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. Guilherme Teixeira said on 10th July 2010, 17:27

    Vettel’s front wing? Webber’s front wing? The way I see it, it is *RBR’s* front wing, and they decide what they want to do with it and who is going to use it if there is only one available. Please remember that this is a team sport, not and individual one, and if the team thinks that giving the front wing to one driver instead of the other will bring them (the team) a advantage at the race, then it has the right to do so. We have seen this happening countless times in the past, and this will not be the last time we will see it. But since an anti-Vettel army has formed since Turkey, it was innevitable that such a decision would attract controversy…

    But now people, just think as a team principal. Forget whom you support, or whom do you think was at fault for the crash or whatever. You have one front wing for two drivers. You give it to the driver who higher on the standings or to the one who is at a lower position? It really seems quite logical to me – I’d give it to the one who is in front on the standings, regardless who was using the front wing on free practice.

    And finally, given how they were closely matched on qualifying, I don’t think this front wing makes much of a difference…

    • Dougie (@f1droid) said on 10th July 2010, 17:43

      And finally, given how they were closely matched on qualifying, I don’t think this front wing makes much of a difference…

      For sure, the front wing was only giving an advantage of say 0.1 of a second… err… hold on… then that would mean that Webber is on Pole.

      It makes all the difference. RBR suck as a team, I used to rate them highly, now they are the lowest of the low. Simple.

      • Guilherme Teixeira said on 10th July 2010, 18:02

        How do you know that Seb’s wing has a 0.1secs of advantage over Mark’s? I haven’t seen any figures around… do you work with Newey by the way…?

        Now everyting Red Bull does will sound like favouritism towards Vettel. Well, that’s just what the press wanted…

        • Dougie (@f1droid) said on 10th July 2010, 18:13

          Funnily enough… I have no idea how much of a difference the wing makes. LOL!! You’re response is hilarious!

          I was just using the small amount of time, that 0.1 of a second is, as an example to show how much even a small amount of difference can make.

    • Toby Bushby said on 11th July 2010, 2:04

      “You give it to the driver who higher on the standings or to the one who is at a lower position? It really seems quite logical to me – I’d give it to the one who is in front on the standings, regardless who was using the front wing on free practice.”

      And a good part of the reason one is in a lower position than the other is because the other took out the one in a previous race. In fact, the same race that arguably is responsible for the team being behind in both Championships. But he’s still obviously the guy you’d give the wing to, right?

      • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 11th July 2010, 11:14

        “And a good part of the reason one is in a lower position than the other is because the other took out the one in a previous race. ”

        If you’re referring to Webber than that isn’t true. Webber gained more points on Seb that race by Seb being unable to finish than if they had trundled home in a 1-2

  2. Steph90 (@steph90) said on 10th July 2010, 17:37

    To be fair, they were so far ahead this weekend I doubt it would have mattered so the fair but perhaps stupid route would be neither.

    However, Vettel’s ahead so give it to him. It isn’t perhaps the mroal thing but it is how to win. It’s short sighted though and risks annoying the other driver greatly as well as your own fanbase. It may be worth it in the short term but if this situation isn’t managed right then it’ll harm them more in the long run. For Mark though, I feel sympathetic.

  3. silencer said on 10th July 2010, 17:53

    it is clear that Vettel is their long term investment

    pity goes to webber but hope he don’t lose his head on the track tomorrow otherwise Lotus is always there to make he flying without wings

  4. “Mark knows the way we operate as a team. He knows that with that decision there was no malice behind it. There was no manipulation. It was purely that we found ourselves with a single component and, from a team point of view, some days I have to make difficult decisions.” — This is from Christian Horner’s comments. (Taken from autosport)

    Issue here is, why Doesnt VETTEL know the way RBR operate as a team? And Horner, R u sure WEB knows theres wasnt any malice behind it, if not why is he shaming all of you in front of media?

    Also he says ” We found ourselves with a single component”- This doesnt Explain anything?! If you say you have no WINgs left at all, fair enough, but why cant VET use WEB’s older spec wing?

    And point to note , “I have to make difficult decisions” seems too much like a media statement. Instead, he should probably phrase it as ” oh, a decision take took less than a second”.

    Christian Horner is No where near a good team principal or if he wants to be biased towards his driver,i guess he needs to think before he speaks. Great examples of cunning , yet clever principals include Ron Dennis & Jean Todt.

    Well, Horner will throw both RBR championships sooner or later out of their own window. It wont take long before Mclaren & Ferrari Challenges them real soon.

  5. W-K said on 10th July 2010, 18:04

    Maybe the teams should be forced to ID all items, as is done with engines, gearboxes and tyres, as belonging to a specific car/driver.

    My opinion on the front wing, is that it doesn’t matter whether it is the driver or his engineer(s) that damage an item, it is still that (sub)team and they, the (sub)team should suffer the consequences.

  6. Palle said on 10th July 2010, 18:06

    Webber and Vettel don’t own the cars, their employer does. The two drivers clearly forgot this in Turkey, Webber more so than Vettel, because he, despite being reasonably slower, drove so defensively against his teammate, that they had an accident. I think Horner is just stating a point to the drivers: I’m the Boss – not You! And this message is not being accepted by the 75% majority of the fans on this site. It is perhaps not a smart move, neither from a marketing or team management point of view.

    • Brake BIAS said on 11th July 2010, 2:15

      Palle, in Turkwey, why was Webber ordered to turn his engine down & vettel was not? vettel moved into Webber, not the other way around – go watch the replays boy. Maybe RBR should start listening to the fans as CH keeps stating there is no favouritism between their drivers, yet the actions of the team seem to indicate otherwise is costing them a percentage of their fanbase.

  7. LeighJW said on 10th July 2010, 18:21

    My mother once bought my father two ties for Christmas. Later in the day he came downstairs wearing one of the ties. She asked him ‘what’s the matter, don’t you like the other one?’

    This poll is the same pointless question!

  8. xabregas said on 10th July 2010, 18:22

    Now i know why Ferrari and Mclaren don´t have those kind of problems, Massa and Button can´t even get close to their team mates, they bring home some good points and don´t mess with them, that´s a lesson Red Bull should learn.
    You can´t have 2 drivers fighting for the same spot and favoring one of them. Last time Red Bull went into problem, Mclaren brought home a victory, maybe tomorrow will be Ferrari the beneficiary.
    Maybe it´s time for Webber start doing his bags and surch another team to drive, he will get nothing from this one.
    He must be really p… off (i would be ).

  9. John Cousins said on 10th July 2010, 18:26

    Tough one… As I have said before, I am a huge fan of Mark. He’s a no-nonsense mature driver who just does his job well. A real man’s man not a pretty boy/metro-sexual. He has proven to be very very fast and while I think his raw speed may be slightly slower than Seb, his wheel work and general style seems much smoother than his team mate. We have all seen time and time again what happens when Mark moves away from his smooth style and tries to get aggressive. A wise man once said that mechanical sympathy is an important part of any racing driver and perhaps this is the reason for Sebastian’s poor reliability? Of course I have no way of proving this, it is just my opinion but it is for this reason that I believe that Mark should have kepth the wing… He didn’t break his…

    Just a quick question though as I am unclear on one thing… Did Mark qualify with the new wing, or did he just do practise with the new wing?

    • xabregas said on 10th July 2010, 18:38

      I think Webber tryed the new wing in practise and didn´t used it in qualifying because it went to Vetell´s

  10. Mole said on 10th July 2010, 18:42

    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)

    • xabregas said on 10th July 2010, 18:49

      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

  11. Spaljc said on 10th July 2010, 18:50

    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!

  12. Kate said on 10th July 2010, 18:58

    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:
    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2010/07/red-bull-wing-controversy-a-decision-that-didnt-need-to-be-taken/

    Make what you will of that.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th July 2010, 20:28

      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 :-)

      • Kate said on 10th July 2010, 21:05

        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

      • DaveW said on 11th July 2010, 1:07

        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.

    • Patrickl said on 10th July 2010, 20:45

      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”

      http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2010/7/11011.html

  13. nruns said on 10th July 2010, 19:04

    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 … ;)

  14. Butler258 said on 10th July 2010, 19:10

    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.

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