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Red Bull draws a line and counts the cost in points lost
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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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michael grievson

I've got a feeling redbull will hurry the f duct along mclaren showed they almost have the same amount of downforce in turkey now and they have a big straight line speed advantage


They most certainly do not have the same amount of downforce as Red Bull. You only needed to see turn 8 for that. They gained a great deal through a straight line speed advantage which they will have at Canada, but things don't look great thereafter.


off topic

turkey race

min. 2.48

"Lewis - Jenson's closing in on me guys -

McLaren - Understood Lewis -

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

McLaren - No Lewis... No -"

now we know who made a big, big mistake...


Actually the mistake was made by Hamilton's race engineer.He assumed Button had also turned the mixture down and had been set slower target lap times.

In fact, Button had been running in clean air and had marginally more fuel on board so was planning to run longer on rich.Perhaps 3 laps more.When Hamilton made a mistake and ran wide Button made the opportunistic move. Good driving.


There's no conclusive evidence that Hamilton made a mistake.

The only thing we know for sure was that he was told if he backed off that Jenson would not overtake.

We don't know the whys or the wherefores. Other people are jumping to the conclusion that Jenson was scheming which is also *probably* unfair.

As the saying goes... "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity". The team probably just screwed up.

I've got to say though, the one pattern that does seem to be developing is that the race engineering (strategy etc) has been getting screwed up for Lewis. Again, I don't mean to implicate malice, but the changing of race engineers has obviously got some kinks to be worked out particularly on Lewis's side of the garage.

This being the case, and with this screw up in his rear mirror, I'm sure he's going to be even more cautious in just naively trusting that his race engineers have got everything covered. That in of itself also is not good since it can possibly have adverse affects.

Maybe though, this will (eventually!) be a good thing - one of the few areas I think Lewis could maybe do with improving in, is willingness to buck race control when he thinks they've got it wrong.


Also what was that comment about "Use your boost button on the straight" Seemed like it was from the Red Bull Radio, but they weren't running an F duct in Turkey.

Very Suspicious!


It would be a button which allows him to let the engine use maximum revs for a while, since he would have been running it a little lower than optimum. Hence giving him the straight line advantage.


Good catch.

Surely that is evidence of team orders or something?

Either way I think that was a great battle.


This is why he appeared so miserable on the podium...but given the Red Bull fiasco he was lucky it was not given excessive media attention: and hopefully as a result has been sorted within McLaren without too much friction between the drivers.


Mmm, one can imagine what a big media/fan blizz would have prompted three years ago a dialog like this but between Fernando and his engineer rather than between Lewis and his own one. And, with Ron and Anthony in the team wall. Oh Chronos, how cruel are you!


Thanks f1jocker12,

I guessed it was something like that. Obviously, the Red Mist descended on Lewis to get the position back.


That was interesting, but even more interesting to me was what SEEMED like Vetel's engineer saying "Use your overtake button for a boost on the straight" just before the attempted overtake where they crashed.

Was Vettel's overtake attempt not only sanctioned by the team, but actually ENCOURAGED/SUGGESTED by them??

That would certainly explain why they would be so supportive of him if they were worried that if they critisized him he would just come out and say that they team had told him to do it...

The Scrutineer

Exactly. That's a HUGE story that the media has largely glazed over due to all the noise surrounding the Red Bull fracas.

The fact is that Jenson tried to sneakily pull one over Lewis; in the full knowledge that Lewis had turned his fuel mixture down. That's not boxing fairly.

Fortunately, Jenson didn't make the move stick but psychologically it exposes his true motives and lack of fair play. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.


What fair play....Jense and Lewis both tried to impose their will on the other guy this year.

Remember back in China, the two McLarens were miles ahead of everyone else, yet Lewis, who was in 2nd place, keep pushing in the rain and almost pressured Jense into a big spin. At that time Jense managed to recover and won the race so nobody made a big fuss about it.

I have no doubt that, if the roles were reversed in Turkey Lewis would do exactly what Button did. As long as they don't crash into each other there is nothing wrong about racing your teammate. (Unlike Senna/Prost, Alonso/Hamilton, or Vettel/Webber.)


Great find! And yeah, Button disobeyed team orders, that much is indisputable. No wonder Lewis was upset/confused.


Very interesting, good spot. I wonder why no one else is running with this story and why the FOA chose to draw attention to it? Also why wasn't this on the McLaren radio feed?


Very interesting in deed but not as interesting as the fact that the radio communication between the Red Bulls is conveniently concealed...guess we'll never find out what really happened between them,will we?


I too wonder why the British media is ignoring this. I suspect that it is because they never want any negativity towards the blue eyed boy hero Hamilton-nemesis Button. If the drivers were reversed in this situation, the media would be all over it.

James, can you break this code of silence and do an analysis of this? It is obviously the 2nd main story of the race as it is heavily featured in the race edit, and you have thoroughly covered the main Red Bull story. Will you cover this one


Personally, the sooner they can ban those ugly shark fins and f-ducts the better. Granted, that's an aesthetic assessment, but damn, they're ugly.

As for the press photo, it doesn't look half staged, does it? They would have been better off going to the pub and taking some shots of 'em playing darts over a beer.


that is about right. That is, about the game of darts. Vettel has just lost any high ground he had over Hamilton in the decent guy stakes. Oh dear. Button's less than ideal, too. Although I doubt anyone ranks Webber in the first rank he is clean away now I think the most likeable driver. But then, not so difficult when so many of you out there got stuck on KImi.


Confusing, to say the least! Jack.



Agree re the appearance of the shark fins.


I wouldn't say they have the same downforce, whilst the red bulls were flat through turn 8 the McLarens were dropping down a gear, unfortunately for Red Bull, as James mentioned the McLaren teams development is second to none, and with Canada looming, than a break to Valencia, I can't see the Red Bulls advantage being maintained. Especially as the second half of the season should suit the McLaren more, it's going to be an interesting season, especially if Renault and Ferrari up there development game and catch them both.


I'd agree, on raw downforce the Red Bull still has an advantage, however McLaren are getting closer. The way they can develop so fast at the moment does impress hugely.

James is there any reason they can bring so many functional updates to the car so fast, have they got anything special going on in Woking? any chance of an insider video report on their phenomenal rate of deveopment?


I think that picture is hilarious, though.


Yeah. Finally, some clever PR stuff from RB.


Clever -- but meaningless. It's a posed picture cooked up by PR people. As such it reflects nothing of the true state of feeling between the drivers or within the team. It's puff -- means nothing; adds nothing.

Don't fall for it; if they trying this hard there must be something they want to cover up.


Reply to Henry... maybe I'm just an irritable ogre, but didn't make me laugh. Other than in an "yeah, right. snort. bullshit." way.

Red Bull have come out of this massively damaged, they've shown how one sided they are.

And, ironically, I think Vettel has suffered much more from Red Bull's reaction than from his own... Yes, he was a bit of a d**k head miming 'Webber is mental' (which only further confirmed for me, my opinion that Vettel is a spoilt arrogant little brat).

But, what I think has really turned public sentiment against him is that effectively people's distaste at Red Bull's treatment of Webber gets turned against Vettel via association.

For a team that is in it for marketing purposes, bad, bad play.


It clever because it makes people laugh about the situation. Its tongue in cheek.


RBR now trying to move forward but what will the feelings be in the garage come Canada ?? Methinks pretty frosty !!1 - Suppose this where Team Managers get marks out 10 for handling of situations and their drivers.

Ross Braun - 10

Ron Dennis - 10

Helmut Marko - 2

Christian Horner - 6

Martin Whitmarsh - 7

Stefano Domenicali - 7.5


ron dennis a 10, you gotta be kiddin!


Brawn - 10

Domenicalli - 6

Briatore - 8

Horner - 6

Whitmarsh - 8


OK Guys admittedly and on reflection - I never liked Ron but in his favour -

- As the Team Manager he was always bigger than the drivers.

- Dealing with drivers who are never wrong is never gonna be easy but - they always knew he was the Boss and what he wanted. ( and I'm sure he could loose his cool. )

- He'd be frustratingly silent or evasive or slippery ( as is a skill dealing with the Press), but I don't remember him blatant lying, unlike RBR who seem to be screwing up their management of the Press.

- OK his Strategy skills were nothing to write home about.( Minus .5 )

- OK his people skills were very sadly lacking ( understatement ) ( Minus 1.0 )but nice people don't often run successful businesses. ( RB exception )

- So do you think Martin Whitmarsh or who ?? could have dealt better with Alonso / Hamilton.

This was a question of who was a good Manager and OK Guys I suppose I'd better eat my words on Managing to a 8.5 but after a few years Managing plus Running plus Owning then McLaren still seems to be doing fairly well. Personally, I think McLaren miss his strength on the pit wall.


I am going to put in a (likely unpopular) vote for Ron too.

Very few team managers have had two, truly top-line drivers going at the same time as Ron. Right from Prost/Lauda, through Prost/Senna right through to Hamilton/Alonso, Ron has consistently had to handle superstar driver pairings and I think he has done so pretty well, not perfectly, but I don't think anybody would have done much better.

It is much easier when one driver is obviously the "main" driver.


Are you serious 'bout Ron Dennis and the way he handles situations like this? I remember a team that lost a World Champ just because of the problems between its two drivers and how badly the situation was handled by the manager... at the end of the day, Ferrari won the title, and Dennis' drivers were 2nd and 3rd.


I'm not sure that any manager could have handled a driver who was ready to blackmail their team.


Ron Dennis - 10? What about Hamilton/Alonso, Montoya/Raikonnen and Senna/Prost. Think he'd have to come below Martin Whitmarsh for those three pairings alone!

Also, Re: Ross Brawn, let's see how Nico Rosberg feels after a few more races before we give him 10 for handling him and Schumacher.....


Nevermind the handling of Schumi and Irvine, Rubens and Massa.

He has seemed have turned over a new leaf with Brawn/ Mercedes, I am not so sure that there will be problems there. The team and company ethos are very different to Ferrari, there is also the fact that Schumi is in the twilight of his career where Rosberg is still in his dawn... I doubt that Ross will be eager to upset his up and coming star for the sake of past glories. I expect Mercedes to run as clean a campaign as they did last season for Jenson and Rubens.


You're giving Ron Dennis a 10? For what season?


10 for Ron Dennis after 2007 with Alonso V Hammilton.... ok...


That photo, in terms of public relations, is the best thing they've done all week. It almost makes me forget Turkey and remember back to when they were the fun, cool team on the block.

They've certainly made some bad calls this year, but really it has been weather that has caught them out,and brawn did not have the same problem in the first 7 races (except for China ofcourse where red bull were 1-2). Rain never benefits the top team because it levels the playing field and the only direction you can go is backwards.


Another way of looking at it, is that it's a facade that reminds you how much the original image was a facade.

Colour me unimpressed.


The picture is ridiculous. Can't believe somebody shot it and posted it . just by looking at that fake PR photo one can make an argument there is more to come from the pair. It is amazing how inconvenient can Weber's speed advantage be for his own team.


haha 😀 brilliant picture!

Good to hear from Vettel.


It will be interesting to see how Red Bull cope with the internal pressure of the title battles, but now also the external pressure that they are on possibly the brink of loosing the advantage in the car (although it will probably swing from track to track like we always see in most seasons).

I agree that McLaren are able to develop the car very well in season - but last year they had so much ground to make up that it was 'easy', compared to this year where really closing up the last few tenths will take a lot longer than just one or two races. Looking to Canada they would seem to have the advantage over RB due to straight line speed, potentially better tyre wear, added development etc..

It will be interesting to see how at Canada RB cope with brakes (we have seen them running maximum cooling at Monaco and that is nothing like Canada for break wear), how the fuel issues make them possibly run a little more than the margins may suggest, the potential for the drivers to be in the pack rather then out front.... will be a good test for the new found happiness at Red Bull.


I do wonder what "making sure it won't happen again" actually means. Do they now have an agreement that one driver will yield for the other?


I think that means they will race fair and their team will react fast to this kinds of situations... but no guarantee lol.

David Turnedge

If it were my team I'd enforce the leading driver has the right to keep his position... especially if he's leading a race... Red Bull could have avoided damaging Vettel's standings by asking him to turn down his fuel mix...


Interesting that Vettel did not think it necessary to apologise for precipitating this ghastly mess. Mark now has the moral high ground and if he pips Vettel to the post in Montreal, the gloves will be off again.


Jeez, if Webber manages to again beat Vettel in Canada I have visions of Vettels head rotating (continuously) around it's axis till it flies into the clouds leaving a headless entity spewing steam.

Or to put it another way, d'ya think young Sebastian might be a little pissed? LOL.

Also, amusingly, what do you think Red Bull's reaction would be?

I know what I think it'd be... basically... "aw, crap! At this rate, we might have to put our eggs in Webber's basket. That was NOT the gameplan. shit"


Redbull still retain a huge advantage in downforce. They were 0.4 of a second faster than McLaren around turn 8 in Turkey alone.

This advantage won't be on display in Canada because it's a straightline speed track but McLaren have not made great inroads into the Redbull advantage.

Vettel behaved disgracefully and the team owe an apology to Mark Webber. Their attempts to "draw a line" under the incident remain embarrassing whilst they fail to provide this.


Whilst I agree with you, you know that at this point that's not going to happen.

There's a fairly short amount of time, that the team's management can walk that back without seeming like they're gutless.

By now, if the management where to try and walk it back it would make them look gutless and effete.

One thing that management can't afford is that. Politics 101.


Well they have probably blown the champs now but at least they are better than Ferrari!


Has Mark Webber suffered from not having his manager (has he got one now?) in the thick of the action and sticking up for him while SV has Marko in Horner's ear all the time?


I think that Sebastian Vettel is Mark's PR manager.

He has successfully managed to get 80% of F1 fans cheering Mark on to win the Championship.... 🙂


Funny you should ask that. Because it is Seb who doesn't have a manager proper. You are right though in saying that Seb seems to have the support of the big movers and shakers of his team. Christian Horner joked early this season that Bernie acts as a part time manager for Seb! Even if Mark had a more well known manager than Anne, i doubt he/she will have much influence on the team.


Mark's Manager is his life partner Anne Neal.


No, it's not his girlfriend Anne Neal.

It remains Briatore.

Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg

I thought it was Briatore? Anyway, bad to have your girlfriend/wife also handling your business. 99% of the time it never works.


Interesting to look to the history books. McLaren had a bit of a track record for throwing away points: Kimi's famous wobbling wheel, Lewis's first year end of season fiasco. They of course, had their unassailable years too.

Ferrari in the Schuey heyday won because their combination of team tactics, strong car and strong driver always seemed to be able to deliver more than they deserved.

RBR need to get the drivers to put the team first for the next, say, five races, and working together with team racing tactics. Then when there is a bit of a buffer in the championship the gloves can come off. I think perhaps that they have been misled by that tradition that seems to have evolved in F1 - gain a big lead in the championship over your partner then the teamwork can start.

It is turning out to be a classic season though, isn't it?


Kimi's Famous Wobbly Wheel - That effectively gave Alonso the championship that Kimi absolutely deserved!!

The irony is that Kimi deserved the title more in 2005 but didn't win it, he deserved it less in 2007 but did, strange how things work out...


If things worked out how people hoped or as deserved, then F1 wouldn't be half as interesting as it is 😉


More than they deserved?

What do you mean?

They did win the races that they shouldn't have won.

I remember Martin Brundle saying "Michael does not have the car to win this race yet he is still on it."


Interesting analysis on points dropped - can anyone supply similar analysis on which teams have gained points compared to their qualifying position?

Pretty sure McLaren will be top of that chart, but would be interested to see how Mercedes and Ferrari have faired.


Don't forget Renault.


Renault were +25


I think it is a little shortsighted to look at finishing position vs quali and work out points lost that way. After all, there can be all kinds of reasons why the cars dont finish in the same order they started, but they never do. I think the only points Red Bull can truly be accused of throwing away are those attributed to mechanicals, and also those from Turkey.


Redbull are not the only team guilty of throwing away points - thinking Jenson at Monaco? Although I am a Mclaren fan they made a silly mistake there at a track Jenson excels at.


That was a pretty silly screwup wasn't it?


OK, so it's shortsighted - but I did it anyway!

Doing a comparison of qualifying position to final race position and the difference in points gives the following:

McLaren +57 (Button +36, Hamilton +21)

Ferrari +37 (Alonso +22, Massa +15)

Renault +25 (Kubica +21, Petrov +4)

Force India +15 (Sutil +7, Liuzzi +8)

Mercedes -10 (Rosberg -2, Schumacher -8)

Red Bull -111 (Webber -51, Vettel -60)

Obviously qualifying in pole leaves little room for improvement during the race whereas qualifying (or not, in Alonso/Monaco case!) further down allows a bigger improvement.

If nothing else it shows how good that Red Bull is in qualifying.



Lotus 0

Virgin 0

All better than Merc/RB :S


I think that Red Bull have rather mismanaged the incident. First they implied, and then outright declared, that it was Webber's fault. Then, after realising that the rest of the F1 world saw it somewhat differently, there was an unsightly amount of back pedalling to the position of "racing incident". The problem is that, if it takes several days for RBR to conclude "a racing incident" from seeing Vettel drive into the side of Webber, we can conclude that their contrition is nothing more than a PR exercise and that, yes indeed, Vettel is The Chosen One.

I've never really bought into this "edgy brand" nonsense. Red Bull (the drink) is a multi-billion euro business and the F1 team is a very serious and expensive marketing tool. And Vettel is a key element of that marketing. They can pretend that they are Hesketh, having a bit of a lark, and Vettel can continue with his amusing car names (probably generated by a focus group) but, with characters like Helmut Marko lurking in the background, not too many will buy into that. Especially after this.

Excellent entertainment though. I do hope Webber keeps up the pressure, as "for sure", next season, he'll be replaced by a more compliant wing man for Vettel.


I think Sebastian should change his car's name from "Randy Mandy" to "Crazy Daisy"!!!!! 🙂

David Turnedge

I've seen Vettel face to face at an autograph session... I think he's a geniune guy... no focus groups making names for him methinks... he feigned disgust when a guy he was signing for was wearing a McLaren t-shirt by grabbing him and saying 'hey, what is this?' all the while with a huge smile on his face... every other driver I saw that morning didn't interact with the crowd like Vettel did... he's such a star, I just wish the team would give webber the chance to be the first Aussie champ in 30 years...


You know what, I'm sure most of the drivers in F1 are nice guys. Which is to say, I'm sure that they're not really different (other than brilliant driving skills and above average smarts) than the average joe.

There will be one difference though... On the racing track they're all used to winning *all the time* until they get to F1. And, their whole self ego is built on "I'm the best at this (racing)". And, an arrogance in relation to this.

For most people, part of growing up and maturing is realizing that you're not the best that you thought you were when you were younger or that there are different aspects of being the best, or that being the best at something is not necessarily the most important thing.

Rambling I know. But to attempt to conclude that point... I think you've got to take that sort of thing into account when for example you see a Vettel or a Hamilton appearing to be smug/arrogant on the track... Does not necessarily say much about who they are / how they act off the track and off camera.


They certainly got the caption right.

Let’s see what the team learn from this. With what is arguably the fastest car on the grid there is still time to make a strong championship challenge. Eventually Christian may have to make the difficult decision and back either Mark or Seb in the last few races.

Gloves are off until then.


If McLaren can keep finging downforce, while red bull, and everyone else for that matter, are playing with drag reduction they could easily end up the team to beat.

I think McLaren has spent the last few years realy honing it's development process and it's almost scary how they find so much time form race to race.


I'm not so keen on this talk of "lost points" - we know the results are determined by many factors, including reliability. That's racing.


It is indeed, but that doesn't change the fact that Red Bull have repeatedly shot themselves in the foot this season with poor pit strategy, and other 'simple' errors, thats ignoring their reliability gremlins.


But still I think one major factor contributing to RB's blunders this year is that it doesn't seem like they were prepared for Webber to come good and genuinely challenge Vettel for the title, and because of this they've made strategic blunders to protect Vettel, to the detriment of Webber and, as it has turned out, their own Championship aspirations.


That's absolutely right. Building a racing car is a trade off between speed and reliability. One way to gain aerodynamic efficiency (and therefore speed) is to run less brake or engine cooling. Problem is that your car might fail before the end of the race. That isn't "bad luck" - it is a poor strategy and / or engineering decision by the team.


Those lost points don't just evaporate, someone else gets them,narrowing the gap. Red Bull loses points when they don't finish as high as they qualified. A team like Force India gains points when they finish higher than their qualy position. You may say it's just racing, but like any investment, one hopes to get a similar or greater return to what they initially put in. Otherwise it is a loss. THAT'S racing.


IF Red Bull had gathered 295 points so far (only 6 off a maximum), with the closest competitor team 150-200 points behind, the WCC would be over. But its not (hurrah!). The new points system allows massive swings in position if you have a bad race weekend.

I'm not buying that Red Bull 'aw shucks' photo, they have some real issues in play which will be tough to manage. But it could be worse, they might have had Rubens...

Re: Big developments

Has someone cracked the Red Bull qualifying downforce conundrum? And who has best race pace? Excuse me while I dash to the bookies, how do you spell McLaren?

Jake Pattison


Is that photo of Vettel and Webber part of the press release? In other words, is it a new photo produced to show how the pair have supposedly patched things up since Turkey?


Amazing what you can do with "Photoshop"!


Yes, but was the photo TAKEN after Turkey, or is it part of their stock - that's the real question.


I think this photo was taken after Fuji 2007, but I could be wrong.

Vettel is wearing a STR jumper, rather then a RBR one?


LOL!! Yeah, right. I believe them.


What a dreadful photo - what's wrong with a bit of tension between them? - I can't imagine Senna being asked to pose for a rueful smile after his encounters with Prost whilst in the same team.


so true, so very true. Let's not kid ourselves, there some great racing going on but the drivers are a bit shabby as personalities.


Shabby? I am not sure what that means but it doesn't sound good. For sure they are both carefully spoken and try to avoid making controversial statements during press conferences and debriefings, but this calculated method of speaking seems to be expected of drivers these days.

However, unlike many drivers the two of them seem to have actual personalities outside the car, with Vettel being a bit eccentric, even nerdy, and Webber's intensity always seems to be boiling just beneath that polished professional demeanor.


Perhaps its a caption competition. Vettel - "I though you'd give me this much space". Webber - "I thought you knew me better".


lol, excellent! caption comp!


Now you see a 1-2 finish, now you don't... ta-da!


Its easy to underestimate or dismiss the importance of team management in favour of engineering excellence or driver brilliance, but it's definitely the third key ingredient in creating a winning formula. It's common knowledge that the performance advantage enjoyed by RB this year is greater than the one enjoyed by Brawn. But Christian Horner and his team haven't exploited their advantage with quite the same aplomb.

But it seems to me that, since Schumachers first retirement in 2006 and the dismantling of the Todt, Brawn, Byrne, Schumacher quartet at Ferrari, no single racing management team has ascended to their metronomic levels of efficiency. Mistakes are being made up and down the paddock. But it's making for a better spectacle. It leads to the inescapable conclusion that efficiency is boring. So, yep, keep it up Mr. Horner and Mr. Domenicalli - jolly good show.


Hi James,

Can you tell us who is the designer of Mercedes car?

Is it the same designer as the Brawn car from last year?

Do you see the Mercedes involvement allowing a much better car for next year??


"[Mclaren] has some major development steps imminent." What do you know that we don't? You seem to be preparing us for something greater than the normal front and rear wing updates.


Let's hope! McLaren have impressed me this year with out doing their cars potential. They started the year with the 3rd fastest car, but after seven races, with a car that still isn't the fastest - are top of the constructors championship! They have had more than their fair share of bad luck and mistakes too. From some terrible qualifying performances to rim failures/over heating engines.


Their drivers (Particularly Jenson, which has been a surprise for me) have been very opportunistic and used their experience as well as their raw pace to collect strong points despite their slightly slower car.

It just goes to show that it's as much about keeping your nose clean as it is about showing blinding speed, there's no point being fast if you don't finish the race!!


Well thank god for that, talk about dragging out a very simple situation.......

I think Vettel may treat Webber with a little more respect/caution now;-)


Hi James,

I don't know if I've said before but I am a huge F1 fan and I come on your website several times a day, in-fact, when my girlfriend comes in and sees that I'm on your website she usually goes "Ugh, you're not looking at that again are you", so I guess that is a compliment for how good your material is 🙂

I wondered if you could enlighten us anymore on what you said about McLarens new updates:-

James said: "The Woking team has also been closing the performance gap and it has some major development steps imminent."

As a McLaren fan and team member, this is very exciting news. Could you please give us a taster of what the updates are? I wonder if they will be to help qualifying performance or to help their performance in the slow, twisty stuff.

To me, qualifying is crucial because once the McLarens are at the front, they will be able to use their superior race pace and F-duct to make it near impossible to overtake (baring mistakes).

I was also wondering if you knew if McLarens small updates for Turkey had actually given them a gain (or fix) in qualifying, or whether they were simply a lot closer because of the characteristics of the track. I'm not sure if people have noticed but it's very interesting how McLaren seem to be the best team on the hardest compound tyre, while Ferarri are usually the best on the super-soft.


Good article, but a bit harsh to also count the lost points in China. That is (wet weather) racing!

James, what about this big new development story you hinted at in another post? Any hint on what this will be about?


All I can say is F1 is lucky to have the Red Bull teams, without them the grid would be a whole lot less interesting.

Let them battle I say. I would have more respect for the Red Bull team/drivers if they don't win the championship but give us great unpredictable races all year than watch dribble that we saw from let likes of Ferrari and Mclaren in the past.


IMO McLaren are soon to jump into the box seat and become the favorites for the championship. Red Bull have shot themselves in the foot too many times when they've had the better car.

Button or Hamilton for the win 🙂

David Turnedge

Button, please... a double world champion with two teams is a great feat...


At least we now know where the name Red Bull comes from - it's an amalgam of Red Mist and Total Bull. Total Bull is what we get instead of sensible press releases, Red Mist is what happens to Sebastian Vettel.

Looking back, we got a lot of Total Bull from them last year. They suggested that Vettel had lost the WDC because of the Renault engine being unreliable, but if you look at the record, most of the points he lost were down to his own errors. He only had one mechanical failure. Total Bull are still complaining about the engine this season, but is that justified? That down-on-power engine doesn't seem to stop Kubica from being far more competitive than anybody thought Renault could be this season.

Putting all the Total Bull to one side, what we saw was that Red Mist tried an overtaking manoeuvre that ended up in him, in his own words, losing control of the car and crashing into Webber. Total Bull said it was Webber's job to get out of the way and off the racing line so that Luscious Seb could take the lead even if he did lose control of the car. What kind of a wimp would do that? What it looks like is yet another of Vettel's mistakes. He tried an overtaking manoeuvre that could work only if Webber helped him, which is a stupid thing to do.

Last year the Red Mist crashed out of four races, so far this year two. Total Bull obviously still love him, but for how long? That's too many crashes if you want to be world champion.



I read on another site that a McLaren Engineer said that there new Wing had perfrmed "excatly as expected," do you think this good correlation between there CFD & Wind tunnel is a result of all the flow vis, aero rakes, pito tubes and, birdcages they used in pre season testing? And is this now paying dividands in their increadable development drive? (i.e they develop less in the off season, concentrating on correlating the data to give them a bigger advantage as in season development?)


Yes, they did the same last year but from a much slower baseline. Their in-season development absolutely monsters the other teams and is absolutely incredible considering the lack of actual testing during the season.

"If I'm not very much mistaken" (sorry, I couldn't resist throwing in a "Murray-ism")James did a blog about the Mclaren Simulator and how they had spent an enormous amount of effort over the last few years in correlating it against the actual data that they collected at track tests in order to get it so accurate that they could effectively use the simulator to do a virtual "track test" of new parts and the results would be almost exactly what they would be when they raced them. This level of accuracy of the simulator gives them an enormous level confidence in taking "untested" parts to the next race and seeing an immediate improvement to the car.

It shows an amazing level of foresight from Mclaren's management (I'm assuming it was Ron Dennis back then) which is now paying off in spades...


Interesting how Seb's crowding Mark into less than half of the photo 😉


... and one of them has a gigantic red bull on his top, and the other one hasn't.


On the other paw, Hamilton lost 10 points in Auz due to his teams strategy call, he lost 18 points in Spain due to the his rim faliure.

McLaren have had some disticntly un McLaren like faliures of judgement recently they've been loosing points too.


Also Button's engine bung at Monaco.

Though can't tell how many points lost,he wasn't there long enough.

Chris Crawford

Do we really want s 'kiss and make up' situation here?

I want to see a prost and senna situation and see fireworks between mark and seb.

Makes it all the more exciting. Everytime they are together on the track we'll be right on the edge of ours sofas just waiting for something to happen.



120 points is an unreal amount what with Turkey only being the 7th grand prix of the season. Very striking stat indeed.

I strongly feel Mark Webber has been totally jipped here by his own team. Vettel attempted a wreckless move and it totally backfired. He's been under the kosh this season and it's blatantly showing by his recent performances. Webber on the other hand has gone from strength to strength and would have won 3 races on the bounce.

So, what do Red Bull do? Well they try and put a brave face on it and get some PR folk in to make their drivers appear to be mates. O to be fly on the wall at Webber's house to hear what he had to say about the whole thing to his partner, Ann Neal.

Massa has been holding up Alonso for the majority of the races this season, and the only time they got close to each other was during the Chinese Grand Prix in the pit lane entrance, never on-track.

Team mates should respect each other and Vettel, with his loopy hand gesture during the crash, seems to have none for Webber.

Sh*t happens? Well yes it does, but it still sits on the floor if you don't get someone to clean it up properly!


The Beeb F1 gossip page ( has an interesting comment about Horner telling Ciaron Pilbeam to make Webber let Vettel past.

Is there any basis to this rumour, or is it just another sign of Red Bull and the drivers playing silly political games with the media, like all the "Webber wanted team orders" articles that have sprung up recently?


It's what Helmut Marko told the German TV RTL right after the crash happened.. on Sunday. He blamed Webber's engineer for not instructing Webber to get out of the way.

The team orders that aren't actually team orders that are team orders that aren't team orders. 😉


I was going to ask James about this also. Surely, if this source of the BBC's is correct is just goes to show that Red Bull have all ready, and in my opinion as long ago as last year, picked thier number one driver. They might get equal parts on there car, but surely asking for one driver to let the other over take is having a preferred driver, rather than letting them race it out like the McLarens/Ferrari's do.

I've lost a massive amount of respect for Red Bull and Vettel this year. When things go wrong, they blame everybody but never take the blame for it themselves. Examples of this - "Spark Plug failure", Renault say a spark plug failure was a symptom of the problem, not the cause. Then, it was a brake failure, Brembo refused to take blame for this. Then it's the Renault engine is under powered, yes, that it might be, but Kubica never seems to complain about it, he just puts his head down, and races? Surely racing is all about doing the best job which the equipment available, driving beyond the limits of your car. Not having the best car on the grid, moaning about what things are wrong with it, and then under performing. They seem very unprofessional to me.


Seb Vettel actually posted his thoughts in the diary on his official website (in German) already on the race day. He wrote the following: "I did not make a mistake. I was much faster than Mark. I will now try to see the positive side as I have found the speed in the car that I was missing in my previous races."

And yesterday's entry also contains a couple of sentences that were missing in Red Bull's press release. Vettel says: "As the saying goes: The cleverer give in. The fastest guy should win, like this and not in any other way."(Es heißt ja so schön: Der Klügere gibt nach. Der Schnellere soll gewinnen, so und nicht anders.)

This reminds me of Alonso who has sometimes been very diplomatic towards the international media but not so with the journalists who are his countrymen. As if no-one could translate it and spread the information in the world. And I guess that the photo doesn't really tell the truth.


Thanks for pasting Vettel’s words as said in German. Better go to the sources whenever possible. It should not be so difficult, with the web at hand.

"This reminds me of Alonso who has sometimes been very diplomatic towards the international media but not so with the journalists who are his countrymen. As if no-one could translate it and spread the information in the world."

Just out of curiosity, Girts, do you reed Spanish? Most of the time I feel sport media do not fairly translate any alien actor's words. These are emphasised and pulled out of context for the shake of the news. As far as I remember, Alonso's words have been translated this way in British media (and Hamilton's ones in Spanish media, I have to say) since the old good 'war' between them when in McLaren team. When speaking Spanish, Alonso’s language is unadorned, not to say rough, yet only as normal as any other Asturian can be. I'm sure German as well as Spanish native speakers are often being blamed of not speaking with enough political correctness as measured by other language standards. I’m sorry for the part I share, but no apologies are intended.


Actually no, I don't read Spanish myself, in this case I rely on the information that is translated by sport media. You are right, sometimes actual messages get 'lost in translation' because of different reasons. I once learned German (it is not my native language) partly because a lot of information about F1 was available in that language. Now I start to think that I should learn Spanish and Italian, too 🙂

If we, however, talk about Vettel's case, it is so that most of the information on his website is translated to English but not in this case. For instance, diary entries on previous 3 days of the Turkish GP week are available in both languages but "I did not make a mistake" is only in German. That makes me think that Vettel himself did not want to share these thoughts with the whole world.



Will Vettel 'not make a mistake' next time he wants to overtake Webber?

Vettel knows what he's doing, so does Webber. Vettel chops across the line, Webber doesn't yield.

I guess next time SV won't chop early on MW

MW will give a LITTLE more room to SV

If a driver can establish themselves as the guy that doesn't yield, they gain an advantage over the rest of the field. It worked in the past, but I think the new guys won't yield.

C'mon 2010 SFSG...


Vettel stated that he did not make a mistake? What a complete and utter muppet.

I hope Webber takes enough points to stop Vettel getting the WDC, the least Vettel could have done is admit fault when he was clearly to blame.


This is one thing that this whole issue has opened my eyes to.

You have two (or more but it's easier just to say two) divisions within cultural barriers in F1.

You have non English drivers, who can speak English and also their native tongue. They have two seperate fanbases split by a language divide.

Then you have native English speaking drivers, who can only speak English.

It was pretty obvious that the German audience was the biggest priority for Redbull when the crash happened. Especially for Helmut Marko.

That means if Vettel for example had 30-40% English speakers on his side, plus 60-70% German speakers on his side, he could be seen as being in the right. Those are just made up numbers of course.

I had never noticed before how much these nationality, cultural and language barriers play a role in F1 before. I wish it could just be about the racing on track, but obviously that's a very niave wish.

For the record, I have my differences of opinion with British journalists but I think overall they are quite balanced and there is a large portion of English speakers who look for fairness, rather then supporting whoever speaks English. I don't know about the Germans, but I do know that the Spanish are a little bit less balanced and fair.

Then you have Max Mosley who WISHES he was German.

It's a shame that there are these divides among us. Over time they improve, with internet and TV etc, but overall they are still there.


These are interesting numbers but I am not sure whether this is the best way to calculate 'what could have been if..' This year's Red Bull is built 'on the edge' and maybe engineers needed to compromise reliability to make the cars that fast. And two great drivers in one team obviously run a higher risk of going into a state of a 'civil war' than one great driver + one solid driver. What I want to say is that Vettel and di Grassi in reliable but slower Red Bull cars would probably have not got more points than RBR currently have...



What is red bull hiding when they have the mechanics standing at the back of the car on the grid walk.

Also is it not possible for a team to mount a camera on their car and follow the red bull during practice to get a good look at what they are hiding?


I wonder what the points tally would be using the old scoring system from last year? I assume no different?


just worked it out - by my reckoning:

MW 36pts, JB 25pts, LH 34pts, FA 32pts, SV 32pts, KUB 27pts

This makes it far more obvious that they are all still in the hunt - we would have been talking about only 4 points covering the top 5 drivers. I think SV would be one place higher as he would equal FA on points but have one more podium - interesting point that the current system is rewarding podiums less...


That's a merry photo, too bad it also absolutely unconvincing.


It's pretty easy to say we've drawn a line under it, but, surely all that means is that they don't want to talk about it anymore? Webber is still going to be feeling hard done by, and like his team is going against him, while Vettel is going to feel even more like he's the number one driver and will still feel under pressure from Webber.

The media always talk about Vettel's great personality and how funny he is, but i've never got him. I can't stand him. Webber, is very natural. He's charismatic, a great racer and a decent guy. I would much rather see the under dog come out on top than the over rated Vettel. Vettels performances have been on par with Webbers, he may have out shone him on occasions, but lets not forget until recently Webber was a pretty average driver in F1. He's no Alonso, Hamilton or Kimi. I'm not trying to take anything away from Webber, just trying to say... why is there so much fuss about Vettel?! I can't stand him as a person, or as a racer.


I don't think RB have learned any lessons at all.

On the contrary - as long as RB persist with the policy of favouring one driver over another they will find it hard to beat McLaren.

That policy directly led to RB's problems in Turkey. RB can't beat McLaren with one driver particularly given the RB6's slight fragility.

For me; Horner and Marko have lost the plot.


The thing with China is that Redbull's race pace wasn't that strong. It wasn't like the year before where they could overtake cars infront and it didn't matter what strategy they did because they were so fast anyway.

Redbull's dominance has been a qualifying dominance. In race pace, there has been no dominance in my opinion. There have been a few races that were better then others, but in Sepang they had Rosberg as a buffer. Spain and Monaco were the only ones that they seemed quicker overall.

The thing with the regs is that track position means pretty much everything. So yes, qualifying infront helps. But as soon as the order is mixed up due to rain, they get found out. In my opinion for the majority of the season, they have been level with McLaren/Ferrari in race pace. But once they lose track position they are screwed because they can't overtake with that car. Only McLaren can properly overtake because they are the only ones that have such dominant straight line speed compared with overall pace. Ferrari aren't finding it easy to overtake either.

Keep that in mind next time you talk about Lewis being the best overtaker of all time. He's good though, don't get me wrong. But last year it was KERS and this year that car is a bullet in a straight line.

Lewis has only ever been with 1 team in his career and it's one of the best teams in F1. His retirement in Spain was only his second mechanical failure EVER, and he has always had a car that has good straight line speed. He's never driven an underpowered or draggy car like the Redbull/Brawn. Let alone something like the Lotus. He's a very good overtaker though, I'm just trying to keep it balanced.


Last year's Mclaren did Lewis a big favour in terms of him learning and developing as a driver. He is an amazing telent, but he would have learned a lot more from last year than in his previous two years. Martin Brundle mentioned many times during last year that driving that dog of a car (early in the season)was making Lewis a much better and more complete driver.


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


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.


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.


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


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..


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?


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'.


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


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.


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.


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


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.



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.


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

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.


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


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.


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.


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.!




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.



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?


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: 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


Correction: Caption should read,

'Red Bull Sh*t Happens'


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

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