Red Bull draws a line and counts the cost in points lost
Scuderia Ferrari
Red Bull draws a line and counts the cost in points lost
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Jun 2010   |  7:58 am GMT  |  171 comments

Red Bull has drawn a line under the episode in Istanbul where its two drivers hit each other, but the points remain lost. We calculate that the total points lost by Red Bull this season in the opening seven races adds up to 120.

Under a photo with the caption “Sh*t happens” the team said that the two drivers plus Helmut Marko and Christian Horner met at the team’s HQ in Milton Keynes to clear the air.

The statement also contained the first words from Vettel about the incident since his brief appearance in front of the microphones in Istanbul. “The team had got us into a great position and it wasn’t good for them what happened – so I’m sorry for them that we lost the lead of the race,” he said.

“Mark and I are racers and we were racing. We are professionals and it won’t change how we will work together going forward. We have a great team and the spirit is very strong. I’m looking forward to Canada.”

Webber said he was sorry for the workers at the factory and added, “Seb and I will make sure it doesn’t happen again and will continue to work openly together, no problem. We have talked enough on it now, it’s done, we’re looking ahead and I’m focused on the race in Canada next week.”

We will see how long cordiality remains between the pair. Meanwhile what emerged from Istanbul was more threatening for Red Bull. McLaren moved back ahead of them in the constructors’ championship, thanks to the gift the Red Bull’s drivers gave them. The Woking team has also been closing the performance gap and it has some major development steps imminent. Red Bull will not stand still, but they still have the tricky task of getting the drag reducing rear wing to work, while McLaren’s track record in development is second to none.

As with Brawn last year, Red Bull had a big performance advantage at the start of the season, with seven poles from seven races and the early races were vital for Red Bull to press home its advantage and establish a strong hold on both championships. Brawn did that with Button winning six of the first seven races. Red Bull has failed to do that.

Red Bull has lost a total of 120 points this season, based on the reasonable assumption that a team should be able to finish the race in the same positions in which its drivers start.

In Bahrain, Vettel lost 13 points when he started from pole and a spark plug issue dropped him to 4th place.

In Australia, Vettel lost 25 points having qualified on pole and then suffered a brake failure, while Webber, who qualified second, lost 20 points, based on Vettel finishing first and Webber second. Webber’s issue was first a bad pit call and then a later driver error.

In Malaysia, they broke the mould and got the maximum return on a weekend when many of their rivals dropped points through bad strategy and pit decisions.

In China, the pair qualified first and second. Vettel lost 17 points by finishing sixth, Webber lost 14 by finishing eighth – this was due to the weather and strategy decisions. To be fair to Red Bull, they were not the only ones who threw points away on that tricky day.

In Spain, Vettel lost 3 points due to a pitstop error and other technical problems later in the race.

In Turkey, pole sitter Webber lost 10, while Vettel dropped 18, based on Webber winning and Vettel second.

This adds up to a total of 120 points, or an average of 17 points per race. I’m sure others will have their way of interpreting the races and the numbers, but this looks like a fair assessment based on reasonable assumptions.

Time will tell whether they can recover to a position of comfortable dominance, but it’s clear that they will have learned a painful lesson from the first seven races and they will be sure to press home any advantage they get in future.

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hmmm, I wonder how much more racing and less tactics would occur if there was a radio ban in F1. Each driver for themselves.


Correction: Caption should read,

‘Red Bull Sh*t Happens’


off-topic: I know Rossi isn’t in F1, but perhaps it would be appropriate to spare him a thought and a post. He’s a huge motorsport figure and his injury suffered today is tragic.


Absolutely. One of the all time motorsport greats, and a great character as well. Heres hoping he enjoys a speedy recovery.


I agree. Really sad he’s hurt himself and a shame for the fans at Silverstone – me included – who won’t get to see him later this month


Id like to add, if you watch the Monaco GP on you also hear the instructions given to shumacher and alonso, one says race, one says hold position.

The videos have quite an insight due to the team radios, what do you think James?


Just wondering if anyone knows the background to the conversation after qualifying about who was supposed to leave the RBR pits last so as to get the final lap of qualifying? Sounds like Webber was supposed to go last but Vettel somehow ended up with the clear track?


Off topic here slightly,

But if you watch the turkey highlights, lewis asks the team if i back off will jenson pass. The team said NO.

So maybe thats why he was a bit miffed after the race.

Would like to know what you know James?



I wonder if you have seen the race edit of Turkey’10 – .

The first main story was the Webber/Vettel crash, but the second main featured story was the radio transmissions between Lewis and the McLaren pitwall before Button overtook him. We now know from Tim Goss, the chief engineer, that they were given identical fuel saving instructions and target lap times which led the BBC commentary team and obviously Hamilton, to believe that Button wouldn’t be racing him.

Please see a transcript of the radio conversation below:

Pitwall – Lewis we need you to save fuel – Both cars are doing the same –

Lewis – Jenson’s closing in on me you guys –

Pitwall – Understood Lewis –

Lewis – If I back off, is Jenson going to pass me or not? –

Pitwall – No Lewis .. no –

Then Jenson passed him. That last transmission sounded like Martin Whitmarsh.

This looks to me that either the McLaren team or Button on his own, deceived Lewis and tried to stab him in the back telling him to slow down to save fuel, that Button had the same instructions, but then Button took advantage of the non-defending, slowing Hamilton.

I think this is a story worth covering and it would be good to try and get access to the radio transmissions between Button and the pitwall to complete the story.



Hi James!

Off topic but i thought you might find this video interesting. Its from Rubens crash at Monaco, a friend of mine is filming and its taken from the opposite side of what we watched on the TV. Its crazy how the HRT picks the steering wheel up.!



Now that the dust seems to have settled on this debacle perhaps now would be a good time to see if its possible to make sense of it all.

My take and I would be interested in other opinions, is that prior to the race Marko had decided that Vettel should be given the chance to win. Horner and Vettel were so advised (and I’m giving Horner the benefit of the doubt here) .Webber and his Engineer were not!

It went to plan .Webber established a lead, fending off the McLaren challenge with Vettel trailing along “conserving” fuel and waiting for Webber to allow him through as per “the plan”. When the McLarens went to fuel save mode ,something Marko and Horner would be aware of via the radio and with their lap times stabilised ,baring calamity the race outcome was pretty well set.

Vettel now had a slight excess of fuel and could run full power for another lap or two (important for the PR after the race) and to make sure of the pass Webber was instructed to change his engine settings to save fuel. The stage was now set for Vettel to power past Webber and reassert his de-facto No 1 status in the Team. Sadly no one appears to have told Webbers camp of the “plan”. And when Horner gave Webbers Race Engineer the order to let Vettel pass he being a good guy with morals (apparently a rare commodity amongst the Red Bullies Management Team ) he refused to pass them on. Thus Webber treats it like a race, behaves like a genuine racer and didn’t make it too easy. Vettel expecting a freebie is taken by surprise ,locks up a rear and loses the car.

That scenario goes a long way towards explaining Vettels antics out of the car, the hugs and kisses on the pit counter from his co-conspirators and his “not happy” interviews. Also the early comments from Marko and Horner .Webber, the rotten sod ,hadn’t followed the script!. Vettel had been awarded a race win but Webber had ignored Team Orders and Vettel had crashed out. Dear me! Mind you I’m not at all sure that Webber, had he been asked would have been party to any of this manipulation but it explains why Vettel and Marko were so incensed.

The real villains in this are Marko and Horner. I don’t believe Vettel had the moral strength to pass up a freebie particularly after being comprehensively beaten by Webber previously but as to the other two- well I can’t think of words that would adequately describe them. All the BS and the posturing in an attempt to sacrifice an innocent Webber leaves me livid and I don’t even know the man.

I hope the FIA get involved and perhaps if enough people email they may have to get interested. Don’t hold your breath though, too much money involved but its worth a shot..

As for the future, for a race or two Webber will get equal treatment but after that I fully expect some of the old bad luck will reappear. Unless of course, the fans anger and rage continues.


Could anyone ever trust that Horner again ?

Would anyone buy a car off that sly-eyed shyster ?


Yes. Well let’s hope Mark Webber gets a fair chance. However, I share your sentiment, it seems some behind the scenes work (damaged chassis?), may well mean Webber will be competing with one arm behind his back.


Some Analysis: Vettel v Webber

One thing to note is that in their time at Red Bull, Vettel has won 5 times, Webber has won 4 times. Out of the 5 wins that Vettel has had, Webber has come 2nd 4 out of those 5 times! The only time Vettel has won without Webber being second was in Japan last year, when Webber was unable to compete in qualifying – otherwise surely that would have been a 1-2 as well.

Vettel on the otherhand has come 2nd 2 out of the 4 times Webber has won. On both those occasions when Vettel came 2nd he was massively outclassed – Nurburgring last year, when Webber won despite a drive thru penalty, and Monaco this year, where Kubica would surely have won the race if not for Webber (as the Pole would have had Pole).

If we look at this year, imagine if Webber had enjoyed preferential treatment – the stuff that Vettel appears to enjoy. Then if Webber is slower than Vettel for any reason, it will be fully investigated (and perhaps a new chassis given, and new parts given to Webber first, rather than to Vettel).

So, Australia – Webber would comfortably won if he was given a proper lap to pit in the drying conditions.

Malaysia – Vettel would have held station and not been allowed to overtake at the start. OR pit Vettel first (and Vettel gets a pitstop error – as happened to Webber in Malaysia), then Webber would have won Malaysia too.

Turkey – we all know what would have happened if Webber was given team leader status.

In otherwords, if Webber was given team leader status he would with little doubt have taken 5 wins this year rather than the 2 he has, and would be a massive favourite for WDC.


Why is Vettel wearing a Torro Rosso top? This pic is a couple of years old.

The Scrutineer

Here is my 2 cents worth. Red Bull is in F1 purely as a marketing exercise. It is pretty clear that the image they want to convey is of ‘anti-establishment’, ‘danger’, ‘extreme’, ‘breaking the pre-existing barriers to conform’.

Think back to DC (horror of horrors) growing a beard when he first joined the team. How he wore a cape on the podium. Horner losing a bet and jumping into the pool in his birthday suit and a cape. To a lesser extent how Adrian Newey was stifled at McLaren and was on the verge of leaving F1 to design yachts and yet feels creatively refreshed at Red Bull.

And then Turkey exposes Red Bull for what they really are now (or what they have become!) – A bureaucratic team with possibly as many management layers as Ferrari or McLaren, instead of two drivers with individualistic freedoms, there is evidence that the team tried to dictate what was happening on the track, and uglier still … the drivers were briefed as to what to say and also to stage a PR photo shoot.

Talk about losing their original ideals. It almost feels as if Ron Dennis and his perverse attraction for the overly complicated is running Red Bull.


Let’s hope they will lose more and throw away the championships again



That photo is completely pathetic and the fact that Vettel was doing everything to avoid apologizing just makes this whole charade all the more disgusting.


I think McLaren fans should cool their jets a tad. This is one race where they were close to Red Bull. There is no guarantee this is a trend yet. Yes, McLaren are a fine team that excel at in season development. But Red Bull could bonce back in Canada and dominate once again. Also, while the focus is on RB and their inter-team issues post Turkey, McLaren seem to be slowly inching towards their own problems in that department. Jenson took it to Lewis hard and Lewis had to claw his position back. The look on Lewis’s face on the podium was far from that of a victorious driver happy in the glow of winning his first GP of the year. He was far from happy about Jenson taking the fight to him when the team told him it was safe. Jenson was all smiles because he knew he just got even deeper under Lewis’s skin. For Jenson it was worth it. He robbed Lewis of the joy of his first victory of the season.


I actually think the races in Turkey and Canada are providing a nice buffer for Mclaren to allow them to do focus on developments that will benefit them later in the season without sacrificing pace for the moment.

BeenDun, I really don’t see how Redbull will be able to beat Mclaren in Canada (even if they implement their f-duct). I think that Mclaren should be set up for a 1-2 in Canada by a pretty comfortable margin (I know James is picking Hamilton for a win). The Canada circuit is pretty much long straight followed by chicane, long straight, chicane, long straight, chicane, etc. There are no ‘turn 8s’ for the Redbulls to utilize their downforce advantage. Canada is all about straight line speed and the Mclarens should have the advantage over every other car.

By the time they arrive back in Europe, they should have maintained their lead in the constructors’, have one of their drivers leading the drivers’ championship, and have closed the downforce gap even more to Redbull. So overall I think Turkey/Canada back to back will work out pretty nicely for the team. I guess we’ll see how much of the downforce disparity they have closed once we get back to Europe (this should be pretty hard to tell in Canada).


Nice tidy little reading of the future you have going there Matthew. This is exactly what I was referring to. RB is also improving their car so who knows what that will mean in Canada. They still have the best car on the grid. If they get the f-duct to work right they could neutralize McLaren’s speed advantage. If it rains, anything could happen. Turkey was a one race. In Canada we will see if it was a one off for McLaren or the beginning of a trend. Data matters more than emotion.


It has been surprising though how long it has taken all the other teams to optimize their drag-reducing wings. No team has then fully optimized yet and I don’t expect Red Bull to have their’s fully optimized either when they use it in Canada. Even if they optimize it, the power of the Mercedes engines should still win out and top speed is the most important factor for fast lap times in Canada.

While Red Bull do have best car theoretically for downforce, a lot does depend on the type of circuit. They clearly have the best car for tracks like Silverstone, with twisty, high-speed corners. I don’t believe they have the best car for Canada.

As for ‘if it rains,’ Mclaren have dominated the rain races thus far and their drivers are pretty good in the wet. So while I am still unsure of the Mclaren’s speed when we get back to Europe, I’m pretty confident that one of the Mclaren drivers will win Canada. Just because I am confident doesn’t mean it will happen (engine blowups, crashes, etc.). I am predicting (however bold it might be) that the race will start with two Mclarens on the front row.


to paraphrase Keegan, I would love it if Webber beat Vettel in the next race.


red bull’s image as a brand it’s the most important thing, but i do not see how they are going to come out of this one best. Firing marko would be a little harsh, but will show that they are looking after giving the same treatment to both drivers, that’s what the fans want. But marko is upset, and he is going to make a political mess.


Oh, and two other things!!! (Sorry for not getting everything in 1st time!)

I also think the photo is pretty false with the sticks used to prod the drivers into it probably being just out of shot. But who cares? It’s good PR and it’ll get the team column inches – hell look at the amount of comments it’s generated on here!

The other thing is that reading about RB shooting themselves in the foot, dropping the ball etc etc reminds me of a truism which I think applies to many things.

It’s one thing to have a quick car and quick drivers. And if you have these things I dare say it is relatively straight forward to win races. But it’s another thing entirely to put a championship together. And another one after that. And to basically have the strength in depth to do that year after year.

I think RB aren’t at that level yet but will be soon, it’s just a matter of time.


I think it’s interesting that the team just don’t get it; the fall out from Sunday wasn’t about how was at fault, it was their exoneration of SV and blame of MW for the accident that made everyone so irate.

on a different point, the McLaren radio traffic on the race edit for Turkey may go a little to to explain why Lewis was so lukewarm to the team after the race and on the podium…

Fascinating stuff.


Very interesting indeed!

Personally i think that move will backfire on Jenson. Lewis now has the perfect excuse to race only for himself (I know all the drivers already do this, but Jenson’s actions will make Lewis feel justified so he will probably take things one step further).

I also found it quite amusing how easily Lewis took the position back. They are both great drivers but in a straight fight for position (disregarding tyre & fuel conservation) Lewis seems to be in a different league to Jenson.

Chris Crawford

Agree Tommo.

Lewis is in a different league in terms of fast driving over jenson. Jenson has a bit more race craft experience but that will come to lewis.

I really think mclaren need to be very very careful handing lewis and jenson. It’s all looking very friendly but I think it will take just one incident in a race weekend to start WW3 in the team.


Watching that race edit makes me dislike Bernie & FOM even more. During the whole pre-race shots I didn’t see the pole sitter once. You’d think he’d be there considering it was his 3rd straight pole and was aiming for 3 straight wins. Almost the whole focus was on Bernie’s long lost grandson Vettel, then they feel the need to “caption” the Lewis/McLaren radio comms near the end where it wasn’t required for any other radio chat. Admittedly it is important, but so was Red Bull telling Vettel to use the overtake button on his race leading team mate. I guess they at least included that bit of chat……


You are very right. Lewis clearly tells the team that Jenson will pass him if he backs off and they reply ‘undersood’ and Jenson still goes ahead and makes the pass.

Somehting is brewing there. I think Lewis might end up with Merecedes Benz


This may have already been mentioned (I haven’t read all the comments, sorry!) but if Horner had given the instruction for Webber to move over then isn’t that team orders? And isn’t that still illegal in F1?

Also, it’s obvious that Red Bull is biased towards Vettel, which must be pretty galling for Webber. Rb need to be more even handed.

And as for the picture of Vettel & Webber, I think it’s funny & cool and shows that RB still appear to think ‘young’.


Hi James,

What did you make of the radio transmissions that have made it on to the race edit of the Turkish GP. They felt the need to put them up on the screen and I think are quite revealing. Certainly it goes a long way to explain why Lewis was less than happy on the podium. For anyone who hasn’t seen/ heard the exchange it goes like this:

Pitwall – Lewis we need you to save fuel. Both cars doing the same.

Lewis – Jensons closing in on me you guys.

Pitwall – Understood Lewis

Lewis – If I back off is Jenson going to pass me or not?

Pitwall – No Lewis… No

Then Jenson passed him. What do you make of it? Have you heard this before?


can some one throw some light on the upgrade packages the various teams have planned. Lewis always mentions ” We have some good things in the wind tunnel”…Alonso talks about something in Valencia.

But how are teams able to fix up dates…I mean…Updates for the future cannot be planned. They won’t know what would strike them..


I get the feeling Red Bull only relented in removing public blame of Webber due to the fans’ reaction – thus a disingenuous PR move.


Seb and Red Bull’s management owe Webber an apology.

This attempt to polish their tarnished image just isn’t going to work until they have the decency to admit that Seb and the management team were wrong (1) over the incident itself and (2) how they treated Webber in the hours and days afterwards.


James, have you seen the highlights on, and the radio transcripts included – something like this (cannot pause or rewind but the gist is right)

Team: “Lewis we need you to save fuel, same for both cars”

Lewis: “Jenson is closing you guys”

“If I back off, is Jenson gonna pass?”

Team: “No Lewis, no.”

I get the feeling if they had collided, the fallout would have been much worse than what we are seeing at Red Bull, and also – especially given his past behaviour, just how well Lewis did to compose himself after the race.


James, I think this really drives home how good a job Jenson and Brawn did last year in capitalising on their car advantage. Many have said “Jenson only won because of his car advantage”, but now the Red Bull drivers are showing that that is not so easy as Jenson made it look last year. This should be remembered by those who try to minimize Jenson’s championship.


Yeah, seconded.

‘Monaco baby, yeah!’, best shout in F1 ever. Play it every race please. It’s iconic

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