Disaster as drivers retire from first and second places (Red Bull race review)

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Korea, 2010

The Korean Grand Prix ended with one RB6 caked in mud and another in fire extinguisher foam.

This couldn’t have been a more crushing result for Red Bull.

Having annexed the front row of the grid for the eighth time this year they came away with nothing after a crash and a blown engine.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 1 2
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’35.585 (-0.074) 1’35.659
Race position
Laps 45/55 18/55
Pit stops 1 0

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Sebastian Vettel

Looked out of sorts in practice, hampered by a puncture in the second session and struggling in traffic on Saturday morning.

But it all came together in qualifying where he edged Webber by a tiny margin to claim his ninth pole position of 2010.

Pulled out a 2.8 second lead in the first lap of the race, though his advantage was erased by the return of the safety car. When the safety car came out for a third time he had a 5.7 second lead over Fernando Alonso.

He led every lap until the 46th tour, when his Renault engine died as he passed the pits:

This is not a nice moment, but I think it was a difficult race for all of us today. To be at the front of the field for the whole race, controlling it and looking after the tyres, I think there?s nothing more we could have done.

All in all we did an almost perfect job today and also yesterday in qualifying. It was getting dark towards the end of the race; I had a medium visor on my helmet and it was hard to see some of the bumps on the track or the reference for braking, but the guys finished the race so there must have been some visibility.
Sebastian Vettel

It’s the latest in a string of car problems for Vettel in races and qualifying, which also compromised his performance in Bahrain, Australia, Spain, Canada and Turkey. The team confirmed the unit he was using was on its third race.

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

Mark Webber

Headed Vettel in Q2 but had the tables turned on him in Q3, leaving him second on the grid.

Crashed out on lap 19 resulting in his first no-score since the European Grand Prix and losing the championship lead to Alonso:

It was totally my fault, I got on the kerb on the exit of Turn 12 and it was a very slow-motion moment off the back of that kerb ?ǣ it was my mistake and it wasn?t my day.

I thought I?d managed to catch it, but I lost the car and made contact with the wall, nothing too heavy, but it was enough to bring the car back to the other side of the track and then Nico hit me, which wrecked his race as well.

Conditions were okay by the time we were racing ?ǣ on the edge, but okay.
Mark Webber

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

2010 Korean Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Korean Grand Prix articles

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78 comments on Disaster as drivers retire from first and second places (Red Bull race review)

  1. Megawatt_Herring said on 25th October 2010, 17:11

    The broblem with red bull is that they seem to reach their peek on saturday, after that it all seems to go downhill. Although drivers aside they are looking very strong to win the constructers title.

    • Dianna said on 25th October 2010, 19:02

      @ Megawatt..Well if what you say is true then all the more reason that they should not win the constructors title.
      No point in constructing a car that can only be dependable on short bursts of speed.

      I would rather trust a Maclaren or a Mercedes,at least their cars are built for stamina and plenty of straightline speed — and those engines keep going to the end of the race.
      So if RB win this the title is meaningless.

      • Megawatt_Herring said on 25th October 2010, 20:30

        Not all of the problems red bull has had on the Sunday has been the car, there have been planty of driver errors such as Turkey and velencia, being the first two that spring to mind.

        Also the red bulls cars are reliable enough to finish otherwise they wouldn’t have any points and in my opinion “Any car which holds together for a whole race is too heavy.” quote from Colin Chapman.

        Lastly if they do win the constructors then they will have shown to have the best balance between reliability and speed out of all the other teams.

        • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 25th October 2010, 22:31

          If they win the Constructors Chapmionship it’s because they have the most points. :)

          • baracca said on 25th October 2010, 23:47

            COTD please!!

            or like somebody said (who? I can’t remember) “winning a football match is the easiest thing in the world. All you have to do is score more goals than the opposition”

          • Dianna said on 26th October 2010, 20:02

            Well perhaps the Constructors Championship point system needs a new evaluation overhaul.

  2. Alonso’s comments about not needing to upgrade his car any further spring to mind.

    RBR should have walked away with both championships by now. If you take those statistics and apply them to the remaining races, he’s was expecting a race like this for them.

    • chemakal said on 25th October 2010, 20:14

      when did alonso say that??

    • Alistair said on 26th October 2010, 20:25

      Alonso says that; but Ferrari have continued to bring some decent upgrades to the car at pretty much every race since Alonso made that comment! Unlike Mclaren, Ferrari’s updates have worked straight away, pretty much. I was expecting more from McLaren and their famous rate of development…

  3. sumedh said on 25th October 2010, 17:33

    I think Korea should put an end to the debate of whether Mark Webber is really a top-level driver.

    He has had the fastest car, and has had no mechanical retirements, just 1 5-place penalty at Canada. But he still isn’t leading the championship.

    I agree that Vettel is not the best overtaker, and his mistakes in Turkey and Belgium were really amateur errors. But still, Vettel is the better of the 2 Red Bull drivers, and deserves a more reliable car. Or is Vettel the reason for his high number of failures, this Vettel-Red Bull-Newey partnership is now looking eerily similar to Kimi-Mclaren-Newey partnership back in 2003-2005.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 25th October 2010, 18:15

      ah… yeah, we alrady forgot about Monaco =)

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th October 2010, 18:46

        That and Spain appear to be the exceptions, seeing how those might have been the only races where he hasn’t been passed by half of the field by turn 1.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 25th October 2010, 19:48

      Vettel lost much more points due to dumb driver errors than Webber. Besides Spa Turkey, there are also Hungary (failing to stay awake behind the safety car) and Silverstone (where his frantic actions after the start landed him a puncture).

    • DaveW said on 25th October 2010, 20:12

      They Newey-Kimi thing is interesting. Back then, the Mercedes motor was blowing up every five minutes (when it wasn’t some odd little niggle like the REAR WING FLYING OFF). Now, it’s that poor Renault motor seems to be the achilles heel again. Could it be that Newey’s radical packagding is not engine-friendly? Renault should just come out and say that Newey’s tricks have voided the warranty and they should not come out and apologize for future failures.

    • baracca said on 26th October 2010, 0:02

      I like Mark, he is a good consistent driver but hardly brilliant/aggressive enough for a WDC. He still might get it this year, but only because he landed in a car clearly superior to all the rest, and his teammate (though clearly faster) is too unlucky and has made some major mistakes on top of that.

      Too bad for him if he finally doesn’t get it this year. Because time is rumning out for him and he might not get another chance.

    • JuanFanger said on 26th October 2010, 8:55

      Korea should put an end to the debate of whether Mark Webber is really a top-level driver just like Spa put an end to the debate of whether Fernando Alonso is really a top-level driver.
      They all make mistakes, and as someone else has already pointed out Webber doesn’t make as many as Vettel.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 26th October 2010, 9:17

        “Spa put an end to whether Fernando Alonso is really a top level driver.”

        Would love to hear the verdict on Alonso after Spa. So Juan… are you saying Fernando Alonso is not a top level driver???

        • JuanFanger said on 26th October 2010, 12:02

          Without doubt Alonso is a top level driver and if I had to rank the current lot I would probably put him avante.

          • Alistair said on 26th October 2010, 20:28

            I suggest that you watch the 2007 season review, JuanFanger. Take note of the reigning double-world champion at the peak of his powers; and his young rookie teammate, who’s learning the tracks.

  4. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 25th October 2010, 17:45

    Korea should be more of a positive influence on Webber than Vettel, I think. Webber should get a kick up the backside and I think will bounce back strongly in Brazil.

    As for Vettel, he surely must be thinking that its just not his year now. On the other hand, he now has absolutely nothing to lose now.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 25th October 2010, 21:08

      On the other hand though Korea will have damaged Webber’s confidence, whereas Vettel should only feel great about his driving and know that he did everything he could. I would expect Vettel to bounce back in Brazil more so than Webber.

      • Tommy C (@tommy-c) said on 25th October 2010, 22:13

        if valencia didn’t damage webber’s confidence, i don’t think this will. he’s tough, man enough to accept the mistake and move on. he’ll be right up there in brazil.

  5. Not a huge Red Bull fan but anyone who can knock Alonso off from the top of the leader board is welcome to do so. Disappointed that Vettel’s engine blew up, I really thought he could win the championship from there. I understand the British public don’t like him that much (very much the media’s fault in my opinion – Schumacher comparisons and crashing in to golden boy at Spa didn’t help) but if it wasn’t for the 60+ points taken away from him due to reliability problems, he would be running away with it!
    He may not be my favourite but I really couldn’t help but feel sorry for him because he is a great (developing) driver. Up there with Hamilton. Better luck next year mate.

  6. I felt really sorry for Seb. He put in a brillaint performance in the race and qualifying despite the conditions on Sunday and his troubles during practice.

    I actually also felt a lot of sympathy for Mark. It was his mistake 100% but in the wet when it’s so tricky it’s so easy to do. Alonso made a very simialr mistake at Spa and that really hurt so I’m sorry to all the Webber fans who ahd to watch. Obviously it was worse for Seb who didn’t put a foot wrong at all and had the win taken from him.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 25th October 2010, 21:16

      Yep. I felt terrible for both of them. Before the race I’d said I wanted to see a DNF from Webber in the interest of tightening the championship back up, but when it happened I felt awful for him.

      • JT19 (@jt19) said on 28th October 2010, 0:19

        Wow, I loved it!! the only guys who reveled in the 2 red bulls not finishing were the ferrari guys, mclaren guys and me!! i was sitting in my bed saying to myself over and over again, “mark get out the car, get out the car!” As soon as he did, excitement to myself was an understatement. Sorry Mark

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 26th October 2010, 2:06

      I felt sorry for both drivers too, but I also (strangely) felt a little bit of satisfaction when Webber retired because it lost him his points lead, hence tightening the championship. And then when Vettel retired I could not believe his luck, but then I thought of how much this will help Hamilton and immediately I thought; “well, if the two Red Bulls have to retire once this season, let this be it and the last time too.” Now we have a much tighter 4 way battle for the championship, but ideally we need Vettel to win from Hamilton in Brazil. And then we can have Mark win the championship in Abu Dhabi! (The perfect season…)

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 26th October 2010, 9:29

      U gotta feel sorry for Sebastian, after a couple of stupid driver errors, the media started turning on him, but in the last 4 races he just put his head down and has outclassed his teammate on the track. If it wasn’t for a ridiculously large number of mechanical problems that came at the worst possible time for him, he would have sealed the championship by now.

      Mark on the other hand, I have no sympathy for. After driving an RB6 with no major reliability problems all year, he still has managed to blow his lead in the WDC. His drives in Australia, Valencia and Korea have convinced me that he is not WDC material, and I would much rather see Alonso, Vettel or Hamilton take it from him.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th October 2010, 9:33

        the media started turning on him

        Plenty of fans did too.

      • Alistair said on 26th October 2010, 20:33

        I’ve never rated Vettel as one of the very best. The masses took to him too soon. They underestimated the performance of his Newey-designed Ferrari-engined STR. They overestimated the performance of his team-mate. Perhaps, like Bernie who’s only interested in the show, they were desperate to highlight someone other than Hamilton, who, as a rookie, had just dispatched his reigning double world champion team-mate. But Hamilton is the King of F1.

  7. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 25th October 2010, 18:20

    The champ was over had Sebastian managed to win the race.

    As it is, it’s a much better situation for Webber right now than before, even with the 11 point gap to Alonso.

    It’s a lot more difficult to beat Seb who’s driving the same machinery who’s also, lets face it, faster than Mark.

    Mark should be “reasonably happy” after all. This kind of mistake is not uncommmon, it was just badly timed.

  8. xabregas said on 25th October 2010, 18:48

    At least, for now, red bull will take the constructor´s championship which is very good, shows they have the best car out there and 2 really good drivers.
    But what i´m looking for in red bull is what strategy are they going to play for the next races, puting all the eggs in webber´s basket or give a chance to both of the drivers to win the driver´s title ??
    Going to be interesting!!
    My oipnion is that if they stand now against team orders like they usually say, this championship is going to end up like 2007 if alonso doesn´t have mecanical issues with his ferrari.

  9. It is the first time that I see a Formula One car in that state. It was a complete shame the result for RedBull, fortunately, for them, there are two races left. And Alonso, well, for me he didn’t win the race, he just found the first place based on incidents during the race.

  10. F1iLike said on 25th October 2010, 19:10

    And also in Spain and Monaco Vettel’s chassis was defective and that’s most likely the reason Webber had the upper hand at those tracks since once he got a new one he was right back comfortably in font of Webber.
    It’s just insane he’s gotten such bad components. It’s Kimi Raikkonen all over again..

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 25th October 2010, 19:52

      Vettel didn;t have the upper hand after he gotten his new chassis. Turkey, Webber was leading. Canada, Webber was faster in qualifying but got a grid penalty.

      It wasn’t until Valencia when Vettel managed to outqualify Webber by a whopping 7 hundreths of a second and then go on to win the race that he finally got “the upper hand”.

      And then Vettel whacked by the stupid stick in Silverstone, Hungary and Spa …

  11. Jelle van der Meer said on 25th October 2010, 20:13

    I actually think that Red Bull is to blame for the blown engine, WHY use an engine for 3rd time considering that there are 2 long straights which would have certainly be their weakness in a dry (as expected) race?

    They gave Webber a fresh engine, why not give Vettel an engine that was only used once, why take the risk when you have a spare engine?

    It is a real shame for Vettel he has lost 63 points in 3 races he was comfertable leading due to mechanical failure, (Bahrain – 4th, Australia retired and Korea retired).

    • Aussie Fan said on 26th October 2010, 7:43

      Bbecause he doesn’t have enough engines left, & Webber does. All things that alot of people don’t think about when they make rash judgements on why one teammate is faster than the other on occasion.

      Not many people seem to consider other variables like engine wear, fuel maps or whether or not people may be playing the championship game, rather than just needing to go for the fastest lap every race.

      At the end of the season we will see whom deserves to be world champion, for taht person WILL be world champion. Until then all this is pure speculation.

  12. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 25th October 2010, 20:56

    I’m actually not surprised about Red Bull’s engine troubles. Remember Valencia last year when Vettel had 2 fail on him in the same weekend?

    Something is not right with the installation of that engine, Renault don’t seem to have nearly as many problems. After all Horner’s smokescreen attacks on the power deficit maybe he should focus more on what they do with the engines once they get them.

    Red Bull should get the constructors’ championship because they really have made the best car. As far as the drivers’ championship goes though…let’s say my enthusiasm for Webber’s chances is currently running on sentimentality rather than awe of his performances (of which he has had many but are falling on average).

    • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 25th October 2010, 22:50

      There are certainly a few people on the forum that are wondering what Red Bull are doing with the Renault engine.

      RE: Webber, I sometimes wonder if he is the kind of person that has to be the underdog to motivate himself to get the best out of himself and his car. Maybe he really doesn’t like being on top.

      • About Webber being the underdog, I agree very much.
        In a way, I suspect he’s slightly relieved that he’s no longer leading the championship. This gives him a chance to release that little bit of tension behind the wheel and really attack. That’s what he’s good at.

      • Alistair said on 26th October 2010, 20:37

        Webber’s simply not used to winning. He’s never been in a top team before; and that Red Bull is now a top team is surely as much a shock to him as it is to everyone else. He doesn’t know how to cope with the pressure. He’s driving a car that’s as good as anything Schumi had in his career relative to the opposition….

  13. bigredbears10 (@bigredbears10) said on 25th October 2010, 21:00

    i’d be really curious to see a few photos or a video of Webber immediately after Seb’s engine gave out…

  14. I was a Webber fan until he bottled it. I’m sure he went into this race feeling the pressure to perform and to gain back the momentun he had earlier in the season. Maybe now that he’s chasing, he’ll do better but Alsonso is too good to just give it away easily.

    I would still like him to win the championship but if he doesn’t this year, that’s it for him. He’ll be No2 driver at Red Bull next year, no doubt. If RBR put their eggs in the Webber basket (e.g. giving him the win in Japan and 2nd in Singapore) he’d have it practically sewn up by now.

    • Robert said on 27th October 2010, 23:16

      “was a Webber fan until he bottled it.”

      That sums up too many of the people on this site.. wannabe sports psychologists and turncoats.

  15. Mr draw said on 25th October 2010, 21:54

    As always, Red Bull failed miserably. Red Bull may win the constructor’s championship, but since they refuse to “favour one driver”, they won’t win the driver’s championship. Sadly but true. Alonso is laughing his ass off.

    • Palle said on 25th October 2010, 22:38

      RBR is just following the rules, as most teams, except Ferrari, who – IMO – should have had both their drivers Black-flagged in Germany…With 25 points of Alonso’s acount – and more to the others, the tension would also have been tighter now.

      • xabregas said on 25th October 2010, 23:57

        I´m much more curious to know what´s going to be red bull´s strategy.
        They ( red bull ) should really listen to you, that way, they won´t loose their integrity in there speech, but still loose the championship.
        The problem is, they don´t listen to you or remenber what was their beautiful speech after germany, doesn´t suit their situation anymore.

        • baracca said on 26th October 2010, 0:25

          Red Bull can afford to lose the WDC but they need to be perceived as nice. It is quite different in Ferrari.

          Winning the WDC is Ferrari’s raison d’etre. If their tactics are perceived as too harsh, they don’t give a hoot.

          RBR are a part of RB, a company that sells energy drinks. Having a great F1 team is good promotion. But if the team is perceived as ruthless, it hurts the bottom line, even if they win the WDC.

          So they are adamant in that they won’t use TO. Although it might have been a bit different if Vettel had been on top, TO or not, the kind of mistreatment Mark is receiving is probably not good for the company. I would like to know if the sales of Red Bull down under are suffering.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 26th October 2010, 9:56

            Although it might have been a bit different if Vettel had been on top, TO or not, the kind of mistreatment Mark is receiving is probably not good for the company

            Come on… the kind of mistreatment??? He is obviously not half as fast as Vettel. Red Bull agreed on not favouring one driver until its mathematically improbable for one of them to win the WDC. This was Horner’s philosophy, and Webber and Vettel completely agreed. It would be too hypocritical of them to suddenly start supporting Webber, after those ‘holier than thou’ comments made by Horner after the German GP.

            Additionally, its high time Webber starts beating his teammate on track anyways. If Vettel had more points than Webber in the championship, he wouldn’t require Webber’s help anyways, just because he is that much better than him. Unfortunately, Webber cannot beat his teammmate, and now he just has to deal with it on track.

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