Webber wins but team tensions hit new high (Red Bull race review)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2010

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 position 1 2
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’29.615 (-0.143) 1’29.758
Race position 7 1
Average race lap 1’38.364 (+0.706) 1’37.658
Laps 52/52 52/52
Pit stops 1 1

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Sebastian Vettel

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 H???lkenberg 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.

Compare Sebastian Vettel’s form against his team mate in 2010

Mark Webber

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.

Compare Mark Webber’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 British Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 British Grand Prix articles

Image (C) Red Bull/Getty images

149 comments on “Webber wins but team tensions hit new high (Red Bull race review)”

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  1. A lot of you don’t agree with my thoughts, this is all very subjective and I’m cool with that,

    ” Red Bull is screwing their driver’s camaradrie.” – Gagan

    ” That not bad for a #2 is pretty damning for team dynamics if in theory everyone is equal. ” – Namesis

    ” “Webber’s mechanics were said to have removed the ‘old’ front wing that Webber had been forced to race with and waved it at Vettel’s side of the garage” ” – Cunning Stunt 8

    ” I think RBR is managing this situation very poorly. As a result Mclaren is benefited immensely ” – Splint3r

    It does seem to be apparent that Vettel biased (and I know I am as much as I try not being… which I don’t do very well!) or Webber biased, RBR will loose the championship from their own undoing. The question is Can they solve it? When will they solve it? and How will they solve it?

    I might be wrong but wasn’t Alonso contracted for more then a year at Mclaren but after his feud’s with Hamilton he reduced it too one year? So will Vettel or Webber change?

    1. They can solve this by not showing favoritism to any driver. I think its fair to say that both drivers have a chance at the championship now so the RBR management should make decisions unbiased in any occasion from here on.

      For example put a coin toss to decide who gets the next upgrade?

      But if things go from bad to worse i believe RBR will back SV because he is young and has more potential than MW. So his contract may be stripped like FA with Mclaren.

    2. I don’t remember when i think it was after qualifiers and the front wing issue. Webber made some thinly veiled comments that if he had known he wasn’t going to be treated equal he wouldn’t have signed the contract for another year. Clearly RBR said all the right things at the time but he feels they have already gone back on that now.

      I am a Vettel fan but to me the obvious favouritism is embarrassing and divisive, Vettel is under the impression he is invincible and he’s taking impulsive risks that are not paying off.

      RBR should have this season in the bag but it is the fight off the track and not on it that is deciding the result – and they are handing it to McLaren and Christian Horner has his work cut out to sort this out and fast.

  2. rashid hasan
    12th July 2010, 7:14

    webber is right. period.

  3. I think we need to see past the Webber vs Vettel debate and look deeper into the decision process that lead to Vettel getting the new wing. Who made this decision? Was it Christian Horner alone? Or, as I suspect, was it a directive from Helmut Marko? This will be key to any discussions about 2011 contracts, or the breaking of them. I don’t actually believe that MW will quit – he is simply forcing Red Bull to make a public statement of support and hopefully put an end to #1/#2 driver talk.

    What is most intriguing is that the combination of Newey/Webber/Vettel is so impressive why would management do anything – no matter how small – to shake this? There are clearly personal agendas at play in the Red Bull management team and Webber, quite correctly, is now seeking to have these made known.

    1. According to SPEED, Horner said the order came direct from Matteschitz and that his hands were tied. Don’t know if that’s the case or not.

      1. First I’ve heard of that. Takes Horner’s feet out from underneath him if true…

      2. Heard the same thing. After Turkey, with Marko talking over Horner and speaking up for Vettel, it was clear that the shots are not being called in Milton-Keynes. If RBR wants to micro manage this, it will end badly. I’m starting to actually feel bad for Horner and starting to wonder just how much of race day operations is being run from Austria.

        Managing a closely-held soda corporation no more qualifies you to run an F1 team than it qualifies Coca Cola to start a communications satellite subsidiary—and then start kibbitzing about what part should go where from the board room. They need to back off and let the team do the job.

        1. HounslowBusGarage
          13th July 2010, 9:19

          Side question. Is Red Bull sold in Australia?

          1. it is, good with vodka I’m told

  4. You know, I don’t know if Webber has a beef as such with Vettel (off track that is, on track he’ll fight Seb every inch of the way). It seems to be more with team management and their not so subtle way of playing favourites with its two drivers.

    Webber’s comments of “Not bad for a number two driver” and “I would never have signed a contract for next year if I knew that this was the way it was going” probably won’t do him any favors with Red Bull team management privately (publicly I think they’ll do the usual “everything’s great” act). But I can’t see the team doing anything to sabotage Mark’s chances of winning the 2010 Drivers’ Championship. That would be like committing corporate suicide because doing so would also hurt their chance at the constructors title, especially with the 2 McLaren drivers scoring consistent podium and point finishes.

    Red Bull’s house might be a place of high tension right now but I can’t see it hurting them on track. It didn’t hurt Mclaren back in 1989 when Prost & Senna were in their feud and Prost was accusing the team (and especially engine supplier Honda) of favouring Senna. In that situation McLaren continued to decimate the field because both drivers were determined to win with what was clearly the best car. I think it might be the same at Red Bull, the difference being that I don’t think Webber has a problem on a personal level with Vettel, just team management.

  5. I guess the real question is who is doing the most on the set up of the Redbull cars . Is it Webber with his years of experience that is being relied on and is Vettel gaining from this knowledge in his cars set up.

    1. Yep, & Webber was quick to point out to James Allen after qualifying that Vettel’s side of the garage copied his setup this weekend, & that they have done this quite a few times…

  6. I thought Webber’s comment about lots of drivers offering him a new wing but not Seb, and Sebs comment after the race about seeing peoples true faces suggest they’re starting to have a personal problem as well now.

    1. I think the last few months has shown people’s true faces, Seb probably doesn’t realise the irony of the very comment he makes applying to him more so than anyone else.

  7. As I have said before – RBR team management is appalling – If they lose the title this year (driver or team) it is entirely the managements fault – Taking the wing off Webber’s car and giving it to Vettel was just idiotic – If their intention was to make it fair – they should have ditched the wing entirely or left it on Webber’s car (as it was his wing in the first place)

    Vettel lost out at the start – SO WHAT? He is not complaining! He realised that he had a bad start, tried to fight for position without driving into Webber, and threw himself into the grass when Webber drove his ‘overly aggressive’ line.

    For all the Vettel haters out there, I hope none of you like Schumi, Hamilton, Alonso either because they have all fought their teammates on track and arguably have all been favored by their teams at some point. IT IS THE NATURE OF THE SPORT! So stop whining and hating on Vettel. He is a great driver and will prove himself this year or the next. Webber is a gentleman and although I give him 1/2 the blame for Turkey, and all the blame for Valencia, he acted as any other driver would have at Silverstone.

    At this rate RBR will not win either championship. Horner deserves to be sacked for horrible team management.

    1. There’s only one time I really HATED Vettel for his character, and that was after Turkey. All other times, I disliked him because he was so damn quick, and I’m a huge Webber fan. Even after this incident, I was jumping for joy after the first corner – then immediately felt ashamed that I cheered Vettel’s misfortune. It’s not Seb who I’m angry with, it’s Horner / Marko / Mateschitz. I actually thought Seb handled himself just fine after this race – he was just disappointed in himself after his poor start, and it’s never easy to put into words when you’re bombarded by the media like that. Sure, I think he’s whiny, immature, and arrogant – but he IS a racing driver.

  8. Keith, on the redbull website there are some comments suggesting that Horner has been sacked, any substance to this from your angle?

    1. I doubt there is any truth to this – merely some Red Bull ‘fans’ declaring their feelings.

      To sack Horner at this or any stage would be akin to simply hitting the Red Bull self-destruct button!

      1. Yeah, I would hope not. He seems caught between a rock and a hard place at the moment.

        1. Yes I don’t think these decisions are down to Horner, I think his hands are tied. Getting rid of Horner would be the death nail for RBR this season.

  9. The real reason behind the Vettle,Webber battle.
    Vettel is threatening to leave Redbull at the end of 2010 if not given N0.1 status. His management already has an offer on the table from Ferrari to replace Massa at years end and is using it as leverage.
    Redbull are trying their best to accomodate Vettel to retain his services for a further 3 years unfortunatly at Webbers expence. Massa’s management is already talking to Renault to replace Petrov.
    For Mateschitz and Marko to loose Vettel with or without a title after funding his entire career would be seen as a major fumble

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      13th July 2010, 9:25

      Any sources for that, Zeke?

    2. That would be really explosive! Who is your secred source for this?

  10. Webber now leads Vettel in points and has stated that he now expects #1 treatment (or words to that effect) In other words if only one ‘better ‘ wing is available he, Webber should get it now because he has the points lead. Why therefore was he so miserable when the team gave the ‘better’ wing which happens to belong to the team and not Webber, to the points leader before the Silverstone race? Maybe the team were afraid MW would stuff the new wing up a Lotus exhaust due to poor overtaking judgement once again.

    1. You’ve got cause and effect mixed up. Webber said he expected to be given the better equipment next time around if only one item is available _because_ of how things were handled this time. But really, he did not see any reason for the wing to be taken off him in the first place.

    2. The point is, RBR have set a disasterous precedent by setting out a new team rule that the driver ahead in points gets dibs on new parts, to the extent of stripping the other car. Webber is basically stating that by the new rules, in Hockenheim he gets a go at Vettel’s car with a screw driver if he sees something he likes, and he is correct.

  11. An ex Australin Prime Minister once famously said “Balmain boys don’t cry”.
    Fast forward to 2010 “Queanbeyan boys don”t cry….they just shove it right up em “.

  12. This all comes down to corporate directors of Red Bull poking their noses in and making decisions thet Christian Horner should be making, Christian Horner has proved himself to be a splinless corporate sellout who has no power over the corporate cronies at Red Bull, if they say Vettel should have the wing then thats it, its pathetic and Red Bull will lose every championship even with the fastest car.

  13. Guys,

    i see you all discussing webber vs vettel and team mates rivalry but webber was done ver by the team not by Vettel and horner’s dcesion was logical not partial to anyone.

    However given the recent happening in turkey the action has a knck on effect getting webber to think vettel is being favoured.

    the decesion is like anything else like pit calls RBR do in a race, the carc leading has the first call when to make the stop. so same rules applied so i don’t know why webber is so upset. webber is doing a good job and he should continue to focus his efforts on his perfromance and not create a drift by being outspoken in the media. such actions are not required and dmaging to the team and sport.

    1. there is no way it was Horner decided to rip it off Vettels car and stick it on Webbers it was someone from higher up i am sure, Horner has more logic than that and you could see he was uncomfortable with the whole thing. i dont see how in any the it was logical, and how you can say that Vettel was not being preffered in any way, it was so blatant if it happened to someone like Alonso i could see him smashing his garage to peices and right hooking the team principal, Webbers reaction was less fiery than i expected.

    2. Hey Bob, I agree with you. Like I said earlier, I don’t think that Webber has a problem with Vettel as a person (he may question his character as a racer though after a few on-track incidents between the two). I think most of the beef is between Webber and team management (Christian Horner & Helmut Marko). Also agree that all the in-fighting isn’t good for the team or the sport and public comments like Mark’s post-race aren’t going to do anyone any favors. But hell, it makes it better for the fans :)

      As to Webber being upset, he had right to be since team management made the decision to take the new wing from his car to replace Seb’s broken one in the time between Q2 and Q3. Not good timing, especially as Mark was faster in Q2. It showed some favoritism toward one driver over the other. There was no reason behind the decision other than team management wanted Vettel to have the newer and supposedly better front wing rather than Webber.

      1. BBC commentator Martin Brundle said after Silverstone that he feels “uncomfortable for Horner” because he suspects he is receiving orders from the team’s German-speaking owners.

        Horner insisted: “Never, at any point, has pressure been placed on me to favour Sebastian because it’s better for selling cans of Red Bull.

        “I didn’t have a conversation with Helmut (Marko) or anyone from Red Bull regarding the decision to give Sebastian the wing. It was purely a technical decision, which I discussed with Adrian.”

        He also slammed reports that Webber’s mechanics taunted Vettel’s side of the garage by waving the old front wing at them as the team packed up the garage.

        “It’s ridiculous,” he said. “Our mechanics are completely for each other, irrelevant of the car crew.

  14. Considering before the weekend Red Bull were trying to stir up trouble between Hamilton and Button at McLaren, I found it quite funny that Red Bull were the ones who showed more divisions in their team.

  15. For a guy that had a reputation as such a nice and humble young driver Vettel has managed to shoot himself in the foot more times than I can remember over the last season and a half and is now getting a reputation as a petulant and dirty driver who can only overtake people in much slower cars.

    I can understand Mark’s reaction this weekend, it was bad enough when certain people inside Red Bull tried to make out it was Marks fault that Vettel had crashed into him a few races ago but now they’ve started taking new parts off his car to replace broken ones on Vettel’s and it is blatantly obvious that people in the team want Vettel to win, even at Mark’s expense.

    I personally hope that Webber wins this season and then leaves Red Bull for a team that will treat him with a bit of respect. He had an accident that would have had me in dire need of a new race suit two weeks ago and still turned up at Silverstone ready to race and then wiped the floor with everyone out there (even in a reject of a tub with an old style front wing).

    1. “Vettel has managed to shoot himself in the foot more times than I can remember over the last season and a half and is now getting a reputation as a petulant and dirty driver who can only overtake people in much slower cars”

      I couldn’t agree more, his pr people need to act fast to turn around this growing public perception mentioned above. Right here and now I am struggling to think of a decent pass he has made on a car that wasn’t much slower than he was or that he didn’t make contact with to make it stick..

  16. I can’t believe how blatant Vettell was at the start trying to block his teamate before the first corner. He came across and tried to block him. He has no respect and I’m so glad Webber got him. Go the Aussie!

    1. Vettel is an up and coming driver,there will be plenty of teams who would love to have him come next year.I don’t think rivalry within a team is a bad thing in F1,after all if it is made too cosy and safe it will get mightily boring.
      I still preferred the F1’s of the 1980’s & 1990’s as that was edge to edge racing,Mansell,Senna,Prost,Schumacher – those were the REAL race days.
      Too much red tape now,too many rules tying the drivers in knots,not enough risk taking out of fear of being penalised.Ask Alonso about it!!!!

    2. Well said..!!! We are starting to see more and more of this side to Vettel and I must say I’m not as much of a Vettel fan as i once was.. Sure he is fast but can he race..?

    3. I dont see what you didnt like about Vettel’s move off the start line. He was racing for the lead. He tried to make it as hard for Webber as possible in an effort to maintain his position. Webber gave Vettel some room but kept his foot down so the block didnt work. No one crashed. So IMO good exciting racing from both drivers (and Hamilton too).

  17. I think that really everything is hunky dory at Red Bull, this is all just smoke and mirrors…

    1. Unlikely, very very unlikely..

  18. Nice race from him.It is vindication from him.
    I am betting him taking the drivers championship from Vettel & Hamilton 3rd.

  19. Championship appears to be between Hamilton & Webber so why doesn’t Vettel stop acting like a little kid and spoil Red Bull getting drivers and constructors championship. then again the team are also helping this.

  20. Webber is going to have a hard time next year with Red Bull even if he’s driving the car with number 1 on it next year. evidence 1: Turkey evidence 2: Britain. When is Horner and co going to admit they are favouring Vettel. Horner & Newey looked so excited on the pit wall when Webber was in the lead and Vettel was coming last at the British GP.

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