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)

  1. ‘Red Bull gives you Webber’s wings’ … aah, please yourself.

    I don’t think anyone could sensibly argue about leaving the unbroken wing in the back of the van, but mid-season, to walk over and unbolt it from one car to stick it on the other, that’s just crazy-talk.

    They really want to watch themselves here, playing a real dangerous game – with a car advantage that should make this all a walk in the park, they are somehow contriving to make a real mess of it. Instead of their crowning achievement, they are alienating and aggravating an awful lot of punters along the way.

    They could end up winning this thing and losing way more than they gain, a tarnished championship victory with everyone saying ‘yeah but’, a championship won with a thumb on the scale.

    Falling from a lot of people’s second favorite team, to everyone’s least favorite team, and for a marketing company like Red Bull, can’t see how that makes much sense.
    You are holding on too tight guys.

    • dsob said on 10th July 2010, 22:14

      ‘Red Bull gives you Webber’s wings’

      I laughed so hard I thought I was going to have a hernia. Pure genius comment, mate.

      And, for the record, I think RBR’s decison was a lot of bull…mainly of the brown color, not the red.

  2. Ads21 (@ads21) said on 10th July 2010, 16:40

    Horner is contradicting himself, he says he gave it to Sebastian because he was leading in the WDC and because he was faster in P3 yet he says there was no real time to be gained with new wing. If it was of no benefit why take it of Webber’s car and give it to Vettel?

    This and the comments coming out of Red Bull after Turkey stink of a team favouring one driver over the other. Given Webber’s performances it is grossly unfair to favour Vettel when the gap in the WDC is so small as Keith said the gap in P3 was pretty much meaningless.

  3. yea, i think mark webber should get the new wing as well.. Because, it is simply not fair to him, by keep using the the reason of ” because vettel is in lead”/ Come on, the 12 pts lead of vettel in old system is prob only at maximum 4-5 pts, which is nothing that great actually.

    And whats more infuriating is that VET had gone his chance of the wing as well! IT IS JUST THAT HE DESTROYED IT HIMSELF. So , why does his teammate , WEB, have to bear the consequence of him destroying his own wing?

    I dont see why can’t Christian Horner give the wing to WEB and VET use the old specs wing. I strongly believe, they definitely have enough Old WINGS.

    It is simply favoritism in RED BULL. I believe in top teams such as Ferrari, Mclaren, such incidents will not be an issue, as if one driver destroy his own set of equipments he is given, he will just have to accept the older one.

  4. Fer no.65 said on 10th July 2010, 16:44

    One for Vettel, One for Webber.

    If Vettel one fails, bad luck…

    but no, they give him Mark’s one.

    The standings position is not relevant anyway. 12 points isn’t a big gap and Mark’s performances over the year prove that he’s up to it, just as Vettel is.

    Favouring one over the other it’s stupid at this point.

  5. DaveW said on 10th July 2010, 16:45

    Webber does not own the wing. But Horner really went too far with those ridiculous comments—blaming it on Newey! The bottom line is that Webber had his car stripped in favor of the other guy. It is immaterial whether or not the wing was faster per se—if it were slower it would not have been on Webber’s car at all.

    It also appears that the team screwed up Webber’s timing robbing him of a second lap on the options—he would have been the last to cross the line. This is becoming a pattern.

    There is a saying that even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and tripped over.

    • Toby Bushby said on 11th July 2010, 1:45

      Well said, DaveW!

      I think that Webber should have kept it, under the circumstances. If there was only one wing available for the whole weekend, then it would understandable that Vettel got it, as he’s in front in the Championship. But he had one, it fell off. Better luck next time, I say.

      If the team wants to have a leader, just admit that Vettel is it, and we can all move on. But frankly, I find Christian Horner’s continued comments on the matter to be smug, condescending, arrogant and barely shy of a politicians twisting of the facts. He has insulted Webber by stating that Mark is lucky to be given the chance in a front-running team, but he forgets that Webber joined a MIDFIELD team, and helped to bring them to the front. Let’s also not forget that before Newey came to the team, it was HORNER who was nearly looking for a new job. What an arrogant pill.

      • Ozzy said on 11th July 2010, 10:40

        I totally agree with Toby. Horner go home once for all.

      • W154 said on 11th July 2010, 11:00

        Horner couldn’t lie straight in bed !

        • No Favourites said on 11th July 2010, 15:37

          Christian Horner should be sacked.

          He’s destroying the ‘brand’s’ image. He seems to put his foot in his mouth, every time he opens it.

      • Amy Roberts said on 12th July 2010, 7:00

        Here here Toby! Hopefully Mark’s bad luck of previous years stays away enough this year to sock it to them!! Great to see ‘number 2′ ahead of number 1 on the driver’s championship after being ripped off a wing.

  6. Helmut Marko said on 10th July 2010, 16:45

    If Seb damages his helmet, we’ll take Marks and give it to Seb. We could care less if Mark drives with a helmet or not.

    • Pedro Andrade said on 10th July 2010, 16:50

      I bet if Vettel flat-spots all his tires, you’ll give all of Webber’s to him! After all, he is leading Webber in the championship. Unless he gets stuck behind Webber with the McLarens behind, than it’s just sensible to have Webber surrender the position.

    • Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 11th July 2010, 3:04

      Seb doesn’t need Webber’s helmet. He already has a spare and it’s called “Marko”.

  7. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 10th July 2010, 16:49

    I don’t think it really matters. For PR they could have given it to Webber, but at they end of they day if they think Vettel is the one most capable of delivering a championship then why not give him the wing? I’m no fan of Vettel but mechanically he’s had the short end of the stick and were it not for that then he’d be way ahead of Webber anyway.

    • Pedro Andrade said on 10th July 2010, 16:54

      It’s more a question of ethics. In the Schumacher-Ferrari days, everyone knew the second driver was screwed (and even then they managed to stuff up big!). And both Barrichello and Irvine never had a chance of competing against Schumacher (even in 2004 and 2002 Barrichello would race with the other teams, instead of always going second behind Schumacher).

      Now Red Bull are pretending to be so fair to their drivers, but are consistently undermining Webber. Webber has been much faster than in previous years, even if making mistakes here and there.

      • Daniel said on 10th July 2010, 17:11

        Irvine would have won the Championship the year Schumacher broke his leg, except that Irvine had to let Schumacher past in an earlier race. If he hadn’t had to do that, Schumacher could have moved over in the final race and Irvine would have won. How’s that for irony?

        • Pedro Andrade said on 10th July 2010, 17:17

          Ha, yes, and Schumacher was not that far ahead in the championship when he broke his legs. :P

          But reportedly Ferrari were quite happy to wait another year to have their favoured win the title.

        • David A said on 10th July 2010, 18:36

          In which race did Irvine have to move over? The only race, pre-Silverstone that I remember Irvine finishing behind Schumacher without anyone inbetween was Monaco, where Schumacher drove off into the distance and Irvine passed Hakkinen in the pit stops.

          • Pedro Andrade said on 11th July 2010, 1:16

            Daniel is probably referring to Magny-Cours. Schumacher was ahead pf Irvine at the end of the race, but was going much slower, and the team ordered them to hold station. Later in the year Irvine mentioned this incident saying he could’ve been ahead of Hakkinen if the team had let him pass.

          • Toby Bushby said on 11th July 2010, 1:57

            But Schumacher let Irvine win in Malaysia, so…

          • Daniel said on 11th July 2010, 3:03

            Pedro is right, it was the 1999 French GP I was referring to. My memory isn’t as good as I thought it was, but that 1 point would have been enough if Shumacher had slowed to allow Irvine past in the last race of the season.

            And since team orders were common then, I don’t think anyone would have had any qualms about doing that.

            Ferrari instigated team orders too early in the season, and it cost them.

    • David BR said on 10th July 2010, 16:55

      Vettel more chance of the WDC? I think that’s a marginal call when the team is out in front, as of now. But *if* McLaren or Ferrari close the gap to zero or pull ahead, the RBR drivers will have to start overtaking on the track for real (not just pit-stop-assisted). And under that scenario Webber would be significantly ahead I think. If I was RBR I’d be keeping them both sweet.

    • No Favourites said on 11th July 2010, 15:43

      “I’m no fan of Vettel but mechanically he’s had the short end of the stick and were it not for that then he’d be way ahead of Webber anyway.”

      IMO, I actually think Webber is the better driver now.

      Vettel may have had raw pace at the beginning, same as most rookies with a decent car, but Webber has matched his pace and also appears to be a much smoother driver.

      Vettel’s failures may have more to do with his own rough driving style.

  8. Perf said on 10th July 2010, 16:58

    I found an interesting quote from Webber – I couldn’t find it in English, translated it goes something like this:

    “I think the team is pleased with today’s outcome – said Webber asked about the situation – but I’d rather be a third than the second, we know that the start from this side of track is hopeless. If Fernando (Alonso) would like to trade places, we’ll see if this is possible – added embittered Webber.”

    So I wonder: does the regulations allow such thing (trading places at the grid), if both drivers agree to it?

  9. Mike said on 10th July 2010, 16:59

    I voted it should be on Webber’s car.
    If both wings had broken and there was only one spare, that would be different.
    But this, isn’t quite so nice.

    I find it odd that they would have actually had to remove it from Webber’s car, to put in on Vettel’s.
    Unless Webber didn’t want it.

    But, I think it could also be us getting over excited about what amounts to not much.

  10. MacademiaNut said on 10th July 2010, 17:04

    I just hope SV loses his front wing in the first corner tomorrow.

  11. Vishy said on 10th July 2010, 17:08

    Do they think we are all fools to belive their statements and reasoning when it is so obvious they favour Vettel?

    It is like they are trying to keep him happy so he will sign with them for longer. Wouldn’t it be ironical if Vettel were to leave RBR after all this favoritism?

    If wishes could be true, “I wish Vettel and RBR lose badly and Webber wins the WDC”. Still a Hami fan but Webber deserves better.

  12. SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 10th July 2010, 17:10

    Only good reason can be when Webber had a slight preference for the old wing. Else it was his!

  13. Macca (@macca) said on 10th July 2010, 17:15

    Wow, I’m speechless. I have lost all respect for the Red Bull team. Christian Horner you can not seriously defend this decision.

  14. DavidS said on 10th July 2010, 17:16

    The question is, would RBR have taken the wing off Vettel’s car to put on Webbers car if the situation was exactly the same.


    RBR would’ve said “That’s unfortunate for Mark, having a failure that’s not his fault,” and left done nothing. But because Vettel is the wunderkind, so he gets given the good parts.

    The RB6 is a fast car that’s filled with niggles, the drivers have to accept their share of bad luck that happens to their cars. If you take parts off Mark’s car to put on Vettels, that’s effectively saying that Mark’s car/race is less important.

    • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 10th July 2010, 17:39

      “The question is, would RBR have taken the wing off Vettel’s car to put on Webbers car if the situation was exactly the same.


      We don’t actually know that. We can thnik that RBr would prefer Vettel as champion but there isn’t any proof, we don’t know what they would do roles reversed but we can speculate and the speculation alone suggests something uncomfortable about the entire situation there.

  15. grosjeans.rubble said on 10th July 2010, 17:26

    Red Bull takes your wings…

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