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Webber: “I’m not part of Marko’s agenda”
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Darren Heath
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Jan 2013   |  1:09 pm GMT  |  232 comments

Red Bull driver Mark Webber has finally responded to disparaging comments made by the team’s special adviser Helmut Marko, with a scathing rebuttal, which is likely to create tensions within the team this season.

Marko made some surprisingly frank comments about Webber earlier this month in the Red Bulletin, the company’s in-house sports and leisure magazine,

“It seems to me that Webber has on average two races per year where he is unbeatable, but he can’t maintain this form throughout the year, ” said Marko. “And as soon as his prospects start to look good in the world championship, he has a little trouble with the pressure that this creates.

“In comparison with Seb’s rising form, it seems to me that Mark’s form somehow flattens out. Then, if some technical mishap occurs, like with the alternator for example, he falls relatively easily into a downward spiral.”

In a Q&A on his own website issued today, Webber goes further than a standard dismissal of the comments, saying,

“Look, everyone at this level has their own agendas and it’s been evident for some time that I’ve never been part of Marko’s.”


There have been many examples of Marko disparaging Webber in favour of his own protege Vettel. The aftermath of their notorious collision in Turkey in 2010 is one such; Marko immediately blamed Webber for the incident.

One of the more regrettable aspects of Red Bull’s rise to success has been the impression created by such comments from Marko and some of the operational decisions which appear to have favoured Vettel.

There is little doubt that German three times world champion is good enough to succeed in the cars he has had, without these episodes, but they create an impression that there is not a level playing field within the team.

This episode of parry and thrust, however has a different ring to it. Webber is on a rolling one year contract, which he negotiates directly with Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz. Webber revealed in another post that he spent New Year with the Red Bull owner on his private island in Fiji, so the links are strong.

However, it’s been clear for some time that Marko would prefer to dislodge him and have another of his development drivers in the seat. But the driver programme has yet to produce a driver of sufficient calibre.

Webber is indeed a bit too inconstant a performer at Drivers’ Championship level, but his points have been essential for Red Bull winning three consecutive Constructors’ Championships and his wins have prevented other drivers from collecting maximum points on days when Vettel didn’t win. So he has played a vital role in the development and success of Red Bull Racing.

Team principal Christian Horner will be keen to avoid the distraction of in house warfare, but there is no way to paper over the cracks that this insulting exchange has highlighted.

Elsewhere in Webber’s Q&A, he reveals that he had a 40cm section of titanium rod removed from his leg, a legacy of his mountain bike accident two years ago, in an operation on December 6th. He resumed training earlier this month and is at full speed again now.

Webber will work with engineer Simon Rennie, who was on Kimi Raikkonen’s crew at Lotus last year -it was he whom Raikkonen famously told to ‘Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing’, in Abu Dhabi last year.

Ciaron Pilbeam, Webber’s engineer of six years, has moved on to Lotus in a more senior engineering role.

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232 Comments
  1. Alby Sedaitis says:

    Re Marko/Webber
    So interesting to note such nonsical observations by a learned member of a Great Racing Team
    There is no doubt that Red Bull has a formidible pairing of Drivers, or have I been on the wrong planet the last Three seasons when they dominated F1
    What on earth does Marko get out of the crap he is spruiking ?
    I suggest the team Doctor check his mouth for oh so common and painfull Hemorrhoids
    Alby.

  2. F1Gringo says:

    When something happens twice, you can call it a coincidence. When it happens over and over, it is no longer a coincidence but rather a deliberate result of behavior.

    Webber’s car is constantly suffering problems that somehow do not affect Vettel’s car. When something like the alternator fails on Vettel’s car it also fails on Webber’s car, but not vice versa.

    Marko wants to get rid of Webber. He has clearly used his influence to if not sabotage Webber’s car then to at least influence its setup so that it is more likely to fail.

    Webber is a good driver. It is impossible that his starts are so awful because of him alone when Vettel’s starts are so consistent. The only logical answer is that the car setup has been compromised.

    Just look at all the derogatory statements that Helmut makes about Webber. Where there is smoke, there is fire.

  3. Richard says:

    Interesting because over and over again I have watched Webber’s lousy starts – but nobody ever comments on this weakness or problem of his!

    This time Mclaren have apologised for the error but there does seem to be more to the repetitions than we are aware of ??

    Maybe it all relates back to his “not bad for number 2″ issues?

  4. Ian Perry says:

    Not only does Mark have to cope with H Marko but also with a car optimised for Sebs build and driving style… Got to cost a 10th or 2

  5. Richard says:

    Well on first impressions one might think Marko as being rather stupid saying these things that are bound to cause friction, however I think likely his intent is to make Webber leave of his own accord. I note that Red bull were not keen to have Hamilton alongside Vettel as dreams may then have been well and truly shattered. It’s a pity Marko has to stoop to such tactics and just replace Webber in a more open manner. Personally I hope Webber does well this season.

  6. KRB says:

    “I’m not part of Marko’s agenda”

    The Leading F1 Understatement of the Year (so far)!

  7. **Paul** says:

    “[Webbers] points have been essential for Red Bull winning three consecutive Constructors’ Championships and his wins have prevented other drivers from collecting maximum points on days when Vettel didn’t win.”

    Unfortunately, all too often, that isn’t the case. There is rarely a time where Seb’s off the front running pace, but Mark is in a position to take points off Alonso, Hamilton or Button.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like quite like Mark Webber and respect him for not letting Marko bulldozer him out of the team (although I hasten to add that Horner deeply respects Webber and I think is instrumental in Mark staying), but and this is a big but, Marko is actually pretty accurate with his assesment of Mark.

    Fingers crossed this will spur Webber on, and bring him into play in the 2013 championship, because he can be unbeatable when he’s on form.

  8. BJ says:

    Marko comes accross as a monumental [mod]

  9. SlimMillipede says:

    I like the idea of Webber riding a mouton bike. No wonder he had an accident, it must be hard to get the rigidity required with a mouton frame.

    Mouton – Sheepskin that has been sheared and processed to resemble beaver or seal.

  10. Peter says:

    Mark and Kimi should swap teams/cars, too.

  11. Cos says:

    I’d like to see another driver willingly tow the party line as Mark has done all this time…as mentioned in the article without a doubt as good as Vettle is he didn’t score all those Constructors Championship points on his own. Some one may need to remind Marko about that.

    Either way, hope Mark stays in F1 after this year whether at RB or another team.

  12. Michael says:

    Webber should have cleaned up the titanium rod, wrapped it nicely and posted it to Marko with a polite note advising him it where it would be best to place it (specifically where within his person it would be most suitable).

    Honestly, Marko really needs to switch to a low-caffeine soda in future.

  13. ArJay says:

    [mod]
    Storm in a teacup.
    [mod]

  14. Simple says:

    There’s a long list of drivers who would tow the party line with nary a negative word uttered. Barrichello and Massa spring immediately to mind.

    At least Mark speaks his mind, even if we all know he is the number two and won’t ever have a truly equal opportunity.

  15. olivier says:

    If I were Webber I would have a chat with Ferrari well before his contract renewal with Red Bull. Otherwise this might be his swansong year …

  16. S2K says:

    “It seems to me that Webber has on average two races per year where he is unbeatable, but he can’t maintain this form throughout the year, ” said Marko.

    Whilst I am suprised that such comments were made in the press, isn’t Marko right? Webber failed to deliver what many expected him to do ever since he left Minardi, to become a world champion. In the last three seasons Webber had the opportunity to drive the best car on the grid, yet he was destroyed by Vettel.

    I am sorry but Webber is only a lieutenant just like Berger and Barrichello were. Good drivers, picked up some wins, helped the team win the constructors’ but without the sparkle required to win the drivers’.

  17. Neil says:

    Reading the Q&A, this felt a smaller part than the article implied to me.

    what less could he say?

    Neil.

  18. Miha Bevc says:

    Well, Marko probably shouldn’t say this in public, but he is quite right in what’s he saying.

    But it’s true that by saying this he definately doesn’t help Vettel’s image, although he’s probably trying to do just that.

  19. Adam says:

    I find it interesting that Webber can win in a car not optimized for him and with a part of the team working against him.

    Marko on the other hand is not trusted enough to a) run the team and b) negotiate a contract with Webber. Enough said.

    The team says they like winning. Marko likes just one of his drivers wining. But how well has his driver development program done? Anyone graduated from that program recently except his one star? Even a blind pig gets lucky every now and then. Marko will be the downfall of that team in my opinion. I note he does not go public with comments about the car and its designer……

    What is surprising is that one Mr. Horner allowed that rubbish to be printed! I guess he figures he is giving Marko all the rope he can and hoping that the issue will resolve itself!

  20. goferet says:

    Well the bad blood between Marko and Mark would explain why Webber isn’t too keen when it comes to helping his teammate for since Webber is under the impression the team favours his teammate thus if his teammate were to lose, Webber would feel vindicated and see that as some kind of karma.

    So you will find that Webber feels some kind of resentment towards Sebastian ~ And not because of what Vettel has done to him but what he perceives the team are doing to him.

    This is the same dynamics that were going on in Mclaren 2007 when Alonso was of the view he would rather see anybody other than Lewis win the title.

    Anyway I understand Webber is a pretty proud and out spoken kind of bloke but being this out spoken, you have to have the talent to at least back up your words but as things stand, not only is Mark the unluckiest pilot since Nakajima Senior, but his starts off the grid alone are the stuff of legends.

    So all in all, this friction between Marko and Mark will just see an early exist for Webber out of the team for least we forget, F1 isn’t a sport to this guys but their professions i.e. What puts food on the table.

    So if Webber seriously wants to keep his job (in a pretty good car and team) after 2013, he should have a heart to heart chat with Rubens and Massa.

  21. Chromatic says:

    Webbo sounds all fired up.
    Which is just what Dr Helmut intended. So he is part of his agenda!!

  22. Spyros says:

    Nobody in his own team ever called Massa a second-rate driver. Dr Helmut has done so a few times, provoked and unprovoked.

  23. Cos says:

    I may be wrong but that could be because he doesn’t get openly critisized in public as is the case here. If memory serves me right Ferrari in no uncertain terms made it clear that he (Massa) needed to up his game to stay in the team which he duly did….unfortunately it has become clear for some time that certain members of the Redbull team want rid of Mark

  24. DC Corey says:

    A scathing rebuttal, James? That seems a tad exaggerated. Webber offers up just one sentence in response to Marko’s much lengthier criticism. If anything, Webber’s response seems very tepid.

    The whole Q&A itself is rather dull.

  25. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Vettel vs. Webber (during RBR years as team mates)

    2009: 2nd / 4th
    2010: 1st / 3rd
    2011: 1st / 3rd
    2012: 1st / 6th

    Almost half a decade of competition in race winning and championship winning or championship contending cars and Mark has yet to even wrap up a runner-up spot to give RBR a 1-2 overall. This in arguable the best car, on average, over the 4 years.

    Wins: Vett 25 – Webb 9
    Poles: Vett 35 – Webb 11

    This statistic tells it all. Webber would not be on my agenda either.

    My position: Marko should not have berated MW is such a way, but is he wrong in what he says? He is likely to have another WDC contending car in 2013, making it half a decade of technical superiority that he has enjoyed. He might now be looking at getting into double figure career wins. That would revolt most other drivers. What a waste. At least be gracious and support Vettel or get out and give the car to someone else to challenge Vettel.

    Marko’s comments come on the back of perhaps one too many incidents where Webber clearly did as much as possible to ‘hinder’ a 3rd Vettel WDC when Webber was clearly out of contention. Don’t really blame the RBR mgmt.

  26. Stefan says:

    I would love to see Mark Webber as a race commentator after his F1 career is over. Tell it like it is. Be like listening to James Hunt (with an Australian twang).

  27. All revved-up says:

    Either Marko or Mark should leave. This “washing your laundry in public” isn’t a sign of a world class team with everyone pulling in the same direction.

    One day, this lack of team spirit will be an anchor that drags their performance down and loses them the WCC. It may then take a long time to rebuild team spirit.

    Seems like Marco is taking RB’s superiority for granted – with all this dirty laundry in public. You don’t hear that from others who have their heads down trying to build a superior car and fostering superior teamwork.

    Just my 5 cents worth – can’t wait for March and the 5 red lights to go off.

  28. Alex says:

    Is there anyone in the team that ‘has’ Mark’s ‘back’? How influential is Marko within the team relative to Horner and Newey? I must admit I don’t understand the dynamics of their relationship. I wonder if there’s any discord behind the the scenes at management level? I guess if you’re on a roll and winning you might just tolerate challenging relationships but if the results were to stop coming their way who’d be vulnerable in the team?

  29. Val from montreal says:

    Maybe Webber’s main problem is that he’s managed by Briatore ? If Webber is not happy as being the teams number 2 , driving the best package on the grid plus being paid 8 million dollars a season , he can leave Red Bull or retire …. He’s no match for Vettel ( stats do all the talking ) and at 36 years old Webber’s lucky to be where he is…. He could retire or go try his luck somewhere else …. Btw his little squeeze on Vettel in Brazil was’nt the best way of judgement .,.. If Eddie Irvine or Rubens Barrichello tried pulling a stunt like that on MSC at a TITLE deciding race ,Todt would have ripped their heads off after the race …..

  30. Panagiotis says:

    BundesBull on grasps? Come on mate give them an Ozi party to hold on 2013 from…

  31. Andrew M says:

    “Webber will work with engineer Simon Rennie, who was on Kimi Raikkonen’s crew at Lotus last year -it was he whom Raikkonen famously told to ‘Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing’, in Abu Dhabi last year.”

    Wonder if being publicly humiliated like he was had any bearing on his move…

  32. Jb says:

    I see. So… Marko’s comments does have an effect on Webber. Haha

  33. Irish con says:

    I have to say I can’t stand helmet marko at all but I think he is right about webber. If the championship was only raced at Monaco and silver stone he would be unbeatable but he isn’t good enough to get the job done over a full season. It’s that simple. I wish mark would win a championship tho because he is the most likeable guy on the grid along with jenson and felipe.

  34. KK says:

    Question: Is Mark Webber really that good to attract sympathy from F1 buffs for the supposed ill treatment offered to him by Redbull? The answer, NO!

    Let’s go back a few years. Turkey 2009! Vettel was charging through the field and closing down the gap to Webber in the final stages when the team came on the radio and cautioned Vettel to maintain position. This was very similar to what they did in 2011 Silverstone and yet they “appear” to be favoring Vettel. This selective amnesia of media and critics is what I don’t subscribe to.

    This year despite trailing his teammate by a considerable margin, Webber had the audacity to say “I’m not pulling over for anyone”. Well after being mathematically out of contention, this is the last thing one would expect from a ‘teammate’. So on one side people praise his stand up attitude but on the other side, they feel sympathetic. Only one can hold true. And finally, his move to block Vettel in the first lap in Brazil was utter balderdash and I’m really surprised that the team didn’t make much fuss about it then. Probably because Vettel won it in the end. Nevertheless, Mark Webber is a frustrated soul, a fine driver but no match to Vettel. Live with it!

  35. Glen Watkins says:

    I used to consume quite a bit of Red Bull.

    But after having seen how Red Bull treat Mark Webber,
    I quit buying Red Bull products for good.

    Mark Webber acts like a man, which in itself is deserving
    of respect. Red Bull will have its day and then Red Bull will
    fade into history. But Mark Webber will remain a top bloke
    for the rest of his life, because that’s who and what he is.

    There are things more important than winning, and obviously Marko has yet to learn that in his sad attempt
    at acting like an “uebermensch”.

  36. f-duct says:

    “But the driver programme has yet to produce a driver of sufficient calibre” to replace Webber.

    Red Bull must be getting desperate to offload Toro Rosso, or at least the majority. There are enough quality drivers on the market (Kimi and Hulk) who could became Red Bulls leaddriver when/if Vettel moves to Ferrari in 2-3 years. Toro Rosso isnt exactly the most visible team and they are adding close to zero in exposure for the Red Bull brand within the F1 circus. If no single person or company is interested, rebrand the team and let some outside sponsors in and float a part on a stock exchange and retain only a minority. Then use one seat permanently for a promising Red Bull junior like they do up to now and the other for an experienced (maybe pay) driver. This would save Red Bull probably up to 50 mln euro/year without losing much exposure at all.

  37. Mr Anderson says:

    Interesting that Mark Webber refers to him as ‘Marko’, implying that he no longer wishes to refer to him in first name terms.

    It seems to me that as Helmut Marko has overseen the Red Bull Development Driver program, its in his interests to have one of their own ‘rising stars’ in the car. Webber’s ability to hold on to that seat over so many years must be a huge source of frustration for him, and I think his remarks are aimed at Mateschitz and Horner as much as anyone else.

    Finally, I just Googled Helmut Marko, and the first ‘suggested link’ produced by Google was ‘Helmut Marko Idiot’. Made me laugh :-)

  38. Random says:

    Off topic James, but will you be continuing your role with One HD this year? It makes all the difference to listen to people who are actually informed and genuinely interested in what they are talking about.

  39. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    I agree with Marko that Webber is not likely to be Word Champion.

    I agree with Webber that he was never in Marko’s agenda.

    I agree with James Allen that Webber’s job was key to RBR have got 3 WCC. Webber was amazing and before RBR he was not a success driver, now he has many wins in his CV.

    I think everybody was right, and the comments shows that, for me these comments are OK.

    It looks like sure Webber won’t be in RBR in 2014… HULKENBERG is on Marko’s Agenda!
    So that will be interesting, I think Hulk could be a real challenge for Vettel.

  40. AndyK says:

    I’m pretty sure the reason Sebastian Vettel has so many [mod - detractors] is Helmut Marko’s constant pathetic outbursts. He’s like the annoying father at a school football match. Loudly bragging about his son to the other parents while slagging down all the other kids. Every time I see any news article with his name in i think to myself “oh god what’s he sticking his oar into now?” I’m not even sure what his purpose is.. Vettel’s talent and success is certainly not down to Helmut Marko. Is he a popular figure within the F1 circus James?? I can’t imagine he would be

  41. zombie says:

    Mark Webber is an experienced racer with nearly 20 years of racing experience behind him. He’s been in F1 for 12 years now, and more importantly he’s been a part of RBR for well over half a decade with 2013 being his 7th year with the team.

    With such a background, and more than half of his F1 career spent with one team, why didn’t he just move out if he thought the team was being so unfair to him ? I mean, if someone is not happy with their job, i would think it is only natural for them to move on instead of keep talking about how his employer has been short-changing him.

  42. Monktonnik says:

    Didn’t Mark Webber mount a serious title challenge in 2010?

  43. Shakers97 says:

    Webber is not a number1 driver, but in many respects he is more marketable as a solid number 2, a role which is rarely done well and in which Webber excels. That’s not to say that under the right circumstances he couldn’t be WC but that his strength is a number 2 driver.

    That said a few race wins a year and his annual flirtation with the championship battle beats 10 F1 races and no wins (Marko’s record) hands down. When RBR were a young team I can understand why they needed him but this a now a battle hardened F1 winning machine led by some very capable people. I have no idea why they keep employing Marko like he’s some kind of driver guru.

  44. StephenAcworth says:

    People seem to forget Marko’s history as a driver and subsequently as a driver developer in RB. He was a good driver who achieved some fine success, curtailed by an accident. For sure, he is ‘reliving’ his career vicariously via SebVet, and who can blame him? He will have a tight agenda and the things he says and does, whilst they may might not seem cogent or coherent in terms of the team to outsiders, will be focused.

  45. Panagiotis says:

    Gi Webber is proven fast with underdog cars plus has a solid character thus definitely know how to deal with circumstances Dr Marko confused to apply it into 3 times champ prodigy of his team as seen during season 2012 loosing control and patiency when BundesBulls were behind at the first part of the season sorting in out bridges, rubber noses and floor holes. How can you say such an “advisory” thing? But hey is tha same Dr. Who accused Alo for politicking a month ago.

  46. some time ago marko was being interviewed by ch 10 and questions were raised re ricciardo and where he was headed in F1. marko replied that he would have to do well to get the ‘other australians’ seat. that is not verbatim but calling of webber as ‘the other australian’ was quite telling.

    what marko has said, weeks prior to the start of the new season shows total ineptitude and should not be out there in the public arena. one commentator said ,’that’s fine, coming from a competitor…but your own team?’

    if horner had any backbone he’d stand up for his driver. unfortunately horner is weak and ineffectual when issues like this arise. covering his own backside one would think. wbber will start this salon with ne hand behind his back. can he win the WDC? absolutely not, the team would never allow it.

  47. An old boss of mine once said that a little bit of internal conflict is good for productivity

    Seems Marko agrees

  48. sorry for the typos, should read,’ webber will start this season with one hand behind his back’

  49. Lindsay says:

    In Formula One, what you might think is a “hissy fit” is more often brinkmanship.

    And who can forget the war of words between Alonso and Massa in the lead up to their first season together? I suppose Sandman82 did. That episode was extra fun because it was in neither driver’s native language.

  50. Timmay says:

    It does frustrate me that Webber has circuits he likes (Silverstone) and ones he doesn’t (Singapore) and he is great at the first and shockingly average to just plain bad at the latter. Not many other drivers let down theor fans like this. You expect top drivers to perform to the cars level every weekend. He has been lucky to race champion quality cars for four years, coming up five.

  51. Heinzman (Fan of: ALO) says:

    Webber has 9 GP Wins and 848.5 World Championship points, and has integrity.

    Marko has none of the above.

    I know who I would rather share a beer with.

  52. Pier Rodelon says:

    Marko is a full blown fawning jerk. It’s grotesque watching him paw Vettel in the pits, stomach turning, really. He’s the essence of cloying hanger-on, and not fit be at RBR, an embarrassment to RBR and the company and the owner. This doesn’t mean he’s wrong about MW, of course, but perhaps if Weber had a little more support within the team he could turn in even better results than he already does. Unfortunately with this happy boy Helmut relieving himself of his counter-productive comments at every turn, improvement in MW is unlikely. Would prefer he moved to another team. Plenty of places for him to land with a pretty good car.

  53. dufus says:

    I’m just glad Mark has a seat in a car that can challenge. We can argue about whether his car is suited more to the wonder boy or not but it doesn’t matter. You have to work with what you have and by that i mean the hardware as well as the people around you.
    Good luck Mark, i’ll be supporting you !

  54. Steve JR says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you reported that Marko has been hired to replace Mr Burns in the Simpsons.

    Mark has proved himself to be a quick team mate and with more luck on his side, he would surely have been world champion in 2010, so it’s hard to see why Marko doesn’t find himself out of a job or at the very least gagged up with industrial strength gaffer tape by his boss…Shut up Marko!

  55. Ian James says:

    Not sure if it’s been said before but Mark is the tallest (1.85m) and heaviest (75kg) driver in F1. Vettel is just 1.76m tall and weighs 58kg. So Mark is a significant 13kg heavier than Sebastian.

    Perhaps the 13kg difference is negated by additional ballast in Vettel’s car? but, if it’s not, the 13kg would result in around 0.5 seconds per lap delta at most circuits and would be particularly hard to overcome at race starts.

    Cheers,
    Ian (in Sydney)

  56. krischar says:

    “There is little doubt that German three times world champion is good enough to succeed in the cars he has had, without these episodes, but they create an impression that there is not a level playing field within the team”

    Very Well put James Allen

    What people need to understand here is Redbull do constantly bluff as We allow fair racing.

    RBR treat Webber as poor as they can (Maybe Mateschitz exception). When ferrari does something with felipe massa outcry and attention is too high.

    RBR are sour loosers. They may have won WDC’s yet the whining is continuous. Helmut marko can do all brandings for vettel through his comments. yet vettel is not a worthy driver nor a talent.

    How on earth marko can disrespect a driver like Alonso and insult webber who has been a part of RBR family during the stuttering times

  57. Elie says:

    Well I’ve been expecting this for a few days now. You don’t race in F1 for so many years and pretend you didn’t “hear” that stupid Marko comment.

    It’s really the perfect and only answer Mark Webber can make- & yes it was absolutely necessary he make it. Regardless of what people think of Webber. & I don’t even think mark should be in that team.

    What Red Bull should be concerned about is how the team are clearly at cross purposes. When will we hear from the team principal or is that only when there is success ??. I suspect some days from now we will hear Horner play intermediary- what a joke and what a way to run a team- 3 times champions or not. I said It before- you don’t bag your own in the press so openly. Its like pissing in the wind- sooner or later you will wear it.

  58. pear-shaped pete says:

    James, has anybody ever questioned how/why Webber needed a new gearbox and penalty as soon as he signed the latest contract after Silverstone win?

    Thanks
    pear-shaped pete

  59. Robert says:

    I always think that before you can replace someone you have to decide whether you can get someone that is definitely better. AND for Red Bull, there are few potential better racers than Webber at the moment (and for Ferrari there are few better options than Massa) and that is why he keeps his spot.

    Marko seems to enjoy stirring the pot, which is perfectly entitled to do, and if part of my role at a racing team was to promote and develop young drivers, I would probably want the 35 bloke out of one the cars too.

  60. i don’t quite follow your logic robert. re your second para. why did RBR rush to sign webber at silverstone time? why didn’t they just let him go?

    i was massively disappointed when he announced that he had re signed. nothing would’ve made me more happy than to see him in a ferrari, with parity!!!

    where the hell is horner? he should be out there supporting his driver but no. not a sound. wimp.

  61. For sure says:

    The interesting thing is that Mark and Seb were the closet during 2010..
    And then after Seb won the championship, it became more clear who they want to back..
    I have no doubt that Seb can do it with Mark pushing him to the limit but I also have no doubt that Mark wasn’t treated fairly..
    Mark had more problems with the car. You have to wonder why? Are they paying too much attention on Seb’s car that they couldn’t iron out certain problems on Mark’s? During last year, the development went to a direction that didn’t suit Mark’s driving style.
    I mean what kind of man would kick a dog when he’s down and wasn’t treated fairly.

  62. For sure says:

    Hi James, what I don’t understand is what’s in it for Marko to say such things?

    Is Seb like a son to him?

    They have already established who is their No1 and No2 anyway.. No debate there.

    So why doesn’t he just keep quiet or defend “his” team member which is Mark.

    Or is it his way of justifying why Seb is no 1?

  63. Honkhonk says:

    Impression of no level playing field? It’s obviously a team with Vettel as #1. Not that Mark deserves similar status per his performance, but Seb is being babied all the way with the fastest and most expensive toy in the paddock. Maybe this year he’ll crash into more cars and signboards just to give us the impression of a level playing field on track.

  64. Truth or Lies says:

    I think perhaps, Mark Webber will look back upon his career and wish he had made some different choices, such as not responding via his web site to Helmut Marko’s comments and signing for Ferrari last year.

    It’s pretty obvious that Marko isn’t a Webber fan and now if he chooses to be difficult I guess he could make life inside the team awkward form Mark. F1 is a team sport and while Marko’s comments were unhelpful and probably unfair, Webber’s response didn’t help matters either. As Marko has the ear of Dietrich Mateschitz and Mark is out of contract in less than 12 months it wasn’t the smartest move.

    Webber could well be starting his final season. I doubt Ferrari will come knocking his door down again, especially as he rebuffed their previous offer and Massa looks as though he’s back on song. It’s a pity really, Mark might have been champion, but he sort of bottled it at Korea in 2010.

    But in fairness it can’t be easy racing in your most competitive machinary during the later stages of your carer, against Vettel, one of the fastest guys and youngest world champions with time on his side.

  65. @elie….read my post again. why do you think there are triple exclamation marks after the word ‘parity’?

    as for the fact that horner, not once AFAIK, never once mentioned webbers race in brazil. 18th to 4th. pretty damn good.no? horner is spineless and i think this will manifest itself more succinctly this season.

    marko expected webber to pull over for vettel. webber went out to race for the win, that is what racing drivers do. he simply held his line for the corner. vettel/RB knew he wouldn’t pull over as he said so PRIOR to the start but vettel still tried it on.

    markos statements are just a continuation of his dislike for webber. how could a no2 win nine races? not on the agenda.

  66. JohnBt says:

    At all cost Mark Webber must be very aggressive this year as it will be his last in Red Bull. A man by the name of Marko would literally and physically kick Webber if he can out of the garage IMHO, that’s how he expressed in words.

    For sure Marko will hinder Webber and make sure he’ll never be in front of Vettel. Will never forget how he treated Jaime in the practice session which was totally ungentlemanly. Marko Helmet is 100% an old spoilt brat! Did I hear he was a failed racing driver?

  67. Darren says:

    Helmut Marko has always been one-eyed….well for 40 odd years anyway.

  68. Sandman82 says:

    Felipe Massa has never had a hissy fit unlike unlike webber.

  69. Simple says:

    That was meant in reply to post no.8

  70. Gudien says:

    Vettel and Webber have had the best cars in F-1 for several years now if you believe Hamilton, Alonso, and just about everyone in the sport.

    That being the case why hasn’t Mark stepped up and been more successful over an entire year? The one time he took the championship all the way to the final race he destroyed his chances with a ‘phantom’ bicycle accident and neglected to tell his team until after the race! This is Marko’s fault?

  71. zombie says:

    You cannot be serious ! Barichello was arguably one of the biggest whiners F1 has ever seen ! His constant whining about Ferrari didn’t stop even after he joined Honda and later Brawn. Despite being in a Brawn that was a second a lap faster than rest of the field, he made that ridiculous “blah blah blah” comment against his own team. Makes you wonder why he would bother being with Ferrari for more than half a decade if he found the job so unfair.

  72. Chromatic says:

    Exactly right.

  73. Anne says:

    Kimi won´t tolerate dirty tricks. They can´t ask Kimi to make a pit stop only to take his front wing away to give it to Vettel. Kimi won´t tolerate a radio comment like “not bad for a number 2 driver”.Someone like Kimi deserves a lot more respect. If RB wants another number 2 driver instead of Webber. Kimi is not the answer.

  74. Chris says:

    I think Burger could have challenged, never was allowed to!

  75. Random says:

    In the last three seasons Webber was destroyed by Vettel?

    In 2011 yes: Webber more or less admitted that himself, but he could have – should have – been champion in 2010.

    More than that, don’t forget that in the first half of 2012 Mark had two wins to Vettel’s one; it’s only from Singapore on that Vettel started to hit his stride.

    If that’s getting ‘destroyed’ by Vettel I’d like to see a little more of it.

  76. Kay says:

    Speaking the truth is one thing, speaking the truth PUBLICLY TO HUMILIATE a person is quite another, especially that person is within the same camp. That’s what so disgusting about the whole Marko’s comments topic.

  77. joshua says:

    Whilst i believe the Marko Story was very interesting i have just checked Marks Q&A. This is actually all he says on the matter.

    However – i do not check Mark Webbers or anyone else’s own website/twitter etc; so it’s great that the JA staff are keeping us in the loop on what’s going on

    Keep it up James

  78. Phil R says:

    Its not though is it? If and when Webber leaves Red Bull this will undoubtedly be noted as one of the reasons backing up his and Marko’s problems.

    If it wasn’t reported and then came out no doubt people would be criticising the media for not covering the sport well enough. GIven the standard PR answers that are normally given by all concerned, its quite nice to see some actual truth’s coming out.

  79. Grabyrdy says:

    Mark could probably have gone to Ferrari for 2013, but chose to stay with RB. He’s speaking the truth here about not being part of Marko’s agenda – he never has been – but has survived, and no doubt thinks he can survive still.

    He’s certainly done more for the success of RB these last 3 years than Marko has, and Mateschitz seems to be aware of that.

  80. Anne says:

    They had that chat last year.Look all the big teams think Webber is a very good number 2 driver.Nothing more than that

  81. Gudien says:

    Webber had the opportunity to move to the Scuderia scant months ago and rejected it. Why? Things must be better for Mark at Red Bull. End of story.

  82. Spyros says:

    Exactly. That’s the whole point.

    I doubt after all these years Webber really cares about anything Marko says, publicly or not. But Dr. Marko makes Vettel look like someone whose excellence needs to be emphasized continuously, as if having three consecutive world titles isn’t enough!

    Sebastian is better than Mark. We get it. But we reserve the right to like the Aussie more. Is this a problem?

  83. Craig D says:

    It’s true, there is irony there but I think Webber means it he’s not on his agenda for success!

  84. Cos says:

    I disagree with your first paragraph but agree with your second one.

    Both you and Sandman82 correctly pointed out that both Massa and Barrichello towed the line without a negative word uttered….but my point is they did so because they knew where they stood.

    Although it may be painful, Mark understands where he stands in the team ( he may not like it but he knows it). However to some extent there’s only so much public humiliation a driver like him can take before he reacts…and fair play to him I say. He is responding to personal comments made about himself by other parties within his own team.

  85. James Allen says:

    If you don’t care, you don’t comment

    This exchange is unusual within a racing team

  86. Anne says:

    Random, I´m afraid other drivers can´t have the luxury of making comments like that. Imagine if Hamilton or Alonso make that kind of comment. In the media and in the public opinion would be like WWIII. And both would be portray as the incarnation of Satan. Webber is very lucky to make a comment like that and get away with it. And it is not the first time. Last year he called Grosjean a first lap nutcase. Do you think Hamilton or Alonso can say something like that about other driver?

  87. BW says:

    /Kimi won´t tolerate a radio comment like “not bad for a number 2 driver”/

    AFAIR it was a Webber’s line.
    Besides that, I agree Kimi would never accept Mark’s role.

  88. jeffrey says:

    It was actually Mark Webber that said: Not bad for a No 2 Driver…

  89. justafan says:

    It doesn’t look as if RBR want another #2 driver. It seems they would prefer 2 #1′s, just like mac or merc. Having a clear #1 and #2 is Ferrari’s politics.

  90. Owen says:

    Good points – how many stars have emerged from Marko’s development programme? I do really like Mark Webber though one must reluctantly concede that Marko’s assessment of him is correct! But, why would Red Bull publish his views in their in-house magazine?! Perhaps it’s a ploy to “fire-up” Mark for next year – anything to raise his motivation after all – and plenty more points on the way for the team.

  91. Andrew Carter says:

    Berger, by his own admission, was not a match for Senna.

  92. hero_was_senna says:

    I’m assuming you are referring to his time at Mclaren?
    It may surprise you, but Berger (not Burger) has actually been filmed in interview, so not “lost in translation!” speaking about the Mclaren years.
    To paraphrase, He joined Mclaren knowing that he’d beat Senna. Every driver has a weakness was his logic.
    As he spoke later, Senna’s qualifying speed was unbelievable, his race speed was unbelievable, his concentration, his speed in fast corners, his speed in slow corners. his speed in the rain were all unbelievable.

    He outqualified Senna on occasion, but he was nowhere near his level to compete.

    If instead you mean when he drove for ATS, Benetton or Ferrari, well they weren’t exactly championship fighting machines.

  93. Random says:

    Agreed, but Webber didn’t make a comment; he just answered a direct question honestly.

    Although it would be unrealistic to expect it I wish more drivers would do the same.

  94. Spyros says:

    I don’t disagree, but it may simply be something he felt he had to say, given the amount of publicity Dr Marko’s comments got.

    My impression of most statements coming from the RBR camp is that they are overly ‘sanitized’. Mark’s comment is blunt, but not critical. If he’s simply hoping to lay the matter to rest, pre-empting questions asked later, I hope it works for him… but I doubt it.

  95. Random says:

    Totally agree again, but if Webber had wished to avoid it he wouldn’t be Webber

  96. hero_was_senna says:

    Webber speaks to Mateschitz himself regarding contracts doesn’t he?
    Would he have cleared this with the boss before putting it on his site? One thing that Dieter seems to enjoy is competition, as long as Red Bull is getting publicity.

  97. Jb says:

    My fav commentators are DC and Damon Hill. Both had great success as F1 driver and both are quite unbias.
    I am not sure if Webber can achieve that level of wisdom.

  98. James Allen says:

    Yes but it’s his own site FI his own Q&A. It was entirely avoidable if he had wished to avoid it!

  99. Curt says:

    I’m not sure that Adrian Newey custom builds his cars for any driver. I think he maximizes what the car can do and lets the drivers take it from there.

    However, this also means that Newey isn’t willing to compromise the car due to Webber’s additional height and size. That’s likely where he loses a few tenths to Vettel.

  100. MookF1 says:

    I think this is key to the performance difference! Redbull clearly have a number 1 driver strategy as do ferrari and Mark is just a benchmark if things move away from seb. Hence all the developments go on Vettels car first and seem to benefit his lap times more than Webbers.

    James do you really believe its a level playing field at Redbull? You (as other F1 journalists have) are quick to point out the difference in style between Hamiliton and Button. Wouldn’t these differences be more pronounced at a team with a lead driver strategy with drivers with differing styles?

    I personally think and have to say I didn’t before that Mclaren adopted the wrong strategy and thats why it was Redbull v Ferrari at the end of last season. If you are going to have driver parity at least get ones with similar styles.

    Lets be fair and say driver comparisons between team mates with different styles is incommensurable at some levels and worse if theres a lead driver. Does Webber or Massa really have a chance other than the unintentional?

  101. Scott says:

    No two drivers are exactly the same. So why must both cars within a team be exactly the same? Would it not make sense for the team to have the same base model car, then introduce upgrades to suit the individual car/driver package. That way you get the most out of each combination.Or am I just too naïve ?

  102. Haydo says:

    The comments from Webber to Marko that I am most looking forward to are the ones when he eventually leaves the team. I suspect that they will be similar to the ones Alan Jones had for Carlos Reuttemann where he profanely suggested a particular location for where said hatchet should be buried…

  103. Onko says:

    Scud McLaren, bit suprised at your coments in
    regard to Mark Webber,
    Now, would you put your money on, that both
    cars are equal in every which way for Mark and
    Seb? I doubt you would.
    As for Dr.H Marko he has doctorate in what? is
    it perhaps he flunky himself around F1 paddock
    trying to attract limelight not becouse he’s
    Doctore know all, but rather he knows Dietrich
    Mateschitz.
    As for Mark Webber he’s “True Blue” from the
    land of Oz and he does not shoot from the hip.
    Ferrari would not have approached him if he did not have what it takes.

  104. KK says:

    Perfect. Brilliant. On the dot.

  105. DB4Tim says:

    Good car Vettel 98% of the time

    Other car not so good 82% of the time …webber :)

  106. Wheels says:

    Hey, Scuderia!

    No doubt, Vettel has had an awesome amount of measure over Webber during the pairs’ four years as Teammates at Red Bull Racing. However, the situation has not been as cut and dry as you make it out to be, with your grand list of stats….

    I’d say the reaction of Red Bull Racing to the big coming together Webber/Vettel had during the Turkish GP 2010 is far more revealing as to how really equal the support both technically, sporting, or on any other level, has been with that squad.

    Webber got ripped-off big time by Sebastian’s move during that race. (plain for all to see!) Yet, I remember the immediate reaction from RBR’s pit was to suggest it was Mark’s fault, saying he didn’t give Seb space.

    Furthermore, I won’t even go into depth bringing up the front wing fiasco at Silverstone the following season–”Not bad for a No. 2 driver!”

    Remember, Homey, F1 race advantage is based on as little as thousands of seconds between competing drivers and the inferiority of working car parts can be measured in the same manner. All this business about perfectly equal resources between Vettel/Webber can be seriously doubted in the current scenario at RBR.

    In my view, it’s been more than obvious that Vettel is the golden boy in that team, and Webber’s recent comment concerning Helmut Marko goes even further, describing what Red Bull Racing is really all about….

    There’s just no way, Scuderia, an F1 driver is ever gonna beat a top flight Teammate without the full backing technically and, most of all, from Team management. Later for all your stats! In some large part, your stats are just the composite total of who RBR threw most of their support behind. I’m just not so sure Mark Webber is so blatantly an inferior F1 driver to Sebastian Vettel….

  107. Wheels says:

    There, you’ve done it again, Scuderia!

    The wing incident at Silverstone , nor, the coming together in Turkey were not, mind you, were not, media contrived events. They really happened! Nor, was Vettel’s utter arrogance after the accident a press configuration.

    In fact, the disdain Sebastian displayed in front of the cameras and mics, shoved in his face, that day was the anger of a No. 1 driver who had been punted off by his No. 2 teammate, when the crash was all his fault.

    Furthermore, in my opinion, Seb’s attitude about the incident had all of the self-righteous confidence of a driver who knew that his Team’s management possessed the same outlook in terms of the squad’s pecking order in the pit garage. At the British GP 2011 Webber cried foul, as loud as possible, (to the media) about the switch of that aero device. And rightly so….

    If I recall correctly, Mark was faster than Vettel at that point in practice for the race when the Team decided to make the change in car parts. Hardly, a confidence building move on a driver’s behalf.

    Any ol’ how, I’m certain Vettel is a quicker, more complete driver than Webber. It’s obvious! And, from race to race, on the track, Vettel has had the measure of Webber, fair and square.

    In my view RBR has kept Webber on board for his point scoring ability and his capability of pushing Vettel. In that way, Webber has played a large part in Red Bull Racing’s Constructor’s Championships. On the other hand, check out Helmut Marko’s slant.

    I just think that Red Bull Racing, the past four years, has projected the image of giving their drivers an equal opportunity to win races, when the opinions and occasional [key word=occasional] actions by Team management has contradicted that model.

    Scuderia, buddy, it doesn’t take much in the way of blatant bias by Team principals, in top F1 Teams, to favor one driver over another. The sport is so advanced technologically. Simply, a set up tweek here and there–voila!

    Scuderia McLaren, I hope this reply makes my viewpoint a little more coherent for you–I can’t do any better! Still, I like the cases and arguments you present–they’re worth responding to…!

  108. Anne says:

    In 2010 Alonso had better chances than Webber. Although I agree that the early pit stop Webber made changed the outcome of the race for him. I think that was exactly what Red Bull wanted.

  109. justafan says:

    1.) Vettel
    alo
    rai
    ham
    but
    6.) Webber – in the same car as Vettel

  110. onion says:

    Hamilton would just have ruined the kit in the warm-up, he isn’t a driver Red Bull could ever use. Now if we talk Marussia or HRT I think Hamilton could really show the other guys something.

  111. Michael C says:

    couldn’t agree with you more wouldn’t it be lovely to see him as WDC this year. And then top it off by moving to Ferrari next year!!

  112. Nick says:

    Thats the thing, I doubt these comments will make Webber leave the team as its probably his best chance to win a WDC because there still is a move even balance with Seb at Red Bull than there would be at Ferrari with Alonso.

    Marko’s comments if anything will put a bit of fire into him and make him race harder against Seb to do the Aussie thing, which is stick one up Marko and say “Not bad for a Number 2″ again.

  113. Gudien says:

    Yes, Helmut Marko is quite accurate. I too would like to see Mark Webber walk away from all the opposition and take the championship by the neck this year. Unfortunately I just don’t see it happening for all the reasons Marko has suggested.

    I believe Mark Webber is lucky to have the personal relationship with Mateschitz, and Newey. Without these friendships he’d have been gone two years ago.

  114. Random says:

    By the sounds of it Dietrich Mateschitz and Christian Horner have his back. Marko seems to just float around shooting his mouth off.

  115. MichaelG says:

    Maybe he ran into Michèle Mouton?

    :^)

  116. James Allen says:

    With Network 10 you mean? Yes. Definitely. I love working with the Aussies.

  117. Random says:

    Cool bananas, glad to hear it!

  118. Monktonnik says:

    Good. Your section is one of the highlights of the coverage.

    It helps to soften the blow of losing the BBC coverage since leaving old blighty.

  119. Anne says:

    Interesting you mentioned Hulkenber. Rumour has it that his move to Sauber was in part because he was in Ferrari´s agenda.

  120. justafan says:

    The Hulk is being doomed by Ferrari to take over Filip’s seat in 2014, unless the Scuderia can secure Seb’s services. In that case the Hulk might join Webber at RBR in 2014, meaning Webber would probably take another beating by a younger teammate. That is unless Mac changes the Hulk for Perez if the Mexican doesn’t live up to expectations. I don’t see Vergne or Ricciardo ending at RBR, they are extremely fast but by no means special like vet, alo or ham.

  121. Random says:

    Kind of makes you wonder why they bother spending millions on a second team to develop young drivers if they’re just going to get one from another team. For what it’s worth I’d like to see Hulk at RBR racing next year. Apparently he’s quite tall (like Mark) so they might be able to build a car around both drivers. Could be interesting…

  122. Random says:

    Webber on a mountain bike vs Mouton in a rally car?

    I like Mark, but $5 on Michele…

  123. Monktonnik says:

    I agree.

    I don’t think his response is particularly disparaging. If anything it is pragmatic and frank, but not insulting.

  124. aj says:

    But he may be driving a purple car http://wp.me/p2HWOP-Zk

  125. [MISTER] says:

    You should’ve said “IMO”.
    Alonso won the driver of the year in an inferior car and finished just 3 points off Vettel.
    I rate Vettel 3rd or 4th on the grid today.
    Have a good day!

  126. Tom says:

    [MISTER]

    WDC standings for 2012 is not an opinion, it’s a fact.
    I think justafan was trying to point out that Webber was just 6th in a car capable of winning the championship.

    Have a nice day…

  127. justafan says:

    Tom, thanks, that’s exactly the point. However Mister was thinking that’s my personal driver rating, which it is not, it’s the 2012 final standings. And yes – have a good day, everybody!

  128. Chris Mellish says:

    If you look carefully at last year you could see that generally Webber was equal to Vettel or a little bit ahead during the opening rounds. It wasn’t until Newey finally got their blown exhaust solution fully working that the car moved away from Webber and Vettel started dominating.

    I don’t want to sounds like a fanboi, but it will be interesting next year to see just how dominant Seb can or cannot be when the exhaust isn’t blowing the diffuser. Why is that one aspect of the car so important – it requires a different driving technique that is counter intuitive (sliding rear of the car requires more, not less, throttle) and some drivers have adapted to that better than others. Take that away, as happened to an extent at the start of last year, and the evidence so far suggests that Seb starts looking fairly ordinary with the odd great race interspersed with less impressive performances.

  129. Ricardo says:

    There is no need to speculate much about this. This year, I think it was in China, Vettel decided to run the old chassis, after that race RB told them they were going to develop Mark Webber’s version as it had a lot more potential. So yes, Newey does not customise his car to fit one driver.

    Another thing is that when a Newey car is “in the zone” suits Vettel’s style over Mark’s.

    As much as a admire MW and like the way he openly speaks about things like an open agenda. He did not adress Marko’s critique. The fact Marko has a hidden agenda does not make what he said truer or falser.

  130. hero_was_senna says:

    I agree with you. They could have sewn the Championship up the race before for Webber, but that is not Marko’s agenda.

    An article in Autosport, written after the race explained how Ferrari were beaten by RBR pulling that strategy for Webber and why they reacted when they did rather than copy Vettel.

    The previous year, at Abu Dhabi for the inaugural GP, Ferrari had a very short race as Kimi crashed out and Fisichella just wasn’t fast enough to give them tyre usage data. This was critical for the 2010 race.

    In 2010, the Bridgestone tyres would fade after 15 or so laps before returning to their early race level of performance. Something that RBR and others knew well from the previous year and used this for their long runs till their late pit stops.

    I think also there was a little ignorance being displayed by the team. Much like 2012, they were concentrating on the leading competitor not the race leader. Mark pitted from behind Alonso, yet Vettel was still commanding the race.

  131. Peter says:

    But only if he felt particularly loved that day.

    Only joking, but couldn’t resist.

  132. hero_was_senna says:

    I would imagine that Ron Dennis in private had much the same view of DC when he was at Mclaren.
    A couple of races a year which he was unbeatable, but not a championship contender?

    I do remember DC being interviewed before or just after a race, and just before they’d spoken to R Dennis who made some stupid comment about DC himself.
    Obviously the interviewer wasn’t going to pass the opportunity up and told DC. His response was immediate and put Ron in his place.

    I miss the days of pre-PR filtering of drivers and teams.

  133. hero_was_senna says:

    I’m guessing that having raced at RBR for so many years, and having entertained contract talks with Ferrari, this is one individual who won’t ever go hungry at the table.

    Regarding his starts. It’s not a new phenomenon.
    I was watching a copy of the 2001 Malaysian GP.
    Schumi was on pole and beside him, was Webber in the Jaguar. He lost about 6 places in the run down to the first corner.
    Maybe his reaction time isn’t good enough.

  134. Brad says:

    “not only is Mark the unluckiest pilot since Nakajima Senior, but his starts off the grid alone are the stuff of legends.”
    HAHAHAHA
    cLASSIC!

  135. hero_was_senna says:

    If he could reach up that far, lol

  136. Tara_185 says:

    I think his wife/ partner manages him and has for a while

  137. Glennb says:

    Btw his little squeeze on Vettel in Brazil was’nt the best way of judgement .,.. If Eddie Irvine or Rubens Barrichello tried pulling a stunt like that on MSC at a TITLE deciding race ,Todt would have ripped their heads off after the race …..

    How many times does Mark have to move over for Seb in the 1 race? My telecast showed Mark moving over at one point and the team thanked him over the radio. The pre-race understanding is that they can race but not put each other off. No different to HAM & BUT at McLaren.

  138. cc says:

    Ditto. Marko comes across as a petty soul. Scratch a sniper and often find envy of some sort. Mark’s more of a man and has accomplished more than Marko did or probably would have. And all without Marko’s ‘help’.

  139. Cos says:

    That was in response to Sandman82

  140. Lindsay says:

    Cleaned it? Pfft.

  141. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    You can read it on Internet:

    “Germany’s Sport Bild reports that while Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne are obvious candidates to succeed Webber, Marko is also keen on Nico Hulkenberg.”
    http://www.yallaf1.com/2013/01/04/marko-eyes-hulkenberg-for-2014-red-bull-seat/

    Go Hulk!

  142. Scotto says:

    I keep hearing the rumors but I don’t think Vettel is leaving RBR unless they leave him out to dry with a poor car for a few seasons. As long as they have Newey, that’s probably not going to happen.

  143. The Roo says:

    Mate,

    Webber supporters DO live with it. Most of the sentiment here seems to be that Seb is the better/faster driver. Which is kind of the point, why does Hell-Mutt keep feeling like he needs to belittle WEB, and pump up VET? He’s good, a 3-time Champ, and will go down in history as one of the best ever, and he is going to be credited with ‘finding’ hime anyway…just keep it shut Dr H!

    And besides, as already mentioned here, can’t we have our favourites, even if they are not the best? Or, to use a football analogy, do we all have to support Man UTD and Barca just because they are better than the rest? Why can’t I still support Oldham!! They are not as good, but more likable than Man UTD!

  144. Scuderia McLaren says:

    +1 KK

  145. Kay says:

    I recalled that from Dennis. The comment about DC was “brain fade”, which peed off DC quite badly lol…

  146. Owen says:

    Yes, in fact Webber and Coulthard are so similar: 2 races a year where they are unbeatable, 5 anonymous races, otherwise there or there-abouts, – and they do tend to “drop their heads” a bit at times and do not thrive under pressure – unfortunately “nice guys do tend to come second” – hopefully Jenson who is a thorough gentleman will disprove this theory> Go Jenson!

  147. Wade Parmino says:

    I don’t remember if David Coulthard retired of his own accord or if he was pushed out for Vettel. If DC had wanted to stay and did so, either he or Webber or both of them would likely be champions by now. And they both probably would have retired after 2011.

    Cooda Shooda Wooda.

  148. Kay says:

    and I’ve always wondered why DM or anyone don’t put out that loose canon from blasting away crazily.

  149. Kay says:

    Mark Webber is not unhappy with the team. Christian Horner and Mark Webber are friends and run a racing team together in some lower catagory. Adrian Newey likes Webber and even said Webber is a good and reliable driver to base his assessment on. The only person that’s a real problem is Helmut Marko, whom Webber don’t give a toss about.

  150. Kay says:

    Every driver has a or some tracks they do particularly well at. Spa for Kimi is the most famous one. Massa always do well at Interlagos, and Hulkenberg as well. Silverstone for Webber as you say, etc. Why is it a problem with Mark when other drivers also do well at particular tracks?

  151. Timmay says:

    ^^^Yeah i agree.

  152. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Hiya Onko,

    To be honest I would put money on the fact that Webber and Vettel have had the same opportunities, technical package and resources available in order to succeed. Would their cars have on occasion been in a slightly different spec. Perhaps… But so too have Button / Hamilton, Alonso / Massa, Schumacher / Rosberg. This can be a drivers choice, or a different approach to prefering a style of upgrade or not etc. But in the whole, I do think they had the same techical tools and team resources to get the job done in the main.

    I truly dont think RBR would technically hinder a driver with inferior equiptment or resources. Especially with the amount of investment involved. In relation to Vettel getting any any sporting advantages, like strategy preferences etc, I can not speak to this. Perhaps over time”, and on the back of Vettel showing his mettle, the team has moulded around his style of car and preferred strategies that might favour him. But this is speculative only.However I would understand this situation emerging given the superiority Vettel has shown over Webber in outright pace and in race ability since 2009 to present.

    Ferrari, imo, approached him in order to uncover some of the RBR secrets to their cars success. It would be well worth pilfering Mark’s mind to see what could be used. His value for Ferrari is that he has been exposed to RBR for over half a decade. He’d have picked up many great peices of information. This perhaps is his real value to RBR also, to keep him racing for them and collecting pts for WCC and not revealing things about flexi wings, alternators, holes in floors, engine maps etc over the years. If I were Newey, and I had Vettel, maybe I’d wnat to protect the intellectual property as much as possible and prefer to keep a disgruntled Webber who is devestating 2 weekends from 19 and acceptable for gaining the WCC for the remaining 17 weekends.

    As for Marko, he is a silly little man. I don’t like him. Hís methods are horrid. The Alguesuari debacle was very harsh, giving the boy no chance to remain in F1. The way he lies and treats drivers and staff is terrible. But in this case, he is not wrong. And his motivation was likely to be a beligerant Mark putting RBR and Vettel World Titles at more risk than required due to ego and attitude.

    Mark does indeed average 2.25 gp wins per season since 2009, making it 9 wins in total. That is terrible given he will have had a race winning car and WDC winning or WDC challenging car for the past 4 years and soon to be 5 years.

  153. krischar says:

    Things must be better for mark at redbull ?

    come on mate

    Anyone who belives Redbull allow fair racing are simply delusional Redbull do support vettel at any cost and have clear #1 driver policy like ferrari

    Kudos to ferrari for being brave and accept the fact massa is #2driver

    For me webber made a big mistake (I feel very happy to play second fiddle for alonso rather than vettel)

  154. KRB says:

    I doubt that. Hulkenberg is not a #1, nor are Ricciardo or Vergne. If they wanted to know how fast the car could go, they would snag Hamilton. But RBR are too invested now in pumping up Vettel.

  155. Anne says:

    All the teams have a number 1 and a number 2 driver. In Ferrari is more obvious and visible. That´s the difference

  156. Brad says:

    Dearest Anne,
    I beg to differ, only Ferrari have a clear nr 1 and 2

  157. justafan says:

    Sorry Anne, but I believe Brad is right.

  158. Anne says:

    Really Brad? So Hamilton went to Mercedes to just be as equal as Rosberg? I know Rosberg was told so by Merc. Nice words, nothing more. Webber, we all know he is the number 2. Only you have doubts. Grosjean after last season is lucky to have a seat in Lotus. Jenson is the number one, for now. He is the only one who might be a number one only in theory. Hulkenber is the number 1 in Sauber.The new Mexican driver has to show he is worthy of his seat.

  159. Doobs says:

    @Brad and justa, you’re being naive if you honestly think no team but Ferrari have No.1 and No. 2 drivers.

  160. justafan says:

    Doobs, there is only at Ferrari evidence that the #2 has to move over for the #1. As far as for the other teams that is only speculation, not proof.

  161. Brad says:

    Dear Anne and ole doobs…
    Alonso has a car build with his specific driving style in mind, thats why Massa stuggled so much beginning of year, and every other year Alonso’s been there. It’s also the reason why he could perform so well in the car came race-day, even with lack of qualifying speed 1.2s off. Ferrari has a clear policy of supporting a nr.1 and nr.2 driver. It became a headache with Kimi because he was unpolitical and MS “assisting” his protege Massa (my conspiracy theory though). In all other cases with the other teams it’s up to the driver’s to perform consistently so the team (and co-driver) can support him in the championship challenge during the latter part of the season. They have to make it happen! Both Hamilton and Rosberg will have an equal chance at Mercedes to fight for the title and thats the difference. So has Webber, but he is clearly not up to the task. 2010 will confirm that he had a shot at the championship on equal footing, and lost out heavily during the Korean grand prix.

  162. Anne says:

    Maybe some of you are too young to know or remember thing from decades ago. Anyway a few examples.

    Williams in the early 80´s Alan Jones and Carlos Reuteman. Jones was the clear number 1 driver.

    McLaren mid 90´s Hakinen and Couldhart. Hakinen was the clear number 1 driver.

    It has always been like that in F1 and still is. Ferrari and others

  163. KRB says:

    I can’t see that as being “humiliated” … that was just Kimi being Kimi.

    How ’bout when Vettel was on Rocky to “do something!” in Hungary … that was more humiliating to my mind. But it’s just drivers being drivers.

  164. GWD says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but early in his career, Mark seemed to have difficulty leaving the pitbay after a pitstop compared to just about anyone else on the grid. It used to ‘annoy’ me greatly that he seemed to not get that part right. I can only assume that this has been a career weakness of Mark’s, as he’s shown that problem at 2 previous teams. That part appears to not be (as) present now, but the starts…

  165. Yak says:

    Not sure if it’d be reaction times, or if maybe he’s just rubbish with the paddle clutch or something. It’s not like he misses the lights going out or anything. Sometimes he’ll get off the line perfectly fine, better than others even, but just bogs right down as soon as he’s moving. He’s reacting quick enough initially it seems, just not getting the whole process nailed.

    I think it was at Korea last year where he finally got a decent start off the front row… but Vettel was right next to him to take the lead at the first corner. Dude can’t catch a break. Haha. “Yes!! Finally a good sta… oh.”

  166. Mikey moos says:

    Red bull conducted some tests last year.. Mark actually has the second best reactions of the entire grid… So the starts are not down to him… It’s very easy for the team to make the car slow off the line.. Always happens when Vettel is just behind Mark …..

  167. pear-shaped pete says:

    Sorry Stephen, just kon’t know if Marko qualified as a good driver. His best f1 result was an 8th place 3 laps down on his teammate Monaco 72. He was always 3rd or 4th best in the BRM team and never scored a WDC point. He did win le mans in a porsche once though.

    His skill as a driver manager and consultant I also find questionable. I do agree he is greatly self-interested though.

    cheers
    pear-shaped pete

  168. James Allen says:

    A giant conspiracy!

    Either that or the gearbox was bust..

  169. Tim says:

    He’s certainly done more for the success of RB these last 3 years than Marco…..
    These sort of sweeping glib comments are hilarious. How do you know what Marco has or hasn’t done?
    I can’t say I find Marco particularly easy to warm too, but one person who does seem to appreciate him is the billionaire owner of the team – it strikes me he might be a better judge of the situation than you or I.

  170. KaRn- says:

    It would be too expensive, but from what I gather the team will take cues from the drivers. If a driver says “It oversteers at this point…” they will look to add something to help that although both drivers may not report the same issue due to the driving styles.
    In this way suspension setups and ARB balance changes help the drivers a lot to get rid of most car gremelins.

  171. Martin says:

    Hi Scott,

    There is a common fallacy in fans understanding of car design. Fundamentally a car has four tyres and the aim of the driver and car designer is to optimise the use of these tyres. Ideally the car should be neutral in balance under braking, through any short transient phase (very rare in F1) and under acceleration. Anything else will be mathematically slower as at some point the end of the car that is sliding has to slow down again to straighten the car up.

    So the designer are aiming to achieve as balanced a car as possible. It will never be that way for all corners of a lap with all fuel loads, so that is for the driver and race engineers to tune. Drivers have different styles to compensate for the imperfect nature of the cars.

    In terms of aerodynamic downforce, the car can be simplified into three areas. The front wing, the floor and the rear wing. The front wing generates some downforce, but it has a more important role in shaping the air around the car so the rest of it is as efficient as possible. In terms of generating downforce, the floor is much more efficient than the rear wing. This is the key performance differentiator between all the teams. Gain performance with the floor and the front and rear wings will be adjusted to suit.

    The floor performance is sensitive to ride height, so choosing spring rates is important, as is the rear wing level as well. McLaren use stiff springs to provide ride control to generate more downforce with its floor. Under braking as the downforce level comes off, it is quite easy of one rear tyre to come off the ground over a bump if there are stiff springs. This brings the instability Button talks about. To remove this would change the design philosophy of the entire car, and probably make it slower.

    The designers are always working to make the car faster by improving the lift to drag ratio, or otherwise described as adding points of downforce. The thing to remember with the Red Bull is that for this year it was always designed to exploit the exhausts. To not exploit the exhaust gases gives you a fundamentally slower car. Just that for Red Bull, the car did not work as intended initially. Yes Mark outqualified Sebastian in some of the early races, but in the races Vettel was from what I could pretty much faster at every race. China may have been an exception, where Webber’s 3 stopper got him ahead.

    What drivers can most clearly do to help themselves is tell the team what he (or she) is not happy with. If a car is unstable under braking then it is probably quite pitch sensitive, so there are risks at any bumpy track. The Red Bull had early in 2012 a characteristic of low speed oversteer and high speed understeer. Get a corner in the wrong speed range and it can make finding the apex tricky as you first steer towards it and then steer away from it. In Red Bull’s case, the performance gained most when the driver provided specific throttle inputs. There was no way to get this performance by any other means.

    The cars are different for the different drivers due to the ballast included. I plugged some guesstimated numbers last year in a response to a question and concluded the weight difference between Vettel and Webber gave a centre of gravity and weight transfer difference that meant Vettel could go around a 180 km/h bend while Webber was limited to 179.7 km/h.

    The key aim for the designers is to successfully implement their aerodynamic concept. The driver’s job is to find ways to stop slowing the package down. The first step is with the race engineers. If there is a fundamental translation from design to track problem, as Ferrari had, then the driver can contribute to this, but the teams have load sensors so they know what is happening.

    Cheers,
    Martin

  172. Alexis says:

    Yes he does. I still feel for Buemi and Algasuari. Fair enough if you want to replace them, but at the eleventh hour so neither could get a drive elsewhere is inexcusable.

  173. Ant Sefton says:

    I have to agree. Seb has mastered driving a car with the blown exhaust. But times are changing I say 2014 will sort the drivers out from the pack. It will be a move back to power as well as grip. And the real drivers of the pack, Alonso and Raikkonen will really shine.

  174. Dave C says:

    No actually Seb couldn’t warm the tyres properly in like 3 quali sessions at the start of the season but still in races he was quicker than Webber, Seb is quicker and better than Webber with a blown diffuser, without a blown diffuser, Seb is quicker than Mark with a double or a single diffuser, Seb has beaten Mark 4 years in a row, at the end of the day Vettel is a better driver than Webber, FACT.

  175. Curt says:

    On his day, Webber can beat Seb in the same way that Jenson can beat Lewis when he’s really on it. But when it comes right down to it, Marko’s comment was correct. Seb is the faster driver overall.

    If Mark could have gotten into a winning car at Seb’s age, we might think differently about all of this.

  176. Ian James says:

    Woops! Just noted that I made a mistake on the weight difference. Clearly should have been 17kg, not 13kg. Sorry about that.

    I still have no idea whether ballast is added to the Red Bulls to get their total mass (car+driver+fuel) up to the F1 minimum? Perhaps someone could tell me?

    But, if they each run with no ballast then Webber’s machine has to accelerate, corner and brake 17kg more mass than Vettel’s which could very well equate to around 0.5sec on a typical F1 track….assuming my maths is correct!

    Cheers,
    Ian (in Sydney)

  177. For sure says:

    It certainly makes a difference even with ballast. Damn 75kg is huge for F1…
    And higher center of gravity..
    I mean when was the last time we had a champ as tall as Mark.. The sport doesn’t favor tall guys really..

  178. Wade Parmino says:

    I thought Petrov was the tallest?

  179. Random says:

    All this talk about height and weight makes me wonder how long before we start seeing Jockeys driving for F1? Assuming they could find some with the skill it’s maybe not as ridiculous as it sounds…

  180. pear-shaped pete says:

    Much more likely bust.

    But… Webber had to sign RB after GB win or else he would lose 2012 title bid support if his team knew he was off in 2013. I know it sounds conspiracy, but after GB Webber’s run with reliability was seriously rubbish. They could conspire a little bit on the gearbox penalty, thinking that Webber was handling himself pretty well as it was and he wasn’t on the agenda anyway..

    Maybe they were pr-empting Ferrari’s Austin move? Hey just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean there aren’t really people out to get me!

    Maybe the gearbox was fine at the end of the race……or bust :)

    cheers
    pear-shaped pete

  181. Wade Parmino says:

    If Ricciardo or Vergne don’t manage at least a podium this year, Helmut Marko will turn them over as well. He will keep doing this with drivers on roughly a bi-annual basis until he finds another Vettel. I suspect he may drive himself mad in his search. He must think that it was HIS driver program that created Vettel. What a complete **** indeed (I thought I would mod it myself). ;)

  182. Wade Parmino says:

    If you are going to be a number 2, then there is no better place to be a number 2 than at Ferrari.

  183. justafan says:

    Obviously Webber doesn’t share your opinion. When Ferrari tried to sign him he said no, thanks and signed with the bulls instead.

  184. Wade Parmino says:

    Why not?

    Both drivers have made numerous controversial remarks in the past. Some of which had no basis in fact. So, if they just say it how they see it, why would there be such a huge problem.

  185. Anne says:

    Wade you just said it yourself. Both have been involved in controversial issues before, either actions or verbal. They don´t want more trouble

  186. Yak says:

    It’s largely a matter of context. Things said in the heat of a rough moment are often let go (unless of course they’re particularly offensive), as are cases where the driver is kinda right (e.g. Perez questioning Maldonado’s driving and attitude). Paul di Resta complains about everyone and no one ever makes a big deal about any of that. Maybe no one’s really listening. Haha. And then on the other hand if a driver’s been involved in a bit of drama or whatever, the media will pick on anything they say and blow it out of proportion for a story.

    In this case, Marko’s commented negatively on Webber in a RB publication. I hardly think Webber providing a brief and accurate response is anything to go nuts about. He didn’t question Marko’s professionalism, or take a cheap shot in questioning why Vettel’s the only real success to have come through the RB young driver program in however many years, or anything like that. If he’d done that, or if it were just a randomly dished out comment not in response to anything, maybe there’d be cause for a, “Mark… really?” talk.

    And Webber was picked up a bit in the media for his “First lap nutcase” comment, but everyone basically looked at it and said, “Yeahnah, fair enough.” Much like Perez’s comments on Maldonado at Silverstone, everyone kinda just went, “Yeah well… he kinda is a bit of a nutter,” and moved on.

    All that said, I think my favourite “MW: Off the edge” moment has to be him slamming the glass of water down in the press conference. The complete lack of subtlety, the utterly flat expression, the water flying out of the glass… just makes me crack up every time I see it.

  187. Random says:

    OK, time to reply. Yes other drivers say stuff about other drivers (mostly behind closed doors) and no, mostly they want to avoid trouble and get involved in controversial issues, which is why most of them have PR people telling them what to say and not say in front of the camera.

    That’s the reality today, but drivers Webber (and probably Raikkonen too) stand out because their responses are more direct, more honest. You know exactly what they are thinking. It’s up to the individual to decide whether or that’s a good thing – and personally I like it.

    Btw, calling Grojean a first class nutcase is pretty tame compared to what he said (live no less) after Vettel rammed him in the rain with his STR at Fuji a few years back. If I remember right – and I might be wrong – Mark received a fine for that, so there are consequences. I suppose he just accepts that and speaks his mind anyway.

  188. Grabyrdy says:

    Obviously I’m not in the team. Neither are you. Who knows what his relation is with Mateschitz ? Or how much his input is valued ?

    From the outside, which is where we both are, all he appears to have done is support his boy. He’s certainly made Christian Horner’s job more difficult on several occasions, when you would have thought there were more important things for Christian to concentrate on. Mark on the other hand has made Christian’s job easier, by coping on his own with the sniping from left field.

  189. Tim says:

    Reply to Grabyrdy
    Marko made his comments in a Red Bull in-house magazine (not an idependant publication), it follows, therefore, they were said with thought and consideration given to the consequences – in other words they were said for a reason and with the approval of Red Bull senior management.
    Marko is an integral part of the Red Bull Racing Programme, running the driver development side of things. He is not an outsider making snide remarks about their drivers out of a sense of mischief. If Mateschitz did not value his opinion he would be looking for a new job. As he continues to run the development programme we can conclude that Mateschitz is happy for him to say the things he did and also for the comments to be made public.

  190. Tim says:

    To “Tim” -
    You chastise Grabyrdy for making “sweeping glib comments” and find it “hilarious”. You then proceed to draw inferences from anecdotal evidence and present them has conclusive. What you, nor Grabyrdy or I have, is proof, which is factual information that verifies a conclusion. I find what you state to be beyond hilarious.
    To – Grabyrdy, your statements are well taken and reasonable.

    BTW, Tim, how long have you been posting on here using the name “Tim”?

    Tim

  191. Tim says:

    To Tim
    I have no wish to quarrel with you, or anyone else for that matter. I do, however, take issue with your tone and accusations. The statements I have made are correct – the comments were made during an interview for an in-house RBR magazine. If RBR did not want the public to be aware of HM opinion of MW those comments would not have been published. The fact they were published suggests to me that RBR are happy with Marko saying them. This is what sentient beings do, they assess a situation and draw conclusions.
    To be completely frank with you, I don’t care whether you think I am right or wrong, you are entitled to your opinion as am I.
    Finally to answer your question, my first post was around the time Frank Willimas announced he was stepping down as Chairman of his team, not sure when that was.

  192. Cos says:

    ..couldn’t agree more

  193. Matthew Cheshire says:

    Good Point. Marco and his driver program may be redundant. Webber’s seat may be his only lifeline – and that would only be helpfully to Marco if it was known to be vacated early this season. Why not push Webber to show his hand?

    Right now, RB is one of the few teams that can pay drivers, so they could pick up a good no2 any time. In hindsight Torro Rosso was an unnecessary acquisition.

    Was pressure building on Marco the reason for axing both drivers so abruptly last year? Find a new Vettel or get rid of the whole program?

    Matt Cheshire.

  194. Cos says:

    DC….unbiased??? No one is unbiased. Everyone has some bias built into them based on their own life experiences…true DC and Hill may come across as ‘being’ unbiased but neither of them are actually unbiased.

    Now to talking about wisdom is a totally different thing…and both DC and Hill have intimate knowledge and wisdom of being an F1 driver.

    I would like to think Mark would make a great comentator, but I can’t see him running up and down the paddock like some of the current lot do.

    Murray Walker in my humble opinion will always be the benchmark to which I compare all others.

  195. Tara_185 says:

    +1
    it’s great to see and hear ur reports

  196. Elie says:

    Do you honestly believe he would have got parity at Ferrari- hello that’s why he didn’t sign.

    But your dead right about Horner ! (& possibly Matesitch)- they should’ve have told Hemut Marko to shut the f— up. He is not in charge of the team & he has just destabilised the team with his comments.

  197. Anne says:

    I think Vettel has many detractors because he has won 3 WDC in a very superior car. Built to win as many poles as possible and fly away. All the other drivers, Alonso and Hamilton in particular, haven´t had a lot of that. And that makes Vettel´s real skills and talent a little hard to make a detailed and fair examination.

  198. snailtrail says:

    I dont see anything special Marko brings to RB driver training – I can only think he’s still on the payroll due to being friends with the boss…

  199. Optimaximal says:

    I don’t think McLaren ‘played the wrong strategy’… Their open policy meant that both drivers could race to win, which they often did.

    Hamilton’s downfall was operational cock-ups at the start of the year and blatant unreliability in the latter half, whereas Button was easily the highest profile casualty of the Pirelli rubber this year, a stark contrast to it’s characteristics in 2011 which favoured him.

    McLaren didn’t *try* to lose the championship, they just did.

  200. Random says:

    A good point, but my understanding from listening to Martin Brundle is that the teams build the cars as light as possible and then use ballast to bring them up to the minimum 640kg (now 642kg in 2013), so I would assume they both end up the same…but who knows what really goes on inside the team?

  201. Wilma the Great says:

    What would Mark have gained by signing for Ferrari? He’d be a clear no. 2 driver there. With RBR he still has the theoretical chance to be WDC. I think Mark took the best of options.

  202. Scott says:

    Thanks Martin.Obviously I am even more naïve than i thought i was!

  203. Jomar says:

    Very educational – thanks, Martin.

  204. Tone says:

    I think there’s another reason why Mark didn’t sign with Ferrari. At the time, he was in title contention. If he’d had signed with the reds then he would’ve been locked out of all RBR development for the rest of the year. Something he wasn’t willing to risk as it was probably his last shot at a title.

  205. Random says:

    Agree with most of what you say, except that part about Mark not running around the paddock.

    This is the guy who set up and competes in the Tasmania (you may have to look it up if you’re not from Aus) and aside from that I’ve seen him running and jumping around in the paddock just for the joy of it. He’d have to be a damn sight fitter than some of the pundits out there!

    Murray Walker: BIG +1

  206. Random says:

    That’s supposed to be the Tasmania Challenge btw.

  207. Jb says:

    I said quite unbiased, i never said completely unbiased.

    Agree with you all about Murray Walker. He is THE voice of F1. He commentates with a full passion for motor-racing. Even if you do not understand English, you’ll feel the excitement of his commentating.

  208. Cos says:

    @ Jb so you did.

    @Random I am aware of his non F1 sporting prowess. My comment wasn’t with regards to his stamina…It’s just after watching Martin Brundle run up and down not taking ‘no’ for an answer I sort of miss watching that.

  209. Yak says:

    Agreed. I take it as basically… it’s the start of a long race, Vettel only needed whatever position to guarantee the WDC, he started somewhere front-ish already, and they’re all out there to race. Plenty of time to run yet, so at that point, if Vettel wanted the position he could race for it. No need to go easy on him straight off the line and gift him the spot.

    Later on the in the race with Vettel having to get back through the field to a WDC-winning position, it was a bit of a different story. And when Vettel came up on Webber, Webber let him through. And I think that’s what is meant when Horner is asked about team orders to help Vettel and he basically says, “There are no team orders, but we trust Mark to do the right thing.” i.e. race all you want, up to a reasonable point.

    Of course, the team might have a different idea of what’s reasonable, for example pitting him at Abu Dhabi to get him out of the way. If anything, Webber would have come out better off if he’d been willing to take an order to just move over, rather than being thrown back out into a rough pack. Good ol’ hindsight. I suppose they could give him the option, “Move over or you’re pitting this lap and coming out into a pack further down the field. Your choice.” Haha.

  210. Elie says:

    Seems like RBR did that too him anyway as soon as his chances started slipping

  211. justafan says:

    Anne, do you think that only RedBull builds a car to win as much as possible? How about the other teams, then? Why should they be competing at all, if not gunning for the best results?

  212. Anne says:

    Red Bull have been doing a much better job in that area than other teams for the last 3 or 4 years. And they have done rather quikly unlike Ferrari in the Brawn-Schumacher era.

  213. justafan says:

    Yes, Anne. And it would seem that the drivers played a substantional role in that process.

  214. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Hmmm, a few interesting contradictory comments there, not least of which is your first sentence as contrast to your last sentence in your response.

    You state that in relation to Vettel’s superiority over Webber, at first you have “no doubt”, then you end with you are “just not so sure”. It’s like you are forming your views along the way as you type.

    There are other examples, but later to that homey, as the kids are saying nowadays. Anyway, it’s launch time for many cars so time to move the convo on I guess.

  215. Scuderia McLaren says:

    BS. Where’d you get that from?! We’re all the drivers on the grid subject to Red Bulls reflex testing? Don’t think so.

    He is bad off the line. Even in his junior career. There is no conspiracy. There was no full grid reflex test conducted by red bull and made public.

  216. mikey moos says:

    Sorry mclaren but you’re wrong.
    I happen to be in a situation where I get close to the team and mark … its true about the tests … the teams can use allsorts of tech to get reaction times.
    So despite your protestations. .. im right this time.

  217. Scuderia McLaren says:

    So you are saying that the whole grid is being tested on the RB systems uniformly. Totally unbelievable. That’s the only way you can know “Mark has the second fastest reactions on the entire grid. So Kathekeyan, Massa, Alonso, Raikkonen, Button etc all submitted to RB testing. Lol. Your assertion actually shows how far from being in a privileged F1 position you are.

    (I am aware that team internally can and do test reflexes, but there is no way to prove statements in your first post.)

  218. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Maybe Horner agrees?

  219. Wheels says:

    Ah, Scuderia, Dawg! (That’s another term of endearment used by the Homeys)

    I’m not letting you get away with that one! I’ve noticed your penchant for twisting, spinning, shaking up and turning upside down opinions and statements by others to conform these outlooks to your little design on things.

    Quoting you, my man, “read what others write!” Hence, my opening statement related to your list of stats, and Vettel’s dominance according to those figures, which are not, in my opinion, the complete story at Red Bull Racing, the past four years. (Read, again, Scuderia!)

    Afterwards, I made the case that your stats are only relevant to an F1 Team operating on a “no” number 1 driver, or no. 2, for that matter–thus equal treatment for both Teammates.

    Frankly, I doubt that situation has ever existed on a 100% basis at Red Bull Racing and the actions of Team management, from time to time, bear out my argument–Homes….

    Just, check out how your namesake Scuderia McLaren have operated over the years, Scuderia. There, you’ll find a “no number 1 driver” policy Hoodie–as much as it’s possible to do so in Grand Prix racing.

    Nonetheless, I think that situation could change this season, as I think Perez is a little too inexperienced to hand Button at this point. Although that could change late in the season. Read on Brother, Read on….

  220. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Wheels wrote:
    “I’m not letting you get away with that one! I’ve noticed your penchant for twisting, spinning, shaking up and turning upside down opinions and statements by others to conform these outlooks to your little design on things.”

    I am not sure what you are referring to. I often find myself learning from other peoples opinions here, picking up different veiws and often adjusting my thinking. Occasionally I also feel an opinion I post, as is the case here, requires logical and measured defending. I don’t feel I ever do to others what you suggest I do above.

    As for the rest of your response… To be honest I don’t quite understand it enough. I don’t know whether it’s the difference in cultural use of language, different use of punctuation or grammar or the staccato unconnected thoughts but I can’t really see what the point is, or what issue you have with my posts.

    I have read your posts. Numerous times. From what I can garner, you feel the factual stats i used in original post are not relevant when comparing Webber and Vettel due to the “Wing Incident in Britain” a few years ago and their crash in “Turkey in 2010″. Also the lopsided results are because you feel RB have deliberately hindered Webber and pushed Vettel in all areas (technical, sporting, support etc) over the past 4 years and it not being that Vettel is better.

    Have I got it right? If so, just feel compelled to say I disagree. I prefer to lean on known facts to support an argument, not the speculation and hype often pushed by the media in incidents like the ones you are anchored to. I think Vettel is simply a faster and more complete driver and by a long shot.

  221. MookF1 says:

    I said that I originally believed that Mclaren had the right strategy but I think in hindsight it doesn’t work. Im not talking about letting individual drivers win over the second driver only ferrari are bold enough to ask their second driver to move over before one can definitively not win. I was alluding to the idea that Redbull look like they develop their car specifically for Vettel even if Webber is leading the championship. In my opinion if Webber does well he does so in a car designed more for his team mate than for him.

    On Mclaren of course they paradoxically don’t *try* to lose while wanting to win and it’s a pretty ridiculous thing to suggest which clearly I didn’t. The point is that we can go back and compare team strategies and structures and evaluate a subjective opinion on whose is working best and whose isn’t. In fact I think team versus team is a far better comparison than driver versus driver unless they have similar styles and are in the same car.

  222. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Maybe the RBR academy is not good enough… and maybe Hulk is better than the average drivers in comparison. Time will tell.

  223. Haydo says:

    I think you’re referring to the exhaust configuration in China – Newey wanted the version on Webber’s car and Vettel wanted to retain a different version.

    Whether Newey ‘customises’ his cars to one driver or another would be hard to qualify – however I have to note that a number of his significant machines (e.g. Williams FW14B, some of Hakkinen’s and Raikkonen’s McLarens) only seemed to have their upper limits exploited by one driver of the two that the teams fielded.

  224. Haydo says:

    I don’t know if Rubens was the biggest whinger in F1, ever. There have been plenty of guys that never reached those heights that were full of should-coulda-woulda. From what I recall, Rubens was mostly being honest about his Ferrari experiences when he was asked: you try outpacing Schumacher for a weekend and being asked to hand over the place when the necessity of the move was highly dubious (Austria 2002).

    I don’t think that the ‘blah blah blah’ comment was ridiculous at all: Rubens felt the championship for Brawn was slipping away – and he was right: Jenson did not win another race from that point forward! The Nurburgring (where the comment was made) saw Brawn have their proverbial handed to them by a highly dominant drive from Webber, and they were even having to weave on the straights to keep the heat in their tyres. They were certainly not ‘a second faster’ than the rest of the field at that point: Newey dropped a double-diffuser solution into the RBR, McLaren and Ferrari were looking ever more dangerous with their KERS systems. Brawn were beginning to be in big trouble.

  225. justafan says:

    Maybe Marko thinks this is the right way to motivate Webber. But how does that insult Alonso?

  226. justafan says:

    Who was that driver that cost him an eye? Was it Fittipaldi? Or Peterson?

  227. justafan says:

    Webber signs directly with Mateschitz, not with Marko, though.

  228. justafan says:

    Indeed, Ferrari is the worst team to sign for if you want equal treatment.

  229. Scuderia McLaren says:

    From RBR launch:

    Webber was asked whether he felt he had the full support of the team, in the wake of criticisms of him by Red Bull’s motorsport chief Helmut Marko.

    Webber said: “I do believe I can have a crack at the championship again as I have in previous seasons. That is my goal. That is what I am getting up each day and thinking about.”

    “They know I need 100% support. You can’t go for the championship with 90% support. We are going into 2013 with this in place. I’m comfortable with that.”

    Stats seem relevant now don’t they. Like I said in first post, 4 years of waste, soon to be 5.

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