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Marko: Where would Webber be without Red Bull?
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Marko: Where would Webber be without Red Bull?
Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Jul 2010   |  5:23 pm GMT  |  273 comments

After calming words from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner to attempt to end the row over preferential treatment between drivers, Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko has weighed in today, saying that Webber needs to remember that he was no-where before Red Bull gave him a competitive car.

Webber with Marko


In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, Marko says that Webber should not believe that the team favours Vettel, as it is always Vettel’s car which breaks.

“If Mark imagines there’s a conspiracy between us and Vettel against him, then he is on the wrong track,” Marko said. “If I was Vettel then I would have suspected the opposite. Which car has permanently had something damaged?

“Did Mark have the defective spark plug in Bahrain, the loose wheel in Australia, the broken brake disc in Barcelona, the defective chassis in Monte Carlo, the transmission problems in Montreal and now the broken wing at Silverstone?”

“Mark is having a great season, and has also improved big time, but he should not forget that he owes much of this to the team. Where was he two years ago?

“Then he could not even dream of grand prix victories. Today, we have given him a car that he can win on his own.”

Marko’s comments probably reflect the feeling inside the senior echelons of the team. They probably have their opinions of Webber’s ability level and he is surpassing them this season, as we have seen in the past with drivers who suddenly get their hands on a competitive car after years of toiling.

But the point is that a team needs its drivers to deliver and if one of them isn’t, then it’s crucial that the other one does. There was nothing stopping Vettel winning the British Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday. But he didn’t manage it and Webber did.

Webber has nothing to lose here from taking the stance he has. Unlike Barrichello or Coulthard at the time when they were getting the number two treatment from Ferrari and McLaren respectively, Webber is not thinking about his future and so he fees free to speak out.

He has signed for one more year in 2011 and is likely to retire at the end of that, to go out at the top rather than carry on. This is just my impression based on an interview we did for Australian TV in Montreal, where he spoke about deliberations on whether to carry on or not.

In Germany there is a feeling that Flavio Briatore may have a hand in this, Webber’s erstwhile manager until he was banned from motor sport involvement until the end of 2012 over the Singapore race fixing scandal.

Briatore has been in the paddock recently in the company of Bernie Ecclestone, with whom many believe he will start working. According to some German opinions, he may have advised Webber to play hardball in public.

The only thing about that is that he is close to Ecclestone and Ecclestone is very close to Vettel and wants the youngster to succeed. This row is not good for Vettel. And if it’s not good for Vettel then it’s unlikely to make Ecclestone happy.

But there does seem to be a steeliness about Webber lately and he has been quoting other things “Flav” has been saying to him, so it’s possible there is something in it.

Either way, it will be interesting to see whether Marko’s intervention today changes things again.

* You can hear a discussion on this subject and other matters of the moment in a 2 hour Formula 1 special radio show on TalkSport tomorrow Saturday 17 July from 12-2pm.

I’m hosting the programme (the first time I’ve hosted a radio show (!) together with Eddie Irvine. Should be interesting. To listen go to 1089 Medium wave in the UK or www.talksport.net elsewhere in the world.

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273 Comments
  1. Ginger says:

    I like Vettal but he is being made to look bad by all this and aussiegrit’s stock is growing daily.

    If the McLaren boys don’t win then I would be happy to see Mark win the WDC.

    Think he was about 14-1 at the start of the season, I knew that was a good bet at the time but didn’t bother, no worries…

    1. Tim says:

      What interests me is how Marko is making excuses for sebs performances, and then states that webber is over performing – that says it all about markos mindset

      1. momo 10 says:

        Interesting contradiction isn’t it?
        By the way, Marko says that they have given Webber a winning car.
        My questions to Marko are: Is not that what you are suppose to do anyway? Is not that the scope of entering TWO racing cars into a the most prestigious car racing championship? Or is his mindset so disturbed and his judgement so clouded that he’d rather have only one winning car and the other making up the grid numbers.
        I wonder where he got his Doctorate from, he is not the smartest tool in the shed when it comes to handling the media.

      2. Henry says:

        yes. to everything. However great his racing credentials are, and he does have some alright credentials; he has no idea about PR. and since F1 is essentially a huge PR / advertising exercise for Red Bull, he cannot make blunders like these without alienating so much of the support that Red Bull had at the beginning of this season. He clearly expects Vettel to be best. Ha cannot accept that experience, and race craft come with an older driver. Drivers do not spend much time in the sport unless they really are pretty damn good. Think how many come and go, making little impression. he wants his german wunderkid to blast the field. Lets hope for the sport sake that Webber keeps doing so brilliantly.

      3. BreezyRacer says:

        If Vettel was really as good as Marko thinks he is then why is it Vettel couldn’t have “maned up” and overcome that wing problem instead of pilfering Webber’s car for a new one?

        Reality check : They all know Vettel is no better than Webber and his racecraft is far inferior, but Vettel is the horse they want to ride because his spots look better.

      4. Immi1974uk says:

        I agree,

        Has Seb been unlucky? Possibly but not in the grand scheme of F1. He has been given strong cars/team from the start of his career. Ferrari engined and head team designed. Some would say that many of the faults could have come from how he drives the car.

        Web has had rubbish cars and consistently out performed both them and his team mates for many years. What he is showing now is his talent and speed that has always been there.

        People forget what a huge accident he had before last season and that definitely held him back. Last year we saw TrueGrit, this year we are seeing TrueWebber and long may it rain!

    2. BiggusJimmus says:

      Hmm. I’m with Mark in all this, but Marko does have a point. It’s a team sport after all, and it will do Mark no good to offend the team leadership, right or wrong that they may be. It’s a political game.

      1. L. Sola says:

        The real question is , where would Red Bull be without Mark Webber.

        Undoubtedly , Mark’s input over the last few seasons has to be the reason the whole team pushed so hard to get where they are today , at the top of the game.

        Win the championship Mark , then let the team implode around Vettel.

  2. Wanon says:

    Where was Webber before he ‘suddenly’ got his hands on a competitive car?

    Toiling away at Red Bull in an uncompetitive car to help you get to where you are today.

    Where was Sebastian Vettel?

    Helmut, you are a disaster. Where would you be without Webber’s hard work over the last four years? I still can’t believe he’s thinking Seb’s spark plugs were sabotaged in the first race of the season…

    1. Elsa says:

      How true. Mark my words: Mark will be WC this year.

      1. Aussie Fan says:

        I agree totally with your sentiments. Marko has gone & shot Red Bull in the foot AGAIN! What a clown, why is this guy part of the team?

      2. Frenchie says:

        As much as I support Mark, I don’t think he is the one who has helped RBR becoming a top team. He’s done better than Coulthard and Klein for sure but credit goes to Horner and especially Newey, without any doubt.

        Mark is a good driver but he is no Schumacher of the late 90′s early 00′s. HE and Vettel are just as lucky as Lewis, Jenson and Fernando in their championship years (or Kimi in 03 and 05 if they don’t win it this year).

      3. Marybeth says:

        Marko & Horner are doing exactly what Mateschitz bids, or they would not be there. Kimi is back in the news this week about going back to rallying, something about keeping his RB contract & then maybe in 2012…? After resigning Mark to 2011 a few weeks ago, Christian Horner very plainly stated that they never really wanted Kimi. That they want Buemi. I believe that in this instance, at least, Horner was telling the truth.
        I believe that Red Bull is stringing Kimi along to not have to compete against him, similar to Ferrari paying him $17 to 20 million to not race against them this year. At least Ferrari gave him one good year with a championship & paid him $40 million before they made him their 2nd driver for 2 years and then pushed him out. It must be an odd feeling, to be such an excellent racer that no one wants to compete against you and will stoop to such dirty tactics to have their own selfish way. ‘There is no way Seb could compete against Kimi on a level playing field and win, so we get rid of Kimi as competition. We pay him to run in Rally instead.’ Kimi is 30 and these are the few vital years of his career to put up numbers and both Ferrari & RB are trying to pay him to sit them out! There will be another excuse next year! Just ask Dale Jr.!
        Tell them all to take a flyer, Kimi!!! These years can’t be replaced! The sheer joy of it, winning or not, can never be replaced, just ask Michael. Not only is RB consistently sticking it to Mark every race to hobble him against Seb, they are also, & at the same time consistently sticking it to Kimi every race to hobble him against Seb!!! All Kimi should do is say that he will take whoever has the most competitive seat, & sit back. :)

      4. Tommy K. says:

        Frenchie, come on now, seriously. MSC’s Ferrari in the early 00′s was a lot faster than all other cars. Actually it’s a disgrace that schumi even lost races to other drivers back then!!! All drivers depend on the superiority of the car to win titles. Schumi is no exception. That’s why it’s a team sport! it’s not track and field athletics….

      5. Mark Hitchcock says:

        Whether he helped improve the car or not, the point is that Webber didn’t turn up at Red Bull when they got a competitive car, he was there already. He’s been with the team for a while now and he was loyal to them when their car was rubbish.
        Helmut is repaying that loyalty by slagging him off.
        And they wonder where the favouritism comments come from.

      6. For Sure says:

        @Tommy K
        Sorry for the off-topic. How do you know it’s “The Car” and how do you back that up?
        We are talking about a guy who won races in 90s in a rubbish Ferrari and sometime who went a few seconds faster in an inferior machinery, eg.. Barcelona 96.

    2. Knuckles says:

      I am surprised that someone could get the impression that Marko thinks Vettel’s spark plug was sabotaged. It’s clearly not what he meant.

    3. Andy W says:

      I just don’t know what Marko is hoping to achieve with releasing such a combative statement, all these kind of statements do is harm his reputation, the teams and Vettel’s (who is probably innocent in all of this).

      These kind of back room games and snide comments don’t work in the real world because normal people just smell BS and stop listening, so any relevant points that he might make are ignored.

      I suspect this will just further anger Webber and increase the tension between the two drivers and their respective crews. Up until Turkey both drivers seemed to have mutual respect and a certain amount of friendship, since then it seems to have become increasingly fractious. Yes the media play this up (thats part of the world and sport) but the team management seem to have been constantly stirring the pot whilst throwing meat to the press…

      If Christian Horner decided to take the wing of Marks car and put it onto Seb’s (for whatever reason) then he is making a management call… to do it and to not talk to Webber (and I suppose Seb) is a different call and one that I feel paints Christian in a very bad light and makes me question if he has any man management skills what so ever as this was obviously going to blow up in his face badly!

  3. Horner's Vet Helmut says:

    The other thing that isn’t good for Vettel’s image is that I haven’t seen him smile for about two years. When he first broke into F1, he seemed a happy go lucky chap and his sense of humour was often a talking point.

    James, is the British media deliberately portraying this image of him i.e. only picking out surly, moody photo’s, or has he become a bit withdrawn and serious after two years of fighting for the WDC at such a young age.

    It seems to me that there may be a chink in his armour and the pressure of expectation is getting to him.

    1. James Allen says:

      No, he is a great bloke, still very smiley around the paddock, except on days when things go wrong obviously. He’s able to switch from light to serious very easily. He’s a very balanced human being, I find. But once he gets in the car and the switch goes on in his head, he becomes ultra competitive.

      1. James, if i could ask. Who would YOU like to see be crowned WDC 2010 between the two red bull drivers given their performances this year ?

      2. James Allen says:

        THe one who deserves it the most by November

    2. Mark says:

      What Vettel have you been watching? Uh James his race was ruined when Lewis touched him and punctured his rear tire. Definitely not his fault.

      1. Ben says:

        Actually, he drove over Hamilton’s front wing. And it has not been conclusively proved that that was the sole cause of the tyre failure.

      2. Shri says:

        Seb should blame himself for the puncture…see how close and slow in the middle of the first corner. I thought all three will be effected by that incident (Seb’s tyre, Mark’s diffuser and Lewis’s front wing).

  4. Flintster says:

    Marko Marko Marko! please go away – he’s doing Red Bulls PR no favours….!!!!!

    ‘and now the broken wing at Silverstone?’ no! thats the point Webber never had it…!

    Its for this reason as a FERRARI fan I do hope WEBBER goes on to win this years championship….

    1. Matt F says:

      As a MCLAREN fan I hope Webber wins the championship!

      1. Frenchie says:

        As a FORMULA ONE fan (and Australian resident) I hope Mark wins the WDC.

        James, I love your insights. Who’d have thought the Flav is manipulating things again in the background. ;-)

    2. MartinWR says:

      How is Marko doing Red Bull no favours? What, by actually having the temerity to point out that it’s Vettel who has been dogged by a string of failures totally beyond his control this season, rather than MW? That is of course the reason he lags MW in the championship, rather than leading him and the field by a mile.

      Strangley, I haven’t noticed Vettel bleating about the team conspiring against him, despite the fact that if he was inclined to paranoia he could find much to support that view.

      It looks pretty much as though MW is having a whale of a time manipulating an eagerly compliant Anglophile media to serve his ends. I notice that DC has come to much the same conclusion.

      1. GP says:

        MartinWR,

        I think you fell for Marko’s straw man defense.

        MW’s problem is not the cars’ reliability! It’s about being treated like a number two driver by removing the front wing from HIS car to mount it on Vettel’s car.

      2. Landon says:

        The problem is that Marko is in essence throwing gasoline on a fire that Horner tried to stamp out, and was mostly successful in doing on Tuesday. This is a rebuke, the LAST thing that the management needs to be doing to their possible world champion.

      3. Aussie Fan says:

        Garbage, & I’m sure if Mark had only suffered “failures” he would not be saying what he is now, what he is lashing out against is the attitude of the team in certain situations i.e Turkey & ESPECIALLY Silverstone where he had equipment taken from himself for no good reason & put on his teammates car. Many other team bosses agree on this point too.

      4. David says:

        Seems like you have amnesia about Turkey.

      5. Smiley says:

        Marko’s comments seem to misplaced as his reference to reliability problems isn’t relevant to the issue of favouritism in the team. I also don’t see Webber bleating about reliability problems, I see him being outspoken about concerns he has about his treatment in the team. I guess we all have our own opinions on if this is the right way to go about it. I personally think he would be better of sorting it out behind closed doors and so would Marko.

        Your comment about Webber using the media for his own gains can also be levelled at Marko (isn’t that what media is for?) as he obviously has investment in Vettel and emerging young talent. Webber is not young and a blocker to future talent.

        I also think that Marko’s timing is very odd especially as they were made on the same day as the story came out of Webber and Red Bull ‘clearing the air’. It’s only going to make the story drag on even longer and become more bitter and he attacks are getting more personal each time.

        I’d be interested to know where you heard about DC’s opinion, can you provide a couple of links? I’ve never really seem him favour either Red Bull driver on the tv, he just seems very pro Red Bull generally.

      6. MartinWR says:

        Coultard is quoted on the Planet-F1 site, article: “Coultard turned Ferrari down”, now under More News.

        What he said was:

        “Red Bull would doubtless prefer it if Mark aired his grievances in private. Mark, who suspects Red Bull’s Austrian owners would prefer Vettel to win the Championship, clearly feels he can gain more leverage by going public and trying to shame the team whenever he feels hard done by.

        “It is a risky strategy. If it goes wrong, the relationship with the team could sour irreparably. If it comes off, he could consolidate his position, attract public sympathy and be remembered as a steely champion who battled against the odds to win his title.”

        I don’t always agree with DC, and his defence of Webber running straight into the back of the Lotus was downright ridiculous, but what he says here shows some insight into Webber’s little game.

        The leverage DC refers to stems from the fact that Red Bull is yet another team run as a marketing exercise rather than as a standalone racing business like Lotus or Sauber. In such a situation the team can become vulnerable to a driver who threatens, with the aid of partisan press coverage in a particular country, to undermine that marketing strategy in order to gain leverage.

        IMHO that is yet another reason to want to retreat from big money, big business dominated F1 racing on the Ecclestone model.

        Webber’s strategy is risky because if he goes too far the team will simply decide to cut their losses and dispense with his services. He is after all an employee and the car is their property, not his. The car is 80% to 90% of the battle in F1, and if MW doesn’t like it at Red Bull there are plenty of equally capable drivers who would give their eye teeth to fill his seat for peanuts and have a real shot at the title. I’m sure MW is in fact perfectly well aware of that fact.

      7. Richard Miller says:

        Alternatively you can legitimately argue that the reason Vettel is trailing Webber is because Vettel drove into Webber in Turkey and because he messed up his start at Silverstone.

        Personally I am also unconvinced by some of those alleged faults, I think some of them are just excuses for under-par performances by Vettel.

        It’s a shame, I really liked Vettel at the start of the season, and would have liked to see him win the championship. Now I want any of the top 4 except him to win. Way to go Red Bull.

  5. Stuart says:

    Translation: Helmut wants Webber to play #2. And like it.

    I’m glad Mark is sticking up for himself. Mark needs to win the WDC this year and take the #1 with him to Renault.

    1. Gravity says:

      ill totally agree to it, Webber should keep his head down and put in all his focus on the WDC and later decide his future..

  6. Matt Clinch says:

    Helmut Marko, seriously…

    Red Bull are obviously struggling to deal with an unexpected jump in Webber’s competitiveness. They almost certainly had Webber down as a driver in his twilight years in the sport but with bags of experience and a good number 2.

    But Marko’s comments are really going to do nothing to a team which is showing cracks at every race. they need a good plasterer, not Marko with his sledge hammer.

    1. Ari says:

      End of the day, I think they have forgotten how good Webber was pre-accident last year. His 2009 season was run whilst getting over his mountain biking injuries.

      And, even then, if not for a really poor end to the season he still could have snatched it.

      Why do they keep Webber around? It’s REALLY simple. He knows how to setup cars and is faster and younger than Rubens. Hasn’t everyone noticed that week in, week out Vettels side of the garage collect their setup from Webbers side?

      THAT is why Webber is a welcome team member.

  7. “Did Mark have … the defective chassis in Monte Carlo?”

    Yes. In fact, he won the British Grand Prix in it.

    1. S.J.M says:

      Beat me to pointing this out. Not the best example that Marko could use.

      1. Dan Clegg says:

        All this shows to me is that Vettel is too highly strung and needs his ego massaging, whereas Webber (who I’m not a fan of really either) will just get on with it, and improve for the experience…

        Vettel will not improve or learn when he gets whatever he wants…

    2. Dave says:

      Excellent point.

      1. shortsighted says:

        Then why would he accept the wing from Webber’s car? If I were Vettel, I would have rejected it if I am not to be blamed to have or maybe demand favoritism. In any case, Webber with the older wing could still win the race.

      2. Landon says:

        Agreed, none of this is really Seb’s fault. I think most of the problems are management issues around him, combined with his highly competitive nature. It would seem though that Mark’s infamous bad luck has passed on to Vettel though :D

      3. Daniel says:

        When he blamed Mark for Turkey.

      4. Brad says:

        tards?

        I haven’t heard Webber complain about Vettel personally, yet I’ve seen Vettel indicate Webber is crazy, and say to the press Webber isn’t the person he thought.

      5. N. Machiavelli says:

        “What are you tards talking about? …There both driving extremely well so on what basis do you have to criticize Vettel?”

        You might reconsider calling other people “tards” when your own writing is so very poor.

        Here’s a starter hint :

        You should have used “They’re” instead of “there”.

        As for the rest of it, you’ve chosen to ignore some
        of the salient facts relative to Vettel and Webber
        and their driving etc.

        Just because you’ve chosen to ignore these facts
        doesn’t mean the rest of us are blind to them.

        I thought the rules of this blog prohibited insulting
        statements such as calling people “tards”. Did I miss
        something ?

      6. Aussie Fan says:

        On the basis of Vettel’s crazy signs to Mark after he crashed into Mark in Turkey, & also on the basis of the Smarmy & arrogant way he rubbed in that he was chosen to run the wing & that it made “all the difference” in the British GP post qualifying press conference.

        That is, after running around like an idiot making the number 1 sign with his finger when he had an unfair advantage at the cost of his team mate, but that is nothing new anyway.

      7. Brace says:

        What does he have to complain about?
        Team is doing it all for him.
        Team made him whole new car because “something was wrong” with his old one.
        And then when Webber’s one fell to pieces they couldn’t bother making him new one but gave him the refurbished defective chassis.

        I really fail to see why would Vettel need to complain about the team or Webber.
        After all he did say that Webber was crazy just because Webber didn’t hand him position on a silver plate.

      8. Brace says:

        This comment was a reply to a comment by another user who said Vettel never complained about the team. I just answered that Vettel doesn’t have a reason to think team isn’t fully behind him.

      9. rodrigo says:

        I would have said that you *were* right… there was the usual top-team competitive team mate racing… until Vettel used his index finger to show that Webber was a crazy nutter.

        For me, that was the point that I think Vettel cracked and showed his immaturity. Which is fine, he is a kid, 23 or something. RBR management made the mistake to publicly blame Webber and coddle Vettel.

        Vettel should have apologized for the gesture (blame it on adrenaline, etc), and RBR quietly, behind the scenes, come down hard on BOTH drivers for costing the team a 1-2 finish.

        I think this season is just about shot for RBR team harmony, and mistrust from Webber’s point of view will be there as long as Marko keeps putting his foot in his mouth.

      10. BMG says:

        It might steem back to KOO KOO sign Vettel made after they crashed.

    3. Andy says:

      … except that, as far as I know, it wasn’t defective anymore, but got fixed between Monaco and Silverstone.

      I have a feeling this thing is being blown way out of proportion. If Mark truly felt that he wasn’t given a fair chance to fight for the WDC, he wouldn’t have made a new deal with them. However, he did, and I’ve got no reason to doubt that he wouldn’t be happy about it.

      1. Chris says:

        Although if more recent reports are to be believed Webber signed a contract before all of this kicked off.

      2. BiggusJimmus says:

        He signed on the night before the Turkish GP. Wasn’t announced until later.

  8. Michael Brown says:

    For a company based on marketing, Red Bull are doing a surprisingly bad PR job at the moment. Just when Horner and Webber had put this all behind them and it all seemed to be dying down Marko has to put his oar in and stir it all up again! He should know that when you’re in a hole, stop digging.

  9. Kate says:

    Mateshitz always seems like a reasonable guy whenever we hear from him, so why on earth does he let someone like Marko embarrass his company like this? There was no need for him to comment after the air had supposedly been cleared.

    He asks where Webber was two years ago, well the answer is he was toiling away in an uncompetitive Red Bull car. Horner was also recently talking to Autosport about how they had given Webber a “great opportunity” to be in a competitive car. I think the pair of them should perhaps not forget that Webber worked as hard as anyone to get Red Bull to the front of the grid and maybe appreciate his loyalty to them even in the tough times instead of acting like he is lucky to even be in one of their cars. Its totally ungrateful and they are undermining all his hard work.

    1. PaulL says:

      Well said

    2. bouke says:

      I think it is of significance this was, agian in a German magazine. Maybe Marko thinks no one reads German and translate it but believes German speaking people want to solely hear praise of Vettel?

    3. Steve Skooz says:

      Right on the money. Both Horner and Marko sound like ungrateful whingers, not MW.
      Its not like they just brought Mark in to this pack-leading team.. he helped put them there!.. along with DC (who is obviously now stroking the hand that feeds him).. those guys put the hours in. Don’t you just hate that type of view? I’m sure Webber doesn’t want praise or thanks for helping make the team the fastest out there.. but he certainly doesn’t want to be made to feel grateful for still being there.

      Just look how much positive TV exposure RB are getting from Webber getting Poles and winning Races. Why hasn’t someone in that company nipped this in the bud. Marko is crap at PR and so is Horner.. it isn’t their job to be good at it.. so someone at RB should shut them up, tell them to concentrate on their jobs and leave the PR to the PR department!

      C’mon Mark.. no more whining in public, you’re getting the job done.
      Take the title to Renault next year.

  10. Mart says:

    “Where was he two years ago?” – Uh, at Red Bull, and in an uncompetitive car. Perhaps Marko needs to ask “Where would Red Bull be without Webber and Coulthard?”, two highly experienced drivers whose knowledge has helped turn Red Bull into the team it is today.

    1. Daniel says:

      Same thing has happened to Rossie with Lorenzo.

    2. Andrew Myers says:

      Amen to that.

  11. JimmiC says:

    They just never learn do they? Red Bull are turning into the Ashley Cole/Katie Price of the paddock – in this case a team who seem to be determined to upset as many fans as possible with their public actions and statements.

  12. Zobra Wambleska says:

    If I remember correctly, at the time Mark was signed, Red Bull had yet to win, so who helped whom? Helmut Marko may have a point, but it’s a weak one and making it at this time only fans the flames of this fire. Not sure where this guy gets his credibility, but he seems to be spending it pretty quickly.

  13. Matt says:

    Unbelievable – Webber has got just exactly what he worked for over the last 20 years.

    I loved Red Bull everything before all this started but the brand is really damaged in my eyes now.

    I’m really enjoying this situation now for the exact reason you’ve stated James – Webber is not trying to keep a drive for the next 10 years – and Flav is telling him exactly what to say – the he’s flipping them the bird, so to speak.

  14. Nick H says:

    Oh dear, the latest twist in this farce really makes Horner look a lame duck team principle when Helmut Marko comes along and says this.
    I will be amazed if Webber is still at Red Bull next season and Horners future must also be in doubt now IMO.

    1. Brad says:

      What’s the odds of Webber getting out of his RBR deal I wonder?

      Could see him happy to move to whatever team Flav is associated with next year.

      1. BiggusJimmus says:

        Don’t think that one will be Renault, somehow!

      2. Ari says:

        In 2011 there will be no double diffuser and no f-duct.

        So in the rawest of form Red Bull end up back to their 2009 car with Newey in the design room. They would have spanked the 2009 championship had Brawn not deemed such an advantage from the DD.

        Well, in my opinion, RBR could do just about anything to Webber and he will still choose to stay with the team as they have the best car! And it’s likely there car will have an even bigger advantage next year.

        No way he would want to move. Not if he wants to win races and championships!

  15. Nathan Smith says:

    Like Jenson last year, he might never get another chance, Webber has to do everything he can.

    Marko appears to be a pr disaster.

  16. Rafael says:

    Marko should be sent home, really. REALITY CHECK: For all his “doctoring” heading Red Bull’s Young Driver program, he’s only produced one good driver – Sebastian Vettel. The rest: Tonio Liuzzi? Take it or leave it. Scot Speed? HAHA! Buemi and Algersuari? eh… And the upcoming Hartley? Wasn’t he recently downgraded to team B?

    Besides, I’d probably say it was more of Dr. Mario Theissen and BMW Sauber who developed Vettel into the star that he is today, given the young driver spent the early days learning his trade with the team (BMW).

    Yes, Mark Webber wouldn’t be anywhere without Red Bull… Yet there he is right now. So too bad, Doctor.

    1. Richard Miller says:

      I think Alguersuari has shown some potential, and it is too early to write him off.

      But as for the rest, yes, you are right.

      Having said that, what sort of success rate would you expect a young driver programme to have? Many drivers do brilliantly through the lower formulae and then just fail to shine in F1. Conversely some F1 stars seemed relatively average in the lower grades.

      1. Ted the Mechanic says:

        Agree about Alguesuari, also he’s their Spanish marketing card. F1 is still a marketing exercise for Red Bull after all?
        And Brendan Hartley is still young, he may yet prevail…

      2. Ryan Eckford says:

        There are some young drivers around that probably deserve more success in Formula 1 than Sebastian Vettel. All these drivers have been thrown in the deep end and haven’t been helped throughout, ie Romain Grosjean and to a lesser extent Piquet Jr. Vettel on the otherhand has been bottlefed by BMW and especially Red Bull and still is being bottlefed to success by Red Bull and is still quite immature and hasn’t had much success before entering F1. The only way he is going to mature is to be driving in a total dog of a car. If this doesn’t work, then he is not a top F1 driver. I hope drivers who have had great success in their junior careers have great success in Formula 1, the way it should be.

      3. Ari says:

        I think they saw what happened with Lewis and felt they could do the same. Throw a young driver with talent in the deepend with the right equipment and let the results sort themselves out.

        Sadly for RBR, Seb is not Lewis.

  17. Jodum5 says:

    I don’t know if you’ve seen “Speed Merchants” but Helmut Marko seemed like such a nice guy, when did he become such a hard a**? Anyway he has a decent point, unless he’s inferring Mark should hush up, take his wins and let Vettel get all the love.

    Speed Merchants on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s14Vx2v3UDk (it’s broken into several parts)

    1. Brad says:

      Thanks for the link. Really interesting documentary!

      I disagree that Helmut Marko comes off as a nice guy in it though.

      There isn’t enough of him to form a strong opinion, but I think what we do see suggests he was always a bit of a narcissist.

  18. DougieCow says:

    Let’s also not forget that Mark got into Formula 1 without Red Bull and, as previously said, worked away over the last 4 years with an uncompetitive Red Bull to bring it to the front.

    Where was Sebastian before Red Bull?

    1. Paul says:

      winning in a torro rosso if you have forgotten and also brought redbull there first win!

      1. Chris says:

        Whilst not wanting to take away from a genuine win, it’s best to look at all the factors surrounding any situation.

        I believe a large part of the Toro Rosso win was down to a team gamble on a wet race which paid off.

        A win yes but not as barnstorming a win as you seem to be implying?

      2. Paul says:

        And in F1 its all about gambling making it pay off is another thing i suggest you go and watch the whole race again.

      3. DougieCow says:

        Sorry Paul, I don’t think you understood my question. I asked…

        “Where was Sebastian before Red Bull?”

        He was racing karts, maybe Formula BMW at best.

        “Where was Mark before Red Bull?”

        Already in Formula 1 and putting Minardi in the points.

        I’m not dissing Vettel here, just pointing out the ridiculousness of Marko’s comment.

      4. Gareth says:

        Torro Rosso is Red Bull, they were using the Red Bull chassis (albeit a couple of races old) with Ferrari power.

        End of the day, it’s the same reason ideally why I’d rather Jenson win rather than Lewis, MW and JB have spent years in F1 with crap machinery and learning their trade to make them the drivers they are today.

        LH and SV were mollycoddled into a top race winning team. Well, Lewis was very successful in junior formulae, but because of major backing he never had to put up with a bad car. Until last year of course ha ha.

        Webber deserves his success because of his loyalty, hardwork, dedication, and because he’s a damn fast driver.

      5. Philip T says:

        Agree with Dougie on this. Paul, have you forgotten that Toro Rosso is Italian for ‘Red Bull’? Had you said he shone at BMW, we’d take your point but you didn’t…

      6. Paul says:

        Ok you seem not to remember that he was a friday driver at bmw and was quick also that was toro rosso’s only win say all you want about the kid but you cant take away his talent.

      7. Philip T says:

        Since I pointed out he was at BMW before you did how does that make me not remember?

        I don’t doubt his talent but I doubt Marko’s comments that suggest Webber is nothing but a guy who lucked into his current position as if he didn’t get there the same way Vettel did – because they thought him worthy of a contract.

      8. Valour says:

        Actually even though my memory may be poor, before Red Bull, I only remember Vettel from when he drove into the back of Webber on lap 46, 21 laps from the finish in the 2007 Japanese Grand prix.

  19. Chris says:

    At the end of the day, there’s only one thing Red Bull really needs to change to stop all this: hire a new PR firm.

  20. Mr Spindles says:

    Hmmmm…straight talker versus the “spin meisters”…

  21. Erik C says:

    If Red Bull really favours Vettel and want him to win the championship they should replace Webber. This current situation makes the team management look bad and is counter productive for both the drivers and the team. If Webber wants to play hardball he should be prepared to take the consequences, his remarks after the British GP were out of line and of great disrespect towards the team.

    1. Amritraj says:

      I don’t agree with the “replacing Webber” part, since he is not the one causing any trouble, but I do agree that after the race Webber got a bit carried away with his comments.

      He should have used that opportunity to congratulate the team for their fantastic work and gotten more support behind him. That,as you have rightly mentioned, would have been a tribute to the team. Instead, he came across as a touch arrogant with his “not bad for a no. 2″.

      1. Rob D says:

        It’s easy to confuse being Australian with being a touch arrogant, but there are subtle differences. The No. 2 driver quote is classic Aussie humour, part sarcasm, a sprinkle of self-deprecation and a bit of hurt pride.

      2. Amritraj says:

        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/85355

        I think Webber himself thinks he went a bit too far….

    2. Paul Kirk says:

      Sorry Erik,I dissagree Weber’s remarks were “out of line”, Actually I smiled when he made the comment, “number 2 driver”, to me it sounded like a bit of humour, as did Horner’s reply about “smiling”. What I’ve noticed frequently is people who post here seem to be VERY CRITICLE of EVERYTHING, and only seem to see bad in everything, they are very NEGITIVE! I sometimes wonder how they get on in LIFE with such negitive attitudes.
      Loosen up, everyone!
      PK.

      1. OppositeLock says:

        That should be: “CRITICAL” and “NEGATIVE”.

        Joke! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. ;0)

      2. Paul Kirk says:

        Gidday, Oposite Lock, Ha ha, yeah, my spelling isn’t perfect! You should see my TX masarges. Regards, PK.

      3. lw343 says:

        Perhaps Webber’s comments after the race were alittle excessive but certainly here in Australia we found it a relief to see our driver sticking up for himself, without diplomacy.

    3. BMG says:

      So do you think Horner showed a lack of respect for Webber when he did not even speak to him before removing his wing and giving it to Vettel. In my book that’s divisive.

  22. William McCone says:

    This guy really needs to stay away from the press. Never really minded Red Bull in the past but Marco is a real turn off.

    If Ferrari don’t turn things around then I’d happily accept Webber winning the drivers title.

  23. Peter says:

    Racing is a team sport – both Webber and Red Bull were no where 2 years ago. Together as a team (and some smart hiring) they have improved. It probably would serve the team better if they didn’t have management and driver taking shots at each other in the media.

    As others have noted, Red Bull is making a mess of their public relations.

  24. Owen says:

    I too am a fan of Mark Webber and it’s great seeing him do so well. Red Bull did not handle the situation well and Mark’s anger was understandable. Nevertheless his public utterances on this was unprofessional and may yet lower his standing in the team – there is something to said about public loyalty – something Michael Sch has always done so well. After all Red Bull didn’t publicly criticise him for his mistake (costly) in the previous race. So it was right the Mark sort of apologised for his behaviour and hopefully he will go forward in a positive way and win the championship!

    1. John says:

      But they did, very publicly, criticise him for Vettel’s mistake when they collided.

      1. Brace says:

        Haha, great point! :)

  25. Joe says:

    At the supermarket the other day I noticed the packaging on the Red Bull multipacks features one of their cars and one of their drivers. I could not find a pack featuring their self proclaimed number 2 driver. Perhaps one of the the two printing machines broke?

    1. Ilanin says:

      Strangely, it was actually the machine printing the Vettel ones that broke, but the factory decided to switch the other machine over to printing Vettel labels.

    2. kimo says:

      @joe, if you look at RB’s website, it’s all Vettel and very little Webber. It has a predominant link to Vettel’s site. But none for Mark. The favoritism is BEYOND obvious. It’s almost a big FU to Mark.

      If this attitude pervades in the team and in the garage, these are terrible working conditions for Mark. With all this press bashing by Marko and all the recent public treatment of Mark in the pass few weeks, it’s even more remarkable that he succeeds in this pressure cooker situation. Can’t help but have more respect for him.

    3. N. Machiavelli says:

      “Perhaps one of the the two printing machines broke?”

      The above is hilarious !

      I am amazed no one else has yet commented on this
      subtle but excellent bit of humor. ( wing ~ printing machine … ).

      Thanks for the laugh :-)

    4. Mattoz says:

      Here in Oz there is a pic of Mark Webber on the Red Bull packs – however one wonders if these will soon be withdrawn from the supermarket shelves…

      1. N. Machiavelli says:

        “Here in Oz there is a pic of Mark Webber on the Red Bull packs – however one wonders if these will soon be withdrawn from the supermarket shelves…”

        Those packs of Red Bull are going to be collector’s items.

        If you can get AussieGrit himself to sign one of those packs, it might be worth quite a bit some day.

        In any case, Mr. Webber has fans outside of Oz, and
        at least one American wants to see him win the
        championship !

      2. Nando says:

        You’d imagine they’d use whichever one was more marketable. Vettel in Germany, Austria and possibly Switzerland, Webber everywhere else.

  26. Kateafan says:

    Just read Kate’s reply #9 and I have to agree with my namesake completely!
    Two years ago, Dr Marko, Webber was driving the sh*tbox RB4 without complaint, doing the very best anyone could.
    So now he’s reaping the rewards for those tough years, good for him!

  27. mark edwards says:

    Can’t think of too many drivers who have consistantly won races in a bad car. A driver needs a car and vice versa!

    What does Marko actually hope to achieve by these comments apart from driving wedges between the team. If I were a rival team boss I’d be laughing and waiting for the next installment of the Red Bull self-distruct soap opera!

  28. Iorwg says:

    Hmm. Marko coming out with this just when everything had kinda calmed down…

    Either he wants to for some reason push Webber into making more comments that can be interpreted as anti-RB or anti-Seb (so maybe the team can say ‘he’s definitely against us, give Seb the best of everything, get him out’, as basically happened to Alonso at Mclaren) or the latest Red Bull drinks sales have benefitted from all the publicity and the Top Man has told him to keep the story running.

    Wonder what Horner’s thinking about this?

    Also, wonder where Marko reckons Marko would be without Newey’s cars and Webber and DC’s efforts at development?

  29. jray says:

    Marko needs to be fired!!! Who is this man, it seems that all the inter team trouble is really stemming from Marko and his absolute one sided view that Vettel be the undisputed nuber one in the team. Horner must be furious and these comments undermine hi. Who is running the show at RedBull? It seems that Marko’s ego cannot stand to be sidelined. We hear that RedBull have clear the air talks in both Turkey and Britain but its Markothat continually stirs the pot adding to the suspicion that Webber is on the outer with the team. As for his comments of “Where was Webber two years ago” the answer is in an uncompetitive car!!! Webber after years of struggling with machinery below his talent is showing the world what just may have happened if he went to Renault as opposed to Williams all those years ago. People have very short memories and F1 is fickle so yes Webber is doing what a lot of us already knew about him. A hugely talented driver one of the best in the field finally driving a competitive car and showing us what he can do with it.

  30. Taimur says:

    James, you’ve mentioned that it’s your feeling that Webber might retire at the end of the 2011 season. Isn’t it likely that teams like Ferrari and Renault would considering signing him up if he continues to show this kind of form? Massa hasn’t delivered at all this season and Webber is pretty good friends with Alonso. Similarly Renault would like to sign up someone like him as well. I just don’t see him retiring (since he has started performing and will get the chance to race for another top team).

    1. Amritraj says:

      When the drivers get into their cockpits, there are no friends then….

  31. paxdog 57 says:

    If the old adage of any publicity whether good or bad is a marketing dream then Red Bull has to be happy. They have had their fair share of news with the teammate battles (probably more news coverage if they had finished a quiet 1 2). Same goes for Bernie E, this keeps F1 in the headlines between races. Sad commentary on society, the news worthiness of compatible teammates (Button/Hamilton) is not as “meaty” as battling egos using the press.

  32. Midnight Toper says:

    Has Marko met his Mark or is Marko Mark’s Maker?

    1. N. Machiavelli says:

      It seems Red Bull is on the horns of a dilemma,
      involving a lot of bull …

  33. smellyden says:

    Cant wait to hear you talk sport, you might add some class to that station at last james!

  34. zxzxz says:

    what an incredibly stupid thing for marko to say.

  35. Keith says:

    One has to wonder if Marko’s comments were sanctioned by Mateshitz himself – given the turmoil in the team since the British GP, it seems strange than Marko would make such inflammatory comments in the press when Horner and Webber seemed this week at pains to put the matter to bed.

  36. Robert says:

    I think people are forgetting that at the start of the 2009 season Vettel had to help Webber with the set-up of the chassis. Vettel is able to bring more out of the car than his teammates have, starting with his first win. Marko is only speaking what is obvious here – Webber is lucky to have a great car underneath him. Vettel had been struck by more bad luck but still had a lead in the championship over the Aussie.
    I think what people are not seeing is that Marko is countering the public comments made by Webber – let Webber cry and whimper about the treatment he perceives; the guy higher up in the organization can easily do the same and at the end of the day, he has more say with the direction the team takes.
    I’d be happy to see Webber dumped at the end of the year by Marko in a very public, embarassing way. Webber is the new Button in that he whines, cries and acts hypocritically.

    1. Andy C says:

      Are you ignoring the fact that webber was in pieces at the start of 2009 after his bike crash?

      Is that you marko?

      I would rather they all just got on with it now, and any differences should be sorted out behind closed doors now.

      1. Robert says:

        What does a leg injury have to do with car set-up? Suffering a broken leg would’ve impaired his conditioning. Excuses.
        Fact is Vettel took a mid-pack STR to victory after claiming pole. He earned his spot at STR by being the fastest Friday driver for BMW Sauber. Vettel performed better and scored more points than Webber and was leading going into the British GP.
        What does Webber do that no other driver does? Wrecks into the back of another driver and then blames the other guy. Guy is a dunce.

      2. SH says:

        “What does a leg injury have to do with car set-up?”

        Maybe the fact Webber didn’t get to do any off-season testing in the new car?

      3. Paulo says:

        A leg injury does effect car set up actually. one the skills F1 drivers have is fantastic throttle and brake control. With Webbers injury he couldn’t get the right feel of the peddles, thus unable to set up the car to his wishes.

      4. Alex W says:

        What about when Vettel smashed into the back of Webber and blamed Hamilton – all under saftey car?

      5. Valour says:

        Robert, you poor confused man, it is Vettel that has run into Webber’s car twice, and blamed him both times. Each time Webber time when had a lead over vettel in the championship. (2007 Japan and Turkey this year.) Who is the Dunce?

    2. ManxF1 says:

      You’re full of you know what mate!!!

      Webber is first class – and finally got a blast in a championship winning car which few drivers do – and he’s beating the new Vonderkid from Germany – that should be congratulated, not knocked.

      And comments about Button, who in a similar vane got his chance in a championship winning car – and look, he’s 2nd in the championship and not whining.

      Now, Alonso – he whines!

      However, old Helmet or what ever his name is, really is becoming a right prat – or maybe its just the German media quoting him out of context??? They’re just as bad as our red-tops after all…but then again, isn’t that mag the equivilent of our Autosport?

      So finally, where woull Vettel be without Red Bull – would he even have got into F1 without Red Bull backing? Who knows – i really like the kid, but i just love the underdog coming through, fighting like hell – reminds me of a certain Mr Mansell

      But to be honest – i don’t care who wins, as long as it’s decided on the last few laps in Abu Dabui

      1. James Allen says:

        Auto Motor und Sport is a very well respected magazine.

      2. Robert says:

        Bit blinded by patriotism are you?

        Webber is a hard-headed child who quickly throws his toys out of the pram. (doing my best British English here) Vettel seems to have picked up the bad luck Webber endured during his career. Wait, I rescind that comment …Webber didn’t have bad luck, he just made stupid decisions on track, much like he did in Turkey and Valencia. All drivers are highly competitive individuals, and if they weren’t, they’d be racing in Rally right now (a la Kimi). With that being said, Webber is probably the biggest narcissist in the sport right now. Only he can wreck into the back of Heikki then try to blame Heikki for the accident while noting his (Mark’s) car was 2s faster. Don’t forget his constant crying of drivers slashing across the starting grid during the Schumacher years only to do the exact same thing when he found himself up front when the red lights went out. He forced Hamilton off track, Kimi off track, and slammed Rubens in a bid to run him off track. Mark is a nefarious character.

      3. Rusty0256 says:

        Congratulations Robert, this months winner of ‘Most Unused Words in the English Language’ for your posting of nefarious!

        For those of you who don’t know, according to Robert, Mark Webber is an “extremely wicked or villainous” character.

        Move over Jack the Ripper, MW is about to take your rear wing off.

      4. David Jerromes says:

        Robert, are you sponsored by Red Bull or an RB employee from the Seb side of the garage??

        If not, please try to be wary of such strong comments.

        All most of us want to see is good racing.

        Right, tuned into your show now James, so will post this and do hopefully as Robert should do, shut-up!

      5. Pedant says:

        British English? I think you mean English old chap.

      6. ManxF1 says:

        Blinded by patriotism?

        Last time i checked my passport it said i was British, one thing Webber is not!!

        I’m amazed by the responses James’ excellent post has received!

        Us F1 fans really are a possionate bunch!!

        One more thing James – congratulations on your radio show – spot on!

      7. ADF says:

        Errr mate, I just found this page, and Robert, Heikki should’ve moved out of the way in valencia last year.
        Well done,I think many people will agree when I say that you’re the nefarious dunce here. Also, you’re American? Get your track up and runnning first,then come back and talk to us. You’re very lucky that JA hasn’t removed your comments.

    3. Paul Kirk says:

      Absolute bulls–t, Robert!
      PK.

      1. David says:

        Robert (aka Marko)

      2. Robert says:

        @Rusty0256;
        Nefarious …I know the definition of the word which is why I used it.

        Anyone who has followed or watched F1 while Mark Webber has been a part of it knows that Webber constantly finds himself tangled with other drivers for no good reason. The guy is a dim-witted fool when it comes to making snap decisions. Either bring the car home a place down or wreck the car trying to defend a position that is unattainable …hmm, what will Mark decide?

        Knowing damn well Vettel had the faster car and had been closing the gap; after asking his engineer to tell Vettel to slow down so he could retain his position, Webber did not give way to the much faster teammate. What were the repercussions of his actions? He slid down 2 spots, took out his teammate and removed his team from the lead in the constructors title.

        Enough said.

    4. Sikas says:

      Robert, I think you’re being very disingenuous. When you see all the Red Bull packaging and marketing with photos of Vettel but not Webber, it is clear the team (or rather the company/ marketing/ PR) may look a bit silly if Webber finishes ahead of Vettel, especially if he’s 1st in the WDC. I don’t think there is a deliberate conspiracy – maybe just assumed Vettel would be leading – but I can imagine what the atmosphere must be like, and good on Mark for speaking out (plus it’s a great soap opera for all the fans!)

      1. Robert says:

        I don’t see too many adverts for Red Bull Formula 1 since I live in the States. But, if Vettel is more prominent in their ad campaign, it would make more sense since RBR has acknowledged their desire to sign Vettel to a long contract. He is younger, has more talent and is the obvious choice to build a team around.

      2. Sikas says:

        Perhaps you don’t see much Formula 1 either.

      3. Paul Kirk says:

        Which state do you live in, Robert? I hope it’s not Western Austrailia, because that’s where my doughter lives. I’m guessing you’re up Darwin way and the sun’s addled your brain! PK.

      4. Robert says:

        I watch every practice, qualifying and race every year. If I’m on a hike or work trip I dvr (digital video record) them.

        PK – I’m not from a prisoner state, I’m from THE United States; my POME friend

    5. Vettel-Is-King says:

      A lot of rubbish comments here. Where is the evidence that Vettel helped Webber set up his car at the start of 2009?
      Sounds like you are just making things up Robert.

      All we’d like to see is a fair fight between the two. I suspect with Helmut Marko the team will very much favour Vettel. Think back to the pitstops this year and last year which have gone against Webber.

      I’d like for Vettel to win, but I want him to win it fairly. Last year, he got favourable treatment over Webber, and again this year. I think Vettel is good enough to win without the Number 1 status he enjoys.

      1. Robert says:

        Where is the evidence that Vettel helped Mark with his set-up data in the first four races of the 2009 campaign? Too lazy to do a bit of homework? I’m not going to educate you, you need to educate yourself. When you find the time to educate yourself and become aware of the facts, I’ll converse with you. Until then, goodbye.

    6. N. Machiavelli says:

      “Robert”, are you by any chance a patient in an institution
      which treats disorders of the mind ?

      1. Adam says:

        I am just remembering the quote from Webber after the British Grand Prix where he said that he had to give his wing and most of his set-up to the other side of the garage …

  37. Nathan says:

    Question : Where would MARKO be without Red Bull?

    Not giving interviews for German magazines, that’s for starters..

  38. Josh M says:

    Marko goes on about Seb having the bad chassis in Monaco . . . and who won in that chassis in GB?

    And where would Seb be without a competitive car? And where would Marko be without his current job?

    Maybe Mark would be in a Macca and whiping Red Bull’s backside.

    Marko really is moronic in coming out with this drivel. Where would Red Bull be without Newey and where would Red Bull be without the public buying their products. Idiotic man. Detestable and inane.

    If Marko thinks this childish rubbish will convince anyone that Seb isn’t their preferred driver, then the man is certifiably insane.

    Have the guts to own up to how you treat your drivers . . . don’t offer weasel words and try to make the fans think that Webber should be kissing Marko’s backside just for having a drive.

    We’re more intelligent than that, slime-ball.

    1. Paul says:

      its not exact chassis seb rejected it had been fixed mate so stop potraying mark as a driver who can drive around any problem and moreover webber smashed his chassis in valencia

    2. N. Machiavelli says:

      Well said, sir !

  39. PaulL says:

    Fair counter-argument but I would say in response to “Where was Webber 2 years ago?” that Mark like DC was toiling in substandard midfield machinery that was generally unreliable to pick up the necessary prizemoney points for the team.. There wasn’t a sense that Red Bull was fulfilling Webber’s career aspirations.

    I think the contribution has been twofold.

    1. AndrewM says:

      Personally I don’t think it is a fair counter-argument. The examples Marko quotes are as a result of bad luck or bad workmanship. The incidents that have gone against Webber were deliberate decisions and actions taken by the team.

  40. Scott says:

    I find it remarkable how Marko – and to a much lesser extent Horner – have overseen Red Bull go from being the most popular team in the paddock to suffering near-Ferrari levels of unpopularity. Although Domenicali was worked miracles with his approach, and as a result Ferrari are now seen in a whole new light.

    It is important to remember that although issues like the Lauda/Hunt controversy and the Todt reign caused Ferrari to become very disliked in certain territories, it was never really a problem for them.

    Ferrari make a pretty unique range of products. Red Bull, on the other hand, are competing for mass market success. All the big players (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Britvic, etc.) make energy drinks these days. I can walk into my local shop and be presented with a choice of three or four alternatives to Red Bull – none of which taste much different to Mateschitz’s beverage.

    Red Bull could be playing a very dangerous game by continuing to pursue their current approach to Formula One.

    1. Nick H says:

      “I find it remarkable how Marko – and to a much lesser extent Horner – have overseen Red Bull go from being the most popular team in the paddock to suffering near-Ferrari levels of unpopularity.”

      Agree 100%
      Red Bull are quickly becoming the most dispised team in the pit lane.

  41. JR says:

    I remember another seemingly uncompetitive driver who bumbled along at the back for years and then suddenly became world champion material.

    I wonder what would have happened if Ross Brawn had failed to achieve a miracle over the winter of 08/09? Would Jenson Button have been also seen as a #2 driver, rather than the world champion he now is?

    I think the truth is probably that the majority of the drivers on the grid would be capable of winning the world championship if they were given the best car to drive — and the necessary support.

    1. Andy C says:

      Well said! I feel the same.

      Give the top ten drivers avoid car and any one of them would have a crack at the title.

      1. Andy C says:

        iPhone autotype got me again. Meant to say a good car.

    2. Richard Miller says:

      There are exceptions. For example, I have never seen Massa as championship material without Ferrari 2002 levels of domination – and when he was given the best car, he still blew it. I don’t think Schumacher is capable of another title now, his comeback has been uninspiring. But any of the other drivers from the top four teams, undoubtedly could win a championship. I would also rate Kubica very highly.

  42. Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg says:

    James, have you ever interviewed this Helmut Marko bloke? I see him hanging around the RBR garage from time-to-time so I know he’s there at the races. Does he speak English because I’ve never seen him interviewed by the BBC.

    If you have spoken to him, tell us what you make of him. Honest opinion, please!!! ;-)

    1. Brace says:

      Make sure you tell him what we on JAonF1 think of him too! ;)

  43. Bludd says:

    Marko should keep his mouth shut. He almost ended the career of Liuzzi and I think he is a huge part of the reason Red Bull are making stupid decisions re: their drivers.

  44. Andy C says:

    I am starting to feel sorry for mark webber and Christian horner for having to work with helmut.

    He seems to like to be controversial. Quite what he thinks he achieving by stirring the pot again after it looked like things were calming down(mark and Christians quotes post silverstone).

    We have all worked with characters like helmut in our own jobs, the only difference is this man gets public press. Empire builders get their comeuppances sooner or later.

    The worst thing is he is damaging seb by association.

    Come on mark!

  45. Hendrik says:

    Helmut Marko is doing everything in his power to destroy the “unity” in the Red Bull team. I find it interesting that this gentleman seems to be always quoted a day after Christian Horner tried to diffuse the situation. Why has no one told the adviser to keep his ideas inside the team or is he the eyes for the sponsor(Red Bull)? I know Vettel has come through the Red Bull drivers academy but he is big and old enough to challenge Webber. The Public perception is that Vettel is the golden son and Webber is the villain.

    As a non Red Bull supporter I really would like Webber to win this season. No one deserves a world championship but this year Webber has shown that he is a top F1 driver. Did Webber think that the madness was over when he decided to add a year to his contract or was that to ensure that he could not go to other teams?

    Why is the focus on now on the opportunity given to Webber? Is it because he dared to mention that “that was not bad for a number two driver” comment. Maybe this just highlights the unhappiness and cliques inside the RBR garage.

    1. SH says:

      “I find it interesting that this gentleman seems to be always quoted a day after Christian Horner tried to diffuse the situation.”

      Maybe it’s the lag caused by publication in German and word of the contents spreading to the English-speaking media? Or maybe this article appeared in a weekly publication?

      Either way, I associate his name with petrol being added to a fire.

  46. EM says:

    You’ve got to love Formula 1. Two of the best controversies this season have involved the shady Dr Helmut Marko. He’s straight from Bond villain casting. He’s a Doctor, he’s European, he’s risen without trace, he hangs around in the background of a respectable organisation, he’s really pulling the strings.

    Does any other F1 team have ‘motorsport advisor’? You’d kind of think saying as that’s the business they’re in they don’t need one. It’s like Tesco have a supermarket advisor or Manchester United having a football advisor.

    The truth is the good doctor will have a clearly defined role with is probably something to do with developing new drivers for the teams and being a consultant over race weekends around strategies.

    You can bet your bottom dollar that no where in his job description does it say “when Red Bull Racing are getting massive flack that’s in danger of changing it’s reputation from one of the coolest teams to the stupidest your job is to be outspoken, drive a further wedge between the team and it’s highest placed driver and make the team look even more stodgy, corporate, hypocritical and spiteful’

    But Bond villains always make a mistake at some point in the movie.

    Red Bull Racing exist solely to sell soft drinks. Like Coca Cola they do that purely through the brand, they never promote their drinks on taste, cost or benefits, it’s always the brand.

    That brand is already damaged, it’s been punctured, we can see through it. If Red Bull fail to win the championship someone will carry the 330ml can and that might well be Marko.

    Funnily enough his best chance of making everything right is getting behind Mark Webber and winning the title with him. But then Goldfinger should have let the saw slice of 007′s nether regions. He didn’t end up ruling the world either.

    1. kimo says:

      Great post! As I read your post, I heard John Barry’s music fade in and visions of the silhouettes of naked women streaming into my consciousness.

    2. Ted the Mechanic says:

      Well if the story plays out in a Bondesque manner and Mark Webber is 007 then dr evil won’t finish off 007 himself he will leave it to his dodgy sidekicks Christian Horner and Sebastian Vettel who will fail miserably and Mark will go on to win the spoils. The only girl involved is Ann Moneypenny so 007 will sail off luxuriously into the Abu Dhabi sunset sipping his all-shook-up martini finally fulfilling Moneypenny’s fantasy on Flav’s fab floater.
      The empire that dr evil has spent years quietly building up in the shadows will come crashing down around him. But he will also escape death and capture and will slither back into the undergrowth (not before saying “I’ll get you yet 007!”) and start plotting and rebuilding until one day he will once again be strong enough to re-emerge into a position of power and influence…
      But next time he will be better prepared for the likes of 007 aka Mark Webber and his trusty sidekick Ann Moneypenny.

  47. Qiang says:

    I don’t know what points Marko want to make here. We all know that the RBR team have a big problem. That problem is when one of their driver won races, they seems to have very little reason to be happy.

  48. Andrew says:

    “the defective chassis in Monte Carlo” – didn’t Webber just win the British GP with that “the defective chassis”?!

  49. AmandaG says:

    I’m a fan of Vettel’s and I’m not happy with what he has said. I also like Webber so it makes it even worse. Are Red Bull trying to damage Vettel’s image, because that is what is coming out of this. He used to be popular on forums, now he is the devil incarnate. Saying that, people that I know that love F1, go to the races but don’t have time to read forums and blogs have not changed their opinion at all.

    James

    A lot of people seem to be under the impression Vettel has changed a lot in the last 18 months, he doesn’t apologise and appears arrogant. What is your experience of him? Has he changed much?

    1. James Allen says:

      Not really, it’s all got more serious for him and the politics are never fun. Webber is a stronger adversary than he was last season.

      1. Daniel says:

        James, I would just like to say that I think it is fantastic, how a person of your experience and stature, takes the time to reply to our comments. It has made this blog number 1 in my book.

        Thank you

      2. James Allen says:

        The idea of the site is to help the fans get closer to the sport, in all kinds of ways

      3. Matt says:

        Seconded. I found your blog content interesting enough to peruse here irregularly, but it is the quality of discussion that you foster by participating that makes this site worth regular reading.

      4. Legend2 says:

        Webber was strong last year as well. He was second in the standings after Hungary and less than 20 points away from Button. Then, all of a sudden, he lost a lot of points due to the team. Could it have been sabotage? To make Vettel as the lead candidate for the championship?

        I’m talking about incidents like the pit stop in Spa, etc. The team really did things very badly for Mark following Hungary.

  50. Paige says:

    Let’s not forget also that Marko has been making noise about putting Buemi in the “A” team. And there’s been lots of noise about Marko wanting Raikkonen in the car.

    It’s clear that Marko is very much in the “Vettel” camp, as most of upper management/corporate at Red Bull seem to be. And as Joe Saward has accounted, Marko has a history of picking favorites and meddling with drivers in both Red Bull teams. In the past, it’s meant that the driver who Marko doesn’t favor gets the axe. As such, Webber is playing this impeccably: he’s winning and is a popular figure with fans, which gives him credibility when opening his mouth and apply leverage. After Istanbul and now Silverstone, anything that Red Bull does which has the slightest hint of favoring Vettel will result in a massive PR cockup for the team and nothing but good publicity for Webber. He’s got cards that guys like Liuzzi didn’t when they ran afoul of Marko.

    1. Iorwg says:

      If they ever get Kimi in the team Vettel will be well and truly humiliated – I personally don’t think Webber’s too great a driver, just RB seem to have a brilliant Newey car this year, and Seb’s already finding he can’t handle the slightest in-team competition.

      Put Vettel in the same car as Kimi, Hamilton, or Alonso (if he ever gets his emotions back under control) and I’d wager he’d come off a lot, lot worse – for now, at best he’s in the B-class with Massa, Button, Rosberg, Kubica and, er, Webber. Why exactly are people getting so carried away with the Vettel hype?

      Lewis and Kimi in the same Mclaren is what I want – reckon those two are the only top drivers confident enough to really not mind sharing the team with another top driver.

    2. N. Machiavelli says:

      “And there’s been lots of noise about Marko wanting Raikkonen in the car.”

      I’ll be amazed if Kimi chooses to align himself
      with a team that involves Marko. Kimi is not
      stupid.

      1. Brandon says:

        Kimi left f1 because of politics so I doubt he’d join this red bull team. I just don’t see it anymore

  51. Alan Goodfellow says:

    Marko’s certainly put his foot in it this time. He seems like a bit of a plank when it comes to PR!

    Although I thought the front wing shenanigans at Silverstone was a lot worse in terms of PR than what happened in Turkey, I thought Red Bull handled the Silverstone PR situation better than their efforts in Turkey (although, I must say, both situations were still shameful!)

    I thought they seemed to have learned a bit from the disaster that was the aftermath from Turkey but it would seem like Marko learned absolutely sod all!

    I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in both Mark Webber’s and Christian Horner’s rooms when they read these comments from him. Especially after Webber himself tried to draw a line under the whole episode with the statement on his website.

    Incidentally, James, what do you make of the other PR disaster going on at HRT. I can’t imagine dropping Karun Chandhok will earn them many plaudits in the paddock!

    1. James Allen says:

      Well they seem to be rotating drivers. Chandhok is looked after by Bernie, so any decision to drop him for a race isn’t taken lightly

      1. Ross says:

        Are they planning to put Klien in the car any time soon? You would have thought the German GP would have been the correct time to do it.

        At least with Klien who is a competent driver so we can get a feeling of how good or bad Senna and Chandhok are doing. General opinion is that the HRT is the worst car on the grid but both drivers seem to coming out of this with there credibility in tact. Chandhok is certainly fairing a lot better than I thought he would.

      2. Iorwg says:

        Is Sakon getting the drives because he’s paying? That’s what I heard, but I don’t get it because I’m sure Senna and Chandhok must both have a fair bit of sponsorship behind them.
        James, are there still paying drivers in F1 as in the ‘old’ days?

    2. neil m says:

      Surely the Chandok/Senna thing is just money? I presume Yamamoto is putting up 2 – 5mill per race to be given some exposure, and HRT are desperate for the cash to develop next years car.

  52. David says:

    I actually fel somewhat sorry for vetted as well as Mark. He tries a move on his team mate in Turkey, it goes horribly wrong and he falls of the circuit. Clearly his fault. he does what many drivers have done and turns to the drivers book of excuses in order to get over the fact that he’s just made a big mistake. So far so normal. Then the Red Bull senior management gets involved and it all goes up in smoke. This time around, what has vettel done? Nothing from what I can see. I’m not aware of any action on his part to get the wing. Everyone assumes his comments on Sunday were aimed at Mark, but that’s not definate is it. Perhaps it was a more nuanced comment, reflecting his annoyance at being caught up in something that he didn’t ask for? He knew he would be facing a teammate even more fired up as a result of what had happened, not what you want on the grippier side of the track.

    Now with this they look like a team coming apart at the seams, and it’s not the drivers causing this really, but the senior management team.

  53. Piket says:

    This sort of reminds me of the Mansell/Piquet situation at Williams in 86/87. Piquet came in as the big superstar and double world champion. Mansell was not expected to challenge Piquet’s superiority in the team. Once it was clear Mansell was a contender the harmony in the team fell apart allowing Prost and McLaren to beat them the the 1986 in an inferior car. This could be the same fate for Red Bull this year.

    1. James Allen says:

      I had the same thought. Difference is that Vettel is a lot younger. Piquet was already a double champion when he joined Williams

      1. John B says:

        Alonso was a double world champion when he joined McLaren – and look how well that turned out :-)

  54. OppositeLock says:

    What in heaven’s name is wrong with these Red Bull people? Every time things seem to settle down someone like Horner or Marko decides to make a statement that stirs everything up again! It is absolutely ludicrous. Either they are totally media-ignorant (highly doubtful) or they think any publicity is good publicity.

    Either way, they are really developing an extremely poor public image of incompetent management and rotten employee relations.

  55. John says:

    My father once gave me some sound advice: “no matter where you end up in life, never forget where you came from”. Perhaps RBR have forgotten

  56. Adam Millls says:

    Hi James, best of luck hosting the TalkSport show tomorrow, I’ll see you there about 1230 for my slot!

  57. dkfone says:

    James, do you think the management structure at Red Bull has a negative affect on the team. Who is running the team: Horner, Newey, Marko.
    Ferrari under Todt were so successful because everyone had a defined role, Todt the boss, Brawn the tactician, Byrne the designer. Or do you think Ron Dennis or Patrick head would have allowed anyone to make key decisions.

    1. James Allen says:

      Well it’s had a very positive effect on the team so far because look where they are, from where they came from

  58. Ross says:

    Hi James. Looking forward to listening to your show on Talksport. It’s about time they had a proper F1 show on the station and you are the perfect man to host it. Have you work with Eddie Irvine before?

    Will there be an chance for the show to be available on a listen back feature? I am currently in NZ and the time difference is not really in my favor.

    1. James Allen says:

      I don’t know, but give it a try. If not, it will be on the LG F1 player, no doubt

      1. David Jerromes says:

        I’m listening to the show from Dubai via the talksport website, sound quality is perfect.

        James – great show so far, wish you could have asked Christian Horner about Dr.Marko’s comments….

        Keep up the good work and try to not let Eddie Irvine monopolise every answer…, although I do like listening to him as his humour is so very dry!

      2. Ross says:

        Agreed. It was a excellent listen. I hope to hear more soon.

  59. Noel says:

    This is all simply wonderful. I mean the actual racing is obviously great to watch, but who doesn’t love the soap opera that goes along with F1 too.

    In the Red Bull camp we have the mean old Austrian upper management, the young gun German, the straight talking steely Aussie, the professor and the plucky Brit trying to keep it all together.

    Perhaps they need to settle it all at Spa in Belgium. A country, as Jeremy Clarkson so eloquently put it, was created so that the Germans and the Allies had a place to settle their differences.

  60. Rich C says:

    Another PR blunder! I can’t believe it!

    After things had quieted down a bit, this doofus has to go run his mouth and stir it up again!

    Now everyone is going to start speculating on exactly who runs the team again.

    Do they not know when to shut up!??

  61. Steve JR says:

    Mark’s popularity clearly eclipses his team’s popularity. He comes across as a regular no nonsense down to earth bloke who you’d want to have a pint with while discussing a lost opportunity at the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix.

    Seb seems to have changed from the smiley teen of 2008 to the grumpy twenty year old of 2010 as he makes crazy signs after putting it in the side of Mark in Turkey – it’s like he’s been in training at the Fernando school of being miserable.

    Christian comes across as the team principal who’s trying spin too many plates as they keep falling off their poles, breaking on the floor.

    Helmut’s coming across as the heir apparent to Montezemolo – he should hire in the services of a savvy media mogul to brief him on how to acquire anythihng that resembles charisma or failing that, how to shut up.

  62. chris green says:

    hey James – re interview with Eddie. Watch out Ron doesn’t cut your microphone lead! lol.

    I think MW is playing with fire. I think he needs to settle down and concentrate on the WDC.

    Who was the first to go public about the wing incident at the british GP? Was it MW or someone else?

    RB are playing into Mac’s hands with this constant destablisation. Marko’s latest comments are just another example. Most of what he said is not only ill informed but pretty much a slap in the face for MW.

    It’s a damn shame for all concerned.

    1. SH says:

      “Who was the first to go public about the wing incident at the british GP?”

      I think it was a journalist in the post-qualy interviews.

  63. Fulveo Ballabeo says:

    How in the world can RBR be this tone-deaf?

    If RB’s investment in F1 is to grow brand affinity, they’re unsporting behavior and inept management is taking them in the wrong direction.

    The real question is: where would Marko be without Red Bull?

    Marko is used to pulling the strings of junior drivers in need of RB’s patronage. Their lives/careers are literally in Marko’s hands, and are in no position to speak their minds. Speed tried, but without the track record to back it up.

    In short, Marko has become accustomed to sycophants. Webber has the track-record and is wisely playing his game, not Marko’s. Marko doesn’t know how to handle that.

    ps- Marko helms the Red Bull junior program. Outside of Vettel, how has Helmut performed?

  64. Silvercity says:

    I have not the time to read all the comments but for Marko to say “where would Webber be without Redbull” is a crock. Where would any of the top drivers be without a lucky break or having their talent spotted early? All teams have early driver development programs, all teams have a goal to win or do the best they can with their resources. They do not employ people to “give them a break”. It is through strategic recruitment and engineering development that when a team gets it right, they win. Redbull is managing this whole thing poorly, a chink in their armour that could se them loose the championship? If I was an opposition team I would play on and destabilize them further.

    1. shortsighted says:

      I can see that the purpose of Marko’s public remarks is to intimidate Webber so that he will shut up from now on and accept his position as the #2 driver. But all this is hurting RB public image and may very well eventually the sale of their products against the likes of Coca Cola, etc. Why does the owner of RB allows this guy to destroy the firm without restraining him is beyond me.

  65. Mark V says:

    Putting aside the question of who is in the right and who is in the wrong, has this Marko guy no clue that his statements are causing people to move away from cheering for Webber and Red Bull against the other teams in the field, to cheering for Webber against his own team?

    He should take his foot out of his mouth, jam a can of Red Bull in there and not take it out until the season is over. His future self will thank him for it.

  66. Daniel says:

    James, who do you think has more skill at setting up the car, Webber or Vettel? As Webber made a comment that Vettel took his wing and his setup.

    1. James Allen says:

      Don’t have a strong feeling there. Webber has more experience, but they tell me Seb is very bright and very strong on set up.

  67. f1aroo says:

    Seems the FIA might need to assign a marshall to the Red Bull pit to make sure there are no more favoritism shenanigans. They did it in ’07 in Brazil in McLaren’s garage to “protect” Alonso. If an FIA rep had been in the RB garage at Silverstone they might not have allowed Horner to give Webber’s wing away.

  68. KNF says:

    Where does Flavio fit in all of this, apparently he did have some chats with Webber over that weekend (either to give advice or encouragement), but if he is coming back from the cold and working with Ecclestone, I can’t think of a worse person to be handling the commercial rights…

  69. JohnBt says:

    Red Bull underestimated Mark’s capability totally and what do you get? It has BACKFIRED and now they’re trying to extinguish this huge ball of explosion.

    Damaged has been done and you can’t change it. When a lie is told it becomes complex in trying to rewrite the truth.

    But is it good for F1′s publicity or bad?

    Look forward to Germany.

  70. bodgy B says:

    marko is clearly a prize fool. Vettel is a spoilt little turd who expects all and sundry to move over when he wants to come by and throws a hissy fit when he gets beaten by his team mate.
    hopefully webber wins the championship and then backs one out on the red bull motorhome.

  71. j says:

    helmut, you’re embarrassing yourself and the team. not to mention damaging vettel’s image even further!

    where would vettel be without red bull’s support? he’s a great little driver, but i’ve got no doubt his path into f1 has been a little easier than mr webber’s.

    look at it this way, vettel and webber would have both been on 4 wins each by now without the various problems (wheel nut, gear box change, spark plug, turkey crash).

    webber’s done the right thing, released a statement to clear the air…(which mind you vettel’s camp wasn’t able to do over the turkey crash and finger waving)…but helmut has just undone red bull’s pr spin quite nicely.

    vettel is favoured by the big wigs at red bull – so lets all keep an eye on what happens throughout the rest of the season. the fans love an underdog!

  72. Hingo says:

    If Red Bull lose the championship this year, a large part of the blame should sit with Marko. You can almost see the puppet strings attached to Horner.

    To say that Webber was nowhere before Red Bull is also wrong. Back in 2005, Williams was still considered one of Formula One’s top championship contenders. You didn’t get a drive with Williams unless you were considered to be a top driver. It wasn’t Webber’s fault that both Jaguar and Williams produced shit cars all those years. Even Frank Williams admits that. What he did do though was beat all of his team mates convincingly.

    Red Bull should be thankful to get Mark because he could have moved to Renault quite easily.

  73. dilligaf says:

    Just as things seem to settle down after “wing gate” Marko gets on his soapbox and decides to chime into the debate over favourtisim. Just when the fire is put out, this arsonist re-ignites it. (RBR ned to put a gag order on Marko) Has it occured to anyone that Vettels failures may have been from early EXPERIMENTAL developments placed on his car! I personally find it hard to look at this any other way. It’s not bad luck. It was a calculated risk that failed. (just my opinion)
    As people here before me have said 2 years ago (Mark), he was with the team, 4 years ago he joined what was then a struggling team. Remember this was a team Mark drove for in 03/04 that was called Jaguar. Mark does owe the team some credit (Newey joined in 06) but not as much as Marko thinks. It’s Webbers talent that has kept in this sport all these years, and now that he’s set to reap the rewards after years of hard work, this one eyed fool is trying to take credit for it. Marks reaction was typical for an aussie who see’s what is an unjust behaviour that is quite clearly lopsided. As an aussie myself WE love underdogs, all this is doing is making Mark stronger in more ways than RedBull could have imagined. Markos comments are undermining the RedBull team.

  74. Alex says:

    James,

    Why is it that f1 experts and commentators seem to think Webber has improved so much this season? As far as i’m concerned its only his car that has improved. As a keen follower of Webber, my opinion of him in 2007/08 (where he wiped the floor with coulthard, a good driver) was higher than his ‘breakthrough’ season of ’09 (though his leg was, now seemingly quite obviously, a hindrance), and the first four races of this year- where I never has seen him make so many mistakes. I know the spot light is more on him than it was earlier, but he is one of the few drivers who would out perform his car regularly, and his bad luck would be often be used by even the media to reflect any poor results. All in all, comments now of experts being suprised by his pace, and remembering him as somewhat second tier, somewhat surprise me when I always remember the (british) media being quite fond of him before he was a race winner (for instance- even in 05 when Nick Heidfeld had performed him, many year end reviews gave Webber the edge and he also won the bandini trophy). Is there is evidence to support what i would call the ‘in vogue’ perception he has actually improved as a driver?

    1. James Allen says:

      He has definitely raised his game, as you only can do when you are in that winning situation. He has also found more consistency. But he still gets too close to others, cf Turkey and Valencia, which can lead to accidents

  75. Bluey from Oz says:

    Great article James.

    This year does remind me of the William battle in 86/87 – got to love F1 team politics.

    I find it interesting that know one has not picked up on your comments about Mark quoting Flavio Briatore in recent interviews (post British GP).

    With Fav spending more time with Bernie Ecclestone – I wonder if Bernie has anointed a successor to take over in 2012 ?

    I’m not convinced that MW is ready to retire after 2011.
    It surprised me that he only signed a contract to 2011.
    Maybe a move in 2012 to Renault F1 or Ferrari to finish his career?

    The Helmut Marko comments should be viewed with the bias that it’s essentially a German funded team located in the UK.
    Don’t mention the war ! :-)

    Aussie “steeliness about Webber lately”- damn right !

    Look forward to listening to your radio program via the Interweb

    1. Kimo says:

      Radio program? Can I access those on the web? If so let me know. Thanks

      1. Bluey from Oz says:

        Kimo

        http://www.talksport.net or as per JA’s artice today

        Cheers

        Bluey

  76. tank says:

    Marko is rather arrogant, isn’t he.

    with the red bull drivers, inevitably one driver beats the other to pole, as has been the case this season. The other driver gets out of the car, visibly furious that he lost out, and out to prove a point on Sunday. During the race, the one that’s behind loses his head and is likely to bin the car.

    No wonder things are disintegrating. The drivers can never be happy in a situation where they try to match their achievements to their egos, when both egos are similar, and the goal of winning the championship has not been achieved by either driver.

  77. John says:

    I had a thought the other day that might explain the potency of seemingly anti-Webber feeling from Marko, and to an extent Horner, post Turkey race and seemingly now.

    Could it be prior to the Turkish GP and going into the race there was an inter-team agreement known by the drivers of how they race each other?

    If we look at other instances of Vettel and Webber racing each other prior to then they gave each other much more room.

    Could it be because Webber was feeling aggrieved at the situation on lap 48, he broke the agreement whilst defending against Vettel?

    This would explain 1. Vettel’s reaction out of the car, and 2. Marko and Horner’s instance that Webber whould have given more space.

    Since then there has been a total breakdown in the relationship and now we see this.

    This is the only way I could see Marko seemingly having a grudge to this extent, and Horner managing Webber the way he is, any thoughts James?

    It’s unlikely I know, and Webber seems the type of bloke who would explain why he broke the agreement if there was one and it would be sorted, but this is the only way as I say I can sort of understand Marko in particular and Horner to an extent treating Webber the way they are.

  78. Nadeem Zreikat says:

    James is there a podcast of the show or can download later? Bit hard to listen while on Oz

  79. John says:

    Well, I can’t believe that an elderly statesman like Dr Helmut Marko can make comments like that when employed as a Red Bull Advisor.It seems that proof is in the pudding. As an senior member of the team his role should be to calm the drivers and work as united team. He is definately not hiding who is favouring. The public are not stupid and neither is Mark Webber.As they say where there is smoke there is fire.

  80. Chris Partridge says:

    James, the problem for Red Bull is even if there is no favourtism inside the team towards one driver or another, the real issue is the perception of favourtism. Does the tone of the statement released earlier this week from the team — accounting for Mark’s statements at the British GP — convince those that do suspect favourtism from changing their minds? I would strongly argue no. It would be interesting to put that to CH today.

  81. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    More like Helmut Marko would be nowhere without Red Bull….if it wasn’t for Adrian Newey he would more likely be squabbling over which Japanese pay driver to chase after next year.

    So Marko is saying that basically Webber is an outsider who would be nothing without his Austrian backers.

    Come on, this issue is simple to see….Mark is a gritty Ausssie……

    ……while Sebastian is the “wunderkind” with blonde hair und blau augen.

  82. Wombat says:

    Vettel is a immensely talented, determined, if at times pesky, F1 driver. Webber is a genuine natural talent who has brought himself up to the very top level by steady development and hard work over many years. He learns from every race and incident. This year he has had to learn how to win regularly and how deal in a measured way with the opportunistic (and at times pushy) tactics of his team-mate. They spark off one another and this is one of the reasons Red Bull is doing so well.
    What is happening is not a driver issue it is a management issue, in particular communication. It seems Webber has not been in the loop of at least two critical decisions this season that affected him directly. I’m sure Red Bull know only too well that is not the way forward.
    Neither is this latest extraordinary outburst.

  83. Mike S says:

    The saga goes beyond Turkey when the supposed order of who went last in qualifying got shuffled in Vettel’s favor. This is important because I believe the live timing for the teams is split up into 10 sectors unlike the live timing we watch with 3 sectors. This means the driver can get very clear feedback from his team as to how he is faring relative to the others if he goes last. Quite an advantage! Then there was the order to turn Mark’s engine down and Seb’s up in Turkey, or in Canada when Mark was ordered to save his engine when catching Seb.

    These scenarios are less likely to occur if there was no radio contact between the team and driver during qualifying and the race. It would mean the driver would have to watch his fuel but wouldn’t artificially be stopped from racing or as in Turkey being setup to be passed. However, there would still be radio contact with race control for safety reasons.
    As I see it this would lead to more racing and less opportunities to manipulate results by the team. It would also require the driver to have more skill in nursing the car, whilst also managing tyres and fuel.

    Any thought on this James or other interested fans of transparent racing?

    Cheers,

    Mike

    1. James Allen says:

      As few people have suggested getting rid of radios.

    2. smellyden says:

      I here what you are saying and I guess from a fan point of view you are completly right. But I fear the teams would never agree to this, so its just a non starter.

      1. hesus says:

        Ban the radio – they will communicate via the pit wall – it doesn’t change anything.

  84. phil says:

    I think Marko is just trying to affect Webber’s mindset, hoping that he will make a mistake or two in the following GP’s.

    Anyone who who has watched F1 knows that Webber’s mental strength is one of his great strengths, his performance under pressure this year is clear evidence of this. If anything he seems to perform better when the stakes are high.

  85. Kenny says:

    Marko is very much not helping things to be quite honest.
    He may be saying that Webber would be nowhere and so on and so forth, but has he forgotten that in the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, Webber was running in second during the safety car period and could have actually challenged for the lead at the restart, BUT who ran into the back of him? Sebastian Vettel.

    It was also Marko that said pretty much immediately after the Vettel-Webber crash at Istanbul that he felt Webber was at fault despite the footage showing Vettel turning into Webber. He can’t undo that and neither can Red Bull as a team.

  86. Andrew Myers says:

    Just finished listening to your excellent radio show James. I tuned in online from Aus. unfortunately I missed the first hour but thoroughly enjoyed the remainder. Also I have a newfound respect for Eddie irvine as well. I was shocked he still rated Senna his favourite driver after the famous punching incident but that was good listening.

    hope this is a regular show from now on? Would be excellent too if it wee available as audio on demand? Especially for those of us on the other side of the globe.

    1. phil says:

      You can listen to the complete mp3 on the website james provided. I live in australia and just finished listening to it

  87. Iorwg says:

    Good radio show James (but it must feel odd having to say ‘Life’s good with LG’ every ten minutes, whether mid-conversation or not..)
    Was paricularly interested to hear Horner being quite critical of MW (albeit in his nice polite way), saying Mark appeared mollified when all was explained on the Saturday so his attitude on the Sunday caught everyone out. Wonder what happened to Mark over Saturday night? (Flav? Helmut?)
    Would have liked to hear Horner pushed to explain why Seb seemed so peeved with MW on the Sunday as well, post-race comments along the lines of ‘I’ve learned he’s two-faced, etc’ – did Seb and Mark have an agreement (or team instruction) to hold position into the first corner, perhaps? Seb’s anger towards Mark remains a mystery – as far as I can tell Mark hasn’t been at all critical of Seb..
    Chris Rea – magic.
    Ed Irvine – not really a great co-host tbh, can see why he hasn’t ended up doing proper media work like DC.

    1. Kate says:

      I was interested in Horner’s comments about Webber’s attitude too, what were your thoughts on it James?

      I also found it odd that Horner claims they were surprised on Sunday, yet not one can deny that he gave the most insincere pit radio congratulations in recent memory before that infamous comment from Webber. His tone was flat and his intonation was almost sarcastic. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but he couldn’t have sounded less pleased for him if he had tried. Makes me think that we still don’t know the full story.

      Great show by the way James, only thing is I thought it was a shame you didn’t ask Horner about Marko’s comments.

  88. El Shish says:

    The notion of what Webber had done before the Red Bull became competitive can, although slightly differently, be applied equally to Vettel. If Webber’s success is so dependent on how good the car is and he’s been pretty much on par with Vettel over two seasons, surely that makes them fairly well matched in terms of ability and driver performance, otherwise Vettel would have left Webber trailing a long time ago.

    Cars change every year and until somebody else wins a championship, the best drivers around at the moment are Hamilton, Alonso and Button with an asterix next to Schumacher on that list. Many drivers are made to look better by fast cars… until any driver wins a championship, they can’t consider themselves to be among the very very best.

  89. Carl says:

    And to add…Hamilton will be champion this year…thanks to Webber causing drama and division at RBR.

    1. Carl says:

      Nice way of totally chopping up my post, whoever is admin.

      Anything critical of Webber is censored, adding more to the notion many have about English speaking ‘fans’ and commentators…

      If I posted, ‘[mod]‘ it would have been accepted. Of course this post wont be accepted too, or posted censored, but yeah, prove my point. The church you guys are preaching to already fell for your drama creating BS.

      1. James Allen says:

        Not sure what you are referring to. We are not in the business of ‘censoring’ or favouring any driver over another, regardless of nationality. If your comment was edited it was because it violated the rules, which are clearly laid out in Rules of the Blog. This is a place for intelligent debate and if you wish to participate in that you are welcome here.

    2. Philip T says:

      Was Red Bull’s drama not caused by themselves (Marko, Newey, Horner et al)? I feel Webber’s comments are more a consequence of poor decision-making rather than a cause.

      I would be very surprised, Vettel winning the title excepted, if Marko was still in a job next year given that the team is essentially a PR exercise. Then again, maybe there is no such thing as bad PR?

  90. F1 Novice says:

    Pooh missed the radio show – will there be a podcast anywhere ?

  91. Kimo says:

    Marko is just exercising his role as Vettel’s manager.

    This along with his conflicting role a “team advisor” is the source of RB’s PR issue.

  92. What I found interesting on your TalkSport show today, James was Horner revealing Webber had a new floor and lighter chassis and Vettel didn’t

    Why couldn’t that have been common knowledge last Saturday? Horner has soooooo much to learn

    1. Jato says:

      Missed the show. Did the floor actually have any performance added or was it just ‘new’? There is a difference there as opposed to say a new wing with actual performance added. They could be just replacing the part.

      Does that mean Vettel has been driving a lighter chassis than Webber those times Webber dominated the Spain/Monaco GPs??

      Otherwise, the lighter chassis was probably to accomodate Webber’s additional weight. He has less room for ballast so he is at an disadvantage to Vettel already.

      James, why does the FIA not raise the minimum weight so it does disadvantage all the heavier drivers? It seems like they all want pint sized jockey drivers lately and does not look good for drivers wanting to get into F1.

      1. I think the floor was described as optimized and a performance gain

  93. Steven says:

    This is not a PR nightmare for Red Bull, this is a PR bonanza. Red Bull is in everyones mouth.

  94. Joe S says:

    Is the TalkSport show available for any of us who foolishly missed it?

  95. EM says:

    Some posts here and listening to Christian Horner on your radio show (life’s good apparently!) have raised a few interesting theories.

    Christian said the team wanted more data on the wing as the tests had been inconclusive. Hardly preferential treatment and probably not the full story but are Red Bull giving Vettel the more experimental updates that aren’t fully formed but have a fair chance of increasing speed? It would explain why Vettel has been the unluckier of the two RBR drivers over the past couple of seasons if he’s running the newer but riskier parts. It could also explain why he’s often fastest in qualifying.

    I’ve also watched the first couple of corners at Silverstone again and it totally sums up the shift in Webber/Vettel relations:

    1. Webber gets a better start, Vettel notices this and comes across quite dramatically at Webber.
    2. Webber stays firm, he knows he’s shown Vettel before that he won’t move or lift off. Vettel knows he has two choices, back away or hit Webber. Wisely he chooses to back away.
    3. Now Webber moves over to the left, kind of allowed as he’s going for the racing line into the corner.
    4. Vettel sees this and it’s as if he thinks a brick wall is approaching him, he moves further left to give Webber room, Webber keeps coming until Vettel is forced wide over the kerb.

    Vettel’s scared of Webber now, when they go together for a piece of track it’s going to be the German that yields.

  96. rav says:

    irvine on talksport?? thought he had a lawsuit with them a few years back?

  97. BMG says:

    James, I have just read an interview with Frank Williams. He talks about the marriage with BMW and the reasons it did not work. He claims the German management style/ mind set of running things is at odds with the British management style.Do you think this is what is happening at Redbull with the British/ English speaking camp “Webber” and German/ Austrian side “Vettel”? Webber was at Williams at the time it went bad so maybe he is just trying to keep the balance 50/50.

    1. N. Machiavelli says:

      “…I have just read an interview with Frank Williams … He claims the German management style/ mind set of running things is at odds with the British management style.

      I think the above is the understatement of the year !

      It’s not just “management style”. I’ve known a few Germans well, and though they can be nice people, they can also be the most obdurate and closed-minded people I’ve ever met. I say this not as any sort of insult, but rather simply what I’ve observed during interactions with some German people. They have their own way of thinking and it’s less likely they will listen to someone who is not in the possession of an advanced degree, a higher military rank, or that sort of thing. It comes down to a different sort of response to authority, and many Germans tend to be rather less than flexible in this regard.

      I am willing to bet that Ross Brawn has himself
      run into this phenomenon this year, though we will probably never know unless he writes a book after he retires.

      Of course there are exceptions, and I do not mean to say that all German people are as described above.

  98. Oliver N. says:

    Bit late to this one,

    But Marko represents the sponsors interest within the team, for all the whys and wherefores of team politics, and whether MW should take a bullet for the team, Marko’s comments only seem to underscore the fact that Vettel is the team’s number one driver, when he doesn’t appear to be earning that status on the track. This meddling and issuing of ill timed, ill thought out statements can, in my view, only damage the brand. Let them fight it out fair and square, fiercely and acrimoniously if necessary, that will grab the headlines, and we will all buy a few extra cans of fizzy loopy juice as a result, which is, after all what pays the bills in F1.

  99. ColinZeal says:

    I can only see Dr Marko’s comments as indicitive of how the media works.

    He is speaking to the german media and telling them what they want to hear.

    IMO Sebastian has been put under unnecessary pressure by the british media and it is no surprise to see it playing out differently in germany.

    If this story continues lets hope there is real substance to it and not just the media poking the fire. Hopefully there will be no more incidents like the silverstone nose cone saga.

    It is fantastic to see the fans shouting for fairness between a team’s drivers and I certainly support that.

    I would love to see Mark continue in strong form and completely destroy Seb throughout the remainder of the season. Gotta love the underdog eh!

    1. James Allen says:

      It will be very interesting to see how the Germans get behind Vettel next week

  100. Zdravko Topolnjak says:

    2 years ago Webber was in contention for Fuji GP win. Guess who put him out of it…

    i dont like Marko, and it seems like many dont.

  101. AndoNeo says:

    What I am loving James is this season. 2010 is just getting better and better and I think it’s a lot to do with being a die hard Webber fan but a lot of other drivers in good cars.

    I think this controversy has been the best thing for Webber honestly. He’s always been quick. There’s no doubt about that, but I’ll be the first to admit that he lacks the fire in the belly of the likes of Alonso, Raikonnen and Hamilton when it comes to fighting on track.

    He had it on Sunday that’s for sure.

    Bring on Germany!

  102. Alexis says:

    So Marko is saying he thinks Webber is a poor driver and he only gave him a place at the team out of sympathy?

    The man needs to shut up.

  103. Gord says:

    Well, Webber did a decent job at BMW Williams…

  104. John H says:

    Why didn’t you flip a coin to decide where the wing should be placed Horner?

    Then all this would not be happening.

  105. Brad says:

    I am guessing that somewhere in Europe Bernie, Flavio, and maybe even Helmut are sitting in a room together laughing at how good this situation is for F1… and counting the $ of course.. :)

    I think its good too… and I’m an Aussie.

  106. Steve Mc says:

    Seems strange that Marko makes such polarising statements (assuming they have been reported/translated correctly), when The Big Boss always seems to come across as very fair and even handed…

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/85379

  107. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Marko must have been skim reading when he first looked at Webber’s CV.

    He wanted an Austrian but ended up with an Australian.

  108. Simon Lord says:

    There are some comments in the above about ‘who does Helmut Marko think he is/where has he come from?’ I am no fan of Red Bull, the product or the team, and I think this whole mess had been very poorly handled, but perhaps readers should acknowledge his achievements.

    He drove in 10 grands prix until losing an eye when a stone was flicked up from the car in front. He won Le Mans in a 917, holds the all-time lap record for the Targa Florio and was a friend of Jochen Rindt. He is no stranger to the dangers of motor sport.

    The current situation is one of those that arises from time to time when you have two drivers of near-equal ability in the best car. If they were racing for fifth, no-one would pay any attention. As it is, they probably need to lock down the PR hatches and decide who is going to speak to the press – the last thing the fans actually want, but anything else would be stupid.

  109. Just A Bloke (Martin) says:

    I presume you have all seen the interview with Dietrich “Mr Red Bull” Mateschit on the Autosport website. If that is honest and not spin then he has gone up in my opinion and Christian Horner is starting to look wounded I’m afraid.

    Sorry if this is not quite the right thread but I tried……

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