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Webber casts himself as underdog again as pressure mounts
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Webber casts himself as underdog again as pressure mounts
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Nov 2010   |  8:26 pm GMT  |  190 comments

The cramped and chaotic paddock at Interlagos always creates a feverish atmosphere and this weekend is no different.

Teams are cheek by jowl with each other, journalists have to climb over tables and squeeze into corners to hear what’s being said at briefings and today we have seen a very calm Fernando Alonso and a Mark Webber who has chosen to cast himself as an underdog again.

Alonso spoke about his team mate Felipe Massa and how he’d like him to win the last two races. This is his way of saying that he’d like Massa to be really fast and get in the game. If Massa wins here, it takes away points from the Red Bull drivers and makes their task very hard.

Despite his cool facade, Alonso has some concerns, not least his engine. There have been suggestions that he may be able to use an engine that was replaced during the Bahrain weekend and according to the rules can only be reused at the final round. If useable this would be a very low mileage engine. But it’s a risk.

The team would not have been able to do any remedial work on the area they were concerned about. They will have been able to test it on the dynomometer in Maranello and they may well have run it in Friday practice somewhere and evaluated it carefully. One of the problems with the engine use plans is that you never know which engine is being used on Fridays. It’s quite possible that this Bahrain engine will be in the car tomorrow.

Alonso won Korea with an engine which had done Spa and Suzuka already, so they know they can still be competitive on the third race. Which is the lesser of the two risks?

Webber meanwhile had a rather strange press briefing this afternoon in which he allowed himself to be drawn by the media into talking about how the team has treated him,

“I wasn’t supposed to be in the hunt and it’s been inconvenient. I’ve enjoyed every second of it,” he said at one point. At another, speaking about support from the team he said, “Technically everything has been very good, but emotionally….” he left that hanging and no-one was in any doubt about what he meant.

Webber had a poor race in Korea and looking back at how he turned the wing swap incident in Silverstone round to a powerful motivating force I think he’s trying to do the same again. He’s psyching himself up for a critical weekend. Let’s see if it works.

He also said that he was surprised by the comments made by Gerhard Berger on Servus TV, a Red Bull owned TV channel, broadcasting out of Red Bull’s Hanger 7 in Salzburg. Berger accused Webber of trying to wipe Alonso when he came back across the track in Korea after hitting a wall. Instead he clouted Rosberg.

Webber said he would have “no problem” if Alonso were to win the championship by the seven points he gained from team orders in Germany, saying that it only happened because Massa wasn’t fast enough. “If he’d been ten seconds up the road it wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

Both drivers feel that they have a good car here. The Ferrari will be more of a match for the Red Bull here than Suzuka because of the absence of fast corners.

The great unknowns are Massa – will he be motivated to win in front of his home crowd and do a job for his team? And also the McLarens. They have some new parts on the car this weekend and Friday will be crucial to see whether they will get involved in the podium battle.

The atmosphere here is great and we are in for a very intense weekend, I sense. Try not to miss a moment of it, if you can.

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Very surprised to hear Alonso say that stuff about Massa. As a Massa fan, can't help but give Alonso a few kudo points.


When media (british and german) talk about Ferrari they talk about “team orders”. When media (British and german) talk about Mclaren or Red Bull, that´s not team orders, that´s different:

- BBC motorsport: “Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said this week that the team would make the decision depending on the situation in the race.”

“to make a decision”, of course he is not talking about team orders.

- BBC motorsport: “Jenson Button may support Lewis Hamilton in Brazil”

“may support” in British F1 language (“team orders” in British F1 language for Ferrari”). Of course, they are not talking about team orders neither.

- Question to Eddie Jordan: If Alonso wins the title by less than seven points (following the German Grand Prix gift from his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa) do you think that the world championship will have been devalued? I, for one, will see it as undeserved.

Answere: It is where you draw the line and for me that line was passed by what happened in Germany. It was wrong. But the judges felt it was not appropriate to remove points. There is a difference between playing by the rules and by sportsmen's moral codes and these don't always match up..

Of course Dear Eddie, I will tell you what is that line: “HIPOCRISY”. And of course the painters of that line are on fleet street. And of course that line is here or there depending of who cross your line.

-“Red bull may need to make tough decisions says Mark Hughes”.

“to make tough decisions”, wow!!, this one is more elaborate, do you mean “team orders” Mark?

- The Guardian: “The McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh appeared to leave the door open for Jenson Button to support Lewis Hamilton's title challenge in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix”

This one is really brilliant: “to leave the door open”. I am a little confused , do you mean “team orders”?

-“Niki Lauda says Red Bull must throw all their support behind Mark Webber or risk losing the World Championship”

“Must throw all their support”, do you mean “team orders” Niki?

-Autosport: “team boss Christian Horner acknowledged today that some level of strategy might be employed if the championship situation demanded it”

“some level of strategy might be employed”, this one is awesome, do you mean some level of team orders Christian?, Of course, behind Eddie Line.

And so on, and so on,

By the way, nobody said anything in 2008 on the same Hockenheim track: same curve, team order that worthed a world champion at the end. Why?....


Such a Hipocrisy exercise.


And I hope your tin hat is unblemished emilio!!


Ive said it somewhere else-

If a team asks a driver to get out of bed and turn up at the track and race -Its a team order. Or it's an attempt to influence the race result-simple.

Telling a driver to pit for tyres is a team order and an attempt to influence a race result.

This is all nonsense about Team Orders or influencing...

The illegal bit should be worded 'teams cannot swap drivers' positions on track' or sommat.


Felipe Massa was on Thursday night threatened with a jail term of up to six years if he attempts to 'defraud’ Brazil’s sporting public by making way for Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso on Sunday.



Great comment!, thanks for taking the time to compile of these great examples of hypocrisy in the F1 teams and media.



Why don't you tell us which is your nationality and then tell us how unbiased the media coverage is there before you start to criticize the "English media"?

Ferrari fully deserved to be critcized for their driver swaps half way throughthe season when they destroyed Massa's legitimate hope to win the WDC. Deal with it!


I'm not Spanish and I'm not British, but i read British media and i can understand Emilio's point. Obviously, Spanish media can't be any better.

I'm from Romania, we have no drivers in F1 and no team, there isn't even a sponsor, so i'm as much of a neutral arbiter as you'll find among F1 fans, and i can honestly say i completely expected and understood the move Ferrari made in Germany. Massa's legitimate title hopes... really? Let's remember Ferrari have been barely hanging on to title hopes since mid-season because of their early slump. They had to get points, so they did what was needed to keep their challenge alive. Barely now have RedBull and McLaren gotten to that position, hence the calls for teams to "favor" one driver.


Damian, as you can figure out I am spaniard. I support FA, and I Love F1. I really like websites like this one, and I take advantege to congratulate James allen for it. But in this particular issue (team orders and in general FA treatment) I totally disagree for the british media treatment. It is my opinion and I have the right to complain about it. I totally agree with Martin whitsmarsh about not to detract from a world title because my favourite drive (in your case a lewis or jenson)did not win it.

Of course some spanish press is biased, and I complain about it on that spanish websites (not here) .

But I just read a comment of a british fellow of yours in the BBC website, that for me summary this:

"At 06:57am on 06 Nov 2010, Igottaeugeone wrote:

As a Brit living in Spain for years, I have witnessed with dismay the media furore and downright villainous propaganda that both Spanish and British press have aimed at Alonso and Hamilton since their acrimonious partnership in McLaren. Since then though, the Spanish press have stopped attacking Hamilton and focussed on the progress of Alonso. In fact they show grudging respect for Hamilton`s agressive exciting driving ability. However, the British press continue to snipe and sow evil seeds of acrimony around the FI circuit, their main target being Alonso who is of course the main threat to their man Hamilton.

Given that Alonso is increasingly looking like being the champion in 2010 - although anything can happen - you can see the GB press and their expert cronies propaganda machine laying down the markers and the excuses for this situation - i.e. Alonso being let through by his teammate in Germany. Shame on you! If you believe that is the difference between Alonso and the other contenders then you are as blinkered and one sided as the articles you write".

Kind regards


Damian, probably Emilio is a Spaniard as I am. And so? Is it false what he has said in his comment? Don't you find any hipocrisy on all that "making decissions", "giving support", or "leaving doors open"?

I am the first to feel "spanish shame" (LOL) when I read Spanish media. They are absolutely biased. But this does not imply that others - like the ones that Emilio is quoting - are unbiased. Do you remember the press conference after German GP? And after Hungaroring? Is this in your opinion a normal and acceptable behaviour by the journos?


The difference is Heikki didn't have the race pace on the day to get on the podium. Hamiliton was on a different strategy and did.

Massa did have track position to win the race but the team prevented it.

BTW. I don't remember anyone complaining when Ferrari changed places in the last race of 07 which gave a certain Finn the championship !


So adam, maybe was something like this:

"...pip... So, Heikki, lewis is faster than you, he is on a podium strategy, can you confirm you understand?..pip..."


This has been re-hashed many times, but it's quite simple really. Team orders are banned, but there is very little way this can be enforced if teams are subtle about the way they do it. It's clear that this has happened a numbers of times since the rule came in a few years ago.

Ferrari were totally blatant in breaking the rule in Hokenheim which is why so much fuss has been made about it.

Are some other people who have done this in a more subtle way being hypocritcal? Sure they are, but they can get away with it because they weren't so blatant.


well said Emilio.

i dont remember any media questioning if hamilton deserved the title or not after his 2008 title which he won with one point difference, although mclaren used team orders, and although he favoured by the team from the race one.

if you ask me mclaren team did the right thing as hamilton was much better than his team mate.

so why it is so important now, what is so different from the past. i think as you said hypocrisy is the best word to describe it.


Emilio, I can't stop laughing... I'm almost in tears... great comment, mate. Thanks for the translations, I was not aware that they were talking of team orders. I thought they were talking of making decissions, giving support, oh, and that's great, leaving doors open!! Maybe you could also translate it into Spanish, LOL. [mod]

Now put on your tin hat and get ready for some criticism. 😉


I agree Rafael. I hope Massa can go on to win this weekend, but I do not want the title to be decided Sunday. Come on Abu Dhabi!


It's not because he wants Massa to win. He wants Massa to take points from the other title protagonists. Do you really think Ferrari will let Massa finish in front of Alonso if there is a chance to reverse their positions? Do you really think Alonso will let that happen?


James, same off-topic question as every Thursday night: any trust worthy weather forecast for the weekend?

Thanks in advance 🙂


Ok, I'll answer myself on the weather channel...

A quite rainy Saturday, including the Qualy sessions:


And a dry Sunday??



Those were interesting comments by Berger on a Red Bull-owned channel, hardly likely to promote team harmony at a crucial point of the season but then he did always like a practical joke or maybe he fancies lining himself up as Horner's replacement should it all go wrong in the last two races.

Personally I've never really been able to fathom the perceived favouritism for German Vettel from the Austrian end of Red Bull - sure he is young, supremely talented and comes across really well (ideal marketing fodder) but when I lived in Austria the over-riding impression I got was that they didn't really care for their northern neighbours at all... perhaps Mark should have crossed out the AL in Australia on his passport and claimed Austrian parentage.

I wonder if Christian Klien might get another chance at Red Bull if the team's relationship with Mark has broken down the way it sounds. It will be interesting to see how Klien does against Senna again this weekend after pretty much hammering him in Singapore quali...


Didnt Christian Klien have a fallout with the Redbull team? Besides I think Redbull have already named Sebastian Buemi as the next Torro Rosso Graduate after Vettel


I'm impressed Webber isn't looking for excuses over the team orders scandal. I guess the only issue I have is with him saying Felipe wasn't fast enough, but he had been handicapped by the team as Alonso was allowed to use a more aggressive engine setting.


Im not impressed, because he may need some "help" in the remaining races as well. But the problem is, that if Mark continues to cry publicly about the way he is treated, he will never get that help. Even if Vettel would drop out of the hunt before him.

I really like Webber. But his mouth, good god... I would not be surprised if he loses his lifetime opportunity because he finds only 3 wheels waiting for him when pitting. Take the title, or at least give yor best. After leaving F1, you can yell as much as you wish, as loudly as you can, Mark.


agree 100% - Mark you are better than this - just show em on the track


I dont think thats necessarily true. Mark has a great relationship with his engineer and those that work for him...remember the silverstone wing incident after he won the race. It's the corporate side of things and Christian Horner that are the ones he is publicly embarrassing. I think Mark is a smart enough guy to know which buttons to press. His contracted their until next year...whether he actually stays i dont know. It would be a shame to lose a non-european driver.


But where does Webber's relationship with the team - Red Bull - go from here? (Ie in 2011.)

Retirement, irrelevant of if he wins the WDC or not?

I'm not sure the 2011 Red Bull will be a place that he wants to be. Either they will *really* make sure he is not in the hunt, or they won't let him defend his championship. Tricky.



I can't see how he can stay, the way things are. And next year would be the same as this. But what are his alternatives?


James, do you think that Alonso and Webber links with Flavio Briatore explain their proximity ?


I don't think Red Bull deserve to have a World Champion in Mark. And I hope Mark gives them what they don't deserve - or really want.

Whereas front-wing incident at Silverstone is open to some form of reason, I have not forgiven nor forgotten the manner by which they publicly blamed him (as did Marko explicity and management implicitly) for Turkey where a) no serious commentator thought Mark was responsible for the accident and b) arose partly because Vettel had at that moment more engine revs, was in my eyes morally reprehensible.

As was their fan-fuelled backdown that paraphrased "Mark was not to blame, both drivers should take responsibility". Firstly, it was profoundly insincere and motivated by the fan backlash and secondly, one could argue in light of the circumstances Mark did nothing at all wrong - granted that a driver being overtaken should be permitted to defend his position fairly if fighting for the championship. But then Mark isn't seen as a championship contender by Red Bull even though he was *cough* leading the championship (bit awkward for Marko, Newey, and Horner).

Oh but we should remember he was only leading the world championship because of Vettel's chassis defect! The main defect was in Vettel's game at the time - his game has risen since, although it should be pointed out that Webber fairly outqualified him in Canada so it took a small amount of time for the chassis "defect" in Vettel's game to be fixed.

I hope that Mark gives Red Bull what they don't deserve, a driver's championship they don't ideally want.


Lets not forget that Webber won Monaco in Vettel's damaged chassis.


Actually, Vettel still had the "damaged" chassis in Monaco, I think (but might be wrong) Webber won with it in Silverstone. But Vettel did set the fastest lap in his "damaged" chassis in Monaco.


Yeah, you're correct, my bad.


That is correct about Silverstone


With comments like that, I wonder what Webber is hoping to gain? Is he planning a surprise retirement after the championship, or does he have another plan?

Perhaps its simply nerves. Goodluck to him, but unless Alonso has a problem, I don't think luck will be enough...


There is no wonder here!! He simply is trying to gain sympathy from public and he clearly showed his emotions when a hungry media wouldn't let go

I dont't understand why he said what he said? Didn't redbull give him the same car as Vettel?

Emotional support won't win races, does it??

He went to great lengths to publicly shame his own team before the entire world at Silverstone when he radioed "Not bad for ..blah blah.." that they are supporting Vettel and now this dude wants the team to support him?? Or else in his words "Redbull might end up losing both c'ships??

I think he cleary is feeling the pressure if not rattled already. I don't see Mark winning this championship...You don't make comments like this at this stage of the season when a poor old mechanic is buring his "mid-night oil" off for his team to win and all his driver does is to upset the entire team environment??

And it is going to rain in qualifying Mark...

Anyways Good luck....


I usually really like Webber, he is ballsy and not afraid to be politically incorrect, but now he's just starting to annoy me. He needs to shut up and talk with his driving like he did earlier in the season.


"Try not to miss a moment of it, if you can."

It pains me to say that I'll be missing the whole race weekend =(


Can't wait for this weekend. Bring it on. Let's go fernando bring it home


doesn't seem like Webber got a seat for next year at red bull, nor wants one.


Indeed, he acts as if he doesn't care.

They'll make him pay next year I guess and he'll have no choice but to stay there. The only available team worth switching to for him is Renault but I don't see a bright future there.


I am surprised at Mark Webber's comments on how he justified the events at Hockenheim given he was in exactly the same situation as Massa at Turkey.

Both drivers were operating on less powerful engine settings at the time that their team mate closed down the gap, with the public unaware of the disparity between the cars. Saying that Alonso was the right winner at Germany is saying that Vettel would have been the right winner at Turkey.

He clearly does not think that was the case so the comment seems slightly hypocritical - however I think that it is positive that he is not seeking to draw out the politics around the team orders controversy and draw a line under it and move on.


The adfditional parts of the interview still show Mark as telling it like it is - No spin - Honest ( well thats my view )

When asked if he felt he was getting equal support, Webber replied: "technically everything's been very, very good" but when pressed on whether he felt he had the same level of emotional backing as Vettel, he said: "It's obvious isn't it?"

Webber added: "Of course when young, new chargers come onto the block, that's where the emotion is. That's the way it is.

"Which is absolutely fine, because I've had a great opportunity and a great car to go and do some great things this year, and I have done that.

"I've got favourites in life. I've got people I like to be with. That's how it is. It's human nature."

While the team has remained adamant that it will not impose any form of team orders, Webber said there was the potential to let both championships slip away if Red Bull did not handle the final races correctly.

"I'm a driver, and I think that of course you increase your risk of that happening if you race each other and potentially take each other out, or race as hard as you want all the way to the end then you might not get certain championships," he said.

"But it's certainly not my decision and what I think is really all that important to how we will probably go about it. You'd need to ask the people who run the team."

He was not sure how he would feel about supporting Vettel if the points positions were reversed.

"It's a tough question and a tough situation to know how you would do things," Webber admitted.

"There's a lot of really good people at this team and there's no getting away from the fact that we would love to win some championships this year.

"We're at different parts of our career as well, so it's not as easy as some might imagine. I'd need to think a lot further about that.

"For different reasons here and there, obviously Seb's never led the championship this year and I have, so whatever happens in all the races we've had, we've now got two races to go and that's what the scoreboard says.

"Whatever the best way we go about handling trying to win the championship, we'll see on the Monday after Abu Dhabi if it was the right way."

He insisted he could still be satisfied with his season even if he ultimately missed out on the title despite leading the standings for much of the year.

"If you had asked me at the start of the year, I have a chance of winning the championship, I've won four races, I've had nine podiums, it's been a sensational year for me," Webber said.

"I can still put the icing on the cake and I'd love to be able to do that. If we don't, then the sun still comes up on Monday morning."


It doesn't really matter about favourites or any of that side of things. The reason RBR backed Vettel earlier in the season was that his performances have being at a level above Mark Webbers. If Webber were the faster driver I feel absolutely sure they'd back him, as it is I think at ~80% of tracks Seb is quicker than Mark, and it's largely down to reliability issues for Vettel that have prevented him from having a considerable lead. Let us not forget Webber has crashed out twice this year and had no mechanical issues, whilst Vettel has crashed twice but also had three car reliability issues which in reality have lost him 63points.

Webber's title campaign reminds me of that of Rubens last year, not as fast or talented as his team mate and people like to support the underdog.

When all is said and done I'd like to Alonso win it, but if not Vettel is the only other driver worthy of the title this year IMO.


Drivers that blow engines and crash cars (once into Webber, once into Button) probably will not win championships that year. Reliability is not all luck. The great drivers are kind to equipment as well as fast.


While I may have a soft spot for the underdog - which Mark still is as I feel he's battled on his own all season - Agreed Seb is quicker than Mark at 80% of tracks but lately only just getting pipped at quali ( which is a huge determining factor on the race ) ... but have to say that it's not always about being quickest - some old sods have learnt a thing or two.

Although I'm no Fernando lover I have to say that taking speed, fewest mistakes, leadership, resolve, strength - he deserves the title. ( He even looks like like some Ferrari drivers of the 50's - he's looking so weather beaten )


"I think at ~80% of tracks Seb is quicker than Mark"

If that is the case then Vettel would have out qualified Webber on ~80% of tracks which is hardly true as the qualifying battle stands between the two Vettel 10 to Webber's 7.


I love Webber's comments about the Alonso/Massa/Germany saga, if Massa had been faster he would have been 10 seconds down the road and team orders would be moot.


I once supported Webber,up until his amateur like blunder into the side of Hamilton which I still struggle to understand the lack of punishment for.He's shown himself to be quite ruthless,not unlike another chap who's recently returned to F1 after a brief sabbatical,of questionable etiquette.A poor model to role yourself on Mr Webber,but one you wear well IMO.Here's hoping someone punts you off for the rest of the season,better still,do it yourself like the last race,"stockcarman"!


The Singapore crash was 100% Hamilton aka "crash kid". He completely misjudged the pass and cut across Webber. Webber was unfortunate to be caught as an innocent bystander.


Hamilton was the one passing, he has to make sure he is safely past. He dived in late and fast, very risky. These cars are hard to see out of, Webber would not have even seen him come in that late.


So you think at +250kph the overtaking driver has to be aware of the driver behind him eh,even if the whole world saw that Ham was well past,that opinion holds little water with me,the stockcarman used Ham as a safety barrier.Good thing is the whinging matilda has burnt his bridges at Red Bull & he'll be a prime candidate to replace Trulli at team Lotus next year,a car more suited to his skill base.


Wow if his skill base is that low in your eyes, it doesn't say much for the 22 drivers behind him in the WDC....including, at a guess, your favourite guy Hamilton.


Hamilton is a great, quick, aggressive driver but in this instance he was coming from a long way behind, late and hard, out braked himself and paid the price, Webber was just driving along , turning into the corner and minding his own business. Even Lewis would probably agree he was a bit reckless on that one. As for Webber's skill level - Winning a Grand Prix in Monaco, Silverstone, Interlagos etc... second in WDC and beating his talented (but sheltered) team mate qualifies Webber as a very skillful driver. And starting out in the sport, moving away from his country, and working his way up with no sheltering from a big team, with no big money backing from Australia makes his achievements even more impressive, A bit of respect please, and less emotive ranting would be appreciated.


I suggest you go back and look at the footage of that incident. Look where Webbers car is when they make contact. I'm not a Webber fan, but quite clearly Mark had his inside left wheel on the kerb and Hamilton turned across his path not leaving enough room, Lewis needed to leave another half a cars width. 100% racing incident.

What Webber did vs Hamilton in Australia though was 100% Aussie Grits fault, he didn't make the corner and didn't even have his car partially alongisde that of Lewis.


well said, Bevan...I still too dont get it. Hamilton was more than 3 quarters length of car ahead and clearly gave him room into the entry of the corner.. it was mark who hit him which is "avoidable"..

anyway he paid the price in korea..what goes around according to alonso and (me too) sure comes swirling back around


Nothing wrong with what happened in Singapore. Just 2 drivers fighting for 1 spot on the racetrack. As a Webber fan i would've been disappointed if Mark backed off and let Ham through.

Its funny though, that now your wishing for another driver to do the same thing that you now dislike Mark for.


Funny how Mark Webber has had many collisions with other cars this season and all have been described as 'racing incidents' but never his fault. What is the probability of that? I'm not a mathematician but I know the odds are remarkably small!

BTW, I like Mark Webber and would have no issue if he won the WDC but he does have a propensity to have collisions!


Maybe because the some of the other drivers just think he is going to get out of the way for them? I say hit em hard Mark, don't give em an inch, that way they will know what they can expect if they try to push through the next time 😉


Alonso can't use his engine from Bahrain practice/qualifying, because it blew up in FP1 in China.


Jame's in the light of all the controversy at RBR this year, would you be good enough to elaborate on what was so 'strange' about Mark Webber's press conference. Was it the atmosphere, his demeanour or perhaps his answers?


THe fact that he got drawn into saying what he said



DO you think this was Webber clearing some air allowing him to get down and race rather than harbouring feelings or is this more of a 'It's you, not me baby, and btw I would love a good seat and another team next year'?

Or is this simply mind games? Or based on talks Mark has had over stratergies... Horner has said today or yesterday that Red BUll are now open to stratergy if vettel is out and they will play it as it comes.. this is rather different to... obth drivers will have exactly the same.


Nothing seemed right to me about that Webber crash at the last race, but it was never brought up so I thought I was imagining it, but it did seem to me as though he was allowing the car to steer back onto the track having had the original turn (he lets go of the steering wheel during the first impact, but then holds it as the car drifts back onto the racing line) - I assumed that this was because he had clouted the wall and knocked the steering arm.


Alonso's Bahrain practice engine and qualification engine for that matter blew in free practice in China so unless he is planning on sitting in the pits not going anywhere I don't think we will be seeing this engine again.

As we have seen in the last few race weekends expect Alonso to be well off the pace in Free Practice 1.

"We lost an engine today, which is never a good thing, we would like to have all the engines perfectly OK. We knew that this engine was a little bit damaged after Bahrain, it was the one we replaced in Bahrain before the race so we are not too worried."



RedBull starting to Blow Up


On autosport, after Webber attacks on his team Vettel and Horner are defending the team fairness.

It's really strange that this team not only finds innovative ways to loose races but starts playing mind games against itself. The pressure is really getting to them and they're blowing up before the start of the week-end.

Ferrari and McLaren don't need to put pressure on them. RedBull manages that much better itself. All their rivals have to do is keep quiet and let them destroy themselves.

Webber behavior is particularly ill judged. Why is he tackling his team now, what is there to gain for him. Putting extra pressure on them won't make them better and won't enhance his position within the team.

His behavior must have sealed his position for next year already.

As for this year, I was seeing him as the favorite even after Korea. I'm starting to doubt it.


It seems that Vettel said to the German tv "if Mark needs help, he should take the medical car". It's getting bitter.

They're in the Senna Prost zone but they seem to forget that there's still Alonso and Hamilton in the fight for the title with them. I hope for their sake that someone split them in the race.


Looks like Webber and Marko/Mateschitz are having an argument via the media. And Berger is doing some of the talking.

Its only strange if you assume Webber has some other method to get his point across to his enemy. You can imagine Horner has been trying to calm this on both sides.

Webber is flexing his media muscle. He can talk, Mateschitz needs a mouthpiece.

Its brilliant Webber is siding with Alonso against Horner's comments. Hard hits.

There is everything for Webber to gain here if his relationship is already dire with RB. They don't want him to win. How bad does it get?

At least he is forcing them to make it appear fair. At least they can't work against him openly.

Don't loose faith in Webber. He's doing exactly what we all wanted Barrichello and Coulthard to do.

If he stays on as a number 2 next year he will just be Vettel's whipping boy. Maybe Justin Bieber will get that racing seat next year?


The irony with Webber's comments about the Massa situation in Germany is that you just know he would have turned the air blue if Red Bull had asked him to do likewise for Vettel, and turned Vettel's engine revs up to boot (which he appeared to overlook). I usually have a lot of time for Mark Webber's views but that and the resurgence of the favouritism implications does seem a bit off the mark - although the latter is probably just an attempt to get the team to back him over Vettel.


Hi James

I don't know if I'm reaching, but on Vettel's final qualifying lap at Korea, his first sector time was very fast, to tenths quicker than he and Webber had done previously and just as quick as Alonso and Hamilton. This is the sector where it requires horse power not handling. Could the team put a more aggressive engine map for Vettel's car for that sector? Could that be the reason for the engines failure latter in the race?


doubt it - besides Alonso was one of the quickest through that first sector and yet one of the slowest through the speed trap in that same sector, meaning he had made time under braking and traction in what few corners there were.... i'd guess Seb found a little time that way rather than have a secret Vettel only setting in the car....


I can see all the inside-team situations boiling over at the first corner of the race on Sunday! Fireworks going off at every opportunity for overtaking. Hopefully they ll keep it within sporting limits. Good luck to all 6 of them!


I'm a Ferrari fan for 20 years - but I won't be backing Alonso to win the Drivers Championship - he's way too controversial for my liking - every team he drives for seems to end up involved in some scandal linked to him. So come up Vettel!


I find it surprising that Fernando is too controversial for your liking and you don't have a similar idea about Schuey.


Yes I have similar views of Schumacher.... I'm a Ferrari fan since the early 1990's back when Jean Alesi & Gerhard Berger struggled with a mediocre Ferrari... long before Schumacher starting driving for Ferrari. The re-birth of Ferrari in the late 1990's was created by 3 people... Ross Brawn, John Todt & Schumacher - a golden age in Ferrari's history.

I'm just asking the question do the great drivers in F1 have to bend the rules to become World champion? Maybe it's a case of the saying... "Nice guys don't get to the top?"


It's indeed interesting to see how many people keep slating Schumacher, whereas Alonso has been involved in almost every single scandal since 2006 (winning races with illegal mass dampers, the Fuentes doping list, pitgate, spygate, crashgate and teamorder-gate to name the most prominent). He might be guilty in all of them, or completely innocent like he claims, but be it as it is, but a rather impressive amount of scandals carry his mark.

Maybe something for some digging and writing for a F1 journalist to be done there?


Great post. How many scandals can one keep walking away from with a teflon coat?

One of the worst things FIA have done was to offer immunity to guilty drivers.


Michael, I think that we should put off the list some of this "scandals":

- mass dumpers: as far as I know, he does not design the cars nor construct them, so I can't see why we should consider him guilty of any thing about it. Besides, when dumpers were deemed illegal by the FIA they did not take out the points from Fernando and Giancarlo, so I understand that there was nothing wrong with them;

- spygate: the only one to get a (extremely harsh) penalty was the Team; nor Fernando neither his team mates were punished, so we have to assume that they were not guilty;

- crashgate: obviously I did not like him to win that race, but, as on the other points, he was judged innocent, so end of the story;

- team orders: IMO we should stop beating this dead horse. All the teams give orders, in a more or less subtle way. The problem in Germany'10 is that they did it so blatantly, due to the childish behaviour of Felipe and Smedley. Once again, he was not found guilty.

Sincerely I can't remember "pitgate". And I know nothing about that "Fuentes doping list". Has he been found using or in posession of illegal drugs? Do you mean that he gets doped in order to improve his performance. I simply can't believe it, but if you have any clue, please let us know.

At the end of the day, F1 and scandals have been living together since I can remeber - and I remember from a long time ago LOL. All the greatest champions have had their own ones. I think it was Bernie who said "if there is not a fire, I will light it!".


He would have know what what going on in crashgate. He is an elite athlete on top of everything in the game including strategy. That strategy would be suicide without the crash. Where this is big money, and....smoke there will probably be fire.


Pitgate -Alonso was penalised for holding Hamilton up in the pits so to prevent him from a final qualifying lap. Whether team mates or not, Whether on a qualifying lap or building up to one, Alonso was rightly punished for impeding Hamilton.


Pitgate, remember, the only time in F1 history that a driver was punished without braking any rule 😉


Michael - Thanks for highlighting all those Alonso scandals - I had actually forgotten many of them!

Maybe a mark of a true champion is how he manages to get away with things... Senna wasn't a saint... Schumacher is definitely not a saint... in perspective Alonso kinda fits into the same light. (but don't get me wrong not I'm saying Alonso is as good as Senna or any of the other F1 Greats!!!)

On the other hand drivers like Hamilton & Vettel and other rookies are pulled up and booked for every little incidence.

James have you any views on this?


What I know about the spygate is that FIA asked all McLaren drivers (FA, LH and PdlR) if they would answer some FIA questions about it. All drivers were as well left with the possibility of not answering the questions, yet FIA menaced that if this would be the case, new procedures could be advanced against the non-collaboratives. LH was backed by the team and choose not to answer; on the contrary, the other two drivers choose to do it. And so it was. FIA did not find them guilty of any illegal action; McLaren was. Stop. Point. Period. Consequently, at the time the Spaniards drivers were accused by some media (imagine what) of being traitors to McLaren. But that FA (and PdlR) were the spies, is a thoroughly new falacy. As your other accusations. Alonso is personally guilty of no one of them. I can add another nonsense, which is when FA was accused for the same media of bribing his McL mechanics. As far as I know, FA used from the Renault times to yield the extra money he won (as prized for winning races or similar issue) to his mechanics. In the same way that champions in other sports did and do. For instance, in cyclism, as Indurain did.

But on a second thinking, yes. You are right. FA is guilty of being an excellent driver and competitor, and for being in the fight even in the most adverse circumstances.


I understand Webber doesn't feel good about the way he's being treated at RB, but no matter what, I don't think it's smart to say things like that. He can really get himself into trouble, unless it can't be any worse or he doesn't really care about what happens after the season.

Anyway, it's been such an amazing season. There were some boring races of course but the championship fight itself has been really epic with leaders changing constantly, all the team orders controversy and team mate tensions (RB). I'm really happy I can be watching it. I'm so excited for the last races!


The politics in all these teams would be brutal. Webber is a country Australian. They are as tough as nails and very level headed. The wheels will not fall off. He is setting himself up as underdog, perfect place to take it all. Briatore will be working behind scenes too for Mark. His side of the garage will be right behind him. This is all part of psychological game I suspect. But he said he understood it human nature that people have favorites with nationalities,. So it was not sour grapes. We will see, but Alonso may not finish both races due to engine issues. Vettel may crash/break his car at least once. The Austrians and Germans are emotionally rooting for Vettel but there is too much money invested by Red Bull to throw anything away for this. End of the day they need to win both titles. Vettel has a long successful career ahead.


I believe that Flavio has coached Mark this season brilliantly. The comments, their timing and substance have been carefully planned.

At no point has Mark alienated himself with the element of the team who do the hard work, but he has put the pressure on the team in the public eye so as to give himself the best chance of actually getting equal treatment. He has left Red Bull with no room to move should they wish to contrive a Seb related result.

The biggest negative in it, and Im sure Mark is aware of this, is it has put Horner in some tricky spots. But it could be argued that the management structure is to blame for this, as it seems Helmut pulls the trigger and then ducks behind Horner.

But all of this would mean little if Mark had not shown the outright speed and race craft he has this season. His on track performances have put him in a position to be able to listen to the wily old silver fox (Flavio) and use his advice to squeeze what needs to be squeezed.

And lets face it what Mark has said can all be supported, emotional support lacking, see Istanbul, Silverstone etc...

Anyone who thinks Mark's comments are not carefully planned and structured with Flavio in his corner are mistaken.

Its interesting with all Flavio has done and all those who have tried to bury him he comes out with his remaining 2 drivers first and second in the WDC. Some people just have the knack.


But Mark's strategy will backfire next year. With the amount of pressure he puts on the team and the regularity with which he repeats his attacks, he has already ruled himself out for next year.

So he's putting himself in a situation where it's either this year or never. Besides he's the one who needs Vettel's backing not the opposite. His hard stance won't make Vettel's help even in Abu Dhabi easy to obtain. When you need someone's help, you don't attack him do you ? So this behavior is a bit ill advised as far as I'm concerned.

I don't know how much Flavio's hand is behind this strategy but it's the wrong one.


The point you are missing is that Mark has not said anything directly against Seb. He has pointed out that emotionally the team is more behind him. What is there for Seb to get annoyed at? Its in fact Sebs lack of eloquence that has lead him to make more direct remarks towards Mark (ie the medical car comment, or the mental gestures).

If you look at the substance and structure of Marks quotes you will see he has not directly attacked any individual. He has bordered on having a go at Helmut but thats it. What Mark has done has endeared himself with the public by basically saying he has had the same machinery as Seb but has not had the 'love' within the team that Seb has. Seb has been drawn into Marks game by starting to get personal, but at no point, that im aware of, has Mark had a personal stab at Seb.

And relating to weather or not Seb will help...well if Mark is behind him on track and the championship is on the line the team will get him to move over, no two ways about it.

ANd relating to next year, well the further Mark plays the underdog, endeares the public to his story, the harder it will be for RBR to favour Seb. If Mark is the WDC then there is no question.


Webber never wants or expects help from anyone. He's a hard man who did it all ( whatever all turns out to be ) himself. He has been around long enough to know the ropes and saying what he has said recently is nothing those concerned, bar the young protected ones, will be surprised about.

I think he and Horner have a very good working relationship. That will continue next year.

Some people take comments out of context and without looking at the big F1 picture, or thinking about the behind-the scenes continuity such as Briatore's influence-but Webbers in good shape. He sounds in good shape to me ( a fellow Aussie ), playing the underdog card. He has the support ( technical )of the team and his garage. That's all he expects. For him, Vettel is just another driver to beat on the track.

After all, it's the media Jo Torrent, which is a tool in the driver's armoury. Don't think for a moment Webber is not fully aware of what he is saying and the repercussions - or not.


Webber is NEVER going to get any help from Vettel. Marko will make sure of that.


He was never going to get Vettel's help anyway. They would be enemies by now.


I remember when Vettel used to act like Webber was such a top bloke & they got on fantastically.

Of course this is before Webber became an inconvienence by daring to actually be faster than him :-), Lol at Vettel's young arrogance, & although Vettel is a wonderful talent I really hope Webbo takes the title this year & writes his names in the history books as the one teammate that managed to beat THE Sebastian Vettel.


Thanks Mark - excellent observation and I still feel that Mark W. is doing an excellent job and being mega canny in getting his way ....

I also think that if this is what Mark says in Public then behind the Teams closed doors then I should imagine you could cut he tension with a knife ...... I think Mark will be getting very little support from RBR and is biting his tongue like crazy - he's a wily old fox and knows big blow ups will not help - but keep it going...

Mark will get some luck going his way soon - just wait for it and don't chuck it in the wall.


I feel there's a lot of truth in your comments Mark... Webber is too savvy (now); he knows what he's doing in talking to the media this way. He knew the radio message after his Silverstone victory would be broadcast; he never puts his crew down, yet he does question some of the (management) teams decisions.

It reminds me, a little, of when Irvine was in with a shot of the WDC (after Schumi had broken his leg)... one always had the feeling that Ferrari's management wanted to win the championship with Schumi and NOT with Irvine. Mark's vibe (to me) indicates a similar scenario - hence his reference to himself being an "inconvenience".


Nice obsevation. Especially Helmut ducking behind Horner.

It really is Mark and Flavio vs Marko/Mateschitz here.

I'm waiting to see Alonso kick in a sliver of support for Webber against Red Bull. Would be something to see!


That hammer sure hit that nail right on the head! Well said Mark. Couldn't agree more


Hi James you wrote :

"Alonso won Korea with an engine which had done Spa and Singapore already"

but on sept 26th in "Ferrari calm on Alonso engine situation" you wrote

"Fernando Alonso won today’s Singapore Grand Prix using the same engine with which he raced in Germany and Hungary."

What is the reliability of this kind of information then ?


Typo, sorry. It should say Spa and Suzuka


This year best whiner awards goes to 1st Rubens 2nd Mark Webber


Rubans? Rubans has been great, reliving the days of Schumi and Rubans has been another highlight of this year. I think Vettel's 'why did i get a drive through?' at hungrey wins the biggest whinger award.


hahaha yeah I remember the hands coming out of the cockpit all the way down the pit lane, funny stuff!


Lol not as funny as drivers keep constant complaining and whining not knowing the fact that they are not as talented or faster as his ex or current team mate...maybe Rubens and Mark should make their own reality show since there talking are much more than driving and called "First in whining second in driving" Mtv would broadcast that show i think 😀


I would agree with you. Webber has been a constant complainer and whiner this season.

Depending on the situation on the track in the latter races, any F1 team would instruct (or however they do it with team orders being banned) one of their driver to yield for the sake of the championship.


best quote goes to you for this post...hilarious!!!!


I'm a big fan of Mark Webber and would love to see him win the championship. However, I'm a bit disappointed in his comments ahead of such a crucial race. I feel he may have dropped another own goal and put a bit more pressure on humself and the team than he needed to. He's taken the bait unfortunately. It must be difficult in his situation, but he must try to keep a lid on his emotions and not air his and the team's dirty linen out in public. I hope he's not admitting defeat in the championship already by deflecting attention away from his mistake in Korea. Vettel must be loving this - all he needs to do is sit back and let Mark do the talking. It's been shown on several occasions this year how quickly things can change - stay calm and hang in there Mark - who knows what might happen in the race?


Webber must think he's maximising his chances with this. I don't think Vettel is in Mark's sights. He is trying to force Red Bull to support him or to keep the playing field level at least.

He must believe soldiering on quietly is not the option to win it.

When Webber says his success is "inconvienient" he means his team do not want him to win (over vettel at least). How else can you read it?

Would quiet compliance now earn him the support that his performance and points have not?


Mark is trying to push the team into supporing his WDC charge.

If he doens't do this, the team may just let Vettel pass Webber on their way to a WDC loss similar to McLaren 2008.

Webbers comments are calculated and precise. Similar to Silverstone.


Come on Brazil - bring the rain!!!

Big question is: can Massa get pole again?

My nightmare scenario (just as a spectator), Vettel getting pole and running away with it in dry conditions. The sporting equivalent of comfy slippers and a nice cup of cocoa.

I think we need a ballsy, symobilic win either from Massa in front of his home crowd or from one of the McLarens to show again that they can perform miracles in a car with all the downforce of a wet paper towel.

Of course, would also be interesting if Massa lets Alonso past again - but just to see the sight of Brazilian prosecutors trying to cuff the poor chap as he gets out of his Ferrari!


hey - that's a little unfair. Don't you know that Maclaren moves about as quickly as a wet paper towel as well?


James, do you think Webber has been offered a seat at another team next year? Renault or Ferrari perhaps - there was some speculation earlier in the year that he was going to Ferrari alongside Alonso for next year. The team bosses at Ferrari seemed to be singing his praises earlier on.

Very keen to hear your thoughts on the matter and whether he is just venting or Flavio has worked a deal behind the scenes to get him out next year.


Both Webber and Massa are in difficult positions with their teams, but I can't really see Ferrari taking Webber for one year. If Ferrari wins the championship the pressure will be off and the drivers will stay the same. If they don't, it will be interesting to see what happens


I can't see WEbber going to Renault. Mark has had heaps of years of bad cars and I doubt he would tkae a step backwarsd to a renault simply to bide his time.

Drivers tend to do it while they move up the pecking order or to hold position while waiting for a new seat. (e.g. barichello at honda, or alonso at renault 2nd stint).

Webber isn't going to be in F1 in 5 years so I doubt he'd go to renault and sit there for a couple more years waiting to grab a seat at McLaren or Ferrari or perhaps Mercedes then.

Interesting to also note what Massa has said today. Seems lke he has also changed mood.. maybe a sign of something that has happened behind teh seens.

Although I agree with James, that there is a good chance of seeing ferrari and rbr the same in 2011, I think there might be a chance of mark getting anoyed enough at Marko and co and leaving to Ferrari (Mark and Fernando seem good friends) while Massa regroups and enjoys some of Newey's creations.


reallly only two places... red bull and ferrari.

McLaren are full. Anything is a step backwards and not worth at his stage (in career terms)

He may be able to swing it to replace Massa and Massa to replace himself. Hence giving Massa a clean slate at a fair Red Bull while giving Webber the same opportunity.

Paddock rumours say exactly the same... Webber to either stay, move to ferrari or retire


Webber may go to Ferrari. Who knows.


Earlier in the year i suggested that maybe Mark should get a seat at Force India, i felt they were a real up and coming team but they seem to of stagnated from their late form they found last year. A Renault seat would be about 5 years to late. I'm a long time Mark Webber fan, i'd be gutted to see him leave F1 yet its hard to really see where he can go from here.


And can you see Renault having anything to do with Flavio ever again?

I cant imagine him conducting negotiations sat down in his old renault office


James do you think it's possible Shumacher is out at Mercedes? I don't think Webber will want to stay at RBR next year and be #2 to Vettel, all the same he won't want to be #2 to Alonso who is a worthy #1 driver.

Mercedes a chance? Mark and Norbert seemed awfully chummy in Korea. True they go back to Marks old days at Mercedest sportscars but still the question needs to be asked?

Schumacher out, Webber in. Webber #1 driver at a 2nd level team.

[img]http://photos.gpupdate.net/large/165196.jpg%5B/img" rel="dofollow" target="_blank">http://photos.gpupdate.net/large/165196.jpg%5B/img]



So you think if Webber wins the WDC he might get Massa's seat?


I hope that Webber wins the WDC and moves to Ferrari - only because I'd find it amusing for Alonso to have a number 2 printed on his car lol


.... can't help but laugh at Berger's comments about Mark trying to take Alonso out. He's a comic genius! The Spin Meister!!!


I am getting pretty bored with Mark Webber and fast! He has been in F1 for almost a decade now and did nothing spectacular until Newey gave him a brilliant car. Yes, maybe Vettel is the golden boy inside RedBull,just the way Senna and Mika were at Mclaren,Schumi at Ferrari and Alonso in Renault and now Ferrari. But what's the point in washing dirty linen in public? If Mark hated his job so much,he should have called it quits earlier this year.

There are just way too many good drivers on the sidelines who would give an arm to be in Mark's seat. Hope RedBull comes to their senses and replaces Mark with Heidfeld or Sutil before this gets any uglier.


he outqualified & beat every teammate, he lead races in a dog of a Williams that kept blowing up or dropping its gearbox, he put a Jaguar 2nd on the grid it goes on & on....

Don't confuse your lack of interest or knowledge of Webber as a lack of him achieving anything..


"he outqualified & beat every teammate"

Wow i think you exaggerate too much, 2007 Coulthard beat him, not his teammate but in 2008 beaten by Sebastian in a Toro Rosso. Who lack the knowledge now..


James, could the timing of Gerhard Berger's comments re. Webber's off at Korea, founded or otherwise, have been orchestrated or manipulated by Servus TV? It's just hard to believe that the producers of Servus TV and hence Red Bull would not have foreseen the possible impact this would have on Mark Webber's future comments and the conclusion that could be made by the Berger, Servus, Red Bull relationship.


As they say in the advertising biz. Any publicity is good publicity.


I think Webber has made these comments for two reasons. One, because he already knows that he is not driving for Red Bull next year, and two, it is to play mind games with Vettel and the team to ensure equal treatment. I think if he can pull off the championship he'll retire on a high, and if not, he'll consider other team options and decide his future based on what they offer.


Hi James,

Well its hard to follow the F1 weekend in New Zealand! All we have is SKY which has all the practice sessions, but never any of Martins great grid walks... Lets hope Mark or Lewis NAIL the championship!!!




The Kiwi's get the practice sessions! ah we (Australia) only get (and only as of early this year) live quali and the race..ah well beggers cant be choosers and i guess it is on free to air.


It's interesting to see how people deal with pressure. Mark is just getting himself prepared mentally. Remember what happened last time he got angry ? If he drives aggresivelly

i think he will be unstoppable.



Why do you think Mark took the bait and said what he did? Was he just being his typically honest self, or do you think there is an agenda behind what was said to the media?


It would be a pity if the championship is decided by engine penalties, wouldn't it? I know all about saving money and all the green waffle but coming down to the wire they should all have nice new shiney, powerful engines.


He is right.
He is the underdog with not enough lover from the team.
It almost seems as if Webber's side of the garage us some sort of RB6 customer rather than actually the leading driver of the main team.
I hope he take the WDC.
Team Webber +1


I think it's time for Webber to stop moaning and be faster on the track than Vettel, which he hasn't been the last 5 races.

Webber and his fans saying Vettel should 'support' him while he can also win the championship and is driving much better than Webber the last 5 races is ridiculous, as a sporting decision.

In what way must he support Webber exactly? Qualify slower? Take out Alonso and Hamilton with a nasty move like Webber did in Singapore?

How about Webber going faster?

So instead of him talking about Massa having to be 10 secs faster than Alonso, maybe he should be 10 secs faster than Vettel? Problem solved.

Also James, I am disappointed this site is censoring critical posts towards Webber, like many fellow forum members of another site have now claimed after they posted here yesterday and didn't get publicized, while they posted them earlier than the ones we see above (a few are pro Webber from my forum too, so they got accepted, the ones critical of Webber not).

Proves the theory about bias towards Webber within the English speaking media, but no proof needed for that anyway. See the deafening silence about Webber's laughable rookie mistake in Korea and the fact he never used the brake to stop the car, going back to the racing line and taking out the wrong guy. If Vettel had done that exactly like Webber...yes, you know what would have happened 😉


completely agree with you. It's not that I dislike webber it is just the double standards towards him. Hamilton in monza was heavily criticised and yet Webber recieved no criticism and no one observed how he took rosberg out so dangerously. I still remember how jake humphrey asked webber in singapore if he was prepared to be ruthless? After his response the bbc were salivating and praising webber but if that had been Schumi the bbc team would have got out their high horse!!


No posts are being censored for subject matter. That is not true. Only posts which break behaviour rules are deleted


James I've got a post where I draw a parallel between Alonso/Hamilton and Webber/Vettel still awaiting moderation. There's absolutely not the slightest thing against the rules or anyone. I don't see why some of my long posts take so long to be moderated.


Can't see that. Please resend. On moderation, we have high standards on this site, no-one wants to read one eyed rants between fans so we don't tolerate them. The comments section is for contributing something meaningful to a discussion


James! Who would you like to see win the title this year or who do you think deserves it most so far?



I do not see any problem with Webbers response, he's a honest guy and its an honest answer. I cannot believe webber wanted to take out the person behind him in Korea, and to be honest the team would have told him whos behind, so all those people who think he did it to take out Alonso are dreaming. I think somthing has happened within the team since Korea... maybe Webber will not be with the team next year. Webber for the championship and then to Ferrari! Makes sense! Too many links between Ferrai and Webber.

Michael Grievson

The thing I love about Webber is he's not afraid to say what he thinks. I wish more drivers were like that.

I wonder if he's backing himself into a corner to come out fighting. Some of his best results have been when he's been like a trapped animal.

As for Alonso it seems to me like he's playing mind games with Massa. Asserting his authority.


James, on the engine situation. Seeing that interlagos is at altitude, less air pressure, means less volumetric efficiency, less performance, less strain on the engine. With these factors I believe teams with 2 working engines (not new units) have less of a decision to make. Run the engine that has more wear this weekend, as it won't be stressed as much, and save the better engine for the final race.

Having said this, I'm expecting engine failures this weekend anyway! Should.be a good race.


A very interesting game is being played here and I'm in agreement with those who say Mark Webber's comments are carefully thought about and probably constructed with manager Briatore.

I don't see any downside for him saying what he's said. He's taken a heap of pressure off himself regards Vettel's performance, if Sebastian beats him it's because he had the team favouring him. If Alonso beats him it was because Mark wasn't loved by the team.

However that team won't go against him based on those comments, according to him it's natural to favour the younger guy. So no criticism there then.

You have to come to the conclusion Mark doesn't care much about Red Bull as a team any more. Does he really want to see out the final year of his deal being more the number two driver than ever? Vettel is unquestionably faster and maturing so his chances of competing for a title next year will become a little Jenson Button.

If he wins the driver's title this year I'd imagine he'll walk. If he loses it I can see him trying a year at Williams or Renault or just going. After these comments there's no way he'd fancy another season in the Bull pen.


If you read carefully into Mark's words, he's only stating the pure facts, he's not saying he doesn't have the team behind him, he's just saying that it's only natural to favour the younger talent, so let's not make a fire out of it, as Seb and Horner are...


Mark: if you walk it like you own it, then the championships yours

Start attacking the track like you were earlier in the year, instead of grafting to defend where you are in the championship.

I'm a big fan & would love to see you win the championship, but not if your teammate has to move over in final corner of Abu dhabs ala ruebens/shuey @ Ferrari. That's the worst podium I've ever seen & id hate to see a championship decided that way.

The public fell in love with you because you were seen to rise above team sympathies & politics back then.

Time to get on with it mate, the shackles are off now, no lead to defend; attack the next two grand prix weekends


This is the worst podium i ever seen: Coulthard lets Hakkinen pass to win http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHd8n1D4wkM


If Mark did somehow join another team (which I don't think will happen), who could replace him? I reckon watching Vettel and Kobayashi in the same team would be real entertainment! RBR would need to take an additional truck full of spare parts to each race!


Kobayashi isn't very crash-happy actually. most of his DNFs this year were caused by mechanical failures (at most two out of eight were really his own fault) and he's been shunted more often than he has shunted others.

With Webber gone, Red Bull would have one less "crash-kid" so if they gave his seat to Kobayashi they'd need less trucks, not more.

That said, Mark is the best kind of crash kid: always ready to come clean when it was his fault. If Seb learns anything from Mark, I hope it's that (I suppose he could also stop crashing but where's the fun in that?).


"They will have been able to test it on the dynomometer in Maranello" - is that correct? According to the rulebook, the FIA apply blanking plates and seals to used engines to ensure that they can't be run between meetings.


What I don't understand is what on earth is so wrong with Mark's comments?

I believe in everything he said. He was treated like a No2 even if he managed to put himself in a position where he has the higher chance of winning the title.

It is plain obvious. If Vettle is in Mark position, surely Mark has to play the support role.

And let's not forget the front wing that was given to Vettle due to "championship position" according to Horner.

And the fact that Red Bull repeatedly said they will build the team around Vettle.


Looking at the current points score his best bet would be to go to Mercedes to replace Schumachers dismal 66 point position....


I would like Webber to win the WDC title - and it would also be amusing if it's the one and only time Red Bull win the drivers championship (I think Mclaren and Ferrari will be stronger next year) however my head tells me that Alonso will win the WDC and Vettel will be strong in the last 2 races to take second. I can't see Mclaren having the car although I'd like to see the duo doing well. Webber will be third 🙁


I find the suggestion that mw's position at redbull being untenable to be laughable. He knows he's got a good seat, redbull know what they have. Anything else is more trouble than it's worth. I think his comfort with discussing this to be a reflection of the fact that it is pretty good.
These days pragmatism is king, as I suspect it usually has been.


There's a great article http://www.422race.com/2010/lanalisi-la-salute-dei-motori-a-due-gp-dal-termine in italian which describes engine use.

Very interesting. The point is that the only guy pretty tight is Alonso. Everybody else is very healthy.


I think one has to give respect to Mark Webber for holding his head up high even in difficult times. I am sure it is not easy working for a team that favours your team-mate over you so openly. Much respect for the performance he has shown this year , with all that was happening around him. I wonder though, what his motive is exactly, if there is one that is, unless he's just decided to speak his mind on the subject . I think he is being very brave to do this, looking at him you get a sense of "me against them", from the outside at least that's how it looks.


Is it just me, or is the fact that engines could decide this championship pretty pathetic? To have had a driver of the calibre of Alonso (of whom I'm no fan) drag himself into contention for the title, only to have to worry about having used up an allocation of 8 engines per season is just absurd. This is meant to be a sport - sure the costs are higher than other sports, but to have a tennis player face a Wimbledon final having to re-use a raquet he'd slightly cracked in Round One would be nonsense, and so is this.

Let the guys race dammit. No one wants to see a potentially wonderful season finale ruined by an old engine giving up the ghost, and no one wants to see a great driver having to do battle hobbled by some stupid rule that only foists artificiality on the contest...


Engines don't decide championships.

Hell, drivers don't decide championships.

Team politics decide championships.

And if your RBR your politics decide championships for

other teams as we will all see.


Wrong. Consistency decides championships


Vettel was pretty consistent in the first races but his car wasn't...


Yes I agree and Webber has been the most consistent, apart from the very unusual slippery new Korean track he has had a very consistent year. I think Brazil will suit him. He even put a Jaguar on the front row here once when it was not a quick car. I would not be surprised to see him wack it on pole here and maybe win again. He is due for a good weekend.


I always find it interesting, the different ways certain statements are reported on different news sites. Motorsport.com has this:

". . . Mark Webber admitting it is "f***ing obvious" that team bosses are more emotionally supportive of his teammate Sebastian Vettel."


I hadn't seen that particular modifier attached to "obvious" in the quote as reported on other sites. Not an earth-shattering difference, but I think it gives it a slightly different tone...! Is that how you heard it?


wow , Thanks for letting us know , didn't expect him to be this clear on an interview.

but it's bad that almost all news sites didn't mention it , They should have.


I really find Vettel a nice and cool guy and it’s his supporters in the Austrian side of the RedBull that damage his image. The biggest blow came from Dr Marko when he accused Webber for the Turkey incident.

Now, it’s Berger’s turn with his claims of taking out opponents. Webber though did a big mistake if he hadn’t hit the brakes after his off in Korea and I don’t understand why ?

Parllel Webber/Vettel and Alonso/Hamilton


There’s a parallel we can draw between the Webber/Vettel and the Alonso/Hamilton situations. Both older drivers felt that the team treated them fairly technically but badly emotionally. I still remember the McLaren mechanics going nuts when Hamilton managed a pole and much less when Alonso did. It’s understandable because both youngsters have been developed by their respective team. If you develop a driver and see him growing and rising and living up to your expectations, the bond between you and him is much stronger and you love him almost as a son so there’s absolutely nothing vicious or unhealthy there. Besides, Vettel brought to RedBull their 1st pole and victory in F1 first with the little team ToroRosso and then with the bigger RedBull. For Dr Marko particularly, Vettel not only is close emotionally but justifies all the investment in RedBull’s driver program.

Add to that that Hamilton is British in a British team and Vettel is German in an almost German team (Austrian) and you have all the right circumstances for them being the beloved sons.

Now if you put it from Webber (or Alonso’s perspective before that), it’s very hard emotionally to handle. They might easily get paranoid and think that the emotional unfairness extend to technical unfairness. Luckily for Webber, Vettel had much more technical issues so he won’t have 2nd thoughts about it. But imagine the opposite situations where all reliability issues have hit Webber and none Vettel. What would Webber have thought and what would we have said ? For Alonso it’s even worse because he is the double world champion, the one who stopped Schumi’s dictatorship and the team must be under his feet. They hired him to bring them world championships back and he must felt (wrongly I think) betrayed because they didn’t care enough about him. I think 99,9% of human beings would have felt the same Alonso did.

These situations are simply unsolvable in my view. After all, even parents don’t love their childs equally. How can we ask of Formula 1 teams to do so with their drivers.

The only fair team manager is Enzo Ferrari, he didn’t love his drivers, he only loved his cars (the exception is maybe Gilles Villeneuve).

An interesting point here is for those of you who are fanatic British fans (I know most of you aren’t) who supported Lewis against Alonso and now Webber against Vettel.

For me, if you’re rational about it, you can either support Webber and Alonso or Vettel and Hamilton because of what I explained before but we all know patriotism is a great but stupid feeling.


So is attraction, it blinds peoples ability to see others for whom they really are. Did Marko make the "Crazy" gestures immediately after the Turkey collision, or was that Vettel...


Is that you, Flavio?


James i think you put a wrong order with my reply above, it supposed to be on post No. 27 🙂


It seems everyone forgot that at the end of the 2009 season, Webber (who was out of the championship race) said literally he would help Button more than Vettel (his teammate) to win the championship.

And now he demands Vettel to help him? While he is still in contention too?

There is a word for a person like that.

If Vettel now said he would help Alonso win the title more than Webber (he would then be saying the same as Webber last year), how would the British, or rather English speaking media (filled with Webber close friends) react to that?

But Webber gets a cart blanche all the time and it got very tiring and boring now. He should just drive faster than Vettel, instead of whining, kicking around and moaning and now asking for an appointement with Dr. Phil.

I am totally not for Alonso, cannot stand him, but I hope he wins it instead of Webber, if Vettel can't. So I said the same as Webber last year did 😉


who's demanding what??????

If Webber ever "demanded" Vettel assist his title shot i'll eat my hat.

I think you'll find Webber reassures a journalist that what has not happenned to this point will continue not happening.

I have written elsewhere and I am happy to repeat it: Webber neither expects nor asks for help, let alone demands help.


Webber multiple times asked the team to make him 1st driver if they want the championship. He started way back in Spa.

He demands it behind closed doors reporters have claimed and he is not getting it, is why he is sour droopy faced the last 3 races.

And the way he talks in public, sad, depressed, angry, disappointed, it looks like he wants everyone to demand for him that RBR forces Vettel to help him. He plays the media very well, especially because his media is filled with his buddies.

He should stop whining and embarrassing the team with his backstabbing, drive like a champ, beat Vettel on the track. And he will get what he wants.


Mate, he only ever "demands" a fair go.

""He demands it behind closed doors reporters have claimed and he is not getting it, ""

??? "Reporters have claimed" does not make it so.

"He plays the media very well, especially because his media is filled with his buddies."

His media??? Hey James, you Webber's buddy?

And yes mate, I do think he should win a race or two before the end of the season.


Webber's luck finally turned around this year, and he's still unhappy. What a shame. He needs to move on. Or go shopping and buy a really cute outfit. It really works for me when I get like that.

Retail therapist

Classic. Love it.


I'm surprised by the amount of people that are 'disappointed' with Webber's remarks. He was clearly drilled about the issue by the media, and only showed his characteristic honesty and candor when pressed. No one is really questioning the validity of his answers, just his reluctance to lie or play politics as enthusiastically as his peers.


Well said. And we don't see Marko offering himself to the media every race, do we. Good on Mark, hope he takes it all and says another choice remark as he takes the last checker.


On second thought, just hope he wins, period.


I personally feel that Alonso will take home the crown because in order for Redbull to secure the Title, they must back Webber. Clearly, that will not be happening, therefore the only chance they have is if Alonso finishes off the podium. Then Vettel and Webber can race freely.

I would think that Horner has already thought of this and might have a contigency plan in place...Let's hope!


Hi James. In light of the engine that gave up in FP1, what is the situation with Alonso? Any indication on whether Fernando will have to take a penalty in Interlagos?

Could this be the driver for his comments about Massa? Wanting Felipe to win, so as to reduce the points haul by the other contenders, as he isn't sure what kind of finish he's going to have...?

Better to take a penalty now, than to go in to Abu Dhabi with question marks, right?


Friday engines are different from Sat and Sun. Not a concern for the engine he'll use for qualifying and race


Mark so willfully airing the teams dirty laundry to the press can't be good for his prospects of continuing his drive for RB... or any other team in the future. It may make his championship personally sweeter if he does win though, if he loses I wouldn't be surprised if RB sack him at the end of the year. In a team situation a loudmouth like Mark is cancerous.


I think Helmut Marko is the real cancer at Red Bull.


This is the era of 'The Cry Babies' Gone and is gravely missed arethe eras of Real Men like Ascari, Fangio, Clark, Ayrton Senna, Giles Villeneuve and every man who took on the old Nurburgring. The only saving grace this year has been Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.. They drive more and complain less.. We need more of those then drivers who whine on over everything.


I am a small concern...

How can one suspect Ferrari of having engine issues when since GP5 (Spain) where they KNEW they only had 6 engines left for the 15 last GPs I cannot see ANY limitation in the milage wether it's in FP1+2 (friday engine) or FP3 (race engine) ?

Ferrari : 9 253.8 km / RedBull : 8 837.5 km / McLaren : 8 232.5 km

Repartition Alonso (4 598.1 km) Massa (4 655.7 km)

Got my figures from Autosport public data after each FP multiplying the number of laps by the circuit length.... Data available on request indeed....


Mark Webber must have some real doubt's that he can win this one. RBR marketing and media department in conjunction with upper management have done a fantastic job at building on Webber's psychological demise.

(1) Pre Korea. Horner said again that RBR are building the team around Sebastian Vettel.

(2) Korea. Marko hugging Vettel in pit lane with the tv camera poised for action. And action! Hug. Longing look. Cut!

(3) Post Race. Vettel comments to confirm his retirement was not his fault. Webber's however!

(4) Post Korea. Servus TV (Red Bull}Gerhard Berger. Mark Webber deliberately took out Nico Rosberg.

Deserving or not, I just can't be put these media incidents down to cases of simple coincidence.

Webber's comment's, strange or otherwise were a direct reaction to the media exposure over the last month and the residual memories of the 2010 season's incidences.

Having the technical hardware for the job is paramount to your championship aspirations. Having a supportive transparent team is essential. circumventing internal issues (bias) through the media via your team principals is really cloak and daggers stuff.

This is fuel for the fire that is Red Bull Racing's inability to balance it's championship desires with Red Bull's marketing aspirations.

Instead of Red Bull Racing winning at all costs (as long as it is a Red Bull Driver) Red Bull

have projected to win the WDC with a preferred driver(from the Red Bull Driver's program). Foregoing WDC this season is a acceptable loss for Red Bull, although I am certain that this is not shared by everyone at Red Bull racing

That is a lot to carry with you every time you hop into the car to go racing when you are the no.2 driver out performing the no.1 in championship point for the majority of the season.


First choice: MARK WEBBER takes 2010 WDC.

Second choice: FERNANDO ALONSO takes 2010 WDC by only 1 point and look forward to all the negative postings of unworthiness.

And who could blame Mark for his comments. RBR has displayed the true meaning of prejudice face on!


I do have to agree with Mark that it has been 'inconvenient' for him to have performed so well when compared to Seb over the course of the year. However, I cannot fathom why a racing team would choose to be so blatant in its preferences, especially when it has yet to win one title! If RBR loses both titles this year, I think more questions will need to be asked of Dr Marko than Christian Horner.


Berger is an idiot..Webber was a passenger as the car slid back across the track...but good of you James to point out who was paying the bills for his "expert" commentary.


Webber has got to stop complaining. Korea was 100% his fault or he would be golden right now. Not one other top driver hit a wall all day but he hit one only a few laps into green flag racing. He seems to be looking for excuses not to win the title rather than putting his head down and getting it done. There is no reason he cannot beat Alonso the next two races.

I think this is the difference in a "winner" like Alonso and a good driver like Webber


Does anyone else feel that Webbers partner is just wearing a poppy in that picture to wind up the German/Austrian contingent in Red Bull?

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