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Webber speaks out about number two treatment
Red Bull Racing
Webber speaks out about number two treatment
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Jul 2010   |  3:55 pm GMT  |  337 comments

Mark Webber has confronted head on the issue of his “number two” treatment by the Red Bull team in the aftermath of today’s British Grand Prix.

Webber expects some tough talks after the weekend with Red Bull

On the radio on the slowing down lap he said, “Not bad for a number two driver” and then in the press conference he said that he would not have signed his contract renewal last month if he had thought that the team would act this way. He described his win today as an “appointment with karma”, poetic justice after the events of Saturday.

Yesterday, after a component failure, the team found itself able to provide the new front wing to its drivers. Technical director Adrian Newey insisted that the unit be races and so team boss Christian Horner had to decide which driver would get it. He chose Vettel based on championship position and performance in practice.

“I wasn’t happy clearly, ” said Webber after the race. “I’m sure we’ll have some pretty decent chats tomorrow. I don’t think things should (be done like that) and I wasn’t massively in favour of the decision, but that’s how things go sometimes. Some of the drivers offered me the front wings from their cars on the drivers’ parade lap. Seb didn’t. ”

Asked if, on the basis of yesterday’s decision, he should get the best bits on his car for the next race, now that he is back ahead in the championship he said, “Yeah, should do. Yesterday was a really unique situation, the first time the team had only one component.

“Honestly, I would never have signed the contract for next year if I believed thats the way it was going to be going forward. We’ll see how it goes in the future, but I’ll just keep doing what I do and hopefully it’s enough.”

Asked whether he would be demanding equal treatment from the team in their meeting this week he said, “Yep.

Asked if he was motivated by a desire to bounce back and “show them” today he said, “I’ve had a few hurdles in my career, but yes, I think you judge a person’s character by how they come back from adversity, all drivers have that at some part of their career. I’ve been around a while and maybe I’ve had more than others. You don’t want the challenges to be constantly happening.”

Webber has found himself walking in the footsteps of drivers like Rubens Barrichello at Ferrari and David Coulthard at McLaren, both of whom got the number two treatment on occasions. Webber, who has given his team mate a better run for his money this year than either of those drivers did, has chosen to confront it publicly, which Barrichello and Coulthard did not do.

The episode has been worse in image terms for Red Bull than the collision at Istanbul. I think Webber will probably regret the radio message, it was a bit petulant and he would probably have been better not to say that. But he is clearly very unhappy that the team acted as it did and the adrenalin got the better of him after the race. He was right however to state his position in the press conference.

The front wing episode this weekend was unnecessary – the team had a competitive advantage anyway and the small performance benefit to Vettel wasn’t worth the damage to team spirit and more importantly the perception of favouritism among the public, which has accrued from it.

I like Christian Horner very much and I think he has done an incredible job to build this team up from the shambles of what was Jaguar Racing, but on Saturday he should have stood up to Newey and decided that both drivers would run the old wing in the interests of fairness.

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Greatings to Mr. Helmut Marko - he and his "son" Sebastian appear to be the biggest losers in this situation.


Is it Vettel's fault that his team gives him favoured status over Webber?

Who here was moaning in 2008-9 when McLaren clearly favoured Hamilton over Kovalainen?


No one was complaining when Hamilton got preferential treatment over Kovalainen because Heikki isn't as good as Lewis. Poor Heikki scored only 22 points in the MP4 24 whereas Massa scored that many points in his inferior F60 despite missing half the season!


No but it might have helped Kovy's cause to keep up with Lewis once in a while!


No but I am not going to forget his fingers motions after his actions in Turkey in a hurry.

There is history between these guys that goes back to Japan 2007 when Vettel punted Webber out of the race behind the safety car.

Never p off an Aussie! 🙂


No but he could have insisted that Mark kept the front wing.


I don't think RBR management deserve credit in any way for the diabolical handling of the weekend's events, but think they may have stumbled on a way to win a world driver's championship.

1. Sign an Aussie as a driver.

2. Clearly demonstrate though actions he is not regarded as an equal.

3. Sit back and enjoy the show.

Speaking from experience and being one of them, if you ever want to inspire an Australian to succeed then show him he has underdog status and fire him up. MW now has nothing to lose, everything to gain and has once again demonstrated he is superior in mental strength and 'intestinal fortitude' to his fellow team driver. If he has even 90 percent of his opponents skills then there is your winning ticket.

RBR, you will no longer see any quarter offered or granted on track with your 2 cars, mechanically equal or not and with a superior machine you are now at ever lengthening odds to win the constructors crown from truly unified combatants such as McLaren (you remember McLaren.... 2nd best cars... 1st and 2nd in the drivers.... 1st in the constructors.....). Want to now back your inferior but preferred choice to win the drivers championship by handicapping the 'Number 2'?.........

At your peril.


i am not buying a red bull can during the summer. Any other outhere?


Red Bull Gives You Wings.

But only if you're German.


Well done that man.. good work.

I will also not be buying any Red Bull. I thought this was a sporting company.


Alex you summed it up perfectly. Marko is meant to spot new talent I believe:)


True. What exactly are Marko's credentials anyway? And Vettel is rapidly going backwards in many people's estimation. Lewis and the Spanish Flyer regularly hammer Button and Massa, respectively, in quali and the races. Vettel gets stuffed by Mark as often as he beats him - what on earth makes HIM (not the team, the owners, etc) think he should be given preferential treatment? Doesn't he realise he's coming across as a spoiled brat?


Won Le Mans in 1971 (and held the record for distance until the 2010 race). Held the lap-record at the Targa Florio. He did 10 races in F1 before his career was cut short by having a stone pierce his visor and partially blind him.

I still don't agree with what he says, but he does have sufficient credentials.


Great play on the words in your article's title, James. Good work !!


Haa! I missed that, nice one!

He HAS been treated like a "Number Two" by the team, hasn't he....


Interesting analysis James.

Of the three poll options the one that I 100% would not have done would be to give it to Vettel. If there had been zero implication of favouring Vettel in the past you maybe could have got away with that, but after Turkey (and the history of the 2 drivers generally) it was an idiotic move.

Of the other 2 it would depend exactly on the nature of the failure. If there was any indication that Seb's mechanics did not fit the wing correctly, or that it was due to bouncing over kerbs then the other new wing has to stay on Mark's car.

I think that was probably the case:

- If it had been a fixture failure on Seb's car then they would not have been able to immediately fit another wing - which they could.

- If it had been a fixture failure on the new wing they would have immediately removed the other new wing off Marks car to check it for the same manufacturing fault - they didn't.

If there is no issue with car or wing, that leaves on track damage or finger trouble from Seb's mechanics - the fault of Seb's "team". He should pay the price of that.


I agree with you Lopek.

If something happens on one car, why on earth are you picking stuff from the sister car which has no problems? This is crazy; especially after the events surrounding the Tukish GP.

I think it would have been harsh - but fair - to tell Webber he had to go back to the older wing for qualifying in the interest of equal treatment with Vettel. Giving it to Vettel was a mistake by Horner, however talented or intellingent he may be.

McLaren have shown what not to do with teammates (read Alonso/Hamilton) and have lost championships in 2007 despite having the stringest package.

Why Red Bull persists favouring Vettel and denying it publicly baffles me. It is becoming a marketers/PR nightmare to their aim is to promote values of fun and being fair.

Good on Webber for voicing his opinion. Barrichello and Coulthard never recovered.


Barrichello went to Ferrari knowing that he was the no. 2.


That's what everyboby told him back then, including Jackie Stewart at the time.

But I recall reading interviews in F1 Racing back then when Rubens was saying he'd more like a No.1b rather than a No.2 driver due to his pace.

He then was crushed by Schumacher and the rest is history.


I, for the first time, agree with you Allen. What Horner lacks is independence of decision making. Looks like Newey and Marko are messing up issues and complicating Honer's job. Newey is a good designer but not a manager, so must back off. And if Honer is not going to be man enough (like Webbo), he will be the laughing stock of the grid come end of season.


I appreciate why Adrian Newey want to race the new front wing as nowadays it is the only way one can test components with the ban of testing outside of racing. I have no respect for Horner for taking the wing off Webber to put it on Vettel's car with no other reason but to give the German the advantage. This has created such animosity, following right after trying to lay the blame onto Webber for the crash in Turkey by a RBR senior staff, towards the team that if this should go on, RBR will lose sponsorship and RB lose in sale of its drink Red Bull. For one, I am already steering clear of Red Bull drink as it reminds me of all the unjustified unequal treatment of their drivers.

Vettel becomes more and more unpopular with me with his unsporting moves to try to block his team mates in the 2 recents events resulting, to my great enjoyment, in his suffering badly for his unsporting moves. People have been wondering why RBR came out so quickly to say they were not after getting Kimi. Vettel is afraid of having a competitive team mate and such a driver even if he wins the drivers championship is not a true champion.


I would have given the old wing to Vettel and if he moaned just tell him to be glad it broke when it did and not in qualifying or the race when it could have ruined his weekend.

Reliability is all part of the game and its staggering that Mark was effectively punished for Seb's bad/good luck. This to me stinks of not just a team favourite but of putting Mark in a compromising position in his quest to become World Champion, something that from the sounds of things wasn't part of his contract.

I am wondering if Mark's comments where calculated to stir the pot and assert his equal driver status, and in particular his reference to his contract as firing a warning shot across the bows of the management. The only other teams I could see him driving for are Force India or Renault, both teams are on the up.

I think FI would love to get a competitive race winner in one of their cars, it might be what the team needs to move up the pecking order and challenge for wins... You only have to think back to this time last year and FI where seen as back markers, but since the Spa they have rapidly emerged as a solid mid running team and given this has been such a competitive season thats remarkable.


Interesting points. I didn't see any of Saturdays footage, and had simply heard it was a fixture failure. I'd not really considered that it could be the result of riding the curbs.

As you say, if Vettel's wing was damaged as a result of his driving style, for example, it must add extra salt to the wound for Webber to see his immaculate wing get taken off him.

Alan Goodfellow

I'm really pleased for Mark. That move on Vettel round Copse really was a statement of intent for the future, wasn't it!

I think it's fantastic that he has the balls to speak up about what has gone on this weekend regardless of what it does to his position within the team. Good on him.

Also, a big well done to EJ for putting Horner on the spot about his lack of enthusiasm over the team radio when Mark won. That was very disappointing to hear!

I'm not sure if you caught any of the post race coverage, James, but after the race there was a very telling scene where Mark was standing for what was a very awkward PR photo opportunity with Horner and Adrian Newey. Vettel walked over and was given a hug by Horner and had a really awkward handshake with Webber. Horner then stood with Mark and Adrian looking rather unamused.


Since we don't get BBC here in AUS can you shed a bit more light on this with EJ.


Agree entirely Mark has true Aussie Grit and speaks his mind there is no substitute for that.

He has proved he is Vettels equal and someone there does not like that!

I hope he keeps stirring the pot and winning races to prove a point.

Seb knows he was soundly beaten!Horner should pick up his game and stand up for himself.


Agree regarding EJ's comments. Horner's congratulations lacked any kind of excitement, enthusiasm, or dare I say, emotion.

Good to see EJ pick him up on it as I'm sure it's what many of us wanted to ask!


I agree entirely with your sentiments about EJ. He spoke for a lot of fans when he put Horner on the spot and not too many more moments like that will undermine Horner's already decreasing credibility.

I must say that I thought the BBC coverage and team just gets better and better. I think DC is developing into a brilliant presenter/interviewer and makes a perfect partner for Brundle and foil for EJ's off the wall personality.


DC is so Red Bull biased, it's a joke and he even voiced Horner's words "Both drivers couldn't decide if the new wing was better" - I'm just shocked DC doesn't wear Red Bull overalls on the show ( Oh but he did when driving the 2 seater F1 car ) and going back to when Mark drove into the Lotus and it wasn't Mark's fault - course it was. If I was in charge of the Beeb then DC would be getting a serious yellow card by now.


Don't get me wrong and think I rate EJ, I think he is an embarrassment and posted this sentiment a couple of weeks ago after he was put in his place by Colin Chapman's son. However on this occasion he put Horner in a place I think a lot of people wanted to see him.

I find EJ's to simply be lookng for self praise at every opportunity. When I mentioned DC being a foil for EJ I meant that he copes with him and keeps the show running with constructive comment. I do agree however that you can see he is guarded when speaking of the thorny issues at Red Bull.


How good a pundit has EJ become? Last year we criticised his poor interview questions especially to mates like Bernie and also how he stood like a deer in the headlights (which he still does on occasion). Now he asks the questions we really want to know the answers to and he'll push and make it uncomfortable until he gets the answer he was looking for... Friendly banter and pressure on Martin Whitmarsh on the subject of tyres is another situation that comes to mind - the difference being that that was playful banter and yesterday he seemed genuinely (and rightly) annoyed.


As soon as he cuts the RB ties he'll be good, but as they are still paying him AFAIK he can be in a bit of a compromised position.


I watched the 'PR opportunity' several times and for me the most telling aspect was Vettel's head down handshake. Seb just couldn't look Mark in the face.


i wonder why.

Endre Friedmann

Vettel broke his front wing. Let's call it plain bad luck. Still cannot see why Webber, who did not broke his front wing should run the former evolution as a result.

Every driver gets some bad luck hits along the season and if they are really bad luck, they will compensate at the end. No need for the team to penalise a driver looking for a so called fairness.

Perhaps RBR should take a couple of BHP from Vettel's car since Webber weighs 11kg more than Vettel and he probably cannot use as much ballast which makes his car have a higher centre of gravity. For the sake of fairness, I mean. Absurd? they have gone further than it this weekend.

RBR started a problem when they had such a beautiful weekend ahead. So sad. And so terrible from a PR pov.


the way this is will be a repeat of 2007.. seb n mark can keep fighting n lewis-mclaren will sneak up on them.. all talk is how webber won n seb this n horner that. meanwhile lewis finished second. if RBR do end up empty handed.. I bet ten bucks that webber is out at the end of the season n kimi s in for next, contracts be damned.. like they were at ferrari last year!


Kimi will Never be in...not in a million years. If RBR is having this much trouble with trying to subdue Webber so that Vettel can win races... How much more trouble are they going to get with Kimi. Remember, Kimi is one of the Finiest F1 drivers out there.. That is Why I would bet my mortgage Kimi will never drive for RBR while Vettel is there. Remember Herr Marko has got to show Daddy bear (Maastreich or whatever) back in the Autsrian Alps that his RBR young driver proigram is paying off else he Marko will have to answer questions about squandered funds.


I have to say, the programme IS working - Vettel's got to F1 and is a top talent. The problem is Webber is just as good and has the experience to back it up.


How true your comments are !!!


the difference with kimi is that he dont care who his team mate is or who the team favours. All he cares about is getting in the car and driving it faster than any1 else. Kimi is completely different to other drivers


Kimi cares about winning, and he's made that clear many times over. You think he would let the team take his front wing?? You have to be kidding me.


Yes . Yes. Vettel was ahead in the Pts but practice times showed both were up and down on each other with the wing so no clear advantage to one or the other. Seems the "boffin" factor--head so far into the device meant nobody looked around and said; "Hey-- we're already into a PR hole with all the talk, here's something that doesn't seem to make an enormous difference to each other and both cars are so much better than the rest we can spike the trashtalk and say to the drivers : "You break it you bought it."


Very very well said James. It's not often that fate smiles as kindly as it did today, but it was certainly the way things should have played out and fortunately they did.

Do you think there's a risk of Mark being forced out regardless of contract at the end of the year James? Do you think Red Bull would just pay Mark out and bring more of a doormat in to partner Vettel? Clearly Red Bull Racing have shown they're not too worried about bad publicity ... little to stop them buying some more surely!


I am a big Webber fan, but as frustrated as he is, making comments about the team and having a dig in public will surely only be making a rod for his own back. The team can afford to pay him off and say "Thanks, but it's just not working out. Best of luck for the future". Where would he go? Renault seemingly like him, but where else?

He can only win this one by beating Vettel on the track. And he needs to tread softly with the team to do that. I can't think of any drivers that have publicly taken on his team and come off best.

I love his straight talking, no-nonsense attitude, but I also want to see him win the title. If this doesn't get cleared up soon, there is no way that Red Bull will want to carry this on into the next season.

Great racing, but not great viewing to see a driver and his team boss making snide comments about each other after a win.

Sort it out Red Bull. All teams divide new parts between team mates at some point, but with the image problem that Red Bull is having, they at the very least need to be seen to be fair to both drivers.

Great result Mark! I couldn't be more happy.

Same again in Germany please.


Webber is wrong IMHO to mouth off in this way publicly and cannot have won any friends in management

he is a talented driver nearing the end of his career and would not be in the hunt if Red Bull had not given him the drive.

At the end of the day drivers are really jockeys and there are at least half a dozen others who could be competitive in this car.


I am so happy that Webber has the guts to say what he said after the race. I hope it will lead to more equal treatment of the drivers in RB.

In any case, RBR has lost popularity with the fans and Vettel a lot of respect.

If this continues, Adrian Newey has better found another team to show his talents and disconnect himself with a team with no integrity or justice to its drivers.


I agree exactly James. I was wrapped with Marks win until his comments after the race. He has to be very careful if he wants to stay and also have a chance to win the title this year.

I think Germany will be telling. Mark won there easily last year and will expect to do so again. Red Bull and certainly the crowd will be hoping for Vettel to do the same. Could be explosive on track as they should have the front row again. Its much harder to pass as well. Mark needs to decide what he wants out of the next 18 months and act accordingly. My feeling is this is his last chance to be champion.


Agree with your point of view. Webber should just take the high road and avoid falling for the microphones game, especially in situations like this one where I think the public and pretty much everybody else is very much with him.

In that sense it seems, at least for now, Vettel has learned from the recent past and has avoided commenting on the whole situation.

Finally in an unrelated note, there has been a lot of talk about Vettel's ability to recover in a race from the back of the pack. Seems that today's race (though with some help from the safety car), allowed him to show he can overtake when needed.


"there has been a lot of talk about Vettel’s ability to recover in a race from the back of the pack. Seems that today’s race (though with some help from the safety car), allowed him to show he can overtake when needed."

Actually, he mostly showed great ability to start at the front (pole position none-the-less), and end up at the back. Overall, his performance was -6 places.


Vettel was helped by the deployment of the safety car so that he could pass the slower cars in front after they all bunched up.

The pass on Sutil was a bit rough, don't you think so?


I guess I was referring to the fact he was 24th on lap 2 and made it to 7th in the end, effectively "recovering from the back of the pack". I am not questioning he clearly made a mistake on the start, but that he was able to come back from there, which many people have questioned. Sure the safety car helped and also many will say that he had an extremely fast car, but Alonso had also a very fast car, and he had a hard time trying to make his way back.


I agree, Vettel kept his head after his blwon tire and worked his way through the pack... Last time I so Webber come in early for a tire change he wrecked his car in too big of a hurry to catch back up


Vettel was helped tremendously with the SF. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the SF did not come out. He was about to be lapped by Webber.


You're right James. The rebel in me loved to hear Mark being sarcastic to his unfair boss, but the realist in me knows that that sort of thing will always cost Mark in the long term.

I'm sure there's a clause in his contract that mentions 'bringing the team into disrepute'. If he carries on like that, they won't have to pay him out of his contract next year. (Or this for that matter.)


I wonder if theres a clause regarding the *team bringing disrepute upon *itself ?




I see you're point but why should he just sit back and let the team walk all over him when he has just as much of a chance of winning the drivers championship? Webber isn't bringing the team into disrepute, Horner and Marko are.

And I have to disagree with James Allen referring to his comment as 'petulant'. Come on James! He has every right to show a bit of emotion after such a stirring victory, if his own team won't respect him, then I'm more than willing to hear what he has to say. Mark Webber is the people's racer of 2010.


I agree Thomas.

I didn't think it was petulant in the slightest. Remember, it was provoked but the sarcastic and snide remark of "You can smile now Mark". Horner was hardly ecstatic, was he...the same as Germany last year. Never smile at a crocodile Mark, and nice comeback line too.

Other than than James, it was an excellent article.


I wonder if there is a clause in his contract that says he and Vettel will have the same and equal equipment?

And I'm sure Mark would rather not drive in F1 if he can't have a fair crack at the title. Good on him for saying what 99% of people had worked out since Turkey.


True. I hadn't thought of that.


I don't think Newey was the problem. I detect the hand of Marko in all this. Again.


Snap. If it were Newey insisting it was run, why did it have to be Vettel who ran it ?


Exactly! It was a pretty lame excuse.



Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg

Exactly. The "good doctor" Marko's sinister fingerprints are all over this wing business.


I don't think it was petulant of Webber to have radioed the way he did. I think he was more incensed by the way Horner said (sarcastically or otherwise) ' you can smile now, Mark'.

Horner must've know better.



It was Mark's way of saying: "Well, if you're going to make me look like that in public, then I'll make you pay with this quick and witty one liner. Now, tell does it feel?"


Another stupid remark from an "elite" team mangler. The guy needs to think before speaking.


It's comments like that which make it so hard for you as a fan to like Red Bull, and make the fans cheer that bit harder for Webber. He might not be Red Bull's number one driver in the team, but he's certainly the fans.


You say that Webber has chosen to confront this publicly, but to be fair to him the team has made the whole thing public anyway in such an embarrassing way that to not speak about it would make him look weak. This is in contrast to the Barichello and Coulthard situations when the 'weak' thing to do would have been to complain publicly about it. Hope I've made sense here!


I agree. If Mark had kept quiet he would have appeared as Rubens did at Ferrari all too often, weak and submissive. It's just not Marks way, thankfully!


There's absolutely no point covering it up. I'm sure Mark knows that the more public it is, the more public sympathy he will get, and in a team like Red Bull which is, let's face it, basically a PR exercise, that's pretty important.

PS James, I think your question is wrong - it wasn't a case just of giving the wing to one or the other. To give it to Junior, it had to be taken away from Mark, who had it. That's 2 actions, not one. I'm glad to see that the voters appear to agree with me on this.


Aboslutely agree with your comments on the PR. Mark's strongest weapon is to speak out, as this is extremely damaging to Red Bull's image. However, it is clear now that a WDC for Mark will not translate to a win for Red Bull PR-wise, and in fact may do the opposite, and could therefore lead to even more, overt or covert, favoritism for Vettel. An excellent chance for McLaren to sneak into the WDC, with an inferior car!


On the other hand, who could be better for Red Bull, PR-wise, than someone like MW, who wins through sheer bloody-mindedness and willpower against the odds ? Rambo and Clint Eastwood rolled into one ? If they can't see that, they should change their agent.


With regards to the poll, I answered that Horner should have decided "to give the new wing to Webber" - but really, I think it's more of a case of "leaving Webber's new wing on Webber's car".

Obviously, it's not Vettel's fault that the wing he had came loose and got damaged, but then it's not Webber's, either. To actively take it off Webber's car to give it to Vettel is the bit I disagree with.

Vettel's got damaged, and while it wasn't his fault, that's just the way things go. Luck of the draw. Webber's was not damaged through practice or qualifying, so he should have been given the opportunity to race with it.


Spot on!


Frenchie : I decided Junior was a good name for Seb after his toys-out-of-pram show in Turkey. Nothing I've seen since has made me change my mind. Perhaps we could change PK to Baby.


Agreed - if Webber's wing had suffered the failure, I'd expect Vettel to keep his, it's common sense.


Id like to add my 100% agreement to Dave's post.


My thoughts exactly. Not doing that has caused Red Bull to again lose out on another 1-2.


Another hear, hear.


The only situation that would have justified Horner's decision is if Webber was mathematically eliminated from the championship, in which case, Webber, being the man that he is, would have been in total agreement.

The third option, running the same wing on both cars, is not so good either. It may have been possible this weekend given the performance advantage of the RB. However, at a venue where their car advantage will not be so great they will be forced to use their best configuration. This in turn would expose a lack of consistency on the part of the management's decision making and further disrupt the team.


Spot on.


Are we absolutely Junior didn't touch a kerb or something with it ?


And to comment properly on your post; I think you made a good point. Kimi was expert breaking his McLaren as a result of driving over the kerbs.

From onborad footage, it seems that Seb did so that quite a bit during the race too.


You're harsh calling him Junior; even if he is a bit immature.

Junior will forever be this young Brazillian who put his car into a Singapore wall. 🙂


"Technical director Adrian Newey insisted that the unit be races and so team boss Christian Horner had to decide which driver would get it."

Team boss beats technical director, or maybe not?


I think it makes perfect sense for one of them to run the new wing.

I'm sure they'd want all the data they can get on it to further improve it for the next race. Getting rid of it completely, especially at a track that they are so strong at regardless, just doesn't make sense from a testing/development point of view.

Not running it would have purely been a PR exercise (as in "look how fair we are!"), I'm sure both drivers would prefer the teams focus to be on developing the car rather than PR...

But yeah, Webber should have kept it IMO.


Vettel's wing broke, Mark's didn't so he should have kept his. Easy decision. Team mismanaged situation , in fact they probably couldn't have made a worse decision, unless they are already backing Vettel over Webber unofficially.

Few teams in recent years have managed to keep two top drivers / championship contenders happy. It always ends in tears or worse of all with both fighting to the extent that the championship is lost (Alonso - Hamilton, Mansell - Piquet spring to mind).

Webber should not have signed a contract extension, Vettel is the Red Bull driver for the long term, you could say that it is in their interest to keep him happy / favour him over Mark.

If this ends with Mark asking for a release from his 2011 contract then RB could promote from within and have a "proper" No 2 (Buemi?), but where else could Mark go which gives him a top car, there are no vacancies, unless Schumacher retires ?


Red Bull's problem if Webber left, is that they depend on him for setup of BOTH cars! In James' pre-race interview with Mark, he mentioned in passing (and without any apparent rancour), "They took most of my setup and put it on the other car." A Buemi simply can't replace that experience and knowhow, the same qualities that have made Barichello's contribution so valuable to Williams this year.


Very true.

Which makes you think, Vettel is not running this championship by himself. He is taking out some zero interest loans while he is at it. It makes Mark's performance this year all the more remarkable.


Well, if Webber's contract is "endable," so is other drivers'. How about a trade with Ferrari? Or McLaren? Replace Petrov at Renault?


As Ron Dennis said the other day, Red Bull should be happy - any publicity is good publicity.


Try telling BP that!


That's because Ron has fumbled more driver rivalries than any other team manager!


It wasnt a case of giving the new wing to webber, it was a case of taking it away to give to seb. If they had turned up on friday with only one wing then yea its up to the team who gets it, and im ok with that. but vettle destroyed his wing even though it wasnt his fault. so to the unscrew it from webbers and screw it onto sebs car is just wrong.

the poll should read:

take it away from webber and give it to seb.

leave things as they are and give seb the spare old wing.

take it away from webber and give them both old wings.


I'm not entirely sure that I can sympathize with Webber on this. So the team had to choose one or the other or forgo a competitive advantage altogether? Is it because the choice didn't go his way or is it because they chose at all? Either way, it's pretty divaish for someone who just won the bloody race.


You Sir, win a medal for Reading Just What You Want To Read.


I think you should have added a fourth option to the poll... tossing a coin. Red bull need to keep developing and updating their car and to give both drivers the old wing would not be in the teams best interest hence the toss of a coin would have been the fairest option.


The only problem with that is that the RBR coin has Seb's face on both sides.


I have to disagree with that. I accept totally the need to run the new wing, but the crucial point is that it was taken off Mark's car and put on Seb's. This decision was made even worse by the justification that there was litle performance difference, more a question of characteristics (whatever that means).

If that's really the case and there was no obvious performance differential, and you desperately want to run both wings, then just leave them on the cars they were on.

Webbo for WDC!


Jim, you're on the money with that option, it eliminates any favouritism from the argument.


I thought that they had two new front wings, Vettel's was damaged so Webber's was taken away and given to the German? That's how it's being reported by everyone else. You make it sound like RB had just one, and CH had to decide which driver would get it. In that scenario, Vettel would be the right choice. But that *wasn't* the scenario.


It's very interesting about Newey apparently insisting on running the new wing, I'm surprised he has the power to make that decision.

He's a very talented aerodynamasist (possibly the best) but his skillset is working on racing cars, not managing a team.

We've seen in the past how important it is to keep the drivers working productively instead of imploding and destroying the team.

Apparently Newey left Williams because they were reluctant to give him more control and make him Technical Director - maybe these events are highlighting why Williams may have been correct?

*Interested in your thoughts James.*

Oh and the poll?

Well, you wouldn't be giving the new wing to was already his!

Vettel was very unlucky to have his break, the problem is that Webber had his taken away and given to Vettel. This would be understandable with 2 races to go and Vettel being 40 points in front, but to hand it to Vettel when we're not even half way through the season, and the points are so close, *AND* the team keeps insisting it is totally impartial...stank a bit. Either Webber should have kept his new wing or both should have raced with the old one. As James said, this was a difficult decision that didn't need to be made.

Great entertainment though, looking forward to more news and close racing.


Newey left Williams because he wanted equity in the team. Until recently it was 70% Sir Frank and 30% Patrick Head - he wanted a share but the bosses wouldn't play.


Ahh right, I didn't realise that. I guess that is a pretty reasonable thing to request when you are as talented as Newey obviously is.

He's certainly proven his worth wherever he has been in the last 2 decades.


I agree that Webber's remarks were a bit petulant, but hey - for years we've complained that the drivers have been nothing more than robots giving stock answers in their dreary voices. Webber's outburst reminds us that there is a human being underneath all that carbon fibre and kevlar.


I agree, it would have been better if Mark had held his tongue on some points.

However, he did not make a claim to be the number 1 driver, his claim was for equal treatment. If he is guilty of something, it will not be of over-stating his case.

He sailed close to the wind today, but I think stayed just the right side of the line.

Of course, it may not help him with the plonkers that manage the RB team though.


Personally I agree, I'd love to see it go back to the older school style of drivers being a bit of a loose wire!


I agree. Let's see how much of it can Red Bull handle before they lose patience.


Well... winning with the old chassis Vettel discarded AND with the old spec front wing...

I recommend them to give Webber some parts of last years car to see how he copes with that.

Vettel should feel really bad now as it turns out the old chassis was good and he was overclassed by Webber these past races.


Vettel's old chassis was reported to have had some minor issues which were resolved. So in theory that shouldn't impact performance.

In saying that, I fully support Webber in this. I wondered when he resigned whether there would have been some clauses stipulating fair and equal treatment etc...

RB need to sort this out. The team's actions more than anything else is creating tension between drivers.


They were to do with the front suspension mountings, Horner told me on Thursday


Have you changed your mind since the previous article you posted on this? It wasn't a decision that needed to be taken, as you titled that one. Both drivers had a wing each, job done. It wasn't Vettel's fault his fell off, but neither was it Mark Webber's team's fault that they had attached his properly. It was only made a decision when they took it off Webber's car to put it on Vettel's. Nobody would have cared about any of this if they'd left it where it was.

Also, petulant Webber's comment may have been, but so was Horner's "Do you think you can afford a smile now?" that made Webber react like that. I don't generally like the way Jordan goes on, but I think today he was right in saying that the congratulations did not sound all that genuine, mainly because of that one "question".


agreed, and kudos to EJ for his gutsy questioning of Horner. Personally I hope Mark is champ and leaves RB, or retires on a high. Can't see he'd want to stay at RB as it stands now.


On the contrary, I hope Webber wins and stays at RBR.

Alonso would probably now be a 3 or 4 time world champion had he not left McLaren.

I think in this scenario, it'll be more of a case as to whether RBR can manage to cope with Webber.

That said, with such a feud going on at RBR, I doubt they'll come out on top. Hamilton's looking handy at the top of the leaderboard.


Whether its because Redbull is a fairly new team and hasnt had to deal with this before, but this season seems to be a PR disaster for them. After siding with Vettel at Istanbul and now this weekend, they might have the best car but i wonder how many fans they're winning over (or loosing) as a result of constantly giving Vettel preferential treatment when there appears to be no conclussive #1 driver so far. Credit to Webber though, he made the best of this weekend and gave the best answer to the Redbull Heirarchy that he possibly could have.

Webber has always been popular with the fans, but I think that more and more will have him as their favoured RB driver, even if he isnt in the actual team.


I support Webber 100%, he has done this year a lot for the team and has given seb a run for his money. Neither Rubens or David were ever near Schumi, Kimi and Mika, so their complains would have been without heavy substantation.

Mark deserves to receive equal threatment, maybe Seb is better for marketing and one of the bests on the grid and maybe a possibly multi champion, but right now he has to earn his position and Mark is doing it great.


Don't RB realise that there are people over 30 who consume their products and could increase that market?


I agree, he deserves the equal treatment. The season is only just passed half way and there is no clear #1 driver at Redbull (or Mclaren for that matter) as both are well and truly in the title chase. If Vettel was 50 points in the lead then this would be a different story, but its not.


Aussie grit.

That ws a bad move by horner but I am deilighted webber won.

A worthy and well deserved winner.


If Christian made the call on the wings, why the bad vibe towards Vettel? He did not choose. What would you have done if it was the other way around? would that have been correct?


I will guarantee you that Vettel is not an innocent bystander in all of this favouritism business.

He has the ability to be fair and make the right moral decisions (i.e. refuse to take Mark's wing), but he chooses to sit back quietly and let it happen.


Cannot see anything different if the shoe was on the other foot.


I agree, not Seb's fault, but as a man you don't allow another man to pay for your own misfortune. He should have refused it in my opinion.


Yes, and just how well should it have gone down in Austria, who said he didn't accept and because of fragile media coverage he cannot state that. It's very easy for us as outsiders to judge the situation without having all the facts.

The fact that he admitted mistakes by himself at the start is man enough, we all wanted to see how he blasted Webber and Hamilton after the race, but instead backed out because it was his mistakes.


Interesting quote from Mark in the post-race press conference:

"But some of the drivers offered me some front wings from their cars on the (drivers') parade lap but I said I would stick with what I've got. Seb didn't but some of the other guys tried to offer me a front wing."

Clearly Mark felt that Seb could have had more of a say in things too...


Well that's what you get for letting kids do man's job. That's why Hamilton and Vettel still have so few fans. Hamilon won more fans in 2009 than in his winning 2008 season.

Respect is earned not given.


Not Seb's fault, maybe.

I think it is the public rubbishing of the performance gain by Vettel and Horner that generated the PR disaster.

If it was this marginal, then keep it on Luscious Liz (that Mark is now driving).

They seem to live in their bubble. They should now better, especially Horner.


Same I like Hamilton more so and like his driving form 09 than in either 07, 08 for that same reason


During the race coverage here in the US, the announcer on site (Westbury Gillet I believe) stated that the order to give Seb the wing came directly from Austria. If true, this adds a totally different spin on things. Horner would have had to do as he was ordered. Any truth to this rumor from your end James?


I watched SPEED's coverage and never heard anything about orders from Austria out of Will Buxton on the broadcast.

Buxton did report that he talked to the RBR guys though, and he reported that the team blamed Mark running Seb off the road for Seb's punctured tire. The team said Lulu never touched him.

Varsha just laughed and said that the teams aren't always right...

I also watched BBC's pre-race and saw Vettel laughingly say something like: Wings are like women. Some like blonds and some like brown haird girls and I like this wing...

I thought it strange to be joking about it like that.


If that turns out to be true then Horner should be considering his position.

If I had been appointed Team Principal, I would expect to be fully in charge. There's a time & place for suggestions from the Big Boss but interference like this damages the team badly and compromises the credibility of the TP.


I don't think the biggest problem here is who should have gotten the wing. It's not like there was 1 piece. Both had new wings. What sickens me the most, the wing was taken from Webbers car. That's just plain wrong. It's not Webbers fault that Vettel broke his.

Also I'm sure if it would have been vice versa, no way that Webber had taken Vettels wing.

I'm really happy with the outcome of the race. And also yesterday I ended my support for Vettel and RedBull.


Leaving out bias through parochialism or envy, it would seem faier to me that the man who damaged his new wing be given the older version. Taking the wing off Mark's car to put on to Seb's was always going cause acrimony and spill into the public arena.

Dale Carnegie would have cringed!


Ha - do you think Horner was abiding by the 'if you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive' when he made the provoking comment on the radio for Mark to finally have something to smile about?


its not so much about "giving" the new wing to Webber, as the vote says, its about not physically taking the wing off Webber's car to put it on Vettel's (whose broke).

It deffos should have been used - slowing down in the development race is not an option and they needed the data.

If it had been before the weekend, and they only had one new wing, Vettel should have been favoured given his championship lead (similar to Hamilton getting a new chassis over Kovalainen last year). However, given that it was on Mark's car, and Seb's one broke, for morale and stability reasons, esp coming so soon after Turkey, it was a bad move to swap them.

Webber drove a sublime race today, but the Maclarens always seem to score points, even in the face of adversity - the sign of a championship winning team.

Harriet and Blah Blah Nyborg

Poetic justice indeed!

What's so intriguing about what Webber is doing now, as James pointed out, is going public and making no bones about his displeasure. This could well be a prescedent-setting moment. If a team knew that favouring one driver over another would result in such adverse publicity (and affect their business, as is the case with a corporate entity like drinks company Red Bull) then from now on they might be forced to give both their drivers equal equipment.

Who knows, maybe the 2010 Webber vs Vettel situation might have long lasting ramifications? I'd like to think so.


Can't really agree that they'll feel forced to give both drivers equal equipment after this. In the aftermath of the crash in Turkey, Red Bull were perceived to have made a massive PR gaff, with eighty, even ninety, percent of forum respondents expressing outrage at the managements stance. Horner and others in the team (DC) tried to smooth things over, even to the point of suggesting that Marko himself now saw the situation differently. There were predictable assurances that both drivers were equal, and at the time it might have been assumed that fear of bad publicity may have a bearing on this new attitude.

But that was only six weeks ago, and now they seem to be ............ just words. I think that they consider publicity to be just that - publicity. Considerations of good or bad just don't enter into it. They know that the only people getting especially worked up about it are, at the most, a few thousand F1 fans. A minute proportion of their global customer base.

Red Bulls top management - company, not F1 team - want Vettels youthful, smily face on their advertising, and I'd guess that decisions such as who has priority on new parts comes from considerably higher up than Horner.


I agree entirely, I posted yesterday that I could not believe that Red Bull as a commercial enterprise are risking damaging their image.

In addition I am also surprised that Vettel is not protecting his own image by not accepting the wing. Whilst the argument will be that drivers are naturally selfish and will accept any advantage I would have thought he is in danger of damaging his own reputation and therefore possible personal sponsorship or endorsements.


As has been said, the main thing is this was not needed at all! Red Bull were so much faster than everyone else, the old wing would have not effected the outcome.

But if the team really insists on equal treatment between their drivers, not being able to deliver new wings to both drivers is just not good enough.


James, I think Webber's decision to make that statement over the radio may have been a good thing from his perspective. Yes, he will surely take heat tomorrow in the post race meetings at RB. However, he forced the issue front and center and now RB has to make absolute sure that they are perceived as having no favorites amongst their drivers. If Seb were to win the WDC under the current cloud, it would undoubtedly be a tainted win in the eyes of most fans.


The worst part of the decision for me was to physically take the new wing off of Webber's car and bolt it on to Vettel's. It wasn't Vettel's fault the component on his car failed but it would have been easier to justify running the remaining wing on the car it started on - Webber. Even unintentionally, it was a starkly visible act of favouritism towards Vettel.

I also find it curious Newey can insist new parts are run. The man is a design genius and he is vital to Red Bull now and in the future. But there has to be a clear chain of command in the garage on race weekends with one person at the top. Eddie Jordan was talking about factions in the Red Bull team on the forum today and it's a big part of Horner's job to ensure they are broken up.


This is almost like the days of Fangio when you were allowed to take your team mates car in the middle of the race.

I dont understand Horners justification where he says "Adrian really wanted to run the new wings" Doesnt he consider Webber to be his team driver?

It was Karmic Justice that Vettel dropped down the grid.

James if Redbull do win both the championships this year and next how motivated are they to stay in F1? Will the do another Benetton?



Why Webber shouldn't have said “Not bad for a number two driver” given how he's been treated by his team ?


I just feel it would have been better not to say that. It wasn't necessary to say it publicly.


The bit that amazed me was the incredibly silly response form Horner: "Maybe you can put a smile on your face now". That should definitely be left unsaid. Webber's comment was a comment that was made an instant comment letting off steam after a race of intense concentration. Horner's was a considered statement from a team principle who should know better. I think this is far more telling about how the season will continue for RBR. Horner lacks the skills and experience to hold this team together in the heat of a championship battle. It shows they learnt nothing from Alonso's very public fallling out time at McLaren.


Didnt Webber ask for a particular member of the team to join him on the podium as well?

Did Red Bull agree or send someone else?


they sent someone else - a clear statement from Horner that he runs the team, not Webber (rightly so IMHO)


Yes he asked for 'crush' or someone, I guess its a nickname. He didn't get him up there anyway and the bbc commentary mentioned its still the team making that decision..

The monotone 'you've driven well and won the british gp' certainly seemed to sum up how 'happy' Christian Horner was before the number 2 driver bit which then lead to the smile comment. Glad EJ asked about that in the BBC commentary after.


Yes, I think Mark may have gotten away with it this time, but if it goes on it might sound like he is whining.

Mark has got to show his mustard on the track. It's the only true way to talk, even if he has get out and run the tarmac when they take his wheels off him. The reality is that he needs a fast car that can win him a championship, and RB are the place to be this season. Even with all the grief.

That said, surely Vettel could have done the right thing and turned down the new wing. If it had come out that management had tried to get the wing onto Vettel's car, and he stood up to them it would have made Vettel the hero, and certainly would have upped my estimation of him.


I think it was. He only signed a new contract after they assured him he had equal billing. In the wash up of the crash at Istanbul where Vettel tried to run him off the road and cost the team a one-two finish and the initial comments that favoured Vettel's actions over Marks, he needed that assurance.

They gave it and then three weeks later have "stuck it up him".

Choice one, fight for your rights within the team. Choice two, slink off into the night with your tail between your legs. Mark is fighting - good on him.


Why...they removed his wing publicly...It is then OK for them to but not him.....hum!


It was a chance to say publicly what he really thought in a context where it could be understood and excused - heat of the moment and all that. Well played sir !


He addressed it over the radio to his team.. is that public?

These days with the media poking their cameras and microphones everywhere, I don't know there's such a thing as "closed doors".


But James it does show the level of frustration of a man that has always been highly praised for team loyalty his whole career. What assurances have been given behind closed doors to make an honest man lash out so publically on the completion of such a stellar achievement?

You’ve known him a long time and have mentioned in telecasts that he is a man of high morals.


agree, his wish might be granted now, terminate the "new" contract. They've got Kimi stacked away somewhere in the RedBull webb.


In many situations, I'd agree with you James - some stuff should be dealt with behind closed doors. But in this case, he only said what the majority of us at home where thinking. RBR have made this public, it certainly didn't start with Webber's comment after winning today.

Fantastic blog, as ever. Keep it up.


Don't you also think it was unnecessary for Horner to make a snide comment asking if Mark was going to smile now after the shoddy way he has been treated?


James, I quite agree. Webber made his statement by winning, and should have left the "...number two driver..." comment unspoken.

Let's move on.


Disagree James.

Horner put it in the public domain with a sarcastic "You can smile now, Mark"


Maybe he's learnt from Barrichello and Coulthard.

Maybe he thinks he'd rather be equal number one or not drive in F1.

James, you know Red Bull better than any of us here. Do you really think Webber has damaged himself in the eyes of the team?


I don't think it's helped, given that he is the one who has put this stuff in the public domain. He has nothing to lose, because he is at the end of his career. I am fairly sure he plans to retire at the end of 2011 and wants one more year in a competitive car.


Wonder what this will be doing for Red Bull drink sales in Oz (and other English-speaking places)?

PR disaster. More and more, RBR is looking like a headless chicken - who actually runs this team - Horner? Newey? Marko? They need to decide. If they want SV and a tame no. 2 (a la Ferrari in the MSC years) they should just appoint some journeyman and get on with it. I don't for a second think they'd ever achieve the same success nowadays, with drivers like the Mclaren and Ferrari boys, and Rozzer and Kubica in the hunt, but that seems to be what they want. If that's so, the question is - why did they extend MW's contract, knowing that he's more than capable of beating the 'golden child'?...

Webber deserves better than this. Turkey exposed them, this has just made them look like complete dolts. And SV, what goes around comes around, and, as the song says 'you just haven't earned it yet, baby'...


it won't affect sales negatively. Red Bull got a shed load of press coverage as a result of this situation and "no such thing as bad publicity" is only a cliche because it's true...


Best regards to Mr. Horner, Marco and baby-Seb:-) Last year 90% of fans were clearly behind Red Bull in their fight against Brawn, but this year Horner got all wrong.

No matter what he is going to say and how good are the PR guys going to be - the whole world will remember it as the story of Webber being treated very unfairly.

What people do not understand is that is it damaging the reputation of the team and make Vettel a driver that others will hate. Remember how all drivers were against Hamilton when he was fighting against Massa in 2008? They all wanted to help Massa. Well, when the occasion is going to call for it, I am sure that noone will help/protect Vettel - this is where you loose it.


I think that this poll is pretty pointless as it is obvious what the decision needed to be with hindsight. In the heat of the moment, not so much. I'm not defending CH here, as I think his decison was terrible, but the poll makes no sense.


I would be very surprised if there is anybody that isn't pleased that Webber won today. Other than Red Bull of course. I'm a die hard McLaren fan, but today Karma did the right thing and Webber got the win he deserved. He's didn't just have to fight every other drive on the grid for his victory, he had to fight his team. A well deserved win.


The whole chapter with this wing from the RBR team has been appalling. I'm glad Webber has done the right thing here and put the sport before his own interests. By exposing these shady B*****S he is really helping the future of F1 and the drivers of the future. The sport needs more good men like Webber who can speak up like this against these corrupt people.


'Webber sacrificed on the altar of F1'

Another one liner for Webber (for the future of course) 🙂


as an f1 fan but not a fanatic could someone please explain to me what helmut marko's pedigree in f1 is??

I would assume from the influence he seems to have over re team he is a former world champ and has been involved in f1 at high levels. Or is he just a drinking buddy of the owner?


I am a mclaren fan too and was delighted with marks win and a great recovery from jb and lewis.

If they can get the blown diffuser working with the data they gained on Friday I think it will be jenson and lewis for the title.


Dr Helmut Marko is a former F1 driver (McLaren and BRM) and 24 hour Le Mans winner.

He has been responsible for Red Bull racing driver development program that brought the likes of Christian Klien, Tonio Liuzzi, Scott Speed, Sebastian Vettel, Sebastian Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari to F1 (with some degree of success :-)).

Here's the Wikipedia link:


His contract is signed for next year. Is there any way it would be bought out or something by red bull? Surely they want a yes man to stand behind their investment as a number 2 (and thats the cold hard truth, they have put investment in vettel and want a return). Surely RBR are regretting keeping Webber now that he is so vocal about the way the team opperates.


Contracts can usually be ended by mutual consent - and especially in sports don't always mean what they say.

Thomas, Canada

Was it not Horner who was at first petulant to Webber? Horner said "you've won the British GP, hopefully that will make you smile", to which Mark replied "not bad for a number two".

Horner is suffering the same fate that befell Ron Dennis when he was tried & failed to keep Senna & Prost apart. I recall reading Dennis admits he was too close in age [to Senna & Prost] for them to truly listen to him.

Horner needs to get a grip of the drivers real quick otherwise they will self-destruct and loose out to McLaren.


Yes, that was my first reaction too when I read what James Allen wrote about Webber being 'petulant'.

I think it's pretty harsh calling Webber 'petulant' given the current state of play. If anything, he has handled the situation very well. He has upheld his own dignity and integrity whilst being refreshingly honest, yet not disrespectful mind you, about the situation in the RBR stables. Well done, Mark.


The earlier comment by Banjo "As Ron Dennis said the other day, Red Bull should be happy – any publicity is good publicity" hits the nail right on the head. This is not about who gets which bits - its about selling little tins of fizzy pop.


All this wing-swapping mullarkey has revealed the the true nature of who actually runs a racing team at this level. The poor guys who front-up and and answer the toe-curling EJ questions at the end of a tricky race weekend, IE the Team Pricipals, all talk a "Team" dialogue and have to be seen to be "fair" to two highly-motivated and supremely competative Racing Drivers. It's happened before and will continue to happen "in the interest of the Team". I actually feel genuinely sorry for Christian H because he has the impossible task (this season) of first pleasing the guy who pays his salary and then trying to please two of the fastest drivers in F1. No matter what he decided (wing-wise) on Saturday, he was guaranteed to upset someone! So he had to put the wing on RBR's single biggest investment, Vettel. Pure business decision really. Fair play to Webber for telling it like it is, but then he's Aussie through n through so expect nothing else. Good luck for Hockenheim to the RBR guys - they are going to need it!!


But the whole point of the piece was that he actually *had to do nothing! If he'd said nothing the mechs would probably have just put the next available nose on the car and been done with it. There'd have been no story.


I do think that Horner is getting boxed into a corner by the politics if I am honest (i.e higher up the management chain).

The photo opportunity after the win with them both hugging webber looked very false (all three looked uncomfortable).

I'd be amazed if Mark is still there next season. Wouldnt be surprised to see Mark at Renault, or a swap deal with Massa.


If the new wing in qualifying proved to disadvantage either Red Bull car by 0.2 seconds (for example) - they would have been throwing it around the garage like a hot potato at each other.

Horner should have spotted the problem early on and told them: "Okay, guys. We are testing this new wing. We don't know the performance advantage, so one of you will get it for qually, and the other will get it for the race." and then left Webber and Vettel to a good old-fashioned game of 'rock, paper, scissors'.

End of PR disaster.

Webber should have minded his manners on the radio at the end. Instead, he has seriously compromised the image of his team. The very thing you don't want to be at war with in any job is your superiors who write your paycheque.

Bad skills, Mark. Super race though!


The point is that there were two wings. Vettel's broke. Was it his fault, apparently not. It most certainly wasn't Webber's fault and yet he had to give up his new wing for Vettel.

This, just a month after signing a contract extension and being assured by his team that he isn't a number two driver. That's why everyone is upset.

They made the situation public by giving his part to Vettel and suggesting he could smile now... Good on him for highlighting his feelings on the team's actions this weekend.


Disagree on all counts.

Firstly, there would never had been a PR disaster if Horner acted fairly.

Secondly, mind his manners? Really? He certainly didn't offend me, and if my employer was treating me like that I'd let them know how I felt too.


Compromised image? I'm sure Horner and co compromised it beyond anything that Webber could said. Get real!


You can't swap wings between qualifying and the race: the cars are in parc fermé from the end of qualification to the start of the race and cannot be modified during that time.


Well, Webber is expendable, its only after when the car came good that he started winning. Remember, Sebastian started winning with Toro Rosso in memorable Monza. So Naturally he gives a longer window of promise and higher potential to Red Bull than Webber. I think with Webber uncompromising attitude is turning out to be counter-productive for Vettel's Development and conditioning to be a World Champion. Any one can win in a car that Adrian Newey Builds... This is no brainer. But a corporation needs to invest in a driver which delivers all terrain commitment. Vettel is the Future Champion and a Red Bull future. An indispensable asset. Hence, he should be given preference on all counts. This is something Ron Dennis applied effectively with Hamilton and sacrificed Alonso in process. I think Red Bull should follow this and maintain their focus on Vettel and use Webber or any other driver in his place as a supporting cast. Webber is nothing without Red bull, but you can't say the same about Vettel now can you?

Regards - Mo.


Vettel's Torro Rosso win was a wet lottery, just like Fisicellas win a few years ago, still earn't but needed some luck.



Vettel's the only one derailing his chance at becoming world champion. If he hadn't taken himself out of Istanbul in a ridiculous move, he would have 18 or 25 more points and Webber would have 6 or 13 more points. Hamilton would have 13 less and Button fewer also. That would see the Red Bull drivers heading both championships and McLaren third and fourth in the driver's and second in the constructors.

After the race, Hamilton was telling Mark about what he saw from third and he was obvious in his hand actions about the movement that Vettel made. Mark could have given him more room, but he didn't have to and Vettel's actions were more likely designed to see Webber lose second place to Hamilton along the way.

Vettel is a spoilt brat who has become more and more petulant since Webber started winning races and getting poles. I don't believe he is directly at fault for this weekend's mess, but his prima donna attitude are certainly at the heart of the team's split, which began last season.


...and let's not forget the f***** kids incident when a young German punted Webber from a potential race win in a pre-Newey Red Bull.

Never mind the almost-there race wins stolen when the Saturn booster rocket (AKA Cosworth, also AKA ok until it explodes) powered Williams failed him several times.

I agree with your reasoning - as a business decision it makes sense to favour Vettel (and be honest about it, even if only internally), and it's always useful to have an equally-capable No.2 driver, but did they honestly think someone like Webber is going to be happy on a leash, and lied to in the process?


Is that you Helmut? 😉

I'm afraid I dont agree with you. What has gotten in the way of Sebs development into a world champion is that someone is just as quick in his car.

I know what you are saying about longevity, but Vettel has benefitted greatly from redbull too (who bankrolled his F1 career to date)?


It is very clear to me Vettel is the number one driver here folks, Vettel has 7 wins in 53 starts, and Webber has 5 wins in 148 starts, Webber is highly overated, just do the math.


Try doing the stats based on their time in the same car. 6 wins to Kettle and 5 wins to Webber.


Your 'math' totally ignores all the real variables in a complicated equation to determine who is a better driver.


You need to look at your research a little more closely genius.


Trying to stir the pot here?

Webber had been in uncompetative teams for years from Minardi, Jaguar, Williams.

Vettel stepped into a good car in his second year of racing.

The only thing you can judge it on is if they are driving equal cars, and now they are, their perfomance is near identical. So how is Webber over rated?


That's rubbish. Vettle's had two season in a sub-par car, which incidentally started off as a carbon-copy of the Red Bull and allowed him to luck into a win in a drenched Monza. That compares to 6 seasons for sub-par machinery for Mark. You can't just ignore that and count wins.


I am fully behind Webber here, and think Vettel has behaved pretty childishly since the back end of last season actually....but in no way did he "luck into a win" in Monza, it was a superb drive and he is obviously talented.

RBR seem intent on shooting themselves in the foot as McLaren did in 2007 I say let them and let Lewis or Jenson in to grab the title.


Which is exactly why statistics prove nothing. Has Seb ever driven for Minardi or driven some of the other cars Mark has done?


Lets just put it this way.

Schumacher would not stand for a part being taken off his car and given to Rosberg.

Hamilton would not stand for a part being taken off his car and given to Button.

Alonso would not stand for a part being taken off his car and given to Massa.

So why should Webber agree with it?

The only drivers who would stand for this are the ones who feel inferior to their team mate and where the results quite clearly show they are inferior i.e. Coulthard, Heikki, Rubens.

When Hamilton thought that he might be a number 2 he went so far as to say he might leave F1.

Quite clearly Mark does not see himself as number 2 and as he said he would not have signed the contract if that is the case.

He does not have to keep on driving an F1 car I am sure there are many other things he could do, so he could tell Red Bull to take a flying Fxxx.

It was interesting to read that Red Bull only signed Mark because that was the only way they could get Flavio (Mark's manager) to agree that they get the Renault engine.

If that is he case why the hell did Mark sign a further contract. In fact if Mark get treated this way next year he can't say he did not see it coming. Mark is more marketable now than he has previosuly been as he is proving himself.


If I were Webber I would leave and join Renault and hope Red Bull get sidelined as a customer team


Just another few points regarding the race today.


His world title ambitions this year are over. He is clearly very frustrated. However, I would say serve him right. He was so adamant in the last race that Lewis should be penalised and lewis was. That seemed to me that he knew exactly what the rule book says so why did he not follow it.

He tried to over take Kubica and could not complete the manouvre and therefore ran off the track and gained the place. If it was Monaco he would not have had anywhere to go and would have either not made the move, crash into Kubica or crash into a wall.

Alonso is so frustrated it is affecting his race and his judgment and it is not what is to be expected of an double WDC.

He insisiting that punishments should be handed out swiftly came back and bite him and Ferrari today.

Compare this to what happened in the Kimi v Lewis situation. Lewis tried to overtake Kimi and Kimi quite rightly held his line and Lewis gained the position by going off track. However, Lewis gave the position back immediately and then overtook Kimi again and he was still penalised. Also Lewis could not give the position back a 2nd time because Kimi crashed and there was no drive through because the race was finished and so Lewis got a 25 second penalty.

Alonso got his payback and he can't handle it.


It is clear for all to see that Button expects a good car all the time and when he does not get it he cant perform re: qualifying. Lewis showed last year that he can work with a bad car and not complain too much and get results that were not expected.

However, without intending any disrespect to Button he is currently the Luckiest driver in F1. His 2 race wins were out of pure luck (re: strategy) and his ability to make up positions in the races so far has had an element of luck in it.


Definately overrated by the media. He should have done much better with his car today and had the safety car on his side, he should have driven right up on to Lewis. His car is certainly faster.

Red Bull are really worried as their drivers are taking out each other and/or taking points off each other and this is playing right into Lewis and McLaren hands. If McLaren ever close the performance gap so that Lewis can start getting pole it will all be over for them.

Last year McLaren had to take a step back in their development and they came back stronger in the 2nd half. If they do the same this year then Lewis will have his 2nd WDC and Alonso will explode.


I really dont understand what is up with him. He was doing so well up to his accident last year and now he drives like Rubens did in the Ferrari. He should be capitalising on Alonso's issues. Ferrari are really going backwards and have been for some time.


Yeah, how lucky was Button that all the cars moved out of the way for him as he made it up from 14th to 8th one the first lap alone!

Button did a superb job today.....give him the credit he deserves!


Well, two of those cars were Vettel and Massa.


Precisely. He made up six places on the start alone. He then made his tyres work longer than the others and gained further positions.

Most of the overtaking these days happens in the strategy, why wouldn't you congratulate a guy for making the strategy work for him. Ten places against competitive cars is a great drive.


yeah. all the way, on that, nIck. Button drove pretty bloody well. Of course he was a bit below par in quali. I never imagined he would be this close to Lewis in the championship although increasingly it is looking as though Lewis has got the measure of him. I recall with Heikki and Lewis it wasn't always so clear cut although he ended up destroying him (particularly in race pace). Button's made of sterner stuff. A highlight this year has been his form relative to Lewis'.

Alonso's race was comedy. Really, after Valencia. You could make a great compilation of his radio conversations with his engineer. So glad he's in F1. It wouldn't be half as good without him.

As for Seb vs Mark. I haven't read anyone mention Seb's post race interview here. Oh god. He just drops down further and further. Don't try and go head to head with Mark Webber, mate, when it comes to character. That stuff about seeing the true nature of people. Bloody hell. You would have thought he was talking about Alonso. Vettel is fast on his way to having the kind of charisma defiency of another German driver. Shame it's looking like he doesn't have quite the same driving ability to compensate.


Is not the poll a little at odds with the facts? Vettel was unlucky to have a broken new front wing on his car. Horner had to take the remaining new wing off one driver and give it to the other.

The poll should have been phrased...

To take the new wing off Webber and give it to Vettel.

To leave the new wing on Webber's car.

To give both of them the old wing.


In 1981 Reutemann went public about the same situation,before the german gp he was leading by 17 pts(a lot for those times) and Frank Williams could not keep his promise and gave the best engine to Jones,Williams and Head did not like Carlos's comments and the punishment came in the very last race:after setting the pole, on the race day Reutemann could not change gears finishing 8th and lapped by Jones,lost the title by a single point... that is how things work sometimes in F1


Red Bull gives you wings!!!!! Ha Ha

If you are Mark Webber out of date ones inferior to your team mate. Congratulations to Webber on Winning the GP against all the efforts of the other drivers and his own team. There is no excuse or explanation for cannibalizing Mark Webbers car to the benefit of Vettel.

It is becoming glaringly obvious that CH does not possess the strength or ability to manage the team effectively. The fans are not stupid and will do their own thinking. They will not be told how to think by Mr Horner or anyone else.

The disrespect shown to Webber (let's not forget the driver who won the race for them) by CH with the 'smile comment' was completely out of order and little wonder Webber replied as he did. I know Webber should be thankful at being given such a competitive car but it works both ways, the team should be equally grateful to whichever driver gives them a win. It is becoming more than obvious that Vettel does not yet possess the ability to win a world championship without the deck being weighted in his favour. In an inverse way this is really a massive vote of non-confidence in Vettel by the team given the additional help and babying he constantly receives.

Red Bull's big problem is that Mark Webber has the bad manners to be so quick. A true no 1 does not require outside intervention to establish that fact. Vettel has not distinguished himself as no 1 material yet. Webber might well step into that role (fair play to him for speaking his mind) he is showing the backbone necessary. Personally I would be disappointed if a mollycoddled driver such as Vettel was to win the championship this year. I was sickened to see how the team indulged his childish behaviour from the prat perch in Turkey not mention his petulant hand gestures at the same race.

Congratulations to Hamilton, Rosberg and Button on a great race and also to Silverstone on hosting such a great event.


You make a very interesting point Hugh, has Vettel done enough to establish himself as team no. 1 and be Red Bull's best chance of a championship? I would agree this is rather too premature. Fortunatley for them (though they may not see it so favourably) they have a 'No. 2' driver who can still give it his all and deliver in not only less favoured status but to the cynical eye while being sabotaged. What will happen for the rest of the season remains unclear. Webber may well have signed a contract for a couple more years, however it wouldn't be beyond the bounds of probability that he drive elsewhere next year, possibly with a number 1 on his nose.


Hats off to Weber for a performance worthy of championship.. but he should avoid public display of his outrage and focus on beating Vettel fair and square in a few more races.. as a side note, from next race onwards I fully expect Weber's car to mysteriously suffer a sudden dip in one-lap qualifying performance and Vettel to have a better car over that magic lap during quali.. (wink wink).. so much for equal machinery for all!


Webber is 100% in the right on this one, James. There is no other way to see it. It wasn't Vettel's fault that the wing came off in Q3 in FP3; sucks for him. But in any other team, he would have to have run with the old wing since it happened to his car. NO other team would have done what Red Bull did to Webber this weekend; they would have let Webber keep the wing and told Vettel "tough luck, kid."

Horner's "Webber should be very happy what we've done for him giving him a great car and sorting out his weight disadvantage" line is disingenuous and rubbish. Clearly, it's in Red Bull's best interest as a competitor in the constructor's championship to give both drivers the opportunity to maximize their performance in the car, so they sort out his weight distribution out of their own selfish incentive to do so. The fact they've helped him with his weight disadvantage in no way excuses the team's blatant favoritism of Vettel in this instance.


I think Mark has made his point.

But after all he his an employee.

hopefully Red Bull will put Vettel and Mark into a room on their own and give any further upgrades to who comes out after having their issues resolved


What is Horner's background? Anyone know? Just interested as he's giving every impression of being out of his depth..


Something must be missing here, surely? So he runs a couple of minor league teams and then gets picked to front up a major F1 operation when he's still not much older than the drivers?..

That's like Abramovich choosing whoever runs Brentford as the next Chelsea manager..

What was it that got Horner the job, I wonder?..


Christian Horner was an ex-F3000 driver who runs Arden International, a Red Bull funded GP2 team, and MW Arden, a GP3 team he is running together with Mark Webber.

He is also the youngest F1 team principal and apparently the source of his problems right now is that not only is he too close in age to Webber and Vettel to sort this out, he is at best the number 3 guy in the Red Bull racing hierarchy (behind Mateschitz and Marko)...


If that's true and he's just a puppet, surely he'd be best to quit, go elsewhere, and preserve his integrity. It will only get worse at RB. Or is the money too good?...


In my personal opinion, the fairest option would have been to allow Webber to keep the new front wing and for Vettel to have to have gone back to the old one given his one was broken.

It was just unlucky that Vettel's one broke in practice.

Now had Vettel the old wing and Webber the new one, but Vettel still had managed to claim pole position then Webber wouldn't have had anything to complain about, bar maybe the usual track issues such as traffic or maybe he got caught out a bit by the windy conditions or something.

And of course alternatively if Webber got pole instead of Vettel, there wouldn't have been an issue either. Sure Vettel would have been peeved as well, but he could easily have been told by management that it's cause his wing broke and Webber's hadn't and the new one gives an advantage of such and such and therefore he was beaten to pole because of that.

I don't think it would have been fair though if they were both told to use the old front wing as such given Webber's hadn't broken, but as mentioned they had such an advantage it probably wouldn't have mattered in terms of that.

No favouritism at Red Bull? Hard to see how there isn't with the course of action taken by Christian Horner.


If Vettel had shown more regard for fairness and refused Webbers wing he would have earned Webbers respect and probably found a lot more room to work with at the exit of T1. Maybe Vettel and RB learned a costly lesson. I doubt it.


I doubt it is possible.

For one, you'd be very brave to tell your employer against their decision in that the wing had to be run.

Two, you don't get that many chances of fighting the the title. Just ask Button. Webber knows it too and so does Vettel.


There is no way anyone would refuse to run an upgraded part in the name of "fairness". I'm a Webber fan, but I don't blame Vettel for not giving up the wing. I blame the team for even considering the action they took.


Good point. Vettel is spineless.


After Saturday's qualifying, I was wondering on which lap the Red Bull drivers would try and take each other out? Now I know it was lap one. Good job.


Good to see Webber winning. But critizising publicly the team he is working for is not that smart. Other top teams are already full for next 2-3 years. He just extended his contract with a team that is very likely to provide him a championship capable car. I dont think that these fierish comments would improve his situation. Why cant you keep your mouth shut, Mark? You are still in the hunt, you won the race, fans seem to back you...

All in all, good news for Lewis. Button cant do anything about him in terms of qualifing pace. Vettel is fast but unlucky. Webber is fast too but simply too stupid.


Firstly, Silverstone showed again why it is the best race on the calendar. It seemed like a great race to me, with lots of battles.

And it also proved that you don't need a million overtakes to make a good race.

Well done on the result Mark. Great drive and an excellent move into Copse.

I'm sure he doesnt regret a thing about what he said James. The difference I think on Mark is that he is very near to the close of his career and this may be his only shot (a bit like Jenson and Rubens maybe felt last year). If I was him I'd go hell for leather to beat Seb this year.

Contract or no contract I cant see Mark being at RBR next year.

I'm not going to get any more angry against Redbull. They arent even the team I support, but I like Mark Webber. He always came across as a genuine type.

Lets see a sensible outcome here. Mark to Renault for next year, and Petrov for RBR (although I suspect he may mature into a good driver).

It was pretty clear on both Marks interview and from Sebs that there doesnt look like a workeable relationship going forward.

If Redbull have any sense, they will realise what a PR disaster such a public show of favour in Quali was, and keep any other favouritism behind closed doors (we all know it goes on, but dont put it in front of the public).


"but on Saturday he should have stood up to Newey and decided that both drivers would run the old wing in the interests of fairness".

I disagree with that. They both had the new wing on their cars - Vettel's failed - bad luck when it wasn't his fault but they should have just put the old wing on and carried on.

Webber had the new wing on his car and there was no reason to remove it....Newey would have got the data on the new wing and no one would have battered an eye lid.

It was Vettel's wing that failed - there was no reason to bring Webber into it or make any changes to his car....



James, do you think the FIA may get involved and investigate like they did with Mclaren in 2007?


I think people are getting caught up in a weird phase in F1 at the moment. It seems to me like after decades of ruthlessness people suddenly feel like drivers should be cuddly, open, transparent and polite to their rivals.

The same seems to be the norm with the team bosses - now that the old guard are leaving one by one - Ron, Flavio, Todt etc the new younger generation are heralding an era of chumminess characterised by friendly banter and lots of viral behind-the-scenes Youtube videos. Whoopydoo. But this isn't F1.

Do you think Senna wouldn't have fought tooth and nail to get the latest iteration of front wing development for his car?! Or Mansell? Or Schumacher? Or Lauda? Or Piquet? Course they damn well would! That's what made them champions. These guys aren't like you or I - they spent their entire lives single-mindedly pursuing victory at the expense of virtually everything else. Had their teammates been annoyed at missing out on getting a vital part they'd had shrugged and carried on regardless. End of story.

And the bosses? Do you reckon Chapman / Ecclestone / Enzo Ferrari / Neubauer / Jean Todt / Ron / Flavio / Williams / Patrick Head etc would have even batted an eyelid in choosing who to give a part to? No chance. Yet we suddenly expect that our team bosses are going to be fairer-than-fair and our drivers are going to be paragons of chivalry?!

I think we've entered an anomalous period in F1 history, where the 'Piranha Club' has become, superficially at least, a poodle club. It's rubbish. I want to see team bosses rule their fiefdoms with a fist of steel, and I want to see drivers stop at nothing to trounce their team mates because they're terrified of being second best. If only 22 men on the whole planet can participate in this sport, then why should we expect them to be anything other than selfish?


You'll be hoping Flav finds another job, then 😉

I see where you're coming from, but I think what's really riling people up is the dishonesty and double standards. On the one hand Red Bull are pushing the mantra of equal treatment and no number one driver, on the other they're repeatedly getting caught with their hand on the scale, favouring one driver (and regardless of who is in front in the championship, which makes it harder to justify as a racing decision).

In general the legendary "hard men" of F1 you list wouldn't make any bones about their decisions to favour one driver - classic example would be Colin Chapman making Andretti the clear #1 driver at Lotus in 1978. Everyone knew that was the deal.

Where there has been lying to the fans in the past - e.g. Rubens/Schumacher at Ferrari - there has often been trouble.


Well I see your point, but I don't see that any lying went on with the Farrari team. Every team was playing that game, as McLaren did in Oz '98 with Mika & DC. The only reason the public went ballistic in Austria '02 was that dopey Rubens chose to pull over on the very last corner (which, interestingly, he only shed light on publicly for the first time last night, on Top Gear) But he was still showboating despite his team having only just signed up again to a new contract days earlier.

Similarly with Webber, did Red Bull not show massive loyalty to him following his broken leg last season? Many other teams would have hedged their bets and found a replacement. So if the guy back in Austria spending the equivalent of a small African nation's GDP on the team instructs his directors to win the title at all costs, then Webber's just another employee who should be grateful for a seat in the fastest car in years.


I seem to recall a lot of twisting and turning by Todt and co. to deny that there was a number one driver at Ferrari. If the fans were already aware that that was in fact the case, why did they go ballistic when Rubens made it obvious?

To your second point - absolutely, if Red Bull made it clear to Webber and to the public that they were paying him to be Vettel's wingman, then no problem. The issue is that their public stance has been "equal treatment", and Webber seems to be indicating that he signed up with Red Bull on a similar assurance.

One last thought... while Mateschitz is ploughing a lot of money into F1, let's remember that he's doing so because of the fanbase - if noone was watching, he'd reinvest his F1 money in a different marketing opportunity. If the fans don't like the way Red Bull conduct themselves, he has to take that into account.


Howard Hughes, you have summed the situation up beautifully. Not another word needs to be said.


Wow. Thank you for that.


Way to go to type all that after missing the point in the first sentence already.




If Newey insisted it was important to run the new wing, then so it should be. But as the remaining wing was on Webbers car, it should have stayed there. Just tough luck Seb, no favouritism, just the way the cookie crumbles.

I see the hand of Marko at work here!


I agree Frankie.

Vettels wing broke, Red Bull did not have a spare of the updated wing so hard lines Vettel.


Comes back to Turkey, doesn't it ? Who really makes the decisions Horner has to defend in public ? He's between a rock and a hard place.


If he can't make the RIGHT decisions, he needs to either admit the true reason he couldn't (i.e. orders from above) or grow a set and stand up to them...Mark has no problem telling things as they are - I guess that's the difference between him and Horner.


I'm confused about the effects of Red Bull. It's supposed to give you wings, right, not take them away and give them to Vettel. But in fact those wings weren't needed to win. So in conclusion don't buy Red Bull, it doesn't do what it says on the can..


Yet another great weekend... and certainly the examination of this issue has been covered fully.

There is not a driver on the grid that aspires to the number two position. This Red Bull situation really reminds me of Prost/ Senna at McLaren, with about 50% of the talent and incendiary on-track activity.

Polls indicate everyone wants more drama and on-track action... well this is what it looks like. Team politics, economics (ie. driver investment through to Constructors Championship wins) as well as some of the best racing we have seen in a while.

Bravo Silverstone for providing a truly classic racing surface for the world to view the action. And to think Silverstone nearly lost their role to host British GP.

Webber should have kept his mouth shut post race win. His result did the talking. Webber should not have further elaborated his feelings in the post-race interview other than to say, the car was great and never mind the bull**** -- I'm here to win races. The results speak volumes. Last race his car was jetting like a fighter plane so he should be thankful of the come back.

Next year I expect to see Weber driving for Renault alongside Kubica. It would be a great pairing of two mature and capable development/ race drivers.

Red Bull wouldn't have the car they do without the huge input Weber has made since joining. Teams need experience. Without his input, I'm sure Red Bull would be challenging and apparently now falling behind the re-emerging Saubers.

Drivers being expendable is a poor choice of words.

Experienced drivers are priceless. Just as Frank Williams where he would be right now without Rubens Barrichello.

So yes, Webber has every reason to be pissed and every motivation to win. Winning today with the earlier wing version means that the part wasn't necessary for victory. He should have said this to anyone who asks.

"The new wing is good but I can win without it." End of discussion.


Andrew C.


Yes and no...

I for one applaud his refreshing candor. Mark is an emotional man and he has every right to air his feelings. Besides, F1 could do with a dash of honesty.

Look, if his own team won't listen to him then I'm certainly happy to hear what he wants to say.


Congrats to Mark from everyone in Australia! He went out and earned that win fair and square with what seems little incentive from his team.

It's great to see Mark speak his mind about all of this. If it wasn't for him and Alonso it would just be robots out there.

There's a lot of talk about Red Bull lately and I think we are missing Hamilton walking away with the title. He will be very hard to stop given his form and talent.

Keep it up Mark!


I dont blame Webber for being angry and upset, the way Red Bull are treating his is a disgrace.

It will serve Red Bull right if Webber wins the WDC and then promptly takes the coverted number 1 on his car to a team that will treat him with some respect.


Red Bull give you wings? Perhaps not. Well maybe in Seb's case. Look forward to Mark taking the title.



Adrian Newey decided (no, 'insisted') that the new wing be run.

Well Adrian - Shut Up.

You're the hired help. The expensive hired help maybe but still just an employee. Go away and design a car that's fast AND reliable, then, again - SHUT UP !

You're not running the company, you don't make policy, you're not responsible for co-ordinating the success in all areas (just the technical ones) and its pretty obvious that you haven't got a clue as to the damage ill considered decisions taken in isolation by somebody with technical tunnel vision can have.

Make the car, make it work and don't even try to influence policy again.

PS - Love your tech work, I mean really love it - especially the packaging and suspension design.


I don't get the hate for Newey in all this.

If he did in fact insist that the new front wing is run, what's wrong with that? Design/development is his job, so I'd say he's well within his rights, especially if the part proves to be better.

And if Horner had left it on Webber's car, would it not still have been run?

Now if Newey insisted that Vettel in particular run it, then it's a different matter, but I haven't heard anything to suggest that's what happened.


Newey has more titles than anyone in F1. He joins a team, they win.

The reality is that he carries more clout than Horner.

So if Horner upsets Newey, he also upsets the gaffers.


Quote of the day from the Press Conference....

"Red Bull gives you wings, it also takes them away again" 🙂


Interesting that Mark won in the chasie that Vettel said was damaged. I wounder what kind of punishment he will get for his comments on the the radio?


Webber has a huge problem. He is nearing the end of career, and there are no vacancies at any other top teams. If there was, Kubica would be more likely to land it, being younger, and probably more highly rated.

He has a well liked, young team mate who is a sponsor's dream, of equal ability, with a possible long term Red Bull career ahead of him, after being a long-term Red Buller from youth.

So Red Bull have no option but to back Vettel, whatever they say publicly. Any organisation would be foolish not too. Commercially, long term bet, proving their youth scheme works, Vettel has it all for the bosses.

As unbelievably hard as that is for Webber to swallow, he has no choice if he wants a crack at the title.

It's a shame for the guy, but he has to be strong and think b****x to them, I'll have to prove myself even more.

Otherwise he's fighting a losing battle, Red Bull will have to start lying to him, and it will go totally sour, with no title for him, and no future drive in a top team.


Its so funny everybody here is supporting webber wait till next race when he bins it just like he did at valencia people forget that part about webbers game



I was following the cars on the BBC tracker. As the safety car completed its first lap Vettel and Chandook were entering the new arena section with Vet behind Chand'.

At that point Vet was on the radio commenting on what he should do as Chand would hold him up at the restart. His pit crew replied 'don't do anything stupid'

10 seconds later as the cars came down the new back-straight, he was ahead of Chand'.

How'd that happen ?

Check it out on the re-runs. Stewards comment please ?


Horner and Marko should probably be put on notice by mr red bull. They are looking like punters when it comes to running a professional racing team at the highest level; F1. Just too young and inexperienced. Cars are falling apart all year, the team seems to be in kaos. Its like WW2 in the garage. He would be a better fit as Ferarri team manager?

The ultimate experienced professional who is also fast , Webber has put up with a lot this year and kept his mouth shut until this weekend. You could see other drivers were on Webbers side after race. I would not be surprised if Vettel and Horner will be booed at races later in year, certainly in Australia next year. That is a lot of money Red Bull is spending to create a PR nightmare in all countries in the world except Germany and Austria.

Vettel appears from the outside to be a young snotty nosed , spoiled little princess with a sense of entitlement who got sand kicked in his face at the beach. What a PR night mare.

Vettel is probably too inexperienced to be given team leadership and the responsibility it entails this early in career.

Niki Lauda seems to have lost it, previously a wise observer of the sport, first he says Schumacher will come good after a few races – proven to be incorrect so far, (Nico Rosberg is still running rings around him) now he says Webber was in wrong at first corner – clearly wrong. Just because they speak german Niki does not mean anything.

There should probably be no favoritism and no hint of it, until much later in the year when its clear who is the best chance to win. It is not clear yet at all. McLaren seems to be running along those lines and with a slower car leads both constructers and drivers championships.

Webber seems to be winning races despite the jingoistic management of the team ! Webber has the grit to do the job it seems when his back is to the wall. He has proven now beyond doubt that he has the hunger and killer instinct to win that many Australian sportspeople have. That is what wins championships – given same chance.


I think its DISGUSTING that redbull are favouring vettel! look what nationality does to people - drives them apart! I hope webber wins the title (and im a schuey supporter!)


James.... How on earth do you compare a one time component being given to Vettel over Webber to Rubens being asked to pull over numerous times for Schumacher and Coulthard being asked the same at McLaren. I usually love your writing, but you are starting a forest fire over a spark. I know it is great fun to get people fired up but surely you don't sit back this year and see Webber being treated poorly overall, or being a #2?! Webber better stop attacking the hand that feeds him or there is a Toro Rosso with his name on it next year....


"Rubens being asked to pull over numerous times for Schumacher"

How many times did Barrichello pull over for Schumacher? There are numerous people who still grossly exaggerate the situation.


How many times has Webber pulled over for Vettel? NONE!!!!!!!! therefore there are not team orders or #2 driver

RB probably did it 4 or 5 times.... Irvine 2 or 3 times and Salo at least twice...

Massa twice as well


Although I'm a bit worried of how RBR's top brass will react to Mark fighting fire with fire, I can only hope they will react positively and ensure TRUE equality is carried over from now on. Or they can get rid of him the way McLaren decided to get rid of Alonso back in '07.

What Mark did was actually right, using the media and public sympathy to gain leverage. Remember, Coulthard himself admitted that after Ron bullied him to move over in Jerez '97 and Australia '98, his confidence was never quite the same. His fate was sealed when he failed to stand up to McLaren.

The same could be said with Rubens. His rant in Brawn during '09 was too little too late, by then Ross owned him already - He should have stood up for himself and stepped up his performance as early as Monaco 2001 (after being asked to cede 2nd place to Michael previously in Austria).

Like what Alonso always said, two equal cars is one thing but support is a different and more determining factor altogether.


Really can't understand why Adrian is a factor in this episode. I don't really think it was fair of Christian to even mention Adrian in his explaination - maybe a case of buck passing? Given the lack of testing and the threat from McLaren Adrian was quite right to be keen for it to run. This is purely about the way the team management dealt with the matter of allocation. Actually given that one example of the wing had already failed I'm not sure I'd have wanted to run with the other one anyway!


Webber shouldn't have made the comment publicly?? I applaud him for his honesty. As I have stated elsewhere, I take Mark as a 'heart-on-sleeve' kind of guy. In the past we have seen hints of his frustration, but I think the inequity in the team now (and the continued denials of this) have gotten to the point where Mark seriously has no respect for Horner and just wants out, even though it would mean likely losing his best chance for a WDC. And, if he did go (even for a lower rung team such as Renault), I for one would applaud him for taking a stand.

I get the feeling that he only signed the extended contract a few weeks ago after assurances that things would be done equally in the future. Then when he gets screwed over once again, just a few weeks later, he is not only frustrated but feels betrayed.

This was not a "tough decision" as Horner would have us believe. The wing was already ON marks car. They physically took the time to TAKE IT from Mark, and give it to Sebastian, who apparently did showed HIS true colors by not protesting in the least.

Even if this whole thing boils over to where Mark is out of RBR, and never has the opportunity to win a WDC because of it, he can still hold his head high and know he stood up for fairness in an apparently unfair sport and can walk away with his dignity, which is more than can be said for CH and others in RBR.


Vettel continues to make mistakes under pressure. He should never have tried to go down the outside of Weber. That gap was always going to disappear. Once he lost the lead to Weber he would have been better off thinking about Hamilton who was behind. It is a long race and Vettel should stop trying to win races at the first corner. The race should have been a straighforward RB 1-2. Meanwhile Mac are increasing their lead with an inferior car but a better team overall.


The driver who had the most difficulty coping with the pressure was Button. His qualifying performance was ghastly. It was a combination of superior equipment and luck that led him to fourth position.


It's not about "giving" the wing to Webber - it was already on his car! RBR management (or lack thereof) took the wing off Webbers car and gave it to Vettel.


Aussie Murdoch press is reporting Webber's mechanics were taunting Vettel's guys by removing the "winning" front wing from Mark's car and waving it around the garage.

James - can you confirm?


I cannot confirm that


I wonder if this is true?

"Webber's mechanics were said to have removed the 'old' front wing that Webber had been forced to race with and waved it at Vettel's side of the garage."


Does anyone know what the German media is saying with the situation?


They definitely needed to run the new front-wing - why didn't Horner just have a coin-toss with the drivers to see who got the wing? They wouldn't have this debacle if that was the case.


That would have been the fairer way


How would that have been fairer. Please explain in detail.

Two childern are given sandwiches because they are hungry. One child's sandwich drops (for whatever reason)you then flip a coin for the other sandwich which was already given to other child.

If that is the case then Vettel can mess up all his parts always knowing their is a 50% chance that he will get Mark's and Mark can always look after his part knowing that there is a 50% chance of it going to Vettel.

Mark had a crash in his previosu race. Did they then flip a coin to see if he got Vettel's car for this race.

I am not sure if a lot of people remember the definition of fair anymore.

Thomas in Australia

Can't see how Mark will be at Red Bull next year after this. He will have made a lot of people angry with his (justified) comments. I think they will see him as too much trouble honestly. Sure Aussie grit and calling a spade a spade can be good, but MW needs to remember that dirty laundry should never be aired in public.

If the relationship with Vettel sours further, Seb may well use his obvious leverage in the team to get Mark out.

Nick Heidfeld could find himself walking into a championship team next year.

Or as someone said earlier, someone like Buemi could be promoted as a solid RB #2 which would open up a spot for Ricciardo or Hartley at Torro Rosso (both of whom would be good for the Red Bull "brand").


I agree with the majority here so I won't post about that.

What I DO want to post about is the very hard position Red Bull will be in if this happens again BUT with the situations reversed.

Suppose Webber is leading the championship and his new spec (something) breaks - will Red Bull take it off of Seb's car and put it on Mark's?

There are a few things to consider:

1. Horner said they would (I have my doubts: he probably just said that because the chances of it happening again are low...and frankly Seb will probably bounce back and lead the championship again before that happens)

2. If Red Bull does not do it then [although they did the fair thing], we would all perceive it as them favoring Vettel again but ONLY because they DID do it this time and Horner said they WOULD do it the next time.

3. If Red Bull DOES do it, then we'll be happy to know that the same thing DID indeed happen when the situations were reversed. But frankly, it's still just as ridiculous and crazy as it was yesterday. The team simply SHOULD NOT do that. Just because a wing fails on the leading driver does NOT mean the other driver should sacrifice his wing, unless of course the other driver is seriously off the pace but the fact is that both Sebastian and Mark are fighting for the world champion and they both could most certainly come out on top.

Seems to me like there isn't an option that will make Red Bull look good.

Just m $0.02 - shame it's burried in the comments as I feel there are some valid points worth discussing 🙂


Congrats to Mark - “appointment with karma” - what a great quote at the press conference.

It's great to have a driver - an Aussie - telling you his thoughts and not the robot "team speak" - should be more of it.

I would love to hear Alonso, Button, Kubica an Rosberg be let of the "media leash" and tell it like it really is - Bernie would go into meltdown.

Now onto Germany and Mark to win Seb's home GP.

Appointment with Karma !

p.s. well done James on this website, Brilliant! and your work on One Hd in Oz.


A lesson for McLaren - cut out the choreographed twaddle and let its drivers tell it like it is!


James, during your post-Qualifying interview with Mark on OneHD he mentioned something about his side of the garage doing a lot of the car set-up work and the other side (i.e. Seb) taking a lot of it.

Is that typical in other garages? The more experienced driver (Rubens, Fernando etc.) providing a lot of the set-up?


Don't you remember last year Button struggling through practise and then using Barrichello's identical car set up and piping him for pole (can't remember the track) - but was a big turning point in the relationship from there.. Button then struggled for most of the year post that race. I don't think the other side were "sharing" anymore.


Yes, it's common to work as a team and then go with the best set up


Well one thing is for sure, with everything that has happened in Mark's motor racing career (not only in F1), his autobiography is sure to be a cracker!


They had one new wing each, Vettel broke his.

How much simpler can it be ?

Alonso is getting ever more deranged, questions should be asked about his mental health. It was so clear cut that he had to give the place back to Kubica, yet he and Ferrari clearly hope they can be let off a few offences here and there "because they are having a bad year" ? He then had a major strop, it sounded like he was actually crying, when he said "I do not want to hear any more radio transmissions during the race". After the race he then goes on to tell us how he is "even more certain" he will win the WDC this year.

All is not well there, lucky Red Bull are dramatically shooting themselves in the foot so publicly or closer attention would focus on Alonso.


I disagree. I don't like Alonso at all, but he blatantly had two choices - either go off track or collide badly with Kubica. There was no 2rd option short of suddenly teleporting somewhere else. What would the FIA have had him do - stay on track and crash?!


Third option - give the place back immediately.


Lost so much respect for redbull and what they bring to the sport frankly and i am not even a webber fan. It *MIGHT* be slightly different if they only had one part to dole out from the off set; but what they did was actaully take something off someone that they had alredy given. one of the first lessons you learn as a child is that if you give something, youve given it, why so hard for redbull to understand?

I cheered like hell when mark came out of the opening exchange in front, karma indeed.

PS: James, might be worth saying in your poll "To leave the new wing with Webber" rather than "To give the new wing to Webber" as its slightly missleading? (not in a bad way, but certainly my understanding is this was taken away from mark - rather than never given).


Ah well i understand how Red Bull feel Ferrari had a traitor in the team before as well his name was Barrichello. Mark Webber is a no.2 driver and should be treated as such. If he doesn't like it he should leave RB will have no problem finding someone to fill that seat.


See, the thing is, you're wrong. Webber isn't the number two driver because RBR will not come out and say so. They insist that each is equal, and on the most, they do treat them equally. Ferrari never treated Barrichello with the same equality that Webber gets now.

I agree with you partially though. This would all go away is RBR come out and said that yes, Webber is the number 2 driver (doesn't have to be explicitly, do a Renault and say the team is building around Vettel). And if he didn't like that, then he can leave.


Oh - how I would have loved to see Horner or Newey on the rostrum accepting the constructor's trophy ....

And for them to be standing there bone dry whilst Webber gives them the cold shoulder and the crowd booing them for their actions.


can't see how RBR can sort this one out. there's obviously tension there and I can't see it working for another season in 2011.

mark may move to ferrari - massa's contract doesn't meet nowt, as you say James it took the pressure off him. Massa may switch to RBR or retire - he's not the same driver, whatever people say, after his accident.

Mark to Ferrari, Kimi (will stay in WRC), Massa/Buemi to RBR.


Firstly, so as not to be accused of favouring an English speaking driver, I am a JB and MSC fan so how this affects the RBR team doesn't really worry me at all.

I disagree with the assertion that they should have given both drivers the old wing. With the lack of in season testing they absolutely had to run the new wing. I know that Mclaren took off new parts, but only after realising that they couldn't get them to work. There is no question in my mind that Adrian Newey was correct to push this point.

However, they should have left the new wing on Mark's car. To be honest RBR have scored a massive own goal here. You cannot, as a team, say that you have 2 equal drivers and then remove performance from one car to give to the other and say that it was a decision motivated by championship standings. Firstly, the media storm on this is going to damage the perception of the team and the brand in general, particularly after Turkey. Secondly, RBR have pretty much guaranteed a much more agressive on track partnership in their drivers (Prost and Senna at Suzuka 1990 anyone?) with the likelihood of more incidents.

Vettel and Webber are both great drivers and one of the more evenly matched pairs on the grid. I can understand that RBR have spent a lot of time and money supporting Vettel, and that they want him to suceed, but surely not at the obvious expense of Mark Webber.

I think RBR have to decide whether or not they want to win the driver's or constructor's championship this year. With the way this is panning out I can see them getting one but not the other.


The new wing was already on Webber's car! It should have stayed there - simple as that!

Seb's wing broke in practice - that was his bad luck. Transferring the cost on to Webber was outrageous.


Mclaren Will win the Drivers and Constructors championship this year because of Red Bulls woeful campaign which by the look of things can only get worse. They are really making an example of themselves and providing much needed caution to Lewis and Jenson on exactly how a collective failure is not a price to pay for any drivers individual success. GO MCLAREN !!


Give it to Webber, although its not so much give it to Webber as let him keep his one (very different)

The "fair" thing to do would have been to give them both the old one, but thats just stupid, why would they want to compromise? The simple fact is Seb broke his one (doesnt matter if it was his fault or his mechanics fault) and Mark didnt, so that should be tough luck to Seb.

This was very foolish of Redbull after all they went through at Istanbul.

I know what I would have done.... stone paper scissors lads, best of 3!

Does make it interesting though!....


RedBull - it gives Vettel wings!


James, what I don't get in all this is Seb's coolness to Mark - in the post-race interview, hinting that Mark has a dark side etc etc.. Any insight as to what's going on with him?


I haven't seen any comments about the contrived finish in Canada. MW was leading and radioed in that his tires had gone off (and was losing 5 seconds a lap to those following). Horner told him it we know, just stay out there and kept him out for another 3-4 laps. I was yelling at the TV to bring him in and change tires. When they did bring him in, SV had made up enough time so MW came out 2 seconds behind him. By keeping him out one extra lap, it allowed Vettel to finish in front of him. Every team does the calculations on where they will come out, and Red Bull would have this time. To my mind, Silverstone was the third time out of four races they have shown favouritism to Vettel, not the second time. Anyone care to comment?


Good point Valour. However, the real favouritism was the fact that Mark could not challenge Vettel for position once he emerged on fresh tyres. We saw the stunning times Kubica was doing on fresh tyres. Yet Mark's pace went completely, matching Vettel's slow pace, and allowing the leading trio to completely break away.

Unbelievable, not allowing Webber to challenge. Yet they allowed Vettel an unfair challenge with a better engine map setting in Turkey. If Webber was given the number one status he would have won in Australia, Malaysia and Turkey. So all this talk that Vettel should rightly be the number one is ABSOLUTE GARBAGE. If anything Webber should be the number one. But what we want, is for all drivers to get a fair crack. Something Rubens Barrichello did not get at Brawn last year. If Barrichello got No.1 status last year, then he would have won the championship.


Agreed Valour. I thought the same thing for Canada.

The list is wrong doings is growing too


I thought they delayed bringing Webber in so his final set of tyres would last until the end of the race. An early stop may well have meant two stops.


I agree. To my mind the Canada race stinks re: Red Bull. Vettel was also allegedly carrying a faulty gearbox which was miraculously repaired with the replacement of a few external oil seals.

If a driver needs this level of additional help to win it doesn't look good for the team. They are giving everyone the blueprint on how to NOT win either championship.


Webber's fathers observation at breakfast before the race:

"Martin Brundle came on the television and said watch out for some fun at the first corner and Mark looked up and said: 'You bet there will be some fun at the first corner"


Also James, did I hear correctly in your interview with Webber on Saturday after qualy

"They took the wing AND my setup"?

Is Webber an expensive setup tool for Vettel. Can he setup a car without Webber?


THat is correct, he did say that in an interview I did with him for Network 10


James Allen

Given Webber's comments after the race, is he likely to remain at Red Bull?

Can a team really tolerate such comments being made by one of its drivers in public?


I think he will, but the air clearing exercise grows...and as we get to the end of the season there may be other moments


I would think that inevitable. (More similar moments I mean).


I disagree with you James. I think Newey was right to ask for it to be run - there's no testing nowadays. However, to take it off one "equal-driver" and give it to another is wrong.

Webber did nothing to deserve that treatment.


Christian Horner's getting a lot of heat over this - but I think he's in a pretty difficult position.

From a fans perspective it seems that he can't exert his own will over the team as you have minister-without-portfolio Helmut Marko allegedly getting involved and reporting back to Horner's boss. Now the suspicion is that DM favours a Vettel world championship and if HM is his eyes and ears within the racing team then that severely undermines Horners authority doesn't it?

So Christian Horners position might be that he's walking a tightrope between keeping his boss happy and keeping the 2 drivers happy which at present under some circumstances are mutually exclusive goals.

One thing's for sure, that McLaren are the net benefactors of the sitation.


The way I look at it is that if Red Bull are being this blatant in favouring Vettel in public what the hell is it like for Mark Webber behind closed doors? What are we not seeing? It must be awful for him and such an unhappy environment to work. Fair play to mark so speaking out and I think he has done it in the best possible way.

This whole sorry saga has been brought about by RedBull themselves and they only have themselves to blame. I am sensing a huge backlash and think Red Bull are completely out of touch with their fan base.

To me this is becoming as damaging to Red Bull as the cheating saga was to Renault, it just does not sit in the interest of sportsmanship and fair play. Vettel should have said, my bad luck, im not taking Marks wing, im going to go out and get Pole of my own accord not because ive had it gifted to me because ive nicked my team mates superior wing.

I hope Webber wins the Championship and walks and take his No1 with him somewhere else.

If Vettel wins the Championship I will not be able to help but think it was because hes had it constructed and gifted to him to the detriment of his team mate. Red bull are not making this a fair fight. Vettle needs to Man up and beat Mark fair and square and not have the team pull him favours.


Lets not forget that during his re-signing discussions, just weeks ago Mark would have been (surely?) assured of equal treatment. I think in that context his frustration is even more understandable.

Although he is in the middle of it all, in my eyes SV has redeemed somewhat himself in this episode. At least he as been wise enough not to open his mouth and dig further holes, consequently most of the ill-will is toward the team this time, not SV too.

Duncan from Oz

I think they should have left the new nose on Mark's car, especially in the aftermath of Turkey.

It's not just the nose - the change also compromised Mark's set-up fine-tuned from FP3 on the new nose. Supposedly Seb took Mark's settings for quali along with the nose. What settings did Mark have for the old nose - some early data from FP1 and FP2?

I agree that Mark's radio comments would probably have been best left unsaid, but really he wasn't airing anything new. Horner had already explained in public that he had made the "difficult decision" to move the wing from the #2 to #1 car based on WDC points and FP3 performance, so Mark was just sarcastically echoing his rationale back at him. It's hard to understand why the team should reprimand him for that, especially following Horner's very luke warm praise for Webber's well-deserved win (in stark contrast to the enthusiatic words always exchanged with Vettel after a race win).

Another point which some have made is that in Turkey Seb was given new parts for the rear floor at the beginning of the weekend, so he could set them up in FP1, FP2 and FP3, whereas Mark had them bolted on just minutes before qualifying, with no time to test them out. Mark was leading the championship at the time, so why wasn't he given the parts first in line with Horner's logic? Any comment on that, James?


Very interesting. Your last paragraph tells us of a clear double standard if true.

Does anyone know how to tap phone conversations? I think we could collectively blow this wide open with a few "confidential" words between Milton Keynes and Austria being revealed publicly.


It was great to see Sir Stirling Moss at Silverstone and that he seemed to be walking ok after his accident.

The great man got it right when he said Webber should focus his job i.e. no matter what he's given he should try to beat Vettel.

The ultimate put down is winning with inferior equipment and Webber achieved that at Silverstone and should be congratulated. In hindsight he may have been better off saying nothing about being #2


Here Here on seeing Sir Stirling Moss on the podium!


Isn't it ironic how Red Bull's treatment of Mark Webber as the number two driver, has won Mark the respect and number one status of the fans. Out side of Germany i would be surprised if anybody was rooting for Vettel over Webber. It's one thing fighting 11 other teams and your team mate for the victory - but when you've got to fight your own team too! It shows how much mental strength Webber has, and it's for this reason if neither of the McLarens get the title this year, i'll be rooting for Webber.


Haven't read through all the previous comments so someone has probably suggested this already: Horner should have flipped a coin over the wing (surprised not to have seen this as an option in your pole James). That way Newey would have seen the wing used, if Vettel was the preferred driver he would still have had a 50% chance of getting it, fairness would have been seen to be done to both drivers by Horner and the team and there would have been the public relations fun side of it that Red Bull didn't take life too seriously - surely a plus with the fans when the product you are fronting is an overpriced fizzy drink! If he had fairly won the toss, Mark might even have graciously let Vettel have it anyway - because he figured it might break on him again in the race.

Bit of a no-brainer I'd have thought.


And actually because it is a no-brainer I realise now that clearly this was a decision taken completely out of Horner's hands - by the real masters behind the Red Bull team, Helmut Marko or whoever. Christian Horner strikes me as being an inherently fair guy. He was clearly told to give the wing to Vettel.


RBR talk about the team, and how not to let the team down post the Turkey incident etc. And how it is not about individuals. Both drivers were apologetic because they let the team down. Well if all key people in the team are key to this, why does Newey insist on his new wing on the car when it will create problems in the team. And if the wing only had minor changes (and what I've heard are very minor) isn't it in the best interest of the TEAM to hold off fitting it. This is not about Vettel, Webber, Marko or whoever else we need to find blame, this is about Horner who is in charge making the decisions and who is accountable - support what you state publicly and show that you ALL are a unified team, not just the drivers.


i would've flipped a coin, no arguing with that.


I think I read somewhere that when Honda was the engine supplier for McLaren during the period when both Senna and Prost were team mates, they used something similar to decide who got the most powerful engine that Honda brought on the day.

Can't confirm whether this is accurate or not, maybe James could tell us.


Sorry this was meant to be a reply to comment Nr. 90


'Some of the drivers offered me the front wings from their cars on the drivers’ parade lap.'Mark.

Aw, bless.........they're all heart those drivers aren't they.........

And when they got back to their garages after their ride on the back of a lorry their race engineers said to them,

"You said he could have WHAT you !!***xx!!!. I shall count to three and if that front wing isn't back on your car I shall @@*!!..XXX


Obviously, they probably said that in jest, giving him a spare wing from another team car wouldn't have worked anyway...


I'd guess not too...pity though, it would have made a loveley picture!!


"Sometimes good and bad you get to know people a little better and see their true faces. So I think I have learned my lesson and focus on myself."

James, what's your take on this comment by SV in the post-race BBC interview? Is he genuinely under the impression that MW did something wrong this weekend? I'm confused by this attitude - seems to assume a strong sense victimhood? Did RBR tell him he's the undisputed no 1, perhaps, but tell Webber something else? Or are there more things going on behind the scenes than you can disclose here? I'm genuinely surprised/intruiged by Seb's attitude. If it was the team management who swapped wings, why didn't Seb just say 'I've nothing against Mark, but the team chose this strategy, blah, blah blah'? Clearly though, he has some kind of issue with Mark. Pity, because up to now I've always admired both of them - was rooting for them (and the Mclaren boys, admittedly)- but now I'm not so sure. A bit distasteful what's happening now, forcing us to choose one or the other as happened at Mclaren with Ham/Alo in 07...


The poll question is not quite correct, I beleive:

Option 1 should be: "Take the new front wing off of Webber's car and give it to Vettel"

Option 2 should read: "Keep the new front wing on Webber's car"