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Vettel on British GP pole as “underdog” Webber fumes over wing change
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Vettel on British GP pole as “underdog” Webber fumes over wing change
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Jul 2010   |  3:39 pm GMT  |  110 comments

Sebastian Vettel took his fifth pole position of the season ahead of team mate Mark Webber as Red Bull opened up a yawning gap over its competitors, but afterwards it emerged that the two cars were not in the same specification.


Red Bull had two of its new specification front wings at Silverstone. Vettel’s was damaged in an incident during free practice this morning, where the mounting broke as he turned into the new Abbey corner.

Team principal Christian Horner said that he had to take the difficult decision to give the other one to Vettel for qualifying, based on championship position and performance in free practice and regretted that the team was not able to run two cars in equal specification. “Sometimes I have to make difficult decisions,” he said.

Webber’s body language in the TV unilaterals and afterwards in the paddock spoke volumes. He said that the team is still evaluating front wings at the moment and refused to say that the wing was the reason for his loss to Vettel, but did suggest that it might have been worth a tenth of a second. When pressed he described himself as “the underdog” in the team situation.

Vettel meanwhile tried to play down the significance of the situation, “From the outside, it is often quite difficult to judge what is going on. We know what we are doing, I think. I don’t think it is black and white answer on the wing but I was very happy I could continue with the same kind of wing.”

Inevitably this episode will re-ignite accusations that the team favours Vettel, who was delighted with his second consecutive pole at Silverstone.

The conditions were a bit cooler on Saturday than they had been in practice on Friday.

The Red Bulls were ahead from the start, with Vettel quickest in Q1 from Webber, although the form book from practice was carried over as far as Ferrari were concerned. Alonso was just a tenth slower than the Red Bulls, as the upgrades to their package started to bear fruit. The team had experimented with the drag reducing F Duct wing on Friday and decided to run it on both cars for the rest of the weekend.

But as the session went on the Red Bulls stretched their legs over Ferrari and Vettel’s eventual margin over Alonso was 8/10ths of a second, which is as big as we have seen all season in normal conditions. The Red Bull is a rocket ship around this circuit.

“It’s just quick everywhere,” said Vettel. “We were very competitive in Valencia and also here. Our car likes corners where you need downforce so that will always help us. Compared to last year we have made a step forward all around.

McLaren in contrast, had real problems with their upgrade package this weekend and were on a damage limitation exercise on Saturday having used up Friday running to test the blown diffuser, which seemed to not only make the car unstable, but also overheated components and bodywork at the rear of the car.

Jenson Button, whose Silverstone jinx continued. He qualified only 14th fastest, half a second slower than team mate Lewis Hamilton and was eliminated in the second session. Button had complained all afternoon about low grip at the rear end of the car. The team had taken the exhaust blown diffuser off the car and it looked like a case of Hamilton being able to drive around a handling problem better than Button. The car was obviously unstable as the team patched up a new plan in light of the difficulties with the update package.

“Some of the new package didn’t work so we had to go back to what we had before, ” said Button. “The car was okay this morning, but it was a different animal this afternoon and there was no pace in the car at all. Hopefully we will find there is a problem, I’m very disappointed.”

Hamilton managed to drive around the balance issues and qualified an impressive fourth. “Fourth is … I’m so happy with it, you can’t believe it,” he said. “I’m so proud of my team because we pushed so hard all year, but in the last couple of days they pushed longer and harder than ever to get this update package, which is an improvement, but we just were unable to work it. Unfortunately we had to take it off last night. We knew we were a long way off.”

Both Pedro de la Rosa and Rubens Barrichello were on form in qualifying, making it into Q3. Barrichello ended up in 8th place on the grid. Williams have a big package of upgrades this weekend, including a blown diffuser.

BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Qualifying
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:30.841 1:30.480 1:29.615
2. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:30.858 1:30.114 1:29.758
3. Alonso Ferrari 1:30.997 1:30.700 1:30.426
4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.297 1:31.118 1:30.556
5. Rosberg Mercedes 1:31.626 1:31.085 1:30.625
6. Kubica Renault 1:31.680 1:31.344 1:31.040
7. Massa Ferrari 1:31.313 1:31.010 1:31.172
8. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:31.424 1:31.126 1:31.175
9. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:31.533 1:31.327 1:31.274
10. Schumacher Mercedes 1:32.058 1:31.022 1:31.430
11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:31.109 1:31.399
12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:31.851 1:31.421
13. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:32.144 1:31.635
14. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.435 1:31.699
15. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:32.226 1:31.708
16. Petrov Renault 1:31.638 1:31.796
17. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:31.901 1:32.012
18. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:32.430
19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:34.405
20. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:34.775
21. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:34.864
22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:35.212
23. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:36.576
24. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:36.968

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110 Comments
  1. Ben G says:

    Smacks of unfairness.

    Giving the points leader priority on new parts is one thing, but taking them off another car is just wrong. It’s not as if this is the last race of the season.

    If Vettel was a gent he would have refused the part.

    1. Pete says:

      You’re joking about Vettel, right?

      Like Horner said, difficult decision, but Vteel looked like the better man this weekend, so they’ve put all their eggs into his basket.

      1. markdartj says:

        Maybe in the short term it helps, but tearing apart the team mid season doesn’t sound too smart. RB seems to be doing everything they can to scupper the whole deal. Oh, and by the way, it turns out that Webber signed the new contract the night before the messed up race at Istanbul. I’m sure he is having second thoughts.

      2. Peter says:

        I m looking forward to someone take Vettel out, and eventually Webber wins the race !

      3. CH1UNDA says:

        is that true mark? about webber signing the night before the race? then the announcement was delayed. He must be feeling properly stitched.

      4. David Perel says:

        They have been equal on pace the whole weekend, I’m not sure where you saw Vettel being the favourite at any point.

    2. Pinball says:

      Hopefully the new wing breaks off vetels car during the race like it did in practice forcing him to pit allowing webber in front.

      1. Gerry says:

        heh heh heh… wicked… ;-)

    3. KerbRider says:

      Hopefully natural justice prevails and the wing snaps of again on him, leaving the way for webber to take the win.

    4. Jack says:

      It is not the drivers decision to make what specification they get. It is ignorance on your part to think that Vettel could have decided not to accept Webbers wing.

    5. Edgas Mutute says:

      I agree with you my friend.

    6. shortsighted says:

      Oh boy. Red Bull leaves such a bad taste to the mouth that I’ll from now on switch to another drink.

      My respect for Vettel has disappeared into thin air too.

      1. Neil says:

        So it’s not true! Red Bull doesn’t give you wings!

    7. F1 Fan attic says:

      Natural justice prevailed.

      “Not bad for a number 2 driver” – classic, Webber wins and wins more fans than Vettel who is beginning to look evermore like the Schumacher who overtook Barrichello in Austria….team orders….tut tut RBR

  2. spongbo says:

    I start feeling sick every time I hear of Red Bull team interactions with Webber.

    I hope he feels better about it, being there for another year.

    I understand it’s a tough choice, but penalizing the side of the garage that didn’t have the engineering fault seems – once again – like favouritism.

    Princess Sebastian is not my favourite person right now.

  3. Robert says:

    What a load of rubbish from Red Bull. Thumbs down from me. Since Alonso’s first title we have had a series of quality seasons where the Ferrari antics of the past were discarded. This kind of thing demeans the championship if it leads to success for Red Bull

  4. Alan Goodfellow says:

    I think Christian Horner is extremely naive to think that nobody will see this as favouritism of Vettel.

    He said in his BBC interview that the new wing didn’t give much of a performance advantage so why did the team spend time, money and effort making it then?

    The two Red Bulls were also seven-tenths ahead of Fernando’s Ferrari – clearly a huge gap – so why did the team not just give both cars the old specification wing for an equal shot at pole?

    You have to ask: would Mark have had the same treatment if the positions were reversed? For me, I don’t think so somehow…

    What did you make of Mark in the press conference, James? He didn’t seem to be as talkative as usual.

    1. James Allen says:

      He was very angry when he came into the Unilateral TV room

      1. Wingers says:

        Yeah and when you asked a question, his answer spewed of irritation, didn’t blame you for moving onto Alonso Sharp!

        I really wish in these situations just for once, Mark would just say it… I know its not wise, and would probably have a Red Bull doing an HRT on him for Germany…

        But wow, I can see Ferrari coming right with Alonso gunning them down as the only single entity team attack while both Red Bull and McLaren squabble over team orders…

        Stranger things have happened

        BTW James, what do you make of the ‘relaxed’ press conferences where you see the entire drivers body, to me it looks very ‘trying too hard to look fun’ and is hilarious when the McLaren boys are there with their stiff sponsor jackets on top of their overalls… so silly :-)

      2. Young Slinger says:

        Not very surprising. Favouritism is definately being shown – very stupid of Red Bull.

      3. Marybeth says:

        One also might want to consider in that they did not give Mark enough time to run a second lap.

      4. CH1UNDA says:

        To be fair it was a new part that had to be tested so it was important that it was run during the weekend – in this case the idea from James that neither should have run the part was probably not in the interests of the engineers.

  5. Vinola says:

    Nice report JA. I’m surprised McLaren talked up their upgrades and chances for this weekend so much; what a PR disaster!. I think the start is going to be interesting tomorrow with Alonso and Rosberg on the better side of the track. I quite fancy Alonso’s chances for a win.

    1. Peter says:

      Don’t ever remember McLaren talking up these new pieces. Where do you get your sources?

      1. kbdavies says:

        @Peter –
        They did. All week long. In fact, they claimed the figures from the tunnel and simulator gave 0.5 sec advantage!

      2. CH1UNDA says:

        Oh yes Peter they did! The upgrade was sold as this silver bullet that would vanguish all before it – does anybody recall Jenson looking forward to having his first home win – he was that confident; that is how hard they talked up the upgrade. Unless they had a deal with FOM to ensure record crowds. Hope they get more from that than just full stands.

      3. CH1UNDA says:

        Great recovery drive for both McLaren drivers – as for Alonso and safety car rules, as they say be careful what you wish for, you might just get it!!!

    2. Tommy K. says:

      Alonso for a win? The Red Bulls are almost a sec faster…even if one of them hits trouble, the other one will cruise to the win….but again, anything can happen.

  6. Scuderia@China says:

    watch out! the cats are out! opportunity for alonso and hamilton at the first corner.

  7. Legend2 says:

    Seb Vettel broke his new front wing in practice. They then gave Webber’s front wing to Vettel for qualifying. Webber loses by 14
    hundreths of a second. The new wing only had to give 7 hundreths of a second difference to have cost Webber pole position.
    There is all this blatant favouritism which is visible to the public. God only knows the behind the scenes things, such as engine mappings etc.

    If Webber’s wing had have broken, then too bad to Webber. Likewise if Vettel’s wing broke it should have been bad luck to Vettel. But no, they are punishing Webber for Vettel’s reliability issue. A disgrace.

    Better driving for HRT or Virgin then getting sneakily disadvantaged at every opportunity by his own team.

  8. drums says:

    It’s worthwhile to look at this piece of news in El Pais. That could explain why RB are so good in qualifying.

    http://www.elpais.com/articulo/deportes/ultimo/secreto/Red/Bull/elpepidep/20100710elpepidep_22/Tes

    1. dilligaf says:

      saw this on another site 2 days ago ,might have benn speedtv.com/ can’t remember. makes sense.

  9. Daniel says:

    Mate I love your Blog. I think Vettel knows that he has a favored status in the team. I think that they will do what ever needs to be done to put Vettel in front of Webber. Look at Canada, they should have brought Webber in when he was loosing time, he would have at least got Vettel with his gearbox issue. Then today, no surprise, they decided to Remove Webber’s wing and give it to Vettel. Horner has to tell these lies to convince himself more than anybody else that he is not shafting his friend. If Vettel wins the championship, could you really say he won it? Or could you say, “we brought two(Drivers). We ended up with only (Championship) and had to make a decision.””difficult decision.”

  10. Rafael says:

    As a fan I feel sorry for Webber and really annoyed at Vettel and RBR Management. The “Golden Boy” did rip his own version of the new wing off, so he should have suffered the consequences and not been given what was allocated for Webber.

    However, logically speaking, it makes sense: Every point counts in the championship, so it’s best if Red Bull did everything necessary to capitalize on the driver who has the most.

    Hrm… A situation that would have exactly fit M.S. back in his Ferrari days. “Baby Schumi” indeed.

  11. The Ram says:

    It’s time Mclaren start focusing on Hamilton now. It seems Hamilton will drive the car to the max rain or shine no matter the setup Hamilton will give you the optimal result. This means consistent feedback to the engineers and so development will be greatly lubricated. Trying to denature the upgrades for Button will only cause RedBull to run away with the WCC. Mclaren need to think fast and act now! Give Hamilton the fastest bits as he will make them work and Button, sorry but you just have to learn how to drive better. I just don’t expect an “elite” driver to be beaten by half a second by his teammate, that’s just wrong.

  12. Helmut Marko says:

    It was Mark’s fault that Vettel damaged his wing and because it was Mark’s fault he should give up this wing for Vettel. I would just like to remind you all it was Mark’s fault.

    1. Amritraj says:

      The funniest comment on the post, Helumut :)

    2. Satish says:

      Har har! Almost missed this one :-)

    3. Lewis Jones says:

      Ah Helmut, you are indeed a character. By the way, how many Grand Prix did you win again? And this lets you have that much influence at Red Bull Racing! Seems that somebody with a bit more experience should tell your boss Mr Mateschitz that this undefying spectacle of unofficial team orders could well lead to fans shunning his racing team and buying less of his energy drink.

      1. CH1UNDA says:

        Its unlikely team orders are going to have a negative effect on Red Bull drink sales – we saw team orders at Ferrari for years and i have a feeling that is probably the only division at Fiat that is making money – somebody with current statistics can confirm that

  13. PeterH says:

    I’ve read your site for a long time now James, but never felt compelled to write until now, not even post-Turkey.

    For Christian Horner – and I blame Adrian Newey too – to shaft Mark Webber this way (and there’s no other word for it) is absolutely pathetic and bordering on immoral, even by F1′s low standards.

    If I recall correctly, Mark Webber was leading the WDC by virute of his greater amount of wins going into Turkey. Yet I recall Seb Vettel being given a new rear wing right from the start of P1 there whilst Mark had to wait until either P3 or qualifying to get his. What was that about the leading WDC contender getting your priority call, Christian?

    I’ve lost all respect for Red Bull Racing as a team, and Red Bull as a fair organisation.

    Put all your money on Vettel for this year’s title, because Webber’s fighting with one hand tied behind his back. He should go public on this and risk being fired by the team, because it’s surely better to die on your feet Mark than live on your knees.

    1. Nick says:

      Couldn’t have said it better.

      James, please try and echo these facts when you have a change to question RBR management next.

      1. CH1UNDA says:

        I am sure Red Bull are getting this live and raw from their Ozzie fans direct on their website! They can’t miss the anger from down and under. Let me take a peep there.

  14. James M says:

    I agree with the abouve comments, a complete disgrace! I wouldn’t go as far to blame Vettel for his – in fact he probably deserves credit for his raw speed which has lead the team to believe in him more – but the team are conducting themselves in a shameless way. Horner cited the championship situation for the decision, but there is only 12 points between the two drivers and there are still 10 races to go.

    Webber was very honest in a recent interview and stated that he accepted that emotionally he wasn’t the favourite in the team so long as he had equal equipment. Well this weekend that has changed.

    I was at the track yesterday and he was by far the quickest and most consistent driver. You could tell how motivated he was for this weekend but now the team have thrown that back in his face.

    1. BreezyRacer says:

      Think about this ..

      If Vettel was as good as they make him out to be he wouldn’t be worried about spotting a tenth of a second to Webber.

      Give ‘em hell Mark!

  15. Lopek says:

    I was always taught the most important thing was to learn from your mistakes. Clearly Christian Horner and Red Bull do not follow the same idea, they have clearly not learnt anything from the last PR disaster over favouring Vettel after the crash.

    Christian Horner can tell people that the wing is not a big advantage until he is blue in the face, but Mark’s reaction makes it crystal clear that the reality is very different.

    I am sure McLaren are very happy with RBR taking all the column inches as it is taking the focus off their cockup of a weekend. Lucky they also have Hamilton to somewhat paper over the cracks with a great lap.

    I predict a Hamilton win like this…
    * Alonso passes Webber into the first corner
    * Webber takes himself and Alonso out in another of his “driving angry” incidents (like Valencia) trying to repass Fernando.
    * Vettel has a car failure – hopefully the front wing collapses dumping him in the gravel.
    * Hamilton inherits the win.

    Whatever happens it should be great race.

    1. C Pitter says:

      I really hope you are right. I think it is completely appalling that Horner took a part off Webber’s car and gave it to Vettel. How can Vettel look so pleased with himself and smug when he knows he is getting favoured? I’m sorry, I really do not like this guy – I actually think Webber is driving better than him so this is not a fair fight. I have no goodwill towards Vettel at all and this is caused by the Red Bull team’s tactics

  16. Peter says:

    It ‘may be’ better if Horner admits there is a number one driver in the team.

    There is no point to claim ‘fairness’, when you are not so ‘godly’.

    You do not win my heart, at least !

  17. Alan Goodfellow says:

    Having just watched the press conference again there seems to be a very interesting difference of opinion between Vettel and Horner.

    Horner says the new wing provides ‘very little difference’ to the previous wing. He also stated that ‘the performance difference between the two [wings] is absolutely minimal and is a characteristic as opposed to a clear performance advantage’

    On the other hand, Vettel said in the press conference: ‘The wing was broken but fortunately we could continue with the same kind of wing. I think it was the key for this afternoon.’

    Surely both of them cannot be right!

  18. Marc says:

    Seriously, everyone needs to stop this drama.

    I am no fan of Vettel (go Button!) but the way English speaking fans go on about this is laughable.

    Vettel is number 1 in the team, we all know this. He is the one who will win the championship if he gets the right tools and Red Bull finally realized being politically correct about it won’t win them anything in the end.

    They would have won the championship last year too if they chose for this then.

    Webber is a 2nd driver, period. If he doesn’t like it, sulking and acting like a drama queen when he gets out of the car, throwing a hissy fit backstage, he can always go to Renault.

    He is lucky Red Bull offered him the contract for 2011…but just as a PR stunt after all the drama they got in Turkey. Otherwise Kimi had the seat, insiders say.

    1. Nesto says:

      “Webber is a 2nd driver, period. If he doesn’t like it, sulking and acting like a drama queen when he gets out of the car, throwing a hissy fit backstage, he can always go to Renault.”

      Apparently, you missed Vettel doing the same when Webbo was beating him in qualy earlier this year.

      1. OppositeLock says:

        I find your comment curious. Webber has been quite circumspect and proper in everything he has said to the press and has conducted himself far better than I would in his situation. I have seen no references to a hissy fit or being a drama queen. What was said was about interpreting his body language and after being pressed by the the news people he replied pretty diplomatically without lying about the situation. I think you are being unfair to Mark.

    2. Nick Hipkin says:

      Marc, your point has one vital flaw though – webber has outperformed vettel for the majority of this season, a no 2 driver doesnt do that!

      1. Cameron says:

        With Vettel having the techical difficulties Webber didn’t have you mean?

        Right.

        That’s why I said, give Vettel the tools first to get the job done.

        If not for the technical failures, Vettel would have at least 75 points more then now. Webber didn’t outperform, he just had better luck with gremlins.

    3. C Pitter says:

      I hope this is not how a typical Button fan thinks. Awful.

    4. Marybeth says:

      Horner said a few weeks ago that they never wanted Kimi. They want Buemi. In other words, they want someone who knows their place as 2nd driver. I am glad that Kimi is not going there or he would get what Mark is. He had 2 years of that at Ferrari. I would like to see him go somewhere that he can trust them & to be fair.

    5. David says:

      I really enjoy this problem and respect the intelligence of most contributors but this comment is just ignorant. Where have you been all year. If I was a driver I’d want to believe that I was at least better than my teammate, let alone all other drivers. This is probably teh first time Webber has had a top car and he is doing well. The paddock would agree there are better drivers out there but I don’t think Vettel is one of them. This of course, for Marko and others has proved to be very embarrassing.

    6. Andy C says:

      If he is the clear number one driver (which he hasnt proven in speed this year – just within the team), then he should have been able to blow Mark away, new wing or no new wing.

      If thats the way they want to react within the team, why not just get some pay driver in. They seemingly dont want someone who will threaten Sebastian.

      I have to admit I am very dissapointed with Adrian Newey on this. I expected him to be more balanced..

  19. Amritraj says:

    It is a disaster for Reb Bull to take such a decision when the scars of Turkey haven’t healed for them. And quite an inane decision!! Vettel lost a wing during the normal course of a weekend, and they take-off Webber’s and give it to him, very much realising that both of them are fighting for the WDC.

    The logic they present to defend their scruples of fairness and equity are utterly non-sensical. They have given Vettel preference by given him a better part on the car, simple as that, even if its providing 1000th of a second.

    I am sure that there is a lot of stuff that goes on behind close doors to which the common audience is not privy, but this is just shameful.

    I hope that in the race Vettel suffers another front wing failure, gets a DNF and Webber should go on to win the GP.

    1. Jason C says:

      Absolutely – agree totally. There was no need for them to move the wing onto Vettel’s car, especially after Turkey, and especially as the two drivers are very close in the championship.

      Vary bad management there. I had had the impression that Red Bull were a very sporting team, but all this is showing them up.

  20. Chris says:

    I really feel for Mark Webber at the moment. As a spectator it is absolutely sickening to see the concerted effort to undermine him to Vettel’s advantage from within his own team. If the speculation was correct that a Ferrari contract for next season was on offer to Mark, it’s a pity he didn’t take it. Red Bull will probably be the one’s to beat again next year, so understandable that Mark decided to stay.

    However, with such a lack of consideration, support and respect from the team, Mark will never win the Championship in their car, irrespective of the superior drives he may put in.

    Ben G is right. If there was any decency about Vettel, he would have refused the wing.

  21. SK Anand says:

    Hi!

    MSC really struggled in Q3, though he was quite strong in Q2. Where was the problem? Any idea

    1. Tommy K. says:

      his age. the guy can’t even use the simulator any more. he gets dizzy….that explains the ups and downs of performance, from one session to another.

      1. Jey says:

        I was watching the timing screen and he was faster on both Sector1 and Sector2 in his first lap.But he did a mistake on Sector3 and lost 3 whole seconds there.

        He has had very good starts off late and hope he makesup places at the start tomorrow too

    2. Aussie Fan says:

      SK > To answer your question seriously, he only had enough soft tyres to do 1 run in Q3 (Everyone else did 2 runs) & he made a mistake on that run which ruined his fast lap.

  22. Erik C. says:

    Webber should stop pouting and get on with it, you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. He is still driving the best car in the field even if his car doesn’t have the latest front wing.

    1. Amritraj says:

      That’s nonsense. There is a contract between the 2 parties, and underpiining the contract are the qualities of fairness and dignity.

      What Red Bull did was undignified. Mark Webber is in the thick of a championship fight and everybody in F1 ultimately wants to be a champion. Red Bull are not doing him a favour by producing a good car, just doing their job. And that is what Webber is also doing, his job, by giving his maximum.

      It is real shame for Webber to be denied a chance to fight his team-mate, when he has shown that he is equally quick and consistent as Vettel.

      For you consumption, MW is at: 103 and SV is at: 115. That is hardly any difference with another 10 GP’s to go.

    2. Satish says:

      I agree. Kind of like Alonso from Monza (I think) in 2007. Webbo should simply focus on his driving and wouldn’t it be sweet if he beat Vettel in the championship?

      1. Jey says:

        Why is that nonsense??

        RBR is his employer and if they favour Vettel,then Mark has no business to whine about it.

        Either take it on the chin and get on it with it or take the phone and start dialling in other team principals

    3. Aussie Fan says:

      What utter nonsense, if Vettel thinks he is so much faster than Webber then why can’t he just beat him in the SAME CAR?

      + Webbers car ISN’T the best car in the field, as it is not equal to Vettels in specification.

      Vettel + RBR is a joke, I hope they lose the championship this year.

  23. dilligaf says:

    i’m disgusted with redbull yet again , and probably not for the last time this year! they takeaway the advantage of one (who did no wrong) for te advantage of the other in this case vettel. it’s crap, and stinks of favouritism towards vettel. “REDBULL CLIPS WINGS”, marks of course. this is a JOKE & so is redbull.

  24. Dan Eastgate, 22 says:

    I thought qualifying was extraordinary today.

    Hamilton and Button showed that their reputations for being able to wrestle an inadequate car, and being unable to, respectively, is fully justified. Their failed upgrade was unfortunate, but understandable if the car balance changes significantly with such a sizable change?

    Alonso seems to be showing more and more fire and passion as each race goes by, perhaps this is down to the temperament and style of Domenicali. Alonso always seemed to flourish under Briatore, regardless of the state of the car. Perhaps this was due to Briatore’s authoritive nature? Ron Dennis always seemed to me to be more of a diplomat, as Domenicali appears to be. Alonso just seems to lose his cool, as he did at McLaren, all too often with Ferrari and maybe needs someone to harness the talent he has that is too often overcome by his impulsiveness?

    If I were a betting man, which I’m not, then I would put some money on Webber and Vettel not both reaching Stowe. I can’t imagine that Webber would be okay with Vettel being given his wing, and then outqualifying him. Surely this has stoked the fires from Turkey?

    I’m also not sure that Alonso and Hamilton will be clean going either, there’s just too much history there.. just so many possible starts to compute.. I am buzzing for tomorrow!

    1. kbdavies says:

      @Dan Eastgate –

      “Hamilton and Button showed that their reputations for being able to wrestle an inadequate car”

      Err, which qualifying did your watch? The one Button “wrestled” the car to 14th on the grid? Being outqualified by a Sauber? Renault? and Force India?

  25. F1 Novice says:

    Hmmmm this may be a blessing in disguise for Webber – who’s to say the newer wing doesn’t have a weakness in it’s design – and the problem will repeat itself during the race ?

    I was at Maggots today at Silverstone and the Red Bulls, Ferrari of Alonso and the Renault of Kubica were absolutely awesome through there – and I don’t normally like using the word awesome – but I can’t think of a better one !

  26. NJW says:

    cast off chassis, cast off wing, oh how I’ll laugh if Seb screws up an easy victory tomorrow. Difficult to imagine that the rather well paid Red Bull PR team could make such a mess of things again or perhaps the top brass at RB don’t actually talk to their own PR team?

    1. Zobra Wambleska says:

      Oh, they probably talk to them, they just don’t listen to them. They’re still a young team, but they certainly don’t seem to be learning very quickly.

  27. mark edwards says:

    Just a point on Button sperformance today, if you look his Q1 time on the harder tyres it was faster than hi Q2 on the soft!

    Can’t help thinking there was a problem for this to be the case.

    Bye!

    1. Paul Kirk says:

      It’d be funny if it boiled down to “favoritism”, Mark!! Just joking, but it is the theme of this column today.
      PK.

  28. Peter says:

    I am pretty sure that if Webber had the new wing no one would say he is favoured.

    1. Jason C says:

      They both had the new wing, and Vettel’s broke in practice.

      So it’s the transfer of the wing from Webber to Vettel that’s unfair.

    2. Chris says:

      I’m pretty sure that if Webber’s new wing broke to be replaced by the only other new wing which had to be taken off of Vettels car to be fitted to Webber’s it would be considered favouritism just the same.

      How can it not?

    3. Aussie Fan says:

      They both got it, but Vettel broke his in practice, so they actually physically took Mark’s new front wing off his car & gave it to Vettel to use in qualifying.

      I’m 100% sure you wouldn’t have seen the same happen if the situation was reversed so you would never have seen the situation you are referring to actually occur anyway.

    4. Mark says:

      That could have something to do with the fact that it was his wing in the first place

  29. tank says:

    “I think the most important thing for any driver is to know that he’s getting equality of equipment and priority.” – Christian Horner, concluding his answer to Ya’acov Zalel’s question during the FIA Friday press conference.

    It is reaching boiling point, you could see it all over Webber’s face during the interviews today, blinking back the rage.

    I enjoyed Vettel’s talent when he was humbler. Instead of seeing that the wing was possibly a deciding factor today, he gloated. It is disappointing to see, but the personality of a grand prix driver is almost always eager to assert dominance.

  30. sf says:

    Fernando Alonso:”On my final run, I had traffic in sector three – I think it might have been Michael – but even with a clear track ahead of me, I definitely would not have improved my grid position”
    I dont think gap between ferrari and red bull is 0.8 sec, on the final run of alonso gap was 0.250 sec until the end of sector 2.
    sector 3 dont need downforce as 1 and 2 need.

  31. John says:

    Why’s everyone beating up on Vettel? Not his fault he’s the golden boy.Excellent racer with loads of potential. Every team favours one driver, dont care what they admit to. Just reminds me of Mcclaren favouring there golden boy Lewis against Alonso, which turned out to be the right way to go in the end, and Webber seems to be able to sulk just as well as Alonso.

  32. Lewis Jones says:

    No one in the Red Bull team management seems to realise what damage these continued accusations of favoritism are doing to their team name and reputation. I thought they were a breath of fresh air in 2009, but they now smack of stale old bias. Although I put a few quid on Vettel to win the Championship this year, I would now be happier to see Lewis, Fernando or Mark win, if Seb really needs this Helmut Marko-backed ‘Team Vettel’ of yes men to help him. And am really starting to get fed up with the ‘wacca wacca baby’ and ‘back on track’ drivel Seb now seems to be spouting whenever he performs well on track.

  33. VV says:

    I’m no Hamilton fan, but that lap of his was stunning. I feel sorry for Button, though.

    As for Red Bull, oh dearie me. It would have been a far better gesture to tell the drivers that neither of them could have the new wing. Given that they were 8/10ths faster than Alonso, doing without it would have made no difference to today’s result at all.

  34. CoolGav says:

    “Vettel’s was damaged in an incident during free practice this morning, where the mounting broke as he turned into the new Abbey corner.”

    I wonder if mark is better off with a wing that hasn’t shown a 50% chance of breaking in just a few hours running. Surely both wings have come off the same tooling, so the mounting could break on the other one during the race…

  35. Kat says:

    If Red Bull are going to lie about Seb being favoured then they need to get their story straight. Horner said Seb got new wing as he is ahead in championship. Vettel said he got it as he preferred it to old one whereas Mark wasn’t bothered.

    Allowing media access to drivers before they can escape back to teams to confer after quali and races is good as it exposes things like this.

    I am a Vettel fan and would love to see him win this championship of his own merit without any success being marred by RBR’s actions. But at the moment, they might as well call the team Seb Bull as their favourtitism is so embarrasingly transparent.

  36. Harvey Yates says:

    To be fair to Horner, I think he is following someone else’s demands. The ‘difficult decision’ amounted to whether or not to follow his boss’s instructions.

    I feel sure that it was a very difficult task to design that new wing and obtain that extra tenth but it was an impossible one for Horner to explain away giving the thing to Vettel.

    Wasn’t there a suggestion of ‘balance’ a short time ago? Vettel gets first pick, then it is Webber’s turn. It probably amounts to Webber having first choice of the sadwiches after qually.

    I can see sales of Red Bull dipping somewhat in Oz.

    On the bright side, the race is set up for a blinder tomorrow. Webber v Vettel – now that will be a cracker. Hamilton v Alonso – now what’s an ajective like cracker but slightly less violent?. And Button v all those cars between him and, probably, 7th place. That should be thrilling.

    I’m looking forward to it. I’m off to my daughter’s birthday party tomorrow, probably meeting the new boyfriend. Do I let him speak to me during the GP? If I do then I’ll be short and grumpy with him. If I don’t then my daughter won’t speak with me for a couple of weeks. And Horner reckoned he had difficult decisions to make.

    That said, like Horner, my decision is already made. My boss, the wife, says I must.

  37. Jameson says:

    James,

    I read on Autosport that Jenson suspects problems with the car. Have you any more details about this? If there is damage somewhere, then that could help explain why he couldn’t pull out the half second he needed.

    Of course I suspect people will read that Button making excuses, but I hope their memory serves them well enough to recall Vettel and Luizzi’s problems with their chassis. Once their issues wers resolved they got back on the pace, and damage could very well be a possibility.

  38. Phil says:

    I was at club corner today and you could see that Hamilton was giving it 100% and then some – absolutely wringing every last ounce out of that car. Shame that Button seems unable to produce a good performance unless the balance is perfect, whereas Hamilton can seemingly drive around problems.

  39. Gus says:

    Current standings in the championship influenced his decision! He had already manipulated things so Vettel would be ahead in the standings!

    Australian’s love their sportspeople, no doubt, but if my experience with aussie friends is anything to go by they value fairness even more.

    Seems Red Bull only gives you wings if you’re Vettel.

  40. Ryan Eckford says:

    Great job yet again by Red Bull Racing, but today we have seen the difference between Hamilton and Button. It has to do with Button’s adaptability or lack of. Button can’t drag out pace compared to Hamilton. Button can’t deal well enough with a car that lacks rear downforce or is struggling at the rear of the car. Hamilton in qualifying was sensational. If only he had a car like Red Bull’s combined with the bullet-proof reliability at McLaren.

  41. mael says:

    So with Vettel ‘feeling down’ and behind in the Championship, RBR put him into a new chassis to rebuild his confidence and get him back on track.

    Webber ‘feeling down’ and behind in the Championship get Vettel’s old chassis and front wing to rebuild his confidence and get him back on track.

    I want to see Webber win a few more races this year, even if he finishes behind Vettel and doesn’t win the WDC, in my mind he will WDC.

  42. RickeeBoy says:

    Mark should be really thankful – At least he was given an old wing which fitted on old discarded chassis.

  43. Tim B says:

    I guess RB will feel justified if Vettel takes the WDC at the end of the year, but they’re burning a heck of a lot of good will in the meantime.

    At the start of the season I would happily have applauded Vettel winning the championship. Until this season he’d always come across as both likeable and quick, and it appeared that he had a small but consistent edge over Webber in pace.

    What we’ve seen from Vettel this season, though, is a driver who can lose confidence and control very quickly when beaten, and seems to need to feel a superiority over the rest of the grid to give his best. When he feels he is faster than everyone else (and especially his teammate) he drives better and makes fewer mistakes.

    That’s my bet for why RB feel the need to give Vettel these little boosts – it helps him drive better. The downside is that it disadvantages Webber, it makes the team look devious, and it makes Vettel look like an immature prima-donna who needs everything handed to him on a plate.

    My take is that F1 is about a heck of a lot more than ultimate speed over one lap. More than most forms of racing it’s about controlling a huge number of variables over not just a lap, not just a race weekend, but a whole season. More than anything it’s about mental toughness and resilience. RB are trying to ease the pressure of all that on Vettel, but IMO that’s a mistake, at least the way they’re doing it. It just happens that the pressure this season (so far) is from the other side of the RB garage. But if Vettel can’t deal with that on his own, how will he cope when it’s from a McLaren or a Ferrari? Horner can’t take the fast bits off Hamilton and give them to Vettel.

    As I say, at the start of the season I would happily have applauded a Vettel World Championship. Now, though, I’m done with Red Bull. Just another corporate structure trying to distort the stuff on the track to fit the numbers in their spreadsheets. In the process, they’re stuffing up two really good drivers, and creating yet another F1 prima donna.

    1. tharris19 says:

      They (RBR) can’t trust SV anywhere but on pole. His history of mucking up races started before Turkey. But that does not mean that MW should suffer for his lack of race craft skills.
      This sucks and Tim B hit it on the head.

  44. N. Machiavelli says:

    I have nothing but respect for Webber, and nothing
    but derision for Vettel, who is nothing but a
    punk who has “favored boy” status. The coming years
    will prove Vettel is not a true champion – wait and see.

    There was another German “golden boy” not too many years ago. His name was Stefan Bellof. Some of you
    may recall what happened to him, as a result of
    his impetuous driving behavior.

  45. OppositeLock says:

    Not only did they take away his newly designed wing, but they messed up his timing on the track. Had they released him at the right time, he should have had another run for pole. Instead, he was 3 seconds short of making the flag before the end of the session.

    I like Seb, but Mark is getting shafted for doing too great a job.

  46. Diamond says:

    I joked yesterday in a previous post that if Mark started winning in the chassis that Vettel rejected, would Vettel might want it back?

    Sadly this doesn’t seem too far from where we are at within the team at the moment.

    Come on Mark. Let your driving do the talking.

  47. Jeff Doununder says:

    On a slightly different note, has anyone had a look at what the championship would look like under Bernie’s medals idea? I did quickly, and came up with this:

    POS Driver G S B
    = But 2 2 1
    2 Ham 2 2 1
    = Web 2 1 1
    4 Vet 2 1 1
    5 Alo 1 1 1
    = Mas 0 1 1
    7 Kub 0 1 1
    8 Ros 0 0 2

    Here if any of the top 4 win today they will be leading the championship, no messing about with minor placings. Sounds pretty decisive, no?

    Fan of it or not (and I’m still undecided) it confirms how close the c’ship race is at the moment, and questions whether it is too early for RBR to be throwing everything at Vettel (and consequently undermining Webber).

  48. stephen g says:

    its as simple as this, vettel is being favoured and poor webber has to deal with it, i use to rank RBR very highly, but after all the excuses and crap, im starting to wonder if this is a team or the total opposite. its only mid season, and the leader has changed every week almost, so how can horner use that excuse ‘because his winning the championship’. Its vettels reliabiliy problem so why does webber need to suffer. By the way Markos comment earlier on is ridiculous, its quite clear whos side his on… once a RBR fan but its slowly going down the drain!!

  49. N. Machiavelli says:

    I have an octopus in my aquarium.

    The octopus tells me Vettel is going to crash out,
    and that Alonso will win, with Webber second.

  50. David says:

    Was it also a coincidence that Webber barely missed out on his last qualifying lap – thus designated to P2? Sure it was, and pigs will fly too if equipped with wings – of whatever spec!

    Thankfully Webber endured and recorded a fine win, while Vettel failed to start well and threw yet another temper tantrum, that – but for the safety car – would have seen him finish out of the points.

    It’s Mateschitz’s money, so he has bought the right to lose both Titles – with little thought for those who created his winning car.

    Europeans claim a certain class, but – apart from that continually displayed by their wild colonial boy – Red Bull has to be a qualified exception.

  51. Ino says:

    James,
    I heard that Webber had evaluated the new front wind negatively on Friday, while Vettel liked it. Do you know anything about this? It’s a story on Bild, but they’re not the most unbiased publication.

    1. James Allen says:

      I was told that Mark wasn’t as convinced about it as Vettel in back to back testing. I didn’t hear that he was negative about it

  52. Andy says:

    Someone has pointed out to me that on the BBC qualifying http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00t2…rix_Qualifying/ at 1:55.32 when posing for the cameras, Fernando Alonso is waving and saying to the British fans: “bye bye, go home, go home” under his breath, but you can actually hear him say it on this video.

    I’m not sure of the context of his comments, if they are menat with malace or simply misunderstood, but it seems to be a very unpleasant, unprofessional thing to do. Does Fernando dislike the british fans that much?

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