F1 Winter Break
Red Bull Racing: Three weeks on
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Apr 2013   |  6:41 pm GMT  |  144 comments

The teams are gathering for the Chinese Grand Prix and inevitably the focus of attention at the start of this weekend will be the Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. But it could move on pretty quickly.

In the run up to the event there have been some messages placed in the media setting out a few markers; there will no longer be team orders as in Malaysia, Red Bull mechanics are celebrating their record 2.05 second pit stop in Sepang and Helmut Marko says he never meant to criticise Mark Webber before the season.

The Sepang incident has been dealt with internally and although Vettel is quoted today as saying he will never apologise for winning, this is not the same as him refusing to apologise for taking the win from Webber; we must remember that he apologised to Webber several times in the post race press conferences in Sepang.

That said, he has also suggested that he was motivated by a feeling that Webber had not helped him out in the past.

As for the famous “Multi 21” team order to hold station at the end of a race, this has now been dropped, according to a statement from Marko in Germany’s Sport Bild. This will no doubt be clarified by team boss Christian Horner over the weekend and he will seek to move on from the crisis, ideally with another pole and win.

After Turkey 2010 there is a strong desire within the team to avoid the drivers colliding on track. There is no love lost between them and that will now be even more the case than before. There is danger here, but the management will have made it clear that there will be repercussions if they make contact with each other. It is fanciful to think that Vettel will do anything to right the wrong to Webber in the short term. He has a title to win and it’s doubtful that Webber would accept a gifted win later should one be offered if the title is sealed early. Those things almost never work out anyway, especially with F1 being more competitive these days.

It’s still early days in the championship but it’s already clear that the Red Bull is a very fast car and once they get on top of their tyre management they will be very hard to beat. The delicate Pirellis are the only thing keeping Lotus, Ferrari and Mercedes in it at the moment and they all know that they will need to find more performance once the Red Bull team cracks the thermal management code.

Malaysia worked out very well for Vettel; his main title rival Fernando Alonso shot himself in the foot in Malaysia by not pitting for a new front wing. This has handed the German an unexpected 22 point lead over Alonso to build on.

Last season Red Bull had to come back from a 40 point deficit in the summer time and did so to win the title. This season they are already on the front foot and it is Ferrari that is now chasing.

So how will Vettel play this weekend? He will no doubt say that he apologised at the time, that he and the team have moved on and now they will race each other to the finish. History tells you that Vettel is likely to be the more consistent performer over the season and they look like the strongest package.

He will be looking to maintain clear air between himself and Alonso for the next few races and knows that once the team cracks the code on the tyres he might be able to go on a run, to build a championship platform.

F1 moves forward so quickly the focus on Vettel and Webber may last only the first day or two of this meeting, but pretty quickly it will move on to the bigger picture of which team has the best package with 50 points up for grabs in the next 10 days.

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Lets just hope we don't get a 2011 Vettle borefest. I don't care who wins the WDC as long as its not Vettle.

You cant really blame fans who are not impress by a driver who starts races by qualifying 1sec over the rest of the field and than cruising for victory.

I admit that the guy had a few good races where he did not have the fastest car but those occasions have been the exception, not the rule.

Everyone has its favorite driver and or team but I think we can all agree that a team dominating for 4 years in a row is BAD for F1.

Scuderia McLaren

-1000 on that post.

The less said, the better.


You must have hated Fangio then that was driving cars that were 2-4 seconds a lap faster than the second best car.

And he is now considered to be the best driver of all time, while it was just his cars being from another Formula to the other cars and his teammate being the ultimate lapdog.

What we see is just sour grapes by mainly the British media/fans and Alonso/Hamilton fans.

Vettel is better than Fangio and Senna combined, there I said it.


The only reason these so called 'fans' don't like Vettel is because they're not F1 fans they're just the Hamilton brigade, they're jealous and will turn on anyone that gets in their boy's way to be the next messiah.

Unfortunately for these english speaking fans are that Hamilton is overrated, and that Seb has come along and replaced Schumacher as the dominant force in F1, in essence they can't handle a better driver taking all Hamilton's titles, I bet these english speaking fans coildn't believe their luck when the Schumi era ended and straight away a seamingly impossibly talented english kid joins F1 and starts winning, after years of watching the Schumacher domination this was their reward, then comes along a better driver in Vettel and the Schumacher years have started again, meanwhile in middle of all the Vettel Success Hamilton has been gradually found out as nothing but a merely 'good' driver, he struggled to beat the slow no grip Button on points, Rosberg seems to have the measure of him in speed, and none of these drivers are that great, so I understand it must be disheartening, the Vettel show will continue even if he joins Ferrari or Mclaren get use to it.


I would welcome this - if Vettel wants to prove his greatness he needs to drive for another team. At the moment put a Kimi, or Sutil or Di Resta in the Red Bull and see them win too.

So bring on the show and lets really see if he is truly great :)...he is good but is he great I can't say...

Val from montreal

If Michael Schumacher being from German parents would be born in say : Basingstoke (UK)and not in Hürth, North Rhine-Westphalia, (Germany),he'd be the Messiah of all Messiahs for the English F1 fans .....


You said it - but you are wrong!

As Fangio or Senna raced at the front we were all watching to see if the car would last the distance. One error in a manual gear shift as the drivers tired could easily mean the end of their race. Nowadays we know that is impossible. Todays cars are so reliable we have to look to tyres to offer some variability - and everyone complains. Why is that so different? Yet people still request the massive backward step to manual gearboxes...


Fangio WAS the fastest driver of his generation, he won with 3 different factories.

The pit stop was a disaster; the mechanic removing the rear left wheel let the wheel nut roll under the car without noticing, and finding it took nearly half a minute. Fangio left the pit lane in 3rd place, and 48 seconds behind Collins who was in 2nd place. But with his well balanced Maserati 250F (ideal for a circuit like the Nürburgring), he was able to mount a charge. Over the next 10 laps, Fangio broke and rebroke the lap record 9 times (7 of the records were in successive laps, and he took 15.5 seconds off Hawthorn's lead in the first lap, then another 8.5 seconds in the next lap). Early in the 21st lap, Fangio went on the inside of the left corner at the ESSO Terrasse taking 2nd place from Collins. Late in the 21st lap, during a left corner, Fangio cut past Hawthorn on the inside of the corner, with only his right tires on the track and his left tires on the grass. Fangio maintained his lead, but not easily, as Hawthorn fought back, nearly overtaking Fangio at a few corners, but to no avail, and Fangio won the race.




You forgot to mention Fangios car was superior and seconds a lap faster, no matter who drove it.


"What we see is just sour grapes by mainly the British media/fans and Alonso/Hamilton fans."

I disagree, in the long-term scope of F1 remaining a viable global sport the dominance exhibited by Fangio, Schumacher and Vettel is simply bad PR.

It has nothing to do with any nationalistic bias whether from Britain, Spain or Germany - F1 has to fight to attract new audiences, most of whom won't want to see one guy in clearly the fastest car win every race.

F1 developed as a pre-TV sport. In the TV and Internet age, it simply can't afford to live by standards set in the era of Fangio.

Of course, this is the conundrum. F1's point of difference is built on giving the teams a wide scope of innovation, yet when it comes to the racing, more and more fans are demanding an even playing field to make the races more interesting (you could argue otherwise, but the amount of comments I see online on this issue leads me to this conclusion).

This may be anathema to diehard F1 fans, but there's no way of getting around it.

Yes, RBRs success and Vettel's obvious talent are very impressive, but the question I still want answered is: machinery aside, who's really the best?

And I don't think that's an unfair or biased question to ask.


Then you should ask yourself, who is the best at what?

Each car has different characteristics. Some charachteristics suit other drivers better.

Some drivers hate oversteer, other dislike understeer.

How will you define who is the best? Give them "equal" machinery is almost impossible, since drivers are different and some cars will suit them better then others.

Example: 2011 Webber only ended 3rd. Vettel dominated.

You simply cannot find an answer to that question, cause it is impossible.


Let's grab a pint at the pub!


I agree with K, Vettel is a superb talent the best on the grid, the british media is pathetic for their propaganda, the Hamilton fans needs to wake up and smell the coffee he hasn't finished above 4th in the championship since 2008 even Jenson finished 2nd in 2011, and so far Rosberg has proven to be a least a match for Hamilton, its hard to swallow for these english speaking fans and media but Vettel will continue to win, as for better than Senna well its hard to say but better than Fangio, Schumacher, Prost, Alonso, Mansell and the rest then you can bet on it, Vettel is top3 in the best of all time section.


Baby Oh Baby, why is it bad? It is historic. I dare say even more historic than when Schumi did it. Look at the competition that Vettel is leveling. Not like they are asleep at the wheel.

This is why Marco and his deceptive "no more team orders at Red Bull" today is silly. Clearly a team like RBR have 2 goals: WCC, WDC.

Since Vettel is a 3X WDC, going for 4 must be priority and goal. That makes Webber a #2 by default. Not matter how they sugar coat it.


Just because a driver has 3 titles is meaningless, does not amount to anything come the new season. The fact is Webber has always been number 2 (regardless of what the team says) as Vettel has been the baby that needs to be look after and nutured, can't do it himself. So if Webber somehow miracously wins the WDC this year, it will be the best title ever, competing against a team that supports Seb 1st and Mark 2nd, no matter what experts or the team says otherwise.

Val from montreal

Sebee , Here's a direct quote from 791 himself , regarding competition BEFORE and NOW :

"In my early days, there was always the chance to be quicker than another driver not just by a couple of tenths, but a full second. Why? Because the cars aerodynamically were not so balanced and were therefore very sharp to drive. As a driver, you then had many more possibilities yourself. Today, the cars are aerodynamically stable and well balanced; the window in which you work is not as big."

"Are the drivers of today so much better? It has always only been the best drivers who are in Formula One. Today there are more best drivers? Of course I set new standards with the way I work, but my former colleagues were on the way they were accustomed to working perfectly, and some had to replicate the new standard. The difference today is that maybe the new generation has grown up with this same scale."



Well said!


Hmmm he also beats his team mate... Not just the fastest car.


I completely agree with you, when I try to watch replays of Senna, he just obliterates the field in qualifying and than goes on to win from 1st. I find it very hard to stay awake...

RB has been dominant for 1 of the last 3 years, you should be annoyed with other teams for screwing up.

I agree with your sentiment that its not great if the same person wins all the time however I don't really mind who wins as long as its decided at Brasil and not before.


Bear in mind that when Senna obliterated the field in qualifying, he was alongside a team-mate that is recognised as one of the greatest in history. Mr Prost.


Erm, Adam67, you may wish to read my reply again. I was replying to bryn666 about a point made of obliterating the field in "qualifying". As in you cannot compare Vettel vs Webber against a Senna v Prost. Prost was in a different league to Webber, something ironically which you have mentioned.


Prost had more fastest laps in the races than Senna, and was underrated in comparison. Senna was a qualifying specialist but often Prost could push him hard (and over the limit) on race day.


I agree dominating is bad for F1. But Vettel and RBR are not dominating like Ferrari & Schumi. Yes, they won 3 titles in a row, but only 2011 was a dominating (or boring) year. You can't say 2010 and 2012 were boring.

But yes, I am a Vettel fan. I would like him and Kimi to fight for the title. This would be a dream year for me.


F-1 is where the best drivers and teams race. The combination of Vettel and Red Bull is obviously the best. Go Vettel!!!!!

Why would a person who loves Formula One want to see a lesser driver or team win? If you enjoy seeing losers win a roll of the dice watch NASCAR.


Vettel is at the bottom rung of society, a low life, plain and simple. Doesn't deserve any world titles. If Webber did not have his car turned down then vettel would not have closed in and overtaken, so really an unfair fight. Go WEBBER!

Val from montreal

To : F1 fans,pundits,''arm-chair experts'' and journalists all over the world

From : Sebastian Vettel



Can't blame him for being honest !

Go Michael !


He doesn't seem to get it. I guess having the world kiss your butt for the last few years ruins your perspective on what people admire in sportmen.

First thing is class and a sporting attitude. Everything else stems from there. So, I don't care how many races or championships this little brat wins. I'm not a fan.


Pretty obvious to me the reason for dropping the team orders is because Mark said he will not hold station if behind Vettel. Therefore the team has no choice but to drop the previous understanding.

I must say, this is yet another sign that Horner has no control over his drivers.

I also think Mark will leave the team at the end of the season. He's not stupid. He realised after the race that no clear message was delivered to Vettel before or after the overtake to hold station or give the place back. Vettel was also not punished by the team for insubordination and Mark knows this. This was the last drop that made it clear he will never get equal treatment as Vettel.

I can see at least one contact between these two before the end of the season. Mark has nothing to lose now, and I don't see him backing off while fighting with Vettel.

Same applies to Seb. He has a point to prove now (not that he didn't prove it in the last 3 years) and he will not back down either.



Your right, Horner has no control over his drivers. He has never effectively asserted his authority. Newey seems to have more authority over the drivers than Horner does.

A good team boss would in no uncertain terms have it known that orders must be followed. Back in the earlier days of Formula 1, Enzo Ferrari would have thrown a driver straight out (regardless of who they were) with no discussion whatsoever if that driver had gone against the will of the team, which is determined by the boss.

If Webber can't win it this year then I hope that this misharmony and wedge in the team causes Red Bull to lose both championships. In order to show how important teamwork, unity and discipline is. If Red Bull does not seriously get behind Webber and give him some decent support, he will probably decide to leave and basically operate as an additional wingman to Alonso for the remainder of the season.

I hope the current Ferrari managment have more sense than to have Vettel drive for them. I obviously cannot say for certain, but I reckon there is a good chance that even Schumacher was disappointed in his former apprentice's actions.


Well said.

In the past I've said that Horner is a useless manager and has no idea why he's in RBR. The responses I got were he pull the strings together in running this team.

Seems like strings are pretty loose in the camp and tents have fallen.


Yes he does have a point to prove.... and I think he will prove he is not as good as he thinks he is.

Now that Mark will not back off the fireworks will fly.

At what point will we see that Seb lose his 4th title because the 2 of them collide and retire? Several time we have seen Vettel have unbelievable luck to claim a top place after a serious collision.


Agree with your sentiment about Horner. Strong leaders give orders about how drivers will and won't do things. Horner has just waved his hands and said 'do what you like.' RB are rudderless, or at least they have a driver in charge.


Webber never followed them in the first place and you all were applauding him for that.

Hypocrisy is not a virtue.


saying Webber ''NEVER'' followed team orders, can you follow this up with all the facts?

'NEVER' means all the time. Pretty big comment full of emotion.


Before, like in Silverstone, we don't know for sure there was an understanding prior to the race. It was very clear this time there was 🙂


We don't know either one.

This "understanding" before the race is all a bunch of bs.

For an agreement or understanding to be in place that suggest both drivers came up with it. This was supposedly team orders. Not the same thing. I don't think for one minute Vettel said, ok Webby if you are in front I will let you win even if you are slower because you had to waste a set of options in order to get into Q3. Since you are slower than me I think it would be great to cruise along behind you your slower car. No, the team told the drivers this is how it would be and as we learned today Vettel had some strong disagreement with this decision. Mostly because of Webber's shoddy treatment of him over the last 3 year.


Oh the short memory, Never was any team orders when Mark "Ignored" them. He was faster and was ordered to stay behind - he pushed the point more than he should have but in reality the team had clearly stated that team orders didn't exist. Me thinks some have a short term memory loss.




I suspect the reason RB have dropped Team Orders is because they can no longer be sure any of the drivers would obey any. The hierarchy simply is not willing to be made to look foolish twice.

Val from montreal

If Marky-Mark decides to leave (or) Retire at end of season , Raikkonen is more than welcomed at Red Bull ...

If next year it's Vettel and Raikkonen sitting side by side , it would be the same equivalent of having Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen driving both for Ferrari in the early 2000's... oh my god I could only dream !!


For sure it's sub-plots such as these that keep the fans awake at night in anticipation of what's to come.

Yes, this story can go either way this weekend. First it may blow over as something else happens during this weekend e.g. Grosjean/Maldonado taking over the headlines >>> or it could go the other way with Webber emerging from the gates swinging.

Who knows, maybe the missed win for Webber in Malaysia could have lit up a fire in aussie grit and we may see a new, determined and consistent bloke, one we had never seen on the grid before >>> Yes qualifying will be an early indicator of what Webber we will be getting.

Now it's pretty interesting that Red Bull as a team has decided to ban the concept of team orders >>> What this says to me is that:

a) Webber hasn't forgiven nor forgiven.

b) Webber is leaving the team at the end of the season and hence why the new reserve driver is making an appearance this weekend.

As regards the championship, it doesn't look good for Red Bull for whenever there's in-fighting within a team, this gives opportunity to a dark horse to sneak in and take the spoils especially so when the top cars are closely matched.

Tornillo Amarillo


At least TEN drivers can win races in 2013 and all of them are ambitious because their cars are so close this year and that it's a unique opportunity to shine, it won't be so easy for Vettel this time.

If Red Bull would be on top of the tyres at certain point of the season, well it could be, but it could be Lotus as well, or something else comes in play.


Great piece there James but one thing ur talking nonsense about is when u say alonso shot himself in the foot by not putting for a new wing. Alonso said on Ferrari website today that the Ferrari guys worked out he would of maybe of finished 9th or 10th if he did pit. So the damage was already done and the shoting himself in the foot was the accident with vettel itself. Worth the gamble then for 1 or 2 points I think.


Hi Irish,

I think that Ferrari above all, should know by now that 1 point can make a huge difference at the end of the year. With the changeable conditions at the time and uncertainty regarding weather conditions any predictions that they might have done during the 1st lap (from the moment of contact to the point were he was at the entrance of pits and could pit) wouldn't outweigh the risk of not pitting.

And, if you add to that that other competitors always run into trouble (both Force Indias + Jenson's McClaren), adding 1 or 2 or 3 points to your tally is better than adding nothing.

From my perspective, I was shocked when Alonso didn't pit. Anyway, it will even out when an alternator from the Bulls blow up...


With this competitive F1 do you think that lose 1 or 2 points is nothing? I agree with James, Alonso shot himself in the foot and the same did Ferrari. C'mon, they did a mistake, happens with everyone, but they need to admit it, or they will incur in the same error a few days later. If he does a pretty good start and gain 10 positions, he is the best driver. But if he tries to gain Felipe's position and crash on the back of another car, AND do not pit to fix a front wing damage, that is a big mistake. No half words. I remember at least three WDC in current years decided in one or 2 points. That without count the WCC where one position up or down means a lot of money.


Considering the Ferrari guys thought the wing would last 3-4 laps in the first place, I wouldn't place too much reliance on their calculations.


Agreed, a blind man on a galloping horse could see that wing was lucky to make it half way around the lap.


lol...well said

although i guess it would have been different group of individuals making the predictions..


"the Ferrari guys worked out he would of maybe of finished 9th or 10th if he did pit"

I think thats just PR speak. Even for an army of analysts, that would be near impossible to predict on lap 1 with changing weather, not to mention this years tires. They screwed up and they know it.


You only have to look at Massa's performance on the lap graph of the race to see that 5 or 6th would have been possible for Alonso if he'd pitted.


I agree. Discussions with strategists that night suggested 5th or 6th especially with Button and Force India boys dropping out


I agree James, bigger points would have come his way.

Personally I think the most surprising element of this whole Ferrari/Alonso front wing story is that the Spaniard was willing to take the risk. Going on the roll of the dice isn't very Fernando-esque. He prides himself on his consistency and yet he gambled points away.

Since Brawn and co. left, Ferrari have never quite been as strong strategically (e.g. Abu Dhabi '10). I think the event simply shows the immense level of trust he has with the team, and perhaps an ever increasing maturity too. There wasn't any histrionics with the team for their decision (unlike in his championship challenging Renault days).

Regardless of what Ferrari/Fernando say about their choice, their title rivals will have been glad they took the risk. It has been a long time since Fernando has had to fight other drivers whilst holding a big deficit in the title race.


And how would Ferrari and Alonso know on lap 2 that Force India and Button would retire?


To quote James Allen to Fernando alonso recently "ur one of the most analytical drivers on the grid and what u say almost always comes to happen" . Fernando on the Ferrari website today "Simulation suggests a 9th or 10th place if we pitted on lap 1" . So why the change of thought process now? Massa finished 5th. How could alonso have expected to have beat or got close to massa with doing a extra pit stop and coming through the field when he would be using his tyres up more and running In dirty air damages them a lot more. Alonso lost at most 4 points. I agree totally tho that those 4 points could be massively important come brazil.


He's protecting the team, he knows no-one is going to analyse in depth.. but with Button and the Force Indias out of the frame he could have done a much better result than that


How could they work out from one lap that he was going to finish 9th or 10th! Safety cars, tyre degradation, crashes, retirements. We have all seen him come through the field to claim good points, I don't know who said that but its a load of sh!t. What, did they think he was going to do the whole first stint with that hanging off LOL. As soon as it happened should have just parked it up then.


With others having fueling problems halfway through the race, he might have finished 3rd.

So maybe he did shoot himself on the foot, as he might have pocketed 15 points instead.


from articles i've read, when red bull can work the tyres they'll be lapping most of the grid. not good.


Wow, they know better than Newey. Oughtta be snapped up by RBR asap before any other team get them.


Like your sarcasm but you're mistaken. The article was about Red Bull and why they don't like the current tyres, they know their car would be significantly faster than the others if the tyre was more durable like the Bridgestone days.


1. You didn't provide any reference to the articles you mentioned.

2. It's been public for quite a while that Red Bull don't like current tyres.

3. "they know their car would be significantly faster than the others if the tyre was more durable" - Doesn't take a genius to figure that out.

Everything's quite obvious, hence my sarcasm. Nothing mistaken really.


I honestly think that it doesn't matter what will people say. The world already forgot what Vettel did. It is clear, I definitely do not like him after this, but it doesn't matter. All I am interested in is whether Ferrari will find a way to win races and the title, regardless what will happen with Red Bull.


The world may have forgotten but Webber most certainly hasn't. Vet better hope RB do get on top of their tyres bcz he'll have to push them a lot harder and for longer now, especially if MW is behind him.


I don't have a problem with team orders, but use them when you need to.

Applying team orders in the second race of the season is farcical. There is no justifiable reason for it. It does get a lot of media coverage, but really of the right source.

One team boss came across as if he has no control over his drivers, the other team boss came across as over cautious and weak kneed.


'Malaysia worked out very well for Vettel; his main title rival Fernando Alonso...'

Let it be 3 or 30 WDCs, after just two races and a 22 points gap, this statement says it all about who is the driver's true benchmark. What would the last two seasons have been without Alonso's sheer brilliance? Everyone knows it, shame that envy, chauvinism and commercial interest prevents most media and fans to hail him as by far the greatest driver of this era. Intended or not, thank you James for letting it shine through!


"there will no longer be team orders as in Malaysia"

Wow, what a decisive top-down decision from the Red Bull hierarchy. The words horse, bolted and stable door spring to mind.


Will the real person in charge at RB please stand up.!? Oh Hi Sebastian.


Why do the words 'horse, bolted and stable door spring to mind'?


Because it's pretty clear that neither driver will obey team orders going forward regardless of what the team says; both have disobeyed them in the past, and now Vettel has gone a step further by breaking the long standing agreement between the two drivers that neither will challenge the other if they are running 1-2 after the final pit stops. The pretty minimal levels of trust that existed between the pair before Malaysia have now been reduced to ashes.


Go webbo, i want to see more aggression from him for the remainder of the season whatever the outcome.

Matthew Cheshire

+1. Webber delivers his best when his fuse has been lit. Between Marko, Vettel attacking and Horner failing to fix it, MW will be incandescent. JA is wrong about it being old news - if both red bulls finish the race it will be major fireworks. This time it could be " Not bad for a team driver" or just "multi my ar*e".


Vettel is Vettel; if Mark Webber doesn't know that yet, he's one of the stupider ones; but he ain't.

Vettel seems like the smartest driver on the grid, at least very close, but I think he is the smartest; and it is his greatest comparative advantage over his rivals. Also, he never quits, and it pays off, because of these two qualities, he battled to fourth at the flag of the last race last year to win, deservingly.

But enough is enough; if that's the way it is, that is the way it is. If you are Webber, you go to work against every other driver, equally. Yielding or compromising pit stops, or anything else, to ANY other driver? No.

That's just the way it is.

Go Webber, go!

For us, the fans, this internal unstable element means more combat, everywhere.

It looks like a strong rivalry is going at Force India, and who knows what lingers from the Mercedes instructions in Malaysia, for sure...

At Ferrari, when Alonso gets out-qualified, by someone in the same machinery, five times in a row... IT'S AN EMERGENCY!

Go Filipe, go!

But to bring it all home, tension abounds; back at Red Bull, Horner will just have to manage the internal war, because that is where it is at.


"At Ferrari, when Alonso gets out-qualified, by someone in the same machinery, five times in a row…"

Yes, but in the end, Alonso will finish the season on 1st ou 2nd and Massa on 7th or 8h... 8-0

Even Barrichelo finished ahead of Schummy sometimes.


And of course Horner has well demonstrated his management capability...oh dear.


I agree with everything James has said, however...

This stunt from Vettel will have ultimately cost someone their job. F1 is a team sport and the driver is a paid member of the team and therefore subject to its will, like it or not.

The most likely loss of position however is Mark Webber or Christian Horner. It is an Austrian/ German team and anybody who forgets that rarely will survive. Marko runs that team from the background and always has.

Ultimately vettel put himself before his team but almost knowingly in that he would get away with doing so. He will however cost someone their job. Not the mark of a team player.


100 percent correct


Aaron Noronha you have displayed exactly the attitude that means you would never survive within a Formula 1 team. Nobody is bigger than the team, nobody. This will cost jobs at rebull and potential sponsorship for the team.

Seb has irevicably damaged the redbull ethos of fair plair and sportsmanship. They are no longer a team but a collection of individuals. A rudderless ship with a puppet leader and a coup led by vettel.


Team players don't win championship. Cold boolded racers do. The only reason Mark even close to winning a championship was because Sebastin had 5 retirements in 2010. A driver who beats his team mate 4 years in a row and brings in 3 WDC, doest need to be a team player, he needs to be the no 1 driver. For any one with the misconception that Mark is a team player. Read his own comments after the 2011 British GP. If he hasn't punished why should Seb?


Then why would Vettel agree prior to the race to a "multi21" code? Why didn't he said "I'm not doing it!" This way Webber would know he needs to mind his own business and don't assume the person behind will attack. Knowing this, he maybe could've maintain a gap which would keep him out of the DRS.

Vettel is not a cold blooded driver. He is a back stabber.


Aaron, had Vettel obeyed and turned down his engine, he wouldn't even have been in Webber's slipstream and close enough for an overtake. That's the whole point.


and yes Vettel dint use drs to overtake Webber. Kindly check the replay. The overtake was due to better traction out of the corner


You nailed it MISTER..

There's no honour or glory in kicking your opponent in the stones after the bell has gone.


This is from Mark Webber 2011 Silverstone "My team's decision to ask me not to try to pass Sebastian Vettel in the other Red Bull in the last four of five laps of the British Grand Prix.

I chose to race as hard and as fair as I thought was possible, trying my best to beat Seb. I got pretty close a couple of times but couldn't quite pull it off. "

the entire article can be read here


Vettel did exactly what mark tried to do to him in silverstone. And as for the overtake Neither he nor Webber actually turned their engines down. All Webber said was he was asked to turn the engine down and not that he actually turned it down. Its more like a dial to turn it down and up hardly takes a fraction of a second. Webber was fighting Vettel right after the last pit stops to the conculsion of the over take. I doubt he is such an idiot to actually turn his engine down when he can see his opponent all over his mirrors. If you need any evidence watch the reply Webber clearly tried to block the move and if his engine was actually turned down as you are assuming Vettel with the aid of DRS and the extra horsepower would have been more than a cars lenght ahead of Webber before the braking zone, infact they were side by side and the overtake was completed 3 or 4 turns ahead only because Vettel was on softer tyres that provided better traction out of the corner


Should've said "the person behind will NOT attack". Sorry.


Webber's gloves are off!

ice cream or no ice cream that is the question

The british press is always quick to throw dirt at german drivers. Right now John Watson is the newest mouthpiece of all things F1, Red Bull and Vettel in particular, busy spearheading the anti Vettel vendetta for his bosom pals. I wonder what Watson would have demanded from Vettel (or should i say not demanded from Webber) if the roles were reversed in Malaysia and Vettel would be leading the race but short on fuel ? And Webber ignored team orders and then Vettel would have pushed him to the wall and swerved in front of him again on after the finish line, played hard done by on the podium and so on. Its all just a question of how you formulate the offence so that it fits the Vettel smear campaign criteria !

As for the more important title race, last year Vettel won the title in the second fastest car, lets see if Hamilton can do the same this year. After all he declared his Mercedes AMG Silver Arrow to be the second fastest car and by his own opinion he is ten times the driver Vettel is. Also Vettel was criticized for not winning a race and leading in the points before the 4. race in 2012, will there also be pressure on Hamilton to win soon or is he immune from such criticism ? Webber and Button seem to be immune in this regard as the past 3 years have proven.


Why are you grouping things and people now?

The Hulk is German, Rosberg is German, I never heard anything bad said about them by the press, British or not. In fact the most recent story / comment made by the press (MB) about Germans was that the Hulk deserves the (British team) McLaren seat more than Perez.

If Vettel or MSC didn't do things they did, would there be anything bad said about them?

Their stories aren't made up, but discussed and talked by media and every because the parties involved caused the incidents, controversies and stories.


It's more like Mclaren lost both titles despite having the fastest car on average. However, there were races during Mclaren's form slump (Valencia/Silverstone) leading up to the German GP, and the late season performance upgrade from Red Bull that saw Vettel win Japan, Korea and India purely on pace, where the Red Bull was indeed the class of the field (Webber qualified on the first row in those races too). It's not clear whether some of the races in which Mclaren got pole/won were due to the car's pace or Hamilton's. Button's wins all came when the car was the fastest.

I agree with you that a lot of media pundits are biased. Note the hero worship of Alonso, the criticism cast at Hamilton, the latitude granted to Button, and the eagerness to cast Vettel as a villain. Having said that, in hindsight, I didnt think that overtaking Webber when he had turned his engine down was fair. Yet Webber's start at Brazil last year almost cost Vettel the title by pushing him back into the pack at turn 1. I was surprised that not many media experts paid much attention to that.


I don't recall Jenson Button ever being immune to criticism. As a matter of fact some F-1 fans and enthusiasts seem to delight in finding fault with each and everything Jenson has said or done since joining McLaren. And many of those finding fault are indeed British.

Yes, Vettel and Adrian Newey are special talents and we're lucky to have them in F-1 at this time, just as we had the great Jim Clark and genius of Colin Chapman all those years ago.


Except Button won the first race last year - so your criticism of the fans criticism is ripe for criticism 😉 sorry I know your point was to defend Vettel but you left yourself open with that one.


'’…and Helmut Marko says he never meant to criticise Mark Webber before the season’’.

Then it’s was a strange way to praise him or give support heading into a new season?. Some people may say it was motivation but I doubt that.

I think you are right in that things will move ahead quickly however like Turkey 2010, people will never forget this incident. The dropping of team orders, if we can believe it and if it actually happens will not do anything except leave a bad taste for everyone involved. RB should have taken a firm stance and stood by the team orders dictate. Otherwise why have them in the first place?. Their management only look weaker now. Vettel walks away with the extra seven points and that’s that.

Lets move on. If RB do become dominant and have a great season I only hope that.

1. Vettel doesn’t win the championship by less than 7 points and,

2. Both RB cars have the same performance and that neither driver somehow becomes ‘hit’ with technical gremlins or bad strategy calls.

As for Kimi going to RB, I think it is way too early to decide that. It will depend on Vergne and Ricciardo. It’s their seat to lose. And if Kimi wins the WDC for Lotus he will stay. Stranger things have happened, time will tell.


That is a pretty odd quote from Helmut Marko isn't it. I guess he "didn't mean to do it" in the same way that Vettel "didn't mean to do it" in Malaysia.


I´m looking forward to China but I couldn´t care less about Red Bull. I´m interesting in Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg, Sutil,Raikkonen, etc. And in what other teams can do this season.

tom in adelaide

If Webber has gone rogue Red Bull could be the source of much entertainment.

I for one hope he has!

Who knows, Buemi could be in that car by Spa...


Ditto. Vettel will never touch Schumacher's records and i do not see him winning this year. RB has more issues than the tires and the competition is right there with them. Besides, what good, conclusive evidence is there to suggest that RB has the fastest package? One lap qualifying? We know the Mercedes does that as well. I hope Webbo and Seb self destruct and Alonso wins it. The law of averages says that he is way overdue and those same laws will ensure that's luck is over.


I really think you are underestimating how good Lotus is, James, when you lump them in with Ferrari and Mercedes in saying that tire management "is the only thing keeping them in" with Mercedes. Malaysia was an irregularity with the wet start, which threw rules for dry weather tire changes out the window. Lotus didn't just show that their tire management is making them competitive in Australia. They showed, in my view, that they have the most balanced and fundamentally sound car of any team at the moment. Being able to do one less stop than your rivals at competitive speed gives you a 15-20 second advantage to start the race, maybe even more, and as long as you are within .2-.3 tenths of the guy in second on each lap of the grand prix, you have a winner. But Lotus showed much more than that in Australia. After about 5-10 laps on a tire run, Kimi had a clear pace advantage over the rest. Lotus had the quickest race car on a tire run, period. And Kimi was able to respond forcefully when challenged on the final run when he was in race control mode. It was clear by the eye test that he had much more pace at his hands than he used.

You don't have this kind of mix of both pace and tire management without having a ridiculously well-balanced car- and balance is the very first element of having a quick race car. This is not only true in terms of making tires last by minimizing slide, but also is important in giving the driver confidence to really explore the limit of the car and be able to find a consistent rhythm in his laps. You can have a car with a lot of downforce, but if the front has to be muscled into the apex or the rear has to be handled with car, then not only does this make tire wear worse, but it also makes it harder for the driver to really push the car with confidence or to find rhythm in the corners. Right now, both Raikkonen and Grosjean look like they are driving the car with a lot of confidence. The Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari drivers still don't look like they are completely sure with their cares. These are small details that make a big difference.

Barring wet conditions, I think we'll see another Lotus win on Sunday. They may not have the best one-lap pace, but they have enough to take advantage of the fact that they have the best race car. And if they can still do one less stop than anyone else, that will just be too much for the rest to handle.


Also, let's not forget the reports about them and Mercedes having the hydraulic suspension system and seemingly having it finally optimized. Their cars already look quick, but I think this could turn out to be a huge advantage for both of these teams, and we haven't even seen the full effect of it on either car. It'll really get interesting starting with Bahrain and warmer temperatures. Maintaining car balance in hot conditions better than your competitors could be a huge advantage over a race distance, and this isn't a tire management advantage that Red Bull can just simply "figure out." This would require a massive adjustment to the fundamentals of the car that the two teams currently employing them have spent years developing.


James, can you explain why the (mainly) British media (and mainly British fans) was (were) protecting/silently applauding Webber when he ignored teamorders many times and saying how teamorders are unsporting only followed by weak drivers, yet when Vettel did it once he gets branded the anti-christ and teamorders are sacred and ignored by cheaters only?

Am I in an episode of the Twilight Zone or are you all just being biased?


As I said above in response to another of your comments, I think people were not as tough on Webber in the past because the situation was different.

For example at Silverstone, as far as I know there was no understanding between the drivers and the team to hold station after the last pit stop. On top of that, Vettel was miles ahead in the championship and if Webber would've taken 7 points of Vettel if would not make any difference to it.

Last race, it was clear there was an understanding and Webber was assured he would not be attacked. If this wouldn't have been the case, maybe Webber could keep out of the DRS distance and fend off Vettel.

That's my opinion on the matter.


The real bias is only from the one eyed fans!.

Generally, and especially here, I find the articles well balanced.

Also, biased fans always take it too personal when something is raised against their driver. That's not the medias fault or British fans...I am not British by the way.

There are over 2000 comments in previous articles on this RB situation which I am sure you can judge the opinions of non-media, non British contributors if you read them.

It is not as black and white as you make it.

I am always curious how people claim webber broke team rules many times. You must have a good inside knowledge of the team. Or are you doing the same as you claim the media are doing?

You need to go back and rethink what actually happened.


I don't think that's what happened at all.

People think there is national bias, but it's nothing like as much as you think.


I just checked the articles around Silverstone 2011 on British Motorsport sites. They are all silently or vocally pro-Webber while he ignored teamorders while Vettel's car was wounded and Webber bragged about ignoring teamorders. None of them condemn Webber or wanted sanctions or said RBR leadership was weak?

Also the comment's sections were all like 'RBR should not do teamorders, Go Webber, true racer".

Vettel does the same thing now and the vast majority react like teamorders are sacred and Vettel is a cheater, RBR has weak leadership, on the same British sites?

I go to the Dutch sites and the vast majority support Vettel now like they supported Webber in 2011 Silverstone for being true racers and screw teamorders?

I also checked the French ones and there exactly the same: most support Vettel now like they supported Webber in 2011 Silverstone.

There is definitely a British, or rather English-speaking hypocrisy going on, anyone can see that reads around different languages.


Go to US ones and you'll probably find pro-Vettel.

Just a cultural thing. Take US for example, it may well be because to them, racing is about NASCAR style, wheel banging, all out, PIT maneuver the guy infront and take the place, etc. That don't go well with British' style of racing, or anyone else who prefers fair-play. The grouping of nationality bias is just on a general basis due to culture. Even in the same culture people share different opinions.


Makes you wonder what Dr Marko WAS trying to achieve, if that's what he comes up with when he's NOT trying to criticise someone. I know things can get lost in translation but still...

Anyway, I'd agree with the comment that deciding they're not using team orders anymore is rather a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted - Vettel clearly won't listen to them anyway and Webber has no reason to now either (for those raising Silverstone 2011, Webber pushed Vettel more than he should have but he did hold position). Likewise, they shouldn't expect either driver to support the other's title challenge should one arise, barring a significant change in the relationship between them. I can also quite easily see one of the drivers leaving the team at the end of the season - it's becoming too much of a Prost/Senna kind of dynamic, and that's not in anyone's interest in the long run. Odds are it'll be Webber, but which team he'd move to I'm not so sure about - and besides, given his attitude towards the team it could well be Vettel who goes. Unlikely, perhaps, but you never know with this sport...


Webbers comments on the podium about...'Vettel being protected' is probably the most accurate outcome of everything said.

This 'no team orders' at RB has been stated before. That is why most people supported Webbers

stance in 2011 since he was seen as doing what RB publicly stated, but internally they were doing the opposite to him. Its pretty simple.


I was a Kimi fan in 2000s and he went off to rallying for two years in 2010, then I began following Vettel. Now Kimi is back, it is nice as I do not have to deal with Vettel any more. I'll be confused whom to support if Kimi finally retires. Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton? All of them have some issues. Oh it is so difficult to be a fan :).


Maybe you can hope for Kimi to have a son that he'll nurture for F1 in the coming years.

Tornillo Amarillo

Did you see Webber start in Malaysia?

I think he's going determined for the Championship, his last chance!


Since RB remains the benchmark car, I think they will be ready to switch to 2013 development soon. Because they need to. Based on those articles I've read here at JA and a few others Mercedes might be the team to beat.

So, Adrian Newey will have to continue his genius in refining the aero package to fit the new power-unit. With fuel efficiency and different cooling requirements, fitting this new aero package will be a tough challenge.

BTW, thank you for this article James Allen. I'm really glad that you did not follow other journalist in the Vettel's 'I will not apologize for winning' theme. Instead, you've given us a very nice article for thought and discussion.


I had little time for Red Bull before Malaysia and very little respect for them after. Despite having the best car in the field & those who have seen & heard it live can understand why- it's a very precise weapon, every gear change is laser sharp and the handling no different.

Which clearly make it the favourite for the CC but 2 "opposed"team mates will make the races ahead very interesting - it would be interesting to find out what sanctions RBR will have if a driver takes out his team mate.

I always really questioned people's perception of what a " nice grounded intelligent guy Seb is " and when he said "oh get Mark out of the way ..he's too slow" he showed me what a goose he was because Mark was pulling away at 1/2 sec a lap at the time. Seb may very well go on ' win his forth title but like idle MS - I will never hold in the same regard as the greats because they are not sporting people and never will be . I'm not a fan of Mark Webber so dont think that has played into my reasoning. It just goes to show you could have best designers, engineers, biggest budget, top drivers, most success - are you the best team- not really no !- you need good management and good ethics- something which Red Bull just don't have and don't breed.


Good comments. Its the old staying...'they could have had it all'..one can only wonder how it would have panned out if a certain R.Dennis was the boss. I think Horner just tries to please too many and gets himself into a corner. Mind you he still has 3 WCC to his credit.


What on earth has good ethics got to do with motor racing?


Ok, let's first get this out of the way - SV is one of two individuals with a reasonable claim to being the best active F1 driver (sorry Oz, MW is not the other).

That said, it is curious how much greater the performance gap was between SV and MW in 2011 vs the year before and the one after. Even more so when one considers that FIA caught RBR on the engine mapping issue last year.

So conspiracy-minded individuals might wonder if RBR actually perfected the art in 2011 and knowing they had a car far superior to any other on the grid they could afford to take a 1/10th off the pace of Mark's car to lessen the chances of an inter-team WDC fight while still allowing the team to easily win the WCC.

For those expecting to see no-holds-barred wheel-to-wheel racing between the RBR drivers, don't hold your breath. They've probably already figured out that targeting P1 to P2 race fimishes for one driver and P5 to P6 for the other, with plenty of tarmac between the two, affords them the best shot at the 2013 WCC.

I would't expect to see any further mapping monkey business or a further increase in the disparity in KERS failures but some mysterious force will arise to keep these drivers apart. I would bet the farm if I had one.


So, "No team orders". Does that mean more conservative fuelling and tire management to allow them to push for the whole race? Does that mean split strategies so that the drivers are less likely to be near each other on the circuit? It's easy to say but hard to follow. The whole point of team orders is to ensure the maximum possible points for the least amount of risk. Do they really trust their win-at-all-costs drivers not to bin it in a tangle? Next time they are side-by-side into a corner Webber has nothing to lose by pushing Seb off into the grass.


Two Red Bull drivers crashing into each other fighting for the lead of the race? That would never happen would it? 😉

What you say is quite right, if Red Bull really stick to this it could cost them. On the other hand, if they avoid crashing into each other, running out of fuel or tyres, or costing each other WDC positions over the rest of the year then maybe we'll find team orders are not so important, and more teams will follow the example.


Alex Werz said it right. When Seb was asking for Mark to move over because he was too slow, Mark was cruising, conserving tyres. Mark then pulled a 5sec gap. After the last pit stop regardles of the tyres or strategy they both had enough to make it to the end even after the fight wheel to wheel. So why the team orders??? Because Mark was on good pace and the team knew Seb could only pass that way. [mod]


I read: " Once RBR will learn how to manage the tires..."
They may not be able to keep the theoretical speed advantage on order to be gentle on the tires.


+1 for that... I have to admit that what James said on the article about redbull going to be dominant once they figure out the tyres is depressing.


As a RedBull and Vettel fan, I was only disappointed at RedBull at the last race. I clearly remember 2010, last race, when RedBull clearly stated that they will not use team orders and the drivers should race to win. If that meant that Ferrari would then take that win, well thats racing. But as we know Vettel took it.

So I was happy when Vettel raced for victory

Was disappointed with RedBulls call

So now when RedBull says NO team orders, they basically go back to what they where doing before winning to much.


No team orders. This make sme think MW will havesome car problems.


It will be very interesting to see what Mark has to say.

It will also be interesting to see how Red Bull avoid McLaren 2007


Et tu James,

Surely the teams have 86 points available in the next 10 days. I do believe their first priority is WCC.........


James, did you see Stefano's comments regarding Vettel? He refused to criticise him for disobeying team orders, basically saying that Vettel is the better driver (than Webber) and that's all that matters. I don't get it. That would have been a perfect opportunity to put some extra pressure on Vettel, but instead, he praised him. I find it odd. Unless Vettel really has a contract with Ferrari. What do you think?


He's thinking about when he would be negotiating with Vettel to come drive at Ferrari, doesn't wanna pull a Hamilton "Redbull is just a drinks company" and later asking for a drive there.


Enzo would wake from his grave!

Certainly not the type of driver he'd want in his team.


A guy that puts himself above the team is what Enzo want? Don't think so.


Obiviously you don't have a clue about the man called Enzo Ferrari as Vettel is exactly the kind of guy he would want in his team, a man who cares not about a drivers as long as his cars win, he sold cars just to fund his racing read a bit about the man.

Also Enzo would never have some like Alonso driving on his team he cares about winners not people who see themselves and his cars as underdogs


Vettel is halfway in. Probably not 2014 but definitely 2015. And Alonso can choose to stay and fight against the guy he tries to diminish with words or flee like a samurai that knows he will be beaten? Lol.

Kamui will be alongside Vettel if Alonso leaves.

In other news, the lottery numbers are 14 55 28 94 23 45 😉


'Last season Red Bull had to come back from a 40 point deficit in the summer time and did so to win the title. This season they are already on the front foot and it is Ferrari that is now chasing.'

Bit early, no?

We're only two races in. That lead could be wiped out by Sunday.


Webber/Vettle war! bring it on some real racing by two top drivers that's what the press didn't report 2 driver really racing each other for a few turns...the young Bull won the last round, now it's Webber's turn to use his brain and experience.

As a Weber fan, (have to be he's an Aussie - though I love Kimi's attitude) I think Webber is in a top/best car 5 years too late, but the old bull just might pull something out this year and I like what someone posted earlier Kimi in a Red Bull (if Weber leaves at the end of year...love the idea of a Kimi Red Bull Weber Lotus swap a good way to see out Webber to retirement cause I still think he has that spark for F1 for a couple of years yet....he's a real racer given the equipment and chance.(though I would love to see him stay with Red Bull I think he's missed his chance there.

Hate to admit it but Vettle is right in saying he's payed to win 🙂


Red Bull team orders row: Vettel says he would probably do it again

Vettel argued that he had misunderstood the team's message, yet admitted that even if he had comprehended, his actions would likely not have changed.


Looking forward to this weekend 🙂


The hubris of Vettel is frightening, following his recent comments


no team orders I mean 🙂


All this says is they have good management in raising cash....what they need is good engineers and drivers...they let them go over silly personal clashes :))


Is RBR management as much to blame as Vettel for what happened in Malaysia? After all, why set different race strategies for each driver, if either of them and their respective teams aren't able to fully implement them? I don't agree with what Seb did. However, I can understand him feeling agrieved if he was set a race strategy with which he thought he could win and he wasn't allowed to fulfil because of a late change to that strategy. Christian Horner may as well say to both drivers at the start of the race: "follow the race strategy until the final pitstop. Then Mark, you are coming first and Seb, you are coming second".


Young Bull to WIN

Old Bull to DEVELOP the car

Red Bull gives you wings 🙂

young Bull to win

Old bull to develop the car:)


Most of the talk is about Silverstone & Malaysia but (without reading every article and comment) I have not seen any mention of last years Chinese GP where Webber overtook SV on the penultimate lap.



These are your two links which praise MW (which I agree with - first to flag) but I assumed that early season there were no rules except don't crash! Was the Chinese GP a no rules race for RBR?

What reminded me of this overtake was when viewing the SV overtake on MW from above, MW was wheel spinning out corner and left extremely long black lines showing his grip level was lower than SV due to the prime tyres being used. I would not normally have noticed this but after last years Chinese GP Ant Davidson showed SVs tyres doing exactly the same due to being so worn. RG was also catching and SV only beat him by 1 sec. Again same question, was China 2012 race a no rules and if not, I can understand why SV would not follow team orders in this race. Last year MW took points off him & this year he is not taking the risk of losing the WDC.

As an aside on the team orders, is it possible that LH & MW used the team order of not racing teammates after the last stop to influence their choice of strategy by opting for the fastest strategy to that point but not necessarily the fastest to the end of the race - as shown by what happened within each team? My opinion is yes.


Vettel can forget about Mclaren, Ferrari or Mercedes. Ignoring team orders in these three teams is reason for immediate dismissal on-the-spot, no questions asked. Can you imagine Vettel ignoring Ross Brawn at Mercedes? Or ignoring the Ferrari pit wall? Or ignoring the McLaren boss over the radio? I could see Ron Dennis or Luca di Montezemolo personally fly over to the track that same day to kick his behind out of the team...


Vettel has proved once again, like many other winning F1 pilots before him, that he is a perfect a**hole.

Ferrari & Monty must be laughing like hyenas these days!

Maybe we should all expect a first corner incident at Shanghai with Seb & Mark both ending in the gravel trap just to listen to Horner putting on a brave face and then the always very very smart words of the wise Dr. Helmut.

Team orders? Who, me? No way!

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