The Red Bull Racing team goes into the final race of the season with two drivers in contention for the Drivers’ World championship, but their best placed driver Mark Webber has a harder task than he would have had if they had thrown their weight behind him today.
Webber would have been one point behind Alonso if the team had backed him today, instead he is eight points behind, more than the gap between first and second places in the final race.
After today’s race – won by Sebastian Vettel, who now needs to outscore Alonso by 16 points and Webber by eight points – Vettel said he would think about letting Webber through in Abu Dhabi if the points dictated it, while team boss Christian Horner intimated that he would not let the drivers hand the title to Alonso.
Speaking in Austrian newspaper Kliene Zeitung, he said, “Let the two drivers race and what will be will be. if Alonso wins we will have been unlucky. I predict a Hollywood ending. Worst case scenario we don’t become champion? We’ll do it next year. But our philosophy stays the same because this is sport and it must remain sport. We don’t manipulate things like Ferrari do.”
Red Bull is a maverick brand, they pride themselves on doing things differently. For everyone to be talking about them, even if many are thinking that they are nuts, is what they live for. They are a marketing led drinks company, not a car manufacturer. On that basis what happens next is hard to predict.