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So is Vettel the favoured son at Red Bull?
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So is Vettel the favoured son at Red Bull?
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 May 2010   |  8:47 pm GMT  |  436 comments

Last year after the race at the Nurburgring, I went into the Red Bull motorhome to congratulate Mark Webber on his first Formula 1 victory.

There was no sign of Webber, but team principal Christian Horner and Dr Helmut Marko were deep in conversation next to the bar. Both looked pretty serious. Webber had won the race while Vettel had finished second, largely due to being rather tentative in qualifying, where he ended up fourth. I watched him very closely that weekend and spoke to him several times and I felt that he was really feeling the pressure of a home Grand Prix where you are expected to win.

Mark Webber’s partner Ann Neal came out of the drivers’ area and walked across the room. One of the team said something like, “Isn’t it fantastic, Mark’s win?” To which she replied rather tartly, “I’m glad someone around here is pleased.” And indeed it did seem more like a wake than a celebration.

Things have moved on and in Monaco two weeks ago the team were certainly celebrating.

Vettel and Marko. A powerful axis at Red Bull

But Red Bull has invested a great deal of money in its driver development programme and Sebastian Vettel is what they have to show for it. There are others coming through, like Daniel Ricciardo, but for the moment, Vettel is justifying the spend. Dr Marko is in charge of it and he reports directly to the Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz. From close observation of the team and its workings, Horner is constantly having to justify decisions and plans to Marko.

Vettel came out on top in the inter team battle last season and looked like he was on target to do the same this year, but then things changed. Webber was furious with himself after losing the lead to Vettel at the start in Malaysia and he has had a long talk with himself and come out fighting.

Webber’s performances in Spain and Monaco were as good as anything any driver in today’s field could produce and he didn’t give Vettel a chance in either race.

The team satisfied themselves and Vettel that the reason for Vettel’s relative lack of pace (and we are talking about fractions of a second here) was some damage to his chassis, so he was given a new one for Turkey.

The team tries to be fair in the way it treats both drivers. They both had new parts fitted to the cars on Saturday, Vettel’s arriving before Webber’s but nevertheless the cars were the same during qualifying.

But there was a suspicion tonight that in the laps leading up to their collision on lap 40, Vettel may have been given more favourable conditions than Webber and may have had more engine revs at his disposal. And it may have been because he was under threat from Hamilton.

“In the situation Sebastian was in, he had no other choice than to act the way he did, ” said Marko on F1.com. “We informed Mark about the situation and it is for the driver to decide. The fact is that if Sebastian hadn’t passed he would have been overtaken by Hamilton. Unfortunately, Mark was not told about the situation accurately by his race engineer.”

Analysis of the race history shows that for the seven laps leading up to the incident, Hamilton was a constant 1.2 seconds behind Vettel.

Christian Horner has been under pressure today and it took him a while to get his line together. Initially he chose to apportion blame on both drivers, but after team meetings his stance seemed to shift towards blaming Webber. He confirmed that Vettel did have more revs available at the time – and that he was happier on the hard tyres – and that was because Webber had used more fuel in the early stages of the race than Vettel, who was able to save some in Hamilton’s slipstream. Vettel had one kilogramme more fuel.

So around lap 38 Vettel was allowed to be on a more potent fuel mix than Webber. Managing the fuel load to the end is one of the disciplines of F1 in 2010 and it seems that teams have been cutting it finer and finer so as not to carry any extra weight.

Today the lap times were fast as the track had rubbered in a lot since practice so the cars were using more fuel than predicted. At various stages everyone had to take care.

Vettel used the moment when he had more revs than his team mate to attack. Is it fair? Should Webber have been allowed more revs to resist, should Red Bull have told them to hold station with only 18 laps to go and a 1-2 in sight? But would that have given Hamilton a golden chance to pass Vettel?

These are the things which will be discussed internally in the coming days. Clearly they need some kind of agreement as to how they will manage engine and fuel use as it contributed to a calamity today. There will also be a new rule established in case of one team mate making a pass on another, to allow each other more room. With that extra room Vettel would have passed Webber today.

Was it because the team favoured Vettel? Did they have a finger on the scales? The only way to know is to look at Red Bull’s fuel data and see where they both were on fuel at the time. To insiders this will be obvious, to outsiders it will be hard to discover.

Vettel is entitled to feel frustrated by his season so far, he should be ahead in the championship but for reliability problems in Bahrain and Australia and also in Spain. It was his car again which proved fragile this weekend when a broken roll bar linkage caused him to lose his shot at pole position. That tipped the balance in Webber’s favour 4-3 in qualifying this year. Today Vettel was recovering from that.

By lap 40 he had got himself in a position to challenge and he went for it. But Webber didn’t make it easy for him, leaving his car well to the left and forcing Vettel to come down the narrow strip of tarmac on the inside, the “dirty side” as Horner described it. He described the lack of room left as the “large mistake” and said that the team wanted to win the race, implying that Vettel offered their best chance of doing that, at that stage. But he also admitted that Vettel came across too early to seal the deal. Vettel was too eager to finish the move before he’d done all the work and they touched.

In Webber’s mind at that moment would have been the start at Sepang, where he let Vettel through too easily. In a tight psychological battle between team mates, he would not want that to happen twice. He would also have been aware that as he was in fuel save mode, Vettel had suddenly started gaining on him at three tenths of a second per lap.

But there is more to it than that; it doesn’t explain why Vettel’s car move to the right. Vettel says he “lost the car” and it does seem that perhaps the car got light over a bump. In the normal run of things it would not have been a problem, but because they were so close, that was enough to take him into the side of Webber’s car.

So where do they got from here? Well, although he says it will be sorted out by Montreal, it will certainly be tough for Horner to paper over the cracks and manage the expectations of his drivers, as it was at McLaren with Hamilton and Alonso in 2007.

Webber is a gnarly old pro and is doing his talking on the track, not making it easy for his young team mate, while Vettel will know deep down that he has to make up for this incident in Turkey as quickly as possible.

The next major crunch will come at Silverstone where the Red Bull should be untouchable on the many high speed corners. Last year Vettel dominated Webber. He will feel intense pressure to do the same.

For what it’s worth, in a JA on F1 reader’s poll, with a sample of 2,000 as of 9pm this evening, 80% of fans say that the accident was Vettel’s fault.

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  1. Andy W says:

    Time will tell…. Seb still has a lot to prove in my mind if he is to live up to his nickname of the ‘new Schumacher’, and Red Bull would be mad to throw away its relationship with Mark as he has contributed a lot to the team over the years and still has a lot more to give.

    1. N. Machiavelli says:

      “Red Bull would be mad to throw away its relationship with Mark”.

      I concur.

      But as you may know, some people won’t listen to good advice, because their arrogance won’t allow it. Not that I
      am saying the Germans or Austrians are arrogant, of
      course :-)

      1. Hare says:

        A great spot from Todfod on another blog: Horner is clearly seen saying ‘Come on Mark, MOVE’ in the TV Coverage.

        Around 1.31-1.33

        Video here : http://bit.ly/9h6vFC

        The memory above of Mark’s Win at Nurburgring is as telling as anything we’ve seen the last weekend.

        To me, Dietrich Mateschitz pines for an Austrian Schumacher, and all the reverence that goes with that.

        I don’t like all this nationality preference nonsense, but it’s part of the world we live in.

      2. Rob G says:

        Great point, the video is very telling with Horner yelling at Webber to move. Marko’s comments about it being Webber’s fault say it all, they want as close to an Austrian champion as possible and Germany is a whole hell of a lot closer to Austria than Australia.

        Webber swapping seats with Kubica at Renault next season??

      3. Jerry says:

        It’s not clear to me what Horner is saying: it’s a very abrupt cut, he’s already in the middle of the sentence when we see him. I agree that the last word is move, but the ones before that are open to interpretation in my view.

      4. Hare says:

        Jerry – Agreed, but it makes no sense for him to be urging Vettel to move. I’m sure there are many possibles. We can all make our own mind up :)

      5. Andy W says:

        Errr…. It could also be seen that he doesn’t want his cars to crash…. after all they where P1 and P2…. and a crash could have wiped both cars out of the race easily (and it nearly happened). Its really easy to read all sorts of things into these tiny snippets of time, the trick is to apply Occam’s razor.

        I don’t see Kubica wanting to move from Renault in a hurry and I really don’t see him wanting to move to be a no2 driver… However I can see VJ phoning Marks management to see if he would be interested in a curry and a Force India seat….

      6. Erik says:

        Vettel was ahead and was at the same side as next turn. Webber should have given up with a teammate at his side
        (or at least give him room) the same way that Hamilton did in exact the same turn a couple of laps later, he went out way right and let Button in. Hamilton also had the middle of the track and held that line until Button was alongside and then he turned far right and gave lots of room.

      7. P11 says:

        @Rob G: With Kubica on board they’d arguably have even more of a struggle between drivers, don’t you think?

      8. Rob G says:

        @P11: True, there could be friction but I’m thinking from the standpoint of Webber wanting out of his situation, Red Bull needing to fill a seat and Kubica being the most desirable prospect not under contract.

      9. Formula Zero says:

        Spot on. Red Bull claiming to treat their drivers equally is a joke. I have always been a Schumacher fan, but I completely agree that Schumacher was favoured over his team mate in Ferrari. Red Bull isn’t Webber’s team anymore. I hope he wins the world championship & move to Ferrari or McLaren or Merc kind of team next year.

        There was more than enough space for Vettel not to turn in to Webber’s car. Hence, Horner is blaiming Mark as well!!! I am shocked. The television footages were clear that Horner was yelling at Mark to move over. It’s a race for the world championship, not a give away sign on the highway!!! Unreal

      10. f1jocker12 says:

        barcelona 2009 – lap 62 – massa is fourth, 23 seconds behind button, the leader…
        he gets a radio message informing him about a fuel problem… he starts slowing down…
        lap 66 – finish line – massa is sixth, 50 seconds behind button, the winner…

        how in the world were this guy saving fuel 15 laps before the finish… or button from lap 20 out of 56 ?????

      11. Michael Brown says:

        Massa’s fuel problem in Barcelona 2009 was a because of a miscalculation or error with the refuelling rig so he didn’t actually have enough fuel to finish the race, this meant he had to really slow down a huge amount to make it to the end. This is totally different to the fuel saving the drivers were doing in Istanbul which is just using a little less revs and changing the engine map and only has maybe 1-2s laptime penalty.

      12. Richard says:

        15 laps from the end would be a good time to do it. It’s a bit late if you need to try to save fuel with only 3 laps to go.

      13. f1jocker12 says:

        and… look at the pitstop order… vettel lap 14, webber lap 15… in normal conditions vettel would end up leading…

        they wanted him first on the track from lap 16…

    2. RickeeBoy says:

      After repeated viewing of SV in car footage you see him hold straight on the inside then three tiny little moves of the wheel to move right ( one move per foot approx ) so I see SV squeezing MW off his own line. ….. In racing terms kid … you’ll be lucky to get anybody to move ( can you see Alonso moving ?? )- Mark just raced with you and kept you on the dirty side ( like every other decent driver would do ) …….. We just now see how much MW has had to eat his words in this team – Afraid Helmut Marko who I had the highest regard for has just sunk to the lowest of the low in my eyes. Thought Christian was a bit weak and its coming out now – I see Mark being a true professional in the Press Conf and just in general. PS – The McL boys were well lucky they didn’t self explode as well.

      1. Michael Brown says:

        You’re right about the McLaren boys. Everyone now is saying they showed how it should be done but they touched wheels and were quite lucky it didn’t all end in tears as well.

    3. av says:

      I think Horner drowns in his own ‘rational’ gymnastics. If Vettel had a bit more revs at his disposal and was under danger of being overtaken by Hamilton, passing Webber would have left the latter with less revs available, even more vulnerable to a Hamilton pass. And if Vettel, with his higher revs was under imminent attack from Hamilton, surely he would have been passed before the end by Hamilton – 18 laps were still to be run…

  2. Dom says:

    Come on james! Get off the fence mate!

    1. simon fehr says:

      I agree, come on James, what’s your opinion? When asked, Martin Brundle told Horner and Helmut that he thought Vettle was ’100% in the wrong’. You said that Lewis was a steady 1.2 seconds behind for the previous 7 laps. You clearly don’t believe the ‘Lewis was going to overtake’ line.
      And what of Webber’s situation? He’s going to have a distinctly ‘Barrichello at Ferrari’ feeling surely?

      1. Adam says:

        Let’s reverse the roles and say that Webber was making a move on Vettel. Would Horner be saying that Webber was still to blame? I can assure you that he would.

        Also now lets assume that was Barrichello making the same move on Schumacher when they both drove for Ferrari, what do you think would have been the reaction from Ferrari? Barrichello would have been lucky not to be sacked, but if Schumacher was overtaking Barrichello then he would have been a hero and somehow it still would have been Barrichello’s fault.

        Pushing Mark down will only make him stronger, thats the true Aussie spirit. Make Mark the underdog at your own peril Red Bull.

      2. Daniel says:

        Perfectly said. I must say why did Webber do fast laps toward the end if he had to save fuel?
        He had a 7 sec lead on Shui and was catching the Mclarens.

      3. BiggusJimmus says:

        If Vettel had to overtake Webber to stop Hamilton overtaking him then it must mean that it doesn’t matter if Hamilton overtakes Webber, especially if Webber was being made to go slower for reasons of fuel conservation. Clearly a case of favoritism, for whatever reasons.

      4. stoikee says:

        @Daniel: “I must say why did Webber do fast laps toward the end if he had to save fuel?” -because he had a fresh set of tyres from the pit stop that he had.

      5. Daniel says:

        @stoikee:” -because he had a fresh set of tyres from the pit stop that he had.” Webber’s car was damaged and he has slowed even with the wing change until it came over the radio that the Mclaren’s were “critical” on fuel, then Webo speed up. Also he could have blocked Vettel at points on the track where overtaking is impossible and turned the wick up through the over taking zones. Either way it is proof that fuel was not critical enough to justify what the team did. Fuel was not the issue. Don’t make excuses just apologize to Mark and get on with it. You got caught.

  3. ashley edwards says:

    Red Bull always came across as a team that gives the same treatment to all the drivers. I guess they don’t.

    1. Hare says:

      I think that’s the Austrian leadership rather than the team. Horner and co have to submit to the wishes and policies of Marko and Mateschitz.

      I like the team, as they used to be Jaguar, and before that Stewart Racing :)

    2. Trent says:

      Agreed – I’ve changed my opinion about the team and I suspect many others have too.

    3. Tim Lamkin says:

      NO team does it the way F1 is…

    4. BreezyRacer says:

      A bit of truth, all be it in German ..

      Yes, there were team orders. No Webber didn’t get them. Why swap Webber for Vettel? No answer on that one but we all know why ..

  4. alam says:

    Vettel needs to calm down and get pole with the car he has. He’s not worth World Champ meterial if he can’t lead from pole.

    Webber experiance is showing through. Furthermore, from now on if were horner I would back Webber as like Renault in 2005-2006 or Brawn Gp if they mess up this year they may not get such a golden momment.

    I think ferrari will give it till Canada and if the Redbulls keep messing up they will continue development like Mclaren and spoil they time in the sun.

    1. Andy W says:

      Sorry but do you not think that Vettel should be able to overtake if he wants the championship? I have felt for a while that he needs to prove he can give pressure and overtake, its probably his weakest strength.

      1. Irish conor says:

        It is red bulls worst characteristic that they don’t have good straight line speed so their drivers are usually not close enought to make a move or they have to take a desparate lunge

      2. alam says:

        Buttons pass and Hamiltons repass is an example of gentlmanly racing.

        Webber on the other hand, very rarely gives way as proven from Australia.

        As I said watch in slow mow when vettle is halfway in on the overtake webber steers inwards. meanwhile vettle thinks it has stuck he moves right.

      3. Formula Zero says:

        Being aggressive is allowed in any sport, so is F1 & Vettel is one of the most aggressive drivers around. However, his move from the dirty side towards Webber was not a fair one. He was obviously running faster than Webber. Webber was in the fuel saving mode, but he was not instructed by the team about how fast Vettel was running. He could’ve waited a few more corners or laps to overtake Webber instead of gifting the rivals 43 points. Talking about fairness, Webber seems very lonely in Red Bull from what I see. How could the Red Bull team be so ungrateful to Webber!!! Webber stuck by this team for so many years. Even Vettel uses Webber’s set up in most races & they are finding a way not to say ‘sorry’!!! Outrages!!

      4. Leo says:

        Yeah agree entirely, it is always the guy who is trying to pass that has to pass and not the guy in fronts job to let him through.
        if the tables were turned Seb would never have let Mark pass.
        Mark is a hard guy to pass and so he should be.
        This is not for the meek this is F1 and Mark is doing well currently.
        I firmly believe that RBR are favouring Seb because of the tie up with RB, Marko and the super rich owner of RBR.
        Christian Horner should be more grateful to Mark for his dedication and perseverance and should back him.
        Lets not have another Schumacher/Brawn team please!!!!!

      5. CH1UNDA says:

        it cant be a strength is you use the word weak to describe it

      6. Amritraj says:

        Completely agree. And I think that is what separates Alonso/Hamilton/Button from Vettel. These guys can guess if they have done enough for the other guy to realise that its time to give-up the line. More than the physical placement of the car at that moment, they are able to judge the mentatlity of the driver. They realise the importance of points to win championships.

        Conversantly, they also realise when it’s time to give-up the position if they are defending. Alonso in Canada 2007, Hamilton in Spa 2007 are some examples that come to mind.

        Webber is one guy who doesn’t give an inch. His motto is: You go deep, I’ll go deeper. Though he had every right to defend his line and the way he did was absolutely correct but he does get involved in incidents as well.

        But this one is Vettel’s fault. In my mind, he is a prisoner of his own image. He wants to show how dominating and intimidating he is as a driver. Immature according to me, not ruthless. He is a very quick driver but lacks the ability to judge when he overtakes. Fuji, 2007 – involved in an incident with Alonso, damaged his McLaren’s sidepods, takes Webber out in the same race. Germany 2008 – forces Alonso to the walls in the pit-lane whilst rejoining it. Australia 2009 – Takes himself and Kubica out. China 2010 – forces Hamilton to the right in the pit-lane, echoes of the move he made on Webber. And now this. These are all high-profile errors by 1 guy touted to World Champion. He still has a long way to go. He has the technical ability, the speed, the aggression but lacks maturity, which is extremely crucial if he wants to win the championship.

      7. Paul Kirk says:

        I couldn’t agree more, Amritraj, also Finger Boy seems to lack judgement. (in more ways than one). Trying to “intimidate and dominate” Weber is an extreme lack of judgement, and turning right into him is just plain stupid!

  5. Qiang says:

    I believe someone inside RBR want to copy Ron Dennis to mess up with their perfect season. I believe they don’t deserve the likes of Newey and Webber!

  6. Michael S says:

    I am not sure why James is throwing fuel on the fire with this thread? I have not seen anything this season to make me think either driver is favored. Vettel took a tight chance today and Webber gave no quarter. As long as Webber refused to move there was always going to be contact at one point considering they had reached the braking point and the were both way too far left on track for the left hander coming up. Webber should not feel nearly as blue as Vettel, his car was hardly hurt and he leads the title… Vettel on the other hand fell to 5th!!!!!!

    1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

      Vettel also refused to give in. It isn’t upto the guy infront to avoid the accident.
      I agree I hadn’t seen anything to suggest favouratism until today.

      1. Royce Amatique says:

        “It isn’t upto the guy infront to avoid the accident.” Uhh no!

      2. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        I take it then if one car behind piles straight into the back of a car infront, you blame the guy infront.
        I wouldn’t blame raikonnen for Lewis hitting him in the Canadian pit lane but you do.
        That is quite an unusual view but fair enough.

    2. CD says:

      They were nowhere near the braking point.

      1. macahan says:

        not yet. To me it looks either that Vettel lurched sideways. If you look at his line he moves a good 5-10cm to either side during the pass then all a sudden he moves even further and then they touch wheel. The more I look at the different angles the more I get the feeling that Vettel though he was in the clear start to move over right to get in racing line for breaking just that Webber didn’t move and Vettel hadn’t cleared him yet by about 3 feet.

        Things happens fast when your doing 200+kph and any imperfection in the road or wind can move the car big time. They are literally centimeters apart 10-15 cm in the wrong direction game over. Mark look very straight and stable but unfortunately didn’t give a inch. If he moved over as much as 20cm they would still touched but wheel rim to wheel rim instead as they now did.
        Impatient driven by Vettel and stubborn driven by Webber. I believe the one at fault most ended up paying the most and the one that was not as much at fault but not blameless paid his dues.

    3. CD says:

      Just had another look..actually they were closer than I thought.

    4. Matt NZ says:

      you haven’t seen?????

      Read James’ post again? Think about the races we have seen this year again…

      When Seb is in front, Mark is told to hold station – the car in front has choice of strategy/decision/position etc.

      When Mark is in front, Seb is given more revs and the go ahead to overtake his team mate at all costs.

      I’m glad that Red Bull shot themselves in the foot with this one. Hopefully they take note of your poll James and see that most F1 fans want to see a fair fight – and that in this case Vettel was clearly in the wrong

      If they don’t see reason, then Mark mate – time to look seriously at that Ferrari offer rumoured to be heading your way

      1. johnpierre rivera says:


      2. F1 Novice says:

        AND they brought Vettel in for tyres first – giving him an advantage there as well – it would normally have been the other way round.

      3. Formula Zero says:

        I bet they can see the favouritism now. If they still can’t, then they are blind. Well spoted Matt & F1 Novice

      4. Ace says:

        AND Vettel got the coveted ‘final run’ in Quali when it was Mark’s turn – he mentioned something about it in the post-quali press conference.

      5. DK says:

        The talk with Mark on contract will not be a straightforward thing then.

      6. matt says:

        Plus in qualifying, Mark was released first for his final flying lap, despite the agreement this weekend that Vettel would go out first. Mark commented on it during the post-qualifying media conference, saying he wasn’t sure why the agreement wasn’t followed and why Vettel got the preferred release.

    5. TM says:

      It’s not fuel to a fire, it’s a good insight and analysis into the situation, and genuinly poses the question to the reader “is Vettel favoured by RB?”.

      No way Webber should have yielded. If he had then imagine the stick he’d be getting right now from forums like this, saying he’s not up to the job. He didn’t move over (apart from a slight move over to the left as is normal when defending), Vettel did. Webber just held his ground and if he hadn’t I’d have far less respect for him today than I did yesterday.

      In the same way what Alonso did to Massa in China was a move of a champion, Webber’s action today was also (or of a potential one). Vettel’s was the move of a youngster who is a stunning driver but who is taking far too long to eliminate silly mistakes.

      1. macahan says:

        Absolutely. One argument I given elsewhere. Don’t understand what all the fuss is about. If it been a issue between say Vettel and Lewis things quickly been over and done with (just like Vettel and Lewis race INTO the pits was) but the exact same Alonso vs Massa race into the pits went on for days.

        Let’s move on. I seen less favoritism in RedBull then any other team ever shown. Lot of things they say and do can be twisted into favoritism especially if someone don’t agree with what was said.

    6. Richard says:

      It’s really good, measured, impartial, in-depth background.

      You’re in denial if you think there’s no fire underneath the smoke. Both of them were pretty professional afterwards, but they were both absolutely livid.

  7. Jesus says:

    The first paragraphs reminded me of McLaren 2007.
    Poor Mark if he is treated that way by Red Bull.

  8. Bill Nuttall says:

    As you point out, it’s hard to say for sure when you don’t have the data at your disposal that the team had. As a spectator all I have to go on is the TV picture and the many replays I’ve now watched on the BBC’s web site. What I’m pretty sure I’ve seen is Webber going into the corner absolutely straight as an arrow, and Vettel moving into him, causing an avoidable crash.
    From my point of view Christian Horner’s criticism of Webber is extremely harsh, bordering on unacceptable.

    1. Dale says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Webber deserves not criticism, Vettel was the one who caused the accident :!:

    2. Matt NZ says:

      fully agree – unacceptable is a good word – disgraceful is another.

      Maybe the Austrian’s have seen too many Austrian Grand Prix’s and think that this is the way it is meant to be done

      1. Gareth says:

        Haha nice!! :-D

      2. F1 Novice says:

        Why hasn’t Vettel been pulled up by the Stewards for causing an avoidable accident ? – had he not have turned right and into Webber the worst that would have happened would have been that he would have overshot the the left hand turn – a result that Webber with his experience would have been anticipating and hence he would have been ready for and been able to take the necessary action to avoid a collision – Webber could never have anticipated Vettel (his team mate) doing what he did because it was so illogical (a move by the Vettel did to Hamilton earlier on, one which Hamilton was able to take avoiding action – something Hamilton was probably anticipating purely because they aren’t team mates!)

      3. James Allen says:

        That is a very good question – why weren’t both called up for that incident? It would have been that way in the last few years

      4. Jake says:

        I think your right… and he surely would have had a grid penalty. Some will say he would have only got a reprimand but there is a very good reason why he wouldn’t.

        He’s already had a reprimand this season for cutting across someone. Last time it was against Hamilton in the Shanghai pit lane.

        So this is now the third time he has moved erraticaly and down right dangerously across the track to try to intimidate his rival (he did the same against hamilton earler in the race).

        In my opinion Vettel really needs a talking to from his team and the stewards about his Schumacher-esque mind set that he has more right than anyone to do whatever he wants on track.

      5. Formula Zero says:

        I gave up on stewards’ decision making long time ago. This year has been the worst of the lot. Running into team mate doesn’t mean that Vettel wasn’t to be punished.

      6. "for sure" says:

        …exactly. I have raised the same point elsewhere but until I saw your post I thought I was barking up the wrong tree.

      7. Hare says:

        I suspect the stewards looked at it.. and fell over laughing. After they picked themselves up.. the fell over laughing again..

        After all the laughing they had been doing. I suspect they dismissed it as an in house problem.

    3. Luke Robbins says:

      Horner is really not handling this well, how can he realistically blame webber for that?

      1. Hare says:

        I think pressure from Marko and Mateschitz means that’s he’s immediate view is a little warped.

  9. damon074 says:

    so does webber moving to ferrari look more likely now?

    1. Shane says:

      If anything he would probably choose to move to Renault, he would only be Alonso’s lap dog at Ferrari so not much would change, and I imagine he believes he could give Kubica a run for his money in the same car

    2. Nick H says:

      I think today confirmed that the driver line at Red Bull next season wont be the same as this season

      1. Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg says:

        If Kubica goes to Ferrari, then Webber should move to Renault. It would be a nice fit there. I don’t think he’s the kind of guy who would want to be 2nd to Alonso, even though they are apparently good mates. At this point in his career, with four wins under his belt, he deserves to be the main driver at a team like Renault.

    3. Formula Zero says:

      Ferrari will most likely stick by their current line up. Webber needs a good enough car to show Red Bull that they don’t deserve him.

  10. Nic Maennling says:

    I think that Ann Neil’s comment says it all. Mark – get to grips with your engineers and do what it takes. Vettel will have his time in due course.

  11. Alex Cooper says:

    A pity if this is the truth as Webber’s shown he’s a pretty good F1 driver – certainly this year but before as well.

    If I were Horner, I would fully expect my drivers to either hold station or fight with care as the McLarens did. Regardless of team orders and previous discussions. Lewis hadn’t managed to get past Seb before and showed no sign of doing so in the run up to lap 40.

    I think that David Coulthard got it right in the BBC’s program; this is a growing pain of a young team. McLaren have been there (many times) before and usually deal with it better.

    1. Dave Roberts says:

      I think Coulthard went to see Vettel to offer his commiserations and to help him not be too hard on himself. I suspect Coulthard will be somewhat bemused by his lack of contrition.

      1. jrob says:

        Trust James to pick the story of the hour!
        Ted Kravitz showed us the lap times and read out the transcript of Webber saying “dig somewhere else” and both he and luscious Lee were dispatched to poke their noses into the Red bull camp to try and see each driver’s top straight line speeds as Ant Davidson suggested (data not given to journos) in order to check if engines had been turned down, or fuel saving applied to whom and when. DC as ex Red Bull reserve goali had a better access route to areas deeper than even the most attractive journalist.
        We shall wait to see what comes back from the blogs of those that got their noses on the engine and speed trap data.
        Come on James, we also want the inside story from the McLaren team on the “save fuel” instructions, which again seemed to have overtones of possible misinterpretation judging by the barely audible conversation between Jense and Lewis in the pre-podium room.

  12. have to say vettel has gone down in my estimations simply because he blames webber, i am also very disapionted with horner, this was a bloke i felt had something different in the way he managed his drivers. Good one for webber, he has well and truly laid down a marker, lets see if vettel is man enough to beat it.

    1. Hugh says:

      I have to agree with Wayne above.
      It is obvious that Vettel needs the corporate might of Red Bull behind him to have a shot at the Title. He can’t do it on talent alone. His increasingly petulant attitude is very unsavory. I can imagine the Red Bull response if Webber had acted as they expected (and jumped out the way for their blue eyed boy) if it had have been Hamilton making the move for the lead of the GP.
      It seems to be irrelevant to them that Webber had the GP lead and any driver worth his seat wouldn’t give that up easily.
      Webber left just enough room, did not deviate in line and Vettel did have the option of lifting off on arrival at the following corner to tuck in behind. I read the nonsense about Vettel coming under threat from Hamilton. He is paid to race and as far as I know that includes being able to defend your position. After all Webber had to do it up to the pit stops.
      I am very disappointed with Horner. It is now obvious that he is just a corporate puppet. I was silly enough to assume that he was a real racer.
      Red Bull should just be honest and let it be made public that team orders will be used and in favour of Vettel.
      I have been watching F1 for nearly 40 years and this is just another occasion when the sport has been taken out of it.

      1. Brace says:

        I agree.
        Alonso held station behind Massa for many laps fending off Hamilton, and last time I checked Alonso is double Champion unlike Vettel who is still nothing more than a fast driver.
        So I see no reason why should Webber give him lead if Hamilton was behind. Show some defensive driving, kid. There’s as much art in it as in overtaking.
        Although Vettel seems to suck at both overtaking and defending. All he does good so far is driving in front in a dominant car. If he is not in front he bins it.

      2. Paul Kirk says:

        He’s also good at showing everyone the finger!
        (You might remember when he wins) Although I noticed the last GP he won he seemed slightly less exuberant with his finger and I thought he probably recieved some “stick” for it and cooled it a bit.
        Go Weber!

      3. Adam says:

        Absolutley Spot On! Horner has taken a massive nose dive in my oppinion.

      4. RIDER says:

        If Vettel couldn’t defend his position against Hamilton he shouldn’t be in F1

      5. JR says:

        Maybe he could take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh-BiBCOlj0

    2. Luke Robbins says:

      i also agree with wayne here.

      Im also a follower of a few of the bbc guys (ted and the 5live boys crofty and ant d) that vettel cant actually overtake properly.

      He moves around alot and he always seems desperate in the overtake. It was a really sloppy move that he should have easily made, all he needed to do was carry on straight for a little longer.

  13. Dave Roberts says:

    James, great post as usual.

    I must admit to being fascinated by this development. I think that RBR in general and Christian Horner in particular are in danger of making this situation worse than it already is. Reading the various comments on the previous post and listening to the BBC pundits it is quite clear most people blame Vettel for this incident. By RBR blaming Webber I think it will fan the flames of conspiracy theories and sway the neutral F1 fan against the Red Bull brand.

    It also shows what an insightful comment Eddie Jordan made to Christian Horner when he said that “the wrong driver won the last race”. Insiders clearly think there is s favouritism in Vettel’s favour.

    Today’s incident has made me consider the parallels of him turning right into Hamilton in the pit lane. Do you think that a trait is emerging?

    1. Karl Sciberras says:

      That incident at China with Hamilton crossed my mind as well today. I certainly see some similarities and always maintained it was Vettel who was in the wrong that time. Since he went nearly unpunished (just a reprimand),he thought he could do it again, and today, he did it twice. First, again against Hamilton but under different circumstances, and then, against his team mate Webber.

      For some reason, I never warmed to Vettel, and his recent actions are not helping by negative feelings towards him.

    2. Dale says:

      Vettel is flawed, he’s not a very good overtaker and there have now been may times when he’s turned in on others Webber and Hamilton – pits and the race, twice.
      Horner at the end of the day is not his own man and it’s clear to me his strings are being pulled by the team owner and his man in the team who Horner has to report to :!:

    3. Paul Kirk says:

      Basically Vettel [mod[ can’t be trusted on or off the track! But with Mark Weber everybody knows exactly what he stands for, and what he means, and can believe exactly what he says. I’m very pleased he seems mentally tough enough to just grin about what’s going on in the team and just get on with the racing. I’m guessing Little Vettal is now feeling rather insignificant in the team! (Poor boy).

  14. Liam says:

    I always thought that Webber and Vettel were considered equal witithin Red Bull and so they should be because Mark is consistently on Seb’s pace… If he’s behind it’s only ever by a tenth or two!

    If Vettel is being favoured by the team then it is unfair. Also, if Webber is lumped with the blame for this incident then the whole of RBR management are a bunch of complete idiots for whom I no longer have any time for.

    I did have a lot of respect for Christian Horner, I always believed him to be one of the better team principles but now I’m not so sure.

    Maybe Mark should end his contract and go to a team where he won’t be overlooked… We all know he’s immensley fast so for him to be considered a number two driver in any team is ridiculous.

    1. mael says:

      Sure but where?

      Ferrari? – He would be 2nd to Alonso.
      McLaren? – Doubt there would be a seat there.
      Renault? – A possibility, but not the most appealing.

      I think he is stuffed. He really only has Red Bull and my fear is that he is going to get nobbled for the rest of the season.

      1. Dale says:

        In F1 the car is everything

    2. Spotthelemon says:

      I think he’s probably better toughing it out where he is for a another year, He’s not getting any younger, if he’s going to win his first WC he probably needs to do it this year or next and Red Bull have the fastest car. Red Bull won’t want him to be seen to be treated unfairly so if he keeps pushing for equal treatment and stands up to any team orders that try to make him give way to Vettel then he can still do it, his Aussie tough guy attitude and bluntness will be useful tools in his task.

  15. Flintster says:

    ooohhh how I laughed when they hit each other! Nice work Vettel, superb piece of driving…..hahaha

    1. russ parkin says:

      ha as i said on my facebook, vettel was my driver of the day. webbers rich and old enough to retire, if i were him i wouldnt give vettel an inch for the rest of the season. whats the worst that can happen? sacking him. he would get a drive somewhere or he could sit on a beach counting his money for hours and hours.

      1. Tom says:

        Hmmm… somehow I don’t think money is Mark’s motivation.

        But yes, I don’t think Mark will give Vettel a millimetre let alone an inch for the rest of the season. He’s a wry old fox Webber, he knows he has the speed and he won’t let a little upstart and a biased management team stand in his way. He’s been working too long to get where he is now, and he won’t let this opportunity slide pass.

      2. Amritraj says:

        I like Webber as a driver, and appreciate his straightforward demeanour. He is as straightforward and blunt as one can get in the political/ conniving environment of F1.

        I remember him openly supporting Briatore after the Singapore scandal. Not the smartest thing to do for Webber but he still did it because he felt Briatore had managed his career well and had been honest in his dealings with him.

        And Webber knows that another shot at the title is never guaranteed. Just ask Kubica. He will do all that there is to do in his powers to win the title this year.

  16. Miha says:

    Although I’m a Vettel fan it’s obviously true that Webber is only there to push Vettel – and he’s pushing him to hard this season, something no one expected: not the media, not fans, not the team and certainly not Vettel. I don’t want to see Vettel win the championship with the help of the team and with all the reliability issues he’s had I still think Vettel is the better (or faster) of the two drivers. The pressure on Vettel is growing with every race he loses against Webber, but it’s the same with Webber, especially if the team doesn’t really want him to win. If he can resists the pressure from Vettel, the Red Bull team and not to mention both McLarens, then we all have to admit he will be deserved champion. It would be nice in a way… two “old dogs” winning champonships in a row – first Button than Webber…

    1. senzo says:

      I agree with you 100 per cent,Vettel should
      not worry much about how this will incident
      will damage his rep he should just reflect
      back to schueys’ incident with hill in 94
      and how he was lambasted by everyone but a
      string of great races in the next years
      healed his image and became a media darling
      again, and sebastian DOES have the speed to
      deliver those great perfomances

      I laughed off martin witmarshs’ comment that
      redbull cracked under pressure because it tacitly
      implies that he believes that lewis too cracked
      in the face of a title triumph in 2007 when he
      failed ti finnish sixth while driving the second
      fastest car on the track

      1. Alex says:

        It must be said, that in 2007 McLaren were too favoring their own boy – a mistake, which RBR now seems to be repeating.

    2. Paul Kirk says:

      Yeah, Miha, I’d like that too!

  17. irish conor says:

    u would have to be a total mad man not to believe that redbull want vettel to win over webber but there dont mind if he doesnt.they have to have there youth system thing to be seen to working otherwise whats the point but i can totally understand what they did today thought i dont think it was intentionally to hurt webber

    1. Alex Cooper says:

      For a team with at this stage of their life and with sites on the top prize you’d expect them simply to be happy with either of their drivers getting the tilte.

      Favouring an unofficial number one (who in the last two races has played a very good number two) seems a like ‘ungrateful’?

  18. ExC says:

    Deja vu 2007? Different actors? Different team even more obvious in that case? The question of a “product” to invest for.

    1. drums says:

      Rightly so, IMO. If only, I would add that up to date a lot of investment has already been made on the product, and that such an investment should had been optimally rentabilised this very season in order to become a record (the youngest, etc…).

  19. Nick H says:

    After toady i dont think Webber/Vettel will be next seasons driver line up for Red Bull.

    On another point did anyone else thnk Hamiltion seemed a bit rattled after the race that Button tried to overtake him?

    1. Miha says:

      Yeah, there was something cooking in McLaren camp too. Button wasn’t supposed to overtake Hamilton as they should both be on fuel-save mode. Or maybe Hamilton didn’t really believe Button can overtake, and now he’s little affraid :)

      1. Kedar says:

        Guess we would be reading more about Lewis vs Button had the Redbulls not taken each other out. Well the good part of all this is that the season is almost living up to the expectation that was created before the season began

  20. irish conor says:

    maybe its just me but i loved the fact neither guy was prepared to give an ince at 190mph.do we not all want to see guys prepared to go to any lenght to win even against there team mate.i hope it turns nasty between all the top drivers and f1 goes more hardcore like back in the day. everybody complains theres no overtaking and they complain when somebody tries and it goes wrong. we are all humans afterall.

    1. Miha says:

      Couldn’t agree more…

    2. Steve Earle says:

      totally agree, it’s the way it should be! Makes f1 interesting again

      1. murray says:

        As they say in Australia about the sanitising of rugby league: “Bring back the Biff!”

  21. knoxploration says:

    There’s one point you’re missing here, James. Your suggestions that Webber should have been “given” more revs imply that the team somehow told him to dial the revs back.

    They didn’t.

    As has been stated elsewhere — including Autosport, who broke this story first — Webber dialled the revs back himself, because he got a warning on his display about his remaining fuel load. The team never came into the equation, as evidenced by the fact that they didn’t initially know that Webber had been on lower revs than Vettel. That information came to light after the drivers had been debriefed.

    The media seems to want to spin this as Red Bull favoring Vettel over Webber, but that’s simply not the case. Even when faced with media questioning that’s aimed at getting somebody to say it was Webber’s fault, Marko and Horner have flatly refused to do so. Both of their drivers caused the accident together, and they know that.

    Suggesting that Red Bull are somehow playing favorites, when they’ve let their drivers race to the point that they’ve actually collided with each other, is simply not on — especially when other teams were fairly obviously applying team orders in the same race. McLaren’s “fuel warnings” were most likely camouflaged team orders. It’s more than a little suspicious, if their fuel levels were as critical as implied on the radio, that they didn’t take advantage of their near-30 second lead to reduce fuel consumption. Telling Hamilton that both drivers were “low on fuel” was a clever way of telling him both drivers were to hold station, and when Jenson ignored the message, he got a second, more forceful warning.

    Which don’t get me wrong, they’re entitled to do, as far as I’m concerned. This whole “no team orders” thing is nonsense, and the unenforceable rule against team orders should be removed. There’s absolutely no way to prevent team orders, and it’s disrespectful to the fans to pretend we’re not manufacturing results when frequently we still are.

    1. Michael S says:

      I agree… we also learned both Maccas had to dial back as well…. I am stunned the love Webber is getting from people… He came out of this in the title lead! He also is the guy famous for chucking others off track through the years…. Very odd the pity party he is getting. Seb is the one who got eaten by this… Heck, Seb has had a truck load of problems with his car this year and Webbo has had ZERO!!!!!!!!!!

      1. TDiddy says:

        Wrong. Webber has spent his whole career with reliability issues. He has rarely ‘chucked’ others off the track (No more than any other veteran driver). He’s almost always beaten his team mates each season and finally has the machinery to display his talent. He deserves the world title this year. Seb is a young, cocky developing driver who is not a team player – watch his reaction to Mark during the post quali press conference.

      2. Snowy says:

        Vettel showed his immaturity a number of times over this past weekend, first in the post-quali conference and then immediately after the accident where he repeatedly made that childish gesture to indicate that he thought Webber was crazy. That’s also a rather strange reaction given that he later claimed that he “lost” the car over a bump which caused him to go right and contact Webber. That just doesn’t add up.

        I think he’s feeling the pressure of being out-driven over recent races when he has it in his mind that he’s the one who should be the first World Champion for Red Bull. I’m sure they’ve been telling him that for years behind the scenes and now that it’s not going that way he’s reacting badly. His sense of entitlement is being threatened by a no-nonsense, seasoned pro in Webber.

    2. Dex says:

      Absolutely agree!

    3. Alex says:

      You give team orders when you have one guy fighting for the WDC and the other not really there. To have team orders against the WDC leader is ugly and ludicrous. I am sure that MW was not told that he is to drive for 2nd.

      1. Steve says:

        Personally, if a team is on for a 1-2 race result, I have no issue with the drivers being told to hold station, and think it should be acceptable from a team perspective.

        If only one driver in a team has a chance of the WDC, then it should be in the drivers’ contracts that they have to assist their team-mate as much as possible.

    4. Eric says:

      If you’ve truly read all the comments made by Marko and, to a lesser degree, Horner, there’s no debate as to who they blame. Your statement that they’ve refused to blame Webber is simply incorrect.

      All their nonsense about Webber not leaving enough room should be read as “Webber didn’t simply move out of the way, as we would have liked.”

      Marko is coming off as the most blatant Vettel supporter, and it’s sickening. His belief that Vettel had to pass Webber to avoid being passed by Hamilton is laughable. As stated originally, the gap to Hamilton had been constant. And exactly why does Webber need to be responsible for his teammate, who’s behind?

      “Ummm, Mark, Seb might get passed by Hamilton, so go ahead and let him through.” Absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention that Vettel could only do 1 additional lap on that setting. So, he passes Webber, and the very next lap has to turn his engine down, leaving them both still susceptible to Hamilton, just in a different order.

      Finally, enough about giving room. This is the first time I’ve seen a team blame a driver for an incident in which said driver was driven into!

      1. simon fehr says:

        Bang on! Red Bull PR distaster…in the words of Helmut Marko ‘Mr Mateschitz is not happy’…

      2. Trent says:

        Agree with your second last paragraph. There’s no logic in Marko’s comments that Vettel should pass because otherwise he would be passed by Hamilton. If Vettel passed, then Webber would be even MORE vulnerable to Hamilton because his revs were down. Vettel would have been able to provide a more resilient defense of the Redbull 1-2 because he would, I assume, have had more straightline speed because of higher revs.

        In fact, Marko’s argument exposes the team preferences in one fell swoop in my opinion.

      3. James Allen says:

        Hamilton was a constant 1.3 secs behind for the seven laps before the crash ie not closing

    5. Geoff says:

      “… as evidenced by the fact that they didn’t initially know that Webber had been on lower revs than Vettel. That information came to light after the drivers had been debriefed.”

      They would need to replace their entire telemetry department if this was the case.

    6. Nadeem Zreikat says:

      James why does the F1 feed only give us a small portion of radio chatter. What can’t we get more of it like other motorsport or be able to access it live via the net while watching the coverage. this would give us a clearer picture of the situation.

      1. James Allen says:

        It’s what FOM select

      2. Peter Jones says:

        I thought the media have the option to listen in to the complete radio transmissions – I certainly remember Ted Kravitz talking about stuff he heard on the radio in the past.

        So if this is true, how come none of them record it ready to use in their reporting in cases like this?

    7. Vik says:

      You sound like you’re from Red Bull’s PR team. Are you?

      This seems pretty straightforward to me. Vettel got a run on Webber, pulled alongside, lost it and smashed into Webber.

      It’s unfortunate for Red Bull from a brand perspective, because Mark Webber is universally regarded as an honest, fair-minded individual. And, like it or not, the messaging coming out of Red Bull after this incident has led to the general impression that Mark Webber is not being supported by the team’s senior management.

      The longer that impression is allowed to remain – that Red Bull treats honest, fair-minded and talented people like Mark Webber unfairly, there’s a risk that Red Bull Racing’s long-term reputation will be fundamentally compromised.

      For instance, on the back of this incident, I can’t see many people celebrating a WDC for Red Bull or Sebastien Vettel if he won this year.

      I’ll be supporting Mark Webber for WDC this year despite Red Bull and sincerely hope he secures a winning drive next year with a team that respects and supports him.

  22. ranavalona says:

    There seem to be strong indications that team orders were involved here. The body language of the pit wall, for example. It looks as if both Newey and Horner were expecting a clean, unopposed pass by Vettel, and couldn’t believe that Webber held his position. Also, Vettels screwy gesture, indicating, maybe, “What’s he thinking of, not letting me pass?”

    Ally that with Horners immediate assertion that Webber was to blame, when polls show 85% of fans seeing the opposite view, and Webber’s reported remark to a journo to “Dig deeper……….”. and there seems to be a case for the FIA to take an interest.

    (I love conspiracy theories!)

  23. mik says:

    Please go easy with the ‘un-easiness’ of SV, there is no need to degrade him from just this one incident. Accidents happen, and as James have mentioned, it could have been a bump that veered him into MW.

    Some of us are quite eager to jump on drivers and teams, perhaps we should take a step back and see what really happened.

    I thought Horner tried his best in this situation, it is a new learning curve for him too having to manage two championship worthy drivers.

    I tend to lean on the premise that SV might be too eager to ‘seal the deal’ with the move, i think he might have underestimated (just a touch) MW’s aggresiveness. Maybe next time out, SV will push his maximum with good consistency and prove his worth. He is not ruthless, today was just a part of a growing curve.

    Great stuff as usual James, thanks!

    1. mik says:

      *’uneasiness’ on SV

    2. GP says:

      I believe James is right about Vettel’s car reacting to a bump – amplified by being on the dirty side of the track – because the replay from his in-car camera shows that his hands never turn the wheel to the right.

      1. David Turnedge says:

        Absolutely agree. I am a Webber fan but this was nothing more than a racing incident between hard racing Webber and eager Vettel. Get over it Red Bull. Next race, please.

      2. Lewis says:

        With the RB6 being the most downforce efficient car, I’d think that it would be stable enough at 280 or whatever.
        Helmut said he steered across the track, and he’s ‘defending’ Seb

  24. k2san says:

    James; thank you for yr last two post which I enjoyed reading. What is still unclear though to me and according to the many posts on the web is “what has actually been communicated to the drivers”. I mean I clearly heard on the dutch tv the pit communication to Hamilton that both cars were in fuel safe mode; however was Button warned or not? Some websites say it was three laps later that JB was warned… Funny is that on the mclaren.com commentary log that whole period none of the pit communication is mentioned! Can you make for the fans of this blog a separate page with links to “open evidence”? i.e. are the pit to driver communications available on the web?
    I do agree that within the Mclaren team the situation is non comparable to Red Bull. Different nationalities; pride; age; confidence.. There is a lot of differences within those two teams. I’m beginning to wonder how this powder keg can be defused and if it will be. Specially the hugs for Seb were for all to see and for me a clear message.

    1. James Allen says:

      THe drivers were told to save fuel but it seems that the comms were not clear and Hamilton was on a more conservative mode than Button. I think Hamilton assumed when the team said that Button had also been told to save fuel, that the race between them had been called off

      1. LeighJW says:

        Was I the only one thinking about Imola 1982 when Hamilton said he was ‘surprised’ to see Button come past?

      2. S.J.M says:

        No, it was the first thing that i thought of post-race, although Im fairly certain Lewis & Jenson are still speaking to each other.

      3. kbdavies says:

        Err James, it was no assumption on Lewis’s part. He was also told “both cars are the same”, which most people would interpret as “hold station, there is no more racing”. So far, no one has been able offer an alternative explanation.

        I am also surprised you did not pick up on the muted celebrations at the McLaren garage yesterday – muted when compared to Jensons first win for the team.

        I believe you should also do a story on the “Hold Station Gate” issue as most fans would really like to have an insight as to what really happened. It is much more than just a miscommunication – McLaren are too professional for that.
        Also, I believe these issues at McLaren and Red Bull will jointly decide the driver market for 2011 the way things are going.

      4. kbdavies says:

        Just wanted to add that i believe there will most likely be a driver swap between Macca and Red Bull in 2011. Webber will be happy at McLaren, but i doubt Lewis will be at RBR – if Vettel still there!

    2. Dave Roberts says:

      I am glad someone else looks at maclaren.com during the race. My wife has suggested I am somewhat sad to sit with the laptop on the coffee table in front of the TV to scan both at the same time. I think this is a brilliant innovation and adds further interest to the race. That said there was less communication reported yesterday than the previous two races.

      I am sure there was a misunderstanding and it will be sorted out quite easily. I suspect that had Lewis not regained the lead when he did Jenson would have yielded before the end of the race for the sake of team harmony.

      1. Simon Woods says:

        I think it extremely unlikely JB would have yielded had LH not made the pass-back.

      2. Nick F says:

        I think that Mclaren majorly lucked out. Hamilton got back passed again. If that had not happened they would have had one hell of a mess on their hands.

        Jenson is a very nice guy, and the team seem fairly chilled at the moment, so I’m sure they can sort it out before the next race and no ones feathers will be too badly ruffled.

  25. David Ryan says:

    Michael S and knoxploration: Helmut Marko has publicly blamed Mark Webber, and not Sebastian Vettel, for the collision. The story is on Autosport’s website. In light of this, I believe that James’ analysis has due cause and raises some very good points. If Red Bull wish to avoid the impression that they are favouring Vettel (which a few comments today alluded to, I am afraid to say), then they should be more careful in their choice of words and be willing to criticise their drivers when they goof up. They’re not porcelain dolls, after all.

    In light of what happened, I think Webber deserves a bit of credit for salvaging something from the mess, even if at the same time his actions contributed to it.

    1. Robert McKay says:

      “In light of what happened, I think Webber deserves a bit of credit for salvaging something from the mess, even if at the same time his actions contributed to it.”


      And as noted by the BBC team, this works quite well for Webber…he’s still leading the WDC, and is now 15 points ahead of Vettel, not the 7 he would have been ahead if he’d won or even the 7 behind he’d have been if Vettel had cleanly passed him.

      It’s not a massive gap, admittedly, but if he can maintain that sort of gap as the season progresses it’ll be difficult for any forces rooting for Vettel within Red Bull to play any “games”…

  26. Liam says:

    great article James, one of your best. I look forward to a interesting week and some more great insight

  27. Heffalump says:

    Very well said. Then again if we’d had team orders at Red Bull today it would have been a lot less entertaining. The good thing is: thankfully nobody’s arguing about the last lap incident in Monaco any longer.

  28. Alan says:

    Marko’s comments that Webber should have given Vettel the corner speak volumes about whether Vettel is the ‘favoured son’ as you put it, James. Especially if Marko is, to some extent, the real boss of the team rather than Horner.

    He said: “Vettel was already ahead, at least two metres ahead, and there was a corner to the left side coming, so he had to go for the line.
    He cannot brake on the dirt because for sure he knows what happens.”

    In my view, unless Vettel had overtaken Webber to the extent that he would have been able to make it around turn 12 safely, then the overtake has not stuck and therefore Vettel needs to yield and try again.

    Vettel simply had not gone far enough – a full cars length – past Mark to then take his line into the corner and to expect Mark to simply get out of the way and allow him to do so, as Marko does, makes a mockery of the racing.

    1. nambo says:

      So going by Marko’s assertion, hypothetically if Vettel had managed to make the pass stick but then ended up outbraking himself, Webber should just have sat back and not retaken the position because Vettel was at that point ahead of him?

      Take your hand off it Marko.

      I am so disappointed for MW. He has always been known to be fair but unyielding. Serves SV right. I had loads of admiration for him but he is just a big frat boy sook and his actions this season have turned me right off.

      I also find it odd that having been given a fuel warning before the incident, Webber was then informed with about 6-7 laps to go that the Mclarens were on a conservative fuel strategy. ie to push.

      Unless RB go on to sabotage MW’s chances, I can see this incident as firing him up to completely outshine SV for the rest of the season. However sadly, we will see some unreliabilty creep into the #6 car. Purely by chance of course….

    2. Peter Jones says:

      There’s something else sinister about Marko’s comments. He said Vettel was allowed to race Webber because of the risk Hamilton might overtake him. But presumably, if Hamilton was going that much quicker than Vettel, surely he would have overtaken Webber eventually instead?

      So is Marko really saying that he’d rather have Webber end up third than a 1-2 with Vettel in second? That’s hardly a sign of running a fair team.

      1. Alex says:

        Well, you know they say that Austrians and Germans support each other, sometimes at all cost. Who knows?

  29. LeighJW says:

    James, the short answer to your question is ‘yes’!

  30. dipietro15 says:

    Webber is paying the price for being too quick – ridiculous. He’ll probably lose his drive over this and Vettel will have it all his way.

    Horner and Dennis should manage a new super team with Hamilton and Vettel as drivers – they can battle it out to be best of the groomed daddy’s boys.

  31. Rhys says:

    Great blog, however, watching Horners interview with Lee (bbc), a few hours after the race, its clear who he is most displeased with, and his name isnt Sebastian.

    He said that Mark pushed Vettel on to the dirty side…and his generally language said to me

    “we blame Mark”

    1. moo says:

      And he mentioned all facts.

    2. Dale says:

      Horner has it wrong and it’s disgusting how he and the team are treating Webber in this.
      The problem for Webber is where else could he go :?:

      1. Trent says:

        There’s no mistaking who is ‘number 1′. I guess Vettel is guy who’s personal helmet design is a Redbull can…

      2. JR says:

        Same situation as Alonso after 2007, he could only move to a worst car or suffer unfair treatment if staying at McLaren.

  32. Jonathan says:

    How on earth can a team expect their driver to go into “fuel saving mode” when he has 3 cars behind him and not relinquish the lead.

    It seems to me that either Webber wasn’t told that Vettel wasn’t in fuel save mode or he was stupid enough to back off and expect his team mate not to overtake him….

    In a situation like that you either plug on at full speed and take the gamble or back off and give up places.

    A racing drivers instinct is?????

  33. LeighJW says:

    I just revisited the footage of the crash on the BBC website.

    There is no ‘obvious’ steering movement to the right from Vettel although he seems to have some steering wobble. It is difficult to tell though. He may have steered slghlty right?

    Am I misreading this? Have a look a see what you think?


    Sadly the BBC footage is only available to viewers in the UK.

    1. James Allen says:

      I’ve been studying it too and you are right about Vettel. But the nose seems to lift slightly just before the car goes right. I wonder if it got light over a bump? Vettel said he lost the car

      1. TDiddy says:

        Just watch how far his wheel moves away from the white line before impact. Seb’s in-car camera shows it well, but the front on shot backs it up. He ‘drifts’ right no doubt.

      2. Dale says:

        I agree

      3. Alias J says:

        oh come on, there’s always opposite lock isn’t it? car shifts right you steer left to counter it. vettel simply expected mark to move over but nope, he didn’t.

        watch mansell vs senna down the super bumpy portugal straight, watch all those sparks from under the car, don’t you think both drivers are fighting hard to stay in line and not hit each other?

  34. Steven Selasky says:

    James, seriously how do you think this all going to play out?

    I think if it keeps up … .Button will take the title like Prost in 1986.


    1. James Allen says:

      I think it’s a brilliant championship and that’s to be expected as we have lots of good drivers in good cars. I think McLaren are on a roll now, but given how much it fluctuates and Red Bull’s lack of experience of championship dog fights I think it’s hard to call who will win the title

  35. Freespeech says:

    Webber should take none of this and and race to the best of his ability regardless as to Vettel being the favoured son, Vettel will crack and crack and crack and Webber can beat him ;)

  36. HowardHughes says:

    Very interesting. And it’s commendable that you’re probably slightly risking what insider access you enjoy with Red Bull by divulging little nuggets like the account of last year’s post-race scenario.

    I think it would be hard for anyone to begrudge the team a preference for Vettel over Webber in 2009 – they’d invested a fortune in him and to date Webber had never really shown much sign of living up to the hype / promise, nor indeed of really being anything more than a very competent F1 journeyman, in the mould of Brundle or Hakkinen before his first win at Jerez ’97.

    This year is obviously different, and it’s fairly obvious from the reaction of the team to the results of the last two races (Spain & Monaco) that they’re fairly equally happy whoeever takes the crown now. Though lest we forget, the team’s unreliability has undeniably cost Vettel a convincing lead in the WDC tables, so perhaps there’s an innate sense of guilt on behalf of Red Bull management towards him, and a sense that they wish things were ‘rebalanced’.

    Also I find it odd that Marko oversees the driver training programme, yet Horner has to report to him and feel the pressure when Webber dominates. Surely it should be the other way round; Horner should be saying to Marko ‘hey, you developed Vettel, don’t look to me if he goes screwing it up on track!’

    1. Michael says:

      Follow the money and I think you see why Marko gets the nod on “seniority”

      1. HowardHughes says:

        Oh I get that – I just find it odd that Horner seems to have to justify on track results that seem to weaken the drivers’ development programme, when in fact he had nothing to do with it…

  37. Robert McKay says:

    I think in this one incident there’s not so much conspiracy theory – they both ballsed up to a sense.

    Vettel had to have a go, Webber was not all that quick today and both Red Bulls had the Mclarens breathing down on them all race. An opportunity presented itself, he got a run at Webber, and got a good way alongside him. I think he was entitled to give it a go. Did either of them give the other enough space? Not really. Conspiracy theory? Not so much.

    I don’t think that means that overall the top echelons of Red Bull wouldn’t rather have Vettel come out on top, though. But I suspect Horner is even-handed enough not to think like that, but he has bosses too.

  38. Elly says:

    Thank you very much, James, for the very interesting item.
    I think that Vettel was completely guilty in the accident. And I can’t understand the team and Christian Horner blaming Webber. Mark was just defending his trajectory.

  39. Nathan says:

    James, remember what happened at Montreal in 2007 at the start?

    Alonso was feeling the pressure of his teammate and went for a desperate lunge on Hamilton, and in the end lost a bunch of points during the race.

    Do you think we could see something similar from Vettel in 2 weeks time?

    Montreal is always an entertaining place to go and no doubt the story of this championship will develop further.

    1. James Allen says:

      Doubt it. I think the spotlight is on him now. Hamilton’s criticised him for a “dangerous” move on him.

      1. Luke Robbins says:

        what was this ‘dangerous ‘ move because I can’t remember it in the race and can’t find any videos?

        Also apparently this is what Hamilton was talking to Webber about before the podium and JB thought Lewis was talking about him, leading to confusion then all that back-slapping and hugging!

        That race was incredible, best f1 race in years for drama. Top 4 so close all race long, immense.

      2. Ben says:

        When Hamilton went to pass Vettel into 12 shortly after the pit stops Vettel turned away from the apex of the corner towards Hamilton. It was a very subtle move, and had Hamilton not have reacted the cars would have collided like Vettel and Webber did. It pushed Hamilton off of the racing line and on to the marbles so he wasn’t able to slow the car down enough and went wide.

        During the transmission of the race it just looked like Hamilton went in too hot into the corner trying to make his move on Hamilton and was therefore missed, but if you watch the replay of the race closely you will see Vettel move right just before the corner.

  40. Mick says:

    I would almost guarantee the pit wall boys knew exactly what fuel setting Webber was on, telemetry data would have told them and in fact they probably knew 3 or 4 laps previously exactly when both he and Vettel would need to adjust the fuel settings with all the continuous calculations they do from the telemetry data. If they “supposedly” didn’t know then the whole lot of them are incompetent. Helmut Marko is definitely Vettel’s man and couldn’t be any subtler in blaming Webber, insisting Vettel needed to get by because of pressure from Hamilton. Apparently after that Webber could be left to fend for himself. Horner then all but confirmed it by saying as long as we got a 1-2 finish regardless of who won it didn’t matter.

    1. Hutch says:

      I too think of it as a management issue more than anything. We know “team orders” are banned but the best strategy was to make them hold station. No sense risking it all just because Vettel was able to go faster for a couple of laps. I don’t buy the bull about needing to get away from the McLarens: Mark had seemed to manage them fine all race.

  41. Chuck Jones says:

    James, how much control(electronic)over fuel use can a team exert on a car during a race? And if so where does that leave a drivers brain? Things have changed so much, I sometimes feel out of touch with a sport I thought I understood very well. Politics haven’t changed much though, new names, new faces, by and large!….

  42. JRay says:

    Hamilton who was in prime position said he couldn’t believe the move Vettel was trying to pull on Webber. Its obvious…Webber has rattled Vettel and he was taken out of winning position by a stupid move. As for favoritism this too is clear Helmut Marko’s comments were so ridiculous that he must have been watching another incident. In car camera clearly shows Vettel no where near far enough ahead to pull that move off and Webber stayed on the line hard but fair. Whats not fair is Webber losing a deserved win

  43. Phil says:

    Why is it more acceptable for Hamilton to pass Webber than for Hamilton to pass Vettel? I think there are hints of favourtism

  44. luciano says:

    Very nice write up James. It seems there is no doubt who Helmut Marko would rather win the WDC.

  45. duke says:

    From Horner’s reaction, it is obvious that Vettel is the golden boy of Red Bull. Pretty much similar to what Hamilton was in McLaren.

    I was disappointed when Webber rolled the red carpet out to Vettel in Malaysia. I’m glad he didn’t make the same mistake this time. Webber pulled a very tough defensive tactic but it was still fair.

    Vettel took himself out, but he still got the nerve to place the blame squarely on Webber. Show some respect, kiddo.

  46. Oliver d'Oelsnitz says:

    To read the commentary, one sees just how controversy festers between facts and conjecture. With regard to JAs posting, I found it a very balanced and insightful summary of events leading up to and including what will go down as one of F1s historical team catastrophes. That anyone feels that JA has taken sides is to not have read beyond the title. With regard to the actual event, I agree with JAs analysis that, other than insight gleaned only form those privileged with insider information, it is very difficult to place blame or totally exculpate one or the other driver. Not much has been said about management’s role here. I think Christian Horner has always prided himself of a relatively “hands off” approach to what was, up until now, a potential catastrophe. Now that it has occurred, I am certain that CH will no longer take the risk — I can hear the fans screaming “team orders” from here on out. For me this was a racing incident with the unfortunate consequence that Red Bull seems to be squandering its beginning of season technological advantage. And they should look to Brawn to see just how important it is not to do so.

  47. mael says:

    So Webber has planted his flag.

    Well done to him.

    Your move Sebastian, better make it soon or the year is lost.

    I love F1.

    1. Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg says:

      Ha! I agree. What a shame the next race isn’t next week. I can’t wait for Canada now.

  48. Tim B says:

    You raise some interesting questions about Helmut Marko, James. In the aftermath of Vettel/Webber crash, some of his public comments seemed to contradict those of Christian Horner, which seems odd – regardless of the rights and wrongs of the incident itself, surely a professional F1 team should be speaking as one, and really you’d expect the Team Principal to be the authoritative voice.

    Which raises the question, as do your comments about Germany last year – what’s Marko’s role in RBR? I had a bit of a look on the RBR website, and he doesn’t even seem to be mentioned. There are bios of other key figures (including David Coulthard for his “Ambassador” role), but no Helmut Marko that I can see. So what say does he have, and when he comments publicly, who is he speaking for? The team? Himself? Dietrich Mateschitz?

    If Marko really has authority over the team, or influences Mateschitz to override Horner, then Horner is potentially in quite a nasty position. It’s Horner that’s responsible to the FIA for the actions of the team, not Marko. A cardinal rule in any organisation is never to accept responsibility where you don’t have control. The buck stops with Horner, so he should be the one making the decisions and making (or at least determining) the public statements.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes and then later comments by Horner show that he moved towards Marko’s line.

      1. jayspeed says:

        Marko is obviously a one eyed supporter of Vettel.

      2. Dale says:

        Sad to see Horner is not his own man, he should show some balls and show the F1 world that so long as he’s the boss he’ll act as the boss.
        Webber did nothing wrong Vettel as the master of his and Redbull’s downfall.

  49. Adaniel says:

    So James is Vettel the favorite son?
    That question was answered after Monaco;
    with drivers on same points, FIA gives the countback based on wins. Webber was in the lead in drivers champ according to FIA.

    Red Bull website however showed Vettel leading based on Aphabetical order. Interesting interpretation huh?

  50. Mark says:

    Seb turned into Mark, he did not loose the car, there was sufficient input on the wheel, visible in the onboard, but even more so in this sequence. If that is not evidence of Seb turning right then the RB6 should not be able to race as it changes direction on its own accord.

    1. F1 Novice says:

      What is quite telling here is that Hamilton obviously spotted what was about to happen and stamped on the brakes and does a swift exit left from these shots :)

  51. Adaniel says:

    Interesting point about the fuel and the need for the 1 2 win.
    Wouldn’t Vettel been more able to secure the 1 2 win for the team from the no.2 position, where he would be better able to defend against the threat of Hamilton with the greater expendable fuel load.

    1. Rob says:

      This makes more sense. Back up the McLarens a couple of seconds, then hold the cusion through turn 8.
      They were essentially asking him to give up a WIN. dude, that’s not cool.

    2. Hutch says:

      Exactly! That would have been the smart strategy. This is a TEAM failure more than anything.

  52. Dave says:

    I speak for a lot of Red Bull fans when I say I am disgusted by the actions of Horner, Marko and Vettel;

    Regardless of whether Vettel should have attempted the pass or not – Webber was told to turn his engine down, Vettel allowed to run at optimum as apparently Hamilton was bearing down on him – despite lap times telling a completely different story.

    Webber holds his line – gets the blame from Horner and Marko when it is Seb deviating off his line when he realises he’s not going to make the corner…then has the nerve to insinuate that Webber is crazy….

    This absolutely stinks to high hell and if Sebastian does go on to win the WDC there will always be questions as to how he got there…

    I’m not a Hamilton fan by a long shot however I thought he acted professionally and humbly after yesterday’s result – a credit to him…

    That and Mark’s actions speak volumes about the man he is…

    1. Horacio says:

      I agree 100%.
      Vettel’s gestures to the crowd after the crash also speak volumes about the man he is… :(

  53. Big Fred says:

    Check out iPlayer at 1:56:50 ish.

    Horner is telling someone to move, then…..crash.

    1. Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg says:

      Others have made much of Horner’s “move, move” but I think it was just him speaking to himself. If it was actually a transmission to a driver or engineer, then someone would have captured it and posted it online as all transmissions are monitored by the FIA.

  54. Justin says:

    So, let me see if I have this right. I should state up front that I am a big Webber fan – not just because I’m an Aussie but because I really respect a person who talks straight and maintains the determination to win after 7 seasons plonking around in a dud car.

    Consensus now is that Red Bull were giving team orders in disguise, by having Mark turn his engine down while simultaneously telling Vettel he should go for it.

    Vettel and Webber both have poor track records in regards to clumsy overtaking moves. (Good examples: Webber v Hamilton in Melbourne 2010, Vettel v Kubica in Melbourne 2009).

    In regards to the incident itself, arguments are going both ways that:

    a) Mark didn’t give Seb enough room. (Rubbish – Webbo stuck to his line and Seb tried to go down the inside when the move simply wasn’t there. What’s Mark supposed to do? Drive off the track any time Seb comes near him?)

    b) Seb turned into Mark way too early to try and make the move stick. A move he also tried on Jenson and Lewis earlier in the race. (The onboard camera doesn’t actually show him turning the wheel. Is it possible he bottomed out in the run to Turn 12 and moved across due to that?)

    Simmering in the background is a desire from Helmut Marko to have a graduate of his Red Bull Young Drivers Programme win a championship, and suddenly you’ve got a polarised team making claims that no driver is favoured when appearances are otherwise.

    Is this the view that most have?

    My opinion: Vettel is rattled by the season not turning out according to the script and is too young to handle it. RBR are covering for him with excuses of defective chassis and roill bars, but he is simply being out-driven at the moment. Instead of showing some patience during such a long season (his early season form will return), he tried another dumb move that didn’t work, and now everything is boiling over. The real loser in this situation is the RBR team – not because of the points they have thrown away, but because they have now been exposed as being full of the proverbial in terms of favouring one driver over another.

    A team that needs to resort to team orders is going to fall apart. Happens every time – just look at McLaren in 2007. A shame – RBR have a real shot this year but will hand the championship to McLaren if they keep this up.

    1. Justin says:

      James – forgot to thank you in the above post for your insight. Appreciate that you’re possibly rolling the dice with your relationship with RBR in divulging some of the background information you have, but this is exactly why your blog enjoys a high level of appreciation in the minds of educated F1 fans.

      Keep up the great work.

  55. Laurence says:

    The reaction of RBR management (Marko and Horner)after the race is shocking.I know Marko only has one eye, but how on earth can they honestly say Mark Webber was at fault.

    Since then we hear stories about fuel saving etc, what doesn’t make sense is after MW changed his front wing, in the period of 5 laps he was recording fatest lap after lap. Now if they were that desperate to save fuel do you think they would be setting fastest laps?

    It doesn’t sound right to me. If you have a chance look at the reaction on RBR’s own website…….

    1. Westy says:

      I just looked at the RBR site, it really is an amazing PR disaster. Currently over 900 comments from fans, I read through the last 100 and every one is unhappy with the RB management and Vettel’s behaviour. Just as well they’re not censoring the posts that are critical of them otherwise I don’t think they’d have any comments to show!


  56. Simon j says:

    Webber gave vettel just enough enough room to get through. He would of got through if he hadn’t of turned right into mark. If it wasn’t for his over inflated ego he might of won the race. But like a petulant child he chose to show the world his disgust. Grow up.

  57. Mark V says:

    Vettel seems like a nice kid and a terrific talent but I have been wondering lately if his lack of maturity combined with a teammate beating him would cause him to become impatient and do exactly what he did today. More the reason to cheer for Webber who has never had anything handed to him.

  58. CD says:

    David Coulthard was commenting on the race as this incident happened and I quote,

    “as we see Vettel pulling a move on Webber”(and here’s the good bit) “Webber’s left the door wide open”.

    after replays… Martin Brundle: “I’m giving that 100% Vettels fault”.

    When Seb said he “lost it”, I assumed he meant the car, a friend of mine assumed he meant he lost his patience and tried to intimidate Webber…and a more cynical friend believed it was deliberate, simply because Seb couldn’t bear the thought of Mark getting a hat-trick.

    A spiteful turn in?..(the next Schuey indeed)

    I think a fair portion of blame should be directed at Horner for not making the situation clear to all parties.

    Vettel should have been able to keep Hamilton at bay, or at least keep him busy. They already had the 1-2, but it just wasn’t good enough.

  59. Arun Raghu says:

    Am not a a Webber / Vettel fan, but my stance is with Webber.He was going good, Vettel had to play team game rather that attempting one up. Finally Vettel himself lost and true to the spirit of sports, Webber continued..to the podium. It was clearly Vettel’s fault and there is no room for discussion on that. Things could have been worst, but webbers maturity and experience let the ball continue to roll.

    Horner is pushed to do what he said, thanks to Marko. Guys like Marko who spoil the spirit of the game should be kicked out of F1/Redbull.

    Marko, this is a sport. Keep your personal performance review etc away from it.Hope guys like you are shown the door.

  60. Spoilt Brat says:

    Vettel is just a spoilt jealous lil brat, who had to resort to such a dog move. Webber needs to take him into the private car park and teach him a lesson in respect.

  61. Soeren says:

    If you were the RBR team boss and saw your drivers in this situation while leading 1-2 … would you really want to tell the guy behind to slow down and risk being caught? No. Would you be happy with the guy in front risking the whole result for the team by playing hardball and hardly giving any room at all to his teammate who comes rocketing past? Definitely not. In a battle for the (race and championship) lead between drivers from different teams, what Webber did would have been perfectly right. When defending against his teammate, it was bollocks, absolutely egoistic from Webber.

    1. Richard Mee says:

      …continuing the theme – Would you be happy with the guy BEHIND going hell for leather into a 190mph braking zone with at best a 40% chance of sticking it – especially if said driver is not known for their slick overtaking moves? and when there was an open-goal 1-2 finish for the team already set-up?

      Reverse the drivers roles…. is your opinion above still accurate? Didn’t think so.

    2. Adaniel says:

      So Vettel wasn’t being egotistical by trying to pass Webber?
      Even though it would have been much safer and better for the team if he did not try. Having so much fuel left he was in a much better position to defend against Hamilton and play the more important team role by ensuring the 1,2.
      It’s those pesky egos. Everybody wants to be first!

      1. F1 Novice says:

        Well that is what they have spent the majority of their lives training to do !

    3. Hingo says:

      If what the team says is true, there are no team orders and therefore Webber was entitled to defend his lead. If the team wanted a 1 – 2 result then wouldn’t the best option be to let Mark continue his lead? Considering both RBRs were beginning to break away from the McLarens at the time, I have no doubt that it would have been a comfortable 1 – 2.

      The truth is that there ARE team orders in disguise and it is very much favoured for Vettel. It backfired bigtime and Horner and Marko are trying to cover it up. Red Bull should consider themselves lucky to salvage a 3rd place from this disaster. Webber deserved the points, not Red Bull.

  62. Dave says:

    From Laps 30 -39 inclusive these were the drivers average lap times;

    Button: 1.30:562
    Hamilton: 1.30:584
    Vettel: 1.30:610
    Webber: 1.30:614

    *From the FIA’s official timing information.

    From Horner’s own mouth

    “Seb managed to save an extra kilo of fuel, both cars started with the same fuel, so he had one more lap of the optimum engine mode, if you like.

    “We could not tell him to back off because he was under pressure from Hamilton behind.”

    So Seb had one more lap of fuel than Mark on the optimum engine mode; presumably then Vettel would be told to turn his engine down the following lap – still 17 laps from the line?

    The lap times show no indication of any driver having an upper hand at that point nor that any one driver was particularly under pressure from another.

    This is blatant team orders trying to get their boy on the top step.

    If Horner was so worried about turning Vettel’s engine down as he was under pressure from Hamilton – what the hell did he think would happen to Webber when he gave the opposite order when Webber??

    At the start of lap 39 Webber led Vettel by 0.429 seconds; Vettel – Hamilton 0.672 seconds

    Horner and co have some explaining to do…

  63. Matt says:

    The team may technically give equal treatment to it’s drivers. However, it’s pretty clear to me that a culture has been created that favours vettel. He clearly believed that he had the *right* to pass webber. For the team to then comfort vettel on the pitwall looked odd to say the least.

    I can only imagine that it’s not a conscious decision to favour vettel and that they are probably shocked by the strength of support for mark. They need to take some time to reflect.

  64. F1Droid says:

    RBR have dropped off the radar of my “support” and “respect”… completely lost faith in them now to offer a equal environment for both drivers without preferential treatment.

    You just have to look at the comments from Marko and Mateschitz to see they are completely pro Vettel, it doesn’t help that all 3 are German/Austrian. Vettel is now the enemy, he should have accepted responsibility for what IMO is completely his fault, its almost as if he believes he is number one in the team and Mark should just move over.

    As always I am rooting for McLaren and Jenson then Lewis for the Championships, but failing that Webber gets my vote to stick one over Vettel and the top brass at RBR, but the last thing I want is RBR for the constructors.

    1. Marcus Redivo says:

      F1Droid, your last paragraph echos my sentiments.

      McLaren for the Constructors.
      Webber for the Drivers.

      Sorry Lewis and Jenson, I was overjoyed for each of you in turn as you won, but it’s Mark Webber’s year, just as much as it should also be McLaren’s.

      Go McLaren, go Mark. Yes, life is contradictory.

  65. dxs says:

    dont forget the odd occurrence in q3 where webber was meant to be behind vettel and that never happened..

    interesting how vettel was the one to test the new fduct and not webber… may or may not have any significance though.

    1. lul says:

      and webber had the new updated wing, vettel didnt…which was a benefit for webber…u for got to mention that part, oh unbiased fan.

      1. Nick says:

        Vettel according to both DC and others in the telecasts already had the new updated wing in practice. Webber got his 5 minutes before qualifying. So much for equality.

        Besides Vettel having the final run in Q3 when it should have been Webber’s turn this time, they also pitted Vettel first. Quite advantageous.

      2. Mark says:

        Wrong, Vettel did not have it.

      3. Chris G says:

        Actually lul Vettel did have the updated wing. He fot it first and Webbers arrived just in time for qualifying (all on the BBC’s F1 Forum, information courtesy of David Coulthard….who should know what he’s talking about)

      4. Mark says:

        Yeah Vettel did have the updated wing in fp3.

  66. hesus says:

    Ferrari and Renault seem to be two teams with clear No 1 driver – and this will be crucial in second part of the season. Unfortunately they are too slow at the moment. But if Ferrari can keep up with Mclaren my money is on Nando. WDC for Kubica would be a beautiful story but the chances are very slim :).

    1. Adaniel says:

      I wonder if Massa knows he is no.2 in the team.

      IMHO what we have here is Alonso, who is a very agressive driver, who thinks he is No.1

  67. balint says:

    Nice post, I agree with what have been written, it is impossible to look into a team that deeply to decide on what happened here. I only have a few qestions though:

    It is quite curious how both Mclaren and Red Bull showed similar issues during a one-two….the move of vettel and button started the same place….could it be a coincidence? Could the teams be confused at these relatively new issues, with fuel weights so much shaved now?

    Why an extra kilogramm of fuel/or fuel mixture setting is decisive among teammates when Hamilton struggled to overtake any of the RBs despite its apparent advantage in race conditions?

    this year teammates are making more and more opportunistic moves on each other? can they risk more than in normal third party conditions? what is the justification of the no team order stance in this case?


    1. Steven says:

      The justification is that it made the race more exiting for us to watch.

      1. balint says:

        you did not understand my argument…the racing between teammates did not become more exciting because of the rule change, but due to the fact teams tend to push very competitive pilots in their cars in order to maintain competitiveness on the consrtuctor championship…

  68. Dan says:

    I think Ferrari is an option, I believe Alonso and Massa were more equal at the start of the year than Webber and Vettel were.

    Reason? Red Bull have invested huge amounts of money in their driver development program, With Vettel being the proof of success. Wouldn’t look good if 33 year old Webber proves to be genuinely faster with a recovered leg and shoulder.

    Ferrari have less invested in which driver wins and care more about winning, as evidenced by their willingness to cycle drivers in and out.

    I can’t see Ferrari having a slow car three years in a row, so maybe it wouldn’t be a bad move – but who’s to say that Massa would be replaced?

  69. Bono says:

    I think it’s quite clear that Marko will do anything to enable Vettel to win. He is Didi’s racing expert and as long as the Austrian mob pulls the strings and Horner plays the puppet team boss it will be like this. It’s like Flavio – MS and Flavio – FA.

    He spent a sh**load of money on the YD program and all he has to show for is Vettel, who hasn’t really convinced (me) so far.

  70. Tim B says:

    James, do you think that Marko is pushing his own agenda, or just passing on Dietrich Mateschitz’s views/desires?

    As (former?) director of Red Bull’s (apparently quite expensive) Driver Development programme Marko might be thought to have a conflict of interest when it comes to Vettel.

    Incidentally, while I was poking around the RBR site I noticed that the comments on the race report page were if anything even more pro-Webber than here, so RBR potentially have a bit of a PR problem on their hands.

    1. RickeeBoy says:

      You are only reading the English version – It would be interesting to read the German version.

  71. Formula Zero says:

    Vettel should be punished. He is more to Red Bull than Lewis Hamilton to McLaren by the looks of it.

  72. amrjon says:

    Good Story James.

    Both the favouritism and who has the majority of the blame for the incident are perfectly clear. However they try to spin it.

    Put that aside for a moment and reflect on the post incident behaviour of the drivers (and post quali press conference for that matter).
    One guys is making looney signs toward his team mate, and rolling his eyes at him, the other makes only a couple of restrained ‘between the lines’ type comments. Seb knows he is the golden boy, so we shouldn’t really be surprised that he behaves like one. It obvious he’s immature and overconfident, probably even understandable considering his stage in life and situation.

    Its Christian and Mako who have really shown themselves up. The guys are supposed to be professionals, but by trying to put spin on a situation where it so plain to see whats really going on, they just put their bias and unprofessionalism, and generally lack of team management skills right out there for all to see.

    Nice one boys! Way to degrade you brand image.

    The whole thing is made to look so much more amateur by events at McLaren. Especially yesterday with a one-two result and some on track passing by their drivers. I’d say they had a potentially more explosive situation than red bull, with the last 2 world champs in the team, and I’m sure behind the scenes they have their own, possibly similar, tensions and issues. But publicly things have been generally pretty professionally over that side of the pit wall. Especially from Jenson, who always seems to handle things pretty cooly.

  73. Mr Squiggle says:

    Some other thoughts on this:

    1) remember qualy? Webber/Vettel normally alternate on last driver to leave the pits, presumably because each driver likes to chase a target. Webber’s turn at being last was mysteriously overlooked in Turkey. I didn’t think this significant at the time, but now, I’m not so sure

    2) I recommend taking a close look at Vettel’s in car footage from before he moves on webber…before he goes to the left of Webber he threw a feint to the right. I think that is why Webber’s footage shows a little correction to the left – he was responding to the feint

    3) Marko/Horner’s credibility is now in question. Listen to what they are saying “the driver in P2 is under pressure from the driver in P3, so we’ll fix that by getting the driver in P1 to move aside’….is that it? if so, that’s pathetic. Whats wrong with telling P2 to just deal with it, I though track position was king?

    4)when making guesses at next year’s driver pairings, which top line driver is going to want to go to RB now? Would Kimi/JB/Lewis/Phillipe put up with so many questionable decisons…

    1. Robert says:

      Quite agree. The fuzziest logic I have seen for quite a while ….. “the driver in P2 is under pressure from the driver in P3, so we’ll fix that by getting the driver in P1 to move aside’

    2. Steven says:

      It translates into “we dont care where Webber finishes, we only care that Vettel finishes ahead of him”

    3. F1 Novice says:


      “The fuzziest logic I have seen for quite a while ….. “the driver in P2 is under pressure from the driver in P3, so we’ll fix that by getting the driver in P1 to move aside”

      That’s what too much Red Bull does for you :) keep away from the stuff Marko ! :)

    4. James says:

      4) – I’m sure Daniel Ricciardo wouldn’t mind the seat

  74. Damon says:

    Personally Christian Horner and Vettel have gone way down in my estimation after this incident. The whole world can see that it was Vettel’s fault and for him and Horner to lay blame at Webber’s door shows that 1) They favour Vettel, which is wrong and 2) Vettel is an arrogant so and so. Ever since Webber has been beating him he has had a face down to the floor; he needs to sort himself out, stop moping around and do his talking on the track, that’s what Webber is doing, very successfully.

    1. Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg says:

      The great thing is that no matter how much they try to spin it Vettel’s way, we the fans and the experts (journos and ex drivers) all see it the other way, which just embarrasses them all the more.

      If Horner had just said, “Seb made a mistake.” It would have all put to bed by Sunday night. But now, this thing is going to fester for two weeks until the Candian GP. Everyone is on Mark’s side.

  75. Paulw says:

    Poor Mark, would love to be a fly on the wall. You’d like to think this will all make things better and get sorted, or make it a lot worse. Flip a coin.

    James – great blog as usual. Whats your take on Lewis mute celebration? I’ve read he thought he inherited the win, and or he was annoyed by Jenson being allowed or whatever to overtake?

    I’m far more inclined to follow the later.

  76. sixtenths says:

    Very interesting.

    They crashed because Webber moved Vettel into dirty track where his braking was never going to work, Vettel was also too reckless and slid into Mark. Both were at fault, flawed. Funny how McLaren showed a few laps later on how it can be done …

    Regarding Webber’s first victory, I clearly remember his words about “coming to Europe and beating Europeans” and just put it down as Aussie Little Man Chip-on-the-shoulder sledging from someone who did not have the balls to directly slag off the British. Now it seems that I was wrong and the remark may have been more intended for the Austrians.

    Are RBR going to drop the ball again and fail to win the WDC with the fastest car ? Brawn dropped off the pace last year, but RBR failed to pick up the ball through their own flaws.

    1. F1 Novice says:

      Schumacher & Button were also on that exact same piece of track on lap 1 Schumacher could have “Jerezed” Button but used his nozzle and they both made the corner.

  77. MichaelC says:

    Last season Mark Webber was coming from an off-season injury, yet he still had a ‘purple patch’ where he out performed everyone else. A fully fit Webber is obviously a handful for Vettel but I fear that from now on things will be ‘managed’ to favour SV.

    The situation at Maclaren is slightly different as it seems JB didn’t get the same message as LH. In my opinion LH deserved to finish ahead of JB. However Maclaren are making some silly little errors at the moment which may unsettle the team in the races ahead.

    I am surprised that few people have commented on both RBR and Maclaren running lighter fuel loads. The Maclarens had a few more laps available at high performance and could have passed one or both of the Red Bulls in the laps after the collision.
    It would seem the other teams may have been running with larger fuel loads. Do you think that teams will start to run with a fuel load that is designed for a fast and fuel saving phase for the next race(s)?

  78. s says:

    Hear Hear!

    Thia was strictly Vettels fault.

    Am also disgusted with Maclaren’s behaviour too with ‘Extreme’ being an obvious code word for follow team orders!

  79. Pete says:

    All this talk of Webber saving fuel which allowed Vettel to catch him seems a bit odd, later in the race Webber didnt appear to be saving fuel as he pulled away from Shumi and tried to keep the pressure on the Mclarens. Some might read something into that!

    With regards to the accident, it was pretty clear that Vettel would have got past Mark on the inside without turning into him. He clearly tried to intimidate Mark into backing off so he couldn’t stay on the outside to be in the right pace for the next corner. With most people agreeing that Vettel caused an avoidable accident how come there has been no talk of why the FIA didn’t investigate the incident. It was a very dangerous collision, caused by him clearly turning right into Webber, flying parts could have hit Webber or either of the Mclaren drivers not to mention that either car could have left the ground and as the accident WAS avoidable it surely needed to be investgated.

    1. Luke Robbins says:

      yeah right webber was flying in the 1.28s after that, good point!

      1. Kevin11 says:

        My son and I were wrestling over the remote control and it seems that CBeebies was on during all the fun parts of Sunday’s race.

        So I didn’t see the incident live.

        Did Webber go back to the pits after the crash? Maybe he drove really slowly back and saved some fuel and that let him push hard once his car was fixed up?

  80. Mike says:

    Some appear to be more equal than others!

    Now I want to be up front, I follow Webber and have for his entire F1 career. I am impressed with Vettel’s speed but in terms of race craft, experience, and how he carries himself I don’t think he measures up to Webber. That said, I hope to see him blossom, but after this weekend I wont hold my breath. I think the team management is letting him down. So given that team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has insisted, “Red Bull will not favour one of its drivers over the other.”

    I would think he would want the answer to a few of these anomalies:

    1. Bahrain Mark’s chassis was heavier than Seb’s. In Turkey Mark received updates 5 minutes before qualifying that Seb had for at least one practice session prior to qualifying. Thus Seb was able to setup and get a feel for the new updates were as Mark lacked such an opportunity. He came to terms with the new updates during qualifying! Why didn’t they both have equal equipment at the same time and how much of a disadvantage has this been for Mark? Has Seb been behind the equipment 8 ball on other occasions?

    2. Why have the team’s rules for driver priority in leaving the pits during qualifying not been consistent? Is the advantage of leaving last still being alternated between the drivers or is some other rule at play? It seems Mark missed his turn in Turkey. Why?

    3. There also seems to be some disparity with pit stops during the race that favour Seb more than Mark. The lead driver should get priority yet this only seems to happen when Seb is the lead driver. Fortunately in Spain and Monaco Mark was so far up the road it didn’t matter. However, Turkey was a different story and luckily Hamilton had a poor stop.

    4. Why was Mark told to go to lower revs in Turkey for the lap prior to Seb’s overtaking attempt, while Seb was told to increase his? Who gave these orders and why? Was it because the team felt he wasn’t able to defend against Hamilton even though he managed with little difficult since the previous pit stop. Needing to save fuel doesn’t cut it because Mark put in a series of quick laps to cover Shumi at the end of the race.

    5. Is Seb failing to drive with regard to the limitations of the equipment? Does this explain his reliability issues (e.g. hit the curves rather than riding them).

    6. Why is Dr Helmut Marko making comments in the media when he clearly has vested interests with respect to Vettel’s camp and therefore is clearly not impartial?

    7. Can Vettel overtake a top 10 driver in dry conditions other than off the start line? I recommend he practices with all other drivers, other than his team mate.
    My own view is that Seb is only 23 years old and he is playing in a pretty tough play ground. There is no doubt he has talent but it is being mollycoddled rather than nurtured. He should be trying to learn from Webber, particularly with race craft and setup. Trying to divisively give the lad a leg up I believe will ultimately fail him as a person. Play the game straight and in the word of Henry Thoreau, he will learn to live a principled life. Maybe he ends up second or third in the WDC but at least he knows he has done it with out weighted dice. I don’t think he could say that now. However, I think Mark could.

    1. James Allen says:

      Apologies to everyone who has been trying to get on the site this afternoon to take part in the debate. There was a technical fault on the site.

      1. Legend2 says:

        Thanks for letting us know James. I thought Helmut “pompous” Marko was doing his usual job of helping Vettel, and didn’t like your article so decided to close your website.

        The concern now must be that people in the Red Bull team will try and sabotage Mark Webber’s world championship.

        The pit stop team orders have really cost Mark Webber. In Australia, on a drying track, they delayed bringing in Webber to give priority to Vettel. It ended up costing Webber the victory. Good on you for pointing this out in an earlier blog post James. We saw in Malaysia, Webber also got given the worse pit stop moment. Yet, here in Turkey, Vettel was allowed to pit before Webber. In Spain and Monaco, it could be excused because Webber had a large lead. Here, though, Webber almost lost his position to Vettel.

        Agree with Martin Brundle “100% Vettel’s fault” as he said after watching the replay. Red Bull’s website has many angry comments – 95% or more favouring Mark Webber.

      2. David Jerromes says:

        We all love a good conspiracy theory, although this one is gathering momentum it would seem..

      3. Riccardo Hamilton says:

        No problem James. Keep up the good work.
        James do you think that Vettel talent needs to be reassessed considering he is now getting his behind handed to him on a plate by Vettel.

        He was seen as the next big thing.

      4. Clyde says:

        Thanks James – No worries – glad the site is back up.
        The question I want to ask is so SV get pass MW because Hamilton was putting great pressure on SV and MW was in fuel saving mode apparently – What was MW suppose to do to stop Hamilton from passing him?
        He has less revs to work with and Maclerns straight-line speed is tremendous.
        Why should MW be the lambs to get slaughter and not SV?
        Just ask a few questions

      5. smith from zim says:

        Thank God! Was beginning to suspect some foul play. I see spooks everywhere!

      6. Bevan says:

        Hi James,was this outage due to this particular story,as in was your server swamped ?,I wouldn’t be surprised.

      7. Stuart Moore says:

        Have noticed that the site always goes slow/unusable immediately after you post a new entry, and more so with this controversy it seems! Possibly beefier servers needed?

  81. Leo says:

    First of all, why Weber need to move for Vettel? They are in a race. But if you watch the clip again, sounds like Weber lift off the throttle when Vettel’s rear wheel is between Weber’s front and rear wheel, did Weber did it to mess up Vettel’s pass?

    1. Stuart Moore says:

      Or just that he had a car careering into him, and your natural reaction at that point is to take your foot off the accelerator

  82. Dan says:

    So Red Bull has made an enormous investment in its “young driver programme”. They are clearly lacking in the “psych” department.

    A winner knows that they should never expect anything. Whether it is Federer or Schumacher or Woods, DO NOT EXPECT TO WIN, FIGHT FOR EVERY POINT.

    What Helmut Marko seems to have done is create a driver with the same emotional immaturity that he has. His immediate response in this aftermath spoke volumes: the blame is Mark’s. As such, accept no responsibility.

    But that sense of entitlement can only come from an immature mind.

    As I stated on the other thread, Seb was faster going into that straight, but on a line and at a trajectory that under NORMAL circumstances would never have stuck. If it was NOT his team-mate next to him, he would’ve thought twice about trying that move. And without making the move, he never would’ve been able to successfully take the corner from that angle.

    This shows that he felt entitled. And this shows a serious flaw in the Red Bull You Drivers Programme.

  83. Robert says:

    James, just to say that your website leaves every other one standing when it comes to these crunch moments. Looking forward to my 2010 Xmas present from the family – your end of year book.

  84. Jon says:

    Martin Brundle’s blog on BBC site summed it up for me.

    The problem is the marketing/media/hype aspect of F1. It’s the same reason why teams want KERS back, and I hate it. I hate all of it. I just want their prorities first and foremost to be about good racing. Not team orders, or car sales, or any other corporate stuff. F1 is already not particularly fair sport in some ways, I mean it’s a rich mans sport, it helps to be short like a horse jockey (which means I could be Senna and still never have a chance to compete or succeed), and being born in a country that runs an F1 team certainly seems to help prospects. It frustrates me enough when people like Massa seemed to be judged more harshly then Alonso and Hamilton for example..

    For example, no one was angry at Alonso with his tangle with Petrov, but if that was Hamilton, people would be fuming. Same rules for all please.

    And now we have a repeat of McLaren 2007 situation. I thought that was bad then, and I think this is bad now. I care about the best drivers, not what country their are from, what age they are, or who the team likes more. I want to see who the best driver is. If it’s Chandhok, so be it.

    Very frustrating and I am no longer a fan of Redbull Racing Team. They wanted Vettel to win that race, there is no doubt in my mind. The drivers were tied in WDC points for heavens sake! Horner and Marko’s comments after the race were disgusting, I am just glad that the media are onto it. They deserve to be put under pressure. They say they treat teammates equally, I don’t know who they keep a straight face. Marko shouldn’t be allowed to talk in public. Fullstop.

    I am pleased that Webber held his ground, because alot of drivers would have wilted. However, within the team, I can’t see how this can be a good thing for either Redbull’s drivers prospects. McLaren 2007 showed that civil wars only help the opponents.

    It’s not mentioned in this article, but Horner flatly lied and I have it on mp3, where he said to David Croft that Webber and Vettel were on equal engine revs. He also seemed aggrivated by the suggest of otherwise. Once the cat was out the bag, he later defended the decision by saying that Vettel had earned that extra fuel, and had to use it otherwise Hamilton would pass him. It’s hard just for me to believe that Horner didn’t know all along, especially when he was saying “MOVE MOVE MOVE” as it happened.

    Lap Hamilton Vettel Webber
    37 1:30.425 1:30.181 1:30.334
    38 1:30.357 1:30.190 1:30.406
    39 1:30.522 1:30.611 1:30.626

    Horner and Marko’s logic is flawed in many ways. Hamilton was not catching Vettel, Vettel was pulling away. And one kilogram of extra fuel was not going to help Webber or Vettel stay infront of Hamilton. It’s irrelevant.

    Look at the Redbull comments leading into the race, the excuses about chassis, Vettel went out after Webber in Q3, despite it being Webber’s turn, and then the happenings in the race.

    What a joke that team has become. There has always been a hint of subtle bias, but now it’s not so subtle. I am just glad this incident has brought it all out into the publics eye. A shunt at 200mph outa do it!

    Unless you are crowned by the F1 hype machine as a top talent and future world champion, it’s pretty hard to win in F1 isn’t it? You even have to fight your own team.

  85. tarun luthra says:

    james, how do you see the contract negotiations of webber shaping up now and about webber’s own concerns about favourtism in rb.
    do u think if he’s gonna stick around in same colors?

  86. Jon says:

    I can say with certainty that in Malaysia there is no circumstance which would have ever led to the team allowing Webber to have more revs then Vettel and a chance to attack.

    “Why risk a one two?” The team would have said.

    They also said in the early races that pitting first is better this season, and the leader has the right to pit first. This lead to Webber’s only chance of beating Vettel to get pole and be leading after turn one.

    Since then, Webber has had poles and been in front.. and guess what?

    Vettel has pitted first every time.

  87. OppositeLock (Ken Alexander) says:

    RBR’s argument does not hold water. IF Seb was so at risk of being passed by McLaren, then once he was past Webber, then Mark would be in exactly the same position Vettel was in. Vulnerable to being passed by Hamilton. One of the Red Bull cars was going to be behind and a target for attack by McLaren. The team’s assertions display a clear preference for their golden boy Vettel. (BTW I’m a big Vettel fan and I chose him to win the championship. In this case, I think he got impatient and blew it.)

  88. Andrew S says:

    I have been absent in comment from this site for a while but this incident has made me want to comment again.

    For me:- Webber was right to drive as he did – there is no way on earth if LH or JB had attempted the same move would we all be talking about it.

    I am firmly in the camp of “webber was right”.

    Interesting to hear C Horner after the race say ” they should leave enough room” – I say rubbish to that (no offence Mr C) but they are all racing drivers and should be allowed to drive – if you dont like that then give contracts naming no.1′s and 2′s.

    I genuinely hope Webber wins the WDC (and im english and should be shouting for JB or LH) and takes the No.1 into retirement – a worthy WDC and a worthy ambassador for F1.

  89. alex says:

    It was Vettel’s fault, clearly. You see him moving to the right. Not much. But enough to be the guy at fault.

    He must be feeling under a lot of pressure but if he is really as good as people think he is this is the time it has o show. Webber has simply outdriven hime and in a car that is… shall we say… number two.

    Well done Webber, I did not think he had it in him but clearly he has. I hope he goes for it after this incident Horner, Vettel and the austrians are not my favourite people.

  90. bones says:

    James they said that SV had 1 kg more of fuel than MW,now that looks(for me) too little for such a big difference.
    Do you know what was the difference(in liters) over 1 lap in Turkey between a “conservative” engine mode and the other one?

  91. Spark says:

    Suddenly I start to understand why Webber seems to be reluctant to extend his deal with Red Bull. If indeed Webber isn’t supposed to be winning, why even bother to be part of Red Bull at all?

    Probably because there are no other competitive seats available, but then I have to say I have respect for the path that Raikkonen choose to take. Rather not be driving then drive for a team that actually doesn’t want you (but in al fairness Kimi of course received a huge pay-off) But whether Webber is ready to leave Fomula 1, I doubt it.

    1. Grabyrdy says:

      He’d be an obvious replacement for Kubica if Robert went to Ferrari, wouldn’t he ?

      1. Mr Squiggle says:

        He’d be an obvious replacement for Petrov as well.

        My thinking for a home for Webber is Mercedes if Schumi doesn’t perform. Webber did sportscar for them, I wonder if there is still any connection to Merc.

      2. Adaniel says:

        He drove and flew for them.
        They owe him!

      3. Spark says:

        Yeah, that could be the case although lately it seems like Ferrari is likely to retain Massa. And on the other hand, Ferrari have spent a huge amount of time in developping their car for this year. It started allright but now they seem to be the 5th force in the field. You could say that Ferrari isn’t the place to be if you look at the Domenicali years. And Kubica looks like a smart man so I am sure he will keep this in mind when making a decision.

  92. nambo says:


    Just visited the RBR site. Although their professionalism has been shot by the actions of the Teutonic Twosome of SV and “Dr” Helmut, aided and abetted by Horner, they have at least left the reader comments on the website. As some one else noted earlier, they are even more in support of Webber than elsewhere on the Web.

    I am a proud Aussie but until Turkey had not let it cloud my judgement of Vettel. I was genuinely impressed with his early season qualifying and commiserated due to the reliability issues he had. Anyone who is a Webber follower will know how many of his races have been ruined by reliability and thus there was natural sympathy for Webber.

    However if Red Bull had kept Webber on this season in the assumption that he would be Vettel’s patsy, they should have a good look at themselves. What self respecting driver would agree to that scenario particularly one who is genuinely quick and now has the machinery to match his talents?

    C’mon Mark. Aussie Grit will not go unrewarded.

  93. Steve says:

    Had it not been for the RB incident & JB & LH’s very short bit of entertainment it would have been another boring race. It just demonstrates again how we are not watching a real race, but one controlled from the pit wall this time with rev and fuel savings. The end result being whatever the managment decide they want all barring accidents or mechanical failure. The last third of the races now appear to be stay where you are cause you might run out of fuel.What a joke!
    How I long for a race where we don’t hear the words ‘fuel saving’ ‘tyre saving’ ‘engine saving’
    Going back just a few years these sort of words were not relevent to F1. Just can’t get it right can they.

    1. Heffalump says:

      Well, a few years back the words were “Let Michael pass for the championship”. Was it really all that much better? This race was highly entertaining just because on almost every lap there was the possibility of someone out of the top 4 either making a pass or messing up big time. The latter then happened.

    2. VicWeir says:

      I agree Steve.
      It would be great fun if half way through a race all radio contact between drivers and pit wall were lost! If we all think the same thing very hard after lap 3 at the next GP perhaps , collectively, we can bring this about!!

      If there’s anything that drives a self- respecting F1 fan mad it’s the feeling that they’re being manipulated. It’s bad enough that all drivers, to greater and lesser degrees, are at the mercy of the quality of the car but that’s an integral part of motor racing. But before Max Mosley’s departure we blamed the FIA for our perception that rules were bent or differently interpreted, depending on whom it benefitted. Now we seem to have driving by engineer intervention! You wonder how some drivers can find their way round the track without a constant stream of advice from the pitwall. OK I exaggerate for effect but you get my drift? We don’t want DWCs orchestrated by committee or whether or not it makes good TV.

  94. Nick says:

    I see read with interest the comments regarding the pressure the young development program of Red Bulls has on it to perform, and this may be the reason the team is showing some favour to vettel. I’m sorry if I’m seeing things a bit differently but what pressure? The result of that program is Sebastien Vettel, a man that is widely regarded as one of the quickest drivers, why isn’t that enough, everyone in F1 circles strongly believe he will win a WDC very soon, a man that before yesterday was considered a gentleman but with that little ruthless streak we saw in Michael Schumacher. Isn’t that enough for them? Yes it would be great If he could win it this year, but shouldn’t that image be maintained by racing the Webber, rather than being helped to beat Webber?

  95. Luca says:

    The general surprise that an Austrian team would favour the younger, German-speaking Vettel is testimony to how successfully Red Bull company has branded itself beyond national boundaries. How ironic that their biggest marketing investment ever, F1, should reveal that they are only human after all: they do not have wings when push comes to shove, they kind of prefer their own.

  96. JackSparrow says:

    James, what is this thing of fuel saving mode anyway? Please give us the straight facts: should tanks be fully charged, cars would be able to do 1-2 laps longer than the race itself , whatever driving style. Should this be true FIA must step in and enforce complete filling. it’s a toy in the hand of bad guys.

    1. James Allen says:

      Everyone has been cutting it finer and finer. Every lap of fuel you carry at the start is worth a tenth of a second every lap. So there are all sorts of modes.

  97. Mike says:

    I’m totally on Webber’s side in this. Horner is making himself look silly and biased with his comments. Webber left plenty of room for Vettel (Alonso would have pushed Vettel off the road just like he did to Hamilton at Spa the other year) but Vettel tried to put the frighteners on Webber with a swerve just like he did to Hamilton. As an Jean Alesi fan I fully endorse Webber’s right to hold onto his chosen line until a pass is complete (this pass wasn’t even half-way complete). Webber’s only crime is that the wingman is out-performing the wunderkind! Keep up the good work Mark!

  98. Flog says:

    James, great post. Everyone else, insightful reading. Whatever way this goes down in the end, it won’t reflect well on RBR. A shameful performance, they’ve lost my respect. I truly hope Webber goes onto win despite the favoritism.

    Surely RBR will have to rethink their position now with Webber’s leads in the championship Surely they’d be made to play favourite with Vettel now?

    Time will tell.

  99. Anand says:


    Could McLaren have staged the passing-repassing sequence between Button and Hamilton? Were they running the risk of FIA penalty as they were caught giving messages to both drivers about “save fuel” (which in all probability could mean “u r not racing” and the fuel data will tell us for sure whether it meant that!).

    I feel it could be staged to escape FIA penalty!!!


    1. Stuart Moore says:

      I severely doubt that…

    2. F1 Novice says:

      Looking at Martin Whitmarsh’s expressions on the pit wall whilst it was happening I sincerely doubt it – either that or Whitmarsh should get an Oscar for his acting abilities :)

  100. Komieko says:

    I am absolutely ‘Disgusted’ with what I watched yesterday. To hear the excuses today only increases the farse… I actually have previously posted on your website my reservations concerning Mark Webber. My heart goes out to him now. To read lips that said move, ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Maybe if I was an amature observer of auto racing, maybe I would be forced into seeing Red Bull’s point. In no way shape or form should Mark have to move. I think you should note for the record that I am absolutely a fan of Lewis Hamilton. I have watched him in earlier formulae and have always been impressed with his racing ability. What Red Bull have allowed is to suggest that if it was another car, say Force India on the inside line, that Mark should have left room for them to pass freely. Any chance in trying to convince me that what I saw, wasn’t what I saw will only serve to insult my intelligence. I am so angered that it is very hard to write without expletives. Red Bull have left Mark Webber out to dry. Speechless…

    I don’t know, personally if time can heal this wound. I also watched the post race interview. How on earth could Mark even muster the maturity to not loose the plot on television, proves he is a better man than me. The four letter words would have been in full effect. I probably would not have given Lewis or Jenson a chance to speak. Dr. Marko, forgive me but you should have gracefully chosen to collect your thoughts, talk to a team PR, then engaged your mouth. The same goes for the team principal. Casting blame at the wrong individual. You are now allowing your team to implode. Everything you do from now on will be scrutinized by the press or whomever just by the actions/reactions of this race.

  101. Glen Phillips says:

    The parallels between Vettel/Webber and Hakkinen/Coulthard are frightening. I feel a great deal of sympathy for Mark, as I always did for David.

    1. Steven says:

      Coulthard couldnt carry Hakkinen’s shock strap!

      1. duke says:

        In long term view, yes. But sometimes, in odd races, Coulthard was THE man to beat. And Dennis would order him to give way to Hakkinen.

        Coulthard’s exact words: “Dennis broke my confidence”.

  102. F1 Novice says:

    Last year we had a rule that meant each drivers starting fuel load was monitored and declared by the FIA – I think there is now a place for a rule stipulating that finishing fuel amounts have to be declared – I do not subscribe to to the fact that the TEAM must come first – this is a mistake that F1 has been making for some time – FANS should come first – and I suspect that “conserve fuel” instructions are replacing the rightly banned “Team Orders” to stop team mates racing or enabling the teams to swap driver places on the track meaning us fans are missing out on exciting fighting finishes.

    With the re-fuelling ban in place the whole race is now a different type of strategy game – but what is the point of an intelligent Driver/Engineer combination taking the decision to drive smartly a little early on to conserve tyres / fuel so they can attack later when their rivals – be they in competitor teams or team mates – are most vulnerable if they haven’t followed the same strategy.

    Using the “save fuel card” stinks of TEAM ORDERS to me & the FIA have the ability & should have the nuts to stamp it out now.

    I guarantee you both Button & Webber will be looking at the “fuel left” data very closely after this race – we as fans should also be privvy to that info too.

    Who decides which snippets of Team Radio traffic we get to hear on the TV anyway ?

    The edited bits we get to hear don’t paint the full picture and open up the potential for conspiracy theories – with the technology available these days and if F1 really wants to get closer to the FANS then we should be able to tune into whichever team radios we want to and review them at our leisure at a later date if & when we want to. We know the data is there because the FIA can access it if they need to – first and foremost the sport is there for us the FANS who have stuck by the sport through some pretty unsavoury episodes recently.

    I want to see the drivers go hammer and tongs to the end come what may – it just doesn’t sit or feel right that we the FANS are being robbed of the excitement of a gladiatorial battle to the end and it seems more often than not are being forced to watch manipulated finishes – Senna & Villeneuve will be turning in their graves. :(

  103. Alan says:

    Dr Marko’s claim that Hamilton was putting pressure on Vettel as being the reason Vettel wanted to push on and get past Webber are totally dis-credited by the lap times in the three laps immediately before the collision:

    Lap: Hamilton Vettel Webber

    37: 1:30.425 1:30.181 1:30.334

    38: 1:30.357 1:30.190 1:30.406

    39: 1:30.522 1:30.611 1:30.626

    Clearly, Webber is slower than Vettel due to his being in ‘fuel saving mode’ but Vettel is two to three tenths faster than Hamilton on laps 37 and 38 and less than a tenth slower on lap 39.

    How then does Marko surmise that Hamilton was putting pressure on Vettel?

    1. F1 Novice says:

      As I said earlier he’s obviously been on the Red Bull – too much Taurine !! :)

  104. lul says:

    What is funny is that some Alonso fans accuse RBR of making a driver no 1….LOL.

    And why is it that only English speaking fans don’t seem to see that Webber is squeezing Vettel into the dirty part (totally away from the racing line in such a way that breaking would not even help Webber to plow into Vettel because he would miss the break point) which made him lose control of the car after the bump?

    And why these same ‘unbiased’ fans not acknowledge that if Webber just went a bit left, instead of kleeping the wheel straight while the track was going to the left, it would have been a fair fight and not, like now, Webber being a fool that cost his team many points.


    1. mael says:

      I speak a few languages and I can tell you that what has come out is evidence that it wasn’t a fair fight.

      Don’t go trying to bring race into this because you don’t have a leg to stand on.

      Plus if Webber went a bit ‘left’ then he would have driven Vettel OFF THE TRACK. Instead he gave him as much room as he deserved for trying to make a clumsy move on the inside on a dirty part of the track.

      1. N. Machiavelli says:

        “I speak a few languages and I can tell you that what has come out is evidence that it wasn’t a fair fight.
        Don’t go trying to bring race into this because you don’t have a leg to stand on.”

        I appreciate the directness with which you put the fellow above who was making a specious argument in his place. Despite having been whipped roundly in two world wars, the German people still have certain “tendencies” ( and I have good German friends who will readily admit this, but
        then they are quite well educated and well traveled ).

        Du hast recht, Herr Mael.

  105. David says:

    Hi James – just want to say: beautiful writing!

    Love it!

  106. Grabyrdy says:

    Christian Horner is in a sticky spot, defending the indefensible. He didn’t look at ease in his second interview yesterday – one isn’t when talking manifest balls.

    You say James that he has to bring the team together, but how can he do it with one hand tied behind his back ? Why doesn’t Marko just turn up and run things if that’s what he wants to do, rather than trying to do it at one remove ? Horner has an imoossible job now. And they’ll all blame him if RB have blown it at the end of the year. These guys need to sit down and read a bit of history of Formula One. There’s nothing new under the sun !

    1. N. Machiavelli says:

      “Why doesn’t Marko just turn up and run things if that’s what he wants to do, rather than trying to do it at one remove ? Horner has an imoossible job now.”

      If one has a knowledge of WWII history, the events concerning Horner, Marko, and Mateschitz are more than slightly reminiscent of the relationship Hitler had with his general staff. Such a similarity tends to presage a downfall,
      just as happened in 1945.

      What Mateschitz *should* be doing is leaving Horner alone
      so he can do his job. And Marko needs to stay in Berchtesgaden as well, so as not to foul things up at the

  107. Xman says:

    I was one of many who thought the Aussie would have a hard time keeping up with the young german last year… He proved me wrong and his last three races have shown he’s not mucking around.

    Webber has the pace, the mental strength and the EXPERIENCE to take this championship and make it his year!!! Experience only comes to you with mistakes. the more mistakes you make the more experience you develop. Unfortunately the under pressure German is developing his database of experience while fighting for the world championship with THE fastest car.

    Webber has such an advantage over his younger team mate because of his wealth of experience, fighting midfield for so many years with aero deficient and poorly balanced cars. (He must be loving the mega downforce redbull)

    Sure, the youngster has amazing talent and pace. He’s an expert at what he does already, but you cant buy years of experience unless you make those mistakes..

    DC said it and i concur 100% that the mistake he made had pressure written all over it. He scored 0 points so can you imagine what will happen when these two bull fighters go toe to toe again! The arrogant German has an aggressive, strong and fair Aussie to contend with. Bring it on i say.

  108. Ben.R. says:

    RE: Fuel Settings.
    Any chance of finding out what Vettle changed on his steering wheel in between corner 7-8 on lap 40.

    1. Ben.R. says:

      * Visible from in-car footage btw.

      1. neil m says:

        Yeah fascinating. Small rotary on the inside at 2 o’clock position, turned clockwise(ie turned up). Expect all teams to try and position cameras away from the steering wheel in future.

  109. Horacio says:

    In my view, there is really nothing wrong if Red Bull decides that Vettel is driver number 1 and Webber number 2.
    1) they should make that clear to the drivers, otherwise they are telling lies and I hate liars.
    2) they must be able to adapt to the new scenario if Driver number 2 is faster than Driver number 1, and on top is leading the race.

    I think that after a shameful Turkey GP, RedBull is now exposed, naked, dealing with an internal situation that is heavier than what can handle.
    To me, the first hint of that crack was the announcement of the now infamous “dameged chassis”, a ridiculous story that RedBull throw to the fans.
    Now, is seems that it is NOT just the car at RedBull garage to shows fragility. The whole team structure is showing some metal fatigue.

  110. Fredrika says:

    F1 is such a politic heavy little number. Even if Vettel is preferred, which could be debatable it would be very shortsighted for management to try and control it when it appears it’s still an open race for the championship. DC must be laughing, one of the reasons RB is up there is due to his development! I believe Vettel is in the wrong, but it is more damning to see Horner suggesting it was Webbers fault when with today’s tv coverege we can all see by our selves. Webber can either gain barganing power or he should throw his net… Vettel needs a reality reminder and dare I suggest to grow up? What do I know- managing superstars with egos that size can’t be a stroll in the park, but yeterday we learned how not to manage, in my oppinion.

  111. F1 Spaceship says:

    This just reminds Me of DC at McLaren when he was up against Hakkinen, Mika and Ron were very close and Hakkinen has long served at McLaren. Sometimes DC would blow the field away on all practices and warm up, only to find that in the final moments he is outqualified by Mika with a car that handles better than DC. At times when DC was in front they would pit Mika first making DC last.

    Even at Ferrari, i alway got a feeling that Irvine, Barrichello and Massa could have won championships, these guys came second many times.

    Even in wildlife, the animals have the rules and so does F1.

    Those are just my personal views on F1 but i would love to see friendlier F1 doing fairness and with no discrimination of any individuals.

  112. F1 Fan says:

    In my opinion Vettel contibuted to the accident by not holding his line but redbull caused the accident with poor management. Firstly it was obvious that Webber is not treated equal in the team during qualifying as in Q3, as going by Webbers comments he was supposed to have gone out after Vettel on the track. Reb Bull are also responsile re allowing Vettle to pit first, allowing Vettel to turn up his engine performance and lastly for going to a track with no viable F duct, when everyone knew Mclaren would be fast.
    I hope Webber wins the championship despite his team and then takes the no.1 to ferrari or Renault.

  113. Mozelo says:

    Don’t know if it’s been mentioned yet, but after MW had his front wing replaced,and back on the track, I seem to recall a message from the pits telling him that the McLaren’s were in fuel saving mode,intimating that if he pushed there was a chance of passing at least one, or maybe both? Wouldn’t that suggest that MW was in fact not in a situation where he had to conserve his own fuel?

    1. Josh says:

      Great point! – what was happening there?!?

    2. Tony Morel says:

      I raised this point, but someone pointed out that he also had fresh rubber so maybe they meant for him to get every last tenth from the tyres to make up for the fuel.

      James, in this situation what gains/losses do you get from turning the engine down Vs brand new tyres.

  114. Nick Hipkin says:

    Hi James, another great insight, this gets more and more fascinating by the hour!
    Id like to know whats your honest opinion on how Christian Horner has handled this whole episode?
    I said on my website i think he has dealt with it poorly, I also feel sorry for Webber, he has just driven some of the best races of his life and now he has to contend with this.

  115. Peter says:

    Just as much as Hamilton at McLaren.

  116. rolocz says:

    Both were a bit too intense, Webber could have left more room and probably nothing that bad would have happened. But hey! that would have made this race one more f-boredom instance.

    I sincerely hope that Webber wins this championship

  117. Peter says:

    I see Vettel in a very similar transition period of time as had Hamilton 2 years ago. Poll does not show anything because if it were German speaking blog the result would be opposit.

  118. Tim says:

    Vettel is under pressure his season is over. The team always comes up with an excuse when Mark out qualifies him. This situation will emplode sooner rather than later. Seb remember Mark wasn’t fit last year with his broken leg now he is fit and leading the championship. A new RBR contract for Webber seems unlikely, he won’t be hung out to dry again just ask Frank Williams, this guy is the real deal.

  119. Steve Smith says:

    Was I imagining it, or was Vettel ‘practicing’ sharp left/right manouvres during his signting lap before the race? He appeared to be making sudden left/right tugs at the steering wheel on the straights – similar to the right turn he made which led to the crash with Webber. These did not appear to be movements which you would normally see the drivers perform to generate heat in the tyres. It would be interesting to review the footage of the sighting lap again.

    1. F1 Novice says:

      Ha Ha Ha Ha – so you think he had this in his mind even before the race started – you mean like a boxer shadow boxing as he enters the ring ?

      Brilliant – Love it ! :)

  120. Qiang says:

    I honestly think Dr. Marko need to go if he was behind Vettel’s move and later twisting facts. Hopefully the RBR owner will listen to F1 fans view and fire those behind the plot. Vettel is 100% wrong, and it’s 1000% wrong to come out saying it was Mark’s fault. If someone want to all fans to swallow that, they must be very stupid.
    I would like very much to hear what Newey has to say because I saw him totally gutted on screen. It’s him who make this piece of winning art a reality. Now someone has no talent at all are making it far more difficult to win. Giving Alonso, Kubica or Schumacher a RB car, they would have 25-50 points ahead. That’s why I don’t think Vettel is that special. Always wonder why it’s always his car broke, not Webber’s.

  121. JimF says:

    At the risk of rewording a viewpoint already stated earlier, I contend the blame can’t be attributed all to VET or WEB — it is a bit surprising to see numbers of 89+ % suggesting that. I am not even sure now if Webber’s move to the left was making way for Vettel where he thought he might be (in the braking zone to his right), or as an intentional blocking move but it certainly seemed to play a role in putting both RB6′s in position to make contact.

    There are so many contributing circumstances, it must be a mess for the team to try and sort out in the aftermath behind closed doors! Speaking of McLaren pressuring RBR into that position with the raw pace of the front four runners, perhaps it was in the grand scheme for Hamilton’s slow stop to set Vettel loose on Webber? That sounds like a conspiracy theory to be sure, but who’s to know how the podium would have looked had a charging Vettel had to contend with Hamilton and then Webber on track.

    Whatever the case, the GP was edge of the seat stuff just about flag to flag, until McLaren settled in to bring it home. One thing is for sure, there’s not been a single mention of Vettel’s car name the whole 114 comments prior!

    1. Rich C says:

      “a single mention of Vettel’s car name”

      Good catch! So… what *was the ill-fated vehicle’s moniker??

      Lame Lizzie? Jousting Juno? Crash LaRue? An inquiring mind wants to know!

      1. Mr Squiggle says:

        Well, following Seb’s performance in Turkey, How about General Lee (from the Dukes of Hazzard)?

  122. dstaisey says:

    I just watched replay from 35 – 42 lap.. Where did you get
    Hamilton was a constant 1.2 seconds behind Vettel?
    Three laps before accident Seb started to push.
    Why you ignore that Weber first moved left to the Seb before Seb re-communicated the same way to the right, but Weber didn’t react.

  123. pking007 says:

    Hi James,

    great piece as usual and its all good that you are seemingly sitting on the fence on this one but hey we understand. We F1 fans need your access and we dont want that cut off now do we :)?

    On a more serious note, we (most) F1 fans can probably smell a rat when we see one and in my mind there is no doubt about it that SV is the golden child at Red Bull Racing and he’s been told as much both in action and in words. This is not just because of what happened in Turkey this wkend but the comment and body language of Christain Horner i think in one of the fly away races – i think china where Vettel was on pole. during Martin Brundle grid walk, he asked Horner if he thought Webber could jump Vettel at the start. There was a wry smile on Horners face and very cooly reply that that he is sure Webber would like that very much but that would be as “impossible for Webber to do as it was impossible for Eddie Jordan” who could not travel to the race, “to suddenly find himself in China for the race.”

    Since that day, I said to my friend who we usually watch F1 together that this doesnt look good for Webber at RBR. Horner was not even diplomatic enough to give an answer like “they are both pros” and “sure they will have a fair fight into the first corner etc etc like most other teams would have.

    This new events at Turkey has shone a light on the working at RBR. Horner is not the MAN in the team, it is Dr Helmut Marko. Not only is Marko reponsible for the YD development programme of which Vettel is a graduate but more importantly, Marko has Dietrich Mateschitz’s ear.

    Just after the accident, Helmut Marko stood by Vettel by Vettel by giving the following quote:. ‘It was Vettel’s line,’ ‘It was Vettel’s corner. Mr Mateschitz is not happy.’”

    The point he is trying to make is Webber better remember who cut his cheques. In conclusion, Webber better start looking for a drive elsewhere and If I was Horner, I’d be watching my back as well.

  124. Josh says:

    As a Mark Webber fan and an Australian, the incident between Vettel and Webber was very frustrating. I think it is very clear and always has been that RBR favour Vettel over Webber. This was clearly evident by the fact they put all the new parts on Vettel’s car first and put Webber’s on with only minutes to spare.

    I also find it very frustrating that Webber is in the form of his career and RBR are not taking advantage of it, they would rather give Vettel a go at Webber rather then tell him to sit tight and keep Hamilton off both of their backs, it just seems crazy. At the end of the day Vettel may have been to blame for the actual collision but RBR caused it to happen by not having predetermined rules for the team in this situation, I would have thought 1 – 2 would have been the best possible result and it would have been a lot smarter to tell Vettel that because he didn’t get pole and hadn’t overtaken Webber in the first half of the race that it was his job to now take second.

  125. rob says:

    hey mark, it’s us in the pits. look, i know that you were on pole, and have held off hamilton for the first stint and have led all 40 laps so far, but we’re scared that Hamilton might pass vettel. we’re thinking that you can GIVE UP THE WIN and let vettel past. we think that will give us our best chance at a 1-2 finish. oh, by the way, he only has 1 kilo more of fuel than you, so as soon as he passes you, he will be slowing down. just keep hammy behind you for the rest of the race and we’re golden. thanks mate! i owe you a coke er…red bull.

    1. Phil says:


      p.s. oh, and mark, although you have been instrumental in achieving in the sucess that red bull is now enjoying. and you have driven flawlessly for a third straight quali & race, there is this young kid with an overinflated ego behind you who can’t handle the pressure that you have been applying. Do you mind awfully if you could just let pass? We don’t favour drivers, its just that you have won twice, and he’s only won once, and frankly we’d much rather see him win the championship than you.

    2. brett says:


    3. Dale says:

      Nice one :)

  126. dstaisey says:

    I have a question for everyone siding with Webber..
    Why you ignore the fact that Webber first moved to the left, to Seb, before Seb re-communicated the same way to the right. If Seb stayed straight and didn’t move even more to the left when Webber did his thing they would touch at that point.
    In my opinion Webber certainly new whats going on like every racing driver would understand. Its natural..

    What you would guys do if you ware attempting pass and someone pushes you outside almost to the grass? Would you re-communicate? Vettel reacted instinctively.

    1. Lewis says:

      The counterargument is why Vettel took the inside in the first place. Mark positioned himself so that the majority of space was on the outside. (compromising his line through the next corner in the process)

      Mark didn’t ‘squeeze’ Sebastian after he got alongside, he gave an amount of space and stuck to it.

      If Seb had doubts about making it up the inside, why not go outside – he had a massive speed advantage, and we saw button make the move work later on.

    2. Ragerod says:

      Webber was in front and is entitled to protect his position by moving once, something Vettel did to protect his position from Hamilton.

      The issue is when they were alongside each other (in both cases) Vettel moved to the right. Hamilton saw it coming and got out the way but Webber held his line. If Vettel had got his car in front of Webber’s it would have been acceptable (and there wouldn’t of been a collision).

    3. Adaniel says:

      Instinctive or not, when your re-communication causes an accident, then that’s your fault; you say sorry and move on!

      Mistakes happen; racers and racing fans understand that! Vettel is a great driver. Up to now he has been unlucky with reliability, but he is still gaining experience in his craft. Hell…they all make mistakes.(well maybe not Kubica).

      I think the biggest problem here is lots of people saw the accident. They have a very strong opinion of who is at fault, but for some reason the team is seemingly blaming the driver who is seemingly just doing his job as a hard race driver.

      Now….if Mr Webber’s job is to come second to Mr. Vettel then …..thats a different story.

      1. dstaisey says:

        Webber started talking first and moved Seb to the left.
        Plus he was even in fuel saving mod… What RB should do? They probably had idea how race would develop and as a team Mark should have understood that.

      2. ScottScott says:

        Maybe you shoud read all the comments and news available before making this comment.
        Mark has the right to defend his position as this is a race.
        Are you saying that whenever a car is closing in behind you, you should just moved over and let them pass, like a gentlement? Are you being serious?!
        By now, everyone know thats Fuel Saving Mode is the new team order!
        Obvously you are a Vettel fan.
        You say it all when you said in one sentence:
        ‘They probably had idea how race would develop’, which basically means they have already decided Vettel should win.
        ‘as a team Mark should have understood that.’, which basically means Mark should just move over and let Vettel win right?
        What a joker!

  127. cheers says:

    On Webber’s fuel consumption, he did the fastest lap after the incident with aero damage and had to fight to not give Schumacher the whiff. He has already told you when doing that (explicitly by deed) that the fuel issue was b/s. Fuel use with damaged aero is higher and he had an extra pit in/out and a complete warm down lap.

    Webber held his line, didn’t move on the basis that Vettel wasn’t going to pull up being off line or get at the apex well enough for Mark not to get back at him. So Mark already knows they have pulled their engine setting trick on and he decides to give him enough room not to touch but just enough to hang himself. Then Vettel spits the dummy.

    Vettel did what he did to Hamilton during the pit lane incident and even at Turkey again with Hamilton – he instinctively turns in when he is getting done. A petulent brat.

    As for Horner – he has to make a living too despite the developing partnership with Webber outside RBR. It is Marko and his master pulling the strings hard and Horner trying to dance politically.

    Mark has been turning down his engine moreso than Vettel from either the lead or where gaining a position (remember when they told him on race radio that he could push the throttle down more). He has a one race engine rotation advantage on Vettel and I think he has one more Friday engine in the bank. That and his points lead might be the only advantage he is going to get to balance out the team bias now.

  128. Dan Green says:

    Hi James,

    Do you think RBR are aware that that there position of seemingly blaming Mark for this incident, but not releasing any concrete info to back up their claims is hurting their reputation in many fans eyes ?

    Thousands of fan’s have spoken out against this on various motorsport forums etc.

    This may in some way now taint any further success Seb has this season.

    I wonder if RBR management knows how bad they look in the public eye ?

    Do you know if their PR people read sites like yours ?

    1. James Allen says:

      Of course they do. It’s going to be very interesting to see how they handle this from now on

      1. RickeeBoy says:

        Actually James I wonder if it hasn’t happened already with ref to “knoxploration” – This looks like a damage limitation RBR mole –
        PS – Superb Blog.

      2. Rich C says:

        “Of course…” LOL

        Well, it ain’t braggin’ if its true, now is it!

      3. Dale says:

        The only way Horner can regain any credibility is to be honest and call as it really was, i.e. it was Vettel’s fault, Webber is racing for the world championship and IS fully entitled to defend his position fairly and it is 1000000% clear that Vettel turned into Webber.

        Will he do it? Not a chance though if he did he’d really go up in my estimation as it would prove to me that on reflection he is his own man and not simply a puppet to the team owner and his advisor :!:

    2. mael says:

      I posted this to another forum, but it isn’t getting any responses. I guess it might say something about the forum or me, I don’t know. But I sure would like some views on this from everyone.


      What is the point of sponsoring an F1 team?

      You might think this is an odd question and the answer would be an obvious one, brand recognition and association.

      The recognition part of the exercise is the most simple, get as many eyes as possible to see your ad or logo.
      The second part, this is much more complex and has market segment, demographic and cross cultural elements.

      For the most part IMO companies sponsoring in F1 want to be associated winning culture, technological excellence, the highest evolution of machine and sport, fair play and integrity.

      When the ‘Crashgate’ affair happened Renault nearly left the sport. Their sponsors abandoned them and the whole of F1 was tarnished. For the most part these sponsors did not want their brand to be attached to what was rotten about the sport.

      Now some other companies thrive and want to be seen as being subversive, anti-establishment and rule breakers.
      This works for them and is part of their cultural identity.

      I believe that Red Bull were looking to sell major title sponsorship space on the cars soon?

      Does this change the value of opportunity or will it put off potential sponsors who have now seen the way the team operates it’s PR in such circumstances?

      Having said all of this, how do you think Red Bull is feeling about their investment in F1 sponsorship after the weekends events, and the subsequent revelation of their internal struggles?

      Is this controversy and the subsequent ‘free press’ a positive or a negative for the sponsor and does this type of thing have an effect of your purchasing habits?

  129. David Baric says:

    So are we to assume the new redbull racing rule is if your able to throw the nose of your car ahead of your teammate you have all right of way? – What stops Webber from cutting inside Vettel’s car before a corner and assume he has all rights?

    1. amrjon says:

      I hope he does. The team have made it clear that’s OK, so I’m sure they’ll back him.

  130. John says:

    Hopefully the F1 media start to treat horner as the liar and puppet he’s shown himself to be.The damage done on the track in turkey is insignificant compared to the damage done to the Red Bull Team and Brand by team management

    1. Dan Green says:

      Agree on last comment.

      I have even read on some other forums that some are boycotting the RB energy drinks.

      While boycotts may sound petty or over the top and maybe only a minority will go that far ( I personally do not even touch the stuff ), the damage to the RB brand has been done by management and not the drivers.

      I personally think Marko is the issue here. His comments were the ones that fueled the ongoing outrage.

      As James stated though, perhaps CH has no control in what Marko does or says to the press. If this is the case it makes me lose confidence in the team.

      I feel uneasy about a team principle that has to answer to a bias old man that no longer cares about what is fair from a sporting perspective.

  131. D. says:

    Of course Vettel has been and still is the favored driver at Red Bull, where is the mystery ? Austrian owner, German driver. As has been (and still is) the case with Hamilton and McLaren. Both are products of the teams’ driver development programme, where the teams invest enormous resources to produce a quality product.

    And that’s why it’s a mistake to **not** have a clear driver order in the teams, at least the front-running teams.

    Why do teams try to have two solid drivers rather than one ? To win the constructors’ title. And if they do, so what ? Who would remember, or care, if RBR won the 2010 constructors’ championship ? But a lot of F1 fans would remember, and care, if Vettel won the WDC.

    So why not have a clear order of drivers ? It would save us all the hypocrisy, politics and waste of time that comes w/ having (or claiming to have) driver equality. And it would save team principals a lot of headaches.

    But then again, modern F1 is not about pure racing. It’s about creating stories, whether good or bad, which in turn (unfortunately) creates interest and commotion.

  132. Steve JR says:

    I feel sorry for Mark. He’s got more battles to contend with off track than on track. I think he’s a first class driver and it’s a shame to see him being treated like a second class driver by his own team as they show bias by siding with Seb who very clearly drove into Mark.

    Also, Marko’s comment that Seb ‘had’ to overtake Mark or face being overtaken by Lewis seems like rubbish when you consider Lewis didn’t have a single opportunity to pass Mark and only 1 aborted chance against Seb in the early laps after the pit stop when tyres were fresh – how can someone as senior as Marko say this and not look totally biased?

    There was an interesting off camera moment in the press conference after the race when the camera should have been on Jenson while he was describing his race but you could see first Lewis motioning behind the desk to Mark describing his Seb incident and then Mark did the same.

    It strikes me that Seb acted like a brat during the race and reinforced the perception by making circular finger gestures to his head as if to indicate that Mark was out of his head – all in all, very unprofessional conduct for a driver in his position with the eyes of the world media upon him.

    Horner et al would do well to look after both drivers equally

  133. Adrian says:

    Disgusting treatment of Webber……time for Webber to negotiate a deal with Ferrari and take some engineers/mechanics with him…..that would be the ultimate outcome from this fiasco

  134. parthi says:

    Look’s like Ferrari may have a shot of getting Webber and getting rid of Massa after all

  135. Nitro says:

    i have been waiting for your article James. Good reading out there (as always). I would say that its Sebs fault definitely and its not his first time when he shows that kind of a ‘nervous’ manoeuvre. They way the team treats Mark Webber aint fair, this is far from just right..

  136. Steve Skooz says:

    Hmm.. exciting stuff..
    I think dues were paid in the right amounts by both drivers. It was clearly Vettels fault.
    He went down the inside of a clearly defending race car.. did he expect that car to move over once he got there?.. surely not.
    Mark left just enough room for half a move.. and Vettel fell for it.

    Nice one Mark.. you are growing on everyone I think. Great racecraft too.. glad you showed some kahunas to the young lad.

    Shame about Christian Horner’s take on it.. I was really starting to like that guy. Oh well.. I prefer the honesty of The Whitmarsh who ‘tactfully’ called it in exactly the same way as everyone else who saw it.
    .. Well, everyone not wearing RBR branding that is.. and Mark himself.. who has never struck me as a guy to shirk responsibility if he feels it was his fault.

    One final word for Vettel.. Get your tongue out of Horner’s butt .. then you might be able to see that Mark was in a great defensive position on the track.. and its called defensive for a reason. He defended the corner.

    Go Mark!

    No that wasn’t the door being left open.. it was a wiley trap being set

  137. Paul says:

    My first thought and reaction was that it was Vettels fault, but when you look at the onboard I don’t see a distinctive move of the steering wheel by Vettel (and why would he? surely it was obvious he wasn’t past Webbers car), but more a drift across the track into Webber, which leads me to the opinion that it was more of a racing incident


    1. AJ Senior says:

      I am starting to lean towards the crash itself being maybe a ‘racing incident’ caused by Seb losing the car a little bit over a bump – normally not a problem but when you have been overeager in a passing move and your wheels are well inside someone else’s then it becomes a big problem.

      The really terrible stuff happened after the incident (and possibly before the incident as well if the conspiracy theories are true and Seb was favoured) in the reactions, actions and quotes from various members of the Red Bull team.

      They have well and truly let the ‘team’ down there.

      The only person who came out of it with their dignity well and truly intact is Mr Webber who proved again he is a true sportsman.

      Maybe we’ll see 2 years in a row where a driver takes the number 1 to a different team.

  138. Geoff Dixon says:

    Something I think most people have missed in this Red Bull favouritism debate which may shed more light on the potential favouritism is looking at Q3 and post qualifying comments. How is it that for the final run in Q3, Vettle was in the pits with tire warmers on with TV coverage showing Webber only just being wheeled back into his garage and yet the final Vettle ended up running 2nd on the track. MW alluded to this in the post Q3 press conference and there was a facial reaction from Vettle (crazy, sound familiar)! There is more to this than meets the eye.

  139. Hingo says:

    Hi James,

    I’m interested in your opinion on Helmut Marko. Its no secret that Helmut was not the biggest fan of Mark Webber even before this event but do you think that he is perhaps too focused on his Red Bull young driver program and the team is following his direction?

    From the outsiders perspective, he appears to have a power in this team more than his title would suggest and potentially more than Christian Horner. Despite the momentum being with Webber, it seems as if Vettel is still the focus for the team.

  140. F1 Novice says:

    Vettel’s fault – he moved right Webber held his line – did Vettel think he was going to scare Webber into moving right as well to concede the corner – mug if he did – this is what happens when you let kids play in fast cars – their brains haven’t developed properly and all the connections haven’t been made internally yet – not sure what Horner thought he saw – he should clearly be backing Webber in this one but the “chosen one” seems to be getting some kind of benefit of the doubt.

    Adrian Newey is normally a straight up kind of guy – I would like to hear what he has to say about it – he’s worked with some of the biggest ego’s in F1 at some time or other. Get him on the phone James :)

  141. davedrastic says:

    Vettel cocked it up, surely that is no longer in question. By doing so Vettel showed his incompetence in overtaking. His gesticulations and protests after the incident show that he is arrogant, willing to attack his team mate in a verbal stoush, and has no real understanding of what is a reasonable overtaking maneuvre. In short he showed himself to be a rookie. A fast rookie with talent, sure, but a rookie none the less.

    Red Bulls reaction, by doing anything other than laying the blame squarely on Vettel indicates that there were other factors that the public aren’t aware of and/or aren’t considering, to which I would say are largely irrelevant as the key factor was the clumsiness and inappropriateness of the overtaking move and nothing else, and that Red Bull will readily sacrifice Webbers reputation over that of Vettel.

    So in my mind it’s settled. Vettel cocked up, he can’t overtake, he’s a spoilt, favoured brat that has lost my respect. Red Bull favour Vettel and were probably engineering his pass, although it will be impossible for this to be confirmed unless a whistleblower within the team comes forward, but even without that proof we now know that they lack integrity if only for the fact that they’re completely willing to besmirch Webbers reputation in order to protect that of their chosen one, Vettel.

    It stinks and is a real turn off for the sport, in my opinion more so than the Schumacher-Barricello / Coulthard-Hakkinen let throughs of the past although clearly less overt.

  142. Brian says:

    If RBR starts giving Mark a crap car when SV is winning, I hope that Mark will bin the crap out of it every race, preferably while being lapped by SV.

  143. chris green says:

    James – another nice piece. Great quote from Ann. As a spectator I only get a limited view on the workings of F1. I rely on insiders to give me a better understanding – not just the spin.

    Things I’ve noticed over the last few seasons at RB:

    Vettel is obviously the teams golden boy. Whenever Weber does well Horner gives a perfunctory statement and then proceeds to wax lyrical about Vettel. Take Turkey practise as an example. Weber had 2 issues. A blown engine and a throttle sensor problem. His rear wing was only bolted on the car before quali. Yet he still got pole with less set up time on the car. Yet Horner keeps banging on about how Vettel should have got pole. I think that it is also possible that Vettel is harder on the car than Weber and that might explain why Vettel has had a few more problems than Weber.

    Maybe it is because Vettel is young and RB are verbally more supportive of Vettel as opposed
    to Weber. But I always come away thinking that there is more to it than that.

    People need to remember that Weber led Vettel for a fair bit of the championship last year even though Mark was recovering from a serious injury. It was a massive achievement.
    I think Vettel is panicking about Weber’s performances this year. Weber was clearly on a roll leading up to Turkey. Vettel needed to upset Mark’s rhythm. Has the Turkey incident achieved that? Only time will tell. Mark was clearly pissed off in the post race conference. Hopefully Mark can regather.
    I’m disappointed that Vettel didn’t accept any responsibility for the incident. I agree with Martin Whitmarsh. What’s with the hugs and kisses!
    Red Bull’s spin is not as good as some. On a couple of ocassions it has taken some time to get the story straight. (Remember the spark plug?) Their arguments on the Turkey issue don’t make sense. It’s a kind of circular argument. They say “Hamilton is catching Vettel so Mark needs to let Vettel through.” Think about that. We want to sacrifice our leader to save second place. Doesn’t make sense. Are RB saying they think Vettel 1st – Hamilton 2nd – Weber 3rd is better than Weber 1st – Vettel – 2nd – Hamilton 3rd. If so I think we need an explanation but I won’t hold my breath waiting. RB then say the driver’s need to think about the good of the team. I think the subtext is; they mean Vettel’s team.

    Are Red Bull concerned that Vettel will jump ship if they can’t give him a championship?

  144. scott says:

    I think the race incident wasn’t the only interesting Webber/Vettel/Red Bull occurence in Turkey.

    Mark seemed upset (subtly) during the post-quali presss conference when asked about the reasons for he/vettel switching their pit/running order during the final qualifying session. If I recall correctly he said that he should have been running last (favoured spot), but the team send him out first.

    More evidence? Or just a conspiracy theory?

  145. Vic says:

    Hi James

    Could it be that RBR are indirectly favouring Vettel because they see him as a long term prospect and don’t want to lose him to the likes of Ferrari, McLaren or Mercedes in the future?


  146. Colm says:

    250 comments says it all – My I be the 251st to say RB have really put their foot in it.

  147. Carlos Eduardo Del Valle says:

    I think Malaysia is not receiving the credit it deserves. Webber was on pole, and Vettel did a bold move at the start, stealing Webber’s victory. Webber was very respectful at that time, not only during that first turn but also after the race.
    But this time in Turkey, we can see that he has not forgotten that Malaysia race.
    After this Red Bull nonsense, I wish Mark wins the championship, just to see “Puppet” Horner’s face.

  148. Tim says:

    Anyone else think that Vettel tried to take webber out after the crash/when he stops spinning – did not look like he tried too hard to avoid him when he knew he was out…. and the striking similarity with his early move in the race on Hamilton, and the move in the pits in china…all pretty blatant.

    Sad thing is I reckon Webber will be on the move next year, but oh how sweet it would be if he won the championship… finally F1 returns to the gladiatorial days again.

  149. sinisha says:

    I think Mark need a new sticker for his helmet.
    Something like “RED BULL CLIPS YOUR WINGS”

  150. Owen Li says:

    Seb,an unexperienced baby.Mark,a stubborn defencer.Remember German GP what Mark did on Rubens and Brazilian GP what Mark did on Kimi last year.
    In my opinion,it is up to the driver who is behind to avoid contacts.
    Although Seb was absolutely to blame. Mark was to blame,too.

  151. Guru F1 says:

    I think all the pundits are making too much of this. It was a pure racing incident- Vettel himself said that he lost control of the car being on the dirty side.
    The RBs have been designed to the limit with the downforce- as Vettel surged ahead the dirty air from Weber’s front wings pulls him right in.
    Weber should have created more room or backed off to the right especially since it was another RB car trying to pass. Weber is known for making it tough for anyone to pass- though he should not have done it to another teammate. He could have easily overtaken in the next turn by reving up again.
    If RB indeed favored Vettel then he would have been 50 points ahead and not trailing Weber. Weber is what he is because of Red Bull racing.

    1. Adaniel says:

      You make a lot of sense here and I only disagree on a couple of points.

      Is he supposed to make it easy for a teammate to pass?
      Thats the part of RBR stance I don’t really understand! He did not make it impossible and he did not deviate from his line. The team seem to be blaming Webber for the lack of space, when it was Vettel that created the lack of space by trying to overtake on the inside. I just don’t get it!

      I guess Webber made it easy for his team mate to pass at Malaysia and everyone was happy, except for Webber that is. I wonder if he nievely thought his teammate wouldn’t take advantage of him while he was covering Hamilton – foolish.

      The second part I don’t agree with is:
      “He could have easily overtaken in the next turn by reving up again.” – Are you watching the same races we are? There is no “easy” overtaking!

    2. Alexis says:

      That would infer Webber should have been aware Vettel was going to swerve into the side of him.

      And why should he back off? Vettel would have been in front of him a second later anyway (if he’d kept it straight). You mean he should have slowed down the exact moment he saw Vettel to his left? Not exactly racing is it.

      This means you would also have expected Hamilton to yield as soon as he saw Button beside him, and vice-versa.

    3. neil m says:

      except the video shows he lost control after turning in to Mark. His ‘explanation’ is an ‘accidental contact’ but all can see Vettels car turn across Webber while his rear wheel is still behind Webbers front wheel.

      Vettel should not have moved over so early while they were so close. Mark was trying to move away as Vettel hit him.

    4. ScottScott says:

      Cant really agree with you Guru F1.

      Vettel himself said that he lost control of the car being on the dirty side.
      I if he did lost control, won’t it be his fault?

      Weber should have created more room or backed off to the right especially since it was another RB car trying to pass.
      So Vettel is allowed to race but not Webber?

      Weber is known for making it tough for anyone to pass- though he should not have done it to another teammate. He could have easily overtaken in the next turn by reving up again.
      Next time when I see Webber, I’ll ask him to make it easier for everyone to overtake him.

      If RB indeed favored Vettel then he would have been 50 points ahead and not trailing Weber.
      Are you serious with this comment?
      Are you saying that RBR is the one giving out points like a teacher in classroom?
      Webber got more points before he raced for them!

      Weber is what he is because of Red Bull racing.
      Drivers play a major part when designing and setting a car and Webber contributed immensely in making the cars that RBR have now before Vettel came in.
      Yes, Webber is what he is because of RBR but RBR is what it is now because of Webber!

  152. AndoNeo says:

    If you feel Red Bull isn’t being fair on Webber, let’s let them know how much we support him by joining the facebook group – I used to support Red Bull Racing…Now just Mark Webber

  153. F1 Kitteh says:

    So is that a rhetorical question?

  154. emt training says:

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  155. RIDER says:

    IF Red Bull now favours Vettel and gives him the best equipment, I hope Mark can win the WDC and take the number one to another team.

    That would be justice.

  156. Kenny says:

    Interesting video on the RBR website, with Webber talking about the incident and his thoughts.

    Should be a video of Vettel apologising instead!

  157. cheers says:

    Go easy on Horner, put yourself in his shoes. The real question is whether these marketing franchise dollar teams like Ferrari and RedBull belong in F1. Racing teams with sponsors are in it for the long haul because it is their living and they are what F1 needs at its core. These others will come and go, except for Ferrari where their whole existence is embedded in it with unique cars and so many tifosi buying branded clothes and toys. I suppose sponsors want their champions too but even Germans got sick of Schumacher and Germans get really hooked up on the concept of honor. Less so boorish Austrians it seems.

  158. Nick says:

    If fuel was so critical, and they were all cutting it so fine, how come the Red Bulls and Maclarens didn’t all run out of fuel on the slow down lap after the chequered flag?

  159. Anthony Woolford says:

    Hi James,
    Just an aside, Mark’s partner’s name is Ann Neal, not Neil. Easy mistake.
    Personal note – cannot consider any F1 weekend complete without reading your comments.
    Kind regards
    Euroa, Victoria

  160. brett says:

    Hi James,

    Great article. I have always found your articles very insightful.

    I am curious as to your views as to Mark’s interview on Red Bull Racing’s own website. I thought Mark was very diplomatic about things, and that his responses were well considered and said with a view to put the events in the past and hoping to move on. I think it says a lot about his maturity, and is stronger for what it doesn’t say or the questions that were not presumably put to him.

    I acknowledge that this being on Red Bull’s own website means that it would never paint the team or Seb in a negative light, and that Red Bull minders would have been in attendance.

    P.S. For others, the video is http://www.redbull.com/cs/Satellite/en_INT/Video/Webber-after-the-crash-with-Vettel-021242855170930

  161. Jake Pattison says:

    It seems the chances of Webber driving for RBR again next year are getting slimmer by the day. Surely Mark’s ratings have gone through the roof in the last 3 races, and he would have no problem negotiating a good drive somewhere else, preferably to a team that will actually SUPPORT him (are you reading this Horner?).

    The rumour of a Ferrari drive are tantalising but they seem keen to retain Massa at the moment (however, we all know about Ferrari and their last minute changes).

    I doubt McLaren would be in a hurry to change their driver line up (but if they did it would be to drop Button). So this leave Mercedes next on the list. Maybe a Webber/Schumi lineup next year? Although I would prefer to see Webber as the No.1 driver in a team.

  162. ExC says:

    First of all. Sorry with my english I will do my best. To the question, I think the answer is no. Horner miscalculated the emotional factor of their drivers to permit the maneouvre but I think is well conceived. Webber was slower than his team mate for two reasons: 1) Not good tire stint 2) He needed to save fuel
    Vettel did not have that problems and therefore he was quicker, but Hamilton at their back was a big menace for two RB, especially with the F-Duct. If Lewis could overtake the german, possibly could be easier with the aussie. Instead of that is more logical at least to guarantee one position: the man with the faster car. He tried to minimize damages. They probably hoped that Marc could save enough fuel to defend himself from Hamilton’s attacks.
    The “curious” thing is that McLaren team did the same, but even with no reason for that, and I think Hamilton touched Button’s car and now they say they are “sensible drivers”.

    1. Frankie says:

      This logic does not stand up to scrutiny. If Vettel could not defend himself from Hamilton, what chance is there for Webber to defend himself from Hamilton? There is just no logic in this if it’s that much of a problem. Vettel gets a 0.5 second gap for one lap and is soon back in an even worse position with Hamilton and Button having made easy meat of Webber and back chewing on his gearbox. The extra fuel Vettel had amounted to about 0.3 seconds worth, less with having to get past Webber unless you are implying he should just pull over?

      Unless this is the lame excuses for the year poll, I can’t really understand why it is being brought up?

  163. Ted Idlof says:

    RBR has been shooting themselves in the foot up til now. Looks like Sunday was a bullet to the head. Amazing how the human and emotional elements can negate the awesome dominence that the best engineering and raw driver skills should produce.

  164. nambo says:

    From a marketing perspective, wouldn’t the fact that a good driver in previously uncompetitive machinery and coming off a badly broken leg last season, now winning handsomely be vindication of Red Bull giving you wings?

    Ah but no. We want to get behind a frat boy with an entitlement mentality who has not had to serve the apprenticeship that Webber has had to.

    Mark Webber, Red bull clips your wings….

  165. anthony says:


  166. kowalsky says:

    what herbert has to say about it? i guess a racing incident. He has been very quiet about the hole thing.

  167. Steve Smith says:

    I agree with other comments that this has really damaged RBR’s image – and image is a huge thing in F1.RBR have handled the whole situation very badly. The only person who can hold his head high in this whole affair is Mark Webber. He handled himself brilliantly in the post-race press conference.

  168. Steve Smith says:

    Compare the two driver’s maturity: Webber knew he’d stuffed up in Malaysia. He dug deep and has turned a negative into a positive to drive his motivation. Vettel can’t handle the pressure he is under and behaves like a spoilt child.

  169. JohnBt says:


    Surely it won’t be made public.

    Ans: YES

  170. JohnBt says:

    Oh, one more thing.

    IMO the racing incident, it’s a 50-50.

  171. CD says:

    Martin Brundle:

    “The team can’t expect Webber to score three consecutive dominant pole positions and wipe the floor with all comers, including his team-mate, in the previous two races in Spain and Monaco and then suddenly turn all passive the first time Vettel makes a move on him.

    If Webber had lifted or moved over he may as well have just handed the world championship trophy to his team-mate and headed back to Australia”.

    ….couldn’t have put it better myself.

  172. monktonnik says:

    Well I think Vettel carries the can for this one.

    Webber positioned his car to force Vettel to either pass on the outside, or try a risky pass off line on the inside. He was perfectly entitled to do that, and even left enough room for Vettel to go up the inside. You really can’t say fairer than that, particularly in the era of no team orders.

    Seb chose to go down the inside and Webber defended. He lost control and span. If this was a pass against a different car we would all be saying (including the management) that he should have tried the outside or waited until the main straight. To blame Webber or insinuate that he wasn’t playing the team game is very poor man management. They could easily have been non-commital and done this in private ala Brawn GP last year.

  173. antony says:

    The only think you can guarantee is that two team mates fighting each other and dominating the media talk will only allow Jenson or Lewis to beat them both.

    JB & LH also have the advantage that they are both such different drivers they can both improve by watching each other and not feel they are a lessor driver than the other.

    Red Bull are in real trouble, Vettel is flawed as a driver and Webber is at exactly the right age, reflexes are still strong but he has the temperament and the strength of character from years of racing.

    Horners route through this will likely make or break his own career.

  174. MacG says:

    I really liked Vettel when he started in F1. He showed potential and he brought charm and humour to the pitlane.

    When Mark won a few races back, Seb was all very nice about things and congratulated Mark. Noticed, in the last couple of races, that Seb has been far more reserved towards Mark . . . . and I thought the less of Seb for that. He’s let himself down.

    Now, after Sunday, he’s looking like a bitter and twisted little kid and Red Bull are looking deceitful. Their fun loving image is being replaced by an odious corporate monster and it is doing them no good at all.

    You are driving along a dual carriageway in the right hand lane. A car comes along in the left hand lane and then moves across to take your lane . . . and it is your fault that you don’t move out the way to let the other car pass? Ridiculous. Truly ridiculous.

    Vettel should have been pulled up by the marshals for causing an avoidable accident.

    Shame on Seb.

    Shame on Red Bull.

    Complete and utter Red Bullshit.

    Perhaps James’ observation (made a few weeks ago) that Ferrari might be interested in Mark is well founded.

  175. Madhu says:

    All this is good news for kimi!

  176. MartinWR says:

    As usual there is a huge amount of nonsense being aired on this subject.

    Firstly, it’s difficult to be sure who is the better of the two, Seb or Mark, because we never know for sure how much the team is interfering in their performance in order to stage manage the race result. My guess is that Seb is probably faster, but that’s no more than a guess.

    No team should be able to invent the race result, although many continue to try to do just that. However, one thing they have absolutely every right to do is to expect their drivers to keep clear of each other and not to collide. From that point of view it’s clear that, in trying to prevent his faster team mate take the lead, Mark contrived a situation that led to a collision. He didn’t allow some space to pass, so desperate was he to win. To say that Seb should not have challenged for the lead is risible. He simply should have been allowed some room and he wasn’t.

    Remember that when it comes to erratic driving and taking out other racers, Mark has previous just as much as his team mate. An angel? No way.

  177. Joe Consiglio says:

    Before this incident I had a lot of admiration for Red Bull and what they’ve achieved in their short history. However the way Horner and the Red Bull big wigs have come out and blamed Webber for the crash is disgusting.

    Any clear thinking motor racing fan will tell you Vettel made two rookie mistakes which led to the collision. The first was to go for that ridiculously tight inside line. Once he found himself there, he realised he was in a virtually impossible position and would be unlikely to make the corner (being on the dirty side with an extremely tight line). His 2nd mistake was then trying to artificially generate more space by turning right with his car only half a length in front. I don’t buy into this “bump” business, if the track was so treacherous on the inside, don’t put your car there… simple. It’s not a question of Webber not leaving him enough room either. Mark put his car on the inside very early and in doing so sent the message to Vettel, “Look mate I’m holding the inside, try pass me on the outside if you can”. Webber must have been as surprised as anyone when Seb went for the car’s width space he’d left on the inside. To put your car in that position when approaching the braking zone of 60kph corner was optimistic to say the least. It was a desperate move from a driver lacking experience in wheel to wheel combat.

    Webber was 100% correct in the way he conducted himself on track. Like Martin Brundle said if Webber had just jumped out of the way it would have been as good as handing Vettel the championship on a silver plate. Both Vettel and Red Bull in general have gone down a few notches in my estimation… I hope Webber fights the powers that be and keeps sticking it on pole for the rest of the season!

    1. Adaniel says:

      Agree 100%.
      Think Webber said post race that he was surprised Vettel came down inside.

  178. max says:

    i think he is favoured, but it brings up the same question again,

    Can vettel over take?

    He leads and wins races, but never pulls off a charge…

  179. Matthew says:

    Copied and pasted my comment from the RBR website after watching the Mark Webber interview video:

    Disgraceful, why on earth has Mark been asked to record this video?

    The only videos on here should be Vettel apologising to Webber and the Red Bull team for causing a completely avoidable crash, and Christian Horner apologising to Webber for trying to pass the blame onto him.

    This has backfired badly on you Red Bull. I would LOVE it if Vettel screws the rest of his season up now. I was a fan of the guy before Sunday, but now one realises the extent of the bias he has within the team it leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

    The whole ‘Red Bull Racing spirit’ seems to be nothing more than a front for a very rich guy trying to get his ‘blue eyed boy’ to a championship win that at the moment, he doesn’t deserve.

    Good luck Mark, I think you may need it. Hold your head up high with the knowledge that 95% of F1 fans are behind you and I hope your current form continues. When you’ve won the DRIVERS championship, let’s see you in a Ferrari next year and Red Bull can employ some other sucker to let Vettel past.

  180. F1 Fan says:

    Hello Everyone, I just wanted to say as a Mark Webber fan and an Australian it fills me with pride to see how the motorsport community have rallied behind MW after this incident.

    Mark has received more positive feedback in a single day than in the sum of his career. Australian drivers generally dont make it to the top level of motorsport, mainly due to the lack of corporate support, so for Mark to have firstly made it to F1 and secondly survised in F1 in a true reflection of his immense talent.

    RBR have completely mismanaged this situation and have shown the world what we already knew, that both drivers are not treated equally.

  181. Ginger says:


    I believe that he is the favoured son and it is something that you have alluded to before when the contracts were renewed.

    I suppose that they have invested money via the young driver programme and also Webber is older and not as blonde!

    I love F1!!!

  182. Stevie P says:

    Why is it such a shock to everyone that Vettel is RBR’s favourite son?

    Since he won in Monza (Torro Rosso) he has been portrayed as the next F1 champ in waiting; Red Bull are eager to make him champion within their team (to make good on their investment) and if they can, then keep hold of him. He is their future and will be around for several years to come. Sorry to say, but Webber won’t be – not because of his ability, but due to his age (and I’m not being age-ist! I’m older than most of ‘em).

    I’m sure at Lotus, for example, they see Trulli as a good tester of cars, with lots of experience to help them develop the car over the next 2 to 3 seasons… but they see Kovi as the man to stay with them beyond that time period – Kovi will grow with the team and I see Vettel in the same light at RBR.

    Other teams favour drivers, regardless of what actually comes out of the mouths of the team bosses et al – Renault are favouring Kubica! And in their position I’d do the same.

    Some don’t at all.

    Some are prepared to wait ’til later in the season (when the positions in the drivers championship are more set) to make a decision over who leads etc. Ferrari spring to mind (only in recent seasons), although behind closed doors they may have different ideas on this ;-)

    Re: RBR – I have noticed that Vettel (pretty much) always pits first during the races – he who pits first this season has an adavantage[although some keen stats-person is now going to come back with the exact figures to show me I'm wrong on that statement ;-)]. Wasn’t Webber’s race in Aus totally compromised by pitting after Vettel?

    As for the RB’s coming together in Turkey… Webber was not in the wrong; Vettel tried to regain as much of the true racing line as possible, way too early.

    I’m not sure what Vettel’s “pointing at his head and waggling his finger about” gesture meant, but if someone did that to me… I’d take it as if they were insinuating that I was mad\insane.

    Some tough team-talks in the RB camp this week, me thinks! :-)

  183. Phil says:

    I am with the 85% who think seb stuffed up, but we are all getting a little carried away with the conspiricy theories.
    1 – A straight forward explaination for the qualifiing swap COULD be realated to Sebs crew looking for a problem after his first q3 lap. Red Bull would’ve looked stupid if they held Mark on the principle of their running order and then not had track position or time to finish start the lap!
    2 – I think generally RedBull would prefer that Seb won but as others have pointed out there isn’t much they can do if Mark keeps getting better results. Webber’s crew would not buy into undermining Mark’s efforts.
    It is a shame that Redbull appear to be happy blame Mark for this. If the car positions were reversed, Red bull would be absolutely furious with the guy on the inside! I can imagine Dr Marko blaming Webber no matter which car he was driving. Having said that, I think he thinks Vettel was about to get past and drive off into the distance. Thankfully his beliefs are not important.

  184. fang says:

    I have seen Vettel threaten a swerve on several occasions now. Previously it has worked well, but on this occasion he showed his inexperience by attempting the same threat whilst the cars were too close. He gave Webber no chance to react and in effect caused an avoidable accident. If he had done this against anyone else other than his team mate he would have a ten slot grid penalty for the next race.

  185. Mike says:

    James, Horner & Marko keep pushing that Vettel, by slipstreaming, had saved a “kilogram” of fuel and as such did not need to go into fuel saving mode. Since a kilogram of fuel aprrox 1.4 litres, my queston is how far that would take Vettal’s car? Certainly not one lap by my calulation, more likely less than half a lap. Then why weren’t both drivers told to turn down their engines on the same lap?
    I think we all know why!

  186. Scotty says:

    Well this race, beyond anything I’ve seen over the last few years (spygate, liegate, crashgate, etc) has depressed me and made me question why I bother watching F1.

    I’m not naive enough to believe that team orders don’t exist, but if team mates are not allowed to fairly defend their position, or properly race against each other (and remember, at least 2 teams demonstrated this over the Turkey weekend) then whats the point? If drivers are supposed to just pull over and let someone past without even attempting to make it difficult for them, then where exactly is the racing? The sport?

    Why should Mark have to move off his line to let Vettel past? Why should the championship leader have to give up his spot for an impetuous upstart who can’t even make an overtaking move stick? Frankly if Webber HAD moved over, then team orders would have blatantly been in play, and there would have been calls for an investigation!

    As for McLaren, whilst it looked great on the track, the Button move against Hamilton was down to “miscommunication”? So that means Button wasn’t meant to (try to) overtake and went against “team orders” and was then reigned back in by the team??

    I’d also ask exactly what remote mechanical changes a team can make to slow a car down? Can they turn the revs down or change the fuel mix remotely and therefore affect the performance of one car in comparison to another? Or do the drivers have to make these changes (as advised by the team, who may have their own agenda)?

    AND! (yes, I’m on a rant, sorry!) effectively 2 front running teams have openly admitted to having team orders during a race! So are they banned or not?!

    1. anthony says:


      Nothing wrong with Mclaren telling Button and Hamilton to stay where they were with only 15 laps to go, particularly after seeing what had happened to RBR.

      JB and LH have gone toe to toe this year and will continue to do so until only one can win the title.

  187. Francisco says:

    By the time I have arrived to the article there are already 342 comments. James as you said in the past you need “a bigger boat” already to cope with this. I could not get through until this morning.

    Very well written article, I do appreciate when you share the “insight” of the circus.
    The most revealing bit has to be Ann Neal reply’s. That issue along speaks volumes about the team, the rest is just PR.
    In my mind there is a BEFORE and an AFTER, the management is guilty here, not SV. He should be told off straight away, end of history!

    Monaco 2007 comes to my mind, LH should had a repriment from the Management to use all his engine revs against team instructions to fight against Alonso. Management was the culprit not LH. He made such a fuss that Alonso’s family felt no longer welcome in McLaren. We had been told that from day on they started watching the GPs at Renault.

  188. Jorge says:

    Teams seem to think that only young guns are worth the support.
    Mark’s performances and reflection/regrouping capabilities makes me remember of Nigel Mansell, who was 39 when he won his championship. The way he handles media and puts his team in first shows how that true gentlemanship and awsome driving skills can carry side by side.
    Vettel should begin to learn before wanting to lead. If he is humble enough to do it he will not need any back-office manoeuvres to open space.
    By the way: did you notice that Vettel, when steering into Webber, they haven’t even got to the 100m sign? F1 cars don’t need so much space to brake, do they?

  189. Nick says:

    James, is there a way to get the post-race car weights, and deduce to what extent they (webber, Hamilton, Button) were short on fuel?

  190. F1 Novice says:

    The biggest winner out of this is our Bernie ! ;)

  191. Nando says:

    Have the stewards had something to say about this? Vettel has already been warned for turning right towards Hamilton this season. Seems to me the stewards will be all over the trivial matters but completely ignore ‘racing incidents’.

    1. Xiphias says:

      It certainly looked very similar to the Vettel-Hamilton incident, doesn’t it? Vettel pushed Hamilton right… in the pit lane that time !

  192. Frankie says:

    I am a little surprised the way Horner defers to Marko, but that is the way things are set up at Red Bull. There is little doubt Marko is totally biased towards Vettel, only natural given the conditions. I am not so sure Horner totally believes the Marko line, otherwise he would not have been asking the BBC team their opinion.

  193. Nikolai Currell says:

    Helmut needs to justify the funds that are provided to him for the young driver programme hence his backing of Vettel. Vettel appears a bit like Massa, very good with an open track from pole position but a little less so when starting from the pack.

  194. Bevan says:

    This Marko individual seems to be a very one eyed chap,”no”.Personally I think Webber should give this wee whipper snapper Seb a jolly good down under style tune up for endangering everyone eh,they were miles from the turn.

  195. Richard says:

    James, apart from this particular issue, where do you think Red Bull really stand on “team orders”, underneath their public pronouncements?

    I’ve always thought there’s a long continuum, with Ferrari and one end and Williams at the other, and McLaren saying they’re at the Williams end, but really being nearer to Ferrari. Where do you think Red Bull fits in?

  196. Ian Doran says:

    I think Vettel has a bit of growing up to do. It was clearly his fault. Mark Webber has been outstanding for Red Bull and I think the way that he has been treated by his own team since it happened has been appalling. Vettel has been spitting out the dummy for the past few races now. Just when things were getting great for the team as well. Vettel should apologise to MW and the whole RBR team for his unexplainable actions.

  197. Mr G says:

    I thought this year F1 was going to be boring !!!!
    The fight between Webber and Vettel reminds me of the Senna-Prost era and I don’t know if Christian Horner is better equipped than Ron Dennis.
    Vettel is the prodige of the F1 driver program at Red Bull, young, likeable, a dream of the PR machine.
    Webber is the old fighter, being in F1 for years, always fighting at the back of the grid and now, after hhis personal accident last year, able to fight for the Driver Championship Title.

    If Christian Horner will be able to cope with the pressure of the media, the main sponsor interest, the two camps inside the garage and most of all, the entourages of both drivers, only history will tell us.

    But if Horner has a little bit about himself, he will make sure that both drivers will have same treatment and all the fans will be able to see which driver will be able to shine and win.

    McLaren will be delighted to see this infight, I think, as previously posted in this blog, they will be able to close the gap fastest than anybody else on the grid and this situation will favour both Lewis and Jenson.

    At this stage only RBR will be able to loose the championship, the car is absolutely 2/3 tenth of a second faster than anybody else on the track in dry condition.

    I hope Christian Horner will think twice to ruin a brand like Red Bull just because he will not able to cope with this situation.

  198. Xiphias says:

    I think this incident and its aftermath is a blessing in disguise for Webber. It showed a few things to the world. From Marko and Horner initial comments, it was obvious that RB immediately put the blame on Webber, as if he was supposed to move over for Vettel as a matter of fact. It actually reads on Horner’s lips as he wtches it unfolding: “Common! Move!” Now that the team’s hierarchy allegedly has been exposed, RB certainly are going to go out of their way to show or prove the contrary, all to Webber’s benefit. It will be fascinating to observe how this newfound equality between drivers and this “forced” re-thinking of the team’s driver management plays out during the rest of the season.

    I just have one question: did Vettel’s lap times suddenly improve two laps before the incident? It certainly looks like it as a small gap between Vettel’s and Hamilton’s cars opened up during these few laps before the “@&# disaster”. It suggests that Vettel was informed by team radio that Webber had been given the order to switch to a fuel conservation mode. If it is the case, this would be further proof that Vettel was being favored since this info essentially meant: “Webber is slow. Go for it!”

  199. 100% Vettel at fault, the video and photographic evidence shows Webber never moved off his line, and Vettel squeezed back right far too early and caused the collision. The facebook page on the incident is rampantly building too. Mark had class

  200. JD says:

    Have a look at the video, it clearly shows that Vettel has his steering slightly towards the right before the collision suggesting that he was already moving his car to the right in anticipation that Webber would do the same given the next corner was a left hander which was by the way a bit far!

    However, very immature and naive on Vettel’s part to think that anyone would give space so easily!


  201. Duncan says:

    James, great column.

    I had begun to worry that with the number of columns and growth of he website that you ran the risk of diluting the high quality of your writing, but this entry put that fear to rest. You’ve been doing a great job of bringing the views from within the paddock out into the public sphere, and have done so with an admirably diplomatic, but honest tone. I salute your attempts to remain impartial when commenting on our very pointed questions, while still giving illuminating answers.

    Please don’t stop; and don’t change your approach, as it sets a very high journalistic standard rarely seen in contemporary media.

  202. Robert Powers says:

    The onus is on RBR to prove they can be a championship winner.Whenever they can achieve that lofty goal,I will then accept them as a true top team.MAYBE Red Bull can get one some day.Then we can say they have arrived.

    You could see this one coming since Webbull got on form,and it didn’t take long,just a couple races-and a vastly impatient move at that,looked desparate even.Vebbull showing faults and it isn’t even summer yet.

    We almost saw a Grand Prix with the two dominating teams removing themselves from competition.That would have been a true “turn up for the books”!Because I doubt it has ever happened-I could not believe my eyes.Jenson and Lewis did a good job,if a bit ill-advised.

  203. jay jacob says:

    I haven’t read all 421 comments, so if I’m repeating someone else’s view, my apologies.

    Consider this: not Vettel, but Alonso or Hamilton was in the exact same position and made the same mistake of turning in early… would we blame Webber for maintaining his racing line?

    Webber has every right to hold his racing line; Vettel took the risk and paid the price running on the dirty line; no guts, no glory..but don’t blame your decision on your team mate not giving room.

    Would Montoya, in Webber’s position, give room to Ralf ??

    As a fan, this is EXACTLY the duel between Senna & Prost, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!

    To JA, pls pls pls tell the racing world that, if teams force their drivers to ‘give room’, then we are no better than the times when Rubens moved over for Schumi,

  204. Dean Cassady says:

    Good analysis James.

    Seb Vettel already used all of his gentlemanly credit from the fair Mark Webber, when he passed him in the first corner a few races back, Vettel’s only victory of this season!
    It seems very strange ,indeed, of all the inexplicable support of Vettlel, coming from the Red Bull execs, Horner, and Marko, mainly, and the implicit suggestion by both, that Webber was ‘out of line’.
    This event is going from what could have been smoothed over as a ‘race incident’ then remediated behind the scenes, to a potential ‘team orders’ scandal.
    Horner is failing, more than anybody else! And Marko ought to just shut up! They’ve turned this into a potential disaster.
    Vettel, right from the crash was setting this up to be more than it should be, with the crazy gestures, as he walked away from the crash. Then the cuddling on th pitwall made my stomach turn; it is clear to most people here that Vettel cost the team 28 points!
    They have the car (Newey), and they have the hottest driver at this very moment (Webber), but they do not have the management.
    In Canada, we have a popular singer, who goes by K-Os, who sings, “…if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it…” Their driver is DEFINITELY not broken. So let’s say there WASa plan to promote the young blockhead, because it’s an Austrian team, etc., etc.; thought I think it unlikely, when the other guy steps up and becomes red hot, they are trying to fix it, and it is not broken.
    Don’t ‘fix it’ Red Bull, and you’ll have yourself a championship; you are doomed to fail if you start ‘fixing’ things.
    Red Bull, even if they halted development of the car, might be able to win both the drivers and constructors title, but they are currently, at this moment, blowing it!

    What is more, after the start pass of Vettel on Webber, and then the two ‘as dominating as the has ever been in Formula One’, victories by Webber, surrendering the lead in the manner that would have been necessary to prevent an accident in Turkey, would have been ending one’s world championship competition, nothing less!
    Let’s put this into the best perspective possible, what would have happened had the shoes been on the other respective feet; can anyone who has seen even half of the last 20 races believe that Sebastian Vettel would have ceded the lead to Mark Webber had their positions and circumstances been reversed? If one thinks Vettel would have given up his lead under those circumstances, one would be a combination of ignorant and dim.
    Vettel would NEVER give up position like that!

    Webber already let one go; at the time, I cringed to see it. But, I like Webber, tend to give the benefit of the doubt. But there is no doubt about Vettel; he has played out his driving morals between last seasons antics, and this event; he seems to expect privilage, assume right. Whenever we see people assuming right, like this, in Formula One, that always means a crash.
    If Webber does not win this year’s championship, I don’t expect that Red Bull will win either championship, and that is a shame; as mentioned before, they have the car and the driver, they should win.

  205. Hmmm… I think Webber was hung out to dry on this one. As much as I like Vettel he should have put up his hand and taken the blame – and the Team should have backed Mark as this would have been the right thing to do. Anytime a driver turns into another driver it is his fault. In this instance Mark clearly gave him space to pass and Seb did a right turn straight in to him. This could not have been more obvious and it is embarassing for Red Bull, and especially Marko, to not call it as it was. Vettel’s driver error – case closed.
    **Flying to Montreal tomorrow for the Grand Prix this weekend. Really looking forward to it as this will be my first “Home” Grand Prix.
    Keep up the excellent work James — my wife Jayne and I really miss your telecasts with Martin Brundle (who we love). Great chemistry & mutual respect between you two – it does not seem to be the same now with Martin’s new colleague.
    Tim Stanfield
    Kelowna, BC, Canada

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks. We are planning on visiting Kelowna in the summer. I hear it’s beautiful by the Lake.


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