Red Bull win teams title but risk throwing drivers championship away

Red Bull race review

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2010

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2010

Red Bull decided against using team orders in the Brazilian Grand Prix to increase their chances of having one of their drivers win the championship.

But a comfortable one-two at Interlagos secured the constructors’ championship for the team.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were never threatened after passing pole sitter Nico Hulkenberg.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 2 3
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’15.519 (-0.118) 1’15.637
Race position 1 2
Laps 71/71 71/71
Pit stops 1 1

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Sebastian Vettel

Having been fastest in both sessions on Friday he was somewhat surprised to be beaten to pole position by Nico Hulkenberg but praised the Williams driver’s performance.

He then picked off Hulkenberg at the first corner to take a lead that was never seriously challenged by his team mate, or anyone else.

Lapped traffic kept Vettel busy in the middle part of the race but after the safety car period he re-established his lead to take his fourth victory of 2010.

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

Mark Webber

Started the weekend on a sour note, telling the press the team was “emotionally behind” Vettel.

As usual there was a hair’s breadth gap between them in qualifying with Vettel narrowly ahead.

Webber followed Vettel past Hulkenberg at the start, harrying the Williams driver into running wide.

But he was delayed by an overheating problem:

It’s never nice when they have to ask you to manage something. The safety car helped a bit but then very quickly it was back again the first lap after the safety car.
Mark Webber

Even at this late stage Red Bull are still giving both their drivers the chance to win the championship.

But by passing up the opportunity to swap their drivers in Brazil, and bring Webber within one point of Alonso instead of eight, the team have made life more difficult for themselves in Abu Dhabi.

They now need to get both cars home in front of Alonso instead of just Webber’s to guarantee the title. The drivers were quizzed about it in the press conference afterwards:

[Swapping the drivers] helps but it’s not in the team’s philosophy. That’s how it is. It was a good drive by Seb today for the win and that’s how it is. I think the team’s position has always been on the sporting side and that’s how it is.

Obviously Fernando got some points in Hockenheim, which has happened in the past in Formula One and will happen again in the future. Everyone has different ideas, but that’s how it is at the moment, so I will go there and do my best.
Mark Webber

If the Brazil top three is repeated at Abu Dhabi, Alonso would be champion. Vettel refused to say whether he would let Webber past and make him champion in those circumstances:

It’s one week away. As a kid, I never liked it when my parents teased me for something and didn’t answer my question, so now I’m in a good position to tease you, so you will see.
Sebastian Vettel

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

2010 Brazilian Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix articles

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91 comments on Red Bull win teams title but risk throwing drivers championship away

  1. Dafizzner said on 8th November 2010, 19:47

    I think Red Bull did the right thing. May the fastest driver/car win. Poor choice of title with this article. You made it sound a bit negative. Red Bull acheived a fantastic acolpishment yesterday, but rather then being saluted, they’re critisized for not giving team orders. Thats lame.

  2. verstappen said on 8th November 2010, 20:26

    If the situation arises, Sebastian will wave Mark through. Very theatrically, maybe even in the last corner, but he will, I’m absolutely sure.
    And besides Vettel winning the championship, this is the next best thing for Red Bull: showing the world how things go, when you have such a nice sporting environment, where sportsmanship rules and adult decisions are made by your drivers themselves, instead of the team ordering them around…
    A marketeers’ dream!

  3. Obvious to me… Hamilton is the guy at McLaren, Vettel is the guy RB. And that’s ok as far as im concerned. It’s quite human having special connection with somebody. I think it is quite unnatural the other way around. This is how we are in life generally. It seems to me that sport for some people does not fit into this category. There are not computers running the teams but human beings with all their human side effects. Words can hide many things we are about but everyone has emotional weeknesses no matter how clever one may sound. The statement sounds so good to me (especially as far as marketing goes) that I really shouldnt be unnessesarily disrepectful and say that I see red bull **** shining through it.
    And also people, if you really want to watch some pure sport, turn up next Sunday at my local club in Slovenia where we have a number of open sporting events going. Just dont be dissapointed if there will be no big prizes, glamour and no heroes. But we have lots of fun. And yes we have it much easier to keep it fair for all participants then in f1 environment. So, if you choose to stay at home watching F1, just take it for what it is. Its one hell of a show. Pure sport and 1 billion dollars can hardly walk hand in hand. But certainly not while massive egos are paving the path. Anyway, enjoy it! I will… with popcorn in my hands

  4. Palle said on 8th November 2010, 21:59

    The author of the article and those of You who would like to see Mark win, can’t understand why RBR didn’t use a team-order to switch Vettel and Webber in Brazil, but You must realize that given the drivers present form, Webber is far to unstable at the moment: The way he failed in Korea – totally unprovoked error and he was in the wall. No team-boss would put all his eggs in that basket, unless he had no other options. Any of them can fail next race, agreed, but McLaren can also interfere with the overall result and after all, Ferrari only has one driver who can do it, if he fails, Ferrari are out, whereas RBR has 2 drivers who can both bag this title. Rather be number 2 and win the fair play trophy, than win and the rest of the sports fans are fuming because of the foul play. Ferrari was not getting away with the team-order trick with the contention of the rest of the teams. And if RBR disagree with that verdict they have to uphold their morale, even if it means that the cheaters win. The true F1 fans knows who is then the real winner of this years title…

    • Mikos said on 8th November 2010, 23:28

      Occasionally people stuff up in life and in sport.

      Webs last 5 results 2, dnf, 2, 3, 6 – hardly unstable form?

      I think RB should have given Webber every opportunity to win by maximising his strategy in qualifying & in the races since spa. In that way they would have supported him as the driver in the best position to take the title without ‘switching drivers’. Had Vettel still been as close then good on him.

      Do you think that not supporting a driver as above puts added pressure on them?

    • Parabolica said on 8th November 2010, 23:39

      how quickly you forget the ridiculous errors of Vettel at Turkey, Silverstone, Hungary & Spa. Webber’s only failure of the season was at Yeongam. Surely he’s entitled to one. And fair play is all well and good, but I think you should research how much money a drivers championship is worth to a team. After all, F1 is a business too.

      • Robert said on 10th November 2010, 15:13

        So running into the back of Hamiltion in the worst judged move of 2010 so far.. that wasn’t a failure? He meant that???

        I don’t think you should be making allegations about revisionism.

    • Dafizzner said on 9th November 2010, 15:12

      That was well said.

  5. Im a ferrari fan, been for 20 yrs and thatll never change, im just saying if ferrari are to somehow blow it at the end, i want webber to win. Webber and Alonso had to drive for crappy teams for a few yrs between the both of them and have struggled to be where they are now. Having said that, it makes me mad that vettel comes into the sport and the team is backing him all the way till the end. Im not saying mark webber is perfect, bec he isnt, he just comes off as a great person and i just can imagine how it feels to battle everyone of his rivals and internally with his team as well.

  6. Nothing against vettel, its just the way his team has handled things and the way they deny backing his teammate more when its plain obvious just doesnt sit well with me. Its also plain obvious how the rbr reaction to a win is WAYYYY different when mark wins as opposed to when vettel wins.

  7. Toncho said on 8th November 2010, 22:32

    I still think is RBR’s title to lose. Their car is ridicoulus superior and Alonso is just hanging there because of Horner bad calls. They should had won both titles by now. I can not see how anyone can touch them next Sunday. That track is just designed for that car so I don’t expect much drama, just another front grid block and as is it impossible to overtake that will be it!!
    Big question mark for me is Hamilton. With nothing to lose, he might try something risky on Saturday that can spice up things

    • “Alonso is just hanging there because of Horner bad calls. ”

      Monza wasnt Horner’s call, Singapore Wasnt either, Korea wasnt, Hungary wasnt.

      These races show Alonso’s superiority and vettel’s immaturity.

  8. Parabolica said on 8th November 2010, 23:27

    Vettel will fail to provide the chance for Red Bull to achieve a drivers title if he is selfish, ill-dicsiplined, hot-headed or immature. What am I talking about, he’s all of those things. If Mark is leading him at Yas Marina 1/2 and Alonso is out. I’ll put a large sum on Vettel taking Webber out…. Again.

  9. Toncho said on 9th November 2010, 18:22

    Is a little bit twisted but imagine this situation in the last lap:
    Vettel 1º, 2º Hamilton, 3º Kubica,..4º Webber….and 5º…Alonso. Webber letting pass Alonso would be his ultimate revenge

  10. I beleive its more about interests

    – The Red Bull consumer target is not of Webber type
    – RB is telling all his boys in different categories that they have to kill everybody (even his partner) if they want to be important to RB = more money in the future
    – FIA wants Vettel to win (not a secret) to interest the 80mill Germans.
    – Webber is about to retire (who wants a champion that is not going to race the next year)
    – Alonso could win the 3rd (Well, in Spain may be nice but to the rest of the world)
    – Ferrari could win but Italians are already one of the biggest fans (F1 will not lose them)
    – Newey won the Constructors, he has all he wanted, he is happy now, he is saciated, he is the best engineer in the world (not Brawn).


    You are taking about RB repeating the 1st and 2nd, but I doubt that scenario will be repeated in this last race (statisticaly is even harder to get)

  11. Ancker said on 9th November 2010, 23:53

    1) If no team orders, why the special wing for Vettel and not Webber? Maybe they just meant ‘no team orders on the track.’

    2) If the RBR drivers were in the same position as the Ferrari drivers, would RBR not have done what they could to give the higher placed driver the best chance?

    3) Sacrificing your own best interests for the betterment of the team is part of being a member of a team. I doubt Massa would have moved aside if he were closer in points than Alonso. Technically Massa was still in the fight, but realistically he didn’t have a chance. I understand wanting to win a race, but passing up an opportunity to help your teammate is a bad move.

    4) What are the rules governing cross-team orders? What if another driver were to let Alonso by to get enough points to win the WDC? Obviously Ferrari has no control over other teams, who gets fined? Is it even an issue?

    5) Would we even be having this conversation if RBR told Vettel to hold form before he crashed into Webber? Webber would have clinched WDC already and RBR would have clinched WCC a couple races ago. Telling someone not to attack is just as bad as telling someone to move aside.

  12. drezone said on 11th November 2010, 8:32

    If,if if if.

    Nobody is going to remember Alonso being let through in Germany but who is champion that year.

    Congratulations to Red Bull for giving him every opportunity to win which now looks likely.

    No favouritism at Red Bull hey?

    Why is Vettel always coming out last in quali for the last 3-4 races?

    Why take off Webber’s front wing in Britain cos Vettel is 3 points ahead.

    Maybe i’m wrong, but was this the only time Vettel has been in front of Webber in the champioship, bar the first fly away races and for that matter has Vettel ever lead a championship.

    Congrats Red bull for throwing away the driver’s championship, Vettel can always win next year, or the year after, or the year after that…..

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