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. Jesse said on 11th July 2010, 10:21

    What about when Red Bull made Vettel wait in line to pit behind Webber in China? And Vettel was ahead in points at that time. Or are we ignoring inconvenient facts at this point?

    Shouldn’t you be wasting your energy on the “conserve fuel” calls that are mysteriously made when team mates are battling? It is not against the rules to send one driver out in better equipment. It IS against the rules to use team orders to coordinate the order of a finish. These calls are being made and are a far larger controversy than equipment bias.

  2. Well its not different than last year when Hamilton got the new upgrades and Hekki was left back. Why did the media not a big thing out of that.
    All I am trying to say why do we look at situations in a different manner when it is a British driver.

    • Osiris said on 11th July 2010, 10:27

      @AK: Did McLaren unbolt the upgrades from Heikki’s car and fit them onto LH’s? A bit of perspective is in order.

      • THe point i was trying to make it that favoritism happens in every top f1 team, why is it attacked in a different manner depending on the driver. I am not trying to justify what Redbull have done.

      • nelly said on 11th July 2010, 10:56

        I don’t think its to do with whether a driver is British or not. Lewis tried out upgrades when Heikki didn’t because, arguably, he is the better driver. He showed that in 08. He probably gets to grips with them better too. But as well he had more points in 09 (correct me if I’m wrong). Plus then, I think Mclaren knew they weren’t going to be vying for either championship anymore so it was less important anyway.
        Although saying that, it still is a bit unfair. If Ferrari weren’t in the championship hunt anymore I wouldn’t expect them to give Alonso priority of testing parts out over Felipe.

        • YES It doesn’t matter i the driver is British or not to the Team, there only interest is who is going to get them championship, sponsorship, bottom line revenue.
          its the media that i meant treats the situation differently depending on the driver.
          I used to hate Ferrari during MS days due to favouritism. But looking at the way the media is bent on showing him down and keep attacking him in the name of “Objective Reporting”. I feel sorry for the guy and feel the need to support him
          On the other hand… I can see Hamilton is a gr8 talent and have nothing against him, but with the media just going on about Hamilton all the time … can’t get myself to support him

      • Jesse said on 11th July 2010, 11:01

        Perspective is right. You’re really searching for a crime here. You are just exposing your knowledge of the sport by claiming parts never swap between cars.

  3. Ak,

    Whilst I agree there is favouritism in other teams, this is usually for the driver who is much higher in points than his team mate. It is evident after Turkey and yesterday’s wing decision, RB clearly favours Vettel, which, in my opinion is totally unjustified because both drivers are very close in points and Vettel lost his wing, so he should suffer the consequences. If one messes up, it is not right for another to pay the penalty. I hope there’s poetic justice and the new wing falls off. Also, Christian Horner is full of bull and is really at home at Red Bull. Like last year, they will mess up and will not win this year’s championship!

  4. Darren said on 11th July 2010, 12:43

    Just saw an interview with Mark post-quali and he gave an explanation about how Seb got his front wing. Yes it was an explanation ,but no he didn’t hide the fact that he was unhappy with the situation, you could read it on his face. He later said he’d spoken to Mark Waugh (ex aussie cricket captn) who told him ‘Aussies perform well when we are the underdogs’ and Mark agreed.

  5. YES! this is what is meant by what goes around comes around. Taking Webber’s wing probably had cursed VET.WOOT. I LOVE THAT MAN. FIRST TO LAST WITHIN 1 LAP

  6. Hahaha, hmm, im trying to imply that well, this is an irony,.. Really, and in a way, they are cursed ain’t they? lost a 1-2, and lost chance to close gap to Mclaren when they are supposedly weak. So, can you imagine what will happen if lets say Mclaren gets the diffuser package and exhaust pipes done by germany? RED BULL will really face a bigger challenge from MCLAREN. So,

    once again. classic theory of RBR and Christian Horner Failing to captialize on their maximum potential.

  7. Pablo said on 11th July 2010, 16:53

    Divine justice… :):):):):)

  8. Nick said on 11th July 2010, 18:28

    webber should just stop whining.

    • simon. said on 12th July 2010, 0:18

      I think you mean Webber should just stop winning – certainly seems to be what Red Bull want.

      How many more times can RB underestimate Webber? We know Dr Marko wants his golden boy to win, but is he really prepared to cost the team the constructors titles, and potentially the drivers, with stupid decisions. Oh well, I guess this means Webber will now be favoured as he is leading Vettel. *coughs*

    • RaulZ said on 12th July 2010, 11:47

      Stop saying that all the time. What about justice? why can not the people complain when things are not right?

      What kind of thing dou you have inside your head to think that when somebody hurts you, you should shut up and be prepared for another hit?

      You have to think about why the pilots that are allways whining are experienced pilots and why those who have benefits are silly and unexperienced boys.

  9. PJA said on 12th July 2010, 18:11

    I think Webber should have kept the front wing.

    When I first heard that they ran different front wings in qualifying because they only had one available, I thought someone has to have it and it was reasonable to choose Vettel.

    However when I found out that Red Bull had actually taken the front wing off of Webber’s car to put on Vettel’s car after his had failed in FP3, it changed my opinion.

    Only having an update available for one driver is something that happens in F1, but to take the update off of one driver to give to the other driver when they are so close in the championship does come across a bit as favouritism.

  10. F1withMySon said on 12th July 2010, 19:01

    I have removed the Vettel wallpaper photo on my iPhone and have replaced it with one of Webber. That is all.

  11. @F1withMySon – that’s gold

    Being an Aussie, I’m biased, but a few things have been standing out to me.

    1. Webber being labelled a whinger – While I think he’s been vocal, for sure, I can’t see any driver acting any differently after the series of hits he’s taken. And, if someone took my wing, that was worth a 10th or so, and I was out-qualified by that much, I’d do my nut. Totally. I’ve seen Alonso look like an Italian soccer player over all sorts of things – imagine what he’d be like if someone pinched his new wing!

    2. Re: ‘#1, #2′ driver situation. I just read that Webber earns 5 million pounds, Vettel 10 million. Well, there’s a ROI demanded from the situation and right there I see the internal RB need to promote Vettel. And in my mind, Webber will never rise about a team’s ‘lesser’ investment in him to over take a ‘bigger’ investment. I think it sucks, but you can’t deny the dollars.

    The fact that Mark is a very good driver is the problem. Ironically, and it just got me going to see Horner all like “Mark should be grateful we’ve given him such a fast car at all” – heck, Mark’s been there at RB for how many years trying to build that team???

    Now, reading that Vettel’s only response so far is, “I have my own opinion but that’s for myself”. Pretty poor when he’s the one who was gifted the wing and has nothing to say. He could have even said, ‘It must have been hard for Mark but the data showed not a big difference and….’ ok, now that I think about it, there’s little he could have said to make that situation right. Fair call keeping his mouth shut. Anything he says will look condescending, trite and only make the situation worse.

    All I can hope is that Mark keeps playing hard ball and mind tight and doesn’t throw any races and I think he could be a WC. Unless RB does go ahead and give him that Punto.

  12. James said on 15th July 2010, 6:05

    This is yet again the wonder kid getting whatever he wants.
    The argument that he is in front in the World Championship is simply nonsense. He is only in front of Webber because his petulance cost Webber a win and Red Bull lots of points in Turkey.
    The fact of the matter – Webber proved he is the better driver by winning the race easily while Vettel floundered.
    Vettel might be young and talented – but if he keeps thinking he is bigger than the sport, and Red Bull keep treating him as though he is, I think it will all backfire for them.
    Red Bull have a very special competitor in Webber and should start to treat him with the respect he is due.

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