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Briatore questions if Red Bull are supplying equal cars
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 May 2011   |  11:41 am GMT  |  104 comments

Flavio Briatore is at large in the Monaco paddock, his larger than life boat, Force Blue is moored in the harbour and he’s got some things to say about the current F1 scene.

Currently still serving a ban for the Singapore race fixing scandal of 2008, Briatore is still involved behind the scenes in the management of Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber.

Horner and Webber (Red Bull)


On the latter he has raised the question, speaking in today’s Gazetta dello Sport, of why it is that Webber has all the bad luck at Red Bull. With Webber this year noticeably keeping a lid on the feelings he vented about the team last season, one wonders how helpful Briatore’s intervention here will be.

“I hope Red Bull is a big enough team that it can guarantee the drivers equal cars, ” he said. “But every time something happens, it happens to Mark.

“I understand that you need a bit of luck but if the same number keeps coming up you wonder what’s under the roulette wheel.

“I don’t doubt Horner’s honesty, but what’s going on sounds strange.”

It was around Monaco last year that Webber inked his 2011 contract with the team, but there is no sign of a renewal for 2012 at the moment.

Adrian Newey has said publicly that he wants Webber to continue with the team, but the situation looks pretty fluid.

“I’m hoping Mark continues next season,” said Newey. “Apart from being a great person, his contribution has been significant. He’s been a pillar of the team from the start. Seb is very perceptive in his feedback in some regards and Mark is very perceptive in other areas. We listen to both and it helps the car.

“So far the gap between Sebastian and Mark [Webber] has been bigger than last year. It’s certainly not a case that Mark has been driving any slower – that’s for sure. Mark’s just taken a bit longer to adapt to the Pirelli tyres but the gap is closing.”

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104 Comments
  1. rodger says:

    What rubbish, last year it was Vettel’s car that was breaking down at every race. At least this year both cars are not losing out on good points like last year’s mechanical problems for Seb.
    I think this is just Briaratore speak for, ‘Mark won’t be at Red Bull next year, who wants to sign him up?’
    It might also be Briatore speak for, ‘No one’s forgotten about the Flav, have they? HAVE THEY!?’

    1. Jo Torrent says:

      +1 all the technical issues hit Vettel last year. Besides, how does Briatore questions anybody’s honesty !

    2. Sebee says:

      Simple solution.

      Prepare two cars with 1/2 of each car’s team working on each car. Stick both names on it.
      Let the drivers pick the car Saturday morning before practice as the doors open. Stick the numbers to the car, and let’s go. Do this for 6 races, Seb picks first the first time. Mark is bound to get Seb’s car at least once in this process – and then we would know.

      Would they do this to please us and Webber like McLaren used to with Honda engines? I think not, because Mark is on the way out and certainly not going to be allowed to take the “1″ with him.

      One thing is for sure. “Red Bull gives you wins”

      1. Unocv12 says:

        2 things…..

        The cars have to be different. Webber is heavier and hence has less ballast to move. Vettel is lighter and needs to have this ballast put into strategic places. THye aren’t going to go around changing the cars bits all the time simply for this.

        They have tried giving each other turns before.. last year in Q3. It went Vettel Webber Vettel Webber and then Vettel Vettel Vettel for ages

    3. Konstantin says:

      Just to be clear – Briatore is an honest person himself, right?

      1. Listerine says:

        I hope you’re joking right?

  2. Josh says:

    Flavio must’ve dozed off during the past two years when at least 70% of the meaningful failures happened on the #15 and the #5 – costing Sebastian no less than 3 race wins in 2010. Not like the #1 car hasn’t had it’s dramas this year either.

    Pretty ordinary that someone is trying to stir all this trash up again, when it’s clear Mark is being outpaced heavily – on merit.

  3. . says:

    You hear many conspiracy theorists every time something happens to Webber. Because of course, Webber is never doing anything wrong, there is always someone else or something else to blame.

    Clearly Webber is the best driver of all time and RBR is sabotaging his car to throw away their chance for the Constructor’s Championship….

    Yet, when Vettel was losing more than 70 points last year because of mechanical failures (including many times while leading the race), while Webber lost not even 20 for mechanical failures, none of these conspiracy theorists, including Briatore, were making a fuss how RBR are sabotaging Vettel.

    Same in Turkey, last week. Webber got pole thanks to Vettel’s KERS not working…where was Briatore then accusing RBR of misdemeanor?

    You have tools like this in every sport, who just can’t accept their favorite (or the one they make money out of…) is just not as good as they claim to be, so they make up stuff.

    1. . says:

      Turkey = Spain xD

    2. Unocv12 says:

      It’s stupid to count ‘points lost’ like that as you are only counting if they were leading and then lost it rather than if they lost it prior.

      How do you know how many points Webber would have lost in Malaysia if his KERS was working at the start? He could have got off the line better than Vettel and so it lost him 25-12 which is 13 points.

      But you don’t know that, all you saw is Webber didn’t have KERS, he tried to compensate by being risky with his clutch bight point, buggered the start trying, didn’t have KERS and ended up well into the midfield.

      Repeat for other places.

  4. Steve Clark says:

    Let’s keep Falvio behind the scenes. Why does anyone give him the time of day?

    1. Laurence H says:

      The cheek of the guy, complaining about unfair treatment. Piquet jnr got the same car as Alonso didn’t he??!!

  5. Rungs says:

    I really hope there’s nothing dodgy going on behind the scenes. But I do think Webber is probably being treated slightly differently to Vettel.

    Vettel is the poster boy, the most marketable asset in the team and they want to build their image and their success around him. That’s fair enough, but they should realise that the most valuable asset to the team would be a great, worthy champion. Favouring one driver only dimishes his achievement and casts doubt on his and the team’s credability as the best in the business.

    You’d hope that the Red Bull team would be smart enough to see that, but I suspect that any tinkering is coming from Austria and not from Milton Keynes.

    1. - says:

      You forgot to mention 1 important fact: Vettel is the faster driver.

      1. Tom says:

        Quite. There was some question last year as Mark’s performance relative to Sebastian was excellent. Now Sebastian isn’t making the mistakes that he used to, he’s leaving Mark for dust.

      2. Lucas says:

        Vettel has raw pace. but he has proven time and time again that his major downfall is overtaking, Webber is one of the best at overtaking and still is one of the fastest drivers in the World Championship.

  6. Alex says:

    You get a real sense that Newey and Webber are very close friends but that Webber’s friends in high places amongst Red Bull just about ends there… But it’s nice to see Briatore being his usual flamboyant self in the public eye again.

    1. JM says:

      Bingo! Nail on the head.

      1. Tim says:

        Webber co-owns a GP3 team (MW Arden) with Christian Horner, which probably indicates that Webber is also mates with Horner.

    2. charlie 1 says:

      I find it interesting that Newey gave such a detailed description of Webber’s wire looming issue after P1 in Monaco and the previous week praised Webber contribution to the team promoting his support for a return to RBR in 2012. He has been doing a lot of talking recently more that I recall in the media during the entire 2010 season.

      So who exactly is he really speaking to?

      Webber, RBR management, RBR team?

  7. Kristiane says:

    Actually I’ve wondered about this since the second round this year. Even problems the first round in Australia did look fishy.

  8. goferet says:

    But Flavio of all people should know by now that Mark Webber is the unluckiest drivers on the F1 grid.

    I understand as his manager, Flavio has to make such noises but the way things are, Webber is firmly thinking of retirement now & if the gap to Vettel is too big by the end of the season, am pretty certain Webber will be let go.

    Personally I miss Flavio in the paddock especially seeing his expression when the chosen-one Alonso has a bad race.

    1. Lucas says:

      “Webber thinking of retirement now”? I think Webber is thinking about joining Ferrari, they may be under performing but they are still the heart and soul of F1. Also Alonso and Webber in the same team would be Flavio’s wet dream

  9. Dave says:

    I love a bit of a Flavio scandal!

  10. MR SERIOUS says:

    I thought Fernando hired another manager after Singapore?

    At least it explains the trip to Ferrari Briatore took a while ago, the 2016 extension.

    Flav still has the gab though, glad he got Force Blue back after the tax authorities impounded it last year.

    You can charter that boat you know for 235000 – 245000 Euro’s a week. I wonder why the taxman wanted a word Flav?

  11. Merlinghnd says:

    Flavio is just s**t stirring and I am sure not being very helpful to Webber.

    I am quite sure if Webber thought he was getting a rough deal on equipment, he would not hesitate to let the world know. He keeps Red Bull honest in this respect.

    You also have to remember last season Vettel had a lot of bad luck with engines and equipment so the comparison is not fair.

    James, is Flavio allowed to be part of F1 through management of Alonso/Webber, I thought there were moves to ban unsuitable persons from F1, a sort of fit and proper test. (I do realise Symmonds is back in the game)

  12. Rich says:

    James,
    We are always hearing about how Lewis is much harder on his tyres than Jenson, but I don’t remember hearing anything about similar comparisons between Seb and Mark.

    Mark certainly seems to be suffering more than anyone else with tyre degradation. Do you think it is directly to do with his driving style (is he much more aggressive with the throttle?), is it that maybe the Red Bull/Pirelli combination suits Sebs driving style more or is Vettel more abkle to cope with and drive around the effects of worn tyres?
    Thanks,
    Rich

    1. James Allen says:

      Lewis isn’t harder on these tyres than Jenson. Webber is harder than Vettel, yes

      1. irish con says:

        james i know that lewis was easier on his tyres than jenson in china but in malaysia, turkey and spain jenson made one stop less than lewis so i dont quite get what your saying here. abit more detail would be usefull because it looks to me jenson is easier on the tyres than lewis.

      2. Unocv12 says:

        That is stratergy. A driver can chose to drive slightly lighter on the tyres losing a tiny bit of time each lap knowing that they will gain it ‘back’ and some when the others make an extra stop.

        The decision shows that
        a) Button thinks that is his best way to beat Hamilton
        b) He has an edge in ‘controlling’ the range of his tyres
        c) He thought it was best
        d) Combination of the above

      3. Unocv12 says:

        I haven’t heard this as fact before. I have gone through many of the charts on F1Fanatic which are done after races compiling charts of times and comparisons but I have never seen this.

        It is true that in several races during the start of the seaosn WEbber has taken an extra pit stop but I don’t think this is proof of him going harder on the tyres.

        In fact I think there is evidence to the contrary.

        FIRSTLY, we know he took an extra pit stop in several races where he was in problems or situations not effecting Vettel (the other RBR driver, i.e. the only comparison).
        Australia: Car bad. Webber was also 1 second off the pace
        Malaysia: KERS failed for the start. Got swamped down and went off stratergy to attempt to pass
        China: Had 2x fresh hards and 3x fresh softs. Started 18th. Different stratergy
        Turkey: No problems for the first time. Same number of pit stops. Vettels final stop wasn’t necessary but never had to race in dirty air or fight for position. Webber did and this may have pushed him slightly more towards the line. ONLY RACE WITH ? FOR WEBBER
        Spain: Same number of stops. Webber spent even more in dirty air and fighting for position. Still had the same number of stops as Vettel.

        Without looking at the lap times and pit stops, instead just looking at the reasons for the stratergy decisions, I can’t see Webber clearly needing an extra stop per GP. I see Webber doing a different stratergy to pass twice, a broken car once and the rest the same number of stops.

        FOR THE CONTRARY, one might note that Webber was able to in the most recent GP (1 of two in normal circumstances) that he was able to continue on with the tyres he had after Alonso pitted. Webber continued to go even faster and was at one point cathcing, although this may be due to fuel modes.

        Also WEbber has done 3 fastest laps. 2 while going off stratergy so you can’t count them. But 1 may (I can’t remember) have been done on a similiar stratergy to Vettel. If Webber needs an extra stop I don’t see why he would be hot lapping the tyres as much as he did atleast once.

      4. Andrew P says:

        Can you Please dig around to find out what it is about his driving style that is causing this?

    2. Beard says:

      Last race if the year last year was a good example of this, webber was on the radio saying his tyres had gone long before seb did.

  13. Sibu says:

    to be honest, I hope that is not the case but I am learning towards flavio’s theory. from a neutrals point of view it seems rbr is backing vettel because he is young and the more marketable of the two

    1. - says:

      And the faster of the 2.

      1. B says:

        Chicken or the egg?

  14. Unocv12 says:

    I think Webber did his contract with RBR in June from memory. He mentioned it back when refering to next year earlier this year.

    As for Briatore, is it possible to love and hate the guy at the same time? While banned, just ocme in, park you boat, make the media earth rumble around you as you lay some statments out there and then jump back on your boat for a party…..

    And anyway, while part of me doesn’t like the fixing of singapore, part of me is thinking Briatore and co 1 FIA regulations and rules 0. Outsmarted.

  15. LeoPasta says:

    It is curious that at the same time that he openly admits that he prefers to favour a “No 1 / No 2″ pilot structure, he complains that RedBull might not be giving the same treatment to both his drivers. He curiously also forgot all the problems Vettel is having on its KERS.
    I would be very curious to hear his opinions about the “bad luck” Felipe Massa is having during pit stops (e.g. China and Istambul).
    For the record, IMO Webber and Massa are simply been outclassed by their team-mates.

  16. Jimmy says:

    I don’t remember any complaints around this time last year from Briatore regarding that everytime that something happened (spark at Bahrein, broken disc at Australia) it happened to Vettel.

  17. Sebee says:

    I knew a tIme would come when I would agree with Flavio. And it is here.

  18. Owen says:

    I am sure nothing insidious was meant, but Newey did use the word “cut” when describing the problem with the wiring loom in Webber’s gearbox … as opposed to “broken” or “frayed” …

  19. toby1kenobi says:

    Interesting that Flav feels like he’s the one who should be speaking about ‘honesty’?!

  20. Elly says:

    Briatore’s right, I don’t believe Mark needs so much time to adapt to the Pirelli tires

  21. DanielS says:

    I don’t know where this idea that Webber has all the bad luck comes from. Take the entire 2010 season as an example. Vettel lost points in Bahrain (spark plug – fell first to fourth), Australia (lost torque – retired from lead) and in Korea (engine). He also came off worse in Turkey (lost 18 points by dropping from second, Webber lost 10 by falling first to third).

    Webber retired twice, both times through his own making: in Valencia (driving clean into the back of someone) and Korea (dropping it on the wet track).

    I don’t want to argue about intra-team politics because it’s impossible to know unless you are in there, but I would strongly disagree with any notion that Webber is “unlucky”.

    1. TJS says:

      his luck has definitely improved in the last couple of seasons but his retirement rate from 2002 to 2007 was horrendous. 40 dnfs compared to kimi (who certainly had more than his fare share!) who had 31 in the same time frame.

      1. DanielS says:

        That’s interesting to know. But, in the context of his Red Bull career, and particularly since 2010 when the whole “number 2 driver” issue started surfacing, I don’t think you can say he has had the luck relative to Vettel.

      2. Dom says:

        Kimi was driving for a better funded team than the ones Mark drove for during that period…..

        Most of the time putting a less competitive car ahead of its natural grid slot.

        Mark’s had a great career – disadvantaged by being a little heavier than Vettel he’s right up there on a good day. Newey’s a fan so hopefully RB will resign him for 2012.

  22. melonfarmer says:

    Flavio, did Benetton supply JJ Lehto, Jos Verstappen, Riccardo Patrese, Johnny Herbert etc. with cars equal to Michael Schumacher? Pot, kettle, black…

  23. Olivier says:

    Couldn’t it just be that Webber is taller & heavier than Vettel?!

  24. Rich T says:

    Interesting, Briatore failing, (or is that forgetting?), to mention the bad luck Webber has endured all his F1 career. So much so that, at least I was given to wondering whether it could all be due to it, or whether it was something within his control that he was failing to address. Apart from the obvious, self induced errors, who knows. Regardless, Webber has had a career long streak of bad luck, all of which, apart from that suffered at Red Bull, conveniently forgotten by Briatore.

    Come on Flav, play fair, get your brain into gear, before your mouth!

  25. Matt says:

    Interesting he is absolving horner of any wrong doing in that comment but still saying there may be something funny going on. And we all know who he is probably talking about. Flav may be many things but he quite often knows what he is talking about. Although he IS webbers manager. But stil…

  26. alejandro says:

    On the Mark subject, James… after he got pole in Spain, Webber didn’t look to be the happiest man in the pit lane, did you notice? Or was he just bowled over and in shock? Insights?

    1. James Allen says:

      Vettel was 2/10ths slower with no KERS which was worth 4/10ths

      1. Nadeem says:

        We keep hearing KERS is worth 4/10th or so. Is it really with the minimal time they get to use it? James can you expalin exactly how this is the case.

    2. TJS says:

      apparently red bull were preparing to send vettel out again in Q3 for another shot at pole (which would have been going against an inter team agreement that each driver only gets one shot each, for the sake of tyres). these preparations were shut down only because webber objected. remember he was not given a second chance at pole in turkey…

      1. - says:

        Total fabrication by Webber fanatics.

      2. TheLegend says:

        False, everyone saw it.

      3. 69bhp says:

        and just where did you get this insightful information precisely?

      4. john says:

        not being biased but i heard that as well

  27. I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, but I always have found it strange how one driver, usually the slightly lesser-performing driver suddenly starts getting all the “bad luck”.

    Liuzzi last year… pretty much on par with Sutil, but got all the bad breaks. Maybe the mechanics just put a little more effort and time into Sutil’s car, since they thought he had a better chance. Perhaps it was even subconscious; rush a little more on Liuzzi’s car, and double-check more on Sutil’s.

    Could be the same thing with the likeable German. Put a bit more effort into the happy kid that keeps winning, and perhaps not quite as much effort into the guy who wins and says derisively, “not bad for a number-two”, and then goes on to consistently be a few tenths behind.

    I doubt there is a single person in the F1 garages that isn’t super-competitive, so I wouldn’t surprise me a bit if a little bit more time and effort went toward the winning driver’s car, and a little bit less toward the guy that’s just behind. They all want to win, right?

    1. Jo Torrent says:

      I don’t agree with you (the 1st time) for 2 reasons :

      Last year, Vettel had all the bad lack, all the issues which helped make the championship go down the wire.

      Then, each driver has his crew, mechanics, engineers, etc… And his crew wants him to beat the guy sharing the garage.

      1. charlie 1 says:

        Apparently there was no no.1 driver last year a RBR so this talk is irrelevant.

      2. Unocv12 says:

        It didn’t ’cause it to go down to the wire’.

        What caused it ot be so close was a combination of things.

        Sure if Vettel didn’t have any reliabilty problems then he would have won easily.

        And if Vettel didn’t crash into Webber, Button and a force india he could have scored more points

        And if Webber didn’t have any then he would have won

        And if WEbber didn’t crash out in Korea or Valencia he would have won

        And if Hamilton didn’t crash out in Spain, Singapore or Monza he would of won

        And if Alonso actually scored properly in any of the races in the first half of the season he would have won

        And if Alonso’s engine didn’t go boom at the end of Malaysia (or China, one of the two) then he would have won

        2010 wasn’t a case of Vettel having to come back from the grave to win, all of the driver recieved bad luck and in fact…

        If Alonso or Hamilton had swapped seats and was driving the RBR while Vettel drove their car then they would have won

        You can’t count all the reliability problems from Vettels car and say ‘wow he did so well despite the problems’ if you then ignore the other drivers problems or what car they aredriving.

  28. Glenn says:

    Im a big Mark Webber fan but I think comments like that are absolute nonsense, designed to stir up trouble and unrest. Why would the champion constructor make one car inferior to the other? Is it not their goal to qualify and finish 1-2 every weekend? How could they possibly achieve this with 1 inferior car? Sebastian has had his share of issues too. Both this year and last year. Other than a pinched wiring harness and a common KERS issue, what other issues has Webber had with his car this season that Seb hasn’t? In all honesty, Seb’s just faster. Simple.

    1. DanielS says:

      Agreed – the other thing, of course, is that the Constructors get paid based on Constructor’s Championship position, not WDC.

  29. Allan says:

    Interesting that Briatore was not questioning why it seemed like Vettel was getting most of the bad luck on the team at the start of last season…

  30. Paul Mc says:

    The great thing about Briatore now is that you can completely disregard anything he says and put it down as nonsense.

    Its amazing he is still allowed near an F1 pit-lane.

  31. Williams4Ever says:

    Who else but the master can know. Mr. Flavio maybe its time to reopen the Trulli, Fisichella case from 2004-05 and Nelson Piquet case from 2008-09 and perhaps all those drivers who were denied chance to drive for the Renault team because they were not ready for Flavio representing them as driver manager while he was the F1 team boss at Renault.

    Is Flavio fitter than Mladic?
    They have deemed Mladic fit to be tried, I guess Flavio is sent on same path by the WMSC….

  32. opsin says:

    And Flav thinks this will help Webber get a new contract? Ugh.

  33. MR SERIOUS says:

    I just want to be the first here to congratulate Tony Fernandes.

    Thought Renault were bullies.

  34. Jodum5 says:

    Big fan of Mark Webber but nice to see a Briatore client get the shaft after what happened with Jarno Trulli in 2004. The one year Fernando Alonso struggles with a teammate, and the driver gets summarily dismissed over one mistake in a race (French GP Trulli lost a place to Barrichello after a silly mistake).

    At the very least, if this year is it for Mark (for whatever reason) at least he got an excellent chance at a championship last year.

    1. Dom says:

      One could suggest Alonso also struggled a little in 2007….

      1. TheLegend says:

        Fernando always says that 2004 was the year he struggled the most to beat his teammate, 2007 was a combination of Lewis knowing the bridgestone much better than him, having issues with McLaren, and FIA stoling points to him.

      2. Dom says:

        I don’t think Lewis had any more knowledge of the Bridgestones (I recall Ron paid for a 2/3 day test session for Alonso where Lewis wasn’t invited, in order for Alonso to work on his tyre optimisation although following this test, Lewis was still faster in the next practise session…) as they were a new tyre – more likely Alonso had optimised his driving for the previous tyres and couldn’t immediately adapt…..

        Agree Trulli gave Alonso a hard time in 2004 – Monaco was a great race for the Italian.

    2. nsx says:

      AND THAT IS EXACTLY THE POINT. One driver is dismissed from the team for being TOO CLOSE to the PREFERRED DRIVER. In your case, Alonso, in this case Vettel. Flavio knows that drivers get team preference, that is why he is speaking out for his charger now.

      1. Jodum5 says:

        Now that I think about it, it doesn’t seem like Flavio is complaining simply stating his view and his expectation that Red Bull is big enough to supply to strong cars.

  35. Red5 says:

    I’m surprised to hear Flavio sitting on the fence. Surely Mark’s bad luck started before 2009…

    In fairness to teams, some upgrades are phased in as components may not be available for both cars immediately.

  36. Nazdakka says:

    Webber had perfect reliability last year, while Vettel had two breakdowns while leading and lost another likely win to engine issues in Bahrain.

    Briatore is talking nonsense.

    1. charlie 1 says:

      There were no WDC’s in the team last year. And Horner has indicated in which direction the team is going.

    2. Unocv12 says:

      Webber perfect relibailty last year?

      (I’ll include bad strat in brackets, and luck)

      Australia – went from 2nd to 5th I think. Should have inherited race win, instead was left fighing for positon against slower cars

      China – bad call in rain + Vettel bumped him whiel avoiding Hamilton. WEbber went from 1st leading Vettel (no problems either car) to back of the opints

      Turkey – Not really relibailty, but his teammate twacked him

      Canada – Gearbox. Front row was Hamilton pole Webber 2nd and Vettel 2nd row 3rd. Webber had to change his ‘box and was sent backwards. Vettel finished behind where he startded Webbeer ahead

      GB – Front wing. Dare I say more

      Germany – Couldn’t overtake due to engine heat. Closed up to button but couldn’t and had to back off.

      Spa – Start clutch bite point

      Italy – Couldn’t get past Hulkenberg as Hulkenberg kept out braking himself, cutting the chicane and stay ahead

      Brazil – Engine heat problems again. Got past Hulkenberg, caught up to Vettel but had to back off as he couldn’t pass and so settled for 2nd.

      Yeah.. no reliability problems at all

      1. Alex W says:

        You forgot at Monza, Vettels brake issue was of great benefit in that it swapped driver strategies and cost Webber very dearly.

      2. Unocv12 says:

        I guess so. True. But Webber’s stratergy should have paid off after the switch if he got passed Hulkenberg. He should of and was faster yet every time Webber went to out brake Hulkenberg, Hulkenberg braked too late himself, Webber made the chicane outbraking Hulkenberg, Hulkenberg didn’t, skipped the chicane and stayed ahead of Webber.

        Point is Webber hardly had the perfect season.

  37. Sergio says:

    I said this before in this blog. Red Bull doesn’t want to repeat the same mistakes of last year which almost provoque losing championship. Step by step they are managing differences between nº2 and nº1, because at the beggining they were too excessive. The target is putting Webber between nº1 and the challengers. The best race of Mark with full potential was that one he started 18th. The KERS functionality it seems like a roulette but you can see Seb’s departures like a daemon bullet. Pirelli is the real problem with Mark? Well, no more problem now, he demonstrated in Barcelona he can afford the pole…or will he lose again his mind? F1 has lots of unfair casualties. You can see Hekki Kovalainen, that driver 1 second slower than Schumacher’s succesor. The always “fullstrategy” guy. One more Webbo for English tastes, very very polite and just for “the team” player, you know. F1 is a business and drivers are like shares. You play media.

  38. Paul says:

    Maybe it was my imagination, but wasn’t it Sebastien Vettel that lost three victories last year because of reliability issues and Mark Webber didn’t have a single reliability problem? And Mark still couldn’t win the championship?

    The usual hot air from Flav…

  39. k5enny says:

    I believe that Red Bull give both drivers equal equipment….

    But i dont see any reason why they should…
    Vettel is world Champion and has a massive future ahead of him…. Webber is in the twilight
    of his career, driving to build up his pension fund…

  40. Penfold says:

    James, what chance of Hamilton being at Redbull next year?

  41. Tim Parry says:

    Ummm… Flavio Briatore. Yeah… I guess.

  42. Alexx says:

    Webber is in the ‘Barichello / Coulthard’ phase of careers wherby the realization that he will never be a world champion in f1 sets in. His ultimate goal cannot be achieved. Its obvious the team are going to give more attention to the champion in the team.

    All 3 drivers above were championship winning cars but faced against better teamates, and thus never won.

    Coulhard vs Hakkinen in McLaren – he also believed the team was biased towards Hakkinen

    Barrichelo / Ferrari / Brawn – he accused Brawn of giving better strategies to Button. Never mind his Farrari days with Schumi.

    Alonso ended Trulli & Fisi in Renault, Damon Hill’s decline.

    Same thing with Webber is happening now imo. Its all self belief, that explains Schimi’s arrogance, as he has no other choice.

    Once pride & confidence gets beat, hence the perpetual sour face and decision to maybe retire from Webber!

    If he was winning – he woudnt even think about giving up that ultimate rush of victory.

  43. mia says:

    If Horner were like Flavio, he’d essentially kill any opportunity of Mark racing Seb in winter testing….

  44. DVX says:

    Flavio makes a good point and let’s not forget what happened last year when they took the “faster” front wing off Webbers car only to give it to Seb. Clearly the favor Vettel over Webber.

  45. D. says:

    So Flavio is saying that Webber has been given a car that’s half a second slower ?? That’s been the margin between them more or less. That’s just ludicrous. RBR wants to ensure they also win the Constructors’ title, so it is in their interest to give both drivers the best possible car. McLaren is right behind them and it won’t be long before the silver arrows start winning races consistently.

    1. jim says:

      Marks car is not half a second slower? He has a handful of fastest race laps this year. He is simply getting screwed on strategy.

  46. Paul Kirk says:

    For once I agree with Briatore, and I’ve been thinking the same all season!
    PK.

  47. Giles says:

    James,

    In your opinion is there any chance of Webber heading to Ferrari next year? I now they have affirmed their commitment to Massa but it seems Alonso and Webber get along famously, both are managed by Briatore and it would be a great fit.

    Thoughts?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes I think there is a chance. But if it’s going to happen needs to happen soon as they will want to lay the car out to accommodate him; he’s much taller than Alonso and Massa.

      1. Glenn says:

        Mark must belive there is a chance. He doesn’t seem to get through an interview without saying “Fernando’ at least 7 times ;)I would like to see him with Ferrari and Alonso. At least he would pull in some decent money for playing 2nd fiddle.

  48. Snailtrail says:

    I’m not the sort of person to believe this sort of thing – BUT – Redbull have recent form in this sort of action – who of us would have thought that Redbull would pull a part off one car only to put it on the other – or for a driver to be willing to deliberately crash in order to save their job – point is it all happens in F1.

  49. Snailtrail says:

    Two other things:
    1 – The almost hugging of Sebastian after the Turkey incident last year – you could see where the support laid
    2 – You would have to be an idiot to deny the reaction is different to when Webber wins as opposed to Sebastian.

  50. terryshep says:

    It’s pointless (no pun) to drag up all these stats about who retired where, that isn’t the reason Flav spoke up. He is doing what a manager should, keeping his client in the news, get people talking about him – he’s succeeded marvellously, hasn’t he?

    Contract time is upon us.

  51. Edd says:

    I wonder what Johnny Herbert’s response to Flavio’s comments would be? 1995 anyone?

  52. Il_leone says:

    Thats rich coming from a man who has in his career shafted a lot of No 2 drivers – Brundle, Herbert, Button , Fisichela , Wurz, Trulli , Grosjean and Piquet Jnr in trying to do all he can for the No 1 driver – Schumacher then Fisichella then Alonso

    When always quizzed about the disparity of the two drivers he always claims they use the same cars

    but everyone well knows he runs No 1 and No2 policy and tries to take credit for Schumacher and Alonso’s success.

    1996-1997 was proof he was an absolute useless manager when trying to explain why Berger and Alesi were not winning races like Schumacher ..he eventually admitted Schumacher was the NO 1 in the team then where Berger and ALesi were equal status

    His idea of driver management is to scold them whenever given the chance and then offer little praise or encouragement when they put in a good performance

    He has a history of treating drivers like dirt because they would not sign up to his driver management so he can take 25% of their salary

  53. ab shamsul says:

    webber is considered gone case by RB by now. he is just waiting to be booted out. he was useful partner but too threatening last year. RB made sure he wont go anywhere this year except out… goodbye webber..

  54. TheBar says:

    Briatore questions if Red Bull are supplying equal cars ?

    The Fans question if Briatore is still a filthy cheater ?

    Who’s opinion matters more ?

  55. MarkR says:

    All teams exercise the same strategy – support the number 1 driver ahead of number 2. At the moment, Vettel is the number 1 at RBR.

    It’s fine to start the year with equal drivers but at some point resources usually become tight and one driver becomes favoured. Naturally it becomes the one leading the champioinship at the time, or the most marketable driver, or both as Seb is at the moment.

    I think Mark is a great driver and F1 celebity – he is taking it all on his massive chin at the moment. And RBR seem to be going out of their way to say nice things about Mark.

    Mark definitely has problems with his starts, as he did last year, and coming to terms with the Pirellis. His KERS also seems to break more often than Seb’s. And being behind Seb means he doesn’t get optimum pit stop strategies.

    Mark seems to succees based on emotional momentum – winning streaks or losing streaks. It’s hard to see how he will get back into a winning feeling again while still at RBR, when team strategy/rules will probably stop him from pusing Seb on track. I think he should move to Ferrari next year. There is no point staying at RBR as long as Seb is still there.

    Gotta love Mark, though. He holds the record for most races before winning a GP. Doesn’t get great results in races but still scores fastest lap. That’s persistence and grit.

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