Briatore questions if Red Bull are supplying equal cars
Red Bull Racing
Briatore questions if Red Bull are supplying equal cars
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 May 2011   |  11:41 am GMT  |  104 comments

Flavio Briatore is at large in the Monaco paddock, his larger than life boat, Force Blue is moored in the harbour and he’s got some things to say about the current F1 scene.

Currently still serving a ban for the Singapore race fixing scandal of 2008, Briatore is still involved behind the scenes in the management of Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber.

Horner and Webber (Red Bull)

On the latter he has raised the question, speaking in today’s Gazetta dello Sport, of why it is that Webber has all the bad luck at Red Bull. With Webber this year noticeably keeping a lid on the feelings he vented about the team last season, one wonders how helpful Briatore’s intervention here will be.

“I hope Red Bull is a big enough team that it can guarantee the drivers equal cars, ” he said. “But every time something happens, it happens to Mark.

“I understand that you need a bit of luck but if the same number keeps coming up you wonder what’s under the roulette wheel.

“I don’t doubt Horner’s honesty, but what’s going on sounds strange.”

It was around Monaco last year that Webber inked his 2011 contract with the team, but there is no sign of a renewal for 2012 at the moment.

Adrian Newey has said publicly that he wants Webber to continue with the team, but the situation looks pretty fluid.

“I’m hoping Mark continues next season,” said Newey. “Apart from being a great person, his contribution has been significant. He’s been a pillar of the team from the start. Seb is very perceptive in his feedback in some regards and Mark is very perceptive in other areas. We listen to both and it helps the car.

“So far the gap between Sebastian and Mark [Webber] has been bigger than last year. It’s certainly not a case that Mark has been driving any slower – that’s for sure. Mark’s just taken a bit longer to adapt to the Pirelli tyres but the gap is closing.”

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All teams exercise the same strategy – support the number 1 driver ahead of number 2. At the moment, Vettel is the number 1 at RBR.

It’s fine to start the year with equal drivers but at some point resources usually become tight and one driver becomes favoured. Naturally it becomes the one leading the champioinship at the time, or the most marketable driver, or both as Seb is at the moment.

I think Mark is a great driver and F1 celebity – he is taking it all on his massive chin at the moment. And RBR seem to be going out of their way to say nice things about Mark.

Mark definitely has problems with his starts, as he did last year, and coming to terms with the Pirellis. His KERS also seems to break more often than Seb’s. And being behind Seb means he doesn’t get optimum pit stop strategies.

Mark seems to succees based on emotional momentum – winning streaks or losing streaks. It’s hard to see how he will get back into a winning feeling again while still at RBR, when team strategy/rules will probably stop him from pusing Seb on track. I think he should move to Ferrari next year. There is no point staying at RBR as long as Seb is still there.

Gotta love Mark, though. He holds the record for most races before winning a GP. Doesn’t get great results in races but still scores fastest lap. That’s persistence and grit.


Briatore questions if Red Bull are supplying equal cars ?

The Fans question if Briatore is still a filthy cheater ?

Who’s opinion matters more ?


webber is considered gone case by RB by now. he is just waiting to be booted out. he was useful partner but too threatening last year. RB made sure he wont go anywhere this year except out… goodbye webber..


Thats rich coming from a man who has in his career shafted a lot of No 2 drivers – Brundle, Herbert, Button , Fisichela , Wurz, Trulli , Grosjean and Piquet Jnr in trying to do all he can for the No 1 driver – Schumacher then Fisichella then Alonso

When always quizzed about the disparity of the two drivers he always claims they use the same cars

but everyone well knows he runs No 1 and No2 policy and tries to take credit for Schumacher and Alonso’s success.

1996-1997 was proof he was an absolute useless manager when trying to explain why Berger and Alesi were not winning races like Schumacher ..he eventually admitted Schumacher was the NO 1 in the team then where Berger and ALesi were equal status

His idea of driver management is to scold them whenever given the chance and then offer little praise or encouragement when they put in a good performance

He has a history of treating drivers like dirt because they would not sign up to his driver management so he can take 25% of their salary


I wonder what Johnny Herbert’s response to Flavio’s comments would be? 1995 anyone?


It’s pointless (no pun) to drag up all these stats about who retired where, that isn’t the reason Flav spoke up. He is doing what a manager should, keeping his client in the news, get people talking about him – he’s succeeded marvellously, hasn’t he?

Contract time is upon us.


Two other things:

1 – The almost hugging of Sebastian after the Turkey incident last year – you could see where the support laid

2 – You would have to be an idiot to deny the reaction is different to when Webber wins as opposed to Sebastian.


I’m not the sort of person to believe this sort of thing – BUT – Redbull have recent form in this sort of action – who of us would have thought that Redbull would pull a part off one car only to put it on the other – or for a driver to be willing to deliberately crash in order to save their job – point is it all happens in F1.



In your opinion is there any chance of Webber heading to Ferrari next year? I now they have affirmed their commitment to Massa but it seems Alonso and Webber get along famously, both are managed by Briatore and it would be a great fit.



Yes I think there is a chance. But if it’s going to happen needs to happen soon as they will want to lay the car out to accommodate him; he’s much taller than Alonso and Massa.


Mark must belive there is a chance. He doesn’t seem to get through an interview without saying “Fernando’ at least 7 times ;)I would like to see him with Ferrari and Alonso. At least he would pull in some decent money for playing 2nd fiddle.


For once I agree with Briatore, and I’ve been thinking the same all season!


So Flavio is saying that Webber has been given a car that’s half a second slower ?? That’s been the margin between them more or less. That’s just ludicrous. RBR wants to ensure they also win the Constructors’ title, so it is in their interest to give both drivers the best possible car. McLaren is right behind them and it won’t be long before the silver arrows start winning races consistently.


Marks car is not half a second slower? He has a handful of fastest race laps this year. He is simply getting screwed on strategy.


Flavio makes a good point and let’s not forget what happened last year when they took the “faster” front wing off Webbers car only to give it to Seb. Clearly the favor Vettel over Webber.


If Horner were like Flavio, he’d essentially kill any opportunity of Mark racing Seb in winter testing….


Webber is in the ‘Barichello / Coulthard’ phase of careers wherby the realization that he will never be a world champion in f1 sets in. His ultimate goal cannot be achieved. Its obvious the team are going to give more attention to the champion in the team.

All 3 drivers above were championship winning cars but faced against better teamates, and thus never won.

Coulhard vs Hakkinen in McLaren – he also believed the team was biased towards Hakkinen

Barrichelo / Ferrari / Brawn – he accused Brawn of giving better strategies to Button. Never mind his Farrari days with Schumi.

Alonso ended Trulli & Fisi in Renault, Damon Hill’s decline.

Same thing with Webber is happening now imo. Its all self belief, that explains Schimi’s arrogance, as he has no other choice.

Once pride & confidence gets beat, hence the perpetual sour face and decision to maybe retire from Webber!

If he was winning – he woudnt even think about giving up that ultimate rush of victory.


Ummm… Flavio Briatore. Yeah… I guess.


James, what chance of Hamilton being at Redbull next year?


I believe that Red Bull give both drivers equal equipment….

But i dont see any reason why they should…

Vettel is world Champion and has a massive future ahead of him…. Webber is in the twilight

of his career, driving to build up his pension fund…


Maybe it was my imagination, but wasn’t it Sebastien Vettel that lost three victories last year because of reliability issues and Mark Webber didn’t have a single reliability problem? And Mark still couldn’t win the championship?

The usual hot air from Flav…


I said this before in this blog. Red Bull doesn’t want to repeat the same mistakes of last year which almost provoque losing championship. Step by step they are managing differences between nº2 and nº1, because at the beggining they were too excessive. The target is putting Webber between nº1 and the challengers. The best race of Mark with full potential was that one he started 18th. The KERS functionality it seems like a roulette but you can see Seb’s departures like a daemon bullet. Pirelli is the real problem with Mark? Well, no more problem now, he demonstrated in Barcelona he can afford the pole…or will he lose again his mind? F1 has lots of unfair casualties. You can see Hekki Kovalainen, that driver 1 second slower than Schumacher’s succesor. The always “fullstrategy” guy. One more Webbo for English tastes, very very polite and just for “the team” player, you know. F1 is a business and drivers are like shares. You play media.


Webber had perfect reliability last year, while Vettel had two breakdowns while leading and lost another likely win to engine issues in Bahrain.

Briatore is talking nonsense.


Webber perfect relibailty last year?

(I’ll include bad strat in brackets, and luck)

Australia – went from 2nd to 5th I think. Should have inherited race win, instead was left fighing for positon against slower cars

China – bad call in rain + Vettel bumped him whiel avoiding Hamilton. WEbber went from 1st leading Vettel (no problems either car) to back of the opints

Turkey – Not really relibailty, but his teammate twacked him

Canada – Gearbox. Front row was Hamilton pole Webber 2nd and Vettel 2nd row 3rd. Webber had to change his ‘box and was sent backwards. Vettel finished behind where he startded Webbeer ahead

GB – Front wing. Dare I say more

Germany – Couldn’t overtake due to engine heat. Closed up to button but couldn’t and had to back off.

Spa – Start clutch bite point

Italy – Couldn’t get past Hulkenberg as Hulkenberg kept out braking himself, cutting the chicane and stay ahead

Brazil – Engine heat problems again. Got past Hulkenberg, caught up to Vettel but had to back off as he couldn’t pass and so settled for 2nd.

Yeah.. no reliability problems at all


You forgot at Monza, Vettels brake issue was of great benefit in that it swapped driver strategies and cost Webber very dearly.


I guess so. True. But Webber’s stratergy should have paid off after the switch if he got passed Hulkenberg. He should of and was faster yet every time Webber went to out brake Hulkenberg, Hulkenberg braked too late himself, Webber made the chicane outbraking Hulkenberg, Hulkenberg didn’t, skipped the chicane and stayed ahead of Webber.

Point is Webber hardly had the perfect season.


There were no WDC’s in the team last year. And Horner has indicated in which direction the team is going.


I’m surprised to hear Flavio sitting on the fence. Surely Mark’s bad luck started before 2009…

In fairness to teams, some upgrades are phased in as components may not be available for both cars immediately.


Big fan of Mark Webber but nice to see a Briatore client get the shaft after what happened with Jarno Trulli in 2004. The one year Fernando Alonso struggles with a teammate, and the driver gets summarily dismissed over one mistake in a race (French GP Trulli lost a place to Barrichello after a silly mistake).

At the very least, if this year is it for Mark (for whatever reason) at least he got an excellent chance at a championship last year.


AND THAT IS EXACTLY THE POINT. One driver is dismissed from the team for being TOO CLOSE to the PREFERRED DRIVER. In your case, Alonso, in this case Vettel. Flavio knows that drivers get team preference, that is why he is speaking out for his charger now.


Now that I think about it, it doesn’t seem like Flavio is complaining simply stating his view and his expectation that Red Bull is big enough to supply to strong cars.


One could suggest Alonso also struggled a little in 2007….


Fernando always says that 2004 was the year he struggled the most to beat his teammate, 2007 was a combination of Lewis knowing the bridgestone much better than him, having issues with McLaren, and FIA stoling points to him.


I don’t think Lewis had any more knowledge of the Bridgestones (I recall Ron paid for a 2/3 day test session for Alonso where Lewis wasn’t invited, in order for Alonso to work on his tyre optimisation although following this test, Lewis was still faster in the next practise session…) as they were a new tyre – more likely Alonso had optimised his driving for the previous tyres and couldn’t immediately adapt…..

Agree Trulli gave Alonso a hard time in 2004 – Monaco was a great race for the Italian.


I just want to be the first here to congratulate Tony Fernandes.

Thought Renault were bullies.


And Flav thinks this will help Webber get a new contract? Ugh.


Who else but the master can know. Mr. Flavio maybe its time to reopen the Trulli, Fisichella case from 2004-05 and Nelson Piquet case from 2008-09 and perhaps all those drivers who were denied chance to drive for the Renault team because they were not ready for Flavio representing them as driver manager while he was the F1 team boss at Renault.

Is Flavio fitter than Mladic?

They have deemed Mladic fit to be tried, I guess Flavio is sent on same path by the WMSC….

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