Should Webber have got Red Bull’s new front wing instead of Vettel? (Poll)

Sebastian Vettel is on pole position for tomorrow’s British Grand Prix.

But team mate Mark Webber could be starting from the coveted P1 had Red Bull team principal Christian Horner not taken a controversial decision to take the team’s new front wing off Webber’s car and put it on Vettel’s.

Did Horner make the right call?

Red Bull brought two of their new front wings to Silverstone. But the first was broken when it failed on Vettel’s car during final practice this morning.

After practice the sole remaining example of the new design was taken off Webber’s car and put on Vettel’s. Horner explained his reasons for doing it:

After this morning?s incident we only had one new spec front wing available for qualifying, which Adrian [Newey] was very keen to run; not necessarily because it was better, but because it offered a new direction to look at.

Therefore it came to me to make a difficult decision as to which car it went on. A situation like that is not ideal and it doesn?t happen very often. It went to Sebastian based on Championship position, his performance in P3 and the drivers? feedback on the different front wings from yesterday.
Christian Horner

Leaving the new wing in the garage for the sake of fairness between the drivers would have been senseless – in F1, you have to seize every advantage you can lay your hands on.

But it’s easy to see why Horner’s decision will be seen as favouring Vettel. Vettel may be 12 points ahead of Webber in the championship – but he only moved ahead of him in the last round.

And while Horner points to the difference between them in P3 as being part of the reason for the decision, the gap between them was very small. Vettel was just 0.034s faster, Webber having spent the early part of the session running a higher fuel load due to losing track time with a car problem.

The team’s drivers have been very closely matched this year – they have won the same number of races and are almost inseparable on single-lap pace.

Their immediate rivals are not likely to take points off them this weekend. Having brought two wings to the track surely the reasonable thing to do would have been to let each driver keep one for the weekend – particularly given they are so evenly matched on performance.

Red Bull faced accusations of favouring Vettel after the Turkish Grand Prix, when they blamed Webber for a collision between the two which was widely perceived to have been Vettel’s fault.

This is not a new dilemma. The pace of development in F1 is so fast that teams often have to choose between which driver gets a development first.

It remains to be seen whether Red Bull will have another new front wing ready to put on Webber’s car in time for tomorrow’s race.

Who should have got the new front wing?

  • Sebastian Vettel (13%)
  • Mark Webber (79%)
  • Neither (8%)

Total Voters: 2,440

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218 comments on Should Webber have got Red Bull’s new front wing instead of Vettel? (Poll)

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  1. sumedh said on 10th July 2010, 16:12

    Well Webber should have got it since it was *his*.

    But I doubt it was that important. Webber beat Vettel in Q1 and Q2 comfortably when both driver were on the harder tyres. Only on the softer one, did Vettel manage to get a tenth up on Webber.

    For all you know, perhaps the new wing does not gel well with the harder tyres and Webber might have a chance of getting by Vettel later in the race by virtue of Vettel getting his front wing. A blessing-in-disguise perhaps.

    • Andre said on 10th July 2010, 16:57

      Not sure what saturday qualifying you were watching, but Vettel beat webber in Q1 and Q3. But as much as I dont like webber, removing parts form a car and giving to another sounds wrong to me. Thenagain, vettel would have had way more points and wins this year if not for a poor reliability problem at the beginning of the season, so maybe redbull is trying to make up for letting him down all the time.

    • F1O said on 10th July 2010, 17:21

      Webber is whining Batch and caused the accident back when.
      He is fighting for contracts but is just hurting the team and himself.

      • Lee said on 10th July 2010, 17:26

        He has already signed a contract extension so that should stop your berating of him nicely in its tracks.

      • miguelF1O (@) said on 11th July 2010, 10:40

        or webber is this years barichello. i think redbull has given webber the task of being 2nd to ensure vettel wins the most points possible

    • Ben Curly said on 10th July 2010, 17:35

      Maybe the new wing will fail again… I’m not saying anything, but that would be kind of poetic justice…

      • flatbeat said on 10th July 2010, 18:06

        vettel doesnt take care of his car as well as mark, hell prob rip it off on a curb lap 1.

      • Ozzy said on 11th July 2010, 8:03

        I really hope justice is served and the new wing fails during the race. It is obvious that RB is favouring vettel. We don’t need this sort of favouritism in F1. marko, honner and vettel go home!

    • miguelF1O (@) said on 10th July 2010, 19:24

      yesterday in practice and this morning webber was very confortable he only needed a couple of laps to get quicker than vettel who had to do several runs red bull reached a part of the season were they just want to win so because of last weekend airbourne webber is clearly 2nd driver for the team although showing better form

      • miguelF1O (@) said on 10th July 2010, 19:27

        i would say neither the race is between 2 red bull and they dont have the dignity of letting them race on the same level last year and early this year i was disapointed with mark but he has prove to be quicker he should be champ by right he is older and had to struggle all career simply unfair

        • Ozzy said on 11th July 2010, 8:07

          I totally agree. F1 should have a system in which new aspiring drivers have to go through a series of steps before reaching F1 echelon and not leapfrog other older and wiser drivers. vettel should be still running in lesser categories and not being in F1 getting in the way of more experience drivers (e.g Webber)

          • MEmo said on 13th July 2010, 3:05

            Are you crazy? Vettel is way better than Webber. Last year Vettel kicked Webbers A**. And it was just his 2nd or 3rd season in F1. How many years has Webber under his belt? Vettel should be still running in lesser categories??? Well, that says it all: go watch your naked Webber pictures and drool all over them and post when you have something that at least remotely makes sense…

          • bosyber said on 15th July 2010, 15:16

            MEmo, last year, Webber was still recovering from his broke leg. And at the summer break in the season there was not much between them in points. Then Webber had a range of team/equipment/bad luck failure.

            I only got to see the quali recording today, and I didn’t yet know about the front wing – they were fighting for pole, but did not get equal equipment. Yes, Vettel tends to be a bit faster, but this Q3 does not prove that, without equal equipment.

  2. EAN said on 10th July 2010, 16:16

    Vettel has got more points in the championship and the fight is first of all against the opposition

    • Hamish said on 10th July 2010, 22:15

      That is a senseless argument at this point and the championship and given the small gap between the two.

      • Tiomkin said on 11th July 2010, 8:43

        It is logical. What if the championship is lost by 1 point? Everyone here would be saying that Red Bull should have done everything to make sure Vettel got as many points possible. Remember that this is real racing, with real money, lots of it at stake.

        • Hamish said on 11th July 2010, 11:48

          Yea valid, but that eliminates the whole “equal chances” policy, and I think its too early to be making these calls given Mark could leave Silverstone in front of Vettel still with 9 races to go, 225 points still up for grabs. My understanding of this is priority is given when the team mate is mathmatically or rather close to being out of the race for the title. To show priority to one driver over the other when the points differential is 5% of the total points still up for grabs one must ask the question: do the drivers get equal treatment?

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 11th July 2010, 19:43

            I don’t think it does eliminate the “equal chances” argument. They gave both drivers the same new wing. When Vettel’s wing failed due to a mechanical flaw he had no control over they were left with one wing. At that point it really only seems fair that they give the wing to the driver who’s leading the other in the championship much the same as all teams favor their leading driver to pit earlier than their second driver during a race. It’s common sense. Now that Webber’s won the race and leapfrogged Vettel in the standings, I would expect them to give him the advantage at the next race if a similar unfortunate incident occurred, forcing the team into such a decision. Red Bull made the right call. Webber should stop his whining. Oh, and he should also re-watch the race to get some tips from Vettel on how to make passes from the back of the field without taking the car into orbit.

          • RaulZ said on 12th July 2010, 11:27

            US_Peter. Yes it’s common sense. Now, Webber y 1st pilot, so common sense will give priority to Webber. But, is it common sense as you say or it’s just a preference inside Redbull with Vettel?

  3. David BR said on 10th July 2010, 16:22

    Driver feedback I can understand, but Horner’s reasoning in terms of championship position is ridiculous and sets a dangerous precedent. Another RBR foot-shooting-fest. What if Vettel bins the car this race and Webber gets a smilar points advantage? His turn to get all the mod cons next race? Some chance!

    Before Valencia I’d have said this would inspire Webber, know I’m not sure. Difficult not to see another track tangle coming up soon, though.

  4. Patrickl said on 10th July 2010, 16:22

    A wing just doesn’t fall off so I assume that Vettel damaged it somehow. For instance hitting it on one of these “destructo kerbs”.

    It’s a bit insane to punish Webber for that.

    Of course Vettel is slightly ahead in the championship, but it’s not that much of a difference.

    • I think it was a problem when the wing was attached in the garage.

      • Daniel said on 10th July 2010, 17:02

        But it could also be a design flaw. In which case maybe Webber got the better deal!

        • Patrickl said on 10th July 2010, 19:57

          It could be all that, but seeing how Vettel bounces over the kerbs and Webber doesn’t (so much), it’s obvious that Vettel’s car takes a whole lot more pounding than Webber’s.

          • Ozzy said on 11th July 2010, 8:12

            vettel is harder on the car than Webber, this seems to be the reason behing his car failures at the begninning of the season and I believe this is going to catch up with vettel during this season the sooner or later.

    • DaveW said on 10th July 2010, 17:29

      Newey cars are fragile. And the cars are taking a mighty pounding over those bumps.

    • anakincarlos said on 11th July 2010, 0:09

      If rolls were reversed and webber was leading the campionship, there is no way the “team” would give him vettel wing.

  5. dragon said on 10th July 2010, 16:25

    After attempting to type several replies, I’ll just leave it at this – the team that I used to love, the great force that is RBR, now makes me sick. Whether or not the wing is worth more time, the decision is just wrong.

    • Anthony said on 10th July 2010, 17:34

      I agree. How difficult would it be to have made two wings and have them on both cars.. It seems Webber is getting the raw end of the stick..

      • Jarred Walmsley said on 10th July 2010, 20:56

        Well, thats the thing, there was two but then cause Vettel doesn’t know the meaning of careful driving damaged his wing so he got Mark’s as they couldn’t make another one in time.

        That was a poor decision on Horner’s part as it was rightfully Mark’s wing as he didn’t damage it and he should have kept it. Ah, well hopefully Vettel will damage it again during the race and allow Mark to win

  6. Pedro Andrade said on 10th July 2010, 16:25

    The front wing was on Webber’s car, so it should not have been taken away from him! Even if Vettel’s wing failure was not his blame, tough luck, it happened to his car.

    It’s a shame, Vettel was my favourite driver, but even if this is not his fault I find it hard to cheer for him when he does well.

  7. Alexi said on 10th July 2010, 16:25

    Yes, Red Bull does not give you wings.

  8. Scribe (@scribe) said on 10th July 2010, 16:25

    eh, now that I think about it, a faliure is a bit different to Vettle actually busting the thing, then it would have been wrong.

    Still, Vettle does seem to get the majority of the teams support. Willing to bet new parts will always be on Vettle’s car first.

    • Dennoow said on 11th July 2010, 11:04

      It’s still wrong. It was Webber’s wing!! It’s like having 2 daughters, you give both a lollypop, the favourite daughter drops it so you just take it away from the ugly daughter. What if Vettel’s car simply fell apart completely during FP3? I agree that it is unlikely but suppose. Should Webber sit on the fence while Vettel is qualifying with HIS car??? This is just a terrible decision.

  9. I voted Webber simply because it was already on his car. If they had both broke their wings and there was only one spare then fair enough, but to physically remove it from Marks car and put it on the other car is clear favouritism.

    Psychologically this will have affected Mark and subtlety his driving. Expect fireworks tomorrow.

    Red Bull sucks! I vote Webber for World Driver Championship.

  10. Vikas said on 10th July 2010, 16:29

    I want Webber to beat Vettel tomorrow.. this is so unfair

    • SijS said on 11th July 2010, 7:17

      yeah… An angry Mark Webber racing? That’s the best this to look forward to at Silverstone today. Should be a treat, cant wait!

  11. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion said on 10th July 2010, 16:29

    Hell, no. Period.

  12. Robert McKay said on 10th July 2010, 16:30

    I think it should have stayed with Webber. If the gap between them was 50 or 60 points, I’d see the point, but the gap of 12 is fairly small in the context of the new scoring system.

    But if it fails again during the race perhaps Mark will be glad he didn’t get it.

    Would be interesting to see Webber sneak ahead in the points though to see if such things go his way…

    • Oliver said on 10th July 2010, 18:24

      But Horner already gave 2 excuses for why Vettel got the wing. So even if Webber is ahead on points, Webber will do heavy fuel load runs in FP3 and Vettel still gets the wing as he will be faster in FP3.

      • Patrickl said on 10th July 2010, 20:31

        They did that already. Vettel did 3 short stints in FP3 and Webber did one long stint and only one qualy run.

        Then even though Vettel’s whole practice session was based on qualifying practice and Webber was only allowed to do 1 run, Webber was still only 3 hundredths of a second slower.

        They didn’t just give Vettel the advantage of the best front wing, they gave him most chance of being ahead in FP3 too.

  13. I think Webber has been hobbled by this call. Of course it is not acceptable to leave the part in the garage come race day but as each crew were given a wing each, seeing how they are so close and really only racing each other tomorrow, it’s just a case of tough luck.

    Unless there is some post-race revelation of another reason why it was vital to have the wing on Vettel’s car instead of Webber’s, this is poor form.

    Going in to qualifying, both drivers offered equal opportunity to provide a race win as both have the same number of wins this year.

    The unfortunate part of this is that the opposition teams will now be scrutinising the new wing as it offers an insight to future RBR development.

    Is it too early to start the ‘Webber to Renault’ rumours yet? ;)

    • Ozzy said on 11th July 2010, 8:21

      Remember at the beginning of the season RBR rule that the driver who was ahead had to pit first? and then during a race when Webber was ahead of vettel RBR made vettel to pit first? uh oh! and then all the fuss that marko, horner and vettel did in Turkey? uh oh?. I believe RBR should be fined by FIA and marko, horner and vettel kicked out of F1 for the good of the sport.

  14. I don’t care. There was one, it was up to the team to decide, and they did. Even if their reasons are that they like Seb better that is fine by me. All this talk about equality is for the drivers not the fans so if it encourages dischord which could lead to more ontrack shenanigans then all to the good.

    • David BR said on 10th July 2010, 16:46

      True, and it’s fine by me – as a non-RBR fan! – if RBR self-detonate. But that doesn’t preclude making an ‘as if’ judgment about the wisdom of Red Bull’s treatment of its drivers.

      • Yes, that is true. So, assuming the public information is all the information there is what would I do?

        I would make a judgement about which driver was most likely to win the most points over the season and therefore to be most in need of extra points to ensure top spot against a competitor, and on that basis give it to Vettel.

        • David BR said on 10th July 2010, 17:02

          Sure Andrew, but I don’t agree with the reasoning. It presumes RBR continues to dominate. But there’s a reasonable chance of Ferrari and McLaren catching them soon in qualifying and forcing Red Bull’s drivers to fight it out more on track. If so, Webber has more chances I think than Vettel. And if that’s true, undermining him now (again remember after blaming him for the Turkey shoot out) may be costly since they could be entering Alonso 2007 territory with a seriously disaffected driver. Seems a lot to risk on a relatively minor point of Seb or Web being 1 or 2 in this race. Instead they’ve heated up the situation massively.

          • I don’t think Webber has a better chance; I think Vettel is fundamentally a better driver; however, that is a matter of opinion and unprovable either way.

            If I am wrong and Webber is better then perhaps he is more able to do without the new wing for this one race and so it should still go to Seb.

            If it is a matter of experience and maturity then Webber should be better able to deal with not being given the wing so again it should still go to Seb.

          • Ace said on 10th July 2010, 18:22

            Helmut, is that you? ;)

          • David BR said on 10th July 2010, 19:29

            So basically the recipe is Vettel: molly-coddle, Webber: goad! Might work. Personally I think Red Bull are playing with fire though and will eventually see their season vanish in a puff of smoke. All those viral videos of happy times at McLaren seem to have got them rattled.

          • Hamish said on 10th July 2010, 22:21

            Andrew, your logic is flirting with idiocy.

          • Mike said on 11th July 2010, 8:29

            I think Andrew’s highlighting an important concern.
            I’ve just noticed that we have become obsessed with drivers being equal, and I don’t mean relatively equal where by the end of the season it’s pretty much balanced out. I mean REALLY equal. Almost to the point where we’d get upset if Vettel or Webber got nicer toothpaste than the other one.

            Does it matter that much? I mean, Wouldn’t we have heard from Webber if he was upset? I think this might be just a commentator fuelled media frenzy pouncing on the whole “Is Webber hard done by? isn’t he? is he? isn’t he?” thing…

          • Hamish said on 11th July 2010, 12:42

            Well look at it this way mate. If it didn’t mean much it wouldn’t have been taken off Webbers car in the first place. It does mean something, Horner has acknowledged that.

            My point was more directed at the previous comments of Andrew, whom Im guessing is on the payroll at Red Bell.

  15. Kate said on 10th July 2010, 16:33

    I think the key point here, which I see Horner has been trying to play down, was that it was Webber’s wing. Why should he be put at a disadvantage just because Vettel’s broke? And does anyone really believe that they would have done the same if the situation had been reversed? And if the difference was so minimal, why did they have to swap?

    It can’t be coincidence that everytime a wiff of bias arises at Red Bull, its towards Vettel….

    • David BR said on 10th July 2010, 16:51

      Precisely. Horner’s comment that they wanted to use the wing “not necessarily because it was better, but because it offered a new direction to look at” doesn’t tally *at all* with him then saying he based his decision on current championship position. He’s making a dog’s dinner of this again by trying to downplay RBR’s corporate preference for Vettel, though I can understand he’s in a dilemma trying to sound ‘fair’ when the team is clearly not being so.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th July 2010, 22:19

      Exactly. It was Webbers wing, why take it away.
      Vettel may have damaged the wing on track, or his crew made a mistake and they lost it. Bad luck or team mistakes, no need to punish Mark for them.

      • bosyber said on 15th July 2010, 15:28

        Especially if the performance difference is not so important. Webber has more experience, and if he is busy evaluating the wing, he has less time to fight for the win with Vettel, I’d think.

        Red Bull should have not dragged the championship points into it, given that resulted from a bad race from Mark/the team two weeks earlier, and only need a 3rd or better race to reverse. (and it showed, just having seen the recorder race).

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