Red Bull began the weekend trying to put psychological pressure on McLaren’s drivers, saying the friendly relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button is purely for show.
Maybe it is, but there’s no hiding the growing animosity within the Red Bull camp as the team again found themselves accused of favouring Sebastian Vettel over Mark Webber.
|Sebastian Vettel||Mark Webber|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’29.615 (-0.143)||1’29.758|
|Average race lap||1’38.364 (+0.706)||1’37.658|
The controversy over Vettel being given a new front wing that had been taken off Webber’s car has been covered extensively in earlier articles.
And although the wound which destroyed Vettel’s race was inflicted not by Webber, but by the front wing of Lewis Hamilton’s car, it came as Vettel was straining to stay alongside his team mate who had out-accelerated him into the first corner.
A slow return to the pits for a new tyre condemned Vettel to finishing outside the points. His race was saved by the safety car, which cut his 83-second deficit to the leader to just ten.
He picked cars off quickly, including Felipe Massa at Club, then the likes of Jaime Alguersuari, Vitaly Petrov and Nico Hülkenberg who were less well-equipped to defend.
It took him ten laps to find a way past Adrian Sutil, finally barging his way down the inside at The Loop on the penultimate lap to salvage six points for seventh place.
Vettel squeezed Webber hard as the Australian made the best start but Webber said afterwards it hadn’t been a concern: “[There was] plenty of room, you could drive a bus down the middle.”
From then on his race was quite straightforward. He pulled away from Hamilton seemingly at will, only coming under pressure during the restart.
Despite having carried the day he had more sharp words for his team afterwards, accusingly describing his performance as “not bad for a number two”. Christian Horner replied “You can smile now”.
It’s going to take more than a cheesy PR photo to sort this one out. Despite having a 0.8s margin over their rivals in qualifying, Red Bull only reduced McLaren’s constructors’ championship lead by a single point.
2010 British Grand Prix
- Technical review: British Grand Prix
- Liuzzi explains hard tyre struggle
- Ten F1 fans’ stories from Silverstone
- 2010 British Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Was new Silverstone a success? (Poll)
- Alonso: we’ll catch Red Bull in Germany
- Michael wants Silverstone bumps eased
- Who was the best driver of the British Grand Prix weekend? (Poll)
- Both cars in points (Williams race review)
- Kobayashi takes sixth (Sauber race review)
Image (C) Red Bull/Getty images