Red Bull boss: No driver favouritism, I don’t care if we lose
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull boss: No driver favouritism, I don’t care if we lose
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 Nov 2010   |  4:31 pm GMT  |  346 comments

The Red Bull Racing team goes into the final race of the season with two drivers in contention for the Drivers’ World championship, but their best placed driver Mark Webber has a harder task than he would have had if they had thrown their weight behind him today.

Webber would have been one point behind Alonso if the team had backed him today, instead he is eight points behind, more than the gap between first and second places in the final race.

After today’s race – won by Sebastian Vettel, who now needs to outscore Alonso by 16 points and Webber by eight points – Vettel said he would think about letting Webber through in Abu Dhabi if the points dictated it, while team boss Christian Horner intimated that he would not let the drivers hand the title to Alonso.

Mateschitz: We don't manipulate things as Ferrari do (Getty)

But this morning I picked up some quotes from Austrian colleagues, from Red Bull drinks company boss Dietrich Mateschitz which explain why Red Bull managed the race as they did today. He said that he didn’t want to ‘manipulate’ things between his drivers even if it meant losing the title to Alonso.

Speaking in Austrian newspaper Kliene Zeitung, he said, “Let the two drivers race and what will be will be. if Alonso wins we will have been unlucky. I predict a Hollywood ending. Worst case scenario we don’t become champion? We’ll do it next year. But our philosophy stays the same because this is sport and it must remain sport. We don’t manipulate things like Ferrari do.”

Red Bull is a maverick brand, they pride themselves on doing things differently. For everyone to be talking about them, even if many are thinking that they are nuts, is what they live for. They are a marketing led drinks company, not a car manufacturer. On that basis what happens next is hard to predict.

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that’s beside the point. RBR are stating that drivers should be given equality to race regardless of their championship position. A little hypocritical really.


How many little cans of red fizzy pop will be sold in the next year if RB win the WDC – OR – how many little cans of red fizzy pop will be sold next year if they don’t?? Mateschitz is a Marketeer who happens to use an F1 team as part of his global strategy to sell liitle cans of red fizzy pop – over and out…


Perhaps not mentioned in this thread, but I am interested:

Has anyone worked out what the situation would be with the two old points systems? And also the medals system?

I guess Vettel would be looking good if it was medals..


With other points system the pilots would have taken other race approaches.

The comparison is not valid.


I bet all my money if Alonso was English, right now he would have 20 or 30 more points.(Valencia – UK) No harassment about team orders and dozens of books claiming the Shumi’s succesor.

If Hamilton was the spaniard, you should remove at least 30 or 40 points. (Malaysia – China – Canada – Valencia)

This is F1. Play the game!

Now press the “rubbish” button, but in a far worst conditions for Alonso in McLaren than he has Webber in RB you probably supported the Vettel alter ego because is English. Justice? No: F1.


Nonsense. This English bias thing is not true. It evens out over a season.


You are journalist I guess. It’s not enough to say “is not true”.

You can meausure the media consequences of Hamilton’s rule violations this season and compare with a mere “team orders” and say “English media are not biased”. I know the inconvenience of read and answer “foreign atacks of English media integrity”, but We assume we are very very small compared your huge lobby in F1.

You can compare 2007 and ask about “problems” in Fernando’s car or the times in every GP who Hamilton’s has the privilege to do the last lap. Now all English “unbiased” media are all day long speaking about “the dirty champ” or in a polite manner if the spaniard deserves the tittle. Possibly in England the Justice is different and you give prizes who overtakes SC or who decides to qualify with less fuel than the rest or who makes waves to avoid overtaking, everything consciously. Not to mention questions of Tony Scott Andrews and Anthony’s Hamilton season.

Not biased, noo. crane is a correct word?

Well, James it’s not enough saying it’s not true. One day, by the consequences of an incredible outburst in a Press conference in Monaco 2007, Mr. Ron Dennis switched all McLaren rule system. One public complaint accepted (yes this time) and supported by English media, it spoiled the chances of the best driver in F1. Why? because he is not English. It’s not emotional, it’s real with real evidences, more evident than RB game and all the fireworks that you need to sell magazines and books this fantastic season.


I agree, James. But unfortunately, the blogs indicate a distinct bias,Especially when it comes to despising the British Press/drivers.


The beeb website is showing rain this weekend. Should spice things up…(not that its needed)


McLaren saying no rain..


Camels say “Don’t need rain, have hump”.


I have got one message for you all. Don’t count out Lewis Hamilton. His performance in qualifying at Abu Dhabi last year was brilliant. I still feel that the car and driver is suited to Abu Dhabi in the same way as Canada. Red Bull and Ferrari have to be careful not to get into a war of words with each other because there is a risk none of them may when. This could be a case where things may not go to plan for Red Bull or Ferrari.



I would love to know what your German speaking colleagues think of the Red Bull situation – Do they have sympathy for Webber like the majority of English speaking fans or do they see it differently to us?


What a great attitude to have. Good on Mateshitz. There would be far less scinicism and a mor epositive attitude towards F1 if all teams took this approach – but I fear it’s never going to happen.

Why didn’t he say this earlier in the season though – it would have diffused a lot of the rumours and inuendo surrounding the team?


Hi James

It is good to see most Fans see it as they are and most see it as a big gamble for RB management to try for Vettel to become WDC hope RBR fall on their own sword. Most people fell the same my comment are similar. Big company only cares about money mean selling more drink and they are ruthless hope he fall on his sword. Still would loved either Webber or Alomso to win Hamilton out of it dont expect a miracle. Justice would be for Webber to win and take the number 1 to Ferrari this than would be priceless and RBR losse its dominance in 2011 and Vettel and newey moved to another team in 2012 this would be priceless


I am tired of this holyer than thou cr*p from Redbull and from many of your contributors. An F1 teams intent is to win drivers and constructors championships. 1 box ticked. It is a team sport, does Ronaldo get dragged with 5 minutes to and scores level in the World Cup final? Does Kobe Bryant get dragged with scores level and 1 minute to go in the final game of the NBA series? No. For the greater good of the team, a decision will be made, unpopular as it may be, to load the bases to achieve the coachs’, team owners’, sponsors, and fans KPI, to WIN!

I find it ridiculous JB can say what he says about Alonso; same foot different shoe Button would take it.

Yes let SV and MW fight it out but not to the detriment of the team, the second box and the final KPI.



I agree with Christian Horner to leave it to the drivers. Consider this scenario in Abu Dhabi – race positions are Vettel leading followed by Webber and Alonso third. There are 6 laps left. Vettel has to decide whether to let Webber through and hand him the Championship, as he has no chance of winning it, and keeping Alonso behind him.. This would expose him as being a team player or not – something other teams and drivers would take good notice of. I think Vettel is desperate for recognition from the other teams and drivers and would do the right thing.

Christopher Snowdon

James just wanna say enjoy the last race, loved the website this year, your type of journalism has been a breath of fresh air, and your web site is my pit stop for news, but not only for the news, but the potential insight behind the news. Although there is a lot of analysis still to be done this season, try and relax a little and have a good time.



It’s quite funny actually to hear read bull profess against team orders..What they did in Silverstone by removing the updated front wing from Webber and giving it to Vettel has got to be the most unethical mutant of team orders and the clearest case of a team manipulating/favouring one driver over another…Stop preaching what you don’t practice and see if you can stop Alonso at Abu Dhabi!


If Mauschnitzel thinks this is not a teamsport where you as a team do whatwebber (oops I mean whatever) it takes to win then you’re a fool!

Also I think he only made that staement to then poor over the satistics scrapped from blogs like this to see if he can sell more cans. In other words if folks on here keep giving him plaudits he will let Alonso win and claim the moral highground. If he recons it wont sell more cans then believe you me he will tell Seb to let Webo through.

I for one can’t wait to see an EU ban on drinks like red bull, because advertising drinks bottles filled with with water (or at least not that red bull muck) by sportsmen who would never drink that rubbish so you can sell water with load of rubbish in it to fat kids aint gona last forever!


…. where you as a team do whatwebber (oops I mean whatever)….



This outcome is insane. This sport really is a test over an entire year coming down to just a few seconds.


So, Alonso is faster than you !!! only done in a underhand, under the sheets kind of way.

Bad management like this in the real world would lose them their jobs. What’s weird is if they had openly backed Webber and cited it’s a business or such rather than doing everything in their power to avoid that, and favour their golden child by inaction.

I would have put my hand in my pocket again for new merchandise won’t be happening; at least the other teams have been upfront and transparent in their favouritism.

This is nothing more that favouritism with spin that has been said all the way through the comments on here. I’ll buy them other team colours I think.


Ok we get it, you Webber fans wants all races to be rigged and cheated until Webber wins it, cool.


Mateschitz’s attitude is interesting, but I can’t imagine people working in a race team, for example mechanics, race engineers or designers, giving up a chance at a world drivers championship. Even if they wait until the last lap to see what happens with Alonso and he pulls over on the pit straight, I don’t hold it against them. If it’s their only chance at the drivers title, they should definitely go for it. Great season, really one of the best ever!


Christian Horner said that in the future the team will be built behind Vettel.

That tells me that they will have team orders, just not in favor of any of their drivers except Vettel.


I agree that Mateschitz and Red Bull are copping a “holier-than-thou” attitude that simply masks the truth — If the roles had been reversed (between Weber and Vettel) they would have implemented team orders already for Brazil. It is noteworthy that they are the only team to be pontificating on the evil travesties of Ferrari — all others are keeping their mouths shut because they know that, were they in the hunt for the title, they would not hesitate to do the same (as Ferrari did). It is finally more than hypocritical and confusing that all (including, it would seem, FIA) seem to think that team orders are ok in the closing stages of the season. This defies an understanding of the complicated dynamic of the world championship; teams know which circuits favour their cars. Furthermore they will take a view on whether their star is on the rise or on the wane. If they feel that important points are on the table and the pecking order between drivers is evident (either explicitly or, in the case of Ferrari, by virtue of the year’s tally to-date), they will take the points. It’s a no-brainer and anyone who claims otherwise is in denial or simply is anti-Scuderia from the get-go.



I was “interested” to read Adam Hay Nichols article in a public london free newspaper with a blue heading (sorry for plugging a different publication).

Unless I read it incorrectly (i got to it just as I was pulling into Waterloo), he was saying Mark is a lot like Nigel Mansell in that he was driven by an element of paranoia (the siege mentality if you like).

How do you find Mark? Does he use the siege mentality (i.e everyone is against me) to push himself on?

I’ve always thought he’s played a fairly straight bat, and his concerns about the team are probably more than justified.


He’s like Nigel in many ways. Not sure I agree with Adam on this point. He does like to see himself as an underdog and a fighter


First, i dont believe one word from horner or his boss… had vettel taken the lead as early as webber had done then they d ve immediately backed vettle as no 1 driver.. now they don ve option as they ve to back both drivers …

as per fernando , i ve not seen him win one championship on his own caliber, 2005 kimi deserved it , 06 won after micheals engine blew, now he s gonna win because bulls are gifting it to him…

well if i own a team and invest millions and pay millions to a driver to bring home the championship and would not see 2 monkeys fight for the fruit and drop it from their hands only to see another monkey waiting to catch the leftover and eat.

Alonso might be an opportunist of highest order but thats not the thing i want to se in driver..i d rather want him to join the two monkeys and snatch it from their hands..


Those factors may have aided Alonso’s wins but come on, its not exactly a fluke that he’s won two WDC’s. He has to have SOME modicum of talent.


All very noble but its about to cost them a double championship. Is it lost on Mateschitz that the drivers title is just as involving of the team as the constructors? The crew of either car would be ecstatic to win the drivers title…and what about the factory…the PR people etc etc…. On the flip side its refreshing for Mateschitz to take a stand against manipulation. However the sad reality is that no other team will ever follow suit…however ground breaking and noble it is….and Red Bull finds itself on an island on this point. But good for him…hes a character… which F1 certainly needs!


RBR Management (Dietrich Mateschitz & co) must have more money than God! Not worried if they don’t win Drivers title? What will be, will be?

No wonder MW has the sh*ts with the lack of support/direction from RBR Management.

Of the top 3 contenders, Webber has the “fresher” engine/car combination.

Abu Dharbi is one of the higher speed circuits on the calendar -it will be interesting to see if reliability issues play any part in the result?

JA – enjoyed your work on ONE HD in Oz this year. I see that Greg Rust is going to be at Abu Dharbi this weekend. Looking forward to seeing “Thruster” at his exuberant best.


You are forgetting 1 thing.

All Webber has to do to win the championship is be faster than Vettel 😉

This begging for Vettel to hold his hand, by Webber fans and Webber is now pretty embarrassing. You all already concede Vettel is the faster guy and the slower guy must win it by Vettel handing it to him on a platter.

Webber should take pole, win the race and prove he is a champ. That is racing, not fixing the result to suit the slower driver.


If Vettel is so fantastic and the “faster guy” as you put it – why is he currently 3rd in the championship ?

Since when has winning pole positions / fastest laps counted for anything – it’s who has the experience to finish 1st on the last lap that matters.

If crashing into other cars / not knowing the rules of the safety car and blowing up engines was anything to be proud of – then Vettel wins hands down.

If Vettel is the “fastest guy” – why then is his skills not being sort by other top shelf teams ?


I’m looking forward to doing loads of live stuff with him this weekend


OMG!!!! Greg is going to Abu Dhabi, please extend the pre-race programme to 2 hours. And really looking forward to Mark’s season review before the pre-race programme.


There is no way Red Bull are going to let a drivers title slip through their fingers! Of course they will make the switch if they need to.

All these Mateschitz comments are just designed to get people talking about ‘Red Bull’, its great marketing. Let’s not forget Red Bull F1 is a marketing arm of Red Bull.


It is interesting that if Alonso had helped Hamilton in the last race of 2007 when he knew he couldn’t win then Lewis and McLaren would have been world driver champions. Not saying he should have but if Hamilton hadn’t had the gearbox problem then he would have won the WDC.

Thats sport!

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