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Red Bull's wounds reopen as Alonso shines

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Andrew Benson | 20:13 UK time, Sunday, 10 July 2011

At Silverstone

A week before the British Grand Prix, I sat down with Mark Webber to talk to him for his new column for this website.

Silverstone is a track he adores and always goes well on. So, expecting him to be more of a threat to Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel at Silverstone than he had been so far this season, I asked him if he would be allowed to race and beat the German if the circumstances arose.

He was momentarily taken aback. "Well, yeah, I hope so, yeah," he said. "I don't see any reason why we can't."

Given that Vettel headed into the race in complete control of the season having utterly dominated the championship so far, it is easy to see why Webber would be of that opinion.

As it turned out, though, his team principal Christian Horner was not.

Fernando Alonso (left) enjoyed his victory on a frustrating day for Mark Webber.Alonso (left) enjoyed a superb race but it was a frustrating day for Webber. Photo: Getty Images

With a great race winding to a thrilling climax, Horner watched Webber closing in on Vettel at about a second a lap as, ahead of them, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso cruised to a brilliant victory, his first of the season.

Horner would have known how desperate the Australian was for a strong result here, to start to try to make up for a disappointing start to the season compared to Vettel. But he decided that 33 points in the bank for the team was better than the potential of, as Horner put it, "two cars in the fence", and he tried to call Webber off.

And so a wound that has been festering for a couple of years was torn open again.

There is history here, as anyone who followed the titanic struggle between Vettel, Webber, Alonso and McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in last year's championship will know.

The issue of favouritism at Red Bull is a thorny subject with Webber, who last year at Silverstone had a front wing taken off his car and given to Vettel, whose own had failed.
Webber went on to win that race, and famously said over his radio on the slowing down lap: "Not bad for a number two driver."

The issue had been in the background long before that, and has been ever since, occasionally bubbling up to the surface, such as at the penultimate race of last season in Brazil, when Webber said it was "obvious" the team favoured Vettel.

Red Bull have always denied this, while reserving the right to call off fights when they feel the team is at risk - a policy hardened by the collision between their two drivers while disputing the lead at the Turkish Grand Prix last year.

Horner, well aware of the issues, admitted on Sunday afternoon that he could "understand" why Webber would be "frustrated".

He protested that the two drivers were allowed to race until that point, and that he felt the battle had gone "far enough".

And he insisted that the Australian was not being relegated to a de facto number two driver, and that he would still be allowed to race Vettel.

Let's be clear about this - Red Bull did nothing wrong.

Team orders are legal again in F1 this year, after governing body the FIA finally ended a farcical eight years when they pretended they could police whether teams were using them. And bosses are entitled to tell their drivers to hold station, or reverse positions, if they like.

But as an Italian colleague pointed out to Horner on Sunday, Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz made great play before last season's title-deciding race of the fact that his team would never use team orders to interfere with the championship battle, drawing a pointed comparison with Ferrari's demand to Felipe Massa to let Alonso win in Germany.

Horner's reply - "Mr Mateschitz wouldn't thank us for having both cars in the fence on the last lap, having got ourselves into a very good position" - did nothing to redress the obvious disconnect between Mateschitz's words and Red Bull's deeds.

On the face of it, many will feel that Horner over-reacted, given Vettel's massive advantage in the championship. But did he?

Alonso's victory on Sunday was as impressive as any by Vettel so far this season. The Ferrari driver took advantage of a pit-stop problem at Red Bull to take the lead, but once there his pace was, as Horner put it, "very strong".

Alonso clearly had the speed to compete with Vettel for victory at Silverstone, a particularly impressive feat given that this is a track where Red Bull have traditionally excelled and Ferrari have struggled.

On Sunday night, many put Ferrari's speed down to the row over off-throttle blowing of diffusers that has dominated this weekend.

This technology, in which Red Bull are said to lead the field, was banned for the British Grand Prix, and Horner felt this put his team at a disadvantage. Ferrari, by contrast, were believed by some to have benefited.

It would be wrong, though, to put all Ferrari's progress down to the change in the rules.
As Vettel pointed out: "There has been a bit of a trend over the last couple of races; they have been very strong on race days."

My colleague Mark Hughes will go into this subject in more depth in his column on Tuesday, but it is clear that much of Ferrari's progress at Silverstone can be explained by a major development to their car for this race, on which there is more detail in Ted Kravitz's post-race analysis.

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Alonso made full use of it on Sunday with a superb drive, to end a victory drought that goes back to last October's Korean Grand Prix.

The Spaniard was cautious about his title chances after the race, as well he might be given Vettel's 92-point advantage over him - nearly four clear wins.

But there is not a driver on the grid more formidable than the Spaniard with the scent of a possible victory in his nostrils.

Horner knows this full well - after Alonso's superb fight back last year, from 47 points off the championship lead following Silverstone, to leading it after that win in Korea.

Asked on Sunday how concerned he was about Ferrari's pace, Horner did not really answer the question. But if that is what was in his mind when he made the call to Webber, it is not that hard to see where he was coming from.


Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    I thought it was pretty bad that Horner didn't let them race, although I understand his logic. The viewing public were denied a good battle though. I feel Webber would have gotten through. Anyone else agree?

  • Comment number 2.

    I feel we were all denied a good battle, never mind the fact Vettel is streets ahead in the standings, Webber should have been given the right to race. The fact that a Grand Prix is a race seems to be forgotten too many times, and the "team" have to be the winner. I feel let down on many things at this moment in time.
    1. McLaren seem to have lost the plot.
    2. Ferrari rules, OK? (Or so it seems.)
    3. Let the drivers race, no dirty driving, but please race.
    4. Pity the poor pit crews.

  • Comment number 3.

    Firstly, amazing victory for Alonso and well deserved too. The British crowd were respectfully appreciative of the excellent drive and that's a great response for a man supposedly the pantomime villian in our sport.

    I can see where Horner was coming from, but, after the vitriol we were subjected to last year from Horner/Whitmarsh/Jordan et al I found it a bit rich that these "race until the death" protaganists suddenly changed their tunes (Whitmarsh not included for this race). There is an obvious chain of superiority at RBR and we have all known it, today we saw it.

    Anyway, enough of the RBR rubbish - the best man won today and what an incredible victory. Fernando Alonso, winner of the British Grand Prix for the second time. Looks like we have a real fight on our hands for the (2nd in) the championship!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Christian Horner: What a hypocrite. He might gain a little more respect if he just came out and admitted that the team favour Vettel, but the pathetic lies about the team being equal are just farcical.
    McLaren do seem to have lost the plot, especially for a team with their personnel and with so much money behind them. Really disappointing for the British drivers.
    But take nothing away from Fernando "Dick Dasterdly" Alonso - I don't like the man but he sure can drive!

  • Comment number 5.

    A good win by Fenando Alonso who was the best on the day and would have woin even if Vettel's pitstop had not been a disaster. It was also a great drive by Lewis Hamilton who, against all odds, took his carr from 10th on the grid to 4th.

    Vettel had a strangely off-colour day. It seems odd that he had to be defended from a teammate. I can understand the reasoning (why take the slightest risk with the drivers' championship?) but Mark Webber was so much faster at the end that he must feel a bit embarrassed. I wonder what would have happened if Mark Webber had ignored the orders and tried to pass anyway...

  • Comment number 6.

    I would just like to point out to everyone that we were not deprived of the battle as Webber in his own words said he ignored the orders not to fight Vettel, so Vettel finished in front on merrit.
    I on the other hand agree with the tactics used by Red Bull, it was the sensible thing to do. I would be seriously considering Webber's position in the team if I was in charge of Red Bull!

  • Comment number 7.

    They did race Webber ignored team orders, shame Andrew did not make this clear in his blog no doubt to bring about reaction, Webber ignored the orders could not pass result.. second for Vettel third for Webber but a great story for journalists in the favouritism row. The real story is who is the bad guy Webber..a paid employee ignoring orders or Horner a team principle doing his job I know where my opinion lies and all this seems to do is bring out the Vettel haters and the Webber lovers.No driver is bigger than the team and real Red Bull fans will get this, Webber lovers will not, seems the loser again will be Vettel who can do no right where Webber fans are concerned.Maybe it is time for Webber to move on and see if he is good enough to be a top driver in another team,I seriously doubt it but you never know! Funny how all the Webber fans seem to be ignoring the fact that Webber ignored the orders seems to be a theme here ignorance the way forward!!

  • Comment number 8.

    You've really gotta feel for Mark. A soon as he gets his first sniff of a chance to take the fight to Vettel, the team tell him to back off! If he had been allowed to fully pressure him maybe a similar situation to Canada may have happened. Vettel has yet to prove to me that he can handle pressure for any length of time. Until he proves me wrong on that score, he'll only be a very good driver, not a fully rounded talent. He does have time on his side mind!

    As for Horner, I'll happily give him credit for building Red Bull up to what it is today, but he needs to remember that if he annoys the fans too much with this tinkering/favouritism in the results, the support for the team may start to disappear.

    If the team need any hints on how to play things, look at 1988 with McLaren. Both drivers at it all season, races that weren't overly boring and the period looked back on as a good part of F1 history. Contrast that with Ferrari-Schumacher last decade and if they can't see the lesson that spells out, we have no hope.

    If the two of them had come together, would the points loss really have made that much difference? No worse than having Bahrain cancelled.
    Fastest car on the grid - no problem, just let the fans enjoy some proper racing!

  • Comment number 9.

    Vettel had KERS issues at the end of the race hence Webber catching up, Im sure if Webber had Kers issues this would be another hot topic for the Webber fans in their better car, favouritism drivel. Funny how its not mentioned when Vettel has problems.Poor pitstop, Kers issues and still held off Webber for second if thats off colour Webber should be very worried.

  • Comment number 10.

    Last season Massa was ordered by his engineer to move aside for Alonso in Germany. Eddie Jordan had a fit and couldn't stop ranting about team orders ruining the sport. "People pay good money to see drivers race each other, not to watch a stage managed farce" or words to that effect. Today though, he agrees with Christian Horner that it was the right and sensible thing to do to tell Mark to give up trying to hunt Vettel down! Eddie you were right the first time so don't change your mind now. Fans pay good money to watch racers do what they do best - RACE! Whether it's the first lap or the last there should be never be any team orders. It's a betrayal of the paying fans, and it's a betrayal of the principles and soul of F1. Damon Hill - take a bow for saying as much today in that post race debate. You were a star on the track, and you are one off it too as BRDC president. Please bring your influence to bear on this matter, to try and get this disgraceful practice changed.

  • Comment number 11.

    A very good race and a super win for Fernando and Ferrari. Lets hope for more of the same in the double header coming next. The WDC needs more pressure applying to RBR from them and hopefully McLaren too.

    The stewards were busy today, a little OTT I thought.

  • Comment number 12.

    8 Neil ,seems Vettel handled the pressure today as he kept Webber who by his own admission ignored orders and raced till the end, behind him with dodgy Kers and fast fading tyres

  • Comment number 13.

    I can see both sides of this. In team terms it was absolutely the right decision, but I feel for Mark Webber, particularly because the decision benefitted Vettel - again. I cannot believe all the bad luck and gremlins that have plagued Mark this season compared to the comparatively smooth run that Vettel has had. Vettel is obviously highly talented, but most of the reliability and car issues seem to have fallen on Mark's side of the garage. I just relish the thought of Mark taking over the second Ferrari seat from Massa! Go on Mark, now is the time, not in 12 or 24 months time.
    Surrey 911

  • Comment number 14.

    92 points is just less than four wins-worth of points (100), not five.

    Webber could not pass, or did he give up on the last lap? We will never know, but I think Webber is now regretting re-signing with Red Bull for this year and I don't expect he will be with them next season.

  • Comment number 15.

    1, TSC - I am on Fire but not called Maguire wrote:
    I feel Webber would have gotten through. Anyone else agree?

    Yes I totally agree, in fact the BBC showed replays that Webber effectively overtook Vettel, safely, twice but eased off to allow Vettel to keep the place. If Webber was the one in the lead, I would put money on the fact that he would be told to let Vettel pass in the same situation. Absolute disgrace.
    Red Bull - a team without team orders, unless it gives Vettel an advantage.

  • Comment number 16.

    I think Ted picked up on a good point. Horner said "we gave Mark the earlier pit stop... a significant advantage (over Vettel)"

    As Ted pointed out, Vettel had enough of a margin at the time and they were just covering Alonso.

    If I was Red Bull I would have done the same (tell Mark to hold position). The money in F1 is huge and ensuring Vettel gets the most points is vital. It would just be better if Red Bull admitted what they were doing...

  • Comment number 17.

    Team orders will always play a part in F1 thats why they were allowed again as points make constructors titles which in turn make money.Horner was right today as 32 points virtually wrapped up the constructors title for RBR, imagine if they had come together nil points and and a fast improving Ferrari on their tails. He is the TEAM principle and did what he needed to do even if his employee chose to ignore him. Webber would be lucky to still be in a job if his actions had resulted in a crash I understand his frustration but in the money driven world of F1 the team comes first then the drivers!

  • Comment number 18.

    @7 I'm afraid the point here is not about bad guy vs good guy (is there such a thing on track?). And not about employees as well, blimey.. unless one supports a corporation, which doesn't seem to be the reality for most of us. I am no Vettel hater, mind you, and this comment is not driven by affection for the underdog (which Webber has always been, a reputation he built to himself for his own benefit). The point here, for me, is to stick with what you believe in. Something that Horner today threw away too easily and absolutely unnecessarily by giving those silly orders that didn't change anything as Webber still charged and Vettel still came second. Nobody ended up on the fence, by the way. What I really want to say is one guy out there stuck to what he believes in, and that's the true story for me. You can question (as you did) if Webber is right in challenging his employees (wow, is this why we watch a race?), but you have to agree Horner gave a lesson in hipocrisy if you just watch what Horner said in Germany last year. I know who I'm with on this one.

  • Comment number 19.


    I guess that the story here is that RB/Christian Horner/Dieter Bostik boasted about the team's equality and was one of the main critics of Ferrari last year. Horner's words to Ted Kravitz were incredible... what an hypocrite.

    Regarding the favouritism, no drivel, no vettel haters, it has always been very clear where Red Bull stands, no surprises... it's just their attitude that is insulting.



  • Comment number 20.

    There is minimal doubt in my mind that Red Bull told Mark to back off not for the constructor's, as EJ said, that's pretty much over, but to protect Vettel's advantage in the driver's. I admire Red Bull's pace and ability to beat the historical champions but they could at least give both drivers equal chance.
    Ironically, Webber would be closer to Vettel in the Driver's had 'both cars ended up in the fence'.

    Nice to see someone different take the chequered flag this season, but i still can't see who can keep a sustained fight to Sebastian Vettel over the reamining races.

    In addition, has anyone noticed how the three most thrilling races this year are ones which Vettel hasn't won (China, Canada and Silverstone)??

    Unfortunately despite the great races, the championship doesn't match up to the races and i just hope for a few retirements from Vettel (not because i paticularly dislike him but because i wish that the championship would live up to the excitement of the races, like 2010, where the championship was actually more intriguing than most Races)

  • Comment number 21.

    Surrey911 Vettel had far more issues than Webber last season some of his own making but still went on to win the championship. Mark is in a better position this season than he was last season but is being blown out of the water by Vettel this season. Now how you choose to read that is up to you but I am heartily sick off all this number 2 driver stuff seems like sour grapes and excuses for a man not pulling his weight at the moment.

  • Comment number 22.

    i think its looking unlikely thst mark will be at the team next year

  • Comment number 23.

    its totally wrong to stop webber racing. this is 'match fixing' and every sport trys to stop it except F1

  • Comment number 24.

    But the Australian was told "Mark, maintain the gap" on the team radio.
    "I'm not fine with it, no," Webber said after the race, and added that he did not pay attention to the orders.
    "[If] Fernando [Alonso] retires on the last lap, we're battling for victory.
    "Of course I ignored the team and I was battling to the end..."

    In his own words, he ignored orders and he raced till the end. He did not NOT let up, and he did/could not pass Vettel (in another lap, he definitely would have).

    I thought Horner did the right thing; Mark did the right thing - and Mark was wrong.

  • Comment number 25.

    Sorry. I meant to say 'he did NOT let up'

  • Comment number 26.

    isn't F1 a sport and these team orders are 'match fixing' plain and simple. This goes against what sports stand for, best person wins.

  • Comment number 27.

    I would have liked the point raised to Horner, that if Vettel was nursing bad tires, broken Kers, why not just tell Vettel to let his faster team mate through rather than tell Webber to hold station, both would have guaranteed the team points, and quite frankly Webber getting more points would help maintain his 2nd in the drivers championship which is under far more threat than Vettel's first.

    Although ideally I would have told them both they can race but not to squabble over the corners, if you can't pass on the straights, then don't try it. Basically similar to no passing, but you are saying you "can" race, only if safe.

    But Horner et al. have shown far more of their true colours this weekend, all this "pretend", "we are the cool team of F1", we will allow racing, the fans and sport come first.....yeah right. This weekend has shown them bitterly trying to defend their 1 second a lap advantage by not willing to move an inch on their blown diffuser. This weekend has shown them willing to sacrifice racing to protect their teams money and #1 driver. I have often wondered if Webber has had the same equipment/engine maps during all these qualifying. Red Bull are all about image, fake advertising...and if you want to make a legend out of a driver, i.e. a repeat of Schumacher...then you NEED to have him dominate his poor sucker of a team mate, like they allowed Schumacher to do at Ferrari. So lesser engine maps, priorities and so on, to ensure your #1 German driver doesn't just out qualify him by 0.1-0.3 of a second which is probably more like the driver difference, but by 0.5 to 0.9.

  • Comment number 28.

    @23 @26, it is a team sport not really a driver sport, and yes this is a form of match fixing in most sports, especially if you bet on that driver, however knowing that it is within the rules for team orders, and then knowing who the team favours, allows a wise person betting to make that part of their judgement call. So it is not unfair, it is just lack of consideration/knowledge for any one who bets on the sport without considering team orders. Now the Ferrari incident was unfair as it was against the rules...but again a wise person should know that they might have had keywords/phrases to still implement team orders. So it is generally unwise to bet on the 2nd driver unless you think the 1st driver is going to fail or not be in the way.

  • Comment number 29.

    As much as I don't usually agree with team orders you have to think iin terms that F1 is a team sport! Other teams sports have 'team orders'. If in football a defender is told to stay behind the half way line they can't get the goal that they could've scored but similarly they might save the opposition from scoring helping the team in another way!
    Mark ignored the team order and didn't get past and if he'd got up the side of Seb the liklihood is that they'd've crashed seeing as Seb would've defended no matter what that ment, it's not as though he can't afford losing the points. Maybe the wrong decision on most occasions but for once I think Christian Horner made the right decision if only for Mark Webber's season getting him the extra points rather than being binned into the wall!

  • Comment number 30.

    Why would any one now watch a sport where the management, not the competitors, decide who win. It's not even as if it mattered Vetel is so far ahead the rest of the season is just passing time. Its time for the BBC to take its money elsewhere. As a licence holder I resent this patronage of what is revealed today to be a farce.

  • Comment number 31.

    re 12 valtal63: Mark has said in various interviews that he did his best considering the team were telling him to back down on numerous occasions. This has gotta be distracting. Just making the point that the team need to think of the bigger picture with regards to the teams sometimes.

  • Comment number 32.

    Why can't Webber just shut up and play his part in the team? The reason they don't treat him equally with Vettel is because he's nowhere near as good as Vettel. Webber doesn't deserve equal treatment. He blew the start today, and potentially the win, in much the same fashion as he buckled during last years championship. He never seems able to reinforce himself in the races. Vettel on the other hand, took the lead and built a gap just as he has been doing all year so far. Although he was eventually undone by some sloppy pit work and an excellent drive from Alonso. The fact that Webber continues to sulk endlessly about his predicament but never seems able to produce the goods on the track, where it matters, means that I have zero sympathy for him.

  • Comment number 33.

    You're a squillion points in the lead of the championship, and you won't let the guy who stuck it on pole, race. Team Red Bore. Yawn. Mark deserves better.

  • Comment number 34.

    When Christian Horner said on live team radio: "Mark, maintain the gap". It was a very sad moment after a great race today in the new Silverstone. Unfortunately F1 nowadays is all about politics. Last season he was always saying: "team orders are not good for the sport... in Red Bull we let our drives race, both drivers have equal opportunities to win, " what a contradiction here! We -the fans- lost a good opportunity to see two great drivers racing each others no matter they are racing for the same team. This is so disappointing!!.

  • Comment number 35.

    To 28, thanks for reply. It is a team sport when you talk about constructors championship but its an individual sport when talking about the drivers championship. I do not bet at all and watch purely for the enjoyment of it. I cant wait for the time when a driver is 20seconds in front of a team mate that needs the win to get the championship.

  • Comment number 36.

    Despite I believe that the team orders can be ruining the race from the start to finish line, team orders is not always seen as a disgrace tactic, to be honest. However it was very strange decision from Christian Horner to called Webber to maintained the gap from Vettel. If I was the team boss, I would have let Webber to past Vettel and allows Vettel to settling for third place. This would not affect outcome of championship because if you let Webber take a second place because of his better pace than Vettel in closing stage, then Webber will be more safe place as second place in the world championship standing. At the moment, we seems to be talking about the fighting for second place in the championship standing, thus Horner should realise that Ferrari and Mclaren cannot challenges for the world championship. Therefore it is unnecessary for Horner to called Webber to stay behind Vettel and this would harm Webber's championship points later this year.

    Very strange decision, Horner! After I finish typing this blog, I can see Webber to leave Red Bull at the end of season and Horner will not admit this!

  • Comment number 37.

    If team points were the issue, then why didn't Horner tell Vettel to allow Webber through seeing as he was catching Vettel at over a second per lap, and Webber needs the points more than Vettel? Red Bull would have gained the same number of points and avoided a collision, everybody's happy.

  • Comment number 38.

    You've all got so bogged down with the team order thing, that you've missed the key to this race. This is that while Hamilton was keeping Vettel at bay, Alonso was pulling away rapidly. I would suggest that Hamilton was in fact holding Vettel back. Yes, it was acheived by some excellent defensive driving by Hamilton, which he is perfectly entitled to do. However, that doesn't change the fact that it was during this spell Alonso was able to increase the gap from a few seconds to around 14. So you all might be making far too much of Alonso's driving.

  • Comment number 39.

    Its really wierd, isn't it??...motor racing ?? Imagine being ordered where to finish in other sports, say, athletics or horse-racing. You'd probably be thrown out or even banned for life. It just doesn't seem right and defeats the whole concept of competition, of coming first and winning the race.
    What makes it worse is the fact that it was broadcast live and the spectators could hear and see what was going on.
    I really feel sorry for Webber, he's a grown up and has personal pride in himself. He's probably asking:...what will my friends and family think of me now?

    If that wasn't enough, at McLaren it can't get any worse !! Both their drivers have had it to their back teeth with gaffes after blunders, just amazing !!

    Just for a moment there towards the end I thought the Stewards were going to haul Hamilton in for another finger wagging when his car contacted Massa's in the very last Lap. Now that Lewis is a picture of misery himself, everyone seem satisfied and have decided to leave him alone at last !!

  • Comment number 40.

    When Mark heard the team order on the radio, he ignored the order. But did it affect his race? Yes, psychologically, it must have done. The order must have affected his pace, and therefore Vettel might not have finished second had it not been the team order.

  • Comment number 41.

    Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy formula 1 so I'm not criticising it or anyone else commenting on this blog, but I don't really think the "It's a sport so the best driver should win" argument really carries much weight. It's presented as a sport for entertainment purposes but, ultimately at it's core it's an engineering tournament. With tactics and a small handful of talented crazy people who allow themselves to be strapped into these contraptions.

    These people are scientists and have little time for anything other than the bigger picture.

  • Comment number 42.

    Red Bull F1 will continue to foster the myth that their brand is all about racing, and there are those that may drink that kool-aid - but after Turkey last year, lots of viewers aren't buying it. Why was Canada 2011 exciting? Two drivers on the same team (McLaren) allowed to race - and gasp, maybe risk contact. Cool. Ultimately resulting in one of those drivers being allowed to pressure Vettel into a mistake, on the last lap. Fast forward to Silverstone - and outside of the obvious Ferrari team hierarchy - Red Bull would have generated more excitement if they had old men push a couple of hospital gurneys into Club corner on the last lap. No offense to old men out there.

    In the next race team Red Bore will tell Mark he needs to 'fuel save', or some similar sabotage posing as strategy.

    Red Bull is at its best when they sponsor guys flinging themselves off cliffs in wingsuits. They are at their worst when they take a sport that involves 'racing' and remove the racing from the activity. In that sense, Mark Webber is more true to Red Bulls ideals than Red Bull F1 itself.

  • Comment number 43.

    This is what I don't get. Red Bull is on the track to promote a drink called Red Bull. That's it's only function. The best way to promote the product is to have the cameras on the cars for as long as possible. The second best way is for anyone who loves racing to love the team Red Bull and the best way to do that is to make Red Bull a RACING team that does exciting things on the track that racing fans can all rave about.

    This whole team orders thing just goes totally against the central needs of the company. Red Bull, the drinks company, doesn't get loads of great exposure by winning the two championships half way through the season in the dullest way possible. For nearly every race that Sebastian has won the TV coverage for the brand has been minimal because what he is doing, bombing along at the front, just doesn't make good TV OR get the fans' juices pumping. Then you finally have the two Red Bull drivers right in the middle of a thrilling racing mix and the order comes down from on high - kill the racing. Firstly this means anyone really interested in the race switches off from that part of the race and secondly, anyone who feels aggreived at the use of the kill switch, starts to talk negatively about the team and therefore the brand. If Mark had pulled off a fantastic overtaking manouver, the positive feedback and exposure would have totally outweighed the SMALL risk of an ontrack collision. Mark said after the race that he was racing and he failed to overtake. If the team order hadn't been issued, we'd now be looking at Vettel saying how well he defended. Instead questions abound at how likely it was that Webber was distracted by the order etc

    The simple suggestion, by Christian Horner, that the team is everything and protecting the points is everything just doesn't make sense. As many people have already said, if that were the case, the orders could have been, Seb, Mark is faster than you, can you confirm you understand? To me, it's quite clear, the 'looking after the team above all else' argument is fundamentally flawed AND/OR totally counterintuitive to the needs of the one sponsor that pays the team's bills.

    I personally think that the higher management of the team feel the need to 'protect' Vettel at all costs. Somewhere down the line the need to promote Red Bull has changed into the need to create a new Michael Schumacher. But even here, the powers that be at Red Bull don't seem to realise that whilst there will be hard core fans that delight at Sebastian winning any which way, the rest of us want to see a truly excellent racing driver being trusted to DO IT ON HIS OWN. He's a grown up now. Nannying him to three extra points does not a great champion make. And whilst ever driver wants the best car to make winning the driver's championship easier, they and we know that the driver that wins in an average car gains the much greater accolades.

    The last few laps of today's race could have been so exciting for Red Bull and for us race fans. A totally pointless (no pun intended) team order ruined that. Whether the drivers ignored the order and were racing or not, the bitter pill will always be there that once again, Vettel was the priority to be protected whether he needed it or not. And Mark Webber must wonder whether he can trust a single word his bosses say.

    I've got the stage where I'd be happy if Vettel won every race by a lap or more: the car would never be on our TV screens and we can all get on and watch some fantastic RACING from the rest of the field. And I quite like the guy.


  • Comment number 44.

    Nice one Andrew...a few pennies' worth of thoughts here...

    The FIA tried desperately to rob the Red Bulls of the toys that have made their cars light years ahead of the pack. Silverstone was used as an experiment to see how disadvantaged they would be without them.

    And now we know.

    Don't get me wrong - Alonso's drive was brilliant and he earned a well deserved victory, but this weekend's experiment showed that even with the handicap of not being able to use their blown diffuser effectively the Red Bulls were still up there, so thank you Fernando for the win but I'm afraid it'll be back to the status quo for the rest of the season, with the Red Bulls regaining 4/5 tenths over their closest rivals - so, a race win each for the top drivers (Webber's will come soon) with Vettel grabbing the rest.

    About Webber - to put it simply, if he's not happy playing second fiddle to Vettel then he should think seriously about moving to a team where he can freely express his guts and tenacity on track because, quite frankly, that's what the baying crowds in the colosseum pay to see - racing.

    About Horner - If his concern was for the 3 points difference between 2nd and 3rd, given the context that the Red Bulls are romping away with both the constructors and drivers championships, and compounding that with his lack of faith that both drivers cannot be trusted to race each other without embarrassing their sponsors by crashing out (even though Materschitz's wealth comfortably encompasses 2 teams plus a paid driver in Hispania) then I fear the pantomime white elephant on track gets the Silverstone award of the day.
    Horner should have let them race. If the "inevitable" accident occurred then the Red Bull management would have been vindicated in placating Webber in his de facto role - his temperament would have been called into question and a speedy exit from the team would, rightfully, have taken place without any reprise or prejudice. Instead, we're left with the bitter taste of Webber's frustration in playing a secondary role unashamedly forced upon him.

    Maybe we should witness both Webber and Massa in the same team next season - They certainly have lots in common. I suggest a one car team with two seats for them - that'll certainly rule out the notion of number 1, although I foresee problems of who would prefer to sit in the front...

    If I wanted to witness this farce of perceived prevention and intervention then I'd stick on a DVD and watch Minority Report.

    ps. McLaren - I'll say it again...Martin Whitmarsh, lovely lovely man though he is, has allowed (for want of a better word) a laissez-faire culture festering a team renowned for its iron-clad grip on operations. Ron Dennis was certainly Marmite when it came to loving or loathing his ways, but he knew how to get the maximum from his team. I see McLaren slightly rudderless with no clear direction when it comes to the fundamentals in finding the right ingredients to create a race winning car. The only reason why they are doing reasonably well is that they ditched their failed long term strategy for a quick-fix Red Bull photocopy. Ron is becoming a familiar figure within the McLaren pit garage these days - will Whitmarsh have that same luxury in future??

    pps. Congrats to Perez and Maldonado impressing in their first season and Williams/Renault...can't wait...

  • Comment number 45.

    typical from Webber, asked to take one for the team but he's too much of an egotist to comply with it, and he still couldn't get passed his mechanically unsound team-mates car. He has no chance to win the WDC, all he can do is help Ferrari stop his team winning it, and he's too much of a selfish hypocrit to possibly help his team if it isn't all about him. Bet he would've accepted the team orders aty Abu Dhabi last season if the race had panned out that way.

  • Comment number 46.

    I don't get what all the fuss is about... when you look back at the whole race, Webber started from Pole, but was second to Vettel going in to turn one. Is this what he is complaining about, that we was told to let Vettel past into turn one? Because the way I see it, if he had been faster than Vettel off the start/not let him past, he would have been ahead of Vettel and maybe even Alonso at the end of the race. So what his Webber complaining about?

  • Comment number 47.

    What with limiting the number of tyres that can be used in a race, tyres that wear out in five laps anyway if you press too hard, fuel loads that require a soft pedal lest they run dry, safety cars deployed from the start of wet races, Kers and DRS which enable slower drivers to pass faster drivers, and now team orders denying one driver the right to overtake another ... I am fast losing interest in F1.

    It's supposed to be a race, isn't it? So why does everything seem to be working against drivers actually putting the boot in and going for it?

  • Comment number 48.

    valta you are a diz if you think that RBR don't favour Vettel and that Mark Webber will not do well at another team. It is so obvious that RBR are only wanting Vettel to win so here goes again! No Kers, No wing, no no1 parts, no diffuser and so on. Suer Vettel is a great driver and he is lucky (as is Mark) to have them all in the same team. Last season was classic with MW and SV all going for the title but in last three races SV just blew MW away with combination of better car and better pit crew. Anyway this years boring championship goes to SV so lets move on.

  • Comment number 49.

    It was a great venue, a great race, and lots of drama already. Alonso / Ferrari took control of the race.

    My thoughts:

    1) Maclaren have to sort out a few issues with their car, as it seems that they are slightly behind the curve of the advancing teams (namely Red Bull, and now Ferrari). There's a communication gap between the team and Hamilton, and we're always hearing this on radio...they need to sort things out, as these moments of confusion for Hamilton reduces the superb driving he's always given us (he still manages a strong position though).

    2) Ferrari's strategy of Alonso or nothing seems to be paying off. Massa to me looked very sharp in the race, but he plays the #2 driver so well...deserves credit there. They executed the race perfectly. Kudos to Domenacali!

    3) Webber did race his heart out, but even towards the end, Vettel would've held him out (with or without team orders, unless Vettel was told to do otherwise) was very close and Horner did the right thing in avoiding another Turkey 2010 where both of the drivers crashed into each other.

    Given the conditions of the track, team could've ended with double DNF.

    One must admit, it makes for great media drama and the season all the more interesting, irrespective of the large gap between Red Bull and other teams.

    It's not over yet, and Red Bull have exposed a small weakness, but if anything, their consistency is keeping them at bay...for now, but will other circuits bring favorable outcomes to other teams....only time will tell.

  • Comment number 50.

    Horner did what all team principal will and must do. He made the right call. Webber was acting unprofessionally not to follow clear instructions. Webber must have realized that he is indeed the No.2 driver. There is no point challenging common sense.

  • Comment number 51.

    Why was Vettel allowed to race and crash with webber last year which gave the 1-2 to Mclaren ? Why was Vettel not told to maintain the gap? That one incident would have made webber world champion last year ? Not vetted of course redbul favour vettel why don't they admit it. I don't have a problem with it just cant stand redbullsh#t.

  • Comment number 52.

    Team orders are here to stay - get used to it. Every team - despite denials - has a number 1 and number 2 driver - such is life, suck it up. And every team goes through patches of brilliance followed by frustrating troughs, so Lewis should think hard before leaving McLaren, which seems pretty inevitable after Silverstone. Button, too, surely needs a better organised team.

  • Comment number 53.

    #52- Well said, and on the mark.

  • Comment number 54.

    I think it was a pure case of Christian Horner getting a bit twitchy when both his cars were fighting for second place. Given an uninterrupted run Webber may well have pulled it off, but I think he became distracted by the number of radio messages including Horners at that point. Personally I don't agree with team orders as what we the spectators want is a race from start to finish.

    Nevertheless a strong drive from Alonso allowed him to take advantage of Red Bull's pit problems, and steal the lead. Whether he would have otherwise got passed Vettel is a matter of conjecture, but given his pace and experience it was probably lightly.

    McLaren, while strong drives from Hamilton and Button, are floundering with an inadequate aero package, and too many mistakes. I'm begining to think Martin Whitmarsh's style of management is not tight enough, but certainly they need some rather more inspired aerodynamicists there if they are to take on the engineering knowhow of Adrian Newey.

  • Comment number 55.

    To #10 and well, Damon Hill

    I could not believe when I was watching the forum yesterday what I heard coming out of Damon Hill's mouth. Absolute disgraceful hypocrisy, despite his frankly pathetic attempts to distinguish the 2 situations.

    Hill himself benefitted massively in Spa 1998 from similar team orders and its well documented - Hill yesterday tried to claim that he opened the gap to Ralf in that instance which was absolutely not the case - most people believe Ralf would have probably caught him. I'm sure also I read in Coulthards book about him receiving team orders not to challenge Damon a couple of times as well.

    More hypocrisy also from Horner himself - whilst his arguments are completely valid, the fact remains that in the past that Red Bull have adopted a holier than thou stance on team orders. You cant have your cake and eat it - yes again he tried to distinguish the situation from say, Ferrari last year, but its a very fine distinction when Red Bull adopt such a smug attitude about team orders each race.

    All a bit of a joke and thank god Eddie Jordan was there yesterday to pull up Damon Hill for that shocking hypocrisy.

  • Comment number 56.

    Last year team orders were banned, and if you think Massa being told to let Alonso past was the only instance of team orders you are wrong, it happened constantly. So comments about race fixing etc. are absolutely useless, even if banned they will continue, better to have them out in the open.

    Taking your team mate of the track is about the worst thing you can do. Horner didn't want that to happen. Webber is clever enough to avoid that, is Vettel?
    In my mind Horner wanted to protect Webber from Vettel, not the other way around.

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    I fully accept Christian Horner looking out for the team first. But now that team orders are allowed and with the desire to keep all the points on offer, what was wrong with the radio call to Seb saying (ala Ferrari) 'MARK IS FASTER THAN YOU?' Seb's points tally is not exactly on a knife edge....It's also pretty insulting to his drivers that the team principal is saying they can't be trusted to execute a safe overtake and that them both ending in the wall was the only possible conclusion.

  • Comment number 59.

    What are the rules about moderating?
    I had a comment removed, I think (?) because I said that a certain team had prior knowledge about a rule change.
    If I'm wrong, I apologise, but I saw Martin wink at the camera during his close-up of the Ferrari during his grid walk!

  • Comment number 60.

    as Jessica said, the team would have done itself the world of good PR wise to actively push them to race each other regardless of outcome. OR to tell Vettel Mark is faster don't get in his way if he overtakes.

  • Comment number 61.

    Personally in my opinion, i think this just confirms what most people already think that Red bull favour Vettel over mark, there was no reason why Webber should not have been allowed to overtake Vettel. At the end of the day we are talking about 2 professional F1 drivers, every time they get close in a battle for position does not mean they are just going to take each other out, it happened once in turkey last year. Lewis and Jenson came together in Canada only a couple of races ago and they were allowed to race when Lewis passed Jenson at the wet part of the circuit, there was more chance of a collision then, with those conditions. Also Vettel now had a 77 point lead going into race, im pretty sure him finishing 3rd would not have cost him too much. I think this race will have an effect on what Mark decides to do with his F1 future and if he wants number 1 status at a team then he is going to have to move on. Shame really.

  • Comment number 62.

    @35 unfortunately that isn't quite true as they both have to exist within the same races and the team has ultimate control over the drivers. I do think the FIA should do more to protect the drivers championship as the fans tend to follow that one more than the constructors. They have tried in the past with the ban on team orders, but unfortunately it is hard to enforce, e.g. a mechanic could wave a banana over the pit wall which tells them to swap positions. While the team & money are involved you will never have a clean drivers, so you always have to factor in the teams 1 & 2, even if "both drivers are equal"....yep sure.

  • Comment number 63.

    Hi, this is to the moderator only.
    I have never had a comment removed before, and as a passionate F1 follower, I'm annoyed with myself for infringing the rules.
    Having read most of the posts. what i said seems mild in comparison, but then that's my view.
    If you have time, could you please email me with EXACTLY what I said that caused upset.

  • Comment number 64.

    Like it or not the team pays the wages, they make the rules. I can see both points of view, and I am sure we all remember that these 2 have had a few incidents on track. Upsetting 1 driver is a lot better than upsetting the whole team. Sadly Webber isnt in the position to make too much fuss, as I suspect the team, has a pretty long list of potential drivers lined up, just waiting for Webber to quit. I think the whole weekend was ruined by this hot/cold gas blowing issue, rather than the Webber/red bull spat. How can rules and regulations be changed mid season? If it was a safety issue then fine, but other than that?
    Anyway thanks to Silverstone for the event and well done to Alonso and Ferrari and Felipe who missed out on 4th.

  • Comment number 65.

    It is pretty clear the the RedBull drivers are allowed to race each other, only in specific circumstances: When Vettel is behind or when Webber is so far behind he has no chance of catching.
    At Silverstone, Horner told us that they were allowed to race right up until the last 3 or 4 laps. In other words, until it was obvious that Webber was going to threaten Vettel.
    Were this Ferrari rather then RedBull, I don't think anyone would have paid any attention. But RedBull made such a fuss last year (over Ferrari's order to Massa) and claim to let their drivers race. It is this hypocrisy that is really grating.

  • Comment number 66.

    Congratulations to Alonso, great drive. Commiserations to JB and Hamilton, should have had far better results.

    I'm not a Webber fan - actually I really can't stand him. However, there was no need for team orders here. Even if they had taken each other out it really wouldn't have mattered in terms of either championship. This stinks of Vettel likes records and wouldn't it be horrible to end the streak of 1st or 2nd places only this season?

    It showed to me that Horner has a massive lack of respect for his drivers. He basically said that Mark is physically incapable of making a pass, and Vettel incapable of defending, without crashing!

    Mark has said that he didn't follow orders but he clearly backed off once the delayed transmission went public. Harsh words from the pit wall followed that I think.

  • Comment number 67.

    I get where Christian Horner is coming from, and he's far from alone in ever having to make that call, indeed one Eddie Jordan famously made the same call when Ralf Schumacher was tearing into Damon Hill's lead at Spa in '98 with a few laps to go, though admittedly in that circumstance, Ralf had Jean Alesi in close range behind, so the win would have been in danger even without collisions.

    For me, I think that this sort of decision ultimately is an indication of the level of faith that the team place in the judgement and ability of their drivers to race without incident. Take McClaren for instance, yes JB and Lewis have had one or two knocks, but they've also had some fantastic moments of wheel-to-wheel racing that have been incident-free. As a driver, you'd have to feel that getting that call over the radio is tantamount to being told on the radio "we don't trust you enough with our car to let you race". Ultimately that is what the issue is, and the team will always er towards calculated risk. Sadly, their calculations rarely give drivers sufficient credit to allow them to race. Ironically, these are the teams who hire the best drivers, it would be understandable in the situation McClaren found themselves in 2007 with Hamilton as a rookie in the team.

  • Comment number 68.

    Once again Mark Webber went backwards from pole to the first corner. He has to be the worst starter in F1. It is a pretty nothing sort of blog, so predictable and many of the posts obviously didn't see the race. Webber is a number two driver anyway though obviously not officially. He may get a number one job at Williams or Sauber. That would be pointless for him. If he's not at Red Bull he should retire.

  • Comment number 69.

    @ comment #21 (valtat63)

    "I am heartily sick off all this number 2 driver stuff seems like sour grapes and excuses for a man not pulling his weight at the moment".

    The man (Webber) is not being allowed to pull his weight!.. the (rather smarmy and smug) Cristian Horner is making sure of that, i have every confidence Mark would have dropped Vettel quite easily if not distracted by the order given to him.

    All in all, Horner's excuse for not allowing racing.. is very weak, and a fine demonstration of hypocrisy if there ever was one.

  • Comment number 70.

    What a way to conduct a "sport"!! Who races these cars, the driver or someone in the pit-stop? I'd be pretty peed-ff it I wasn't allowed to overtake.

    It this sort of action that has got this sport an undesirable tag.

  • Comment number 71.

    Really, what is all the fuss about? A team has a driver leading the championship, the management decides that it's other driver cannot put him at any risk. End of story. Any responsible F1 team boss would have done the same in those circumstances.

  • Comment number 72.

    2. wilsonz wrote:
    "Ferrari rules, OK? (Or so it seems.)"

    Alonso finished 29.0sec ahead of Hamilton in Silverstone.
    Alonso finished 46.1sec ahead of Hamilton in Valencia.

    It is clear to see that the rule change has brought McLaren closer to Ferrari - not the other way around. But I guess you and others were too busy listening to the BBC propaganda from the likes of Jake Humphrey, rather than looking at the (inconvenient) truth.

  • Comment number 73.

    Well, I have to be honest and say that I support drivers, not teams. I know the rules of the game, of course, and totally agree with RantingMrP that team orders have always existed and that's pretty much how it is. I'm not here to try and change that. However, when I turn on the tv I can't help but rooting for drivers, most of the times regardless the colours of their cars.

    I can draw a parallel with football, I guess. I experience football as a team sport, my heart goes to the team and I support them regardless who's wearing the shirt. Sometimes, of course, one grows to like a certain player and therefore club as well. So in that sense, there's an individual FACTOR for me that plays a part, but above all I experience it as a team sport.

    The opposite works in racing for me. I experience it as a driver sport ,whilst the team is a definitely an ever important factor. I support Sauber, for instance, but just because I enjoy the attitude of both of its drivers. So it all starts with them, on track.

    I know this is personal, I have a good friend that's Italian so Ferrari is everything for him. I obviously understand that, but I just can't feel the same way. Probably because I'm Brazilian and almost every team decision in the last years (Barrichello, Piquet, Massa) has transformed these perfectly fine drivers into national laughing stock.

    To wrap it up, I understand that teams exist and need to protect their interests. I understand they can only win with one car so they focus on the most suited guy for their interests. But I find it all too cynical to buy that discourse, what I really like to see is drivers going for it REGARDLESS all that, instead of according to it. Easier said than done, surely. Sorry for the long one, just wanted to know anyone else sees it that way as well.

  • Comment number 74.

    A little off topic but did you notice how much time was spent fawning over the British drivers this weekend? Sure it's our home Grand Prix but the BBC are always very quick to criticise the host director for any lingering shots of their driver in action.

    Switching to a shot of Lewis vs Massa (were naff all was happening at that point) right as Mark was lining up Seb had me shouting at the tele!

    The post race stuff was just as bad. Nice long analysis for LH, JB and PD. Not a single thing about the Bulls or heaven forbid the race winner. Really unbalanced and quite embaressing. Usually enjoy the coverage but this was cringe worthy.

  • Comment number 75.

    Ferrari finished 29.0sec ahead of McLaren in Silverstone.
    Ferrari finished 46.1sec ahead of McLaren in Valencia.

    I see what you did there, you are claiming this is

    "rather than looking at the (inconvenient) truth."

    a truth...

    that says, Ferrari didn't gain anything out of the blown diffuser rule changes....

    Well I say bull to your methods of defining that truth...

    Different races can not be compared like that, otherwise I could just do THIS.

    Ferrari finished 29.0sec ahead of McLaren in Silverstone.
    McLaren finished 33.2sec ahead of Ferrari in Montreal.

    As we can see our new TRUTH clearly shows how Ferrari have gained over a whole minute across a race distance from Montral to Silverstone.

    Isn't it amazing how the TRUTH, suddenly looks completely the opposite to YOUR TRUTH....geez, stop making crap up to suite yourself.

  • Comment number 76.

    If anyone thinks there are no team orders at RBR then they need to get their head out of the sand, Last year Mark had to give up his front wing to Seb the final race of the season when Mark could have won the title they sacrificed him by bringing him in to the pits at a time that would bring him back out in amoungst traffic knowing Ferrari saw him as the major threat to Alonso so they covered the move which also brought him into traffic, then yesterday an outright admission to team rules. I think Hamilton would be a fool to go to RBR as he would get the same treatment, their owner is Austrian for sure he is going to favour the German

  • Comment number 77.

    Why dont they just ban PITS to CAR radio, the driver should be able to radio in if he has a problem but the team should only be able to communicate via the pit board - at least everyone else can see what they are putting out.

    Off Topic: DRS - shouldnt be allowed at all in qualifying as this gives cars with a more efficent wing an adavantage as they can use it the whole lap and in the race it makes the overtaking to easy - can they not limit its deployment time similer to KERS say 60% of the length of the straight or something

  • Comment number 78.

    I wonder if Ralph Shumacher agrees with Damon Hill's comments about team orders.

  • Comment number 79.

    I don't know, maybe I'm mistaken; am I the only one who noticed how fast Ferrari's Alonso was able to pull away in the last third of the race at a phenomenal pace, or was it because Lewis was struggling, thus holding up the Red Bull's?

  • Comment number 80.

    as far as i'm concerned people need to stop calling F1 a sport, something it clearly is'nt, if/when other sport's like cricket, football influence the outcome there's a outcry and people want rules in place to stop people having an influence on the outcome, but with F1 it should be accepted as part of the sport. Lets say i had a bet on Webber winning the British GP and lets say Alonso crashed out or had reliability issues, the fact the Horner told him to hold the gap is wrong because that makes my bet null and void because someone thinks they have the right to influence the outcome of a race. F1 is NOT a sport.

  • Comment number 81.

    I dont understand the big deal to be honest, Christian Horner is the man in charge of RedBull Racing and his objectives at the start of the season was to defend both championships. The second and third place practically secured the constructors title, job half done. Lets not forget Webber and Vettel have taken eachother off before and it could easily have happened again with Webber on the charge. For me Webbers only gripe should be with himself, he is very quick around Silverstone and had he not cocked up his start he could have dominated the race and lead home a RedBull one two. Having said that though, I am glad Alonso won, anyone but Vettel at the moment for me and Ferrari look like they are right back on the pace.

  • Comment number 82.


    ...that's a bit of a misnomer now after Red Bull ordered Webber to stay where he was. Its just ain't racing no more !!

    Win on merit ! Otherwise don't call it racing or sports.

    Motor racing is just as devious and Murdoch's Empire.

  • Comment number 83.

    Totally different subject but.... why does Schumacher get a stop-go penalty for crashing into Koybayshi and Hamilton gets away scot-free for crashing into Massa?! Hamilton's move was clearly more desperate and last gasp than Schumacher's. Just because it was on the last lap/last corner, why does it go un-noticed. Is it because Lewis was 'serving up entertainment for the British fans'. Schumacher's stop/go penalty was harsh - maybe a drive thru?! Once again naughty Hamilton gets away with Touring car style driving....... NO JUSTICE!

  • Comment number 84.

    @80 betting on Webber when it is fairly clear that Vettel would always get priority from the team, and also with Vettel's record over Webber in Quali and race wins, it is fairly obvious it is an outside bet, and if you are not informed enough to make an informed decision, perhaps you shouldn't bet on the sport. Even in "Lets say". Team dynamics are a part of the risks you take when you make bets on F1, if you don't consider it, it is not the sports fault, it is yours. Especially this year as it is a legal part of the sport.

  • Comment number 85.

    @83 if you watched the red button coverage that was all explained by Mansell one of the Stewards. All the other contacts at that corner got away with it scot free. Schumacher didn't get away with it, because it wasn't even an attempt at an overtake, he came flying into the corner far too fast as he misjudged the braking point and ploughed into careful Koby, the others both parties were side by side at the contact point and the outside car was closing the door just as much as the inside party was in the way. "racing incident". As for you implying Hamilton gets away with everything....just lol. This is about the first one he has got away with this year.

  • Comment number 86.

    I think incidents like this are embarrassing for the sport. The race directors will shrug their shoulders and say it is them on the line, but people pay and tune in to watch RACING. You are slapping them in the face by telling your drivers not to race. It always amazes me how little respect fans are given by the biggest sports in the world, without fans they are just gatherings of talented people.

  • Comment number 87.

    7. At 22:44 10th Jul 2011, valtat63 wrote:
    They did race Webber ignored team orders, shame Andrew did not make this clear in his blog no doubt to bring about reaction, Webber ignored the orders could not pass


    I don't think it really matters whether he ignored them or not. The team still gave the message, and that is the bit everyone is concerned about.

    And get over yourself with your 'everyone hates Vettel, everyone loves Webber' stuff. That is absolutely not the case. I like Vetter, a lot - if it wasn't for that annoying finger I think I'd struggle to find anything to dislike - but this really has got nothing to do with him. He is being protected by his team, quite unnecessarily.

    RBR are showing clear driver favouritism on the one hand, while claiming they let their drivers race on the other. THAT is the hypocrisy that has caused the blog - whether Webber actually listens to them or not is irrelevant, but you can bet that having ignored them, he's going to have got himself in hot water, and that's not how this sport is supposed to work.

  • Comment number 88.

    Vetter = Vettel*


  • Comment number 89.

    For Horner to say the battle had gone "far enough" is a bit strange - the point was that Webber was significantly faster than Vettle in the closing stages, caught up but was ordered not to pass. Webber did not entirely obey but this must have impacted on his attempts to get second place!
    It is in Red Bull's interest to keep Webber happy and with Vettel having such a big lead there is more gain in getting Webber into second place in the championship. There was no need for Webber to go insane trying to pass but if you get into the correct position the use of DRS can make passes look very straightforward sometimes!

  • Comment number 90.

    If Horner wanted to avoid the situation of both his drivers 'ending up in the fence', why didn't he utter these words to Vettel? "Mark is faster than you. Do you understand?"

    As we could all see, Mark was indeed faster! So why not give the orders to Vettel?
    And Mark did obey orders, otherwise he would have hit that KERs button. Both Brundle and Coulthard were non-plussed why Mark did not use it overtake when he had that opportunity.

    OK the rules have changed this year, but so what, the ethos of motor RACING has not. Horner and Jordan strongly criticised Ferrari last year, but this year Horner has shown himself to be a hippocrite. And it was all so unnecessary. Vettel and RB will romp away with the championship, neither needed the points.

    The fans have been robbed...again. We want fair, hard racing and for drivers to win on merit and craft, and to give 100%, not be told to back off by pit-lane bosses.

  • Comment number 91.

    "Alonso's victory on Sunday was as impressive as any by Vettel so far this season."

    I'd argue it was actually far MORE impressive than any by Seb Vettel last season. Alonso actually made at least 1 pass for position and that not being immediately after coming out on fresh tyres Vs someone dropping off the cliff.

  • Comment number 92.

    @84 who said i placed a bet on Webber? i didnt and never will bet on a sport (i use that word loosely) that cant be trusted.

  • Comment number 93.

    Correction: 'this season' not last season, although the same could be said for then too!

  • Comment number 94.

    @85.... thanks didn't watch the red button. Point taken but Hamilton's overtake was a bit Touring Car-esque. I thought F1 was a non-contact sport?! I love Lewis for his hard and commited overtakes and he had a stunning race..... but if that move was pulled on him, he'd be the first to complain.

  • Comment number 95.

    Wonder how the comments would look like instead of Redbull the dominant team was Mclaren and Hamilton was in Vetels place and.... well you know the rest.

  • Comment number 96.

    i'm tired of this team order talk, we all know it happens, in plain sight or not.

    ferrari clearly do that, no one's gonna take alonso off the de facto crown, not in a good few years.

    now redbull finally cracked, in public as well, so no pretending, just let it out horner, admit it and we will all accept it and move on.

    mclaren, under whitmarsh, the only top team that actually don't interfere with team racing, look where that got them, not in the top 3 drivers standings as i write, good for the fans, not so good for the team, i'm not saying they will definitely finish out of top 3, but more collisions certainly won't help, besides that they have a whole bunch of other problems to sort out before they can focus on catching the bulls again.

    @ 79, as for the race, alonso pulling out a gap in the end certainly helped by the lewis holding up seb, and i think seb was probably settled for 2nd already during that latter part of the race, just my thought. but take nothing away from ferrari's improvement over the past few races, although i admit the championships are over, but i surely hope either ferrai or mclaren will give the bulls a good run for their money, at least make them earn it in the 2nd half of the season, they've got it way to easy in the 1st half of the seaon.

  • Comment number 97.

    90. At 11:08 11th Jul 2011, Edward wrote:
    If Horner wanted to avoid the situation of both his drivers 'ending up in the fence', why didn't he utter these words to Vettel? "Mark is faster than you. Do you understand?"

    As we could all see, Mark was indeed faster! So why not give the orders to Vettel?


    Very good point, and something I had not even considered.

    As you rightly say, team orders can work both ways - the 'fair' thing, if you want to avoid an accident, would be to let the faster car through. In fact, it's probably the safer thing too - Mark being that close would be putting pressure on Vettel, and so he'd be more likely to make a mistake. If they let Webber through, Vettel can relax, and the team still get their double podium.

  • Comment number 98.

    Webber closed him at a second a lap, he would could have & would have passed him had he not been called off. Shame for Mark but thats the price you pay when in a team focussed around 1 driver. He's a big boy & he knows the score.

    I think Red Bull missed a bit of a chance to be honest. If they had let Webber pass him it still would not have done much damage at all to Vetttel's championship lead & they still could have held the moral high ground.

  • Comment number 99.

    As for Vettels Kers problem, I'm sure I saw the little red kers indicator working when his in car cam was on the telly. Did he really have a problem?

  • Comment number 100.

    I'm sure this has been pointed out earlier.. but the thing that makes me laugh the most, is Horner saying something about how it was done for the interest of the team (team orders)... someone needs to tell him he has 2 drivers within that team.. and they're both in the championship, surely with Vettel in such a strong place it would have made sense to allow Webber to race for a stronger 2nd place in the championship standings....

    Maybe Horner should sharpen his teamwork strategy by playing a few games of Ludo.


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