Red Bull: Webber made a number two driver again

2011 British GP team review

Mark Webber’s famous words at last year’s British Grand Prix – “not bad for a number two driver” – took on a new significance after this year’s race.

Webber refused to heed an order from the team not to try to overtake Sebastian Vettel at the end of the race.

“I wanted points for the championship too and we proved that we can race without making contact,” he said.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 2 1
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’30.431 (+0.032) 1’30.399
Race position 2 3
Laps 52/52 52/52
Pit stops 3 3

Red Bull drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52
Sebastian Vettel 114.623 110.924 110.838 111.013 111.421 111.692 111.323 110.939 110.51 110.371 110.3 110.165 107.383 128.736 104.617 101.672 101.555 100.102 100.29 99.912 99.317 99.488 99.21 99.048 98.818 98.529 96.102 124.626 97.346 97.756 97.852 97.464 97.884 97.871 97.572 94.551 113.211 95.565 96.247 96.419 97.229 96.853 96.295 96.38 96.633 96.764 96.826 96.782 96.738 97.039 98.385 98.521
Mark Webber 115.759 112.126 111.944 111.713 111.913 112.539 111.653 112.585 111.588 109.988 110.005 108.704 128.194 104.828 102.571 102.018 102.376 100.891 100.253 99.796 99.882 100.179 99.299 98.83 98.897 96.771 121.532 98.086 97.394 97.558 97.519 97.384 98.952 97.643 98.02 97.942 97.469 94.503 115.078 95.674 97.09 95.905 95.717 96.276 96.709 96.358 96.241 95.843 95.665 95.968 97.879 98.436
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2011

Sebastian Vettel

Missed out on pole position for only the second time this year, as Webber pipped him by 0.032s.

But it looked like business as usual as Vettel took the lead at the start and had an eight-and-a-half second cushion after just nine laps.

The team brought Webber in for his first pit stop before Vettel – that allowed Webber to stay in front of Fernando Alonso, but cut five seconds out of Vettel’s lead.

Vettel was delayed by a rear jack problem at his second pit stop, dropping him to third behind Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

He made several attempts to pass Hamilton, attacking the McLaren especially hard through Woodcote, but couldn’t find a way past and was losing a lot of time.

The team cut his third stint short – just 11 laps – and brought him in for his final stop early, to jump ahead of Hamilton.

This worked, but towards the end of his final stint he was being caught quickly by Webber, partly due to Vettel experiencing another KERS problem on the RB7.

Although the team ordered Webber not to pass Vettel, Webber pressed on and challenged Vettel for second on the final lap.

Vettel brushed off the incident, saying in the press conference afterwards: “I tried to stay ahead. Obviously, we were racing each other. I don?t think there?s anything wrong with that.

“Sure, from a team point of view, if you have the cars quite isolated in second and third, the first car is away, the fourth car is pretty far away as well, so from the team?s point of view, there?s no point in racing and trying to do something stupid because the points for the team are the same, the difference between second and third is not massive, but naturally we try to race.

“What can I say? I was trying to defend my position which I did. I was struggling, Mark was faster. And then there was the chequered flag.”

Sebastian Vettel 2011 form guide

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2011

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2011

Mark Webber

Webber’s performance at Silverstone leant weight to the theory that Vettel is able to better exploit the hot-blown diffusers Webber is.

With the systems subject to new restrictions at Silverstone, Webber beat Vettel in a straight fight in qualifying for the first time this year (Webber’s previous pole position at Spain came as Vettel had problems with his KERS).

Unfortunately for Webber, the restrictions are set to be lifted at the next race.

He lost the lead to Vettel at the start – Webber said afterwards he felt the right-hand side of the grid offered better grip.

He came under pressure from Alonso but after they pitted together on lap 13 for slicks he was able to pull away from the Ferrari.

Webber had a similar problem to Vettel’s at his second pit stop. He also said he made a mistake at Becketts on his in-lap. This wasn’t his only such error – he also ran wide at Chapel on lap 33.

His pit stop problems left him running behind Vettel, chasing Hamilton. After his third and final pit stop he passed Hamilton on the Wellington straight.

Now came the controversial moment of the race as the flying Webber reeled in Vettel by over a second per lap. According to Webber, the team began telling him to hold position around four or five laps from the end of the race, at which point he was three to four seconds behind his team mate.

Webber ignored the instruction, and around the final laps he tested Vettel’s defences, looking for a way past, even trying the outside line at Woodcote before thinking better of it.

He had to settle for third place in the end, but was unimpressed with Red Bull’s team orders: “The team radioed me about four times, asking that I maintain the gap to Seb.

“But I wasn?t happy with that because you should never give up in F1, so I continued to push. If Fernando had retired on the last lap, we would have been battling for the lead.

“The team was worried about Seb and me crashing because it wanted the points for the constructors’ championship. I understand that, but I wanted points for the championship too and we proved that we can race without making contact.”

Mark Webber 2011 form guide

2011 British Grand Prix

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202 comments on Red Bull: Webber made a number two driver again

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  1. F1andy83 said on 11th July 2011, 16:42

    Good call by red bull. Teams come first. Drivers forget that. I would replace mark with the reserve driver for a race as a punishment.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th July 2011, 16:51

      At the moment it looks like three-quarters of people disagree with you:

      http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2011/07/10/webber-red-bulls-order-pass-vettel/

      • Klon (@klon) said on 11th July 2011, 16:58

        Then three-quarters of people are wrong. Webber had his chance – it would have been something different if the team had said, well, I don’t know, 15 or 20 laps before the finish: “You shall not attack.”

        Ceasing to go aggressive against your team mate with only five laps to go is not “not racing” but rather “being sensible”.

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 11th July 2011, 17:09

          Since Webber is 2nd in the WDC, and being in the car very unlikely to miss a 2nd WCC, he seems to be a prime candidate to fight Vettel for the WDC.

          Back to that argument: teams have a point, but it is way too late, they should have worked against the WDC becoming so important by having clearer and better team win celebration, or stopped it from being there at all. Too late now.

          Anyway, as I said in that poll, in principle, though I don’t like to see it, I can agree that a team might be smart to do this. Ferrari, wouldn’t expect otherwise. But Red Bull who were so against team orders being allowed, and publicly repeated they didn’t want to use them? Sorry, no.

          Especially so as both their drivers have learned to not bump into others so much by now, so it wasn’t really likely to affect the team points anyway.

          • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 11th July 2011, 18:56

            And of course the WDC was in existence for 8 years before the teams championship.

          • Coefficient said on 12th July 2011, 11:57

            Well team orders are legal this year so you can understand their stance change. You have to use every tool available to maximise your results in F1. Results are expected by those who bankroll the teams so risks are cynically minimised. This is modern F1.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th July 2011, 17:11

          So where’s the magic crossover point between 15 laps to go and 5 laps to go where team orders go from being “wrong” to being “right”? (Of course we all understand the rules say they are legal.)

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th July 2011, 18:16

            Keith, I’d say the last corner of the last lap, but then what if number 2 gets better drive out of the corner and crosses the finish line ahead, really it should just be “make it clean and make it safe, no contact and no barging”.

          • antifia said on 12th July 2011, 9:35

            I’ll insist on that point again: Mark is the only one saying it was 5 laps. Horner reckons he talked to Mark 2 laps to go and the BBC, that was focusing on the battle for the last 6 laps of the race only bothered to let us listen to it at the dying moments of the last lap. But regardless, if I were a team manager I would go with 2 laps to go (just like Horner). It avoids the guys pushing over the top, with less than ideal tyres under them, to be in or out of the DRS zone in the very last lap – you know the banzai moment will come exactly there and as a team manager you don’t want that.

          • Coefficient said on 12th July 2011, 12:02

            So whining about it is something of an irrelevance then woudn’t you say? They ARE legal so they WILL be employed. If you think Horner’s tongue lashing of Ferrari last year at Hockenheim was anything but playing to the situation you’re mistaken. Red Bull used team orders last year whatever they may say to the contrary. They just managed to keep it under wraps better than Ferrari. Red Bull didn’t want Webber to win the title and disadvantaged him accordingly.

          • antifia said on 12th July 2011, 13:23

            Relbull didn’t want Mark to win last year and disadvantaged him accordingly? Seriously, mate… If it is true, Mark must be the best driver ever to have come into F1 because, boy, he was up there in the fight till the end of the season – all the more impressive given that on top of being held back by his paymasters, he also had a fractured shoulder (remember that canard?). But in the end, the villains got their way -I heard through the grapevine that Horner clinched it by holding a gun against the head of his favorite dog. Only then Mark relented.

          • StefK said on 12th July 2011, 15:27

            Keith,

            I’d be interested to hear how you feel about Turkey 2009 when exactly the same happened but the roles were reversed?

            I have to admit, I’ve unfollowed your twitter feed as it 50% of updates seem to be anti-Vettel/RB sensationalism…. I

        • Klaas said on 11th July 2011, 17:11

          It’s not so much the team orders as it’s Horner’s hypocrisy that disgusts most F1 followers. He blabbed about letting their drivers race in 2010 and continuing to do so in 2011 and mocked Ferrari at every occasion for Hockenheim and then they use TO themselves. Makes me wanna puke.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 11th July 2011, 17:41

            +1.

            Would really like to cyber-smack that smug grin off Horner’s face. He very conveniently changes the team’s philosophy on racing in order to favour Vettel time and again.

          • javlinsharp said on 11th July 2011, 18:27

            what you call hypocracy, some would call adaptation.
            Personally, I think this case of team orders was stupid. If indeed the drivers got stupid and took each other out, it would do little to impact the HUGE lead they have in both the DC and CC.

            Fans are there to see action, and F1 (read:marketing), is there for the fans. Saddly, Cars Drivers and Teams are just a medium.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th July 2011, 20:56

            Agree Klaas

          • AgBNYC said on 12th July 2011, 0:42

            +10000

            Red Bulls hypocrisy knows no bounds….

          • Antranik (@antranik) said on 12th July 2011, 9:49

            + infinite

            My exact thoughts on the whole thing.

          • Coefficient said on 12th July 2011, 12:06

            “Would really like to cyber-smack that smug grin off Horner’s face. He very conveniently changes the team’s philosophy on racing in order to favour Vettel time and again.”

            On the contrary, I’d say he had been the model of consistency in his favouring of Seb. He’s always done it.

          • John H said on 12th July 2011, 13:42

            +2

          • Agree 100%.. F1 fans are disgusted of Mr hypoctite Horner.

        • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 11th July 2011, 17:14

          the fact that they didn’t crash proves the team were wrong.

          Specially considering their views about the team orders until yesterday.

        • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 11th July 2011, 17:15

          No, it’s you who are wrong and three-quarters of the people are right. Team orders are never sensible unless it’s a “be careful and don’t crash into your team-mate” type of order which is the only thing that’s “sensible”, And that’s exactly what Webber did. He could’ve been far more aggressive and dived in for one of the two half-opportunities he had in the last two laps. But he didn’t, unlike Vettel in Turkey 2010.

          They are fighting for the championship, Vettel has a huge lead, and there’s nowhere written in Mark’s contract that he’s Vettel’s lapdog.

          • DVC said on 12th July 2011, 5:58

            I support team orders, and would use them as a team principal if using them might get the team more points. In a situation like this where all I’m affecting is which order my drivers finish in then I wouldn’t use them.

            The Constructors championship is what I as a team principal need to be worried about. The drivers championship is for the drivers to work out.

            Telling drivers not to try and overtake because they might hit someone/something is paranoid and I don’t support it no matter who they are racing.

          • antifia said on 12th July 2011, 15:04

            You support team orders and think the team should only be concerned with the constructor’s championship. Fair enough. At the end of race Redbull had two options available: make them hold position or let them fight to the end. In either case, the maximum they could expect to score was a second and a third. However, while the first option was risk free the second involved some risk of collision or error. Now tell me, as a person trying to maximize the team’s result, which option would you take?
            If on top of it you consider that the driver’s title is also very important to the team and that, if Ferrari’s form hold, Alonso may emerge as a serious contender to the title, there is one more reason preventing Webber from taking points off Vettel. If Ferrari becomes the car to beat, Webber is already dead in the water – 12 pts advantage at this stage is as good as nothing.

          • DVC said on 12th July 2011, 23:31

            They had a 3rd option – the best one for their championship chances actually. Tell Vettel to let the faster car go. Webber would have been able to get 3 or 4 seconds ahead maybe, and given that he had KERS and Vettel didn’t at that point, he would have been in a better position to challenge if something happened to Alonso in the closing laps.

        • Icemangrins said on 11th July 2011, 17:19

          Being sensible is actually staying at home and watch the race on TV

      • Mark should wear a T-shirt for the next race race that shows: MIND THE GAP with the tube logo.

    • Neil said on 11th July 2011, 16:59

      Teams come first?

      The vast majority of the viewers out there watch F1 to watch drivers race, they couldn’t give a rats’ about what points the teams score, and its the viewing figures which brings sponsors, which what the teams need to be here.

      No-one driver is more important than the team, but no-one team is more important than the ‘sport’

      • dennis (@dennis) said on 11th July 2011, 17:09

        It’s the problem of the “fans” if they don’t get what Formula 1 is about.

        There are two drivers per team, each trying to score as many goals as possible. But if both of them are ignorant fools, that try it alone and hit the posts all the time then the team loses.

        The sponsors put their names on the cars, not on the driver’s foreheads. If they crash (like Istanbul last season) it’s a desaster.

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 11th July 2011, 17:20

          Except that’s not true, for many teams having WDC is the more publicly coveted prize, WCC is important for pride and money but not the thing getting most of the interest during the season. That’s the image they themselves show, and they can try to change it if they don’t like it.

          Ferrari, arguably, are a clear exception, they have already made clear where they stand, and always did, so for them indeed TO seem the obvious choice. But even there, most people don’t like to see the race decided by it.

          It is different with Le Mans prototypes, for example, there we talk about Audi vs. Peugeot, even though for the drivers it is important who of them wins. But for them the most important thing is they beat the other team. In a way, the endurance aspect of it helps that, I think: over a long, long race, having more cars helps you hedge your bets.

          Formula 1, while many say it has become more like endurance racing, missed a big part – the unreliability is gone, and crashes of the frontrunners aren’t very likely either, so it is not a race of attrition and thus it is easier to have one main driver, and a backup instead of two cars who both might go for the win, depending on circumstances.

          I now realise, that’s one of the things that McLaren did create with their driver pairing, and it’s good to see: it helps make it a team effort to win races, with both of them able to do it, given the change/need. Red Bull claim they do to, but they clearly didn’t even last year.

        • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 11th July 2011, 17:28

          But they didn’t crash, did they? Nor did Hamilton and Button crash in numerous occasions they were fighting on the track(Canada was a misunderstanding in wet conditions caused by unsighting). You mention Turkey 2010, like it’s the only example ever of team-mates fighting. And even then Webber wasn’t doing anything stupid, he left Vettel enough room but Vettel crashed into him. Let the drivers race, it’s a race for the WDC as much as it is for the WCC. And the first man you have to beat in F1 is your team-mate. Ever heard that sentence before? If you can’t undrstand that you’re not a real fan. Speaking of which:
          you speak derisively of “fans”. Yet they are the base on which F1 stands. No fans=no sponsors=no TV=no F1. ATM 75% of the fans share my point of view. Who’d they rather lose?

        • Katy (@katy) said on 11th July 2011, 17:59

          Turkey 2009.

          Webber 2nd, Vettel 3rd. Vettel was catching Webber at the end of the race and was told to stay in position. He did and nothing was made of it.

          The only reason this has been such big news is because Webber ignored the team-orders.

          • Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 11th July 2011, 20:26

            I remember it very differently.

            As far as I can recall, Webber was told to turn his engine down, Vettel was not. There was no instruction not to pass (which would have been illegal).

            False memories do not help your point.

          • RFB said on 11th July 2011, 22:41

            Mouse_Nightsight, your eyesight seems very poor, he mentioned 2009, which is 2 years ago, not last year.

            Poor reading doesn’t help you point…

          • F1-777 (@f1-777) said on 12th July 2011, 3:23

            They were also far behind Button in the championship, so the argument that they need points is probably more valid.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th July 2011, 20:57

          So when about 2/3rds of the 600 million watching think it was wrong shouldn’t the sport accept it got something wrong instead of telling us we got it wrong?

      • Robbie said on 11th July 2011, 17:21

        Neil…Which is why I hated the MS/Ferrari manipulation era. Max disagrees with you as his philosophy was that the sport revolves around Ferrari and MS, and they got veto power with rule changes and an extra 100 mill just for being Ferrari as a result. The non-racing at MS/Ferrari from race one of each season, especially when the car was dominant robbed the viewing audience of racing in the ‘pinnacle of racing.’

    • Aldo said on 11th July 2011, 17:00

      I truly, honestly, can’t understand this. This is NOT football, or rugby or volley. There is ONE, only ONE driver at the wheel of the car.
      If this view is now the rule, then let’s cancel the World DRIVERS Championship and let’s bury F1 for good.

    • Merk said on 11th July 2011, 17:08

      I don’t think Mark should be penalized becuase he was only following the previous instructions that the team made public. (RedBull claimed that they never had team orders and that they would let their drivers race)

      However, I agree that the team comes first and they reserve the right to implement team orders, therefore Mark should have respected that because he is only a ‘driver’.

      Personally, this whole weekend left a bad taste in my mouth and I think less of RedBull as a result. (and i’m not only referring to this, also the press conference with Christian Horner and Martin Witmarsh on Friday.)

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 11th July 2011, 18:04

      Vettel has a strong lead. 3 points don’t make that much difference for him.
      On the other hand, Webber is much closer to his rivals, and an extra 3 points can help him keep second place in the standings, therefore also helping Red Bull clinch the teams’ trophy.

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 11th July 2011, 21:58

      Well, for me Horner was completely right in telling Mark to back off, and since he had no intention of doing so is disrespectful to the team. Can you imagine the backlash there would have been had they crashed. Red Bull would be in much bigger problems that this team orders thing that will go away in 2 races.

      A lot of people still remember Turkey 2010 too fondly and adding fuel to that fire would not be good for Red Bull.

      • I rate team orders are ok if both the drivers and team are on the same page. Maybe come to an agreement that at a certain stage if one driver is behind the other in position then maintain the gap til the end..say after the final pit stop, 10 laps to the end or maybe if there’s a significant gap to the driver behind the pair at say 10 laps or after the final pit stop. Team orders are part of f1 there isn’t anything wrong with looking out in the best interest of the team. It jus needs to be planned well..wer bothe drivers and team are fully aware of the cut off point for racing each other to avoid any misunderstanding or dispute. Red bull I feel are quite hypocritical with regards to team orders..one year they mock ferrari..let vettel race webber til the end..but the next they use the same tactic as ferrari did. To me ordering drivers to maintain position is the same as asking one driver to let the other pass, both are team orders in principal.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 12th July 2011, 16:40

      John Maynard Keynes once said “Worldly wisdom teaches us that it’s better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally”

      So, Webber should try at least.

    • Younger Hamii said on 12th July 2011, 17:43

      Regardless of F1 is a Team Sport and that Teams comes first,which is actually true because F1 IS A TEAM SPORT and those were the primary reasons why the Ban on Team Orders were lifted this season but Drivers should be allowed to race with equality and without interference.

      Its Clear that the RB7 was made around Road Runner Vettel and that Helmut Marko prefers Seb to Mark but i dont think Red Bull would want their Drivers taken out of a Grand Prix in a spectacular way on the Final Lap and that taking the Points home was the wiser decision.

      IMAO,Ridiculous by Red Bull again.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th July 2011, 23:30

      I agree with the call RBR made, totally. I appreciate that situation is frustrating but it is a team sport.

  2. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 11th July 2011, 16:45

    It’s not the team orders that are wrong. It’s the hypocrisy of the team and the increasingly blatant favouritism that is the issue.

    It doesn’t matter whether Mark could have got past or not.

    It was a bad weekend for Red Bull even if their result was good.

    • dennis (@dennis) said on 11th July 2011, 17:02

      Increasingly blatant favouritism for a driver who – let’s be honest – drives circles around his team mate rather constantly is not an issue at all.

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 11th July 2011, 17:39

        Really? But it is. That driver doesn’t accept anything but equal treatment, and there’s nothing written in his contract about being number 2. Besides, it’s quite possible you’re mixing cause and effect here. Maybe the favouritism and hypocrisy are why he drives circles around his team-mate. Afterall, they did change the EBD engine mapping to suit Vettel last year already.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th July 2011, 18:06

          Maybe the favouritism and hypocrisy are why he drives circles around his team-mate.

          Vettel has “driven circles” around Webber in all three seasons together so far. It’d be silly to do so before giving Mark a chance to gain the upper hand, so I think it’s reasonable to assume that Vettel has beaten Webber on merit, which has ultimately led to the favouritism.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 11th July 2011, 19:55

            the gaps were neglible last season, Mark also has beaten Seb on 3 consecutive weekends, and then came the engine mapping change.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th July 2011, 20:16

            Negligible because Vettel led the first two races before his car broke down in races where Webber came 8th and 9th.

          • frood said on 12th July 2011, 12:05

            Last season they were the most closely matched team-mates in qualifying (average gap was 0.05 seconds which includes anomalies like bahrain). something has clearly changed this year but i agree it probably is on merit. for one thing Vettel is moving towards his peak, in terms of age, and Webber rapidly moving away from it.

        • Hewis Lamilton said on 12th July 2011, 14:59

          I wanted to read Webber’s contract too, can you post a link to it?

      • DVC said on 12th July 2011, 13:59

        No matter what the performance gap between them, Webber is still second in the Championship, so it’s the Drivers Championship battle that is being affected. This was precisely the thing that got people so upset over the MS RB team orders, and what lead to the ban on them.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th July 2011, 17:14

      Agreed with sw6569 and dennis. Horner and Marko are pretty inept PR-wise.

      • Tom11 (@tom11) said on 12th July 2011, 3:05

        Lets not forget in those races that Webber came 8th and 9th, one of them was 100% due to Red Bull strategy and putting Webber far down the field after the pit stops in Melbourne.

        He was second.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 11th July 2011, 17:17

      Can’t find the words to describe how much I agree with you. “So fully agree that it hurts” gets close.

    • Katy (@katy) said on 11th July 2011, 17:21

      McLaren did the same thing in 2007 when they told Hamilton to stay behind Alonso at Monaco.

      It’s not the decision that was bad, it was sensible. It’s just the hypocrisy of Horner that makes the team look daft.

      • dfketr said on 11th July 2011, 19:46

        hamilton wouldnt have got past alonso at that track where there is hardly any overtaking, you saw hamilton trying to pass slower cars this year and crashing. mclaren were right in that instance to tell hothead hamilton not to try any suicidal moves which he is more then others likely to try. in this instance, even if they did manage to crash, vettel would still have a huge lead in the championship.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 12th July 2011, 16:43

        Alonso still argues that McLaren favoured Lewis over him…

  3. Saj said on 11th July 2011, 16:49

    No Dount Helmut Marko and the clan has something to say, Golden boy Vettel’s record should not be tainted and a 3rd place would spoil that. If it was about team points then they should have a rotation system, ie u ahead of me today and me ahead of you next race so RB can get all the points!! Absolute rubbish on RB’s part today and Horner could not justify it. Even Eddie Jordan went back on what he preached last year.

  4. Alistair said on 11th July 2011, 16:55

    I have been watching F1 a very long time; however, I’ve never before seen a team take one wing of a off of one of their drivers, when both drivers were certainly competing for the WDC, and give it to the other driver who broke his new wing. And look at how Horner, Newey, Marko, et al all blamed Webber for the Turkey crash. And how they refused to favour him at the end of ’10: they seemed to rather have Webber lose the title than Vettel to win it; Vettel was very much the outsider and only won at the last race because of Webber’s and Alonso’s poor strategy. And look at how Webber always has the problems on his car…and now team orders before the halfway point in the season with Vettel having a massive lead in the WDC…

    I wonder whether Webber gets equal equipment. He certainly is treated as a no: 2 in all other ways. It sometimes seems as if he’s been given a Toro Rosso to drive. Perhaps he would be better to switch teams: to get his mojo back at a team that actually wants him to do well. I think McLaren would be a great gel for him. But they already have two top drivers (two better drivers); though, you never know, an opportunity might present itself. Personality wise, equality, and support-wise, McLaren would suit Webber down to a tea.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th July 2011, 17:13

      It sometimes seems as if he’s been given a Toro Rosso to drive.

      Funny that Vettel outscored Webber in an STR in 2008.

      • dragon said on 11th July 2011, 17:16

        That STR was almost identical to the red bull, except for one thing; it had a Ferrari engine. It was actually a better car.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th July 2011, 17:21

          The car was designed to accommodate the Renault engine, so i’d call them about even.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 11th July 2011, 17:47

            No they were anything but even as Ferrari engine was much better(remember, it was before the FIA agreed to make modifications to the Renault engine to bring it on-par with the others. Plus, from halfway point of the 2008 season RB just turned off development and concentrated fully on 2009. Up to that point MW had six consecutive points finishes and RB was leading Toro Rosso in every session. After that RBR started slipping back and not only Vettel but Bourdais also found himself in front of both RBR’s on occasions.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th July 2011, 18:11

            As I said, the car was designed to have a Renault engine fitted, rather than a Ferrari, canceling at least some of the advantage.

            You could claim the Red Bull was faster in the first half of the season, and the STR in the second half, and Vettel scored several top 5 finishes, that overhauled Webber and Red Bull in the championships.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 11th July 2011, 19:59

            Some but not all. Even when RBR was faster, it was incapable of top 5 finishes. When STR was faster is most definetely was(not only in Vettel’s hands)

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th July 2011, 21:06

            David on evidence of the results in the second half of that season (both for Ferrari itself AND their customer teams) I agree with montreal95 that the STR was better equipment in those races.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th July 2011, 21:07

            Oh, and do not forget Webber was pretty close to winning the first Red Bull victory as well before Vettel speared him off behind the SC.

          • RFB said on 11th July 2011, 22:49

            The car was designed to accommodate both engines, because at the time of the design, the team didn’t know which team would get which engine (Ferrari was not really letting RBR change the contract easily).
            I worked there at the time, and that the uncertainty caused me problem until October as well.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th July 2011, 14:45

            Thanks for the clarificaton RFB.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 11th July 2011, 17:17

        Even Bourdais (WHO!?) did well with that car, so no surprise.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th July 2011, 17:22

          Bourdais didn’t do “well”- he was on a par roughly with Coulthard, who had a poor season.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 11th July 2011, 17:23

            He didn’t do bad either and outpaced the Red Bulls sometimes.

            He Q’ed 3rd at Monza, and was running well at Spa before the rain.

            So he also did well, better than Red Bull did that year.

          • Katy (@katy) said on 11th July 2011, 18:01

            Bourdais had about 2 good races. One being Monza when he stalled.

            Vettel spent the final part of the 2008 season around 5th-8th place when Bourdais was about 12th-15th.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 11th July 2011, 18:47

            I’m not saying Bourdais was brilliant.

            I’m saying that Toro Rosso was a better car than the Red Bull was.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th July 2011, 19:25

            I think that the STR was closer or even level to RB than in other years, but Vettel was the one who made the STR look better than it was by dragging it into great positions.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 11th July 2011, 17:28

      Well, listening to Coulthard, we might not have seen it, but that was because it wasn’t made into as big an issue, or because we just didn’t know about it, as recently as his time with Hakkinen at McLaren.

      But I agree that the constant claims that would it be the other way around Webber would profit really is silly, the more they go into arguing and defending that.

      It is, and has been, always Webber, and he is also the one that gets the brunt of the equipment failure this year. Did Vettel have to give him a break? Did Webber get better strategy in races to try and make up for it? No, of course not.

      Now, it is true that doing that too much might hamper Vettel who is doing a great job extending his lead and defending his WDC and their WCC. But they should stop claiming equality, because there is and has not been ever, any shred of evidence they even considered it, even when Webber was doing better in a race.

      The team clearly, like Ferrari with Massa’s pitstop timing, have trouble giving both cars a good strategy. Fine, just say so, it’s not as if McLaren always make it work either is it? It’s hard. But then don’t pretend and protest the truth.

    • marc said on 12th July 2011, 4:12

      I agreed with you,webber’s car always had problem this year and I dont think he has same equipment as Vettel. Even from tv we could tell there is ‘cold shoulder’ from each other when they are in garage sitting in the car. Those people who over protected Vettel is an idiot !! specially Helmut Marko….I think Vettel is the only worldchampion most people dont respect specially from fans view. Alonso was the youngest world champion before Vettel,but Alonso was different…he is truely talented driver and work hard to get where he is….not like Vettel,Vettel just lucky because he has Redbull racing behind him

  5. Well,
    How about “Sebastian, Mark is quicker than you…” team order? It would still leave the RBR team with the same number of points…

    • Alistair said on 11th July 2011, 17:04

      How about Horner et al close their collective mouths and just let their drivers race? Vettel had a massive lead in the WDC at the time; he is a reasonably clever driver; therefore, he knew it would be pointless to fight Webber too much; conversely, Webber knew that taking Vettel out certainly wouldn’t help him.

      So, the situation was safe for the team. The team just didn’t want Webber having more of those team points than Vettel.

      Worst of all, the fans lost out. I suspect that RBR played around with Webber’s engine settings to slow him down, as well. It wouldn’t surprise me.

      • mfDB said on 11th July 2011, 17:22

        He tried that last year and failed….

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 11th July 2011, 17:30

          But this year Vettel is much more certain of himself, and I really do think maybe Red Bull should trust their drivers to have learned not to crash in the final stages of the race.

          Vettel certainly seems to think so, thinking he is better of showing Webber he can hold his own rather than have to depend on the team for it.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th July 2011, 21:09

            And from the evidence presented to us in Silverstone, both guys can certainly manage not to crash.

    • Thinking about it, what damage it will do to Red Bull as an energy drink producer? Is it better for a team to use team orders and loose on people drinking Red Bull?

    • RFB said on 11th July 2011, 22:54

      You might want to watch Turkey 2009 again, then.

      I even remember Brundle commenting “Mark is faster than you. Discuss”, which made me laugh.

    • F1Sidewinda (@f1sidewinda) said on 12th July 2011, 12:43

      What, and make Vettel cry. Horner couldn’t upset the blue eyed fairy!

  6. Alistair said on 11th July 2011, 16:58

    Further to my comments, James Allen has a previous quote from the RBR owner which highlights the hypocrisy now at play:

    “Let the two drivers race and what will be will be,” he said. “If Alonso wins we will have been unlucky. I predict a Hollywood ending. Worst case scenario we don’t become champion? We’ll do it next year.

    “But our philosophy stays the same because this is sport and it must remain sport. We don’t manipulate things like Ferrari do.”

    Even though it was ‘legal’, they still manipulated the race in a very Ferrari-esq way.

  7. HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th July 2011, 17:01

    Personally I think Mark may have disregarded the order to maintain the GAP, but after making it clear he was able to challenge he acquiesced to the team order to maintain POSITION.He had the opportunity to pass under DRS but after putting a wheel alongside he backed off and dutifully followed the leader home.

  8. Enigma (@enigma) said on 11th July 2011, 17:06

    I disagree with the title Keith – in my opinion it wasn’t Webber being number two, it was the team not wanting to risk anything. Nobody liked it and we all wanted to see the battle (which we did), and maybe the team should have trusted their drivers, but I think that’s all there is to it. I honestly believe that the same would have happened if it was the other way around.

    And it did happen in Istanbull 2009.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 11th July 2011, 19:13

      Except at the time Red Bull were behind in the championship and Button was about to go 32 old points ahead of Vettel in the championship. Worth risking falling an extra 6 behind?

      Fast forward to today and of Vettel’s two main challengers, one had already retired from the race and the other was his team-mate, both three race wins behind him. So whilst it would have been a bad result, not the end of the world as far as the championship goes.

      I do understand Horner’s position but after all the rhetoric of last year (and it was also said there’d be no team orders this year), that’s why people are annoyed. And why couldn’t he say to the pair of them “If you want to race, give space.” Then if they crash, that’s their fault. Honour and image saved.

  9. Aaron said on 11th July 2011, 17:09

    I think the biggest point most people are missing is that while Webber chose to ignore the team orders, he still couldn’t manage to overtake Vettel, even though he was 1 second a lap faster and had a working KERS. I’ve been a Webber supporter since Minardi (I even have old Jaguar Racing shirts from his time there), but if you can’t beat your teammate on the track, either get out, stop complaining or play the team game.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th July 2011, 17:11

      By that reasoning half the grid should retire from F1 after every race…

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 11th July 2011, 17:22

      So? that’s not the most important bit, is it?

      He couldn’t get past, so fine. Even Mark would be happy about it, because he at least tried.

      But there’s no need of a team order to spoil it.

      Oh, and by the way, you didn’t see Vettel stopping after Monaco saying: “I just cannot do it, I better retire”. He held on and raised his game and got the title.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 11th July 2011, 17:32

      If he tried a risky maneouvre he could’ve got past. But as Mark said in the press conference “he wasn’t going to crash into anybody”. So he tried to overtake but was extra-careful. In a way he played the team game, even if his team is treating him un-fairly

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 11th July 2011, 17:34

      A faster Vettel also couldn’t get past Hamilton earier in the race, etc.

      Not sure it says much, as w/o DRS, being on nearly the same conditions tyres and in the same car, it is still really hard to overtake in F1. And more so when within sight of the end of the race, on course to get a podium, intent on making it.

      Massa and Hamilton battled into the last corner, but they made sure they could have hobbled to the finish at least.

  10. MVEilenstein (@mveilenstein) said on 11th July 2011, 17:09

    “But I wasn’t happy with that because you should never give up in F1, so I continued to push. If Fernando had retired on the last lap, we would have been battling for the lead.

    This is why Webber is my favorite driver on the grid.

  11. Robbie said on 11th July 2011, 17:11

    I am really against drivers not racing each other, even teammates, in the ‘pinnacle of racing’ with so much of the season to run. Some days I wish F1 consisted of single car teams so this wouldn’t be an issue, but then of course BE would have a ton less controversy to draw interest toward F1.

    I have always understood the concept that as long as both drivers have a fair shot from race one of a season, then when the math dictates that one driver is the go-to guy as the season winds down the other driver has the responsibility to accept for the team that it just didn’t work out for him and so he must not rob points from his WDC potential teammate.

    In the case with Red Bull right now I think the math is weighing so heavily on SV’s side that it wouldn’t have hurt to respect the paying fans and let MW race SV, particularly on this basis…MW earned pole…so I think a sporting thing to do for MW and for the fans would have been to not give MW that order…had SV earned pole, and MW found himself coming up on him with a handful of laps to go, fair enough, give the nod to SV…but MW earned pole so I think he earned the right to race his teammate for the higher points position, and/or to go after FA.

    But instead, for the rest of the season does anyone think MW has a chance? Yeah I know, it didn’t look like he had much of a chance anyway, most already thought the team was for SV, but still…in the ‘pinnacle of racing?’…

  12. A point I haven’t seen mentioned is the very significant difference between a team order instructing the following driver to stay put and a team order telling the lead driver to pull over.

    However much I dislike team orders of any kind, I can understand the first situation. There are hundreds of people working for a team, and why should all their hard work be undone by two drivers who are too set on fighting over who gets to stand a bit higher on the podium. (I exaggerate slightly to show my point…). I don’t remember any one complaining when Jordan instructed Ralf Schumacher not to pass Damon Hill at Spa in 1998.

    Comparisons have been drawn however with Germany 2010 and the Ferrari incident, which, in my view could not be more different. There was not a risk of a collision and Fernando was waved through.

    I am not in favour of either – I am just saying I can understand Horner’s position in this instance.

    • debaser91 said on 11th July 2011, 17:50

      There is however a difference again between yesterday and Spa 98. Jordan had never won a race and it was also throwing it down with rain at the most challenging circuit on the Grand Prix calendar, where they were struggling to keep the cars on the track because of the weather. (Remember Michael Schumacher and Coulthard’s crash)

      Not really the same circumstances as yesterday.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 11th July 2011, 19:16

      There are hundreds of people working for a team, and why should all their hard work be undone by two drivers who are too set on fighting over who gets to stand a bit higher on the podium.

      The two sets of mechanics on either side of the garage are very competitive. They slog probably the hardest of anyone in the team – and that includes the drivers – to ensure success.

      I get your point but not sure I agree with it.

  13. Aldo said on 11th July 2011, 17:21

    I will NEVER, EVER accept team orders in F1. To accept it, is to accept that bussiness is more important than the race. If we accept that in F1 bussiness comes first, and racing comes second, then F1 is dead. VERY dead.
    If Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, Renault, Honda, Santander or whatever sees F1 like bussiness, good for them. I hope they enjoy their millions. But we are FANS, fercrissssake, I have no bussiness interest in F1. So, why do I need to buy that nonsense?

    In this particular case, what was revolting was the general consensus: RBR was right with the team orders because VET and WEB would crash…

    What kind of nonsense is this? What happened to F1 fans that some of them started thinking like big corporations? What happened to racing? What happened to us that suddenly RBR release such childish statement and people who consider themselves as F1 followers buy it?
    Is it NOT ENOUGH to create ridiculous rules about forcing drivers to use different tyres, go-kart tracks with empty stands, Playstation-like KERS, changing rules for ONE race, DRS devices that denies the public of enjoying the lost art of a driver defending his position, that now, on top of everything, they feel they need to treat all of us like ignorant children?
    Well, that’s F1 in 2011, I guess. It makes me feel very, very sad.
    Rant over. Sorry.

    • Robbie said on 11th July 2011, 17:35

      No need to apologize Aldo…I get raked over the coals for my anti-MS/Ferrari era stance for the very reasons you state here. I get hammered for it when all I stand for is racing in the pinnacle of racing, not business share value manipulation.

      I do think there is a time for a team order, and that is actually at a time when an order isn’t or shouldn’t even be necessary. In a sporting F1 that I would prefer to see, all teams give both their drivers an equal shot from the very beginnning, and that means not making a car to suit one over the other. Then as the season winds down and if a WDC shot exists for one but it didn’t work out as well for the other, the other needn’t even need an order to understand that he would be an ******* to get in the way of his teammate’s WDC fight. He would be doing the team and it’s sponsors a huge injustice, and if he truly was convinced he had a fair shot from the start but it just didn’t work out, then he would ‘happily’ accept that and not hinder his teammate, doesn’t mean he has to go out there and block for him, just not hinder him.

    • Merk said on 11th July 2011, 20:16

      I liked this rant

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th July 2011, 23:36

      You know what the most important thing about team orders is? The word ‘team’.

      This is being way, way over-looked by alot of people for the wrong reasons.

      The team comes first, before the drivers.

      The irony is that many of the people who complain about the business side of F1 don’t appreciate that without that vital aspect they may not be able to enjoy the sport today.

  14. streetfightingman said on 11th July 2011, 17:26

    This is ridculously blown out of proportion. They where completely isolated in 2nd and 3rd place and no reason at all to push the already strained cars to 100% for the last 5 laps. Only a moron would tell them to race each other and ruin their cars or crash or whatever.

    Stop looking for trouble where there is none.

    The story should rather be “Webber risks a DNF for nothing”.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th July 2011, 17:39

      Again, this idea that just because there was five laps to go they shouldn’t be racing is nonsense. What if there were six laps to go? Or seven? And so on…

      • Robbie said on 11th July 2011, 18:05

        Agreed Keith…streetfightingman you ask us to stop looking for trouble where there is none, and yet you describe the only scenario of MW coming up on SV as ruining their cars or crashing…no chance at a clean pass-him-like-he’s-standing-still DRS type pass?…I guess you are happy with non-racing in the pinnacle of racing, and subservients only there to support designated number 1′s?

        If anything, with only 5 laps to go that should mean pour it on, the passing opportunities are getting limited…

        And I stand by my point for this race…MW earned pole over SV…given all the extenuating circumstances with the choke hold SV seems to have in the points, I think MW earned the right not to be given this order for this race.

      • joe said on 11th July 2011, 19:52

        what about when vettel wanted to do another lap in quali in catalunya??

        the bottom line was that the team said no, as his team mate had pole. i dont suspect the consistently underperforming webber was thinking that team orders were a bad thing at this point.

        Webber cant take it that vettel is destroying him. anything that webber doesnt like, he cant control his emotions.

        if i was horner id tell him if he doesnt like how red bull operates, he should just go straight away. ricciardo would do a better job than webber. red bull would do better without webber.

        webber should just leave red bull, go to ferrari, regularly get his rear end handed to him by alonso, THINK about taking the same attitude at ferrari as he did at red bull, then get sacked. :)

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th July 2011, 20:00

          the bottom line was that the team said no, as his team mate had pole.

          I think you’ll find it was done to save a fresh set of soft tyres, as was also the case in Istanbul when Vettel had pole position.

          • joe said on 11th July 2011, 20:12

            if another driver was on pole, it would have forced webber to use another set. he wanted to top webbers time. he was not allowed. team order. fact.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th July 2011, 20:38

            I see the point you’re trying to make, but the comparison doesn’t hold.

            At Spain and Turkey, both drivers would definitely have been in a weaker position had they both wasted a set of fresh tyres.

            But in Britain, allowing Webber to race Vettel for position wasn’t necessarily going to do them any harm (indeed, it didn’t).

        • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 11th July 2011, 21:28

          Webber cant take it that vettel is destroying him. anything that webber doesnt like, he cant control his emotions.

          Of course he can’t. Anyone saying: “meh it’s okay he’s beating me” it’s a proper number 2 driver. He doesn’t want that, thus why he wanted to race hard and overtake Vettel.

          he cant control his emotions

          And people then say F1 drivers are robots…

      • streetfightingman said on 11th July 2011, 21:59

        *facepalm*

  15. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 11th July 2011, 17:49

    I jump on the ‘team comes first’ bandwagon mainly because of historical reasons.

    In the past drivers often even had to hand their cars to the driver who was higher in the in-team pecking order, if that driver’s machine failed. Then came a kind of liberal stance in the championship basically separating the team to two halves. But the team has a purpose and just like a group of mechanics working on one car so do the two drivers work for the team. That’s a team.

    Of course it’s not black and white allowing in-team racing has its advantages. We would have never witnessed the great Senna-Prost battles with team orders.

    But basically I’m with it. In fact everybody’s with it in the sport it’s just that Ferrari was left so exposed at the Hockenheimring last year.

    I think it’s even worse preaching about fair handling on the part of Red Bull, while still making orders if the situation demands, than acknowledging the facts. At least Ferrari was more of less straight on the matter.

    • Skett said on 12th July 2011, 14:54

      I think thats the main point tbh, if ferrari did it again there probably wouldn’t be that much of a fuss because they’re being consistent with what they’ve always said.

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