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Red Bull wing controversy – A decision that didn’t need to be taken
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Red Bull wing controversy – A decision that didn’t need to be taken
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Jul 2010   |  5:28 pm GMT  |  282 comments

The F1 paddock is abuzz this evening after Red Bull team principal Christian Horner took the decision to take the new front wing off Mark Webber’s car and give it to Sebastian Vettel for qualifying. It has triggered a new row about favouritism, which first reared its head after the pair collided in Istanbul.

The German went on to take pole position today ahead of his team mate by 0.14 seconds.

The difference between the two wings is quite clear, as you can see from these two pictures. The older one (pictured above on Webber’s car in the garage tonight) has a single vane on the outer end plate, the new one (below) has a double.

Another difference is a double vent in the side of the new wing, as opposed to a single vent on the one on Webber’s car. Webber said this evening that the team is still evaluating wings and felt that the new one was probably worth “about a tenth”. These things tend to be the product of many hours in the wind tunnel and significant investment. As as the airflow over the rest of the car is dictated by what comes off the front wing, it is quite a significant change.

Horner: Did he need to choose one driver to favour?

Horner said it was a “difficult decision” to prioritise one driver and one he took based on championship position and performance in practice.

But it is a decision which didn’t need to be taken, in my view, as there was no obvious threat from outside the team to pole position, so better to let them fight it out fairly between them. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was just under two tenths slower in the final free practice session, but the Red Bulls always step up the pace in qualifying and in the end the margin over Alonso was 0.8 seconds, which is huge.

The downside to the team harmony, by favouring one driver over the other in this way, far outweighs the fractional gain in performance from the new wing. Horner said this evening that they had to run the wing because Adrian Newey was very keen to use it, but in this case surely it could have been argued that it would only have been fair for both drivers to run without it.

Vettel in Practice 3 shortly before the new wing broke (Getty)

The fact that the wing physically had to be taken off Webber’s car and placed on Vettel’s when it had not been either driver’s fault that the original Vettel wing had broken makes it an impossible choice. Better to avoid the choice than create a potentially damaging rift.

And it goes further than that because if Vettel wins on Sunday and then goes on
to win the world championship, the Istanbul and Silverstone episodes will make the public feel that there was a finger on the scales in this championship battle and as we know from the Michael Schumacher era at Ferrari, that doesn’t play well.

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said that a situation like this “would not happen in our team” and offered his view on it, ” I think if you are in a very strong position then even more cause to be as fair as you are with the drivers,” he said.

“The cohesiveness of the team is such that you don’t need to set up those kinds of tensions and if you are in a strong position you need to be careful to hold it together.”

Inevitably some people will read this and believe that it shows bias towards an English speaking driver, but if the positions were reversed it would still be wrong.

Sometimes the togetherness and morale of a sporting team is more important than a tiny bit of extra performance and this was one of those occasions.

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Mark Webber does seem to be a tad angry ATM – but who wouldn’t be? The team keep treating him like a second class athlete. At the post race press conferences he does a very good job of holding it together, and I think we will only be able to judge his character after this conflagration.


This isn’t about you blokes playing darts at the local pub. Any sport at this level is a business.

Vettel might be preferred, but it’s not because he’s German. It’s because he fits the Red Bull demographic and they’re in this to sell more beverages. Webber by contrast seems to be an uptight guy full of anger.

I loved the story about how Vettel got up in the wee hours last year in Japan and climbed Mt. Fuji *the day after the race* in order to watch the sunrise at 6am!!!

This kid is Red Bull.


Why don’t you guys just answer the question?

Actions speak louder than words. Taking Webber’s wing and putting on Vettel’s car shows who are calling the shots. The Redbull/Mercedes marketing demographic is why the team are behind Vettel before they are behind Webber.

Vettel drives and acts like a spoil brat. If that’s what Redbull and Mercedes marketers want to be associated with then they can keep F1. I am appalled and will not watch the rest of the season. Too much about money and not teamwork and the sport…..

thats what Redbull and Mercedes marketers want to be associated with then they can keep F1. I am appalled and will not watch the rest of the season. Too much about money and not teamwork and the sport…..


Superb win for Mark!

How’s that wing working out for you now Sebastian..?



See reply point 50!


I’m sooooo happy Mark won! 🙂


Whether it’s Alonso/Massa, Hamilton/Button, Webber /Vettel – it doesn’t matter on the team, or driver combination, favouritism amongst two top flight drivers is wrong. Webber is a top bloke too, so it really winds me up when such predictable and obvious favouritism takes place. I expect a lot of people saw the ‘winggate’ scandal coming when Vettel’s broke in practice.


…& why did they bring only one wing per car… huh… why!?!


Because it is so new


Vettel is ahead in terms of championship points. At this stage of the season, and with things being so close, giving Vettel the better opportunity to win the championship is a no-brainer. And I am a Webber supporter. God I hope Webber is able to turn his second position into a win though…

Keep in mind that earlier in the season, Webber was the recipient of actions that assisted him over Vettel (bringing him in earlier etc).


That´s a bad decision by Red bull, Sebastien new spec wing broke they should give him an old one,not Mark´s new wing, if i were Mark i would be furious.

Let hope for Mark´s well being that Sebastien doesn´t run out of spare parts and they have to steal something from Mark´s car again( just for the lol).


Well, Webber needs to realize that he needs more than outright speed to be up on his rival. Imagine Alonso in Webbers’ situation? His persistent whining would have led to an official Spanish Motor Sport chief’s involvement and lodging himself firmly in the Red Bull garage to see his compatriot got the same specification as his team mate!. Webber needs that kind of political support from the Motorsport Australia to stay even and fight it out for the championship.


Looks like huge swing towards Webber’s WDC from fan opinions. Unfortunately for the wing change, it’s very obvious shown as who’s being favoured. If Webber beats Vettel, what will be the outcome in the Red Bull camp. Just look forward to a good race.


I’m intrigued. Presumably they will have another wing or two made for race day, otherwise if they do have a damaged wing in the race, they would not have a spare. If the car raced with a different spec wing, then would it be disqualified?

Would they be allowed to change the spec of the wing during qualifying if it had been damaged?


James, could you put up a poll to ask users whether Mark Webber should have kept his wing, Vettel should have been given it, or neither should have had it. I think it would give some interesting results.

On f1fanatic they have something similar and 76% of voters say that Mark Webber should have kept “his front wing” as Vettels unfortunately broke.

So far there has been about 1700 votes cast.


So if mark webber didn’t have his team-mate’s old chassis, and had the new wing that he was ment to have he would be a quarter of a second faster!!! christ its bad at that team…..

I agree with Kovalainen’s comments


Sometimes RedBull gives you wings, sometimes it takes ’em away (and gives them to your team-mate) 😀


Ha ha good one!

Best case scenario for the season in my biased (Australian) opinion, Webber wins drivers c’ship, Red Bull pipped at the post by McLaren for the constructors c’ship in the final race. That’ll do me.


cleverest comment so far, by far 😉

well done Rick…


you folks are just plain nuts. I am glad Horner did what he did. This is serious business and if he feels SV is the better bet for the team, then he should take action. He is under no order to provide both drivers with equal machinery.


Mark in now in the acendency, will CH give him priority now?

I doubt it! The wunderkind will still get the best bits.


If you look at it from RBR perspective(a multibillion dollar company), they have invested a lot of money over a number of years to win titles. At this competitive level favoring one driver over the other will give them an cometitive advantage in the drivers champ.chip. The German marked is also very important, and remember that Vettel is a product of RBR for many years.

Vettel does not mind being favored because he thinks he`s better than Webber over a season anyway.

From Marks view this is his best opportunity for title glory, it`s like compeating with Ferrari/Mclaren over a season with a car that is 1.5 tenths slower. I hope he wins. Nobody is stronger mentaly – that is for sure!


I disagree with JA on this one.

If Red Bull were storming ahead in the championship, then OK, but they’re not. So they still need every upgrade ASAP.

Vettel was faster, so naturally he should get it. Had it been the other way round, then of course Webber should have had it.

Also, Webber had his big shunt, and will have taken up valuable time at the factory in the last 2 weeks, otherwise maybe they’d have had 2 wings ready.


How could he have taken valuable time, they didn’t make him a new chassis, they just wheeled out Vettel’s reject & bolted everything up to it? Probably took them a few hours.

Also where was Vettel faster? 0.0xx seconds is nothing more than a gust of wind down one of the straights, & Vettel had 3 low fuel runs to practice his fast laps in free practice 3, whilst the team made Mark do high fuel runs & only let him have one brief run at the end of the session. Then he had to go into qualifying with a wing he wasn’t used to as he hadn’t used it all weekend.


A few hours, not. Webber’s car was rebuilt and is being used as a spare. What about the parts that were wrecked in the crash, apart from the chasis? And all the parts that need rebuilding at the factory, there isn’t an endless supply.

If a team has a new working part, it must be used ASAP, no time to get left behind. I’m sure Adrian Newey wouldn’t be happy if a new part he’d spent time & budget on to get out ASAP was sat doing nothing in the garage, in order to quell driver egos.

I’m not a Vettel fan, but he was slightly faster (even if it’s by .0001 of a second), didn’t trash his car last race, and is leading Webber in the championship, of course he gets it.


this part wasn’t just “sat doing nothing in the garage”, it was removed from webber’s car and given to vettel. this is a fundamental difference in point that a lot of people are missing here, such as pedro de la rosa.

the way i understand it is: they both had the new wing, vettel’s new wing fell off, so they removed webber’s new wing and gave it to vettel.

it does make sense to give the new part to the driver leading the championship (remember mark is 12 points behind), but on a track where by vettal’s own admission the car is so fast (and faster than the opposition), it does not seem worth the risk of destabilising the team further unless this is an unorthodox way of motivating the two drivers.

it almost makes sense if you think of it that way – vettel is like a young prima donna soccer player that cries when he makes mistakes and needs to be coddled to succeed, whereas mark mans up to his mistakes and succeeds when the odds are stacked up against him.


There are more changes among that front wings:

– Flap

– Camera’s support new location


JA spot on as usual. When you’re over half a second clear of the competition why create further tension within the team. Horner is trying to play the public for fools with his explanation… With the spotlight on the team already, why throw fuel on the flames? I only hope Webber summons something extra and rises above his teams obvious bias…


Maybe Red Bull’s market research shows that red bull drinkers prefer Vettel and buy more red bull when he wins…

I wonder how many fans RBR are losing over these controversies. I can understand Vettel supporters and Webber supporters but who is an actual RBR supporter after this and why?


Dieter pays the Bills

Christian has a boss

Ditere wants a return on his young driver program

Not hard to understand from a business perspective…

And Horener cant very well admit to his bosses favouritism..


So, is this a case of ‘red bull gives you wings…if they like you…’? Marketing disaster?! 😛


Webber already has a contract with RBR secured, while Vettle is in the process of negotiating a long term deal, so its obvious he would get the wing. He is the preferred driver and RBR want him.

Webber always had alot to say about other teams, but he is clearly a number 2!

I also noticed Webber complaining to Alonso after quali, seems like Webber should have used the Ferrari – Massa replacement story more to his favour when negotiating with Horner. Bit late now!


Horner is getting well out of his depth as a team boss.


I think Red Bull need to amend their marketing slogan – “Red Bull gives you wing (if you’re name is Vettel)”. I do like Seb, but would like Webber to win this one now.


Well, if that’s all what F1 is about then surely I’ll keep doing something else.


I think all this is pointless in reality in every team one driver is favoured whether people like it or not why back webber in redbull he’s not the future of the team probably do another season or two there.

The real story of the weekend which james should be reporting on is maclaren’s failure on the exhaust blown diffuser which they said would be worth half a second.


Chuckle chuckle…..just had a funny though….Redbull gives you wings!!!! :-)) and in Mark’s case, what they give they take away. Solid marketing!


Well at least Mr. Mateschitz get a new advertising tag line:

“Red Bull steals your wings”


Horner is Lying! Its is quite obvious that Red Bull are cheating Webber of a fair chance against Vettle and its disappointing to see Vettle being happy to compete in this manner! It’s amazing how a big company this that is in the sport to promote themselves and their brand don’t mind standing up and telling the world lies like this! Of course it just fills my heart with respect and admiration..

Why don’t they just say “Vettle is our favourite” and be honest about it? Or is honesty not part of Red Bull culture?


Whats the problem? Vettel has more points so he get’s the better wing.


Marco, I think James nailed it when he said that by giving Vettel Webber’s wing, the problem they created is much bigger than the advantage Vettel gets out of all this mess.

Like most people here what bothers me most is the hipocrisy it reveals.

Go Webber!


I do not agree 100% with Whitmarsh. Horner does not think that they are in a “very strong position”. He knows that the RB is the best car and does not understand why they are not leading any championship. So they are nervous, very nervous… and that is why they do this kind of things.


I totally disagree with the favouritism but the thing that has really wound me up is pretending that there is no problem… especially from Vettel. I used to like him (even though I am Australian and he is the enemy) but after his smarmy performance at the press conference, knowing he was favoured and being a complete git about it, I am hoping he implodes over the rest of the season!


IhhhH!!!! The finger of Vettel becomes the frustrate! He his finger always make for my angry afternoon. His finger must be destroyed this instant. He is taken “aerodynamic device” from his Webber teammate unfair. Agreement with Allen-san is given also also the anger is rising in RBRacing.


Agree with you 100% mitsifumi san! 🙂


I can’t see Vettel’s face anymore. I only hope that somehow Webber is going to win- in Vettel’s car with the old wing…

This is becoming ugly.


Alot of fans are really getting stuck into the team and especially Horner on the red bull F1 website.

James, do you think that horner and the red bull team management realise that their recents actions in their quest for an F1 world champ may come at the cost of many of their fans, and alot of the teams credibility? and if so, is it worth it?


i think there are 2 key points here:

1) vettel is obviously favoured by the senior management

2) red bull are in the “any publicity is good publicity” camp of brands, so they would not consider the negative fallback from this as a deterrent of any sort

these 2 points combined with vettel’s sense of self-entitlement (look how chill and blase he looked at the pres conference, not to mention his poor attempts to make comedy) mean there is no opposition from him to this act of favouritism. he would have shown a big moral character if he put his hand up and said no, that’s not right, mark already has my old chassis so it is not fair to take his new front wing as well.


On ITV’s site they quote Mr. Horner as saying:

“Unfortunately we only had one after this morning’s incident and sometimes I have to make difficult decisions and based on P3 and championship position that went to the left-hand side [Vettel’s side] of the garage today.

But then he goes on to say that there is very little difference, almost none, in performance between the two wing.

“But very, very little in it. Last night it wasn’t clear which wing we were going to use. [There is] Very little difference.”

If this is true Mr. Horner, then why was it necessary to make the switch. Why was there even a decision to be made?

Horner speaks with forked tongue out of one side of his mouth and then the other.

Just admit that Seb is ahead in points and was ahead in practice times, so we gave him the new bit to use and reverted to the old wing for Mark. End of story. Don’t then try to claim that the item was of no benefit and it doesn’t matter to the performance of the car.

Jeeze, what double talk…


I agree.But qualifying isn’t why we watch this form of motorsport.It’s the race itself,on the Sunday of 7-11.

RBR will really let us fans down if Vebbull is given a better pit stop on purpose.It may happen,but I don’t think so.That hurts the teams chances of winning in Britain.

Webbull will not care about Saturday if he lifts your wonderful trophy on Sunday.


I agree that something isn’t right, but what can he do if the Team is bias against him. No point arguing or voicing his concerns to the whole world.

Webber needs to put his head down, beat Vettel to the first corner, go out and win the race and again show everybody what he is capable of.


I think it would be easier for RBR to declare Vettel is #1 driver than trying to explain everytime the question of favouritism arise …..!


more proof that when it comesto the REdBull garage, Mark is the brides maid


Horner is quoted as saying,

“After this morning’s incident [when Vettel suffered a front wing failure] we only had one new spec front wing available for qualifying, which Adrian [Newey] was very keen to run; not necessarily because it was better, but because it offered a new direction to look at,” explained Horner.

If any of this were true then it wouldn’t matter who had the wing as it’s only a new direction and nothing to do with speed

It’s about time someone in the F1 media had the courage to confront Horner and call him a liar on camera. The only way RBR keep getting away with these fanciful stories is that no one directly confronts them with the quotes and points out which parts just don’t add up


webber’s non verbals when he got out of the car after qualifying, and then in the press conference spoke loudly. he looked majorly annoyed.

personally don’t have a problem with vettel…mistakes happen (turkey)..but red bull racing clearly have favourites.

hate to be the moderator on the red bull racing forum.


In my opinion, Vettel isn’t acting very clever outside the cockpit. Apparently he doesn’t mind if the media or the fans believe that his ability to win is propped up by team favoritism.

Cameron wrote, “Vettel is the better driver.” Were this abundantly clear there would be no problem. But Mark has really taken it to Vettel on the track several times this year, and statistically he would have out-qualified Vettel yesterday had the better wing remained on his car.


Asolutely, Webber is the one that has performed for RB this year. With Turkey he would be leading the WDC, Silverstone win would have paddded it nicely.

Horny Vet Helmut

Here’s to Webbo taking him out the whippersnapper on the first corner

Marko's Love Helmut


Has a driver ever switched team mid season and still been allowed to contest the WDC? If I were Webber I would want to get out of there ASAP.


I’m a fan of Webber, however given how many races Red Bull have thrown away and the responsibility they have to their investors and Red Bull itself to win – isn’t it the only smart move to give the driver arguably with a ‘better’ chance of winning the championship the tools for the job?


What was it about Red Bull giving you wings??

Oh that’s right. Only if you are Sebastian Vettel.

Mark Webber, Red Bull steals your wings… the front one anyway.

Go Mark.


Redbull favour Vettel ( That’s Reality .. its an Austrian owner) but to totally deny it, is a huge marketing screw up and yet again RBR have negative publicity – Mark is 100% honest and a realist and understands that they are favouring Vettel but to publicly making him feel inferior is no fun for him.
The deeper meaning of all this means that Mark must be feeling terrible as he knows the team dont want him to win because Mark will be told to slow if he gets ahead.

BUT ……. beware the English crowd they do not suffer favouritism of such a down to earth, honest, fast, all round neat Guy of Webber – Expect some outrageous banners for Webber on Sunday –


I’m an Aussie who has been following Webber since his Formula Ford days and I can truly say these episodes make me sick to my stomach BUT this is Formula One – the Piranha Club. Don’t ever believe anything ANYONE says…


New slogan for Red Bull:

“Red Bull Gives You Wings!!! Unless you’re Mark Webber”


“Red Bull Gives You Wings!!! Unless you’re Mark Webber”

Not true, just look at the last race. Noone else got more ‘hang time’ than Mark Webber 🙂


Brilliant!! LOL!


Red Bull are better off just accepting that they favor Vettel. Even if it will be painful on all sides, at least it will release some tension.

Wow. Vettel is fast becoming F1’s most annoying driver through no fault of his own. He actually seems like a good kid and doesn’t say controversial stuff like Hamilton before him. His public image is deteriorating because of his team.


Due to the nature of Vettel’s prior wing failure, you’d think maybe Red Bull would put 2 older spec wings on their cars, just to be safe. Both the Bulls had more than enough speed to lock out the front row with the old wings, so why pull these shenanigans and create such a huge story? Had they taken the new wing off Webber’s car in the interest of safety and left it in the garage, no one would be talking about this right now. Another short sighted and divisive decision from Christian Horner.


Stinks to hell.

De facto favoritism, FIA should act(this is worse than a team order).

I hope Mark wins here, and Seb flies into the kitty litter with his PRECIOUS wing.


Vettel may have pole, but he knows Webber is faster in the ‘old’ tub.

I wonder what the weight difference is?

Makes for an interesting race.

‘Up There Cazaly’

Scarlet Pimpernel

Come, come James … you know that the smells no mater how hard one pinches one’s nose tight !!!! Think of what took place: THey ACTUALLY tool off a frpnt wing from a winning driver to put on to the car of a team mate, within a season that smacks of team favouratism ????!!!! Are they crazy…. Do they really think the rest of the Non-Germanic fans of Red Bull and F1 will swallow this maneuvre (manure) ???? Horner’s credibiloty is now absolutely shot to pieces and he may as well join another GP2 team where the hired help – including the drivers- are simple cogs in an empty machine.


James, there was an obvious tension with Mark in the Qualifying Press Conference – how awkward were things when the cameras were not recording?


In every way, Horner’s behaviour suggests vettel is number one… Such a shame he lacks the conviction to just come out and confirm that behaviour with words. Weak excuses about practice performance and championship position serve only to make the idea of equality within the team seem like more and more of a joke.

I don’t understand red bull’s decision to extend webber’s deal though… If there is a clear internal understanding that vettel is the golden boy, why not just save themselves the hassle and get rid of webber and replace him with another driver from the young driver programme. At least all is clear, vettel will get to wag his finger more often and red bull can put all their effort into supporting him openly and without the need to come up with lame explanations like the ones from this weekend.

The answer to the wing question and whether there is a clear number one in the team is one and the same. They’ve undermined their own policies so many times already (I.e leAding driver pits first, etc)… All just getting embarrassing now… For all of them, vettel, Horner and webber


It’s a beat up because we are looking at a dull race tonight. Give it a rest.


I like Christian Horner as a team boss, but this is a really poor decision by him and the team.

Apparently in an article written on Autosport both drivers tested the wing and only Mark had a preference towards it. So in their actions RB effectively penalised Webber’s set-up for a component failure that wasn’t connected to him in any way.

Whatever the reasons for this the team obviously lacked the foresight to predict the media fallout which has resulted. This is poor management and James’ suggestion of using the older wings would in hindsight have been the correct call.


What a mess Redbull, you are saying one thing and doing another. Had Webber been leading the points table, I don’t think they would do this to Vettel. Mark should go and have a talk to Williams they seem to have improved and would love to have him.


I’d find it really interesting what for example happens at Renault? Do both drivers get new parts at the same time? Or does perhaps Petrov always get them later than Kubica? I don’t know because no-one ever reports on it. How are the other teams handling this? I have looked long and hard for anyone shedding some light on this. Obviously the F1 journalists have other things to do. 99 percent of them write about how Webber gets demoralized by Red Bull.

By the way: wouldn’t it be a huge waste of investment if Webber smashed the only new front wing left while trying to overtake a Lotus during the race?


There is no way that RBR wouldn’t get Webber to use one of the new wings (or any new part) in practice, he’s there for his setup experience………the surprise to RBR has been his competitiveness against the Redbull golden child. Most who have watched F1 for awhile wouldn’t be surprised by his pace that is from hard work not favouritism. Imagine what goes on behind closed doors if this is what WE see. If Vettel was any sort of human being with morals he would have rejected the wing swap himself.
I don’t think we would see this same blatant disadvantage if the second driver was from England or Italy for example as it would have a sales backlash on RB products so they would be more weary, Australia is only a small country with a massive diversity of energy drinks and RB sales are only a very small drop and the backlash would be insignificant.
Webber at Renault would have been nice, a Kubica/Webber beating for RBR ! I’d be interested to see how the “great” Vettel would go directing car development without an experienced guiding hand, he may have won in a Toro Rosso but it was a direct copy of the RB car being developed by two very experienced drivers.


I was once given some advice I’ve long remembered. I was told when trying to work out why someone is behaving in a certain manner you should “follow the money”, that is look at what financial benefits will arise from the behaviour.

Vettel winning the championship is just more on-brand for Red Bull and their marketing ambitions. Young, European thrill seeker becomes best in the world. It sure makes for better and longer lasting marketing for the energy drink than the older, near the end of his career, fair dinkum Aussie bloke winning it.

That’s not to say Vettel is more deserving of the championship, he isn’t, but it explains why Red Bull Racing have made some very public demonstrations of support for their younger driver while all the evidence is showing they are not exactly playing fair.

McLaren have been the benchmark team for treating drivers equally for years and I can’t remember a single occasion when they’ve damaged their championship prospects by allowing both drivers to have a shot at the championship until it’s mathematically impossible for one of them to win it. In fact some of McLaren’s less memorable seasons were those in which Ron Dennis was said to be emotionally favouring Mika Hakinen following his recovery after a huge crash in a McLaren car in Australia.

As for the race tomorrow I’m picturing Alonso and Hamilton on the podium in some order. The Red Bull is incredibly fragile, they have a system of increasing downforce that they only use in qualifying as it stresses the engine too much, the new nose fell off in practise (keep an eye on that one karma fans), at least one of their drivers is extremely tense and edgy and they haven’t shown any great strategic thinking so far this season.

Oh and one quick question, if Vettel is using the only new nose left I’m presuming if say Mark Webber’s right front came into contact with it he’d need to pit for an old one?


Horrible, unethical management in Red Bull. Vettel is not worth all this fuss. We could see the 6/10ths Alonso and Hamilton bring to the car today, why couldn’t we not see it with Vettel, even with the better parts. It’s really sad, this should be Webber’s year, this is twice Red Bull management has CHEATED him out of the pole to flag win.


I usually jump into saying what’s right, what’s wrong. This time maybe I let people whose job is to make decisions make them, and watch it take it’s course.


Christian Horner is starting to make himself look a complete fool whose disingenuous comments are not worth a light. I suspect that a lot of people, like me, would prefer it if he would simply come out and say “we favour Sebastian, so what?”

He has gone some way to saying this by stating “We have given Mark a great opportunity to drive for a front-running team, he’s doing a great job, he’s driving brilliantly well.” In other words “You ain’t gonna get a better drive so wind yer neck in!”

Red Bull run this team for the commercial benefit of their drink empire, surely this sort of behaviour can only be bad for their over all image? I for one am beginning to despise Horner’s image and what he stands for whenever he appears on my TV or computer screen.


I am sick and tired of Webber being a poor sport…. They have let both of these guys race all year with no team orders…. Webber got a new light weight floor before Vettel this year and there was no outrage from anyone. Yes, they gave Vettel the new front end. It is the second half of the season now and he is up by 12 points(should be about 50 if not for his mechanical issues that Webber never had)… You think Ferrari would give new parts to Massa before Alonso at this point?! and no one would question it if Ferrari did give Alonso top billing. This love fest for Webber is getting crazy, we are not even taking team orders. If Webber keeps crying he will find himself at Lotus next year.


Please explain why Vettel received Webber’s wing?

By the way, I am a forever Ferrari fan, but I can’t be happier to see that Webber is most probably going to win the race. You know how it is called? Pride comes before the fall…..for Vettel…..and I am sure that it is going to come to Red Bull this year too with McLaren taking the both WDC and WCC.


Im so disgusted with Horner Redbul and Marko!! This scenario stinks. If as Redbull and Vettel claim that there’s not “much difference” in the two wings then why not just leave it on Webber’s car. Can you imagine Webber sitting in the garage watching the mechanics take off a part on his car and putting it on Vettel’s!!!! I mean this is a man of steal! Right there that would or could have affected his qualifying. Its a psychological game and Horner has played one against Webber. Honestly Webber shoud have moved teams after the incient earlier in the year when Vettel rammed him. And the two incidents combined show that Webber is isolated in the team, and they at Redbull and in particular Horner and Marko are undermining Webbers challenge for the world championship


I fear for Webber. I do hope Vettel does not crash his car beyond repair during Practice in a fortnight… If todays decision is anything to go by, Webber will not therefore be racing if Vettel’s car was damaged beyond repair during practice because his Car would simply be taken and handed to Vettel…”After considering P and the Championship of course”


I wonder, just wonder…maybe fate will have it that webber will have the last laugh. Whats to say the new front wing doesnt break again on sebs car.

Do you know james if RBR did anything to fix the problem encountered in FP3, other than pinch the wing from webber?

Andrew Herrmann

Come on Mark, win this one for us mate! Show ’em all that you don’t need it!


Webber is using Vettel’s cast off chassis as well as the old front wing.

Still let’s hope he remembers to brake early (or indeed, at all!) this time coming up on slower cars.


James, can you shed any light on the body language of Webber during the press conference? The BBC showed the first three questions, and cut away just as Alonso was finishing his question.

I have to say, Mark looked extremely peeved, granted, any driver would when beaten by his team mate, but more so here. I get the feeling that he might be regretting signing that additional year on his contract?


At the end of the day, we should not lose sight of the fact that the wings, and indeed the car do NOT belong to any driver, but to the team. The team CAN allocate whatever parts to any driver as they see fit – And if Red Bull think its better to give Seb the wing, despite the fact that the first one allocated to him failed, then that is their prerogative. They should have either put both wings aside for Seb – if they felt he would get more out of it, or given it to Webber with a proviso that it could be taken back again; although this would still lead to cries of favouritism.

Point is, a smart team has to favour the driver that they think will get the most out of the upgrades – especially if the upgraded parts are in short supply. Macca would be stupid(which they are) if they allocated a limited supply part to Button and Lewis equally – as Lewis has shown he can get more out of the car on any given day.

Question is – has Seb shown that he can get more out of the car than Webber? I think so, although others don’t.

Yes, Red Bull should have been more judicious in how this issue was handled, and the potential fall out from such a decision, but calling the wing “Webber’s wing” or “Seb’s wing” is wide off the mark. It is Red Bulls wings…well!


Redbull love Vettel like Mclaren love Hamilton and Ferrari love Alonso.

Webber, Button and Massa will just have to accept that they have to raise their game to get near the top 3 drivers above. The likes of Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso drive like they do all the time and are consistently fast. They are the top 3 best drivers in formula one at this moment.

Webber, Button and Massa have days where they look good but not on a race after race basis. Season after season.

So the point I’m making is, you have to get yourself established as the best to get the best equipment if there is only one available. Frankly Webber is not better than Vettel.


Mark, will just need to beat Vettel on the track front wing or not.

Complaining/sulking about it publicly will not get the job done….



Told you…..

Congratulations Mark,

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

Red Bull Gives You Wings…..

Well, only old ones if you are Mark Webber


So for Vettel, Red Bull really does give you wings. Your team-mate’s.


Horner plays down the advantage of the new wing to the point you have to ask the question why, then, did he have it changed? If the change is so marginal, why even bother?

He said himself that the times were close, and by making this decision it IS favouritism – he favoured Vettel over Webber to have the new wing, it really is as simple as that.

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

I have never been a Webber fan and in the past I have called him a whinger.

However, this year I have been really impressed by Webber and fairly unimpressed by Vettel. He has caused several incidents and can only win races from the front.

If Red Bull keep on wrapping Vettel in cotton wool he will become less appealing to the fans and will appear manufactured.

This reminds me of Pop Idol…….remember how Cowell wanted Gareth Gates to win and was upset when Will Young triumphed. What happened next?? Well Gates looked more manufactured and spoilt, while the public turned in favour of Young.

Webber could be the Will Young of F1…although his chin is a lot smaller.


I admire Vettel’s talent and expect a lot from him, but i agree there is favoritism and it really disturbs me.. both because it’s unethical and because they are sort of building a protective bubble around vettel and i’m afraid he’ll end up like alonso whining when things don’t go the way he wants, which we have already seen in Istanbul with that hand gesture.


Hey, I’ve just thought of something –

Red Bull Gives You Wings…….er, not if your names Mark it doesn’t.

Can’t wait to see the sales returns for Red Bull in Australia at the end of the year.

Hope Austria is a bigger market than Australia – or that a marketing guy hasn’t got his countries mixed up.


Look, lets face it. Like the Schumacher situation of old the bottom line here is that whatever happens at the end of the season – whether Vettel gets the championship or not – its now known that he’s just not as fast as Webber. To get even the slightest edge he seems not only to need the latest car improvements, but also to make sure that Webber doesn’t have them.

If its fine by Vettel to live as a ‘fake’ champion – a little like some of Schumi’s victories – then its fine by me.


Good point. They’ve been calling him “the heir to Schumi’s thrown” for years. Didn’t realize that meant he’d have as corrupt a ministerial cabinet.


A few points here:

1. I admire Webber’s performance not rattled too much under such a complicated team environment.

2. I feel pity about Christan Horner because I don’t believe he can use his own mind properly.

3. Also feel bad for Vettel as he is a fast driver, but clear favourisim down graded his speed at least in many fans’s view.

4. I think RBR owner is too old to understand the true power of internet. Their PR is bad.


if Vettel’s part broke during practice, then too bad? It is his bad luck and that’s a part of racing, doesn’t mean that Webber has to give up his? What if Vettel’s gear box or something crucial failed, they had ran out of spares…. would they take it out of Webber’s car, have him sit out of the race and give it to Vettel b/c he is slightly higher in the championship?

that said, I think if neither used the new part, that would be a good compromise, but at least they are both going to be racing fairly. But taking Webber’s wing and giving it to Vettel is so not cool!

I hope Webber finds a way to win tomorrow!


Had the team come to silverstone with only one version of the wing and given it to vettel that in itself would have been bad. But to remove a part from webbers car and give it vettel is unacceptable. Red bull continue to insult the viewers intelligence by denying the obvious. Everyone should invade the red bull site with complaints


Red bull gives you wings……and then takes them away


Love this story. It’s a reminder that the most entertaining part of F1 is still the stuff that ISN’T rocket science.

Put it another way: tonight, very few folks in the Red Bull garage are likely to be rooting for Uruguay.


There was I heard, a 3rd wing of this type from a friend.

Despite Christian Horner asking the workforce not to attend a pre planned function at Silverstone on Wednesday, they did attend and valuable work on wing 3 was lost and so it was not completed!

You should also remember that Christian Horner still has to take orders from his paymaster Helmut Marko and Vettel is his boy!

Not withstanding this, the team is clearly in disarray as to how to favour Vettel but still win the constructors championship, even down to the fact that the team manager responsible for pit stops is on £500 per point bonus whether they win or lose races, that’s over £109,000 so far this year! Not bad considering Vettels front wing fell off during P3 subsequently costing Mark Webber his wing.

There is a lot of disquiet within RBR I think and its almost all down to poor management and backroom deals to save money in all the wrong places within the team.


Can I see Mark in a Ferrari yet next year and Massa in the Red Bull playing wing man to Vettel. Stranger things have happened?


i doubt it. Too many contacts to brake. The austrians slowly but surely are going to force webber into a good number 2. They are going to depress him with moves like the ones we see, and worse of all the ones we don’t see.


I agree with JA’s analysis here. The only honorable/ethical option was to have replaced Vettel’s damaged wing with the old spec. I’m sure its not just Webber that’s upset; his side of the garage would be understandably mad at this incompetent piece of management. Quite amateurish, really.


yep agree, mark used the ex-vettel chassis and was faster than vettel during practice. i reckon webber would of got ipole easy if he had that performance gain.

Considering vettels wing fell off it would be fair to put vettel on the old wing and let mark continue with the new.


I think it’s well said, it was a decision that didn’t need to be taken. And I don’t buy Horners explanation that Adrian Newey was very keen to use it. Was it too hard to flip a coin infront of drivers so it would have been fair? There’s no way the team would have given it to Webber. If I would be Webber, I would have said far more harsh words towards RBR.

I’ve liked RBR and their policy so far, so far have cheered for both Vettel and Webber but after today I’m afraid it’s just Webber who’s left to cheer. Makes me ask was it really worth it?


People have suggested in the past that Vettel is hard on his car. Could his aggressive use of the kerbs have contributed towards the failure of the mounting point?


No, they were both given wings…and one failed, either due to excessive tangential movement by Vettel’s driving or just a plain wing failure. Denying Webber of his well-functioning new wing itself is already raising questions, let alone removing it and giving it to a competitor. Yes, they are team-mates, but racing for WC they are competitors as well. So, say…they have updates on engines (which is not allowed now i know – but lets just pretend). The new one on Vettel’s failed, so in this scenario Webber should also be relieved of his engine. COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS.


Red Bull gives you Wiiiiings … and takes them away again!


Agreed. A manufactured fuss over nothing. When the journos start making mountains out of molehills like this they must be really desperate for a story, any story. Help!

Of the two bulls I’d tend to favour Vettel marginally. He doesn’t seem to have the same tendency to completely lose his head when he falls behind like his team mate. But then he doesn’t tend to get into that situation as often. On balance he does seem to be the better driver of the two on past showings.


It’s a pity Mark’s already renewed his contract, there seems little point him being at Red Bull if he has any ambition to win the title.


I just remembered that Horner was asked about the situation between the drivers and the team in yesterdays presser, and this was the final line of his answer

“I think the most important thing for any driver is to know that he’s getting equality of equipment and priority.”

Were you there when he said that James? Surely if he was sticking to his own words from yesterday, he should have done what you have suggested. And the fact that he hasn’t makes it very difficult to hold much faith in anything he says on the matter, does it not?


So then Red Bull gives you wings, just not necessarily the fastest one !


What I don’t understand about this situation is Horner alluding to it being a one off. I remember in the F1 forum after Turkey there was a discussion where David Coulthard corrected Eddie Jordan on who had got what parts. He explained in regards to one that Webber had been rushed a part for qualifying, but Vettel had already had it for practice. Surely that is another example of only having one part for two cars? In this scenario Webber was tied on points but ahead on wins and was on the back of some brilliant performances. If current standings is the way they explain their decision now, how do they explain the decision in Turkey? They need consistency.

You also have their alleged equal qualifying slot policy yet Vettel has previously taken the optimal later slot three time in a row. Turkey being one where it was actually Webber’s turn. I actually rewatched qualifying then just to see if they were working on Vettel’s car, but there was no activity. All these little decisions while perhaps harmless individually are hard to explain without coming to the conclusion that there are some very bad management calls. Surely no one wants their team to look like they’re favouring a driver, particularly after they came under the spotlight in Turkey.

I agree they should have run without the wing or at least compromised with Webber, for example giving him the optimal slot. Instead Vettel had the slot and the wing. I’m not surprised Webber’s body language was as it was!


Webber has performed superbly given the valencia crash, using vettel’s old chassis, having his new wing confiscated and clearly without reasonable support from his team – and he still acts with dignity. I wonder how vettel would perform and react in similar circumstancces?


Red Bull Gives You Wings

And Red Bull Taketh Them Away

RBR is reminding why I loved Kimi so much. There was none of this politic with him. RBR are exhibiting the very behaviour, attitude and bias that is so hated by the fans. They represent everything that has been wrong with the sport for the last few years.

I had really hoped after the various FOTA and FIA surveys and initiatives that things would change.


The gap between Vettel and webber was 0.034s in final practice with the same new wing fitted, this increased to 0.14 with the different wings. So who ever had that wing would of been on pole.

Im surprised with Horners decision, if the team really wanted to run this wing then leave it on webbers car, yes vettel was unlucky to have the failure but thats life.

After this and Turkey can there be any doubt vettel is the favoured driver


Red Bull takes your wings

call sign CHarlie

I am sure there are plenty of upgrades amongst all the teams which don’t make it on to both the cars for the race. Now that it’s obvious (very visible front wing) that one guy has ‘better’ parts than the other, everyone has to have a song and dance about it.


It is more that they took it off one car and then put it on another. That is saying we favour this car over the other. Then they come out and deny it. They are simply telling untruths and expect fans to swallow it as well as Red Bull.


I saw one of the guys on the right of Horner on the pit wall(race engineers?), gave a dirty look to Marko as he came over to share in the plaudits just at the end of qualifying.


Christian Horner said after the crash at Turkey it doesn’t matter who wins so long as Red Bull win. So why upset one car and driver balance to benefit the other? These excuses don’t wash with the paying public we can all see through them. Go Webber show them who is the better man.


I may be reading too much into this, but Mark’s comment after qualifying was something like “The team will be happy with this result, I’m sure”.

Did he mean Red Bull 1-2, or Seb, Mark 1-2?

And Vettel was using the F-Duct all over the track and not just on the straights. Show’s how much he wanted it. I would love to see onboard with other F-Duct cars.


Losing respect for Red Bull Racing, they are getting pretty poor with handling the bad PR from bad decisions at the same time.


“Adrian Newey was very keen to use it” shows that he (A.N.) expects at least some gain of this wing. So fact is that Webber did around the same pace in qualifying….. with the chassis Vettel dumped because with it, he could not match Webbers speed.

To me this is just another sad story from the Red Bull team. Webber seems to match the speed of Vettel and the championship standings show a difference of only 12 points.

With 25 points for a race win this year and another 10 races to go, favoritism to Vettel because of the championship standings is a hoax.

The truth comes out more and more. It shows the world that Vettel is the beloved son of Dietrich Mateschitz.

If RB would be open to this, no one would bother (except for Webber?).

The way they handle this situation is so wrong again… just like they went wrong in Turkey.

I’m not a LH fan nor FA, but I hope he or FA will win this years championships. Not RB.


First they give Mark a reconditioned junker to drive – which he drives too well so they steal his wings! They’re no Angels and sure as Hell this smacks of obvious favoritism.

It stinks but what can one do?


Red Bull gives you wings (unless you’re Mark Webber)


What can you do? Never drink Red Bull again, as I plan to do after this ghastly display.


Strange – I thought Red Bull’s meant to give you wings…


Thats actually the first thing that struck me during the week. They gave Webber Vettel’s old “damaged” chassis. Are they going to tell me that they dont have another chassis? Yeah, right!! This leads to only one conclusion, that chassis was never damaged and they only reason they swuitched it was to make people think that the only reason Webber was beating Vettel was a “damaged” chassis.

I can see it now, Vettel leading the race(hope not, Hami fan here) and the wing breaks, and that lets Webber by. Instant Karma!


It’s ridiculous to say that the team should maim themselves voluntarily by not running the wing; i’m sure both drivers would rather help the team get some more points rather than a PR freindly demeanor of equality.

What would’ve been a good idea is to have flipped a fair coin for the driver to get it! Though personally, I believe that if there was a problem with the fitting on Vettel’s first wing by his side of the garage, they should be the ones to suffer! Why should Webber be handicapped?


“i’m sure both drivers would rather help the team get some more points rather than a PR freindly demeanor of equality.”

Webber’s body language suggests otherwise and his comment in the press conference confirms it:

“The team have done a good job. They are happy with the result today I am sure”

Whether the favoritism is justified or not he is obviously gutted to be in the form of his life but handicapped by the team backing the other bloke.


Yes, flip a coin, i’m sure Horner’s got one with heads on each side somewhere in his armoury for just this occasion.

“Seb, you can call, and i’d recommend heads”


Once again, Red Bull have really shot themselves in the foot. If there really is no favouritism in the team, then why have we been saying its Vettel who they are biased towards when we have situations like this? It can’t be a coincidence.

Horner has said there was little between the wings – but if that was the case, then why did Vettel have to take Webber’s?

He also said in an Autosport interview that if they really favoured Vettel, they would have kept one wing as a spare for him instead of wanting to run both drivers with it. Yet in the same interview he says that they “swapped wings between the cars”, implying they were not assigned to one or the other. And from the situation we now see, we can say the 2nd wing essentially IS a spare for Vettel.

They have got this badly wrong, and I’m glad to see from Whitmarsh that this is not considered normal in the paddock, no matter what Horner is claiming.


Whitmarsh is point-scoring. Kovalinen was always a clear no.2 for hamilton. Such self-righteous hypocrisy is what limits the appeal of mclaren. This is also a convenient smokescreen for button’s lame performance.


I think the main problem with Red Bull is that any time there is a 50/50 situation, the team throws their support behind Vettel.


I don’t see the problem with this, it’s the fact they deny it is happening that I see as a problem. Teams have had a number 1 driver for years, they don’t normally make it obvious and deny it.


You can’t put lipstick on a Gorilla. Red Bull like Vettel more and are clearly backing him


I don’t know, if you’ve ever been out in Reading on a night out 😉


No big deal. Most people blowing this out of proportion because they dislike Vettel. 🙂


Maybe, but what’s not to dislike about him hahaha? Everyone knows someone like that, they seem really likable & funny etc at first but then you come to realise the person they really are & just want them out of your life.


hardly. I dont actually dislike Vettel.

What I dislike is the way the redbull management continually prefer him over Mark. I very much doubt Seb said, give me the wing off his car.

They can argue as much as they like about championship position, but it is as transparent as a window. Helmut Marko and his influence again no doubt.


Agree. Lewis isn`t in pole, Jenson in the backfield, let`s attacke Vettel, oh yeah and Schumacher etc.

Zobra Wambleska

Dislike Vettel, why is that?


I think most people like Vettel, they just don’t like unfair competition.



We need a poll:

‘Of the ones who make a drama out of this, who are natively English speaking?’.



I really liked Vettel & RBR prior to Turkey.

Not taking your comment personally, just using myself as an example of “most” people here.


Take “about a tenth” away from Vettel’s time and add it to Mark’s, and you’ll find Mark in pole position looking at the race win.

It makes all the difference.

RBR, the lowest of the low.


Actually, the new front wing only needs to be 0.075 seconds faster than the old wing for Mark to win pole.


If the wings were equal that wouldn’t be the case


Lame way of calculating with fuzzy maths to get the result you want.

But then again, you are an English speaking fan 😉


As a big Webber fan, I am slowly turning off RBR, and even Vettel’s boyish charm.


I agree, and if Vettel was man enough he should have refused to take the wing from his teammate.

Otherwise its a clever way to get around the “no sparecar” rule.



I don’t get the whole charm thing. He comes across as a bit of a spoiled brat to me.

RBR have lost the lat ounce of respect I once had for them. Almost a shame that Mark has already signed with them for next year.


If it isn’t about Webber being the English speaking driver who gets defended all the time by English speaking fans and commentators, how do you explain on non-English speaking sites and by ‘foreign’ commentators rarely you qill see them argue about these things in this manner?

Fact is, if Webber got 1st driver treatment, none of you would complain.

There is a bias towards Webber by English speaking fans, like it or not (see last race where English speaking fans defended Webber for driving into Heikki in a rather amateuristic way). The fact Vettel is German doesn’t help either.

Vettel is the better driver, he is higher in the championship, he will win the championship if he gets the right tools first. Last year they didn’t and they lost the championship, if they had been less politically correct, they would have won it.

So this year they are gonna make sure they will win the championship, no matter how much the English speaking fans/commentators whine about it.

And also, Webber said it is at most 1 tenth of a sec advantage…he still would be 2nd.


“Vettel is the better driver, he is higher in the championship, he will win the championship if he gets the right tools first”

So I take it that on the basis of your above statement that Webber is now the better driver?



– I’m non English speaker (though I speak English)

– I am (not for long if this continues) Vettel fan.

And still the RBR treatment for drivers is totally unfair.


You can’t say its only a tenth of a second advantage so Webber would still be behind. If Webber had been using that wing for all of final practice and they set the car up around it – then taking it off and bolting the old one on would also upset the balance of the car and Mark’s confidence.

As Vettel said, he was very happy to be able to continue with the same wing. Webber didn’t get that luxury.


If you times 0.1 by two times you get 0.2 seconds. There is no conspiracy or favouritism in mathematics. It’s science.


OH so racing to win the championship is not important, giving it to Vettel instead of letting him race his team mate is. NOW I get it. It not racing its Ummmm Ummmm. So he is not going to be the driver champion, he will be Ummm Ummm what. If you don’t race your rivals fair, you are not champion. Look at Shu, how many championships can you say he won when they told Bar to let him pass. Not really a champion then are you.


As a Canadian I don’t care if an Aussie or a German wins the title, but it should be fair for both. The tenth that Vettel gained was the tenth that Webber lost, Webber would have been on pole. This action combined with the management shenanigans at Turkey make it hard to believe the deck is not stacked in Vettels favour.


@ Cameron

1st you say: “if they had been less politically correct, they would have won it.”

At the same time as you accuse English speaking people here for bias towards Webber, you say that it’s Ok to be politically incorrect and be biased towards Vettel.

then you say: “Vettel is the better driver, he will win the championship if he gets the right tools first”

If Vettel is really the better driver, there would be no need for giving him better parts than what Webber gets. Give them the same parts and we’ll see who’s better.

So far 31 comments, 30 saying Horner was wrong and you saying that he was right, must be cause we’re all English speaking people right? Or Vettel doesn’t speak English?

I’m sorry for you.



I speak English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, and from my readings in various non-english written sites as well as the Brasilian media, and, after skimming through and taking out the local drivers’ support it is a matter raised by F1 writers as a whole.

It is not fair to F1 fans nor F1 writers inducing it is an issue pertained to a particular group based -or as you put it – biased on a language.

I would like a comment from James if he could attest to the fact that the world media is quite savvy and pick on issues such as this quite easily in the paddock as well regardless of nationality or spoken language.


If the difference between the two wings is 1 tenth Seb would be second. If Mark had the wing his time would be a tenth lower, while Seb’s time would be a tenth higher which would lead to a 2 tenth difference while the difference between them was 1.4 tenths.


Maths not your strong suit, Cameron? SUBTRACT a tenth from Mark Webber’s time, ADD a tenth to Vettel’s time…. and who’s on Pole?


Did you see the english press all out defending Webber when he’s teammate with Heidfeld, another German driver?

I’m from a non english speaking country, even I get a bit bored of this talk of english press being biased, it’s no more biased than the media in other countries. And it’s certainly not biased when it comes to Webber, he’s not event British.


I personally couldn’t care who is faster between Vettel and Webber. I am not biased.

All I have to say is Horner is a LIAR

He says there is not a favourite or number 1 driver – ooopps action speak louder than words. And the actions show Horner is a liar – end of.


Not so, as I’ve already said, if Red Bull came out and said they are making Vettel their #1 driver then it wouldn’t be as bad. He is undeniably a great talent.

I think what annoys people the most is the fact we are constantly being lied to by the team. Told there are no team orders, yet at every opportunity Vettel is given the advantage.


He still would be 2nd?

Add a tenth to Vettel’s time, take away a tenth from Webber’s, due to keeping the new wing that was his. I think you’ll find that would give Webber pole.


I speak English

I believe Vettel was 100% wrong in Turkey

I believe Webber was 100% wrong in Valencia

I believe Horner is 100% wrong here

Where is my bias exactly?

…and a tenth of a difference would put Mark on pole, see my later comment.


Hear hear.


I’m an Aussie, and totally agree with DougieCow.

I also believe that Vettel lost 2 race wins at the start of the season through mechanical issues which weren’t his fault.

And that Webber had a pretty poor start to the season.

The actions of the team in Turkey clearly showed who they were backing. The actions of the team in Silverstone just backed that up.


i second that emotion!



rbr has been wrong many times this year. I don’t know if that’s a good thing to become f1 world champions.


The problem is you are not 100% right.


I am English and like Vettel, he has a good sense of humour

and plenty of charm, BUT that doesn’t blind me to the obvious bias in his team in his favour.


What gets me is the favouritism is so blatant and obvious yet they still deny it exists. If they just came out and said, Vettel is our #1 driver then it would still be unfair, but at least honest.

The way Red Bull are handling this is to insult the intelligence of everyone watching and also to blatantly lie to us all. The Istanbul incident was so obvious and clear cut, yet the team refused to apologise or admit they got it wrong.

Why Webber has signed a new deal with Red Bull I’m not sure. I’m guessing he knows it’s his best chance of a WC, despite being put at a disadvantage!


I agree Luffer, at least if they [Red Bull] were honest about favouring one driver over the other we would not be so disappointed.

Just say it as it IS! We want SV to win.

Interesting to note, that the chassis SV was complaining about seemed ok for Mark..hmmm


Take a look at this quote from Horner (taken from BBC site):

“We have given Mark a great opportunity to drive for a front-running team, he’s doing a great job, he’s driving brilliantly well.

Isn’t that a justification for favoring one driver over the other? To me it’s a bit like saying, “hey, we gave you the fastest car in the field in exchange for you doing what we want”. Actually, it’s not even the fastest car anymore, Vettel’s is. And if they were sure it was the right thing, they wouldn’t need to justify it. What a mess they’ve made. I’m surprised Mark is still playing the team player!


Well picked up Ralf. This comment wreaks of condescension. He’s telling Mark WEbber he should feel lucky to be here! The team may be making a big mistake here becasue it’s not clear that Vettel is the better driver (maybe in a couple of years).


Exactly my thoughts when I read that quote. A slip up from Horner I think. There are very clear implications from that, especially “great opportunity”, like Webber should be grateful that they even let him in the car.

And I’m not even normally one for conspiracy theories.


Vettel broke his so he definitely shouldnt have had it. To me its another example of Red Bulls inexperience and Horner’s poor management of driver parity


James, do you think that this decision and Webber’s subsequent fury will lead to a serious first corner move on Vettel come Sunday? And if it does, do you think it’ll all end in tears for Red Bull, given that Vettel will want to prove he deserves the faster parts, while Webber will want to show otherwise?


I hope so!!


THis isn’t really a place for first corner moves, as the first corner is flat in top gear! Webber said rather ironically in the press conference that he will follow Vettel through the first corner.


Obviously depends how you drive it


That said, if there’s a tailwind like we had today, we could see some downshifting and twitch cars through there, especially since the run-off has been made more costly to use.


That remains to be seen…..


No… He said he would follow Alonso…if I understood it correctly. What he is implying may be that the team would expect him to hold up Alonso so that he does not Harass Vettel. What he is sau=ying is.. “I am on the dirty side of the track… so will not be surprised if Alonso Went past me… and had a go at vettel”


You surely must be joking Mr Whitmarsh, when you claim this kind of thing would never happen in your team. Your standard race debrief press releases of “Fuel correct xyz was faster than Hamilton in qualifying, qualifying midpack means getting stuck in traffic and compromise of race strategy” are still fresh in mind, and this was not when the other driver was out of equation or something, McLaren were consistently messing up with qualifying strategy of No.2 driver in the team right from first race in the season.

And unfortunately for you Martin, you were tasked to release debrief of the No.2 Driver while Ron did that for No.1 driver in Dennis era.

And passing note.. even when Dennis left (or rather pushed out after lie-gate)everyone knows that in 2009 season, the new parts were always put on Hamilton’s car and other driver obliged to say “I was not comfortable with the part anyways”…

F1 is reducing to be a big charade, and every character seem to be delivering rehearsed statement, its just that they are relying on audience having short memory akin to those following daily soap…


When Heikki was at McLaren, he had a habit of crashing out early in races. On those occasions that McLaren had one set of parts, what would have been the point of giving them to Heikki only to have him retire early and therefore not accumulate any useful data?

The situation at McLaren was quite different to the one at Red Bull currently. At McLaren there was a distinct difference between the 2 drivers and their results.


Well to blatantly taking sides from 1st race of the season 😕 If other person had been given fair shot in “Qualifying Fuel Strategy” earlier in the season and the other person had sucked it was different story. Here the other driver was never even given that “fair” shot. So much for the Macca guys “preaching”

And Kovy crashinging early in races :-O

Thanks for the information Mr. Whitmarsh…


Well, let’s hear from Heikki himself about the matter:

“During my time at McLaren there was a lot of talk about things, and there were a couple of occasions when Lewis had a new part in his car, but together with the team this was actually discussed beforehand and they were clear about it,” he said.

“Especially last year, which was a difficult year for McLaren and they really needed to push. Lewis was in a better position in the championship so… If you explain it to the driver and make them both understand the situation then it’s okay.”


David Turnedge

And doesn’t Ron look to be fighting fit.

Out of he F1 politics, out of the media spotlight and creating the world’s best sports car.

He’s on top of the world!


Agreed. Whitmarsh has a very short memory!

Vettel favoured over Webber – of course. Didn’t anyone notice Webber had a one year contract extension, and Vettel was resigned for three seasons, one with a full year left on his current contract.

Now I don’t like it anymore than the nest fan, but I am not paying for the team expenses. Owners decide, drivers drive, fans watch.


Completely agree.


Vettel was in no doubt as to the advantage he was getting: “The wing was broken but fortunately we could continue with the same kind of wing. It was the key for this afternoon and as I said, very pleased.”

No wonder Webber was so displeased in the TV unilaterals…

Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg

Poetic justice would be if that new front wing fails again as Vettel’s out in front, allowing Webber to pass and win the race.

What a daft decision by Horner, yet again.


That would be great! Then Alonso wins the GP and Spain takes the world championship home.

I would sleep like a baby (well… as I always do, anyway).


Poetic justice would be if Vettle’s front wing is damaged at the start. Then (if I understand the situation) he’d have to use the same wing as Weber? But is it really possible that Red Bull only has one copy?


This is exactly what I am hoping will happen tonight and it will be justice


Never thought of that…it would be a strange poetic justice I suppose.

However it’s a little harsh on Vettel to have 2 wings failures, neither of his making. He’s the unfortunate man in the middle, it’s not his fault Red Bull love him!

Whilst the team will obviously claim this is all journalistic bravado, it’s difficult to ignore when all the signs point to favouratism. Any team will soak up the praise when they do well, so they have to take the intense heat when things go a bit awry too.


A splendid idea!


they have a good car, quite provably the fastest, but it doesn’t make sense expending millions of dollars to gain a tenth, and demoralize a driver and loose two tenths. My money is on mclaren for the title. They work as a team, and that counts for a lot. We’ll see webber at the end of the year, what he does when the team needs him. An be sure that situation will happen.

David Turnedge

I’m not a McLaren fan and an Australian, so I hope Webber takes the WC. But… I would love to see McLaren take out the titles just to show Red Bull how inept they are at managing their team.


Well, I’m not a McLaren fan and an Australian, but I’d settle for MW with the WDC and McLaren for the Constructors… 🙂


In effect Horner has just stated Vettel is #1, Webber can have any scraps that are left over. Not uncommon within teams, but why all the farce previously in pretending they were on an equal standing? I have known of similar instances in the past where the driver has refused to accept such an event, not so Vettel. There will be little sympathy from many if Red Bull fail to capitalise.


I feel uneasy about the whole affair James. The key question in my mind is what would have happened had the roles been reversed. would Mark have got the same treatment? I somehow doubt it. What do you and the paddock think? I also get the sense that a lot is going on politically behind the scenes at Red Bull, Horner does not seem to have as much control as Whitmarsh or Domenicalli, a cynics view is that his bosses have made it clear that their German golden boy must win


The roles were reversed in Turkey and we all saw how that ended! Webber leading the race and the championship and the team allowed Vettel to overtake ‘the championship leader’!! Vettel RBR- 2, Webber – 0.


That says it all doesn’t it… if the situation were reversed would they have taken the wing off Vettel’s car??


It would have been better to use two of the same spec, for sure


Hmm.. not sure about that one James.. I think the wing proved itself as being better than the old, and Adrian Newey clearly wanted to run with it.. Fate played a hand and dealt better cards to Mark Webber.. Horner should just have carried on. The only way that wing should have come off Webber’s car was if there were safety concerns over it breaking too.

Red Bull gives you wings.. but they can always be taken away again!!!


James, your’s “Sometimes the togetherness and morale of a sporting team is more important than a tiny bit of extra performance and this was one of those occasions.” underlines yours dislike with that situation and I fully support you.


I think the new wing should be used, if only to evaluate it properly. Keeping an upgrade in the garage is wrong, you don’t want to bite off the car’s nose to spite its pace.

Horner’s mistake is choosing Vettel over Webber. He should have either left Webber’s car alone or tossed a coin to determine which driver got to upgrade.


Keeping an upgrade in the garage is wrong, you don’t want to bite off the car’s nose to spite its pace.

Mate, that line is gold!


See post 28!


I disagree, James. Mark Webber should have been allowed to run the latest wing because that’s what the team brought it here for. It isn’t Webber’s fault that Vettel’s front wing broke. Why should Webber sacrifice a performance gain by being forced to use the old-spec wing when his was intact?

In my opinion, Mark Webber should have been allowed to run his car the way he likes it, irrespective of what happens to his team-mate, when the original allocation (of components etc.) has been done fairly and evenly.


It would have been sensible to leave Mark’s car well alone, and give Vettel a replacement “off the shelf” … no new ones? Sorry Seb.

Pure speculation here, but maybe innocent little Seb has run crying to Helmet (sic) & Dierdre (sic) too much in the past, and little Jack Horner has had his fingers burned too many times to play fair anymore.


Red Bull are rapidly getting so much negative publicity for their blatantly and unashamedly favourism for Vettel.. I do not like Hamilton and McLaren at all, but I’d rather see them as champions instead of this “clown” of a team…. This comes from a Ferrari fan!!


I 2nd that.

There are other drinks in the market too you know.


I do hope Fernando Wins tomorrow.


I’d second that.

McClaren or Ferrari now for me. A team doing this to its drivers is not deserving of a win.


Dude!!…no matter what you think of Red Bull’s antics, you should never wish McLaren success as a Tifosi, they are the enemy 😉


As a Tifosi myself, I find you’re statement about favoritism laughable considering all the years of favoritism shown Michael Schumacher during his years at Ferrari. Perhaps you were writing sarcastically.


MSC was already a well established world champion back in the 2000-2004 era and he was clearly faster than Rubens, at least on most occasions. He joined a mess of a team in 96′, brought along his team personnel with him and raced his ass off for 4 years till he became champion. Who the hell is Vettel? Just a spoilt kid yet to prove his worth, Webbo is by no means slower. If it wasn’t for the stupidity of Vettel in Istanbul, Webbo would have had 4 victories this year…

Red Bull’s amateurish management will result in Hamilton’s 2010 victory, I’m afraid… It might really get ugly after Mark’s comments after the race..


Favouritism at McLaren? Perish the thought.


Red Bull is topping the favouritism rank by a long shot now.

James, how come FIA can allow these sort of actions? It would be different if they did it behind the curtain, but they did it during the grand prix weekend! Surely there must be some sort of regulations in place to protect the rights of the drivers.


Unthinkable of course. Perish the thought!



Christian Horner is an shows his inexperience as a manager with this decision. Perhaps he was forced into it by the Austrian mafia within the RB team that is Aligned with Vettel. But the rift between the drivers will only grow with this sort of thing. Horner will be the one who gets the blame if this blows up later in the season. After qualifying you could see Webber’s body language. Not a happy camper it would seem.


And rightly so, too, BeenDun!



I totally agree. Redbull always save their best for last and this was the case today in qualifying. Neither driver was at fault here and I don’t really get the reasoning for taking the wing off Webber’s car and putting it on Vettel’s. Webber didn’t damage his wing so he should have been allowed to keep it. I know Vettel wasn’t at fault for his wing’s damage but that doesn’t warrant a swap. Now I seriously do hope Webber overtakes Vettel at the start!

johnpierre rivera

here here!!!!!! well said mate.


Even if Webber did pass Vettel at the start, Redbull will some how botch up Webber’s pit stop so Vettel can regain the lead…Redbull will come up with some lame excuse and say it was a wheel nut problem that cost Webber time.


Totally agree. Vettel’s one broke, would have been fair to say bad luck to Vettel. But Red Bull is not about being fair is it? Makes me feel massively frustrated with the RB brand.


Guys!!!…..F1 is not about fairness and parity, it’s about one thing – winning championships!!!….Red Bull are playing the odds and the odds suggest that Vettel is more likely (though it’s not a certainty) to win the WDC than Webber.

I know it’s not sportsmanlike but the first and foremost priority of an F1 team is winning, backing the most talented horse and whilst I think Webber is a good driver he’s just not as good as Vettel.

Championships are about money first and glory second and it’s more important than whether a team’s drivers are treated equally.

It is a shame, but that’s just the way it is.


Fine to back one driver, not fine to publicly claim they’re not favoring one driver over another. That’s just being devious and insincere.


He is more likely to fall from 2nd to 9th like last race….

They know they have a much better chance of a title with Vettel and they need to back that horse


…what was that you said?


How can this be justified?


“Now I seriously do hope Webber overtakes Vettel at the start!”…

So would the rest of the World except Mr Horner and Herr Marko. I bet Webber’s car does not get off the grid at the start tomorrow… Anyone willing to take a punt on that?

Zobra Wambleska

Maybe Weber will simply take off Vettel’s front wing at the first corner.


I do not understand Horner’s comment about practice times –

Webber was quicker in session 2 and 3.


Wrong… Vettel was fastest in first and third practice, whereas Webber was faster in second practice. That tips the scales in Vettel’s favour, especially as Friday is a toss-up due to various fuel-loads being used.


Horner reckons we don’t understand the difference between sessions or what F1 is. Not sure who he is trying to fool.


Absolutely, horner is losing it!!!

As said earlier by James there was no outside threat, let them fight fairly .This is no fair team and I am getting heartily sick of it. It harks of Brawn/Schumacher era, and we dont need that again

David Turnedge

Horner was trying to justify the unjustifiable.

Horner has tap danced around various points in the hope of justifying something the team has a right to do while claiming the team isn’t doing it.

I don’t believe it’s clear #1 v #2 driver, but someone in the team (the guy who writes the cheques) clearly favours Vettel and the team responds.

Ha! Maybe the wing will fail in the race for Vettel and he’ll be slower than Webber who goes on to win the race.


Horner’s boy is not MW…it is SV


we don’t know what fuel loads were in each car, so you can’t necessarily go by practice times. only qualy truly matters…


So, obviously, he had to give Junior a faster car to even them up…

Question for you, James : if Mark had to change front wing in the race, as sometimes happens, are the team allowed to put one on with a different spec, or is it one of the things that are fixed ?


I think through their favouritism Red Bull might well mess up their championship. It is too early to favour one driver over the other and there is no clear justification for it such as a clear point advantage or one being extremely quicker than the other.

Well they said that Vettel was the new schumacher well whether it was justified or not schumacher got a lot of favouritism so i suppose Vettel is only living up to his name.


I see the ugly situation has raised its ugly head again, for the sake of keeping us fans happy its better to avoid speculation were you can. Even without taking a side I see this as fuel to speculation regarding favoritism, Redbull(Mr Horner) have been on top in terms of being critical with a keen focus on relationship of Lewis and Jenson. Let drivers use Equal machinery and the race track do the talking.

So before he goes pointing the finger I suggest they clean their in house politics and strategy issues.


Yeah, Turkey turned my opinion of Vettel and this has put me against the team. They were my no 2, as they were to many, but now I hope they crash and burn. Bad luck for Mark who is a top guy and great driver who did a bit too well when he at last got his hands on good machinery. His heart must be breaking.


At least Mark previaled which I think was a good thing, Mark has serverd his time at the back of the grid and is loving racing at the front. He has shown great composure and is such a gentleman when it comes to letting the team knows what is on is mind.

These guys should learn to play second fiddle to each other as it is only harming their chances of scooping both championships. The other top four teams can only rub their hands in glee as the Redbull squalbe means they stand a better chance in maximising their points while they develop their cars to catch up with the RB6.


I know we are not on the inside and we will probably never know 100% if they are favoring a driver or not and also all the press reports may make it sound worse than it is. But you can’t help but feel that they are as it keeps happening. It all seems allot like Prost at Ferrari, Schumacher at Ferrari, Piquet at Williams etc. Can’t help but feel sorry for Webber as he should be having the time of his life.


Red Bull is making sure that we buy other energy drinks from now on & keep on not buying theirs’.


I fully agree with Formula 0 and have switched to another drink. No more Red Bull drink for me.

And Vettel who, even if he wins the Drivers Championship, can never be rated as a great champion. From his demeanor, he did not even feel he has cheated by taking over the new front wing from his team-mate in order to win pole. Does he have no shame?


you could not have said it better


You could argue that given the wing which failed was Vettel’s, even just telling Mark that he can’t use his would be favouritism, as this surely wouldn’t even happen the other way round.

At least at Ferrari in the 00’s it was justified by the clear advantage in pace (for most weekends) which Micheal had over Rubens or Eddie. He also came to Ferrari having won 2 WCs. In contrast, Vettel and Webber are clearly incredibly close on pace, both have made mistakes but won 2 races, and neither has won a WC.

Mikko Ahlapski

I think what you said in the first paragraph sums up everything … Thx.


One also might want to consider in that they did not give Mark enough time to run a second lap.

george cowley ci5

forget about redbull and front wings,the real story is button showing again unless the car car is 100% perfect he cant cut it,unlike hamilton who can produce must of the time when the car is shell we say not that sharp,cmon whitmarsh get on the phone to renault and offer up button for kubica,


To George Cowley,

Aint that a thing? 14th to 4th – what a drive in a car that was probably 58.3333% right – Based on grid position.

What do you think now?

Ta ta




Dur. Wouldn’t it make more sense for McLaren to get their car working?


The article is not about Button or McLaren or any other team as you can see. Red Bull has become the most shameless team in F1. Their actions this year makes Ferrari, Renault (while Alonso was there) & McLaren look like angel. FIA put watch dogs in McLaren garage to make sure Hamilton isn’t favoured over Alonso; Ferrari was penalized over team order; Flavio was banned for life & many more. And here no idea how on earth Horner & Red Bull are getting away with their favouritism to Vettel so publically. I pray to god that Webber wins the championship & Red Bull gets their points taken away for inequality. Never new that discrimination was legal in F1


Hamilton drives the car whereas button is driven by the car


Pure myth mate. No basis in reality. Early season Hamilton was being driven by the car whilst Button won 2 races. Now the car is much improved and suddenly Hamilton is on form? Coincidence? Not! Button went from 14th to 4th this w/e. Hamilton did what? Nothing that can compare.


“to Renault and offer up button for kubica,”…yea right as if that is a good trade…


Whilst I think your comments are ridiculous I am going to take the opportunity you have provided to go off theme and say “what on earth is Liuzzi doing in F1?” Surely his performance where he baulked at least two drivers on hot laps demonstrates he should not be on the grid. I cannot understand why Force India are persevering with him.


george c, Hamilton qualified 11th in Australia (Button won that race)and 20th in Malaysia. Right now he stands just 6 points behind Lewis in the WDC standings. The McLaren car was seriously off the pace in the beginning of the season, when Jenson won two races and was leading the championship. Lewis struggled if one recollects properly. Now the car is much better and Lewis has found his form. So, one could argue that your premise is flawed. Perhaps it’s Lewis that needs the perfect car/setup? Just a thought.


I like Jenson, great guy, but I reaaly wanted Kimi against Lewis in the Macca.


Hear, here!

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