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

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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. I think Webber should have kept it, poor guy. Let’s hope theres some karmic retribution and Vettel has a similar failure to practice (6)

    1. would be fun to watch if tomorrow Vetel would have the same problem as he had in practise with the new wing.
      It would be the laugh of the day and the big news till next race

  2. Mssr Vettels popularity is certainly waining in the UK. All this single finger saluting at the finish is doing little for his image. I somehow suspect the British fans are going home disappointed after a similar result to last year :-(
    I’m hoping Lewis clips the wing whilst going round the outside of him at the first corner!

  3. Interestingly Keith, James Allen disagrees with you and thinks both drivers should have run the old wing, and includes a quote from Whitmarsh which apparently backs him up:

    Make what you will of that.

    1. I don’t think Whitmarsh is saying in that quote he wouldn’t have run the one remaining wing in the same circumstances. And certainly looking at the situation at McLaren last year – where on more than one occasion they only had one example of a new part and it went to Hamilton – that’s what he practises too. But that situation is different to what happened at Red Bull today. They started off with two wings and one got broken.

      I would add that Whitmarsh is more likely to say what’s most likely to antagonise Red Bull and make them look bad, as they’re their championship rivals. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course :-)

      1. Of course, I put “apparently” because it might be out of context and James wants it to look like he agrees. And I do agree with you that the fact there were two wings makes it different to the situation that McLaren had last year – and is why is makes me uneasy about Red Bull’s choice.

        Red Bull had their comments about Button and Hamilton blowing up earlier this week, none of them are going to miss an opportunity to mess with each other at this stage :D

      2. Or, Whitmarsh is likely to say what will get Mark Webber to stop by the big silver motorhome to have a glass of McLaren-brand shiraz and talk about McLaren’s equal-treatment policy. I always thought last year that it should have been Webber in that other McLaren and not Button. Webber is a much quicker driver than Button, and he would thrive in the more grown up environment at Woking.

    2. Vettel stance on the value of the new wing is rather telling.

      In the press conference he said:

      “The wing was broken but fortunately we could continue with the same kind of wing. It was the key for this afternoon and as I said, very pleased.”

      and Mark Webber sums it up as follows:
      “I think the team is happy with the result today”

      1. As you say Patrickl, Vettels comments tells us all we need to know. Mark’s reaction confirms the working of the team.

        And Horner worsended the situation again with his comments.

        Where’s Red Bull with PR this year?

      2. I don’t understand the “we” bit in Vettel’s response. It should be I. Or is he referring to the fact his side of the garage comprises everyone in RBR apart from Webber and his engineer?

        1. I suppose so, Mouse.

  4. Hello alltogether,

    RBR lost too many points allready, so it´s obvious that the team has to maximize the performance of their drivers to bring home P1 and P2.
    If Vettel takes more advantage of the new front wing and Webber is not insisting the decision is quite fair to me.

    Just for those Webber Fans who still think of any discrimination:
    Vettel needs more of the teams support as he is the weaker driver … ;)

  5. I think its funny for a couple of reasons, all week Horner/Red Bull/Webber have been banging on about how the mclaren guys wont end up getting on and about how its all smoke and mirrors and it wont last blah blah blah, when the apparently cant even keep there own team happy.

  6. Red bull gives you wings
    .. but Vettel gets first dibs.

    I really hope Webbo beats Seb
    .. with the old front wing
    .. on the chassis Seb rejected.

  7. Its just easy to blame….But Red Bull is a Team and it has to work on having a balance in getting maximum from both the drivers…..They might have given it to Vettel because they knew Webber could do a much better job in getting the car in front with the old Wing….

    1. That’s certainly possible and it’s a resonable point. But if it were the case I expect they’d be wheeling out Webber singing several verses of “I’m happy with what I’ve got”. But that’s not happening…

    2. But if that would have been the case, why would Horner have had to decide anything.

      Compare it to the situation with Lotus bringing new chassis last race. The new one should have been for Heikki, but Trulli had his cracked so he needed a new one.

      The team first asked Heikki about his opinion and he had no problem with it.

      If they had asked Mark, weather he would mind giving it to Vettel, as Mark was doing a better job with the “old” wing compared to Vettel, and this would be the best solution, Mark would have hardly felt as robbed as he does now.

      Also compare Withmarsh telling he still has bad feelings about treating Heikki differently last year ( Sometimes it is better to take the toys from both kids to keep the peace and save the family harmony.

  8. It wasn’t fair towards Webber. And what kind of argument is that the wing didn’t give that big gain? Why switch it to Vettel’s car then? Besides, Webber said in an interview yesterday that new wing gives around 0,1s in performance which in the end was the difference between the pole and the second position.

  9. Presumably that front wing on vettels car is the only one left?

    So it would be pretty funny if mark just, accidentally knocks it off going into copse so seb has to pit and get an old wing.

    1. He’ll have to get in front of him to do that…

    2. I think Webber couldn’t care less for Vettels front wing if he gets to be in front of him at copse.

      He will want to just drive away and know that Vettel running second might get cought by Alonso and Hamilton during the race.

  10. Maybe the new front wing has a small fault/defect OR brings so much downforce its rips itself off like in practice during the race! LOL.

  11. michael mair
    10th July 2010, 19:46

    shows what was clear after turkey, when webber had to shoulder half the blame for vettels mistake.SV is the blue eyed boy whether horner admits it or not. his reasoning to EJ was weak at best, maybe if it was the last race of the season and vettel had a shot at the title,then you could justify it. it will do nothing for team spirit thats a certainty

  12. I believe Webber SHOULD have retained his front wing, however, didn’t Seb have a new chassis? Assuming that it wasn’t identical to Webber’s, I can understand wanting to try all of the new parts together. But then, nobody from the Red Bull camp has mentioned THAT…

    1. No the chassis will be homologated under the rules and built to the same specification. Apparently the chassis Webber is using now is the one Vettel used until a couple of races ago, and has been repaired since then.

      1. So instead of “repairing” it for Seb, they give him a new one and then offload it to Mark. Egh. Too complex for my brain to handle. I’m not cut out for this team boss reasoning…

  13. Totally disgusting.

    Total Bias, no longer any doubt, you could maybe argue there wasn’t before this, but now it is obvious there is.

    I honestly hope Vettels wing fails again (safely).

    RBR will then get what they deserve.

    Come on Webber win this one.

    No respect for RBR from now on.

  14. If there was no time benefit to the new front wing, why bother introducing it at all?

  15. Red Bull will regret this disgraceful treatment they are dishing out to Webber. Credit to the man, he has taken it well. What a shame, tho – i hope Vettel fails to complete the race – and webber does well in it.

  16. fantastic :)
    another thing to hate abour rbr.
    I will pray for DNF for vet tomorrow, lol

  17. Sarcastic mode on.
    Surprising to see the Vettel bashing here, after all the uproar when Hamilton was being criticised for his actions or luck (from which ever side it came from). Oh wait, RBR are is to blame for being a Vettel-fan and not a Webber-fan. I wonder if McLaren also favour Button over Hamilton during the times Button won by magnificent strategic decisions. For some reason a former GB-discomfort comes to mind from the 1994-95 era. Don’t know why, though.
    Sarcastic mode off.
    Everyone have a great race tomorrow and enjoy the finals of the World Cup as well.

  18. Mark Webber is furious because he had to use the old front wing after the team gave his to Vettel.

    so there you have it.

    Mark is not happy about Vettel getting his new wing…

    Vettels new wing broke, and now he has Marks one…

    so those that thought it was ok for Mark to give it up and that Horner was right to take it off him with no consequences to follow, are going to see some in fighting over this i bet…
    give it to em Mark.

  19. This is the Austrian flexing his muscles. It clear this teams want vettell to win and will do what ever it takes. Webber is getting screwed plain and simple. Interesting to see what happens tommorrow when the wing breaks tommorrow, what wing will they put on.

    People will compare things with Schumi and Rubens at Ferrari but the reality is Schumi dominated Rubens, Vettel has not dominated webber it has been even all year. I got this funny feeling Mr Vettel will be pushed wide tommorro if webber get a run on him.

  20. The wing, as any other part of the car, is neither Vettel’s nor Webber’s. It is the team’s. I believed in this case they assessed the situation correctly. We are in the middle of the season and one of their drivers is much better positioned to compete for the championship. They have thrown all their resources towards winning this WDC. They have a driver (Webber) who is fast, inconsistent, and not a good race manager (to put it another way, makes silly errors and is hot-headed). They have another driver (Vettel) who is really fast, more consistent and a fair race manager (cool-headed, does not make silly mistakes, or at least not as many). Apparently, we have reached the point in the season where the team has made a decision as to who the #1 driver is, which is Vettel. Webber simply can’t be trusted. He crashed w/ Vettel 2 races ago, then crashed out of the last race, and the fault was all his. If you are going for that one precious WDC, for which you have thrown everything at it, and the kitchen sink, it makes every sense to give all the tools to the driver that can deliver the championship.

    1. About the wing, you are right, it is owned by the team.

      But stating vettel is much better positioned in the WDC when he got in front of Webber only after Webber flew off the track in Valencia and they have been as close as possible this year.

      About the mistakes and inconsistency, i see it with both, and Vettel’s race management and cool headedness is not something i see being there. Vettel crashed himself out and threw away a beautifull 1-2 in Turkey. And the team itself has made the most mistakes during pitstops and with tactics.

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