the wings are so similar the only possible reason for doing a swap would be to give one driver an advantage.

    I have a feeling we'll see one or more of the following happening:

    Mark will drive like a man possessed to take the title then leave at the end of the season. (Maybe to Renault, probably just walk away from the sport completely)

    Horner will become a fall-guy for whoever is pulling the strings. If the decisions really are his then they are making the team look stupid. If they are coming from elsewhere then he will be used as a way to shield those higher up.

    Adrian Newey will get sick of the in-fighting and go back to building speedboats or whatever he was up to when he took his sabbatical a few years back. Or maybe even return to Williams and start their revival. I can't see him putting up with a team being so badly run as to look like a bunch of idiots and waste yet another of his excellent designs.


    By the way, wasn't there some talk at the start of the season about some bloke by the name of Schumacher? Wonder what happened to him...

  • Comment number 45.

    RBR got what they deserved. Its hard for me to like Vettel in any way although he has some talent as a driver. Horner's management is farcical and pure disaster.

    Good on Eddie Jordan for taking him on. Millions of F1 all over the world wanted just that!!

    H

  • Comment number 46.

    Well I've never seen so many people so passionately agreeing with each other! Red Bull team management (in particular Mr Horner)should be hanging their heads in shame. The 'independent' Formula 1 fans have spoken and they're behind Mark Webber. There's a saying here: "He couldn't lie straight in bed" - and it seems it applies fairly and squarely to Mr. Horner. At some point this season his bluff on equality will be called and if he has any integrity he will have to back MW. I said a few weeks ago that MWs contract extension was simply an advance pay-out for when he leaves at the end of the season. Horner, however, should depart a little earlier if RB are to have any chance of saving their season!

  • Comment number 47.

    I agree completely with sufc63!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    Generally agree with the drift of comments - but thought I'd mention that Mark had a crash two weeks ago that would have put him in hospital ten years ago, and killed him another ten back!

    He then comes out and wins the next race in spite of his teams 'help' - what a true professional! Good luck for the rest of the season!

  • Comment number 49.

    Let's start a new marketing campaign for Red Bull... Red Bull - clips your wings OR perhaps Red Bull - nicks your wings !

  • Comment number 50.

    Wow, what a difference a day can make. Well done Mark on showing the sporting world what you are really made of.

    If only one upgrade was made available I think you could understand that the guy leading in points would get the upgrade, however to take the part off one car and place it onto another when clearly both drivers are fighting for the championship is poor judgement. Christian your leadership style leaves a lot to be desired and you are clearly the weak link in this chain.

    Mark, if you are to win the title this year you will have to do it on your own. Many drivers could only wish to be in your position and you may ony get one clear shot at the title so make it work on the track.

    You will not win the title by playing the team game so don't play it. If the team don't like it let them sack you.

  • Comment number 51.

    I wonder if Matt Slater is reading this, or whether he watched the GP. The reason I ask is because in the days leading up to the GP, he wrote an awful, ogre-ish blog which was basically him rubbing his hands at the prospect of two british drivers falling out in public.

    Well Mr Slater, it appears you missed a trick. The whole time you were gleefully waiting for and encouraging two of your countrymen to embarass themselves publically, you appear to have missed the REAL direction of the tantrums, which came from Red Bull, not McLaren.

    I would encourage Mr Slater to never write another blog about F1, if his last effort was anything to go by.

    As for yourself Andrew, I was very pleased to read your pre-GP blog as it appeared to focus on the actual track and race, rather than the tabloid-ish bust-up-to-be between Jenson and Lewis that some of your other colleagues seemed to be frothing at the mouth for. I always find your blogs to be quality. Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 52.

    Red Bull shoot themselves in the foot yet again. Lewis and Jenson must be laughing up their sleeves. Christian Horner needs to get it sorted before too much damage is done.

  • Comment number 53.

    RobW #15 Road Traffic act in force when I did my driver's license in the UK was from 1960- it would seem your mathematical abilities are just as flawed as your logic.( 2010-40= 1970 NOT 1972!
    Ask Murray Walker- many is the time in the past when he has pointed out quite emphatically that it's the responsibility of the driver doing the overtaking's responsibility to NOT drive or drift into the car in front as Rob #40 puts it. It's also why F1 rules restrict the number of direction changes by the driver in front to give the guy behind a potential move that cannot be defended by the driver in front in such situations.

    IF INDEED Hamilton hit Vettel (I've not had the benefit of any slow mo replays here in the colonies) from behind and accidentally sliced Vettle's tire, then it's LW's fault- no ifs ands or buts about it. That this can happen in wheel to wheel racing is a different matter especially at the start of a race when drivers are jocking for position.

    Using your logic, it was also DC's fault for holding up MS at Spa a number of years ago when MS obviously drove into the back of DC, remember- or did you conveniently forget that?

    Your assertion and that of Benson are once again clouded by the Union Jack in front of your eyes. Get a grip and recognize that JB and to a lesser extent SB put on the real "show" on the road today.

  • Comment number 54.

    At the start of the year I had such high hopes for Red Bull, (Vettel and Webber equally). It is great to see a "new' team at the front. I am very saddened by their management's action and opinions. I don't know whether Horner is just a pawn in the Red Bull structure or whether he is just that bad at making management decisions. And what's with that piece of work Helmut Marko. Give me a break. Why on earth would they allow a twit like that to speak for the team. They should move Newey up to the principal role and ask Mr Marko to stay home...

  • Comment number 55.

    Despite being Australian myself I have to agree with bellisarius80's comment regarding the Australian Cricket team (comment 43) - they are, or at least were, pretty terrible when it came to sledging and not exactly loved for it here either. Leaping to my country's defence though, generally speaking fair play is what we are about. Hard, but fair. Like England, you wont see too many Australians taking a 'dive' in Football/Soccer. I digress. An appointment with karma or poetic justice it may have been but I think Mark could have thought a little more before he made his Number 2 comment. He handled himself with such dignity after the Turkey incident and won a lot of support because of that. More of the same here would have been good here too. It left a nasty taste in the mouth hearing that post race exchange with Horner. It was airing their dirty laundry all too publicly. That said, Horner's management of the situation has been absolutely dire. I actually think Mark's true rival in Red Bull is not Vettel but rather Horner. Vettel has at least been gracious enough to congratulate Mark at each of his victories - and you cant ask for much more than that of a uber competitive team mate. I obviously would dearly love to see Mark win the title, he really does deserve one but the competitiveness of this year's championship has just been fantastic and will certainly go down in history as one of the best. Despite leading the championship I still think Hamilton's driving this year has not fully been recognised. He has truly driven the wheels off his McLaren and has proved beyond doubt he is a class act. As are all the top 5. Any one would be a deserving champion, for me though I hope it is Mark.

  • Comment number 56.

    Completely agree with #35, Thorsson

  • Comment number 57.

    Lets have a mention for Rubens..4th in Spain, 5th in GB & fastest on Top Gear xD

    Brighter days up ahead for Williams?

    Hammy or Webber for the title

  • Comment number 58.

    I got to meet Mark a few years ago and can confirm that he is a top class guy. Spent a long time with us answering questions and treated us as equals rather than just fans. It's becoming quite obvious what is happening around the paddocks. Mark is a well liked guy. He seems to have a great relationship with guys like Lewis, Jensen and even Fernando. I'm sure this comes from a combination of having a likeable nature, but also showing an ability to be upfront and honest about his mistakes and failings.
    I was more disgusted at Sebastian’s and Horner’s response to Turkey than anything that happened at Silverstone. Horner went beyond declaring it a racing incident where both drivers were to blame (a diplomatic position he should have taken regardless of actual blame) he actually blamed Webber more!
    A lot of people thought Webber would struggle when Vettel lined up next to him last season. I can understand that many saw Vettel as the next big thing, but to write Mark off so easily – a guy that has dominated team mates since his early days in F1 and has consistently got everything out of his car – was simply an oversight. Even last year people seemed to forget that he was right there in the mix for the championship – I couldn’t believe people (including people in his own team) were looking to replace him.
    Red Bull’s decision at Silverstone is un-defendable. You could say Vettel was in front in the championship, but Webber has been the better driver all year and was it not for a mechanical problem (where he was penalised 5 grid spots) or Vettel running him off the road, he would have been in front. Mark has certainly looked the more likely to bring home the championship. Then there is the excuse that Vettel had been faster. Well Mark was faster in P2 and there was nothing in it at other times – certainly not enough to warrant the action they took.
    And today Horner says ‘well it wasn’t Vettel’s fault that his wing failed’ so why should he be disadvantaged. Well Christine, why should Mark be disadvantaged for a mechanical failure to his team mates car? Disgraceful!
    I hope like many of you that what we are seeing now is a stage set for one of those great moments in sport, when someone defies the odds to take a famous win. Mark will use this to his advantage and his shown that he can harness his feelings and use them to his advantage.
    Vettel must now show some humility if he wants a fan left after all this. And if Red Bull want to protect their brand, they’ll get rid of Horner ASAP.

  • Comment number 59.

    This issue,Webber/Vettel, is a disgrace. Red bull need to take a crash course in personal management. Not only is Webber a great racer, he is a great individual and is ranked highly by his peers. Also as an Aussie he has the British racing fans solidly behind him, they understand the Aussie attitude of a "Fair go for everyone). Webber will never be without friends, I'll say no more.

  • Comment number 60.

    Red Bull gives Vettel wings! Webber gives Red Bull the bird!

  • Comment number 61.

    My final say on this... Vettal's comment about focusing on himself will mean no sharing of information between the 2 Red Bull teams; Webber is unlikely to listen to team orders and another on-track clash is almost inevitable... It does not bode well for RB's team championship ambitions. Horner's in a corner!

  • Comment number 62.

    It is important for a champion ( or a would be champion ) to know that it is important to win a war than the battle. Vettel has made very expensive mistakes in Turkey and Silverstone losing directly 30 thirty points. I estimate that if he had allowed Hamilton and Webber to pass he would have still come atleast 4th. In addition his oppenents gained additional points ( Hamilton 10 extra in Turkey, Button 6 in Turkey, and another 2 points atleast in Silverstone ). He will regret these expensive mistakes. In relation to Hamilton he lost a good 40 Points ( 30 + 10 ).

    Even more surprising was Fernando Alonso. After he gained that advantage over Kubica, the Ferrari Pit crew did tell him to hand over the advantage. Alonso actually retored that it is not required. In 2008 Raikkonen had squeezed Hamilton and Hamilton used the run off area and gained an advantage but he was penalised subsequently.

    When the going is not okay both Alonso and Vettel are making too many mistakes.

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm a one eyed Webber fan. My pic of him with his arm around my shoulders has pride of place in my living room. So be warned I may be a wee bit biased... Anyway.
    I think it's true that Webber is getting a raw deal from Red Bull. But what troubles me about the relationship is less what we see than what we don't see. I think it's a lot worse than we think. In today's stage managed F1, disunity and conflict are carefully hidden away. So the fact so much conflict at Red Bull is showing indicates just the tip of a much, much deeper iceberg, I fear.
    Mark is very, very angry at the team, and somewhat so at Vettel. He could barely contain himself post quali. Then to reference the conflict on live TV after the race, expressly referring to himself as the "No. 2 Driver", i.e. a circumstance that most have surmised since Turkey but has been denied by the team, shows the deep extent of the conflict. (As did Horner's utterly ungracious "maybe you can smile now" in return - in my book a driver is allowed to get a little emotional and uncontrolled after just winning a GP, a team manager is not.)
    BTW, I wonder how much of a role Vettel had in this. Did he push for Webber's wing? Did he raise the topic? Does he have some contractual leverage over Red Bull that Mark doesn't have? Don't know about that, but my feeling is that his wide-eyed boy routine is a front, and he jumps on any opportunity to niggle Webber (I think that's what one sees in the picture above.)
    You could read Webber's behaviour as petulant and unprofessional. I believe that he is mentally very strong, and by nature a team player. I met him privately at the end of 2004 and asked him about rumours of Williams for 2005; he didn't spill a single bean. To me, the fact that he is angered to the point of openly criticising the team indicates that he is being treated worse than anyone publicly knows.
    Did Webber actually say he loved the new front wing as much as Vettel, and/or did the team manipulate his words there? Was he promised a change in ways following Turkey and his subsequent re-signing for Red Bull? Were situations like Silverstone's "only one part to go round" explicitly referred to in those negotiations (a promised then reneged)? Or has he been baldly told that Vettel is No 1, we're going to say otherwise to the world, and you just deal with it?
    I don't know, but whatever, my feeling is the ructures run deep. I think it's Mark vs the World at the moment, and when "the World" includes your team, that is not the best for any driver. If he manages to continue to win and bring the team round nonetheless, it will be a massive achievement.

  • Comment number 64.

    I agree with most of the comments here and hope that Webber not only finishes above Vettel in the world championship this year, but above everyone else.

    However, it'll be far from easy. Vettel is exceptionally fast. And now that it's blatantly obvious that he is the team's favoured driver, thanks to Red Bull's mismanagement and poor decision-making, Webber will have to fight against his own team as well. More than likely that'll be too much for him, even forgetting the presence of Lewis and McLaren.

    The effect it's having on Vettel's image is surely something that his personal management will have to look into. He is being cast, rightly, as the spoilt brat in all of this. Webber is older, wiser and more experienced than his young team mate and now seems to be winning the mind game/PR battle as well. He's got most of us on his side, and most of the people in the press room as well.

    At the end of it, I'm not sure Mark has the raw speed to match Vettel when all things are equal. But with things skewed against him, he has even less chance. Watching the struggle will certainly be interesting. I hope Mark does it, but he's unlikely to do it starting behind Vettel on the grid.

  • Comment number 65.

    There seems to be an awful lot of sympathy for Webber here, which baffles me. This is the man that in the past has been nothing shy of a danger to others on the track with his unpredictable and often simply rediculous manouvers, ie this season alone - crashing into the rear of Hamilton for no good reason and yes his stupidity in coming together with Kovi!
    Vettel is a racing driver and will take any advantage he is offered, failure to do so would show a lack of fight and ambition - how can anyone place blame for this weeks events at his door?
    Webber drove a very good race yesterday and deserved the win, which guts me to admit, but Hamilton,Button and a host of others performed well beyond the limitations of the machinery beneath them, so they deserve greater credit.
    Then there is the egotistical Alonso who got his just deserts. Good to see however that he has learned this time to keep quiet with the false and rediculous accusations as displayed after the last race! Was I the only one who thought that common sense should have kicked in and Alonso should just have relinquished the place back to Kubica? Ferrari have no chance of winning anything this season (as opposed to claims by Alonso) until they sort out their strategy issues and the drivers stop making poor judgements.
    I can only see the Maclarens getting better as the season progresses and a championship double in the current order being realised. Then Mr Horner can look back at a season of poor decisions, by all areas within the Red Bull team having cost them both championships, when they should have it pretty much sewn up by now with only half the season gone!

  • Comment number 66.

    I don't think Horner's decision betrayed favoritism. His job is to maximize his team's chance of winning the drivers' and constructors' championships. Giving the wing to the driver with more points helped one of those goals while not thwarting the other.

    Imagine it's the last race of the season and Webber can win the championship while Vettel can't finish better than third. During practice, Webber's car self-destructs through no fault of his own. There is no replacement. Would it be favoritism for Horner to give Webber Vettel's car in that situation? No, it would be good sense! In fact, it would be his responsibility to do it.

    This British Grand Prix situation was essentially the same, just less extreme.

  • Comment number 67.

    65. At 05:13am on 12 Jul 2010, Hutch71 wrote:

    Clearly a man who is blinded by his own opinions.

    Webber as a drive has always been the first to take resposibility for his mistakes, and the other drivers respect him for that.

    I think the respect that all the other drivers have for Mark, and that they have admited to themselves speaks more than the blustering piffle that Hutch has shared with us.

    Hutch, when you have sat where those drivers have sat, then I will consider valuing that drivvle you spew forth.

    Ferrari have no chance of winning anything this season? Fair enough, I must have missed where they had the win in Bahrain stripped. Or is that not winning something?

    See the Maclarens getting better? There are no Maclarens in the championship?? Or do you mean McLarens?

    The fact that you say it guts you to admit somthing self evident shows that anything you type is so biased it's not worth reading. Except to have a laugh!

    Thanks for the giggles.

  • Comment number 68.

    Perhaps the real tragedy is that Vettel is an excellent driver who hardly needs the silly bias that Horner is showing him.
    I think Horner is a poor team boss and should be got rid of - he is creating unnecessary antagonism in the team, as could be seen when Webber's pit crew, at the end of the race, tore the old wing off their man's car and waved it at Vettel's crew with venomous glee. There will come a point in the championship when one of the two drivers will essentially have to take one for the team and allow the other to win so as to sew up the Drivers' Title. In a team without so much rancour, this would be an implicit agreement. But Red Bull will not be able to benefit from this - thanks to Horner's bungling.
    The sooner they rid themselves of this inept team boss, the better their chances of winning the championship.

  • Comment number 69.

    Is this not the best championship fight for a long time? Team mates falling out, drivers bitching about each other, the greatest driver ever being well and truly outclassed, some great racing and some truly stunning crashes! I really cannot wait for the rest of the season to unfold. This has totally reignited F1 as a sport, no more "boring" jibes anymore.
    Bring it on.....

  • Comment number 70.

    It's pretty obvious Vettel's gonna be favoured, he's the young one with the massive potential, they don't want to lose him to any other manufacturer so they have to show him that he's number 1. Webber's a great driver but has nowhere near the amount of years left in him compared to Vettel so Red Bull have to do more to keep Vettel rather than Webber.

    Vettel's had more poles than Webber this season and his potential has been obvious for some time, he's just rather inconsistent. Once he becomes more consistent, then Red Bull have a champion. Webber, while consistent, doesn't have that potential that Vettel has so Red Bull will treat him, without saying so obviously, that he's the 2nd driver.

  • Comment number 71.

    Good article, sums it up well. Its seems very surprising how Vettal has gone from a driver that was very likeable and through the actions of his team he is now the villain.

    Love Webber, looks like it might end up with a fight either on or off the track.

    RBR have messed it all up and Lewis has been very good, shame he lost 18pts in Spain.

  • Comment number 72.

    It's said there's no "I" in Team. Well, there's no Vettel in Team either. The bottom line for Christian to ponder is that Vettel's petulance has cost the team many points so far this season; if things continue in a similar vein, then Vettel may well be responsible for one of the McLarens winning the championship.

  • Comment number 73.

    I'd like to use this medium to applaud Eddie Jordan, a pundit willing to ask the questions that the viewers want asked. Top Class, thanks Eddie.

  • Comment number 74.

    It's gratifying for this Aussie to see how popular Mark Webber is (deservedly) with the British media. A lifelong McLaren supporter, I went into this season big fan of Red Bull and Vettel's, as well, but between Istanbul and Silverstone I've lost all respect for Red Bull, Vettel and Christian Horner. Sir Stirling Moss is right: the best thing Mark can do is continue doing exactly what he did yesterday, and beating Vettel with second rate gear. That will prove conclusively who the better driver is.

    As far as Alonso is concerned - does nobody remember Spa in 2008 when Hamilton was demoted after the race finished, DESPITE having yielded the place he gained back to Raikkonen, and then gone on to retake the position, lose it and take it again? The stewards' decision there was farcical. I notice Ferrari weren't complaining in '08, when Massa was the ultimate winner. That year, it almost affected the outcome of the WDC, and but for Glock's timely struggle with his tyres would've resulted in the wrong person being crowned. A drive through seems, by comparison, eminently fair.

  • Comment number 75.

    To N° 71 - that's just it, isn't it: Vettel was never that likeable before (he was a talented ambitious driver) and he's not a villain now (he's a talented ambitious driver). In other words, he was and is like all F1 drivers.

    If the McLaren upgrade package is as good as it sounds, the title will be Hamilton's.

  • Comment number 76.

    What I would have said in Saturday's press conference, had I been Mark Webber:

    journalist: "Mark, what are your opinions on your team's decision to give Sebastian your front wing..."

    Mark Webber: "perhaps Christian Horner can explain to you all, which clause of my contract to drive for Red Bull has it that they can dismantle my car however they see fit, so that little Sebastian Vettel can have it his way..."

  • Comment number 77.

    This blog is spot on I think. I would not be one bit surprised if the tension in the Red Bull camp creates even more problems as the season progresses.

    F1 history suggests that it could even allow someone else to nip in front for the Championships.

  • Comment number 78.

    Does anyone send this stuff to the likes of Horner, Vettel, Webber? It would be a real shame if they didn't find out what people think.

  • Comment number 79.

    I fail to see how RBR's favouritism to Vettel is Vettel's fault at all. I very much doubt he asks the team to favour him, and like any racing driver, he'd prefer to go out and beat his teammate with equal equipment. I agree that the favouritism is wrong, but that is Christian Horner and RBR's mistake, not Vettel's.

  • Comment number 80.

    BTW, I've been quite critical of Eddie Jordan's peformance on the TV team but I have to say at Silverstone he rocked! He asked all the tough questions.

    I do wish he wouldn't try to use such big words though. He talks himself in circles often.

  • Comment number 81.

    When people described Vettel as "Baby Schumi" they wer not wrong. It's history repeating itself. Favouritism within the team, argy-bargy driving style and total contempt for his peers.

    I fear he will be remembered infamously rather than fondly if he carries on the way he is going.

    The way that Red Bull are putting him on a pedestal is doing absolutely noting to favourably develop his character either, let alone thier own reputation. Red Bull, my number two team, are very quickly losing my respect and I suspect the same of many of thier fan-base. It's a real shame.

    If at the end of this season the deteriation of thier image continues then they are going to need a new face and some new ideas to restore thier reputation. Christian, in my eyes you have the rest of the season to fix this mess you and your team have got yourself into and I hope you can see sense and restore the balance.

  • Comment number 82.

    And an Australian has the Yellow Jersey in the Tour de Farce

  • Comment number 83.

    The Red Bull thing is down to poor management. Why did they only have enough wings for one driver with just one malfunction? As things stand now, it would do the Red Bull corporation well to let Webber and Vettel race, for marketing purposes alone. They have gone from the darlings of the track, to the villains who are throwing it all away from within. I mean, why the crazy attachment to SV? It does not lend itself well to F1, and it is what happens when the sponsors of the team start to micro manage the actual race. AIG sponsored MAN UTD, but I didn't see the CEO call up with his recommended starting 11.

    I think Red Bull need to back off and let the team manage two drivers both going for the title. Both drivers are marketable, and indeed, the promotion benefit comes from the fact that Red Bull would sell more product as they would be marketed as winners, rather than the fact it was any particular driver. Certainly now, such savy business minds will know that the association of their product with foul play, favoritism, unfair advantage, and manipulation is very real, and they should back down. They sponsor so much, but F1 represents their main marketing budget. I mean, they even have 2 teams, in 2 languages, to reach into more continents consumer markets.

    Sponsors micro managing the team will always be a bad idea, and it can't go on in RB if they wish to be winners this year. I see in Christian Horner a man who is too afraid of Red Bull's owners, and tolerates too much interference, and unrealistic expectations.

    Indeed, Monster Mark is the very last moniker that they would like to see

  • Comment number 84.

    Lets hope at every race between now and the championship being decided that the Red Bull management make Webber feel like he is being prejudiced in qualifying. On Saturay he quite clearly was. Then on Sunday when the money is on offer he will show his reaction, just like he did yesterday. He was absolutely majestic from the moment the lights went out.

    Austalians are very much like South African's, they are perceived to be arrogant loud mouths. What people don't understand is that this is the confidence in them because they are brought up as nations to be winners. British people are brought up to be happy loosers. In cricket Australia take the field in a one day cricket game with the score effectively already at 25 without loss purely by the psychology. The exception is rugby, where England have the edge over Australia.

    I remember AJ, he psyched Carlos Reutemann out of the 1981 World Championship. The fact Piquet won it must have been hard to take, but Reutemann had been dishonest with him and perhaps in his overall bid to thwart the Argentine he gave up his chance of being a double champion. In many ways Webber is a throw back to that era, he calls a spade a spade, races like a gentleman and is getting underneath his team mate's skin with his speed and resiliance The difference was Williams was a racing team and the best driver would do the winning, without favour.

    You would think that Christian Horner would find out a bit about the Aussie psychie before giving Webber all the ammunition he needs to bring out the best in him.

    For the sake of sport we should all want Webber to win the championship.

    And as a man who sees Eddie Jordan as a buffoon, he did at least ask the tough question yesterday, which you could see irked Christian Horner and which he failed to answer.

  • Comment number 85.

    COME ON MARK!!! I'm a McLaren man at heart and always have been which means I'm gunning for Lewis to win the WC. But, if you Mark were to win it then I think I'd be equally as happy. You've got senior management against you and what appears to be a team mate who spits his dummy out whenever he gets the chance, "No it's not fair, I want that shiny new front wing on my car!!" I absolutely loved that first corner and the fact that you whooped him with and older front wing and the chassis he REJECTED. Maybe you had necked a can of Castlemin XXXX before the race ;-)

  • Comment number 86.

    Vettel and Red Bull have become driver and team everyone loves to hate. It's great for the entertainment factor of the sport and I'm another one that relishes any bad luck or mistake made by Vettel and his bunch of suck-ups.

    I also enjoy seeing it all going wrong for Alonso. His childish whines are as entertaining as any overtaking maneuver.

  • Comment number 87.

    No 84 Sat_tire :

    "The exception is rugby, where England have the edge over Australia."

    That is not true at all, in either code.

    If you'd said football (soccer) I might have agreed, but even then only just!

  • Comment number 88.

    Come on Mark show them what you are made of,and it's time the German boy grew up and stopped acting like a spoilt brat

  • Comment number 89.

    @70
    It's not a problem that Red Bull is choosing Vettel to be their number one driver. What is a problem, however, is that they do not admit to it. When Schumacher was at Ferrari, everybody knew who was number one and who was number two. Like it or not, at least that was a clear cut case. And I never heard Ferrari saying (or acting like) they treated their drivers equally (quite the contrary).

    If Red Bull wants Vettel to be their number one driver, that's fine, but they should offer Webber a contract on those terms. And not tell him he's equal to Vettel, and then treat Vettel a little bit more equal.

  • Comment number 90.

    It's the sort of thing I could understand the team doing if it was the last race and Webber couldn't win the championship and Vettel could. But it's mid-season and Webber is now leading Vettel.

    At times I wonder if there's some sponsorship pressure behind these decisions?

  • Comment number 91.

    "...drive into the back of the person in front as Hamilton did to Vettel"

    Hmmmm - I clearly saw Vettel trying cut in front of Hamilton, Hamilton just kept his line. Why on earth would Hamilton drive into Vettel on purpose anyway? It would be a very high risk thing to do, Hamilton would most likely lose bits off the front or get a puncture himself....then have to pit, lose places ,etc - that makes no sense at all.

    Very odd that Vettel keeps driving into other people yet it is everyone else's fault.

  • Comment number 92.

    Ref Vettel vs Webber: history repeating itself? I remember another German driver who was very good at winning races, provided the team, the tyres and even the interpretation of the rules on numerous occasions were all loaded in his favour. Funny, that particular driver isn't doing so well now the playing field has been levelled up. Will we see the same scenario unfold with Herr Vettel?

  • Comment number 93.

    No 84 Sat_tire :

    "The exception is rugby, where England have the edge over Australia."


    Bahaha - really. Inclduing the 2003 world cup final, England have beaten Australia 4 times in the last 11 test matches.....

  • Comment number 94.

    Vettel needs to get some bigger mirrors, he keeps driving in to the side of cars like he is an American cop (John Burnell) trying to ram a fellon of the Freeway.

  • Comment number 95.

    The rugby comment I meant in the tournament that matters, the World Cup and in particular the knock out stages. England have knocked Australia out twice (1995 and 2007) and they have a final win against each other each.

    Sadly tours don't count as much anymore as the teams never meet when both are at their strongest, except at the World Cup.

    In most team sports Australia have the edge because they know how to win and have the confidence in their own ability.I agree with the comment of their fair play as this is usually evident. As to the sledging, it is all worhtwhile for the comment Shane Warne shot back when he was asked why he was getting so fat. Unfortunately I will have to change a few words, but the actual answer was a single word starting with an F, he replied " I get get a biscuit every time i procreate with you you wife."

    Mark Webber epitimises this Aussie confidence. I recall all and sundry saying that Vettel would blow him into the weeds. The start last year seemed to confirm this would be the case, except Mark was recovering from a potential career ending injury after his crash in Tasmania. As his leg got stronger, so did his performances and by the end of the year he was on a par with Vettel. This season he is faster over a single lap in an equal car and has the better race craft under equal conditions.

  • Comment number 96.

    No mention of Vettal almost being lapped by MW and LH prior to the Safety Car period? Vettal was out of it; the fact that he eventually came in 7th was due entirely to the Safety Car backing up the field.

    Driver's of the day? MW, JB, LH, then in no particular order, KK, RB, AS, VL, NH.

    Red Bull Racing? As with a so called "energy drink" - Yukk!!

  • Comment number 97.

    Vettel can't overtake; in a car 2 seconds a lap quicker...he still made contact with Sutil who drove brilliantly and had vettel worked out; dont blame adrian for being angry post race... Niko Rosberg would blow Vettel away, given the same car.
    Webber has (largely) been superb this season; when he gets it right, he is a much more complete driver than seb.
    Red Bull are a complete mess, they should be in a similar position to where Brawn were last season, dominating both championships. Technically they are supreme, politically Christian Horner is a disaster. I sincerely hope Mark puts Seb away.

    Hamilton is the most complete driver in F1 (in my opinion of course and you may disagree!) The guy strolls around the paddock with a mature serenity, an element he was missing in 07 and arguably 08. Jenson has done a great job this season too, maybe lacks the raw pace of Lewis and overtaking ability however he is incredibly smooth and consistent, his decision making gives him the edge in marginal situations.
    Rosberg is the emerging German, not Vettel.
    Kubica is difficult to judge, renault are having such an irregular season.
    Alonso is clearly on the edge, being passed by both Mclarens in oppurtunistic circumstances in Canada must have been incredibly frustrating.

  • Comment number 98.

    Re Horner's commnet that "Mark is by my maths ahead on the points, if we ever found ourselves with one component we'd act differently at the next race."
    I reckon that means that with only one component at the next race instead of favouring the driver who's highest in the championship they'd reverse policy & favour the driver who is lowest. Neat.

  • Comment number 99.

    So Webber won the British GP with Luscious Liz (supposedly damaged according to Mr. Vettel), an old wing design and coming away from a nasty crash at Valencia. Game on Randy Mandy! Unless Red Bull want to go one step further and swap chassis now?

    Christian Horner and Mutt Marko are a disgrace to the sport! Red Bull management makes me sick in the gut. GO WEBBER!

  • Comment number 100.

    Awful decision from Red Bull over the front wing. To favour someone at this point in the championship is stupid. Especially when the points margin was so small.

    The result itself just shows how things can switch around so easily. They shouldn't be focusing on one driver until there is a clear gap or only a few races left.

 

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