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So is Vettel the favoured son at Red Bull?
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So is Vettel the favoured son at Red Bull?
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 May 2010   |  8:47 pm GMT  |  436 comments

Last year after the race at the Nurburgring, I went into the Red Bull motorhome to congratulate Mark Webber on his first Formula 1 victory.

There was no sign of Webber, but team principal Christian Horner and Dr Helmut Marko were deep in conversation next to the bar. Both looked pretty serious. Webber had won the race while Vettel had finished second, largely due to being rather tentative in qualifying, where he ended up fourth. I watched him very closely that weekend and spoke to him several times and I felt that he was really feeling the pressure of a home Grand Prix where you are expected to win.

Mark Webber’s partner Ann Neal came out of the drivers’ area and walked across the room. One of the team said something like, “Isn’t it fantastic, Mark’s win?” To which she replied rather tartly, “I’m glad someone around here is pleased.” And indeed it did seem more like a wake than a celebration.

Things have moved on and in Monaco two weeks ago the team were certainly celebrating.

Vettel and Marko. A powerful axis at Red Bull

But Red Bull has invested a great deal of money in its driver development programme and Sebastian Vettel is what they have to show for it. There are others coming through, like Daniel Ricciardo, but for the moment, Vettel is justifying the spend. Dr Marko is in charge of it and he reports directly to the Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz. From close observation of the team and its workings, Horner is constantly having to justify decisions and plans to Marko.

Vettel came out on top in the inter team battle last season and looked like he was on target to do the same this year, but then things changed. Webber was furious with himself after losing the lead to Vettel at the start in Malaysia and he has had a long talk with himself and come out fighting.

Webber’s performances in Spain and Monaco were as good as anything any driver in today’s field could produce and he didn’t give Vettel a chance in either race.

The team satisfied themselves and Vettel that the reason for Vettel’s relative lack of pace (and we are talking about fractions of a second here) was some damage to his chassis, so he was given a new one for Turkey.

The team tries to be fair in the way it treats both drivers. They both had new parts fitted to the cars on Saturday, Vettel’s arriving before Webber’s but nevertheless the cars were the same during qualifying.

But there was a suspicion tonight that in the laps leading up to their collision on lap 40, Vettel may have been given more favourable conditions than Webber and may have had more engine revs at his disposal. And it may have been because he was under threat from Hamilton.

“In the situation Sebastian was in, he had no other choice than to act the way he did, ” said Marko on “We informed Mark about the situation and it is for the driver to decide. The fact is that if Sebastian hadn’t passed he would have been overtaken by Hamilton. Unfortunately, Mark was not told about the situation accurately by his race engineer.”

Analysis of the race history shows that for the seven laps leading up to the incident, Hamilton was a constant 1.2 seconds behind Vettel.

Christian Horner has been under pressure today and it took him a while to get his line together. Initially he chose to apportion blame on both drivers, but after team meetings his stance seemed to shift towards blaming Webber. He confirmed that Vettel did have more revs available at the time – and that he was happier on the hard tyres – and that was because Webber had used more fuel in the early stages of the race than Vettel, who was able to save some in Hamilton’s slipstream. Vettel had one kilogramme more fuel.

So around lap 38 Vettel was allowed to be on a more potent fuel mix than Webber. Managing the fuel load to the end is one of the disciplines of F1 in 2010 and it seems that teams have been cutting it finer and finer so as not to carry any extra weight.

Today the lap times were fast as the track had rubbered in a lot since practice so the cars were using more fuel than predicted. At various stages everyone had to take care.

Vettel used the moment when he had more revs than his team mate to attack. Is it fair? Should Webber have been allowed more revs to resist, should Red Bull have told them to hold station with only 18 laps to go and a 1-2 in sight? But would that have given Hamilton a golden chance to pass Vettel?

These are the things which will be discussed internally in the coming days. Clearly they need some kind of agreement as to how they will manage engine and fuel use as it contributed to a calamity today. There will also be a new rule established in case of one team mate making a pass on another, to allow each other more room. With that extra room Vettel would have passed Webber today.

Was it because the team favoured Vettel? Did they have a finger on the scales? The only way to know is to look at Red Bull’s fuel data and see where they both were on fuel at the time. To insiders this will be obvious, to outsiders it will be hard to discover.

Vettel is entitled to feel frustrated by his season so far, he should be ahead in the championship but for reliability problems in Bahrain and Australia and also in Spain. It was his car again which proved fragile this weekend when a broken roll bar linkage caused him to lose his shot at pole position. That tipped the balance in Webber’s favour 4-3 in qualifying this year. Today Vettel was recovering from that.

By lap 40 he had got himself in a position to challenge and he went for it. But Webber didn’t make it easy for him, leaving his car well to the left and forcing Vettel to come down the narrow strip of tarmac on the inside, the “dirty side” as Horner described it. He described the lack of room left as the “large mistake” and said that the team wanted to win the race, implying that Vettel offered their best chance of doing that, at that stage. But he also admitted that Vettel came across too early to seal the deal. Vettel was too eager to finish the move before he’d done all the work and they touched.

In Webber’s mind at that moment would have been the start at Sepang, where he let Vettel through too easily. In a tight psychological battle between team mates, he would not want that to happen twice. He would also have been aware that as he was in fuel save mode, Vettel had suddenly started gaining on him at three tenths of a second per lap.

But there is more to it than that; it doesn’t explain why Vettel’s car move to the right. Vettel says he “lost the car” and it does seem that perhaps the car got light over a bump. In the normal run of things it would not have been a problem, but because they were so close, that was enough to take him into the side of Webber’s car.

So where do they got from here? Well, although he says it will be sorted out by Montreal, it will certainly be tough for Horner to paper over the cracks and manage the expectations of his drivers, as it was at McLaren with Hamilton and Alonso in 2007.

Webber is a gnarly old pro and is doing his talking on the track, not making it easy for his young team mate, while Vettel will know deep down that he has to make up for this incident in Turkey as quickly as possible.

The next major crunch will come at Silverstone where the Red Bull should be untouchable on the many high speed corners. Last year Vettel dominated Webber. He will feel intense pressure to do the same.

For what it’s worth, in a JA on F1 reader’s poll, with a sample of 2,000 as of 9pm this evening, 80% of fans say that the accident was Vettel’s fault.

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Time will tell.... Seb still has a lot to prove in my mind if he is to live up to his nickname of the 'new Schumacher', and Red Bull would be mad to throw away its relationship with Mark as he has contributed a lot to the team over the years and still has a lot more to give.


I think Horner drowns in his own 'rational' gymnastics. If Vettel had a bit more revs at his disposal and was under danger of being overtaken by Hamilton, passing Webber would have left the latter with less revs available, even more vulnerable to a Hamilton pass. And if Vettel, with his higher revs was under imminent attack from Hamilton, surely he would have been passed before the end by Hamilton - 18 laps were still to be run...


After repeated viewing of SV in car footage you see him hold straight on the inside then three tiny little moves of the wheel to move right ( one move per foot approx ) so I see SV squeezing MW off his own line. ..... In racing terms kid ... you'll be lucky to get anybody to move ( can you see Alonso moving ?? )- Mark just raced with you and kept you on the dirty side ( like every other decent driver would do ) ........ We just now see how much MW has had to eat his words in this team - Afraid Helmut Marko who I had the highest regard for has just sunk to the lowest of the low in my eyes. Thought Christian was a bit weak and its coming out now - I see Mark being a true professional in the Press Conf and just in general. PS - The McL boys were well lucky they didn't self explode as well.


You're right about the McLaren boys. Everyone now is saying they showed how it should be done but they touched wheels and were quite lucky it didn't all end in tears as well.

N. Machiavelli

"Red Bull would be mad to throw away its relationship with Mark".

I concur.

But as you may know, some people won't listen to good advice, because their arrogance won't allow it. Not that I

am saying the Germans or Austrians are arrogant, of

course 🙂


and... look at the pitstop order... vettel lap 14, webber lap 15... in normal conditions vettel would end up leading...

they wanted him first on the track from lap 16...


barcelona 2009 - lap 62 - massa is fourth, 23 seconds behind button, the leader...

he gets a radio message informing him about a fuel problem... he starts slowing down...

lap 66 - finish line - massa is sixth, 50 seconds behind button, the winner...

how in the world were this guy saving fuel 15 laps before the finish... or button from lap 20 out of 56 ?????


15 laps from the end would be a good time to do it. It's a bit late if you need to try to save fuel with only 3 laps to go.

Michael Brown

Massa's fuel problem in Barcelona 2009 was a because of a miscalculation or error with the refuelling rig so he didn't actually have enough fuel to finish the race, this meant he had to really slow down a huge amount to make it to the end. This is totally different to the fuel saving the drivers were doing in Istanbul which is just using a little less revs and changing the engine map and only has maybe 1-2s laptime penalty.


Spot on. Red Bull claiming to treat their drivers equally is a joke. I have always been a Schumacher fan, but I completely agree that Schumacher was favoured over his team mate in Ferrari. Red Bull isn't Webber's team anymore. I hope he wins the world championship & move to Ferrari or McLaren or Merc kind of team next year.

There was more than enough space for Vettel not to turn in to Webber's car. Hence, Horner is blaiming Mark as well!!! I am shocked. The television footages were clear that Horner was yelling at Mark to move over. It's a race for the world championship, not a give away sign on the highway!!! Unreal


A great spot from Todfod on another blog: Horner is clearly seen saying ‘Come on Mark, MOVE’ in the TV Coverage.

Around 1.31-1.33

Video here :

The memory above of Mark's Win at Nurburgring is as telling as anything we've seen the last weekend.

To me, Dietrich Mateschitz pines for an Austrian Schumacher, and all the reverence that goes with that.

I don't like all this nationality preference nonsense, but it's part of the world we live in.


@P11: True, there could be friction but I'm thinking from the standpoint of Webber wanting out of his situation, Red Bull needing to fill a seat and Kubica being the most desirable prospect not under contract.


@Rob G: With Kubica on board they'd arguably have even more of a struggle between drivers, don't you think?


Vettel was ahead and was at the same side as next turn. Webber should have given up with a teammate at his side

(or at least give him room) the same way that Hamilton did in exact the same turn a couple of laps later, he went out way right and let Button in. Hamilton also had the middle of the track and held that line until Button was alongside and then he turned far right and gave lots of room.


Errr.... It could also be seen that he doesn't want his cars to crash.... after all they where P1 and P2.... and a crash could have wiped both cars out of the race easily (and it nearly happened). Its really easy to read all sorts of things into these tiny snippets of time, the trick is to apply Occam's razor.

I don't see Kubica wanting to move from Renault in a hurry and I really don't see him wanting to move to be a no2 driver... However I can see VJ phoning Marks management to see if he would be interested in a curry and a Force India seat....


Jerry - Agreed, but it makes no sense for him to be urging Vettel to move. I'm sure there are many possibles. We can all make our own mind up 🙂


It's not clear to me what Horner is saying: it's a very abrupt cut, he's already in the middle of the sentence when we see him. I agree that the last word is move, but the ones before that are open to interpretation in my view.


Great point, the video is very telling with Horner yelling at Webber to move. Marko's comments about it being Webber's fault say it all, they want as close to an Austrian champion as possible and Germany is a whole hell of a lot closer to Austria than Australia.

Webber swapping seats with Kubica at Renault next season??


Come on james! Get off the fence mate!


I agree, come on James, what's your opinion? When asked, Martin Brundle told Horner and Helmut that he thought Vettle was '100% in the wrong'. You said that Lewis was a steady 1.2 seconds behind for the previous 7 laps. You clearly don't believe the 'Lewis was going to overtake' line.

And what of Webber's situation? He's going to have a distinctly 'Barrichello at Ferrari' feeling surely?


Let's reverse the roles and say that Webber was making a move on Vettel. Would Horner be saying that Webber was still to blame? I can assure you that he would.

Also now lets assume that was Barrichello making the same move on Schumacher when they both drove for Ferrari, what do you think would have been the reaction from Ferrari? Barrichello would have been lucky not to be sacked, but if Schumacher was overtaking Barrichello then he would have been a hero and somehow it still would have been Barrichello's fault.

Pushing Mark down will only make him stronger, thats the true Aussie spirit. Make Mark the underdog at your own peril Red Bull.


@stoikee:" -because he had a fresh set of tyres from the pit stop that he had." Webber's car was damaged and he has slowed even with the wing change until it came over the radio that the Mclaren's were "critical" on fuel, then Webo speed up. Also he could have blocked Vettel at points on the track where overtaking is impossible and turned the wick up through the over taking zones. Either way it is proof that fuel was not critical enough to justify what the team did. Fuel was not the issue. Don't make excuses just apologize to Mark and get on with it. You got caught.


@Daniel: "I must say why did Webber do fast laps toward the end if he had to save fuel?" -because he had a fresh set of tyres from the pit stop that he had.


If Vettel had to overtake Webber to stop Hamilton overtaking him then it must mean that it doesn't matter if Hamilton overtakes Webber, especially if Webber was being made to go slower for reasons of fuel conservation. Clearly a case of favoritism, for whatever reasons.


Perfectly said. I must say why did Webber do fast laps toward the end if he had to save fuel?

He had a 7 sec lead on Shui and was catching the Mclarens.

ashley edwards

Red Bull always came across as a team that gives the same treatment to all the drivers. I guess they don't.


A bit of truth, all be it in German ..

Yes, there were team orders. No Webber didn’t get them. Why swap Webber for Vettel? No answer on that one but we all know why ..


NO team does it the way F1 is...


Agreed - I've changed my opinion about the team and I suspect many others have too.


I think that's the Austrian leadership rather than the team. Horner and co have to submit to the wishes and policies of Marko and Mateschitz.

I like the team, as they used to be Jaguar, and before that Stewart Racing 🙂


Vettel needs to calm down and get pole with the car he has. He's not worth World Champ meterial if he can't lead from pole.

Webber experiance is showing through. Furthermore, from now on if were horner I would back Webber as like Renault in 2005-2006 or Brawn Gp if they mess up this year they may not get such a golden momment.

I think ferrari will give it till Canada and if the Redbulls keep messing up they will continue development like Mclaren and spoil they time in the sun.


Sorry but do you not think that Vettel should be able to overtake if he wants the championship? I have felt for a while that he needs to prove he can give pressure and overtake, its probably his weakest strength.


Completely agree. And I think that is what separates Alonso/Hamilton/Button from Vettel. These guys can guess if they have done enough for the other guy to realise that its time to give-up the line. More than the physical placement of the car at that moment, they are able to judge the mentatlity of the driver. They realise the importance of points to win championships.

Conversantly, they also realise when it's time to give-up the position if they are defending. Alonso in Canada 2007, Hamilton in Spa 2007 are some examples that come to mind.

Webber is one guy who doesn't give an inch. His motto is: You go deep, I'll go deeper. Though he had every right to defend his line and the way he did was absolutely correct but he does get involved in incidents as well.

But this one is Vettel's fault. In my mind, he is a prisoner of his own image. He wants to show how dominating and intimidating he is as a driver. Immature according to me, not ruthless. He is a very quick driver but lacks the ability to judge when he overtakes. Fuji, 2007 - involved in an incident with Alonso, damaged his McLaren's sidepods, takes Webber out in the same race. Germany 2008 - forces Alonso to the walls in the pit-lane whilst rejoining it. Australia 2009 - Takes himself and Kubica out. China 2010 - forces Hamilton to the right in the pit-lane, echoes of the move he made on Webber. And now this. These are all high-profile errors by 1 guy touted to World Champion. He still has a long way to go. He has the technical ability, the speed, the aggression but lacks maturity, which is extremely crucial if he wants to win the championship.


I couldn't agree more, Amritraj, also Finger Boy seems to lack judgement. (in more ways than one). Trying to "intimidate and dominate" Weber is an extreme lack of judgement, and turning right into him is just plain stupid!



it cant be a strength is you use the word weak to describe it


Being aggressive is allowed in any sport, so is F1 & Vettel is one of the most aggressive drivers around. However, his move from the dirty side towards Webber was not a fair one. He was obviously running faster than Webber. Webber was in the fuel saving mode, but he was not instructed by the team about how fast Vettel was running. He could've waited a few more corners or laps to overtake Webber instead of gifting the rivals 43 points. Talking about fairness, Webber seems very lonely in Red Bull from what I see. How could the Red Bull team be so ungrateful to Webber!!! Webber stuck by this team for so many years. Even Vettel uses Webber's set up in most races & they are finding a way not to say 'sorry'!!! Outrages!!


Yeah agree entirely, it is always the guy who is trying to pass that has to pass and not the guy in fronts job to let him through.

if the tables were turned Seb would never have let Mark pass.

Mark is a hard guy to pass and so he should be.

This is not for the meek this is F1 and Mark is doing well currently.

I firmly believe that RBR are favouring Seb because of the tie up with RB, Marko and the super rich owner of RBR.

Christian Horner should be more grateful to Mark for his dedication and perseverance and should back him.

Lets not have another Schumacher/Brawn team please!!!!!


Buttons pass and Hamiltons repass is an example of gentlmanly racing.

Webber on the other hand, very rarely gives way as proven from Australia.

As I said watch in slow mow when vettle is halfway in on the overtake webber steers inwards. meanwhile vettle thinks it has stuck he moves right.


It is red bulls worst characteristic that they don't have good straight line speed so their drivers are usually not close enought to make a move or they have to take a desparate lunge


I believe someone inside RBR want to copy Ron Dennis to mess up with their perfect season. I believe they don't deserve the likes of Newey and Webber!


I am not sure why James is throwing fuel on the fire with this thread? I have not seen anything this season to make me think either driver is favored. Vettel took a tight chance today and Webber gave no quarter. As long as Webber refused to move there was always going to be contact at one point considering they had reached the braking point and the were both way too far left on track for the left hander coming up. Webber should not feel nearly as blue as Vettel, his car was hardly hurt and he leads the title... Vettel on the other hand fell to 5th!!!!!!


It's really good, measured, impartial, in-depth background.

You're in denial if you think there's no fire underneath the smoke. Both of them were pretty professional afterwards, but they were both absolutely livid.


It's not fuel to a fire, it's a good insight and analysis into the situation, and genuinly poses the question to the reader "is Vettel favoured by RB?".

No way Webber should have yielded. If he had then imagine the stick he'd be getting right now from forums like this, saying he's not up to the job. He didn't move over (apart from a slight move over to the left as is normal when defending), Vettel did. Webber just held his ground and if he hadn't I'd have far less respect for him today than I did yesterday.

In the same way what Alonso did to Massa in China was a move of a champion, Webber's action today was also (or of a potential one). Vettel's was the move of a youngster who is a stunning driver but who is taking far too long to eliminate silly mistakes.


Absolutely. One argument I given elsewhere. Don't understand what all the fuss is about. If it been a issue between say Vettel and Lewis things quickly been over and done with (just like Vettel and Lewis race INTO the pits was) but the exact same Alonso vs Massa race into the pits went on for days.

Let's move on. I seen less favoritism in RedBull then any other team ever shown. Lot of things they say and do can be twisted into favoritism especially if someone don't agree with what was said.


you haven't seen?????

Read James' post again? Think about the races we have seen this year again...

When Seb is in front, Mark is told to hold station - the car in front has choice of strategy/decision/position etc.

When Mark is in front, Seb is given more revs and the go ahead to overtake his team mate at all costs.

I'm glad that Red Bull shot themselves in the foot with this one. Hopefully they take note of your poll James and see that most F1 fans want to see a fair fight - and that in this case Vettel was clearly in the wrong

If they don't see reason, then Mark mate - time to look seriously at that Ferrari offer rumoured to be heading your way


Plus in qualifying, Mark was released first for his final flying lap, despite the agreement this weekend that Vettel would go out first. Mark commented on it during the post-qualifying media conference, saying he wasn't sure why the agreement wasn't followed and why Vettel got the preferred release.


The talk with Mark on contract will not be a straightforward thing then.


AND they brought Vettel in for tyres first - giving him an advantage there as well - it would normally have been the other way round.


AND Vettel got the coveted 'final run' in Quali when it was Mark's turn - he mentioned something about it in the post-quali press conference.


I bet they can see the favouritism now. If they still can't, then they are blind. Well spoted Matt & F1 Novice

johnpierre rivera



Just had another look..actually they were closer than I thought.


They were nowhere near the braking point.


not yet. To me it looks either that Vettel lurched sideways. If you look at his line he moves a good 5-10cm to either side during the pass then all a sudden he moves even further and then they touch wheel. The more I look at the different angles the more I get the feeling that Vettel though he was in the clear start to move over right to get in racing line for breaking just that Webber didn't move and Vettel hadn't cleared him yet by about 3 feet.

Things happens fast when your doing 200+kph and any imperfection in the road or wind can move the car big time. They are literally centimeters apart 10-15 cm in the wrong direction game over. Mark look very straight and stable but unfortunately didn't give a inch. If he moved over as much as 20cm they would still touched but wheel rim to wheel rim instead as they now did.

Impatient driven by Vettel and stubborn driven by Webber. I believe the one at fault most ended up paying the most and the one that was not as much at fault but not blameless paid his dues.

Prof Bolshaviks

Vettel also refused to give in. It isn't upto the guy infront to avoid the accident.
I agree I hadn't seen anything to suggest favouratism until today.

Royce Amatique

"It isn’t upto the guy infront to avoid the accident." Uhh no!

Prof Bolshaviks

I take it then if one car behind piles straight into the back of a car infront, you blame the guy infront.
I wouldn't blame raikonnen for Lewis hitting him in the Canadian pit lane but you do.
That is quite an unusual view but fair enough.


The first paragraphs reminded me of McLaren 2007.

Poor Mark if he is treated that way by Red Bull.


As you point out, it's hard to say for sure when you don't have the data at your disposal that the team had. As a spectator all I have to go on is the TV picture and the many replays I've now watched on the BBC's web site. What I'm pretty sure I've seen is Webber going into the corner absolutely straight as an arrow, and Vettel moving into him, causing an avoidable crash.

From my point of view Christian Horner's criticism of Webber is extremely harsh, bordering on unacceptable.


Horner is really not handling this well, how can he realistically blame webber for that?


I think pressure from Marko and Mateschitz means that's he's immediate view is a little warped.


fully agree - unacceptable is a good word - disgraceful is another.

Maybe the Austrian's have seen too many Austrian Grand Prix's and think that this is the way it is meant to be done


Why hasn't Vettel been pulled up by the Stewards for causing an avoidable accident ? - had he not have turned right and into Webber the worst that would have happened would have been that he would have overshot the the left hand turn - a result that Webber with his experience would have been anticipating and hence he would have been ready for and been able to take the necessary action to avoid a collision - Webber could never have anticipated Vettel (his team mate) doing what he did because it was so illogical (a move by the Vettel did to Hamilton earlier on, one which Hamilton was able to take avoiding action - something Hamilton was probably anticipating purely because they aren't team mates!)


I suspect the stewards looked at it.. and fell over laughing. After they picked themselves up.. the fell over laughing again..

After all the laughing they had been doing. I suspect they dismissed it as an in house problem.


...exactly. I have raised the same point elsewhere but until I saw your post I thought I was barking up the wrong tree.


I gave up on stewards' decision making long time ago. This year has been the worst of the lot. Running into team mate doesn't mean that Vettel wasn't to be punished.


I think your right... and he surely would have had a grid penalty. Some will say he would have only got a reprimand but there is a very good reason why he wouldn't.

He's already had a reprimand this season for cutting across someone. Last time it was against Hamilton in the Shanghai pit lane.

So this is now the third time he has moved erraticaly and down right dangerously across the track to try to intimidate his rival (he did the same against hamilton earler in the race).

In my opinion Vettel really needs a talking to from his team and the stewards about his Schumacher-esque mind set that he has more right than anyone to do whatever he wants on track.


That is a very good question - why weren't both called up for that incident? It would have been that way in the last few years


Haha nice!! 😀


I couldn't agree more, Webber deserves not criticism, Vettel was the one who caused the accident ❗


so does webber moving to ferrari look more likely now?


Ferrari will most likely stick by their current line up. Webber needs a good enough car to show Red Bull that they don't deserve him.


I think today confirmed that the driver line at Red Bull next season wont be the same as this season

Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg

If Kubica goes to Ferrari, then Webber should move to Renault. It would be a nice fit there. I don't think he's the kind of guy who would want to be 2nd to Alonso, even though they are apparently good mates. At this point in his career, with four wins under his belt, he deserves to be the main driver at a team like Renault.


If anything he would probably choose to move to Renault, he would only be Alonso's lap dog at Ferrari so not much would change, and I imagine he believes he could give Kubica a run for his money in the same car

Nic Maennling

I think that Ann Neil's comment says it all. Mark - get to grips with your engineers and do what it takes. Vettel will have his time in due course.


A pity if this is the truth as Webber's shown he's a pretty good F1 driver - certainly this year but before as well.

If I were Horner, I would fully expect my drivers to either hold station or fight with care as the McLarens did. Regardless of team orders and previous discussions. Lewis hadn't managed to get past Seb before and showed no sign of doing so in the run up to lap 40.

I think that David Coulthard got it right in the BBC's program; this is a growing pain of a young team. McLaren have been there (many times) before and usually deal with it better.


I think Coulthard went to see Vettel to offer his commiserations and to help him not be too hard on himself. I suspect Coulthard will be somewhat bemused by his lack of contrition.


Trust James to pick the story of the hour!

Ted Kravitz showed us the lap times and read out the transcript of Webber saying "dig somewhere else" and both he and luscious Lee were dispatched to poke their noses into the Red bull camp to try and see each driver's top straight line speeds as Ant Davidson suggested (data not given to journos) in order to check if engines had been turned down, or fuel saving applied to whom and when. DC as ex Red Bull reserve goali had a better access route to areas deeper than even the most attractive journalist.

We shall wait to see what comes back from the blogs of those that got their noses on the engine and speed trap data.

Come on James, we also want the inside story from the McLaren team on the "save fuel" instructions, which again seemed to have overtones of possible misinterpretation judging by the barely audible conversation between Jense and Lewis in the pre-podium room.


have to say vettel has gone down in my estimations simply because he blames webber, i am also very disapionted with horner, this was a bloke i felt had something different in the way he managed his drivers. Good one for webber, he has well and truly laid down a marker, lets see if vettel is man enough to beat it.


i also agree with wayne here.

Im also a follower of a few of the bbc guys (ted and the 5live boys crofty and ant d) that vettel cant actually overtake properly.

He moves around alot and he always seems desperate in the overtake. It was a really sloppy move that he should have easily made, all he needed to do was carry on straight for a little longer.


I have to agree with Wayne above.

It is obvious that Vettel needs the corporate might of Red Bull behind him to have a shot at the Title. He can't do it on talent alone. His increasingly petulant attitude is very unsavory. I can imagine the Red Bull response if Webber had acted as they expected (and jumped out the way for their blue eyed boy) if it had have been Hamilton making the move for the lead of the GP.

It seems to be irrelevant to them that Webber had the GP lead and any driver worth his seat wouldn't give that up easily.

Webber left just enough room, did not deviate in line and Vettel did have the option of lifting off on arrival at the following corner to tuck in behind. I read the nonsense about Vettel coming under threat from Hamilton. He is paid to race and as far as I know that includes being able to defend your position. After all Webber had to do it up to the pit stops.

I am very disappointed with Horner. It is now obvious that he is just a corporate puppet. I was silly enough to assume that he was a real racer.

Red Bull should just be honest and let it be made public that team orders will be used and in favour of Vettel.

I have been watching F1 for nearly 40 years and this is just another occasion when the sport has been taken out of it.


If Vettel couldn't defend his position against Hamilton he shouldn't be in F1


Absolutley Spot On! Horner has taken a massive nose dive in my oppinion.


I agree.

Alonso held station behind Massa for many laps fending off Hamilton, and last time I checked Alonso is double Champion unlike Vettel who is still nothing more than a fast driver.

So I see no reason why should Webber give him lead if Hamilton was behind. Show some defensive driving, kid. There's as much art in it as in overtaking.

Although Vettel seems to suck at both overtaking and defending. All he does good so far is driving in front in a dominant car. If he is not in front he bins it.


He's also good at showing everyone the finger!

(You might remember when he wins) Although I noticed the last GP he won he seemed slightly less exuberant with his finger and I thought he probably recieved some "stick" for it and cooled it a bit.

Go Weber!



James, great post as usual.

I must admit to being fascinated by this development. I think that RBR in general and Christian Horner in particular are in danger of making this situation worse than it already is. Reading the various comments on the previous post and listening to the BBC pundits it is quite clear most people blame Vettel for this incident. By RBR blaming Webber I think it will fan the flames of conspiracy theories and sway the neutral F1 fan against the Red Bull brand.

It also shows what an insightful comment Eddie Jordan made to Christian Horner when he said that "the wrong driver won the last race". Insiders clearly think there is s favouritism in Vettel's favour.

Today's incident has made me consider the parallels of him turning right into Hamilton in the pit lane. Do you think that a trait is emerging?


Basically Vettel [mod[ can't be trusted on or off the track! But with Mark Weber everybody knows exactly what he stands for, and what he means, and can believe exactly what he says. I'm very pleased he seems mentally tough enough to just grin about what's going on in the team and just get on with the racing. I'm guessing Little Vettal is now feeling rather insignificant in the team! (Poor boy).


Vettel is flawed, he's not a very good overtaker and there have now been may times when he's turned in on others Webber and Hamilton - pits and the race, twice.

Horner at the end of the day is not his own man and it's clear to me his strings are being pulled by the team owner and his man in the team who Horner has to report to ❗

Karl Sciberras

That incident at China with Hamilton crossed my mind as well today. I certainly see some similarities and always maintained it was Vettel who was in the wrong that time. Since he went nearly unpunished (just a reprimand),he thought he could do it again, and today, he did it twice. First, again against Hamilton but under different circumstances, and then, against his team mate Webber.

For some reason, I never warmed to Vettel, and his recent actions are not helping by negative feelings towards him.


I always thought that Webber and Vettel were considered equal witithin Red Bull and so they should be because Mark is consistently on Seb's pace... If he's behind it's only ever by a tenth or two!

If Vettel is being favoured by the team then it is unfair. Also, if Webber is lumped with the blame for this incident then the whole of RBR management are a bunch of complete idiots for whom I no longer have any time for.

I did have a lot of respect for Christian Horner, I always believed him to be one of the better team principles but now I'm not so sure.

Maybe Mark should end his contract and go to a team where he won't be overlooked... We all know he's immensley fast so for him to be considered a number two driver in any team is ridiculous.


I think he's probably better toughing it out where he is for a another year, He's not getting any younger, if he's going to win his first WC he probably needs to do it this year or next and Red Bull have the fastest car. Red Bull won't want him to be seen to be treated unfairly so if he keeps pushing for equal treatment and stands up to any team orders that try to make him give way to Vettel then he can still do it, his Aussie tough guy attitude and bluntness will be useful tools in his task.


Sure but where?

Ferrari? - He would be 2nd to Alonso.

McLaren? - Doubt there would be a seat there.

Renault? - A possibility, but not the most appealing.

I think he is stuffed. He really only has Red Bull and my fear is that he is going to get nobbled for the rest of the season.


In F1 the car is everything


ooohhh how I laughed when they hit each other! Nice work Vettel, superb piece of driving.....hahaha


ha as i said on my facebook, vettel was my driver of the day. webbers rich and old enough to retire, if i were him i wouldnt give vettel an inch for the rest of the season. whats the worst that can happen? sacking him. he would get a drive somewhere or he could sit on a beach counting his money for hours and hours.


Hmmm... somehow I don't think money is Mark's motivation.

But yes, I don't think Mark will give Vettel a millimetre let alone an inch for the rest of the season. He's a wry old fox Webber, he knows he has the speed and he won't let a little upstart and a biased management team stand in his way. He's been working too long to get where he is now, and he won't let this opportunity slide pass.


I like Webber as a driver, and appreciate his straightforward demeanour. He is as straightforward and blunt as one can get in the political/ conniving environment of F1.

I remember him openly supporting Briatore after the Singapore scandal. Not the smartest thing to do for Webber but he still did it because he felt Briatore had managed his career well and had been honest in his dealings with him.

And Webber knows that another shot at the title is never guaranteed. Just ask Kubica. He will do all that there is to do in his powers to win the title this year.


Although I'm a Vettel fan it's obviously true that Webber is only there to push Vettel - and he's pushing him to hard this season, something no one expected: not the media, not fans, not the team and certainly not Vettel. I don't want to see Vettel win the championship with the help of the team and with all the reliability issues he's had I still think Vettel is the better (or faster) of the two drivers. The pressure on Vettel is growing with every race he loses against Webber, but it's the same with Webber, especially if the team doesn't really want him to win. If he can resists the pressure from Vettel, the Red Bull team and not to mention both McLarens, then we all have to admit he will be deserved champion. It would be nice in a way... two "old dogs" winning champonships in a row - first Button than Webber...


Yeah, Miha, I'd like that too!



I agree with you 100 per cent,Vettel should

not worry much about how this will incident

will damage his rep he should just reflect

back to schueys' incident with hill in 94

and how he was lambasted by everyone but a

string of great races in the next years

healed his image and became a media darling

again, and sebastian DOES have the speed to

deliver those great perfomances

I laughed off martin witmarshs' comment that

redbull cracked under pressure because it tacitly

implies that he believes that lewis too cracked

in the face of a title triumph in 2007 when he

failed ti finnish sixth while driving the second

fastest car on the track


It must be said, that in 2007 McLaren were too favoring their own boy - a mistake, which RBR now seems to be repeating.


u would have to be a total mad man not to believe that redbull want vettel to win over webber but there dont mind if he doesnt.they have to have there youth system thing to be seen to working otherwise whats the point but i can totally understand what they did today thought i dont think it was intentionally to hurt webber


For a team with at this stage of their life and with sites on the top prize you'd expect them simply to be happy with either of their drivers getting the tilte.

Favouring an unofficial number one (who in the last two races has played a very good number two) seems a like 'ungrateful'?


Deja vu 2007? Different actors? Different team even more obvious in that case? The question of a "product" to invest for.


Rightly so, IMO. If only, I would add that up to date a lot of investment has already been made on the product, and that such an investment should had been optimally rentabilised this very season in order to become a record (the youngest, etc...).


After toady i dont think Webber/Vettel will be next seasons driver line up for Red Bull.

On another point did anyone else thnk Hamiltion seemed a bit rattled after the race that Button tried to overtake him?


Yeah, there was something cooking in McLaren camp too. Button wasn't supposed to overtake Hamilton as they should both be on fuel-save mode. Or maybe Hamilton didn't really believe Button can overtake, and now he's little affraid 🙂


Guess we would be reading more about Lewis vs Button had the Redbulls not taken each other out. Well the good part of all this is that the season is almost living up to the expectation that was created before the season began


maybe its just me but i loved the fact neither guy was prepared to give an ince at we not all want to see guys prepared to go to any lenght to win even against there team mate.i hope it turns nasty between all the top drivers and f1 goes more hardcore like back in the day. everybody complains theres no overtaking and they complain when somebody tries and it goes wrong. we are all humans afterall.


totally agree, it's the way it should be! Makes f1 interesting again


As they say in Australia about the sanitising of rugby league: "Bring back the Biff!"


Couldn't agree more...


There's one point you're missing here, James. Your suggestions that Webber should have been "given" more revs imply that the team somehow told him to dial the revs back.

They didn't.

As has been stated elsewhere -- including Autosport, who broke this story first -- Webber dialled the revs back himself, because he got a warning on his display about his remaining fuel load. The team never came into the equation, as evidenced by the fact that they didn't initially know that Webber had been on lower revs than Vettel. That information came to light after the drivers had been debriefed.

The media seems to want to spin this as Red Bull favoring Vettel over Webber, but that's simply not the case. Even when faced with media questioning that's aimed at getting somebody to say it was Webber's fault, Marko and Horner have flatly refused to do so. Both of their drivers caused the accident together, and they know that.

Suggesting that Red Bull are somehow playing favorites, when they've let their drivers race to the point that they've actually collided with each other, is simply not on -- especially when other teams were fairly obviously applying team orders in the same race. McLaren's "fuel warnings" were most likely camouflaged team orders. It's more than a little suspicious, if their fuel levels were as critical as implied on the radio, that they didn't take advantage of their near-30 second lead to reduce fuel consumption. Telling Hamilton that both drivers were "low on fuel" was a clever way of telling him both drivers were to hold station, and when Jenson ignored the message, he got a second, more forceful warning.

Which don't get me wrong, they're entitled to do, as far as I'm concerned. This whole "no team orders" thing is nonsense, and the unenforceable rule against team orders should be removed. There's absolutely no way to prevent team orders, and it's disrespectful to the fans to pretend we're not manufacturing results when frequently we still are.


You sound like you're from Red Bull's PR team. Are you?

This seems pretty straightforward to me. Vettel got a run on Webber, pulled alongside, lost it and smashed into Webber.

It's unfortunate for Red Bull from a brand perspective, because Mark Webber is universally regarded as an honest, fair-minded individual. And, like it or not, the messaging coming out of Red Bull after this incident has led to the general impression that Mark Webber is not being supported by the team's senior management.

The longer that impression is allowed to remain - that Red Bull treats honest, fair-minded and talented people like Mark Webber unfairly, there's a risk that Red Bull Racing's long-term reputation will be fundamentally compromised.

For instance, on the back of this incident, I can't see many people celebrating a WDC for Red Bull or Sebastien Vettel if he won this year.

I'll be supporting Mark Webber for WDC this year despite Red Bull and sincerely hope he secures a winning drive next year with a team that respects and supports him.

Nadeem Zreikat

James why does the F1 feed only give us a small portion of radio chatter. What can't we get more of it like other motorsport or be able to access it live via the net while watching the coverage. this would give us a clearer picture of the situation.


It's what FOM select


I thought the media have the option to listen in to the complete radio transmissions - I certainly remember Ted Kravitz talking about stuff he heard on the radio in the past.

So if this is true, how come none of them record it ready to use in their reporting in cases like this?


"... as evidenced by the fact that they didn’t initially know that Webber had been on lower revs than Vettel. That information came to light after the drivers had been debriefed."

They would need to replace their entire telemetry department if this was the case.


If you've truly read all the comments made by Marko and, to a lesser degree, Horner, there's no debate as to who they blame. Your statement that they've refused to blame Webber is simply incorrect.

All their nonsense about Webber not leaving enough room should be read as "Webber didn't simply move out of the way, as we would have liked."

Marko is coming off as the most blatant Vettel supporter, and it's sickening. His belief that Vettel had to pass Webber to avoid being passed by Hamilton is laughable. As stated originally, the gap to Hamilton had been constant. And exactly why does Webber need to be responsible for his teammate, who's behind?

"Ummm, Mark, Seb might get passed by Hamilton, so go ahead and let him through." Absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention that Vettel could only do 1 additional lap on that setting. So, he passes Webber, and the very next lap has to turn his engine down, leaving them both still susceptible to Hamilton, just in a different order.

Finally, enough about giving room. This is the first time I've seen a team blame a driver for an incident in which said driver was driven into!


Agree with your second last paragraph. There's no logic in Marko's comments that Vettel should pass because otherwise he would be passed by Hamilton. If Vettel passed, then Webber would be even MORE vulnerable to Hamilton because his revs were down. Vettel would have been able to provide a more resilient defense of the Redbull 1-2 because he would, I assume, have had more straightline speed because of higher revs.

In fact, Marko's argument exposes the team preferences in one fell swoop in my opinion.


Hamilton was a constant 1.3 secs behind for the seven laps before the crash ie not closing


Bang on! Red Bull PR the words of Helmut Marko 'Mr Mateschitz is not happy'...


You give team orders when you have one guy fighting for the WDC and the other not really there. To have team orders against the WDC leader is ugly and ludicrous. I am sure that MW was not told that he is to drive for 2nd.


Personally, if a team is on for a 1-2 race result, I have no issue with the drivers being told to hold station, and think it should be acceptable from a team perspective.

If only one driver in a team has a chance of the WDC, then it should be in the drivers' contracts that they have to assist their team-mate as much as possible.


Absolutely agree!


I agree... we also learned both Maccas had to dial back as well.... I am stunned the love Webber is getting from people... He came out of this in the title lead! He also is the guy famous for chucking others off track through the years.... Very odd the pity party he is getting. Seb is the one who got eaten by this... Heck, Seb has had a truck load of problems with his car this year and Webbo has had ZERO!!!!!!!!!!


Wrong. Webber has spent his whole career with reliability issues. He has rarely 'chucked' others off the track (No more than any other veteran driver). He's almost always beaten his team mates each season and finally has the machinery to display his talent. He deserves the world title this year. Seb is a young, cocky developing driver who is not a team player - watch his reaction to Mark during the post quali press conference.


Vettel showed his immaturity a number of times over this past weekend, first in the post-quali conference and then immediately after the accident where he repeatedly made that childish gesture to indicate that he thought Webber was crazy. That's also a rather strange reaction given that he later claimed that he "lost" the car over a bump which caused him to go right and contact Webber. That just doesn't add up.

I think he's feeling the pressure of being out-driven over recent races when he has it in his mind that he's the one who should be the first World Champion for Red Bull. I'm sure they've been telling him that for years behind the scenes and now that it's not going that way he's reacting badly. His sense of entitlement is being threatened by a no-nonsense, seasoned pro in Webber.


There seem to be strong indications that team orders were involved here. The body language of the pit wall, for example. It looks as if both Newey and Horner were expecting a clean, unopposed pass by Vettel, and couldn't believe that Webber held his position. Also, Vettels screwy gesture, indicating, maybe, "What's he thinking of, not letting me pass?"

Ally that with Horners immediate assertion that Webber was to blame, when polls show 85% of fans seeing the opposite view, and Webber's reported remark to a journo to "Dig deeper..........". and there seems to be a case for the FIA to take an interest.

(I love conspiracy theories!)


Please go easy with the 'un-easiness' of SV, there is no need to degrade him from just this one incident. Accidents happen, and as James have mentioned, it could have been a bump that veered him into MW.

Some of us are quite eager to jump on drivers and teams, perhaps we should take a step back and see what really happened.

I thought Horner tried his best in this situation, it is a new learning curve for him too having to manage two championship worthy drivers.

I tend to lean on the premise that SV might be too eager to 'seal the deal' with the move, i think he might have underestimated (just a touch) MW's aggresiveness. Maybe next time out, SV will push his maximum with good consistency and prove his worth. He is not ruthless, today was just a part of a growing curve.

Great stuff as usual James, thanks!


I believe James is right about Vettel's car reacting to a bump - amplified by being on the dirty side of the track - because the replay from his in-car camera shows that his hands never turn the wheel to the right.


With the RB6 being the most downforce efficient car, I'd think that it would be stable enough at 280 or whatever.

Helmut said he steered across the track, and he's 'defending' Seb

David Turnedge

Absolutely agree. I am a Webber fan but this was nothing more than a racing incident between hard racing Webber and eager Vettel. Get over it Red Bull. Next race, please.


*'uneasiness' on SV


James; thank you for yr last two post which I enjoyed reading. What is still unclear though to me and according to the many posts on the web is "what has actually been communicated to the drivers". I mean I clearly heard on the dutch tv the pit communication to Hamilton that both cars were in fuel safe mode; however was Button warned or not? Some websites say it was three laps later that JB was warned... Funny is that on the commentary log that whole period none of the pit communication is mentioned! Can you make for the fans of this blog a separate page with links to "open evidence"? i.e. are the pit to driver communications available on the web?

I do agree that within the Mclaren team the situation is non comparable to Red Bull. Different nationalities; pride; age; confidence.. There is a lot of differences within those two teams. I'm beginning to wonder how this powder keg can be defused and if it will be. Specially the hugs for Seb were for all to see and for me a clear message.


I am glad someone else looks at during the race. My wife has suggested I am somewhat sad to sit with the laptop on the coffee table in front of the TV to scan both at the same time. I think this is a brilliant innovation and adds further interest to the race. That said there was less communication reported yesterday than the previous two races.

I am sure there was a misunderstanding and it will be sorted out quite easily. I suspect that had Lewis not regained the lead when he did Jenson would have yielded before the end of the race for the sake of team harmony.


I think that Mclaren majorly lucked out. Hamilton got back passed again. If that had not happened they would have had one hell of a mess on their hands.

Jenson is a very nice guy, and the team seem fairly chilled at the moment, so I'm sure they can sort it out before the next race and no ones feathers will be too badly ruffled.


I think it extremely unlikely JB would have yielded had LH not made the pass-back.


THe drivers were told to save fuel but it seems that the comms were not clear and Hamilton was on a more conservative mode than Button. I think Hamilton assumed when the team said that Button had also been told to save fuel, that the race between them had been called off


Err James, it was no assumption on Lewis's part. He was also told "both cars are the same", which most people would interpret as "hold station, there is no more racing". So far, no one has been able offer an alternative explanation.

I am also surprised you did not pick up on the muted celebrations at the McLaren garage yesterday - muted when compared to Jensons first win for the team.

I believe you should also do a story on the "Hold Station Gate" issue as most fans would really like to have an insight as to what really happened. It is much more than just a miscommunication - McLaren are too professional for that.

Also, I believe these issues at McLaren and Red Bull will jointly decide the driver market for 2011 the way things are going.


Just wanted to add that i believe there will most likely be a driver swap between Macca and Red Bull in 2011. Webber will be happy at McLaren, but i doubt Lewis will be at RBR - if Vettel still there!


Was I the only one thinking about Imola 1982 when Hamilton said he was 'surprised' to see Button come past?


No, it was the first thing that i thought of post-race, although Im fairly certain Lewis & Jenson are still speaking to each other.


Michael S and knoxploration: Helmut Marko has publicly blamed Mark Webber, and not Sebastian Vettel, for the collision. The story is on Autosport's website. In light of this, I believe that James' analysis has due cause and raises some very good points. If Red Bull wish to avoid the impression that they are favouring Vettel (which a few comments today alluded to, I am afraid to say), then they should be more careful in their choice of words and be willing to criticise their drivers when they goof up. They're not porcelain dolls, after all.

In light of what happened, I think Webber deserves a bit of credit for salvaging something from the mess, even if at the same time his actions contributed to it.


"In light of what happened, I think Webber deserves a bit of credit for salvaging something from the mess, even if at the same time his actions contributed to it."


And as noted by the BBC team, this works quite well for Webber...he's still leading the WDC, and is now 15 points ahead of Vettel, not the 7 he would have been ahead if he'd won or even the 7 behind he'd have been if Vettel had cleanly passed him.

It's not a massive gap, admittedly, but if he can maintain that sort of gap as the season progresses it'll be difficult for any forces rooting for Vettel within Red Bull to play any "games"...


great article James, one of your best. I look forward to a interesting week and some more great insight


Very well said. Then again if we'd had team orders at Red Bull today it would have been a lot less entertaining. The good thing is: thankfully nobody's arguing about the last lap incident in Monaco any longer.


Marko's comments that Webber should have given Vettel the corner speak volumes about whether Vettel is the 'favoured son' as you put it, James. Especially if Marko is, to some extent, the real boss of the team rather than Horner.

He said: "Vettel was already ahead, at least two metres ahead, and there was a corner to the left side coming, so he had to go for the line.

He cannot brake on the dirt because for sure he knows what happens."

In my view, unless Vettel had overtaken Webber to the extent that he would have been able to make it around turn 12 safely, then the overtake has not stuck and therefore Vettel needs to yield and try again.

Vettel simply had not gone far enough - a full cars length - past Mark to then take his line into the corner and to expect Mark to simply get out of the way and allow him to do so, as Marko does, makes a mockery of the racing.


There's something else sinister about Marko's comments. He said Vettel was allowed to race Webber because of the risk Hamilton might overtake him. But presumably, if Hamilton was going that much quicker than Vettel, surely he would have overtaken Webber eventually instead?

So is Marko really saying that he'd rather have Webber end up third than a 1-2 with Vettel in second? That's hardly a sign of running a fair team.


Well, you know they say that Austrians and Germans support each other, sometimes at all cost. Who knows?


So going by Marko's assertion, hypothetically if Vettel had managed to make the pass stick but then ended up outbraking himself, Webber should just have sat back and not retaken the position because Vettel was at that point ahead of him?

Take your hand off it Marko.

I am so disappointed for MW. He has always been known to be fair but unyielding. Serves SV right. I had loads of admiration for him but he is just a big frat boy sook and his actions this season have turned me right off.

I also find it odd that having been given a fuel warning before the incident, Webber was then informed with about 6-7 laps to go that the Mclarens were on a conservative fuel strategy. ie to push.

Unless RB go on to sabotage MW's chances, I can see this incident as firing him up to completely outshine SV for the rest of the season. However sadly, we will see some unreliabilty creep into the #6 car. Purely by chance of course....


James, the short answer to your question is 'yes'!


Webber is paying the price for being too quick - ridiculous. He'll probably lose his drive over this and Vettel will have it all his way.

Horner and Dennis should manage a new super team with Hamilton and Vettel as drivers - they can battle it out to be best of the groomed daddy's boys.


Great blog, however, watching Horners interview with Lee (bbc), a few hours after the race, its clear who he is most displeased with, and his name isnt Sebastian.

He said that Mark pushed Vettel on to the dirty side...and his generally language said to me

"we blame Mark"


Horner has it wrong and it's disgusting how he and the team are treating Webber in this.

The problem for Webber is where else could he go ❓


Same situation as Alonso after 2007, he could only move to a worst car or suffer unfair treatment if staying at McLaren.


There's no mistaking who is 'number 1'. I guess Vettel is guy who's personal helmet design is a Redbull can...


And he mentioned all facts.


How on earth can a team expect their driver to go into "fuel saving mode" when he has 3 cars behind him and not relinquish the lead.

It seems to me that either Webber wasn't told that Vettel wasn't in fuel save mode or he was stupid enough to back off and expect his team mate not to overtake him....

In a situation like that you either plug on at full speed and take the gamble or back off and give up places.

A racing drivers instinct is?????


I just revisited the footage of the crash on the BBC website.

There is no 'obvious' steering movement to the right from Vettel although he seems to have some steering wobble. It is difficult to tell though. He may have steered slghlty right?

Am I misreading this? Have a look a see what you think?

Sadly the BBC footage is only available to viewers in the UK.


I've been studying it too and you are right about Vettel. But the nose seems to lift slightly just before the car goes right. I wonder if it got light over a bump? Vettel said he lost the car


oh come on, there's always opposite lock isn't it? car shifts right you steer left to counter it. vettel simply expected mark to move over but nope, he didn't.

watch mansell vs senna down the super bumpy portugal straight, watch all those sparks from under the car, don't you think both drivers are fighting hard to stay in line and not hit each other?


Just watch how far his wheel moves away from the white line before impact. Seb's in-car camera shows it well, but the front on shot backs it up. He 'drifts' right no doubt.


I agree

Steven Selasky

James, seriously how do you think this all going to play out?

I think if it keeps up ... .Button will take the title like Prost in 1986.



I think it's a brilliant championship and that's to be expected as we have lots of good drivers in good cars. I think McLaren are on a roll now, but given how much it fluctuates and Red Bull's lack of experience of championship dog fights I think it's hard to call who will win the title


Webber should take none of this and and race to the best of his ability regardless as to Vettel being the favoured son, Vettel will crack and crack and crack and Webber can beat him 😉


Very interesting. And it's commendable that you're probably slightly risking what insider access you enjoy with Red Bull by divulging little nuggets like the account of last year's post-race scenario.

I think it would be hard for anyone to begrudge the team a preference for Vettel over Webber in 2009 - they'd invested a fortune in him and to date Webber had never really shown much sign of living up to the hype / promise, nor indeed of really being anything more than a very competent F1 journeyman, in the mould of Brundle or Hakkinen before his first win at Jerez '97.

This year is obviously different, and it's fairly obvious from the reaction of the team to the results of the last two races (Spain & Monaco) that they're fairly equally happy whoeever takes the crown now. Though lest we forget, the team's unreliability has undeniably cost Vettel a convincing lead in the WDC tables, so perhaps there's an innate sense of guilt on behalf of Red Bull management towards him, and a sense that they wish things were 'rebalanced'.

Also I find it odd that Marko oversees the driver training programme, yet Horner has to report to him and feel the pressure when Webber dominates. Surely it should be the other way round; Horner should be saying to Marko 'hey, you developed Vettel, don't look to me if he goes screwing it up on track!'


Follow the money and I think you see why Marko gets the nod on "seniority"


Oh I get that - I just find it odd that Horner seems to have to justify on track results that seem to weaken the drivers' development programme, when in fact he had nothing to do with it...


I think in this one incident there's not so much conspiracy theory - they both ballsed up to a sense.

Vettel had to have a go, Webber was not all that quick today and both Red Bulls had the Mclarens breathing down on them all race. An opportunity presented itself, he got a run at Webber, and got a good way alongside him. I think he was entitled to give it a go. Did either of them give the other enough space? Not really. Conspiracy theory? Not so much.

I don't think that means that overall the top echelons of Red Bull wouldn't rather have Vettel come out on top, though. But I suspect Horner is even-handed enough not to think like that, but he has bosses too.


Thank you very much, James, for the very interesting item.

I think that Vettel was completely guilty in the accident. And I can't understand the team and Christian Horner blaming Webber. Mark was just defending his trajectory.


James, remember what happened at Montreal in 2007 at the start?

Alonso was feeling the pressure of his teammate and went for a desperate lunge on Hamilton, and in the end lost a bunch of points during the race.

Do you think we could see something similar from Vettel in 2 weeks time?

Montreal is always an entertaining place to go and no doubt the story of this championship will develop further.


Doubt it. I think the spotlight is on him now. Hamilton's criticised him for a "dangerous" move on him.


what was this 'dangerous ' move because I can't remember it in the race and can't find any videos?

Also apparently this is what Hamilton was talking to Webber about before the podium and JB thought Lewis was talking about him, leading to confusion then all that back-slapping and hugging!

That race was incredible, best f1 race in years for drama. Top 4 so close all race long, immense.


When Hamilton went to pass Vettel into 12 shortly after the pit stops Vettel turned away from the apex of the corner towards Hamilton. It was a very subtle move, and had Hamilton not have reacted the cars would have collided like Vettel and Webber did. It pushed Hamilton off of the racing line and on to the marbles so he wasn't able to slow the car down enough and went wide.

During the transmission of the race it just looked like Hamilton went in too hot into the corner trying to make his move on Hamilton and was therefore missed, but if you watch the replay of the race closely you will see Vettel move right just before the corner.



I would almost guarantee the pit wall boys knew exactly what fuel setting Webber was on, telemetry data would have told them and in fact they probably knew 3 or 4 laps previously exactly when both he and Vettel would need to adjust the fuel settings with all the continuous calculations they do from the telemetry data. If they "supposedly" didn't know then the whole lot of them are incompetent. Helmut Marko is definitely Vettel's man and couldn't be any subtler in blaming Webber, insisting Vettel needed to get by because of pressure from Hamilton. Apparently after that Webber could be left to fend for himself. Horner then all but confirmed it by saying as long as we got a 1-2 finish regardless of who won it didn't matter.


I too think of it as a management issue more than anything. We know "team orders" are banned but the best strategy was to make them hold station. No sense risking it all just because Vettel was able to go faster for a couple of laps. I don't buy the bull about needing to get away from the McLarens: Mark had seemed to manage them fine all race.


James, how much control(electronic)over fuel use can a team exert on a car during a race? And if so where does that leave a drivers brain? Things have changed so much, I sometimes feel out of touch with a sport I thought I understood very well. Politics haven't changed much though, new names, new faces, by and large!....


Hamilton who was in prime position said he couldn't believe the move Vettel was trying to pull on Webber. Its obvious...Webber has rattled Vettel and he was taken out of winning position by a stupid move. As for favoritism this too is clear Helmut Marko's comments were so ridiculous that he must have been watching another incident. In car camera clearly shows Vettel no where near far enough ahead to pull that move off and Webber stayed on the line hard but fair. Whats not fair is Webber losing a deserved win


Why is it more acceptable for Hamilton to pass Webber than for Hamilton to pass Vettel? I think there are hints of favourtism


Very nice write up James. It seems there is no doubt who Helmut Marko would rather win the WDC.


From Horner's reaction, it is obvious that Vettel is the golden boy of Red Bull. Pretty much similar to what Hamilton was in McLaren.

I was disappointed when Webber rolled the red carpet out to Vettel in Malaysia. I'm glad he didn't make the same mistake this time. Webber pulled a very tough defensive tactic but it was still fair.

Vettel took himself out, but he still got the nerve to place the blame squarely on Webber. Show some respect, kiddo.

Oliver d'Oelsnitz

To read the commentary, one sees just how controversy festers between facts and conjecture. With regard to JAs posting, I found it a very balanced and insightful summary of events leading up to and including what will go down as one of F1s historical team catastrophes. That anyone feels that JA has taken sides is to not have read beyond the title. With regard to the actual event, I agree with JAs analysis that, other than insight gleaned only form those privileged with insider information, it is very difficult to place blame or totally exculpate one or the other driver. Not much has been said about management's role here. I think Christian Horner has always prided himself of a relatively "hands off" approach to what was, up until now, a potential catastrophe. Now that it has occurred, I am certain that CH will no longer take the risk -- I can hear the fans screaming "team orders" from here on out. For me this was a racing incident with the unfortunate consequence that Red Bull seems to be squandering its beginning of season technological advantage. And they should look to Brawn to see just how important it is not to do so.


So Webber has planted his flag.

Well done to him.

Your move Sebastian, better make it soon or the year is lost.

I love F1.

Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg

Ha! I agree. What a shame the next race isn't next week. I can't wait for Canada now.


You raise some interesting questions about Helmut Marko, James. In the aftermath of Vettel/Webber crash, some of his public comments seemed to contradict those of Christian Horner, which seems odd - regardless of the rights and wrongs of the incident itself, surely a professional F1 team should be speaking as one, and really you'd expect the Team Principal to be the authoritative voice.

Which raises the question, as do your comments about Germany last year - what's Marko's role in RBR? I had a bit of a look on the RBR website, and he doesn't even seem to be mentioned. There are bios of other key figures (including David Coulthard for his "Ambassador" role), but no Helmut Marko that I can see. So what say does he have, and when he comments publicly, who is he speaking for? The team? Himself? Dietrich Mateschitz?

If Marko really has authority over the team, or influences Mateschitz to override Horner, then Horner is potentially in quite a nasty position. It's Horner that's responsible to the FIA for the actions of the team, not Marko. A cardinal rule in any organisation is never to accept responsibility where you don't have control. The buck stops with Horner, so he should be the one making the decisions and making (or at least determining) the public statements.


Yes and then later comments by Horner show that he moved towards Marko's line.


Sad to see Horner is not his own man, he should show some balls and show the F1 world that so long as he's the boss he'll act as the boss.

Webber did nothing wrong Vettel as the master of his and Redbull's downfall.


Marko is obviously a one eyed supporter of Vettel.


So James is Vettel the favorite son?

That question was answered after Monaco;

with drivers on same points, FIA gives the countback based on wins. Webber was in the lead in drivers champ according to FIA.

Red Bull website however showed Vettel leading based on Aphabetical order. Interesting interpretation huh?


Seb turned into Mark, he did not loose the car, there was sufficient input on the wheel, visible in the onboard, but even more so in this sequence. If that is not evidence of Seb turning right then the RB6 should not be able to race as it changes direction on its own accord.


What is quite telling here is that Hamilton obviously spotted what was about to happen and stamped on the brakes and does a swift exit left from these shots 🙂


Interesting point about the fuel and the need for the 1 2 win.

Wouldn't Vettel been more able to secure the 1 2 win for the team from the no.2 position, where he would be better able to defend against the threat of Hamilton with the greater expendable fuel load.


Exactly! That would have been the smart strategy. This is a TEAM failure more than anything.


This makes more sense. Back up the McLarens a couple of seconds, then hold the cusion through turn 8.

They were essentially asking him to give up a WIN. dude, that's not cool.


I speak for a lot of Red Bull fans when I say I am disgusted by the actions of Horner, Marko and Vettel;

Regardless of whether Vettel should have attempted the pass or not - Webber was told to turn his engine down, Vettel allowed to run at optimum as apparently Hamilton was bearing down on him - despite lap times telling a completely different story.

Webber holds his line - gets the blame from Horner and Marko when it is Seb deviating off his line when he realises he's not going to make the corner...then has the nerve to insinuate that Webber is crazy....

This absolutely stinks to high hell and if Sebastian does go on to win the WDC there will always be questions as to how he got there...

I'm not a Hamilton fan by a long shot however I thought he acted professionally and humbly after yesterday's result - a credit to him...

That and Mark's actions speak volumes about the man he is...


I agree 100%.

Vettel's gestures to the crowd after the crash also speak volumes about the man he is... 🙁


Check out iPlayer at 1:56:50 ish.

Horner is telling someone to move, then.....crash.

Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg

Others have made much of Horner's "move, move" but I think it was just him speaking to himself. If it was actually a transmission to a driver or engineer, then someone would have captured it and posted it online as all transmissions are monitored by the FIA.


So, let me see if I have this right. I should state up front that I am a big Webber fan - not just because I'm an Aussie but because I really respect a person who talks straight and maintains the determination to win after 7 seasons plonking around in a dud car.

Consensus now is that Red Bull were giving team orders in disguise, by having Mark turn his engine down while simultaneously telling Vettel he should go for it.

Vettel and Webber both have poor track records in regards to clumsy overtaking moves. (Good examples: Webber v Hamilton in Melbourne 2010, Vettel v Kubica in Melbourne 2009).

In regards to the incident itself, arguments are going both ways that:

a) Mark didn't give Seb enough room. (Rubbish - Webbo stuck to his line and Seb tried to go down the inside when the move simply wasn't there. What's Mark supposed to do? Drive off the track any time Seb comes near him?)

b) Seb turned into Mark way too early to try and make the move stick. A move he also tried on Jenson and Lewis earlier in the race. (The onboard camera doesn't actually show him turning the wheel. Is it possible he bottomed out in the run to Turn 12 and moved across due to that?)

Simmering in the background is a desire from Helmut Marko to have a graduate of his Red Bull Young Drivers Programme win a championship, and suddenly you've got a polarised team making claims that no driver is favoured when appearances are otherwise.

Is this the view that most have?

My opinion: Vettel is rattled by the season not turning out according to the script and is too young to handle it. RBR are covering for him with excuses of defective chassis and roill bars, but he is simply being out-driven at the moment. Instead of showing some patience during such a long season (his early season form will return), he tried another dumb move that didn't work, and now everything is boiling over. The real loser in this situation is the RBR team - not because of the points they have thrown away, but because they have now been exposed as being full of the proverbial in terms of favouring one driver over another.

A team that needs to resort to team orders is going to fall apart. Happens every time - just look at McLaren in 2007. A shame - RBR have a real shot this year but will hand the championship to McLaren if they keep this up.


James - forgot to thank you in the above post for your insight. Appreciate that you're possibly rolling the dice with your relationship with RBR in divulging some of the background information you have, but this is exactly why your blog enjoys a high level of appreciation in the minds of educated F1 fans.

Keep up the great work.


The reaction of RBR management (Marko and Horner)after the race is shocking.I know Marko only has one eye, but how on earth can they honestly say Mark Webber was at fault.

Since then we hear stories about fuel saving etc, what doesn't make sense is after MW changed his front wing, in the period of 5 laps he was recording fatest lap after lap. Now if they were that desperate to save fuel do you think they would be setting fastest laps?

It doesn't sound right to me. If you have a chance look at the reaction on RBR's own website.......


I just looked at the RBR site, it really is an amazing PR disaster. Currently over 900 comments from fans, I read through the last 100 and every one is unhappy with the RB management and Vettel's behaviour. Just as well they're not censoring the posts that are critical of them otherwise I don't think they'd have any comments to show!,-Sunday--Team-Reaction-021242854711644?refmod=ContentFeed&refmodpos=A2


Webber gave vettel just enough enough room to get through. He would of got through if he hadn't of turned right into mark. If it wasn't for his over inflated ego he might of won the race. But like a petulant child he chose to show the world his disgust. Grow up.


Vettel seems like a nice kid and a terrific talent but I have been wondering lately if his lack of maturity combined with a teammate beating him would cause him to become impatient and do exactly what he did today. More the reason to cheer for Webber who has never had anything handed to him.


David Coulthard was commenting on the race as this incident happened and I quote,

"as we see Vettel pulling a move on Webber"(and here's the good bit) "Webber's left the door wide open".

after replays... Martin Brundle: "I'm giving that 100% Vettels fault".

When Seb said he "lost it", I assumed he meant the car, a friend of mine assumed he meant he lost his patience and tried to intimidate Webber...and a more cynical friend believed it was deliberate, simply because Seb couldn't bear the thought of Mark getting a hat-trick.

A spiteful turn in?..(the next Schuey indeed)

I think a fair portion of blame should be directed at Horner for not making the situation clear to all parties.

Vettel should have been able to keep Hamilton at bay, or at least keep him busy. They already had the 1-2, but it just wasn't good enough.


Am not a a Webber / Vettel fan, but my stance is with Webber.He was going good, Vettel had to play team game rather that attempting one up. Finally Vettel himself lost and true to the spirit of sports, Webber the podium. It was clearly Vettel's fault and there is no room for discussion on that. Things could have been worst, but webbers maturity and experience let the ball continue to roll.

Horner is pushed to do what he said, thanks to Marko. Guys like Marko who spoil the spirit of the game should be kicked out of F1/Redbull.

Marko, this is a sport. Keep your personal performance review etc away from it.Hope guys like you are shown the door.


Vettel is just a spoilt jealous lil brat, who had to resort to such a dog move. Webber needs to take him into the private car park and teach him a lesson in respect.


If you were the RBR team boss and saw your drivers in this situation while leading 1-2 ... would you really want to tell the guy behind to slow down and risk being caught? No. Would you be happy with the guy in front risking the whole result for the team by playing hardball and hardly giving any room at all to his teammate who comes rocketing past? Definitely not. In a battle for the (race and championship) lead between drivers from different teams, what Webber did would have been perfectly right. When defending against his teammate, it was bollocks, absolutely egoistic from Webber.


If what the team says is true, there are no team orders and therefore Webber was entitled to defend his lead. If the team wanted a 1 - 2 result then wouldn't the best option be to let Mark continue his lead? Considering both RBRs were beginning to break away from the McLarens at the time, I have no doubt that it would have been a comfortable 1 - 2.

The truth is that there ARE team orders in disguise and it is very much favoured for Vettel. It backfired bigtime and Horner and Marko are trying to cover it up. Red Bull should consider themselves lucky to salvage a 3rd place from this disaster. Webber deserved the points, not Red Bull.


So Vettel wasn't being egotistical by trying to pass Webber?
Even though it would have been much safer and better for the team if he did not try. Having so much fuel left he was in a much better position to defend against Hamilton and play the more important team role by ensuring the 1,2.
It's those pesky egos. Everybody wants to be first!


Well that is what they have spent the majority of their lives training to do !


...continuing the theme - Would you be happy with the guy BEHIND going hell for leather into a 190mph braking zone with at best a 40% chance of sticking it - especially if said driver is not known for their slick overtaking moves? and when there was an open-goal 1-2 finish for the team already set-up?

Reverse the drivers roles.... is your opinion above still accurate? Didn't think so.


From Laps 30 -39 inclusive these were the drivers average lap times;

Button: 1.30:562

Hamilton: 1.30:584

Vettel: 1.30:610

Webber: 1.30:614

*From the FIA's official timing information.

From Horner's own mouth

"Seb managed to save an extra kilo of fuel, both cars started with the same fuel, so he had one more lap of the optimum engine mode, if you like.

"We could not tell him to back off because he was under pressure from Hamilton behind."

So Seb had one more lap of fuel than Mark on the optimum engine mode; presumably then Vettel would be told to turn his engine down the following lap - still 17 laps from the line?

The lap times show no indication of any driver having an upper hand at that point nor that any one driver was particularly under pressure from another.

This is blatant team orders trying to get their boy on the top step.

If Horner was so worried about turning Vettel's engine down as he was under pressure from Hamilton - what the hell did he think would happen to Webber when he gave the opposite order when Webber??

At the start of lap 39 Webber led Vettel by 0.429 seconds; Vettel - Hamilton 0.672 seconds

Horner and co have some explaining to do...


The team may technically give equal treatment to it's drivers. However, it's pretty clear to me that a culture has been created that favours vettel. He clearly believed that he had the *right* to pass webber. For the team to then comfort vettel on the pitwall looked odd to say the least.

I can only imagine that it's not a conscious decision to favour vettel and that they are probably shocked by the strength of support for mark. They need to take some time to reflect.


RBR have dropped off the radar of my "support" and "respect"... completely lost faith in them now to offer a equal environment for both drivers without preferential treatment.

You just have to look at the comments from Marko and Mateschitz to see they are completely pro Vettel, it doesn't help that all 3 are German/Austrian. Vettel is now the enemy, he should have accepted responsibility for what IMO is completely his fault, its almost as if he believes he is number one in the team and Mark should just move over.

As always I am rooting for McLaren and Jenson then Lewis for the Championships, but failing that Webber gets my vote to stick one over Vettel and the top brass at RBR, but the last thing I want is RBR for the constructors.

Marcus Redivo

F1Droid, your last paragraph echos my sentiments.

McLaren for the Constructors.

Webber for the Drivers.

Sorry Lewis and Jenson, I was overjoyed for each of you in turn as you won, but it's Mark Webber's year, just as much as it should also be McLaren's.

Go McLaren, go Mark. Yes, life is contradictory.


dont forget the odd occurrence in q3 where webber was meant to be behind vettel and that never happened..

interesting how vettel was the one to test the new fduct and not webber... may or may not have any significance though.


and webber had the new updated wing, vettel didnt...which was a benefit for webber...u for got to mention that part, oh unbiased fan.


Actually lul Vettel did have the updated wing. He fot it first and Webbers arrived just in time for qualifying (all on the BBC's F1 Forum, information courtesy of David Coulthard....who should know what he's talking about)


Yeah Vettel did have the updated wing in fp3.


Vettel according to both DC and others in the telecasts already had the new updated wing in practice. Webber got his 5 minutes before qualifying. So much for equality.

Besides Vettel having the final run in Q3 when it should have been Webber's turn this time, they also pitted Vettel first. Quite advantageous.


Wrong, Vettel did not have it.


Ferrari and Renault seem to be two teams with clear No 1 driver - and this will be crucial in second part of the season. Unfortunately they are too slow at the moment. But if Ferrari can keep up with Mclaren my money is on Nando. WDC for Kubica would be a beautiful story but the chances are very slim :).


I wonder if Massa knows he is no.2 in the team.

IMHO what we have here is Alonso, who is a very agressive driver, who thinks he is No.1


Nice post, I agree with what have been written, it is impossible to look into a team that deeply to decide on what happened here. I only have a few qestions though:

It is quite curious how both Mclaren and Red Bull showed similar issues during a one-two....the move of vettel and button started the same place....could it be a coincidence? Could the teams be confused at these relatively new issues, with fuel weights so much shaved now?

Why an extra kilogramm of fuel/or fuel mixture setting is decisive among teammates when Hamilton struggled to overtake any of the RBs despite its apparent advantage in race conditions?

this year teammates are making more and more opportunistic moves on each other? can they risk more than in normal third party conditions? what is the justification of the no team order stance in this case?



The justification is that it made the race more exiting for us to watch.


you did not understand my argument...the racing between teammates did not become more exciting because of the rule change, but due to the fact teams tend to push very competitive pilots in their cars in order to maintain competitiveness on the consrtuctor championship...


I think Ferrari is an option, I believe Alonso and Massa were more equal at the start of the year than Webber and Vettel were.

Reason? Red Bull have invested huge amounts of money in their driver development program, With Vettel being the proof of success. Wouldn't look good if 33 year old Webber proves to be genuinely faster with a recovered leg and shoulder.

Ferrari have less invested in which driver wins and care more about winning, as evidenced by their willingness to cycle drivers in and out.

I can't see Ferrari having a slow car three years in a row, so maybe it wouldn't be a bad move - but who's to say that Massa would be replaced?


I think it's quite clear that Marko will do anything to enable Vettel to win. He is Didi's racing expert and as long as the Austrian mob pulls the strings and Horner plays the puppet team boss it will be like this. It's like Flavio - MS and Flavio - FA.

He spent a sh**load of money on the YD program and all he has to show for is Vettel, who hasn't really convinced (me) so far.


James, do you think that Marko is pushing his own agenda, or just passing on Dietrich Mateschitz's views/desires?

As (former?) director of Red Bull's (apparently quite expensive) Driver Development programme Marko might be thought to have a conflict of interest when it comes to Vettel.

Incidentally, while I was poking around the RBR site I noticed that the comments on the race report page were if anything even more pro-Webber than here, so RBR potentially have a bit of a PR problem on their hands.


You are only reading the English version - It would be interesting to read the German version.


Vettel should be punished. He is more to Red Bull than Lewis Hamilton to McLaren by the looks of it.


Good Story James.

Both the favouritism and who has the majority of the blame for the incident are perfectly clear. However they try to spin it.

Put that aside for a moment and reflect on the post incident behaviour of the drivers (and post quali press conference for that matter).

One guys is making looney signs toward his team mate, and rolling his eyes at him, the other makes only a couple of restrained ‘between the lines’ type comments. Seb knows he is the golden boy, so we shouldn’t really be surprised that he behaves like one. It obvious he’s immature and overconfident, probably even understandable considering his stage in life and situation.

Its Christian and Mako who have really shown themselves up. The guys are supposed to be professionals, but by trying to put spin on a situation where it so plain to see whats really going on, they just put their bias and unprofessionalism, and generally lack of team management skills right out there for all to see.

Nice one boys! Way to degrade you brand image.

The whole thing is made to look so much more amateur by events at McLaren. Especially yesterday with a one-two result and some on track passing by their drivers. I’d say they had a potentially more explosive situation than red bull, with the last 2 world champs in the team, and I’m sure behind the scenes they have their own, possibly similar, tensions and issues. But publicly things have been generally pretty professionally over that side of the pit wall. Especially from Jenson, who always seems to handle things pretty cooly.


Some other thoughts on this:

1) remember qualy? Webber/Vettel normally alternate on last driver to leave the pits, presumably because each driver likes to chase a target. Webber's turn at being last was mysteriously overlooked in Turkey. I didn't think this significant at the time, but now, I'm not so sure

2) I recommend taking a close look at Vettel's in car footage from before he moves on webber...before he goes to the left of Webber he threw a feint to the right. I think that is why Webber's footage shows a little correction to the left - he was responding to the feint

3) Marko/Horner's credibility is now in question. Listen to what they are saying "the driver in P2 is under pressure from the driver in P3, so we'll fix that by getting the driver in P1 to move aside' that it? if so, that's pathetic. Whats wrong with telling P2 to just deal with it, I though track position was king?

4)when making guesses at next year's driver pairings, which top line driver is going to want to go to RB now? Would Kimi/JB/Lewis/Phillipe put up with so many questionable decisons...


4) - I'm sure Daniel Ricciardo wouldn't mind the seat



"The fuzziest logic I have seen for quite a while ….. “the driver in P2 is under pressure from the driver in P3, so we’ll fix that by getting the driver in P1 to move aside"

That's what too much Red Bull does for you 🙂 keep away from the stuff Marko ! 🙂


It translates into "we dont care where Webber finishes, we only care that Vettel finishes ahead of him"


Quite agree. The fuzziest logic I have seen for quite a while ..... “the driver in P2 is under pressure from the driver in P3, so we’ll fix that by getting the driver in P1 to move aside’


Personally Christian Horner and Vettel have gone way down in my estimation after this incident. The whole world can see that it was Vettel's fault and for him and Horner to lay blame at Webber's door shows that 1) They favour Vettel, which is wrong and 2) Vettel is an arrogant so and so. Ever since Webber has been beating him he has had a face down to the floor; he needs to sort himself out, stop moping around and do his talking on the track, that's what Webber is doing, very successfully.

Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg

The great thing is that no matter how much they try to spin it Vettel's way, we the fans and the experts (journos and ex drivers) all see it the other way, which just embarrasses them all the more.

If Horner had just said, "Seb made a mistake." It would have all put to bed by Sunday night. But now, this thing is going to fester for two weeks until the Candian GP. Everyone is on Mark's side.


Poor Mark, would love to be a fly on the wall. You'd like to think this will all make things better and get sorted, or make it a lot worse. Flip a coin.

James - great blog as usual. Whats your take on Lewis mute celebration? I've read he thought he inherited the win, and or he was annoyed by Jenson being allowed or whatever to overtake?

I'm far more inclined to follow the later.


Very interesting.

They crashed because Webber moved Vettel into dirty track where his braking was never going to work, Vettel was also too reckless and slid into Mark. Both were at fault, flawed. Funny how McLaren showed a few laps later on how it can be done ...

Regarding Webber's first victory, I clearly remember his words about "coming to Europe and beating Europeans" and just put it down as Aussie Little Man Chip-on-the-shoulder sledging from someone who did not have the balls to directly slag off the British. Now it seems that I was wrong and the remark may have been more intended for the Austrians.

Are RBR going to drop the ball again and fail to win the WDC with the fastest car ? Brawn dropped off the pace last year, but RBR failed to pick up the ball through their own flaws.


Schumacher & Button were also on that exact same piece of track on lap 1 Schumacher could have "Jerezed" Button but used his nozzle and they both made the corner.


Last season Mark Webber was coming from an off-season injury, yet he still had a 'purple patch' where he out performed everyone else. A fully fit Webber is obviously a handful for Vettel but I fear that from now on things will be 'managed' to favour SV.

The situation at Maclaren is slightly different as it seems JB didn't get the same message as LH. In my opinion LH deserved to finish ahead of JB. However Maclaren are making some silly little errors at the moment which may unsettle the team in the races ahead.

I am surprised that few people have commented on both RBR and Maclaren running lighter fuel loads. The Maclarens had a few more laps available at high performance and could have passed one or both of the Red Bulls in the laps after the collision.

It would seem the other teams may have been running with larger fuel loads. Do you think that teams will start to run with a fuel load that is designed for a fast and fuel saving phase for the next race(s)?


Hear Hear!

Thia was strictly Vettels fault.

Am also disgusted with Maclaren's behaviour too with 'Extreme' being an obvious code word for follow team orders!


All this talk of Webber saving fuel which allowed Vettel to catch him seems a bit odd, later in the race Webber didnt appear to be saving fuel as he pulled away from Shumi and tried to keep the pressure on the Mclarens. Some might read something into that!

With regards to the accident, it was pretty clear that Vettel would have got past Mark on the inside without turning into him. He clearly tried to intimidate Mark into backing off so he couldn't stay on the outside to be in the right pace for the next corner. With most people agreeing that Vettel caused an avoidable accident how come there has been no talk of why the FIA didn't investigate the incident. It was a very dangerous collision, caused by him clearly turning right into Webber, flying parts could have hit Webber or either of the Mclaren drivers not to mention that either car could have left the ground and as the accident WAS avoidable it surely needed to be investgated.


yeah right webber was flying in the 1.28s after that, good point!


My son and I were wrestling over the remote control and it seems that CBeebies was on during all the fun parts of Sunday's race.

So I didn't see the incident live.

Did Webber go back to the pits after the crash? Maybe he drove really slowly back and saved some fuel and that let him push hard once his car was fixed up?


Some appear to be more equal than others!

Now I want to be up front, I follow Webber and have for his entire F1 career. I am impressed with Vettel’s speed but in terms of race craft, experience, and how he carries himself I don’t think he measures up to Webber. That said, I hope to see him blossom, but after this weekend I wont hold my breath. I think the team management is letting him down. So given that team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has insisted, “Red Bull will not favour one of its drivers over the other.”

I would think he would want the answer to a few of these anomalies:

1. Bahrain Mark’s chassis was heavier than Seb’s. In Turkey Mark received updates 5 minutes before qualifying that Seb had for at least one practice session prior to qualifying. Thus Seb was able to setup and get a feel for the new updates were as Mark lacked such an opportunity. He came to terms with the new updates during qualifying! Why didn’t they both have equal equipment at the same time and how much of a disadvantage has this been for Mark? Has Seb been behind the equipment 8 ball on other occasions?

2. Why have the team’s rules for driver priority in leaving the pits during qualifying not been consistent? Is the advantage of leaving last still being alternated between the drivers or is some other rule at play? It seems Mark missed his turn in Turkey. Why?

3. There also seems to be some disparity with pit stops during the race that favour Seb more than Mark. The lead driver should get priority yet this only seems to happen when Seb is the lead driver. Fortunately in Spain and Monaco Mark was so far up the road it didn’t matter. However, Turkey was a different story and luckily Hamilton had a poor stop.

4. Why was Mark told to go to lower revs in Turkey for the lap prior to Seb’s overtaking attempt, while Seb was told to increase his? Who gave these orders and why? Was it because the team felt he wasn’t able to defend against Hamilton even though he managed with little difficult since the previous pit stop. Needing to save fuel doesn’t cut it because Mark put in a series of quick laps to cover Shumi at the end of the race.

5. Is Seb failing to drive with regard to the limitations of the equipment? Does this explain his reliability issues (e.g. hit the curves rather than riding them).

6. Why is Dr Helmut Marko making comments in the media when he clearly has vested interests with respect to Vettel’s camp and therefore is clearly not impartial?

7. Can Vettel overtake a top 10 driver in dry conditions other than off the start line? I recommend he practices with all other drivers, other than his team mate.


My own view is that Seb is only 23 years old and he is playing in a pretty tough play ground. There is no doubt he has talent but it is being mollycoddled rather than nurtured. He should be trying to learn from Webber, particularly with race craft and setup. Trying to divisively give the lad a leg up I believe will ultimately fail him as a person. Play the game straight and in the word of Henry Thoreau, he will learn to live a principled life. Maybe he ends up second or third in the WDC but at least he knows he has done it with out weighted dice. I don’t think he could say that now. However, I think Mark could.


Apologies to everyone who has been trying to get on the site this afternoon to take part in the debate. There was a technical fault on the site.


Have noticed that the site always goes slow/unusable immediately after you post a new entry, and more so with this controversy it seems! Possibly beefier servers needed?


Hi James,was this outage due to this particular story,as in was your server swamped ?,I wouldn't be surprised.

smith from zim

Thank God! Was beginning to suspect some foul play. I see spooks everywhere!


Thanks James - No worries - glad the site is back up.

The question I want to ask is so SV get pass MW because Hamilton was putting great pressure on SV and MW was in fuel saving mode apparently - What was MW suppose to do to stop Hamilton from passing him?

He has less revs to work with and Maclerns straight-line speed is tremendous.

Why should MW be the lambs to get slaughter and not SV?

Just ask a few questions

Riccardo Hamilton

No problem James. Keep up the good work.

James do you think that Vettel talent needs to be reassessed considering he is now getting his behind handed to him on a plate by Vettel.

He was seen as the next big thing.

David Jerromes

We all love a good conspiracy theory, although this one is gathering momentum it would seem..


Thanks for letting us know James. I thought Helmut "pompous" Marko was doing his usual job of helping Vettel, and didn't like your article so decided to close your website.

The concern now must be that people in the Red Bull team will try and sabotage Mark Webber's world championship.

The pit stop team orders have really cost Mark Webber. In Australia, on a drying track, they delayed bringing in Webber to give priority to Vettel. It ended up costing Webber the victory. Good on you for pointing this out in an earlier blog post James. We saw in Malaysia, Webber also got given the worse pit stop moment. Yet, here in Turkey, Vettel was allowed to pit before Webber. In Spain and Monaco, it could be excused because Webber had a large lead. Here, though, Webber almost lost his position to Vettel.

Agree with Martin Brundle "100% Vettel's fault" as he said after watching the replay. Red Bull's website has many angry comments - 95% or more favouring Mark Webber.


First of all, why Weber need to move for Vettel? They are in a race. But if you watch the clip again, sounds like Weber lift off the throttle when Vettel's rear wheel is between Weber's front and rear wheel, did Weber did it to mess up Vettel's pass?


Or just that he had a car careering into him, and your natural reaction at that point is to take your foot off the accelerator


So Red Bull has made an enormous investment in its "young driver programme". They are clearly lacking in the "psych" department.

A winner knows that they should never expect anything. Whether it is Federer or Schumacher or Woods, DO NOT EXPECT TO WIN, FIGHT FOR EVERY POINT.

What Helmut Marko seems to have done is create a driver with the same emotional immaturity that he has. His immediate response in this aftermath spoke volumes: the blame is Mark's. As such, accept no responsibility.

But that sense of entitlement can only come from an immature mind.

As I stated on the other thread, Seb was faster going into that straight, but on a line and at a trajectory that under NORMAL circumstances would never have stuck. If it was NOT his team-mate next to him, he would've thought twice about trying that move. And without making the move, he never would've been able to successfully take the corner from that angle.

This shows that he felt entitled. And this shows a serious flaw in the Red Bull You Drivers Programme.


James, just to say that your website leaves every other one standing when it comes to these crunch moments. Looking forward to my 2010 Xmas present from the family - your end of year book.


Martin Brundle's blog on BBC site summed it up for me.

The problem is the marketing/media/hype aspect of F1. It's the same reason why teams want KERS back, and I hate it. I hate all of it. I just want their prorities first and foremost to be about good racing. Not team orders, or car sales, or any other corporate stuff. F1 is already not particularly fair sport in some ways, I mean it's a rich mans sport, it helps to be short like a horse jockey (which means I could be Senna and still never have a chance to compete or succeed), and being born in a country that runs an F1 team certainly seems to help prospects. It frustrates me enough when people like Massa seemed to be judged more harshly then Alonso and Hamilton for example..

For example, no one was angry at Alonso with his tangle with Petrov, but if that was Hamilton, people would be fuming. Same rules for all please.

And now we have a repeat of McLaren 2007 situation. I thought that was bad then, and I think this is bad now. I care about the best drivers, not what country their are from, what age they are, or who the team likes more. I want to see who the best driver is. If it's Chandhok, so be it.

Very frustrating and I am no longer a fan of Redbull Racing Team. They wanted Vettel to win that race, there is no doubt in my mind. The drivers were tied in WDC points for heavens sake! Horner and Marko's comments after the race were disgusting, I am just glad that the media are onto it. They deserve to be put under pressure. They say they treat teammates equally, I don't know who they keep a straight face. Marko shouldn't be allowed to talk in public. Fullstop.

I am pleased that Webber held his ground, because alot of drivers would have wilted. However, within the team, I can't see how this can be a good thing for either Redbull's drivers prospects. McLaren 2007 showed that civil wars only help the opponents.

It's not mentioned in this article, but Horner flatly lied and I have it on mp3, where he said to David Croft that Webber and Vettel were on equal engine revs. He also seemed aggrivated by the suggest of otherwise. Once the cat was out the bag, he later defended the decision by saying that Vettel had earned that extra fuel, and had to use it otherwise Hamilton would pass him. It's hard just for me to believe that Horner didn't know all along, especially when he was saying "MOVE MOVE MOVE" as it happened.

Lap Hamilton Vettel Webber

37 1:30.425 1:30.181 1:30.334

38 1:30.357 1:30.190 1:30.406

39 1:30.522 1:30.611 1:30.626

Horner and Marko's logic is flawed in many ways. Hamilton was not catching Vettel, Vettel was pulling away. And one kilogram of extra fuel was not going to help Webber or Vettel stay infront of Hamilton. It's irrelevant.

Look at the Redbull comments leading into the race, the excuses about chassis, Vettel went out after Webber in Q3, despite it being Webber's turn, and then the happenings in the race.

What a joke that team has become. There has always been a hint of subtle bias, but now it's not so subtle. I am just glad this incident has brought it all out into the publics eye. A shunt at 200mph outa do it!

Unless you are crowned by the F1 hype machine as a top talent and future world champion, it's pretty hard to win in F1 isn't it? You even have to fight your own team.


james, how do you see the contract negotiations of webber shaping up now and about webber's own concerns about favourtism in rb.

do u think if he's gonna stick around in same colors?


I can say with certainty that in Malaysia there is no circumstance which would have ever led to the team allowing Webber to have more revs then Vettel and a chance to attack.

"Why risk a one two?" The team would have said.

They also said in the early races that pitting first is better this season, and the leader has the right to pit first. This lead to Webber's only chance of beating Vettel to get pole and be leading after turn one.

Since then, Webber has had poles and been in front.. and guess what?

Vettel has pitted first every time.

OppositeLock (Ken Alexander)

RBR's argument does not hold water. IF Seb was so at risk of being passed by McLaren, then once he was past Webber, then Mark would be in exactly the same position Vettel was in. Vulnerable to being passed by Hamilton. One of the Red Bull cars was going to be behind and a target for attack by McLaren. The team's assertions display a clear preference for their golden boy Vettel. (BTW I'm a big Vettel fan and I chose him to win the championship. In this case, I think he got impatient and blew it.)


I have been absent in comment from this site for a while but this incident has made me want to comment again.

For me:- Webber was right to drive as he did - there is no way on earth if LH or JB had attempted the same move would we all be talking about it.

I am firmly in the camp of "webber was right".

Interesting to hear C Horner after the race say " they should leave enough room" - I say rubbish to that (no offence Mr C) but they are all racing drivers and should be allowed to drive - if you dont like that then give contracts naming no.1's and 2's.

I genuinely hope Webber wins the WDC (and im english and should be shouting for JB or LH) and takes the No.1 into retirement - a worthy WDC and a worthy ambassador for F1.


It was Vettel's fault, clearly. You see him moving to the right. Not much. But enough to be the guy at fault.

He must be feeling under a lot of pressure but if he is really as good as people think he is this is the time it has o show. Webber has simply outdriven hime and in a car that is... shall we say... number two.

Well done Webber, I did not think he had it in him but clearly he has. I hope he goes for it after this incident Horner, Vettel and the austrians are not my favourite people.


James they said that SV had 1 kg more of fuel than MW,now that looks(for me) too little for such a big difference.

Do you know what was the difference(in liters) over 1 lap in Turkey between a "conservative" engine mode and the other one?


Suddenly I start to understand why Webber seems to be reluctant to extend his deal with Red Bull. If indeed Webber isn't supposed to be winning, why even bother to be part of Red Bull at all?

Probably because there are no other competitive seats available, but then I have to say I have respect for the path that Raikkonen choose to take. Rather not be driving then drive for a team that actually doesn't want you (but in al fairness Kimi of course received a huge pay-off) But whether Webber is ready to leave Fomula 1, I doubt it.


He'd be an obvious replacement for Kubica if Robert went to Ferrari, wouldn't he ?


Yeah, that could be the case although lately it seems like Ferrari is likely to retain Massa. And on the other hand, Ferrari have spent a huge amount of time in developping their car for this year. It started allright but now they seem to be the 5th force in the field. You could say that Ferrari isn't the place to be if you look at the Domenicali years. And Kubica looks like a smart man so I am sure he will keep this in mind when making a decision.


He'd be an obvious replacement for Petrov as well.

My thinking for a home for Webber is Mercedes if Schumi doesn't perform. Webber did sportscar for them, I wonder if there is still any connection to Merc.


He drove and flew for them.

They owe him!



Just visited the RBR site. Although their professionalism has been shot by the actions of the Teutonic Twosome of SV and "Dr" Helmut, aided and abetted by Horner, they have at least left the reader comments on the website. As some one else noted earlier, they are even more in support of Webber than elsewhere on the Web.

I am a proud Aussie but until Turkey had not let it cloud my judgement of Vettel. I was genuinely impressed with his early season qualifying and commiserated due to the reliability issues he had. Anyone who is a Webber follower will know how many of his races have been ruined by reliability and thus there was natural sympathy for Webber.

However if Red Bull had kept Webber on this season in the assumption that he would be Vettel's patsy, they should have a good look at themselves. What self respecting driver would agree to that scenario particularly one who is genuinely quick and now has the machinery to match his talents?

C'mon Mark. Aussie Grit will not go unrewarded.


Had it not been for the RB incident & JB & LH's very short bit of entertainment it would have been another boring race. It just demonstrates again how we are not watching a real race, but one controlled from the pit wall this time with rev and fuel savings. The end result being whatever the managment decide they want all barring accidents or mechanical failure. The last third of the races now appear to be stay where you are cause you might run out of fuel.What a joke!

How I long for a race where we don't hear the words 'fuel saving' 'tyre saving' 'engine saving'

Going back just a few years these sort of words were not relevent to F1. Just can't get it right can they.


I agree Steve.

It would be great fun if half way through a race all radio contact between drivers and pit wall were lost! If we all think the same thing very hard after lap 3 at the next GP perhaps , collectively, we can bring this about!!

If there's anything that drives a self- respecting F1 fan mad it's the feeling that they're being manipulated. It's bad enough that all drivers, to greater and lesser degrees, are at the mercy of the quality of the car but that's an integral part of motor racing. But before Max Mosley's departure we blamed the FIA for our perception that rules were bent or differently interpreted, depending on whom it benefitted. Now we seem to have driving by engineer intervention! You wonder how some drivers can find their way round the track without a constant stream of advice from the pitwall. OK I exaggerate for effect but you get my drift? We don't want DWCs orchestrated by committee or whether or not it makes good TV.


Well, a few years back the words were "Let Michael pass for the championship". Was it really all that much better? This race was highly entertaining just because on almost every lap there was the possibility of someone out of the top 4 either making a pass or messing up big time. The latter then happened.


I see read with interest the comments regarding the pressure the young development program of Red Bulls has on it to perform, and this may be the reason the team is showing some favour to vettel. I'm sorry if I'm seeing things a bit differently but what pressure? The result of that program is Sebastien Vettel, a man that is widely regarded as one of the quickest drivers, why isn't that enough, everyone in F1 circles strongly believe he will win a WDC very soon, a man that before yesterday was considered a gentleman but with that little ruthless streak we saw in Michael Schumacher. Isn't that enough for them? Yes it would be great If he could win it this year, but shouldn't that image be maintained by racing the Webber, rather than being helped to beat Webber?


The general surprise that an Austrian team would favour the younger, German-speaking Vettel is testimony to how successfully Red Bull company has branded itself beyond national boundaries. How ironic that their biggest marketing investment ever, F1, should reveal that they are only human after all: they do not have wings when push comes to shove, they kind of prefer their own.


James, what is this thing of fuel saving mode anyway? Please give us the straight facts: should tanks be fully charged, cars would be able to do 1-2 laps longer than the race itself , whatever driving style. Should this be true FIA must step in and enforce complete filling. it's a toy in the hand of bad guys.


Everyone has been cutting it finer and finer. Every lap of fuel you carry at the start is worth a tenth of a second every lap. So there are all sorts of modes.


I'm totally on Webber's side in this. Horner is making himself look silly and biased with his comments. Webber left plenty of room for Vettel (Alonso would have pushed Vettel off the road just like he did to Hamilton at Spa the other year) but Vettel tried to put the frighteners on Webber with a swerve just like he did to Hamilton. As an Jean Alesi fan I fully endorse Webber's right to hold onto his chosen line until a pass is complete (this pass wasn't even half-way complete). Webber's only crime is that the wingman is out-performing the wunderkind! Keep up the good work Mark!


James, great post. Everyone else, insightful reading. Whatever way this goes down in the end, it won't reflect well on RBR. A shameful performance, they've lost my respect. I truly hope Webber goes onto win despite the favoritism.

Surely RBR will have to rethink their position now with Webber's leads in the championship Surely they'd be made to play favourite with Vettel now?

Time will tell.



Could McLaren have staged the passing-repassing sequence between Button and Hamilton? Were they running the risk of FIA penalty as they were caught giving messages to both drivers about "save fuel" (which in all probability could mean "u r not racing" and the fuel data will tell us for sure whether it meant that!).

I feel it could be staged to escape FIA penalty!!!



Looking at Martin Whitmarsh's expressions on the pit wall whilst it was happening I sincerely doubt it - either that or Whitmarsh should get an Oscar for his acting abilities 🙂


I severely doubt that...


I am absolutely 'Disgusted' with what I watched yesterday. To hear the excuses today only increases the farse... I actually have previously posted on your website my reservations concerning Mark Webber. My heart goes out to him now. To read lips that said move, ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Maybe if I was an amature observer of auto racing, maybe I would be forced into seeing Red Bull's point. In no way shape or form should Mark have to move. I think you should note for the record that I am absolutely a fan of Lewis Hamilton. I have watched him in earlier formulae and have always been impressed with his racing ability. What Red Bull have allowed is to suggest that if it was another car, say Force India on the inside line, that Mark should have left room for them to pass freely. Any chance in trying to convince me that what I saw, wasn't what I saw will only serve to insult my intelligence. I am so angered that it is very hard to write without expletives. Red Bull have left Mark Webber out to dry. Speechless...

I don't know, personally if time can heal this wound. I also watched the post race interview. How on earth could Mark even muster the maturity to not loose the plot on television, proves he is a better man than me. The four letter words would have been in full effect. I probably would not have given Lewis or Jenson a chance to speak. Dr. Marko, forgive me but you should have gracefully chosen to collect your thoughts, talk to a team PR, then engaged your mouth. The same goes for the team principal. Casting blame at the wrong individual. You are now allowing your team to implode. Everything you do from now on will be scrutinized by the press or whomever just by the actions/reactions of this race.

Glen Phillips

The parallels between Vettel/Webber and Hakkinen/Coulthard are frightening. I feel a great deal of sympathy for Mark, as I always did for David.


Coulthard couldnt carry Hakkinen's shock strap!


In long term view, yes. But sometimes, in odd races, Coulthard was THE man to beat. And Dennis would order him to give way to Hakkinen.

Coulthard's exact words: "Dennis broke my confidence".


Last year we had a rule that meant each drivers starting fuel load was monitored and declared by the FIA – I think there is now a place for a rule stipulating that finishing fuel amounts have to be declared – I do not subscribe to to the fact that the TEAM must come first – this is a mistake that F1 has been making for some time – FANS should come first - and I suspect that “conserve fuel” instructions are replacing the rightly banned “Team Orders” to stop team mates racing or enabling the teams to swap driver places on the track meaning us fans are missing out on exciting fighting finishes.

With the re-fuelling ban in place the whole race is now a different type of strategy game – but what is the point of an intelligent Driver/Engineer combination taking the decision to drive smartly a little early on to conserve tyres / fuel so they can attack later when their rivals – be they in competitor teams or team mates – are most vulnerable if they haven’t followed the same strategy.

Using the “save fuel card” stinks of TEAM ORDERS to me & the FIA have the ability & should have the nuts to stamp it out now.

I guarantee you both Button & Webber will be looking at the “fuel left” data very closely after this race – we as fans should also be privvy to that info too.

Who decides which snippets of Team Radio traffic we get to hear on the TV anyway ?

The edited bits we get to hear don’t paint the full picture and open up the potential for conspiracy theories – with the technology available these days and if F1 really wants to get closer to the FANS then we should be able to tune into whichever team radios we want to and review them at our leisure at a later date if & when we want to. We know the data is there because the FIA can access it if they need to – first and foremost the sport is there for us the FANS who have stuck by the sport through some pretty unsavoury episodes recently.

I want to see the drivers go hammer and tongs to the end come what may – it just doesn’t sit or feel right that we the FANS are being robbed of the excitement of a gladiatorial battle to the end and it seems more often than not are being forced to watch manipulated finishes – Senna & Villeneuve will be turning in their graves. 🙁


Dr Marko's claim that Hamilton was putting pressure on Vettel as being the reason Vettel wanted to push on and get past Webber are totally dis-credited by the lap times in the three laps immediately before the collision:

Lap: Hamilton Vettel Webber

37: 1:30.425 1:30.181 1:30.334

38: 1:30.357 1:30.190 1:30.406

39: 1:30.522 1:30.611 1:30.626

Clearly, Webber is slower than Vettel due to his being in 'fuel saving mode' but Vettel is two to three tenths faster than Hamilton on laps 37 and 38 and less than a tenth slower on lap 39.

How then does Marko surmise that Hamilton was putting pressure on Vettel?


As I said earlier he's obviously been on the Red Bull - too much Taurine !! 🙂


What is funny is that some Alonso fans accuse RBR of making a driver no 1....LOL.

And why is it that only English speaking fans don't seem to see that Webber is squeezing Vettel into the dirty part (totally away from the racing line in such a way that breaking would not even help Webber to plow into Vettel because he would miss the break point) which made him lose control of the car after the bump?

And why these same 'unbiased' fans not acknowledge that if Webber just went a bit left, instead of kleeping the wheel straight while the track was going to the left, it would have been a fair fight and not, like now, Webber being a fool that cost his team many points.



I speak a few languages and I can tell you that what has come out is evidence that it wasn't a fair fight.

Don't go trying to bring race into this because you don't have a leg to stand on.

Plus if Webber went a bit 'left' then he would have driven Vettel OFF THE TRACK. Instead he gave him as much room as he deserved for trying to make a clumsy move on the inside on a dirty part of the track.

N. Machiavelli

"I speak a few languages and I can tell you that what has come out is evidence that it wasn’t a fair fight.

Don’t go trying to bring race into this because you don’t have a leg to stand on."

I appreciate the directness with which you put the fellow above who was making a specious argument in his place. Despite having been whipped roundly in two world wars, the German people still have certain "tendencies" ( and I have good German friends who will readily admit this, but

then they are quite well educated and well traveled ).

Du hast recht, Herr Mael.


Hi James - just want to say: beautiful writing!

Love it!


Christian Horner is in a sticky spot, defending the indefensible. He didn't look at ease in his second interview yesterday - one isn't when talking manifest balls.

You say James that he has to bring the team together, but how can he do it with one hand tied behind his back ? Why doesn't Marko just turn up and run things if that's what he wants to do, rather than trying to do it at one remove ? Horner has an imoossible job now. And they'll all blame him if RB have blown it at the end of the year. These guys need to sit down and read a bit of history of Formula One. There's nothing new under the sun !

N. Machiavelli

"Why doesn’t Marko just turn up and run things if that’s what he wants to do, rather than trying to do it at one remove ? Horner has an imoossible job now."

If one has a knowledge of WWII history, the events concerning Horner, Marko, and Mateschitz are more than slightly reminiscent of the relationship Hitler had with his general staff. Such a similarity tends to presage a downfall,

just as happened in 1945.

What Mateschitz *should* be doing is leaving Horner alone

so he can do his job. And Marko needs to stay in Berchtesgaden as well, so as not to foul things up at the



I was one of many who thought the Aussie would have a hard time keeping up with the young german last year... He proved me wrong and his last three races have shown he's not mucking around.

Webber has the pace, the mental strength and the EXPERIENCE to take this championship and make it his year!!! Experience only comes to you with mistakes. the more mistakes you make the more experience you develop. Unfortunately the under pressure German is developing his database of experience while fighting for the world championship with THE fastest car.

Webber has such an advantage over his younger team mate because of his wealth of experience, fighting midfield for so many years with aero deficient and poorly balanced cars. (He must be loving the mega downforce redbull)

Sure, the youngster has amazing talent and pace. He's an expert at what he does already, but you cant buy years of experience unless you make those mistakes..

DC said it and i concur 100% that the mistake he made had pressure written all over it. He scored 0 points so can you imagine what will happen when these two bull fighters go toe to toe again! The arrogant German has an aggressive, strong and fair Aussie to contend with. Bring it on i say.


RE: Fuel Settings.

Any chance of finding out what Vettle changed on his steering wheel in between corner 7-8 on lap 40.


* Visible from in-car footage btw.


Yeah fascinating. Small rotary on the inside at 2 o'clock position, turned clockwise(ie turned up). Expect all teams to try and position cameras away from the steering wheel in future.


In my view, there is really nothing wrong if Red Bull decides that Vettel is driver number 1 and Webber number 2.


1) they should make that clear to the drivers, otherwise they are telling lies and I hate liars.

2) they must be able to adapt to the new scenario if Driver number 2 is faster than Driver number 1, and on top is leading the race.

I think that after a shameful Turkey GP, RedBull is now exposed, naked, dealing with an internal situation that is heavier than what can handle.

To me, the first hint of that crack was the announcement of the now infamous "dameged chassis", a ridiculous story that RedBull throw to the fans.

Now, is seems that it is NOT just the car at RedBull garage to shows fragility. The whole team structure is showing some metal fatigue.


F1 is such a politic heavy little number. Even if Vettel is preferred, which could be debatable it would be very shortsighted for management to try and control it when it appears it's still an open race for the championship. DC must be laughing, one of the reasons RB is up there is due to his development! I believe Vettel is in the wrong, but it is more damning to see Horner suggesting it was Webbers fault when with today's tv coverege we can all see by our selves. Webber can either gain barganing power or he should throw his net... Vettel needs a reality reminder and dare I suggest to grow up? What do I know- managing superstars with egos that size can't be a stroll in the park, but yeterday we learned how not to manage, in my oppinion.


This just reminds Me of DC at McLaren when he was up against Hakkinen, Mika and Ron were very close and Hakkinen has long served at McLaren. Sometimes DC would blow the field away on all practices and warm up, only to find that in the final moments he is outqualified by Mika with a car that handles better than DC. At times when DC was in front they would pit Mika first making DC last.

Even at Ferrari, i alway got a feeling that Irvine, Barrichello and Massa could have won championships, these guys came second many times.

Even in wildlife, the animals have the rules and so does F1.

Those are just my personal views on F1 but i would love to see friendlier F1 doing fairness and with no discrimination of any individuals.


In my opinion Vettel contibuted to the accident by not holding his line but redbull caused the accident with poor management. Firstly it was obvious that Webber is not treated equal in the team during qualifying as in Q3, as going by Webbers comments he was supposed to have gone out after Vettel on the track. Reb Bull are also responsile re allowing Vettle to pit first, allowing Vettel to turn up his engine performance and lastly for going to a track with no viable F duct, when everyone knew Mclaren would be fast.

I hope Webber wins the championship despite his team and then takes the no.1 to ferrari or Renault.


Don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but after MW had his front wing replaced,and back on the track, I seem to recall a message from the pits telling him that the McLaren's were in fuel saving mode,intimating that if he pushed there was a chance of passing at least one, or maybe both? Wouldn't that suggest that MW was in fact not in a situation where he had to conserve his own fuel?


I raised this point, but someone pointed out that he also had fresh rubber so maybe they meant for him to get every last tenth from the tyres to make up for the fuel.

James, in this situation what gains/losses do you get from turning the engine down Vs brand new tyres.


Great point! - what was happening there?!?


Hi James, another great insight, this gets more and more fascinating by the hour!

Id like to know whats your honest opinion on how Christian Horner has handled this whole episode?

I said on my website i think he has dealt with it poorly, I also feel sorry for Webber, he has just driven some of the best races of his life and now he has to contend with this.