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Webber and Vettel make peace after epic championship battle
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Webber and Vettel make peace after epic championship battle
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Nov 2010   |  5:35 pm GMT  |  174 comments

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel have buried the hatchet after a season long duel for supremacy in the Red Bull team.

The duo, who looked at times as though they were shaping up to reprise the bitter Senna/Prost team rivalry of the 1990s, have revealed that they spoke at length during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend and put their differences behind them.

Webber also revealed that once the competition was over, and Vettel emerged victorious, it was important for him to drop his competitive guard and bow down to the younger man’s achievement.

Webber: Man to man chat (Getty)

“I went to him, ” said Webber. “We spoke for a long time, man to man, about a load of things that had happened during the season. The important thing is that at the end we were able to shake hands. As a driver you have to give it everything in order to win but at the end of the season you have to be able to bow to the success of others.”

Vettel backed up Webber’s sentiments, “It was important to clear things up, it did us both good.”

Webber pushed Vettel harder this season than either of them or the management, imagined he would. Vettel was unlucky not to have 75 points on the board after three races due to reliability issues and Webber capitalised on his frustration winning Spain and Monaco. Vettel needed to bounce back and in Turkey went for a pass on his team mate for the lead, which led to them colliding as Webber didn’t give him room and Vettel lost control of the car.

That incident wasn’t handled well by the management, who sent out mixed messages, blaming Webber for the accident, but then rowing back on their position after a public outcry. A month later at Silverstone Vettel had a front wing failure in practice and a decision was taken to give Webber’s wing to the German, who went out and took pole. In the race the next day Webber forced his way past his team mate at the start and in trying to fight back, Vettel cut his tyre on Hamilton’s wing and lost ground. Webber cast himself as “a number two driver” that weekend and restated his sentiments near the end of the season, in Brazil, that the team favoured Vettel.

“It’s normal, when we have such an important thing at stake, that there are going to be times when it will be on the edge,” explained Webber this week.

“And that’s part of the journey – that’s sport, that’s what happens. You have these micro-battles which happen. Of course the media can make it a lot bigger on Monday or Tuesday compared to what it was, and that’s something which we can’t control.”

Many paddock observers felt he went too far by stirring it up again in Brazil and his magnanimous words here appear to be a peacemaking gesture to Vettel and the team, aimed at ensuring that a curtain is drawn over the problem side of 2010 and that next year goes ahead as planned with Webber and Vettel team mates again.

There have been suggestions that his position in the team might be untenable, but Red Bull need him to defend the Constructors’ Championship next year and there is no other obvious strong candidate for his seat.

Webber said he will be aiming to take Vettel’s title next year.

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Nice to see, very good that after a hard season, both can back down and exchange pleasantaries in a genuine manner. Both are great drivers and great people. Glad that they will both continue into next year.

Hopefully their rivalry will reignite during next year though... I do enjoy a good healthy inner team battle!


Yeah as an Australian I was proud to see Webber heading to Germany with Vettel to celebrate & also the genuine happiness he displayed for the young German now that the competition is over for the year.

I think both of them can learn (& have learned) from this year, but they can both also hold their heads high for what they have achieved this year too 🙂

Well done Vettel for NEVER giving up, Well done Webber for being in the fight up to the last race, Well done Red Bull for REFUSING team orders & allowing Vettel the fair right to fight (poor Massa) & another well done to Red Bull on clinching the manufacturers title too 🙂


I am not sure Webber was there by his own will. There are PR obligations for drivers you know and they're written in the contracts.


I agree.

It's probably about as genuine as they're 'happy' photo shoot after Turkey!


speculation only


He did look genuinely relaxed and happy to there - compared to when he has put on the happy face at various stages throughout the season. He was talking and joking with Seb in the video I saw, looked pretty natural.


Very magnanimous, I agree.

But I do believe that this is Webber backtracking to maintain his seat. Had he taken the title perhaps he'd have jacked it all in and made a "I did it despite the Red Bull management" speech. But having not won it it would be crazy to leave arguably the strongest team of the last two seasons.

Will be interesting to see if this resurfaces next season, assuming it is still Webber v Vettel and the title is in their grasp.

"there is no other obvious strong candidate for his seat."

Someone give Robert Kubica a better car...


Kubica is in a different league to Webber...Vettel would have to improve considerably to beat him.

People say Hamilton doesn't fear anybody. I can tell you he fears Kubica...they all do!! Why else would Kubica be driving a blasted Renault?!? McLaren, if Ron was still in charge, would have hired Kubica by now. Ron believes, if you think you should be number one in the team, you prove it on the track...simple. That's why Alonso left, he realised he wasn't good enough.

Vettel/Hamilton/Alonso should be subject to the strongest team mates you can find. That is the only way to sort out the men from the boys.



you are dreaming if you think that Alonso Hamilton or Vettel are scared of Kubica.

I would love to see him in a competitive car but so far its not going to happen.

I am a huge Webber fan and reckon that he will still be with RB next year.....Vettel didnt beat him by much and really as the cars are identical couldnt pass him at Suzuka, or Brazil.

The only races i can think of offhand that Vettel destroyed Webber was at Abu Dhabi and Singapore!

All the other races where it was a 1-2 finish had Webber matching pace every lap and due to machinary could not pass.

In fact Webber flogged Vettel in Monaca and Spain and really should have won Turkey as well.

I dont think there is really that much difference between them....the fact is really hard for me to say but Webber just lost his edge in the last two races! Sad but a fact.


What you've said Fozzy is spot on. I would just say that at Canada as well this year, Webber was considerably faster than Vettel. Webber vs Kubica I say. I'd like to see Webber in a Renault against Bobby K. I'd back Webber and I'd put my money where my mouth is - $10,000, no make it $20,000.


Don't think at all it is Webber back tracking.

More so, this is part of Webber's healing process to get over his loss this season, reset the starting point and get his mind set ready for next year..

Also to make his position at red bull more tenable next yr..


I think precisely he is backtracking to make his position at Red Bull more tenable next year.


If Red Bull wanted to put their money where their mouth was, and definitively show all this "skateboarder, gnarly, woah dude, radical" marketing malarkey wasn't all pure eyewash ... surely they'd tell everyone's favorite rogue, and his oversize baseball cap, to stop wasting his talents pointlessly smashing up rally cars in the forest, and get him back, securely bolted in their F1 car.

I say this for no other reason than I think I would enjoy the prospect of the top 5 F1 seats all being occupied by World Champions. It'd be "cool ... ahem ... dude".

It'd be tough on Mark sure, but we all know he comprehensively burned his last bridge there, especially Brazil, so it's just about counting days till the contract ends anyway. Make him an offer.

I absolutely don't have a problem with people noising up management, it's fair enough, problem is, you need to deliver on it. Team management will put up with a lot of repeated boots to the knackers if you are delivering, but they don't forget, they are always waiting for you to make that slip.

Ain't no way for Mark to row his way back on this one I reckon.


Kimi back in F1 piloting a Red Bull is an exciting, mouthwatering even, prospect. Sadly I think unlikely but like you I have fingers crossed...


Could not agree more, as much as I wanted Mark to win this year I feel Kimi is wasting his talent in WRC and strapped into a Red Bull would be the best thing that could happen to F1 2011.


Kubica in a Red Bull isn't something Vettel (and by that Mateschitz and Horner) would dream about...


...think you could be stirring something up by suggesting Webber should have made enough space for Vettel in Turkey!

I'd be really interested to know if a driver can be considered a 'car breaker'. Vettel seems to do what Kimi did to Newey's creations - race them to within an inch of their life before they fail. Is there any truth to that or is that just observations gone too far?


It certainly doesn't help when Vettel rides aggresively over the kerbs (when the team asks not to do it) and sets the fastest lap times in the last laps of the race (when there is no need to do it).

I also think that it is not objective to say that Vettel lost a certain amount of points when all of the front runners did that (Hamilton, Alonso and also Webber). Hamilton is the best example.

It is also unacceptable to look at reliability only during the races when there have been problems during Free practice and qualifing which without a doubt influence the events on the track, the starting grid, findind the set-up and proceedings during the race.


Vettel seems to do what Kimi did to Newey’s creations – race them to within an inch of their life before they fail. Is there any truth to that or is that just observations gone too far?

>> Large part of the problem in Webber-Vettel Rivalry was Adrian Newey and his "Radical Over the edge car design". Adrian designs car that are always fast, but in quest of speed he compromises the reliability. Both Webber and Vettel knew that Newey had hit the sweet-spot on Fast and Reliable car this year, but that doesn't necessarily assure that Newey car be reliable next year. They put themselves on death march to win the title at all cost this year and hence the situation.

Webber also knew that he is no more a spring chicken in the world of "effing kids"....


Very revionist James. I thought I'd missed some speech marks and the comment was from Heir Marko.


"Vettel needed to bounce back and in Turkey went for a pass on his team mate for the lead, which led to them colliding as Webber didn’t give him room and Vettel lost control of the car."

But Webber did give him room. Not much, but more than the width of a car. It was Vettel who turned in, and expected Webber to move.


Imagine your on a motorway nd someone moves to your right? What do you do.......most people would brake or others would try and give room. Put simply it was vettel that caused the accident but it was webber who decided to have an accident. Webber was playing hard ball.


Its not a motorway, these guys are there to win. It was Vettel's job to make the pass stick, and I WASNT Webbers job to help him. WHy should Webber make it easy for Vettel to pass him? Thats what motor racing is all about, playing hardball.


The motorway was an analogy to explain why Webber was at fault as well. Your correct about playing hardball but the problem is he subsequently bottled it and it now looks rather awkward for him.


Vettel didn't turn in, he went over a bump and the back of the car went and nothing he could do from there on. He even said this in the first interview while the race was going on...no one listened 😉

Webber unnecessarily pushed his teammate to the limit, almost unto the grass while the braking corner was approaching and the bump made things unstable, while there were 2 Mclaren's a second away...that is just ridiculous, no matter how you look at it.

Webber did these things many times this season and other seasons too. It is a dirty way of defending of 'You wanna pass me? Ok, I will make sure you crash into me". Ask Hamilton 2 times this season alone.

And Webber is smart to backtrack now on his usual tactic if drawing negative attention this his team. Because he looks like a huge moaner, surpassing Barrichelo even and he now actually got a seat for 2011.

If I was RBR I would have sacked him before the Brazil qualifying. What a backstabbing 'teamplayer'.


I disagree Kar. Webber should absolutely make it hard for anyone to get past him. Vettel got next to Webber on the straight so that constitutes a pass and Webber should have let off? It doesn't matter at all who is behind - he did the right thing by defending his line and forcing Vettel to try a difficult braking maneuver or back off.

Hamilton closed Webber's line too aggressively in Singapore and paid for it. He had room to widen out and that pass probably would have stuck.

I just don't see Webber as being a dirty racer at all.


Webber pushed them to a crash, which Webber could have avoided but didn't. Vettel and Hamilton had passed him and he kept a line that would only have as result a crash, nothing else. He could have steered a bit to the right-left and avoided collision. He chose not to while heading for a crash.

That is dirty racing, and I say this as someone who has been racing semi-pro for 12 years now.

He could also have avoided taking out Rosberg in Korea by just hitting the brakes. He didn't while he was staring at Alonso then Hamilton pass by...

The problem is, Webber has many media friends who spin everything in his favor and the people eat it as cake.

You are a teamplayer or not. Webber definitely is not with the way he drove and the things he said in public. His comments at the end of 2009 when he said he would rather help Button than Vettel is also proof of this. Yet he expected Vettel to help him win the championship?

Dirty racer pur sang.

When I saw him in the Hangar 7 thing, I actually felt sorry for him. Even with all these tricks, he lost it and he knows that his team knows it too, exactly what he did and he is embarrassed.


Agree with Kar


Has to be said - Webber did give enough room, just, but enough is enough. Vettel turned to his right...and into Webber


I think they both would have learned something about each other from that accident, Webber that he can't let his guard down for even the blink of an weye & Vettel that Webber will give you a car's width + 1 or 2 inches & won't be intimidated into giving up track position for anything.

They are both smart guys & quick learners, + they appear to have a newfound respect for each other so I can't see the same thing happening again 🙂


"Weber can't let his guard down", you're right about that, the team is likely to change some settings (a la Aby Duby qually) to ensure Mark doesn't get pole, or struggles in the race, (a la Aby Duby). How else can you explain the fact that Mark lost most of his qually time in the sector that had the most straights?



Yes...theoretically, but being on the dirtier side of the track, had Vettel braked, he would have slipped as it would be like braking on marbles, and of course Webber knew this fact and used it well. So, was it enough space? Yes and No. Vettel fan, but still think it was the youngster's mistake though...


And don't forget that Weber had just been told "to save fuel" and mysteriously Vettel didn't have to which was the only way Vettel managed to catch up!


Hi SteveB, sorry for the confusion. If you read carefully, I am saying the same thing as you.

I agree with you that its Vettel's fault (read my last statement). Did Webber give enough room? no BUT then its not his job to either (last statement as well) because they are racers.

Sorry for the confusion, you are saying what I am saying right?


It's up to Vettel to judge if it's safe to come through - if he thinks it's too dangerous or a move he cant make because of marbles then he should not do it - it's a bit rich for him to expect Webber to take into account the fact that Vettel might not have the grip for the move and move over to allow him onto a better part of the track to do it! I cant believe you just said that!


My! Webber is now playing the prodigal son, his politicking never stops!! How convenient his u-turn comes at a time when Riccardio is credibly threathning his seat, however I think Red Bull will keep him in his No. 2 role and hope Vettel doesn't suffer mechanical issues again and thus will be comfortably ahead of Mark


Only because the team will subtly ensure the car isn't quite as quick as Vettel's.


It's F1 - it's all politicking!!


re read the artical. Webber and Vettel spoke to eash other during the weekend (before the race). All was said before the rookie test.


Two different drivers with vastly different styles of driving.

Webber is old school and is probably suited to a manual gearbox, clutch pedal and fewer driver aids, much like racing in the eighties was like.

Vettel perhaps comes from the Playstation age, not that this takes anything away from his success. When he's in the zone he's unbeatable.

Great season!


I'm a big fan of Mark and not too keen on Vettel, but I love this comment!


Thank you nss92,

I wanted Mark to win as I always go for the underdog.

Can't help thinking that F1 engines can be affected and influenced from the pitlane.

After all, we don't know of all the secret technology that goes on in F1...


At least mark has taken the step of trying to smooth things over. I've been on his side for the majority of the season as I think the team handled things badly, but his brazil comments were a bit badly timed.

I do wonder whether he will be there next year if for instance Massa moved and that started a lot of moves. I hope so as I think it will be the fastest car again next season IMO.

I would love to see kubica at Ferrari next year. And that is nothing against felippe. I'd like to see him in a top top team.


"...which led to them colliding as Webber didn’t give him room and Vettel lost control of the car"

I find this interesting. Hasn't it generally been established by now that it was Vettel who caused the incident by cutting to the right with Webber still next to him?


Only by Webber fans yes.

No need to push your faster teammate unto the grass almost with 2 Mclarens a second away behind you, while approaching the breaking zone and making your teammate going over the bumpier part which made him lose control of the car (he did not turn in).

Teamplayer at work?


Kar, please explain how this isnt turning into Webber? Because as far as i can see, Webber holds his straight.



Coleen quote: "Vettel lost the car..."

Enough said, already.


While the track is going to the right...it doesn't go straight....you 'forgot' to mention that part 😉

So Webber keeps straight, track goes to the right, which means Webber'car moves to the left on the track...of course Vettel has to go to the right too to not go onto the grass. And Vettel lost the car because of the bump which is higher on the left side, I know I raced there.


yes he did, but enough already. Lets move on, its old news, no-one is changing their opinion now. I just have to accept that you're wrong, it's hard but I will learn to live with it 😛


Your comments do not have a shred of logic. Webber pushed Vettel onto the grass? Webber did not turn into anyone, perhaps Vettel attempted a move which did not have a chance of sticking since there was a lack of room.

Vettel and his attempted move up the inside (in not having pole position or a win in three races) smacked of desperation. I don't think that such behaviour exemplifies teamwork. He was better to worry about the Mclarens closing behind. It was not as if a rival team's driver was leading the race.

As for your comment about the 'bumpy' part of the track, Vettel should have known that a move on his teammate would be dangerous on a part of the track that is 'bumpy'.


Coleen, not a webber fan are you? 🙂 The TRACK is going straight, it is the RACING LINE that moves to the right. If you look closely you can see that Webber is actually further from the left side of the track when Vettel makes contact than he was when Vettel pulled alongside. The problem for Vettel is that you need to be on the right hand side of the track to make the next left hand turn, so he starts moving over to take the racing line before he is clear. If you really need to see for yourself go back to the comments after the Turkish Grand Prix and there is a series of stills from the front of the two cars showing the increasing gap between Vettel's car and white line on the edge of the track.


The track is not going straight, Webber keeps straight, theerfor car moves left on track. If Vettel would have gone straight 10 more meters he would be on the grass.

Webber could have avoided collision, decided to go for a collision. he knows the bump and dirty side having less grip too.

He chose for a collision.


And the reverse for Vettel fans... Vettel caused the accident, Mark did not help the situation but he did have his engine turned down whilst Seb had his turned up. Both Seb and Mark could have avoided the accident but it was Marks position and it was Seb that turned into Mark.


I absolutely agree, Stuart, Mark had been told to "save fuel", Funny that Fingerbaby didn't have to!



Nope, Webber could have avoided the accident, he chose to go straight for a collision. Teamplayer at work...


It's wise from Webber to clear the mess right after Abu Dhabi. Now that Vettel has won the title, his position is less comfortable within the team and any hard stance won't help his situation.

Another thing caught my attention. In the BBC forum, Helmut Marko stated that in Silverstone Webber had a new lighter chassis which Vettel didn't have and some in this blog said that in Brazil Webber had updates Vettel didn't have which odd given that on that same Week-End the team he criticized the team.

As far as RedBull is concerned, they have a lot of youngsters out there and Ricciardo is showing some speed in Abu Dhabi even though the track seems to have improved dramatically recently and they can put him in the car instead. Besides, there are many good drivers unemployed out there Heidfeld (who beat Webber in Williams) and who fought toe to toe with Kubica during their BMW years. There's the Hulk and the RedBull youngsters.

I don't think that RedBull was thinking of dumping Webber even if they lost the driver's title. For him, staying in the team is a no brainer where else can he find a competitive seat ?

As for Ricciardo, he's only a couple of years younger than Vettel. I don't understand why RedBull doesn't put him in ToroRosso to get him acquainted and make him step up in 2012 in RedBull.

One final thought, neither Vettel nor Webber are the class of the field. Vettel weaknesses show when he's not racing in front and he was lucky (and unlucky) that he didn't know he was virtually leading the driver's standing during the grand prix. So he never faced the pressure of having to race while leading the standings, racing while knowing that the title is his to loose and that's a different story to drive knowing you have to throw everything and still it's unlikely. Vettel though can and will improve.

Webber on the other hand was never fast enough to challenge his team mate in the last part of the season. The last race where he had to up his game, he was lackluster and one wonders if the pressure of chasing the title got to him. The title belongs to Newey's technical team more than his drivers.


I'm beginning to wonder whether Dr Marko's position in the RB is under more threat than Webber's.

Surely Marko's place is with the Junior team Torro Rosso? That's were the developing drivers are...

Vettel has arrived.

A man with a WDC under his belt doesn't need a Marko, he needs a financial adviser and a starlet girlfriend


He's so much under threat that he was sent to the podium.


"In the BBC forum, Helmut Marko stated..."

Sorry mate but I stopped reading after that sentence.


Which shows you Webber fans do not want to hear the facts.

It was also stated by Horner on BBC live in Silverstone at the time, live. In Silverstone Webber had a lighter chassis and updated floor which gained him 2 tenths to 3 tenths, which Vettel didn't have.

Same for Brazil. Webber had an updated floor which gained him a few tenths, Vettel didn't have. Vettel never whined about these, never draw negative attention to it, he just got on with it...unlike another driver.

Why didn't you all cry about that like with the wing (which gained less speed than the updated chassis/floor)? Imagine it was Vettel who got them and Webber didn't, all hell would break loose and you all would be demanding someone's head, preferably a non-English speaking one.


I am a Vettel fan as much as I am a Webber fan, however I am definitely NOT a Marko fan. Would you like to make any more ASSumptions?


Cars have a minimum legal weight. As Webber is heavier than Vettel, He is at a disadvantage. Vettel can have make up the weight by placing ballast where he wants it. This is worth a tenth or so. That is before they start. So RBR tried to take weight out of Webber's car so he could do more with ballast. Don't be under the impression that one car was ever lighter overall once the driver is in it than the other.


At the end of a great season did you not want to see as much coverage as you could and hear the interviews/thoughts on one of the greatest seasons?


Thanks, James - as always, appreciate your 'inside' views and thoughts.

While you can never know for sure what was said in private or what was done when the garage doors are closed, other than what can be seen by all, you have to take what is said by the players at face value and maybe factor in some of the 'reporting' angles as well. The bottom line for the year (as it looks from this side of the pond) is that Webber is the more credible/honest of the lot and Red Bull Management has very little credibility in that regard - as you point out they reversed course based on perceived public opinion and apparently guarded their comments thereafter to mask their true efforts by claiming equality of support - possibly true and possibly not but few will ever know for sure.

We can only hope that the fences apparently mended will support the campaign of 2011.


I may be wrong but I never suspected there was a personal animosity between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Wasn't the tension much more between Webber and certain members of the Red Bull hierarchy?


I think it might have got a bit personal in the few races leading up to brazil, but I suspected they were both decent blokes & would sit down & sort it out in the end.


My impresssion too. And at the risk of stirring up old wounds, the same situation as between Lewis and Alonso at McL. There was, and still is, clearly a lot of mutual respect there, but the team (=Ron) made it impossible.

So well done to Horner, who's had a difficult job this year with Dr Death breathing over his shoulder, and especially to Mark who's done the necessary for next year. Play hard, then go and have a beer. That's how it works down under, and all the journos in the world looking for stories isn't going to change that.


It's a safe bet that both the team and drivers have learned a lot about handling conflicts and rivalry within a team, and the 2011 operation will be smoother.

However, I feel the issue of drivers and management may be a moot point for Red Bull next year. 2011 will bring new aero rules, KERS, and new tires.

Tires: We've seen many examples of teams either getting it right, or wrong, whenever a new tire is introduced. Sometimes teams just get it wrong whether the tires are new or not. From a spectator's perspective over the years, it's a 50/50 proposition predicting whether a team's chassis will be in harmony with the tires or not in the beginning of the season.

Aero: Red Bull arguably had the best chassis the last two seasons, and definitely had an aero advantage this season. 2011 is a clean slate for everybody. It's hard to imagine a "Newey" design team will get it all wrong, but you never know.

KERS: Given that McLaren and Ferrari ran with KERS more than any other teams in 2009, I would be surprised if they, along with Mercedes, did not have a clear advantage next year. I'm not an insider, but it seemed that Renault didn't really develop their KERS during the 2009 season. Developing the software and optimizing the packaging and efficiency of KERS is as complex as any other aspect of an F1 car. A comparatively weak engine coupled with a less evolved KERS system will be a major handicap that no amount of aero "black magic" can compensate for.

It would be a pleasant surprise if Red Bull, Vettel, and Webber can contend for any kind of title next year.


Aero is the same next season, RB will still have an advantage. Though Ferrari and Mclaren will no doubt have caught up much more.

How the teams manage weight distribution with KERS will the real issue.


As I understood it from the WMSC announcement back in June, the aero changes for 2011 were:

* Changes to the diffuser / no double diffuser

* Ban on F-Ducts

* Movable rear wing


I'm glad that Mark and Seb have 'kissed and made up'. I think a large part of the problem was the crash in Turkey, when virtually everyone saw that it was Seb's error, only for certain elements within RBR (naming no Dr Markos) to instantly blame Mark, before backtracking. Which I think was plainly unfair to the older driver.

Silverstone and the wing change was also what I would call a mis-management by RBR as a team, not a Seb/Mark personal issue.

I do agree that Mark probably overstepped the mark (no pun intended!) with his comments in Brazil, but this was a guy going for the world championship and needing to build himself up. And, to be honest, the jist of what he was saying (RBR favours Seb) was right, even if it wasn't perhaps prudent of him to tell the world's media.

Personally, I will be glad to see them driving the Bulls together next year, but I think it will be Mark's last season in F1, so he will have to deliver every Sunday if he wants that WDC before he retires. And I think Fernando, Seb or Lewis are more likely 2011 WDCs than the man from Queanbeyan.


Put it down to immaturity, but the finger-waggling in Turkey to the cameras was cringe-worthy, and an immediate attempt to deflect criticism.


agree with you. Fernando, Seb or Lewis are the best drivers currently and have the highest chances of winning 2011!


Or Kubica if the Renault is stronger......


Delicately put James, you could have been a political journalist!!!

Looking back, who was the last Number two driver that evolved into a equal number one?

Mansell/Picquet at Williams at the start of '86? Mansell (1 win) vs Picquet 2 WDCs.


Mansell had 2 wins by then! Back to back victories at European GP (Brand Hatch) and South African GP (Kyalami) 😉


Piquet certainly saw Mansell as his number two driver, but I don't think that's how Mansell or Williams saw it at the time.


I really don't know what to think about the situation in Red Bull. First everything seems all right, then there's the Turkey incident, then the wing affair, the team all the time says that it's fine, then Webber criticises the team and he meanwhile publically says that he's the number 2 driver. Afterwards Vettel states that they'll never be friends and now suddenly everything is fine. I would believe that, if Mark Webber hadn't said all those things lately about the atmosphere in the team and how he feels about it.

If at least some of the signals that were reaching the public from Red Bull camp were real, then I can't imagine that it will suddenly stop and never come back. Of course there's always the possibility that it was all exaggerated and there was no real conflict, but then - why did Webber say all those things and acted the way he did - just for PR and to draw attention to the team?

Don't get me wrong, I understand that it can be fine now, because there's no need to fight any more, but if there had ever been any serious conflict between the drivers (or between Webber and the team) then it will probably stay somewhere under the surface and will emerge again once the winter break is over and we're back to racing.

Or does it all mean that it's a bit like in McLaren in 2007 - when Alonso said that he'd never had a problem with Hamilton, but only with the team principal? And now Webber says "I'm fine with Sebastian" while thinking "but I'm not fine with the team"? Or does Webber want to play the nice guy and go along with RB not to have any problems within the team next year (and Sebastian has nothing against being friends with Webber now, as he won the championship so he can be nice to anybody)?

I also think that if Webber didn't feel good this season in the team, feeling he was no. 2, then it won't be any better next year. Apparently, Red Bull wanted Vettel to become the champion. They achieved their goal, so I don't see them not continuing next year. They won with Vettel, so they "should" support him even stronger as it pays off.

I still hope Mark will show his fighting spirit and have a good season. I'm just not sure if he can win the championship with RB once Vettel showed that he can become a champion.

Just my thought, because it's all a bit confusing and not clear for me.


Is like a boxing match you need to try and destabillise the other guy so he makes mistakes... couple that with the stress of going for a WDC sometimes people speak without thinking first. and of course the media twist and miss out bits that are said so as they get the gossip - it is not always taken in context! In the cold light of day once you have won or lost a weight is off your shoulders and you move on. I truly believe the guys have sorted it through it is all part of racing and next year they will be back at it with the stories building up the animosity!!!


Not sure I buy that story from Marko.

If you look at the whole Red Bull mess over the mid-season period, a lot of it originated from Marko.

It was galling to see him up on the podium last weekend.


O.K. I didn't get first what you meant. But...

Dr Marko seems a strange person to me - a bit mysterious (I can't explain why really - just an impression) and I somehow don't trust him. When it comes to the wing thing, I remember somebody from Red Bull (don't remember if that was Marko or Horner) saying that Webber didn't like the new wing anyway, so it's not a big deal that they took it away from him. Later they also said that it's natural that they were supporting the driver who was higher in the standings and at the time of British GP that was Vettel. Funny that they started talking about equal treatment as soon as Webber got in front. I guess the rule of supporting the driver with more points applied only when the driver in front was Vettel.

And then I also recall Marko saying that if anybody received a bigger support from the team then it's definitely Webber not Vettel, because it's Vettel's car that kept on breaking down, so in Marko's opinion it more or less ment that Webber was being favoured over Vettel. All this reasoning and strange statements from Red Bull seemed quite ironic and funny (not in a good way) to me. Anyway, I somehow don't trust (if that's a good word to describe it) Helmut Marko.

And was he on the podium on Sunday (I was so mad that the driver I wanted to win lost, that I wasn't even paying attention to what was going on. LOL.)? But maybe it's good I didn't see it... I was sure it would be Christian Horner... I guess Helmut Marko is rooting for Vettel more than anybody else. This all Red Bull situation seems really strange to me - I don't buy most of it as they tend to contradict one another as if not really knowing what they want to send to the press. Anyway, back to the topic - if anything what Webber said was true, then I don't see him having an easy time next year, no matter how nice it is now within the team. I really like Webber and I'd love to see him having another shot at the title, but I'm not sure if that's possible now that Vettel's the champion.

And I guess he needs to be nice now to get any kind of support next year.


Re: Declan's reply. Good point. I think your right when saying that many of the issues were exaggerated. The simple reason for that is that all the animosity and fights within the team sells much better than friendship and nice atmosphere. People prefer to read about conflicts - that's exciting - who said or did what, who lost their patience and so on. That's simply more interesting (at least for some of the readers/audience) than reading about team mates who move along and pay compliments to one another. That was exactly the case of McLaren in 2007 - it didn't end well for the team but that was so exciting for the media/public. That's probably the reason many people still can't believe that Hamilton and Alonso respect each other today and don't hate each other. Public needs great enemies and rivalry. Product (and that's F1 too) needs some adversity. So maybe Red Bull didn't look very well when sending all those mixed signals and making an impression as if they didn't really controll their own drivers, but at the same time they drew people's attention and that's one of the goals (a different kind of a goal from the strictly sports ones like winning the championship of course) in F1 - everybody was talking about them (and, as shown by the number of comments here, still is, just like you said).


For a marketing company, Red Bull certainly came out with mixed messages - and I think the source of that partially due to Horner/Marko providing different soundbites to their respective country's media which made up for all the 'he said, she said' stories.

I think a lot of the perceived animosity between Webber and Vettel though was exaggerated to some degree by the media (particularly the British tabloids). Watching the full interview when Webber said that RB were not 'emotionally supporting' him --- those specific words were suggested to him by the interviewer, and this was not the only instance this season.

As a couch pundit, I actually preferred the stirred pot of opinions from RB this season. It made for great discussions (such as on this website) and maybe to a certain degree also reinforced RB as an 'individualistic' brand. It was much more enjoyable to hear all the different (and sometimes conflicting) opinions, rather than the airbrushed slickness that McLaren were so fond of in the Ron Dennis days, or the 'on message' Ferrari this season in Germany.


The story I refer to is Jo Torrent's (above)!


I believe we are spoiled with the intense rivalry between two such gifted, passionate, and all-around good guys. How can you not root for such a quality package? I can't wait to see them battle again next season!


Well said!


It will be very interesting to see how Webber handles the changed dynamic next year.

This year he has been able to influence matters in RBR somewhat by using public/media pressure by deploying the "they are treating me like a No2 driver" issue. It possibly inspired him to greater heights as well (Silverstone in particular)

This will not wash with anyone next year as Vettel is undoubtably No1.

So without this persecution outlet it will be intersting to see if Webber does knuckle down and try to simply outplay Vettle as a No2 driver or become a Massa.


I suspect Mark Webber is smart enough to realise that he has control over his own destiny.

Felipe Massa has mainly "become a Massa" because he was comprehensively outperformed by his team mate and let his head go down. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Ferrari team order in Germany, had Felipe demonstrated he was a potential title contender by that point it would have made Ferrari's decision much more difficult. Webber is rather stronger psychologically.

There's no reason to suspect Red Bull will be supplying anything other than equal equipment for both drivers in 2011. If the RB7 is as good as its predecessor then Webber stands as good a chance as Vettel or anyone else.


I think Red Bull will do what they proved this year they were willing to do even if it cost them the title: They will give both their drivers fair & equal treatment until they know that only one has a shot & then it is time to back that driver, only if the need arises.

I know they had a few hiccups with this in the season current season, but I can't see another "winggate" scandal next year, I think the team learn much too quickly for that to happen.


Sure, I think Red Bull will try to treat them equally but there are bound to be some instances where it might be, or perceived to be, elements of favouritism toward Vettel and, if so, how will Webber handle this given that the tactics used by him last year to gain wider support will fall on deaf ears now.

In other words, Vettel getting the new wing because he is the No1 driver wont sound quite so wrong to everyone in 2011 (providing of course he is still in the hunt for the championiship) so will a quieter Webber be inspired or fade away?


In all his dealings with Red Bull I doubt Mark Webber was after anything other than a transparent 'fair go'. The team needs both drivers. Webber sets a very high benchmark for Vettel; Vettel knows if he is to beat Webber he has to beat everybody. On the other side Webber 'runs-off' Vettel - you can see that in practice results. Vettel instinctively tests the limits, then Webber looks at the data and responds by testing the same limits perhaps more analytically. On his day Webber can out-drive Vettel, particularly on familiar tracks where he has already experienced 'all' the possibilities. And Mark Webber learns from every experience, stores it and uses it. This is only the second season where he had has the opportunity to drive a 'top car' and to be consistently at the front of the pack. It is his first season as a serious world champion challenger. I think he is still on that learning curve and the best is still to come.

Red Bull has a dream team with their drivers and the magic of Adrian Newey, and they know it.

But I note, the thing Ferrari definitely needs is a Webber to push Alonso (and the team) in every race and every day, but would they give him equal machinery?


The Vettel policy of 'win at all costs’ had him in the lead of 11 races at some point (out of 19 championship races). He won 5. When in the lead he had 2 engine failures, 1 wheel fault, 3 driver errors. He also was in strong positions in 2 other races only to have crashes that put him out or compromised his race, and failed to score in 4 races. But he won the one he had to, the last (with a lot of help from the slot-car track layout!)

By comparison Webber, ‘the points accumulator’, won 4 (and could have won 2 more but for the intervention of his team ‘mate’), was second to Vettel in 3, and failed to score in 2 (crashes).

Alonso also won 5, failed in 3, and was plain unlucky not to score much better in at least 2 others.


All well and good for the end of this season...but, how it plays out next year will really be the interesting thing to watch.


I feel sorry for Webber that he could not hang on and take the title. I think the Abu Dhabi race came at the wrong end of the season for him - its not his circuit and he couldn't match Vettel there last year. Most races its been about a 10th of a second difference.

The tragedy is that this may have been his only real chance of taking the title. If he felt like a number 2 driver this year imagine what he is up against next year with the world champion with number 1 on his car in the other side of the garage.

Will it be: "We made the decision to give Seb the front wing because he's the world champion"


Come on Mark! 2011 WDC!


this is aussie way. fight all the way to the end.Shake the man's hands at the end of the day.


Well said by SteveB, Garret, Paul ,Wombat & Auski.

Webber is a genuine Aussie bloke, who loves integrity and fair go spirit thus made friends with unfairly favoured kid of the team(esp. by Marko) once he became a WDC.

Personally, I don't want him to replay a part like Massa .

Redbull won't be able to pay enough of hush money like Ferrari always does.

(Well, they don't need team orders as they virtually tell Webber to obey their orders in advance like in Silverstone, which he won!)

You must remember that he is 34yrs already (11yrs older than vettel) and he still needs to take a knee surgery after exhausted races.

How tough it must have been to keep longer legs with injury in a small cockpit, comaring to other rather short drivers.

Hope he find more suitable(not Ferrari) place to regain state of mind & power ,free from emotional isolation,to win the title in 2011.


That's all very well, but nobody has talked about Red Bull's team order to Torro Rosso's Alguersari to let Webber past. Why is it that this blatant team order by Red Bull, seen live, has not made a single headline? Is it because the FIA were happy to see the end of the season and that the media got tired of the issue? I really don't understand. James, can you by any chance give an explanation as to why this hasn't been picked up after all that Red Bull adamantly preached after Ferrari's action in Germany?


If Red Bull had actually played the team orders game with Toro Rosso Webber might have jumped Alonso.


Well, probably Alguersuari also thought about his own future. If, for him holding up Webber would cause Webber to miss out on the WDC, that wouldn't be a career accelerating action would it? So probably he was able to defend his position, but let Webber through as he thought about his future considering his contract is with Red Bull and not with Torro Rosso.


Considering they're classed as two separate teams, it doesn't really count as team orders now does it 😀


ho ho, maybe you're right Evans 🙂 Maybe the distinction needs to be made between internal and external team orders. The FIA's job is never ending... hope they scrap the b**ger and let the teams run their business freely.


Marc, I can see that you're spoiling for a fight, but I don't think anyone would have objected if Ferrari's thing had been at the last race.

And I'll tell you another thing : Alonso, and Ferrari, shot themselves in the foot in Germany. Felipe was never on the pace afterwards. And who would be, having been told he was a spare part ? Alonso could have won the title if Massa had taken more points off his rivals, but after Germany, that was never going to happen. RB and McL let their drivers race, and reaped the benefits.



Regarding massa, he averaged more points per race after Germany than before, so, not sure how you can say Germany was any kind of turning point for him, especially one in a downward direction.

And I'd love to hear how Alonso shot himself in the foot in Germany. The orders were not his, they were the team's. Hence the term TEAM orders!


Grabyrdy, I agree with you to some extent and James in his answer referred to the context being different. But doesn't it go to show that there are still double standards in the way such a controversial issue is handled 1. by the FIA and 2. by the team that prides itself of not using team orders, TR and RB basically being the same thing in terms of ownership.

Bottom line, I hope the team order rule will be modified or, better still, removed.

I also hope this served as a useful lesson to Ferrari and that next year they will be less calculating and more outgoing.


I think you need to put this in context. Webber was stuck behind Alguersuari for two and a half laps and lost 2 seconds before he got past. Alguersuari didn't put up much of a fight,it must be said. Interesting this is the Toro Rosso had similar straight line speed to the Renault in Abu Dhabi


I'm surprised an intervention was even required. I'm more surprised at the lack of media interest in the 2s delay caused to Webber.

boy, it's a long wait till the next season. At least there's the Ashes. Although not much to get excited about for an Australian I fear. Can't win anything this year!!


The other thing is, there was no broadcast radio message that I am aware of telling him that "Webber is faster than you, do you understand...?"

Certainly he did appear to brake quite early into the turn at the end of the straight, so maybe there was a message, maybe he thought he could hold Webber up through the apex and get a better run through the faster turns that follow, but made a mistake...

If there were team orders between the two teams then it definitely needs to be looked at the same as the Ferrari incident and perhaps even more so when you consider that they are supposed to be different teams, albeit with a common owner. Otherwise we will see Ferrari field 10 teams a year.... 😉


Years ago, drivers not fighting for the championship generally yielded the position in a disputed, final race. I like the "earn it" approach better, although a driver without championship aspirations should go to great lengths not to take out a contender. I think Alguersuari drove properly in that context.

James, Alonso seemed to believe that Petrov defended too aggressively, but in the coverage I saw, Alonso never seemed to have a decent go at him. Do you think Alonso had a legitimate gripe? And after the race was Alonso pushing Petrov off the track in a very public display of disgust?


No I don't think he's right. Petrov defended well. Let's not forget we were applauding Alonso for defensive driving at Imola a few years ago when he held off Schumacher...


Webber to RBR is just a solid veteran driver. With RBR seeing Vettel as being the great talent that was found and developed by RBR, and then the great pick of Newey, the German Austrian unionship and slightly different attitudes in the paddock etc. It is like a perfect boys club for them, but ofcourse Webber wasnt invited. (you could see this with the affection given to Vettel after a win, the support for Vettel at doing a crazy sign at Webber, the front wing issue, the less joy on radio for webbers wins etc).

There was never really true support from his team. Vettel is good, and is a perfect gel with the team, Webber ofcourse has no real unconditional love from the team, hence for him to battle and almost win it this year, i think he deserves a lot more respect then a lot are giving him.


Well I expected nothing less from Mark Webber as head of the drivers club he has to set an example.

I wonder if Vettle would have done the same???

Also did Alonso ever apologise to Petrov for his gestures at the end of the race? (not the actions of a worthy champion)


Like I have said before, the Red Bull head honchos really messed things up this year despite their two championships. Two of the most likable drivers in F1, a cool team with a cool brand name and image, an incredible car designed by a legend, and yet they still somehow managed to really lose a lot of fans. They could have lost the championships as well, not having a clue how to keep the spirits up of their two very good but emotionally sensitive drivers.

I don't doubt the sincerity of Webber, but while some suggest he is politicking to keep his seat, one could imagine it also does him no harm to let other teams know he is a team player above petty squabbling.


Totally agree with your first paragraph.

Was impressed with Vettel from his firt win in the wet at Monza, and still like him, but the way the team favoured him after Turkey and at Silverstone dampened my enthusiasm for him. He is still a great talent and a likeable guy, its the team management that soured things for his fans by their favoring him.


I hope that Red Bull carries the 2010 sentiment of letting the drivers actually drive right into 2011 and beyond--it makes for fantastic, edge of your seat excitement.

While I would love to see how the RB7 looks in the mirrors of the MP4-26, I somehow suspect that 2011 will be an even better year for Red Bull. With two full years of experience with the pull rod rear suspension set up, and a good half of a season without the double diffuser it isn't a stretch for the Bulls to be running away with the championship...


As I have said so many times ... I really, really, really like Webber as a person. His acknowledging of Vettel's accomplishment and the fact that he went to him first, speak volumes about his sportsmanship.


"In the race the next day Webber forced his way past his team mate at the start and in trying to fight back, Vettel cut his tyre on Hamilton’s wing and lost ground."

Bit rough on Vettel here James? Hamilton had a big dive up the inside and clipped Vettel's right rear.

Steve of Cornubia

I'm afraid this story does little to change my view of Vettel. It's easy to be magnanimous in victory. I wonder if Sebastien would have been so keen to shake hands with Webber had Mark won the championship instead?


Vettel said he would help the team win the championship, i.e. he would let Webber pass if he was 2nd and Alonso 3rd.

Webber last year in Brazil said he would rather help Button than Vettel winning the championship. And the last race 2010 he didn't even try an overtake on Alonso while driving in a much faster car, he wanted Alonso to pass everyone in front so Vettel wouldn't get it.

You tell me who is the better man there.


Why do you wonder about that - just because of one incident in Turkey I suppose with him calling Webber crazy with a gesture which was perfectly understandable in the heat of the moment - and in some ways still is as a few team bosses would have gone crazy with Webber for racing his team-mate so hard - and a few comments over the course of the season?

Vettel was one of the first folk to congratulate Webber in Monaco after he had just been dominated - and the same in Hungary in the weighing room before going out to the podium after he had just made a massive error which lost him the race.

Vettel is a great sportsman who like the rest is prone to chucking his toys out - Webber has done so just the same when he didn't accept responsibility for the crash in Valencia, and after Silverstone qualy last year having a dig at Raikkonen about him drinking vodka when Raikkonen did all he could to get out of the way.

Not a criticism of him either, just as I say that some days these guys in the heat of the moment do unsavoury things, which for me is understandable when they race at those speeds, are desperate to succeed and are under immense pressure from other sources too.


Good to see that good old sportsmanship is still alive.

When we were kids playing sports on a Saturday afternoon, one of the most important things that the coach drummed into us was, "win or loose" shake your opponent's hand. Leave any bad feeling on the field.

It's clear Webber came from the same school of thought.

I wounder if Vettel would do the same if Webber won the WDC?


And it's clear Webber will be whinging and blaming others if something not goin on his way. Do the talking on the track pls


Why cant people just not get along, I hate all this PC rubbish , love the senna , Prost , mansell dislike off each other...


i'm with you completely on this one..

what gets me is that people actually buy this PC rubbish..

Remember Senna punching Irvine? classic.....


Next year there will be no doubt who the #2 driver is within the team. If Webber can't figure it out he will just have look at his car, it will have a nice #2 on it all year


or even a #3!


Nice back tracking. Wonder if he will ever apologise to Pizzonia?


LOL Good One there... That apology would be One Journeyman to Other more appropriate


Mark obviously has an issue with one or two people in the Red Bull family, but I don't think his seat is at all under threat from Ricciardo at this point. Marko is obviously someone who Mark has no time for. Also wasn't pleased with the event at Hangar 7, when Mark got up on the stage (big ovation!), DC and Lauda stood up and shook his hand, Berger just sat there playing on his phone leaving Mark standing there. Weak from Berger.

His comments about the media were obviously related to Brazil, he didn't really actually say anything, didn't complain or whine or anything, but it got turned into a big thing.


Webber whined from start to finish, drew negative attention to his team and it bit him in the youknowhere, so now he is eating humble pie. A huge humble pie with lots of sour grapes in it.

That is the politically incorrect version of it all.


No, thats YOUR version of it. Webber has every right to say what he wants, when he wants. Your never going to agree with anything he says anyway.


Hi James,

What do you think would Kimi be a strong candidate for Mark's seat to defend the CC?

P.S. Kimi was good at pushing KERS button...)))


I remember when kimis kers failed while Ferrari. Didn't he burn his backside or back at one point?


I also think this year was Mark's last chance for the drivers title. I hope I'm wrong! Unfortunately Mark appears to have too many weak tracks in comparison to Sebastian and many are at the latter part of the season. In many respects, this season showed many resemblances to last season for Mark. He's too slow around Singapore, too slow around both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Sebastian doesn't appear to have a weak track when you consider the tracks the RB6 is actually suited to.

One question that's been on my mind since Valenica is what happened to Mark for that race? I mean, he was losing positions like they were going out of fashion from the start and then made one of the most incredibly absurd errors I've seen in F1 by driving up the back of Heikki Kovalainen. Maybe I'm a bit tough on the guy there, but I couldn't see any excuse or reason for what happened between the start of that race to that incident? Was there something going on behind the scenes that wasn't publicly revelled? Apparently there was nothing wrong with the car.


I guess you're right about Sebastian being fast on all tracks and Mark on only some of them, but Sebastian seems to be fast when he's got no one in front of him. So it's good when he gest P1 or P2 in qualifying, but not if he's farther in the back. My point is that Vettel will dominate Webber next year as long as the RB car is as fast as this year. If it's slower and the RB guys stop winning on Saturdays and will have to fight their ways through the field then I think their chances may even out. I still believe though that the team will support Vettel even stronger next year as they learnt that it pays off. And that's not good news for Mark.

When it comes to Valencia - I guess he simply had a terrible, terrible, terrible (and so on) start and the accident was caused by his impatience (he wanted to pass Heikki too fast) and a really bad assessment of the difference in the pace between the Lotus and the Red Bull. I don't believe it was anything behind the scenes, because I don't believe the team would sabbotage the car that much (to lose P2 and become P9? I don't buy it, yet I might be naive;-)). On the other hand if there was anything going on that could affect Webber's psyche and his mental/psychological strenght (so that he would lose concentration or whatever else) then I think he's too experienced a driver to let any kind of mind games or anything of that sort influence him that much.


Fantastic reply, Thank you!

Ps: apologies for the Dubai-Bahrain mix up too [blush]


James, are you still thinking about who to include in your top five (and in what order), or have you made up your mind already? I wonder if you will include Webber.

I would argue against including him. Was he ever genuinely faster than his teammate this season? He had his purple patch in Spain and Monaco, but we have since heard that Vettel's chasis had a small crack and other damage, which would have compromised Vettel.

We now also know that Webber's chasis in Silverstone was lighter than Vettel's, so the whole front wing issue was a bit of a smoke screen.

Do you look at any of this in more detail in your book?


The chassis are the same weight with the drivers in them. Webbers' chassis is obviously lighter as he is heavier than Vettel.


So, all quiet on the Red Bull front.

To be honest I saw Webbo's comments as not much more than a bit of pragmatic gamesmanship. I think what he said was true, and to be honest I don't think he hurt his title chances by putting it out there in a more up front way than perhaps Massa/Smedley did.

I think if you asked him if he and Vettel were now best mates I don't think he would give a different answer to a week ago.

You have to really respect what Webber has achieved, in a similar way to Button actually. He has found himself after years of hard graft in F1 in a race and championship winning car, which he helped to develop, only to find that as soon as it all comes good he is up against one of the greatest new talents in F1.

I hoped he would win the championship in the latter stages of the season; but you have to admit that on the day and based on the performance over the whole weekend, the better man won.


None of this would need be said if Kubica and Raikkonen were Red Bull team mates. Goddam that'd be amazing. Red Bull would've had the constructers by Monza if that were the case.


Too many variables to accurately predict that. I don't think Kimi would be able to squeeze himself into an F1 cockpit anymore anyway


I wonder if Vettel would of done the same?


James i fear for Mark now. He had his chance to win this season and blew it in Korea. He was deflated in Abu Dhabi as he knew he wasnt on the pace to win.

Seems to me like he might suffer from Massa Syndrome. You get your shot and you blow it and effectively fall away off the radar into a Number 2 driver role.

I like Mark and was rooting for him all season but i just cannot see him beating Vettel now.


No denying, this will be the test of the man. But many world champions have come close and failed at their first real shot and then gone on to win the title. This can be their making!


Red Bull, like McLaren in the 90's found out what can happen when the perceived #2 driver gets a little too good. And they handled it a lot better than McLaren did. Of course a lot of this was because of the way Webber handled it but not all of it. Red Bull's 'let 'em race' philosophy carried the day and they looked brilliant. It could have gone the other way, but it didn't. Calculated risk taking is a part of any successful business.

F1 has become so jaded now, it can't seem to get beyond its own expedient first impressions. And when those impression don't pan out they get a little piqued.


Is there any way to moderate (delete) all further comments about the crash I'm turkey 🙂

I think we have now firmly established marks fans think it was sebs fault and sebs fans think mark should move out of the way 🙂

I've been reading a couple of interesting rumours that Williams have still not given up on a big potential title sponsor and getting Hulkenburg.

I believe it's one of the main qatar banks. I imagine Frank commenting on it probably means the Maldonado deal is done I was just surprised to read it...

Could you do a couple of articles over the winter on the flexi rear wings (maybe with conti from your old mate mr dernie) and the single diffuser. Will we see exhausts exiting in the single diffuser (now ignition retardation looks like it's been cracked)?


Sure, I'll look at that. Thanks


Seems they do it more easy at Mercedes:

After Abu Dhavi when Rosberg tried to checkout of the hotel, he noticed that someone glued a picture of Britney Spears above his picture in the identity card. Rosberg is nicknamed Britney in his team because it is said that he sometimes behaves like a diva. Rumours are that it was Schumi who did it.

Also after Abu Dhavi: Rosberg was arrested because he forgot his driving license in the hotel. He wasn't released before his father moved there with the license.



I remember Mark Webber referring to him as Britney back when they were both at Williams. Not sure where the name came from?


Because of his hair I think. And he likes wearing catsuits 🙂 allegedly 😉


Not surprising to hear the new tune. Its always easy for victor to extend Olive branch to loser. And for Loser is there any other option.

With Driver's title under his belt , the fate of next season is pretty much sealed, where RedBull Management has stronger case of favoring Vettel now may it be newer parts, or strategy.

Remember McLaren 2009 anyone :). I am sure Vettel will even make Lewis like statement about "Webber being one of the nicest persons" end of 2011 season


Hi James, just wondered if you had any insight as to why Vettel is testing Pirelli rubber for two days and Webber not being in the car to try them out at all? Any signs that this could be that Webber will not be driving for RBR next season? Most teams are running both drivers on alternative days (except Ham, Button)


No, it was planned that way. Button and Hamilton aren't testing either, so are neither driving for McLaren next year?


Fair point, just thought it odd that Webber would not have contractual terms to give him parity with testing. Trying the new rubber will surely be very important and Vettel can have a greater input and initial understanding with the engineers all winter. McLaren have taken a different route giving Paffett lots of running for two days on the old tyres and then the Pirelli rubber, possibly again a contractual stipulation as test driver to get a certain number of days per year??

Everyone loves theories and could not help but think that Webber has lost out by not getting in the car this week even if just as a signal of equal status within the team.


I think the last thing Mark wants to do is see Seb!


I don't think it was ever looking like Prost/Senna.

These guys are completely different people, no disrespect to them but I don't think either of them are quite as driven as Senna or Prost, and it never really got that personal or unpleasant.

Ultimately I think this rivalry was always under control by comparison.


Can't wait for next year. I believe Red Bulls strategy was always to pit Mark early firmly believing that Ferrari would follow him in (which they did), thus giving Vettle the best chance to win the Championship...So maybe it will be Marks turn next year. I think Red Bull have out smarted the whole compition on strategy.....


Still don't know why Webber didn't pit during first lap safety car - he would have come out in front of Rosberg and finished 4th - twelve points would have given him 260, four more than Vettle!


I believe far too much has been read into the rivalry between Webber and Vettel. Rivalry between two teammates who are both clearly extremely talented, both driving an 'outstanding' race car and both in a position to contest for the title is inevitable both on and off the track. Both driver's are smart and intelligent and like all F1 driver personalities, very self involved. They play a 'political' and 'psychological' game with themselves, their teammate, and other driver's that ultimately lead's them to a headspace that suit's them. The team's know and recognise this and manage it as best they can, what best suits the team and individual driver's. Webber's comments, whether viewed as negative or positive are no more self-destructive than Vettel's overly aggressive overtaking attempts. They ultimately, simply allow a driver to establish and/or reflect a state of mind. I imagine driving an F1 car once a driver is experienced is significantly influenced by state of mind that dictates the split second decisions a driver makes on track. These are not normal everyday human beings. This needs to be recognised and admired before we attempt to deconstruct or judge.


When Webber is being interviewed he blinks his eyes alot. Very slow and then very fast. It's distracting. He looks like a hostage trying to blink some kind of secret message to get rescued.

What is it? Nerves? Dry eyes? Overactive eyelids? Are his eyes open or closed on track? Did this cost him the WDC? I don't know. He has a helmet on when he's driving. So I can't see his eyes to be sure.

Whatever it is he should get some Botox in them eyelids just in case. It makes the eyes stay open. All the time. Even when you are asleep. And if he got Botox he would look younger than 34 so he can just forget about being the old guy on the team.


Might be too much Red Bull...


"Not too bad for a #2 driver!"


James, completely off the topic,

but why don't F1 TV use split screens or insets. Maybe while showing a replay, keep a small window still showing live action in the corner.

I was watching old late 80's races, and some of the TV broadcasters used it, and it definately adds to the coverage.


It's not considered very modern in TV terms. They sometimes use it in line comparisons, but that's it


James, your last comment on this article is just what us MW fans want to see.

We want Mark to go better next next year and take it to the rest of the field but more importantly RBR and Sebastian. He can do it.

And if he has the passion and self belief it will happen. He must though get used to or at least push harder on tracks that dont suit him.


An off-topic question James. Where and when do we get to see the ceremony crowning the Driver and Constructor champions?


It's the FIA Gala in December. NOt sure where you see it on TV. FIA website will have details. Maybe f1.com will show video highlights?


Thanks James. Will check it out.


Not only are there concrete cows in Milton Keynes, there are flying pigs as well.


Hopefully the Red Bull wont be miles ahead next season . I want to see if Vettel can actually overtake anyone , his teammate included, without crashing into them.We have yet to see him fighting through the field.His attempted passes on Webber and Button made the highlight reels for the wrong reasons.


Hi James. With all the talk about Vettel being the youngest ever everything, I was wondering, who was the youngest ever team principal to win a F1 championship? Isn't Horner close to that mark?

That thought got me thinking on how driver-centered F1 journalism is, considering the amount of people who almost literally give their lives to it. Could you do a post on team principals? Who are these people? Where do they come from? How does a person become one? What skills set does one need? I find it curious how most of them are former racers, not particularly successful, yet some of the most successful drivers to try it failed (Prost, Fittipaldi, etc). And then a certain Flavio comes to mind who was famous for knowing nothing at all about a racing car, among other talents. Ron Dennis, Frank Williams, Colin Chapman. Jack Brabham! constructor, principal AND driver all at the same time! You could write novels out of many of these intriguing characters.


Yes a novel....or

Just an excellent non-fiction summary of some the team principals from day one.

James, do any such books come to mind?


Great question and great idea. Thanks


Reading thru this just made me angry with Webber all over again. He behaved quite terribly in my opinion, most of the season, then hopes to cure it all with a little convo at the end. Vettel is a stand up guy, so it will work out, but Webber really needs to recognize and mature - to the level of his teammate.

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