Horner: “We had the same thing in Brazil”

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Kamui Kobayashi, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2012In the round-up: Christian Horner says there have been other occasions when his drivers have refused to respond to team orders.


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Vettel sorry for Webber pass (BBC)

“Asked what Vettel meant when he said he hadn’t done it deliberately, Horner said: ‘He felt he hadn’t heard the call. That it was unclear to him what the instruction was. But then again we had the same thing in Brazil the other way around.'”

Red Bull: Vettel’s actions deliberate (Autosport)

“When asked why the team did not ask Vettel to relinquish the position to Webber in the closing stages to make up for his defiance, Horner said: ‘Do you honestly think that if we had told him ‘slow down and give the place back’, he would have given it back?'”

Bernie Ecclestone: Lewis asked me to get him a move to Red Bull… but they turned down the dream team out of loyalty to Webber (Daily Mail)

“Had Mark gone, Dietrich [Mateschitz] would have signed Lewis.”

Pit-stop blunder ruins Jenson Button’s hopes in Malaysian Grand Prix (The Guardian)

“The guy on the right is devastated. It is such a small mistake but it can cost you dearly.”

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone gives Malaysia the thumbs up (The Star Malaysia)

“They need to finish what they started. It is obviously not the same as Singapore. Maybe because they don’t spend the money.”

Analysis – Mercedes ‘FRIC’ suspension (F1)

“[Mercedes’] much-talked-about ‘FRIC’ (Front and Rear Inter-Connected) system… is understood to link the front and rear suspension hydraulically and can be adjusted in a similar way to the brake fluid.”

Ecclestone, the French race circuit and the real story behind that $44m ‘bribe? (The Telegraph)

“I helped the people that own the circuit in Ricard, it belongs to the trust. I helped them and told them the sort of hospital they should build and even the sort of car run-off areas they should build. Gribkowsky said, I ran the trust and this is one example.”


Comment of the day

To say F1 Fanatic was inundated with comments yesterday would be quite an understatement. The vast majority of them were on one subject:

Ultimately this is a sad day for the spectators, to see what was shaping up to be a great race ruined by an intended processional first-to-fourth positions.

Not at all happy with what Vettel did, and do not for one second believe he didn?t know what was expected of him, but ultimately it is the teams that are ruining the race for those watching.

Lets assume team orders are not allowed and no suggestion of them playing out was in place; we would have seen a great fight between Vettel and Webber in which they scrap for position with Vettel likely getting the upper hand, but as a result, scrubbing the tyres and significantly dropping pace, which leads to Hamilton and Rosberg catching them up, maybe having a tussle, only for them too to suffer from fuel issues. You would have ended up with four unpredictable cars fighting for 1st, with possibly cars behind (if able to catch up due to strategy) coming back into the race and maybe upsetting the order further.

It should be up to the drivers to decide how far they can push the pace and think of the long view, rather than the lap they are on; at least that way a good race could have turned into a great race.

Having said that, best post-race I?ve seen :)

From the forum

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122 comments on “Horner: “We had the same thing in Brazil””

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  1. Be interesting to see what would have happened if Webber went to Ferrari, and Hamilton to Red Bull. Could you imagine a similar situation to yesterdays race with Vettel and Hamilton? Talk about fireworks! Also Ferrari would cause more friction by having Webber instead of Massa, even if Alonso and Webber are good mates.

    1. If Webber had to endure what Massa did during the last season, he probably would have crashed into Alonso on purpose after a race “Days Of Thunder” style.

      1. Why do people always have a go at ferrari.If a team has chance to win the WDC with one driver with the other driver totally out of contention,any team and TP would do what ferrari did.The difference to what Red bull and merc are doing is that the it is the 2nd race of the season and they already implementing team orders.

        1. Because Ferrari brought team orders to a whole new level in the last 10 to 15 years.

          1. i think it was more ross brawn then ferrari… and now he is at it again at mercedes

        2. you haven heard about Austria 2001 and Austria 2002….. where some German chap was allowed to “overtake” a Brazilian bloke …..both only 6 races into the season …

        3. @tasvat001 – I agree, at least Ferrari waited until mid-season (in 2010 anyway).

          1. and they make no bones about what they do. Dont have to issue weak sorrys etc

      2. @dennis +1 Lol Lol Lol

    2. I’d like to see Mark in a McLaren…
      He and Button get along like “bros”, so it SHOULD be a nice, friendly team!

      1. McLaren does sound like it would be the perfect team for Webber….I’m sure McLaren would like to dig into Mark’s head a bit and get any Red Bull info out of him :)

      2. Traverse (@)
        25th March 2013, 12:19

        You’re right, a Button Webber pairing would be a very friendly one. They wouldn’t win anything, but nevertheless they would be chummy chums. And whilst the likes of Ham and Vet are storming to race wins, new bff’s But and Web can have group hugging sessions and tell each other how wonderful it feels to be mediocre.

  2. What a day has gone by!

  3. Just pretty disappointed, thought Vettel was better than all this.

    However, it’s been done, I just hope the whole team moves on from it.

    Or better yet, see that team orders on the whole damages the sport and ban it again, (or at least until Ferrari wants to use them).

    1. @mike

      I agree. Team orders need to be banned again and fast.

      Have the FIA listen in on all team radio’s to pick up coded messages and discipline them. A race ban or two will most definitely get their attention.
      I have no desire to watch fixed races like soccer fans are deceived with fixed matches.

  4. Already making excuses for seb.
    “But mummy, he did it 1st..”

    1. Actually I think Horner have been more critical with Vettel than when Webber has done somethn simliar.

      1. This exactly. Even being completely out of contention for the title Webber wasn’t cooperating, but since apparently no harm was done everybody forgot about it. Vettel CONSTANTLY ignores the team when it comes to turning down the engine and goes for another fastest lap, risking the material and points for the sake of records.

        It’s all fun and games until somebody loses a GP victory.

        Both of them, Webber AND Vettel seem to have a problem with the team telling them what to do, and Horner should have made it clear already in 2009, latest in 2010 that they have to do what he says. Either that, or you let them play and potentially crash.

        1. @dennis

          It’s all fun and games until somebody loses a GP victory.

          Hehehe, good one. +1

  5. When were Mark and Seb in close range at Brazil. Surely Horner can’t be referring to 2012?
    2011 would make sense.

    1. I think he mind h wasn´t going to fight Vettel. In the first lap Webber moves started the accident Sebastian had, and we all know how that ended…

    2. He’s indeed referring to Brazil 2012, and Vettel didn’t handle it that well either, I remember after he came out of the car and Horner congratulated him, one of the first things he did was complain that Mark tried to push him at the start (right before waving the crowd very hard to hear btw), from that moment I knew Red Bull were going to be their own enemies and that this would be Mark’s last season.

      1. It not the same complaining to your boss than on broadcast, and even so Webber called Mark a team player, even when his actions could have costed Vettel the tittle

        1. @celeste Vettel’s own actions could have cost him the title. He was turning into turn 4 like if he was leading the race by 2 seconds. Maybe he was fuming at Webber for blocking him on the start( Webber said that he was concentrating on himself at the start and Brundle said at the time how difficult it is to concentrate on anything else at the start with 20 drivers around you), and the anger clouded his judgement. But the mistake was his

          1. @montreal95

            I don’t buy that for a second. You could clearly see Webber moving over to cover Vettel. If it were the racing line I would have understood but his actions left Vettel no choice but to lift and avoid hitting Webber while Massa and Alonso flew passed Vettel on the outside.

            As for the crash with Senna. Senna tried to overtake 3 cars in one corner. That was bound to end badly. He must have thought he was his uncle for a second and figured he could make it work.

          2. @F1fannl You’re of course entitled to your opinion but I’ll stick with those of M. Brundle and D. Hill who say that there’s no such thing as the “racing line” at the start. At the start you use the whole width of the track to go where it’s the most beneficial for you

            Regarding the 4th corner. Senna may have been over-ambitious there(not sure about that, it’s not like he wasn’t gonna make the corner) but that doesn’t mean Vettel can turn in from the outside, being in the pack like he is and expecting all others to give up their battles so as to let His Royal Highness Sebastian the First of His Name through

    3. The moment of the photo, mate. When Webber tries to overtake both Kobayashi and Vettel, almost crashing with them (actually Webber ran out of the track for a few moments)

      1. @omarr-pepper That moment you speak of is actually when MW was playing the team game. Had he not, he would’ve risked to turn into the corner.

        Apart from the start, which as Martin Brundle said at the time, is a very difficult time to concentrate on your team-mate, MW did nothing wrong in Brazil. He also let SV past when he came up behind him during the race.

  6. Did Webber not go really wide/off the track at Turn 1 in Brazil to avoid hitting Vettel? Can’t remember the team orders though.

  7. Well **** me, there’s St Petersburg in America!?!
    And there I was, thinking Indy Car had a race in Russia in this time of year!

    Should have at least called it New St Petersburg. Or even better get a new name for it.

    1. Holy ****! I was under the impression St Petersburg as in the one in Russia (and the only one I am aware of)! LOL

      1. San Pedro?

    2. @brace – I’d like to go to Birmingham… in Alabama!

      1. @david-a Yes, and I thought Memphis was the ancient capital of the Pharaohs not of Rock’n’roll!

        Oh, and while you’re in Alabama, you might want to jump across the state border with Georgia to visit Athens!

  8. Bernie’s comments about Sepang are interesting. I was there last year for the MotoGP and it’s a great circuit, with some problems that should be able to be easily fixed, and in my opinion are what is holding the circuit back from reaching its full potential. In order of significance they are:

    1. Getting to / from the circuit is a nightmare. It’s 60km from downtown KL and they have a freeway running all the way to the circuit, and the airport which is next door, but normal traffic rules don’t seem to apply. At the circuit people park on the freeway blocking lanes, no joke. On race day for the MotoGP it took 3 hours to go 60km on a bus to get to the circuit. The buses that run to and from KL are infrequent and seem to be managed by completely incompetent people, they have buses full of people going nowhere, they have drivers who stop at service stations to buy a news paper etc etc. There are is priority for buses, they have to sit in the same traffic jams as cars, and the end up driving in the shoulder to get anywhere. But what really frustrated me is that there is a train from KL to the airport, that stops at the airport, that could have been extended like 4 or 5km to the circuit, and used to get people to / from the circuit. Why this never happened makes no sense to me.

    2) Timing, as far as I can tell it rains every afternoon in Sepang, both the MotoGP and Formula 1 start the races too late. It’s hard to get spectators to a race, especially from overseas if they can’t even be guaranteed that they will see a whole race.

    3) The circuit is a bit run down, well the circuit isn’t but the spectator facilities are. The toilets get blocked up, the grandstands are rusty and look like an abandoned ship that has been left to rust away . Also pedestrian movement is not particularly well thought out. What I mean is it appears that it was well thought out by Tilke, but the operators of the circuit do strange stuff like put the signing stage at the main entrance of the circuit reducing footpath width down to like 2 metres, causing massive bottle necks.

    4) You cannot walk around the circuit. You look at the aerial photo and there is heaps of green space, but you’re stuck in your one spot. If you bought a grand stand tickets that is the only place you can go. Unlike the Australian Grand Prix, if you buy a grandstand ticket you can walk around the whole circuit and watch from different general admin vantage points with no problems.

    1. I meant to say that there is no priority for buses, they have to sit in the same traffic jams as cars, and they end up driving in the shoulder to get anywhere.

  9. crazy race! unfortunately, there is no up side for webbo, one of my favorite drivers. infiniti red bull vettel racing remains his best opportunity at success.

    it’s not a matter of “he did it first, now we’re even.” it’s a matter of “it was done (at least) once before and now it’s settled” except it clearly isn’t settled by management. one of their drivers puts himself ahead of the team, and openly defies the team leaders because he thinks it’s all about him. and he’s probably right – do you seriously think vettel has caught hell from management? more likely, dietrich and helmut pulled him aside to say “do what you want to the australian, but don’t undermine horner. we need him and his people, ok? good boy, have another bratwurst.”

    1. Exactly what I was thinking.
      On one side you’ve got people like Horner and Newey that say “ohhhhh nooo Seb don’t do that” and then on the other side Dietrich and Helmut “do it if ya like, we will never fall out of love with you”.
      Red Bull again need a few PR lessons as once more the situation has being very mismanaged.
      Thank God for the fast car, otherwise this team would be full of temper tantrums all over the place.

    2. “do what you want to the australian, but don’t undermine horner. we need him and his people, ok?

      This is probably pretty close to what they actually told Vettel

    3. And Webber has always gotten so much spanking for his antics like in Silverstone ’11 or Brazil ’12. Oh poor, poor Mark Webber. Always being the victim.

      1. Sorry, Webber has never receive a spanking. The only moment Horner has reacted similar to what he is doing rigt now it was before Brazil 2010.

        1. That’s what I meant. Sorry, I forgot my sarcasm smiley.

    4. @f1yankee

      Would a sane person expect anything else? How many titles would they have won with Webber and Coulthard? 1 maybe. 0 most likely.

      I do agree management at Red Bull is awful.

  10. Horner is Marko’s lapdog so he can’t rock the boat too much ,he needs to show his allegiance to Vettel camp.

    1. @howard

      I don’t like team orders, I’d rather see team mates battle each other with fierceness and respect. But I understand them, after all there are teams and a constructor’s championship and whenever we have a team, we need a boss and by definition anyone under the boss should respect his decisions.

      If Sir Alex Ferguson asks Nani to play left-back is a certain occasion we expect him to play left-back. If he dares to confront Ferguson’s instruction he will certainly pay the price of his defiance.

      Nico Rosberg was being held by slower Hamilton and asked his boss to let him pass to chase the Bulls but he was denied and respected the decision. I think he was right, but I still think that Lewis himself should have let him pass, but here both respected their team orders. The case was different at Red Bull because allegedly both drivers were told to slow down and the one leading did slow down while the one behind took it as an opportunity to close the gap and then mount an aggressive attack that his own engineer seemed to dislike. Plus, after all that his boss, Mr Horner, says that even if he asked to give the place back he would’ve ignore it… that’s bad, very bad.

      Alex Ferguson is not that young anymore but I think Jose Mourinho should be considered to take over Horner’s place and show those boys who’s leading.

  11. Sounds like a lot of mixed messages are coming out of Red Bull. On the one hand, the post-race radio transmission had Horner demanding that Vettel explain himself, and his tone made it pretty clear that he wasn’t happy. Now he’s claiming that this sort of thing happens all the time, and while he may have had the chance to let his temper cool, Horner is already fairly well known for keeping a cool head – which demonstrates just how upset he was with Vettel after the race, and shows just how contradictory the team has been in handling it.

    I suppose that, on a certain level, they have themselves to blame for this – trying to pretend that their drivers get along when they so obviously don’t will inevitably lead to people questioning the effectiveness of any sanctions they hit Vettel with.

    1. Now he’s claiming that this sort of thing happens all the time

      Are you suggesting it doesn’t? We know of a few incidents where it has happened, and doubtless there are others which have not been made public.

      I suppose that, on a certain level, they have themselves to blame for this

      Webber for sure and Vettel perhaps have been ignoring team orders for years now. So of course Horner is to blame for this.

      I will say that all this is blown ridiculously out of proportion. If they’d crashed out while racing each other all the hype and hysteria might be justified. But nothing actually happened, at least from a RB perspective. Their drivers still finished 1-2.

  12. On COTD,
    Spot on but your comment supports teams decision yesterday. Human beings hate unpredictable results, we are risk averse by default and what team bosses did was “risk management”, too bad it killed the race.

    1. Human beings hate unpredictable results

      Shouldn’t this be a “perfect” reason for doing away with race starts? They are the most unpredictable part of a race. :-)

      I don’t think the COTD is saying team orders are irrational. We all know that most of the time they are absolutely rational.

      That’s the point: F1 became way too rational for most spectators’ liking.

      Fans are probably not watching it to see some éminence grise performing computer-based risk-management in the background, and then race car driving professionals “doing the job” (as even Webber put it yesterday) based on the input.

      At one point risk-averse behavior must be curtailed in a racing environment (though less through selfish disobedience on the part of “I can get away with anything” mentality wunderkinder, and more by making rules made to that effect).

      1. Yes mate. Actually I wanted to see them racing but from teams point of view that was unnecessary risk and orders respected that logic that you and me disapprove.

        I don’t know if you already did, but if not, try reading “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman on how we make decisions.

        1. from teams point of view that was unnecessary risk

          Yes, that’s exactly where rules come to the rescue

          When rational behavior dictates one thing (managing every possible aspect of racing from a well-equipped pit wall and minimizing business* risk in every imaginable way), while spectator interest dictates another (intra-race decision making lying with drivers and done on the race track), rules can shift the first to be more in line with the second.

          It’s not about the general human dynamics of making decisions; one cannot change those, as you rightly point out.

          It’s about how much you limit different aspects of decision making (input it uses, ways it can be communicated etc.) in order to improve the whole experience.

          * Please note that I’m using the qualifier “business” here. Maximizing the point haul for the team, strategizing to avoid risky situations (like on-track battles), optimizing finishing order in order to have the marketable star on podium (even by brazenly lying to your other pilot à la Ross Brawn) etc. are not racing decisions but business ones.

  13. Did the guy on the right raise his hand to say he was finished? The footage i saw he was still working when they released jenson.

    Thats not his fault

    1. Clearly not his fault, the probably didn’t come off fast enough, and they car was already on the ground before he could lock the nut.

    2. He was showing crossed hands – i would say that the guy with “lollypop” already released Button and then the “right-wheel” guy showed crossed hands as wheel was not done.

    3. Yeah, that’s what it looked like to me too, that they dropped the rear first. I think they have the lights though, so maybe it was that he accidentally hit his button saying he was done or whatever, rather than that he mistakenly thought he was done and deliberately pushed the button, if you see what I mean. Will have to rewatch it.

      1. Yeah, just watched it again, the gun is still on the tyre when Jenson is dropped and takes off. So it could only be that guy’s fault if he simultaneously hit a button on the gun or something? I’m not quite sure how the lights system works.

        1. Sam Michael confirmed to (?) 5Live that it’s a system linked to all the guns and jacks. When they’re all finished, it goes green.

          It’ll either be a signalling issue or the guy made a mistake that triggered a ‘finished’ signal.

          1. @optimaximal thanks, yeah I think I listened to that, but I can’t remember the details! Presumably linked to in a way that requires the mechanic to physically trigger the light, right (I.e. not automatically triggered)? Then he must have done so accidentally, unless the team are blaming him unfairly for a systems error, as you say.

          2. The teams very rarely blame the mechanics for any mistakes in pit-stops. They’re high-energy quick-fire situations run by mostly volunteers within the team. Only the chief mechanic has any clearly-defined roll. The media, however…

            The process was probably a combination of human error and technical error. The guy with the gun was probably working from muscle memory, pushing the gun on then triggering a complete signal. There was probably a micro-second where he realised the nut wasn’t seated, but he accidentally triggered a complete signal anyway.

          3. There was probably a micro-second where he realised the nut wasn’t seated, but he accidentally triggered a complete signal anyway.

            The mechanics apparenly don’t need to actively give an ‘ok’ signal. McLaren apparently has overhead camera’s that register the activity around the car and which generates the green light to the driver.

            So there is – quite litterally – no room for error.
            The McLaren mechanic in this case did react, but Button had already left, that’s how fast everything goes.
            I’m wondering if they’re not pushing beyong the human limitation to react. Nothing should compromise the safety in the pit lane. F1 cars with loose wheels in the pit lane do pose a serious safety concern.

    4. If you watch the footage it’s obvious that the front right wheel man was not at fault.

      The front jack man dropped the car and moved out of the way before the wheel was attached properly. The Mclaren overhead green/red light system was clearly showing a red light for the front right wheel. Then Button pulled away, understandably trusting the judgement of the front jack man instead of checking the lights himself and realizing that one of them was still red.

  14. I am not sure if this has been mentioned elsewhere but this whole debacle is very similar to turkey 2010 but with Mclaren.Mclaren had 1-2 with lewis leading button and the team made the call to both drivers to hold position until the end of the race.All of a sudden jenson overtook hamilton,but the difference is hamilton made the move and overtook button again.I can remember hamilton been very upset after the race even though he won.The point I am trying to make is i don’t recall people villifying button for disobeying team orders or criticising Mclaren for implementing team orders in the first place and this when team orders were disallowed.

    1. @tasvat001, the situation was similar for Lewis in that his race engineer had told him Jenson would not overtake him, but Jenson had only been told that both had to save fuel (and tyres). So Jenson did nothing wrong, but it didn’t look very good from the point of view of Lewis’s cockpit.

      1. I also recall McLaren’s official reply to that situation like that.
        Jenson supposedly had not received explicit instructions to maintain position. He had only been told to turn down his engine.
        Besides, Hamilton immediatley took back his position and a little later, the message to both drivers to mainain position was broadcast. Button then effectively backed down.

        But it’s been a while, I may be off

        1. Sounds exactly how i remember it.

  15. @keithcollantine Felipe Massa’a birthday is on 25th April, not today…

    1. Let´s celerate 2 times ;)

  16. happy birhday @guilherme Texeira and to @Marc

  17. Regarding Keith’s tweet on Alonso, it’s interesting to think that already it’s arguably impossible for Alonso to equal his performance of last year. In 2012, he crashed out of Japan for which he was partially to blame, but yesterday’s crash was entirely his fault. Also, he didn’t leave many other points on the table last year; the only thing that springs to mind is a bad strategy call in Canada.

    He can still arrive in Barcelona with more points than last year, because China and Bahrain were the only two rounds were the canine features of the car resulted in a low points score.

    I also noticed that in Malaysia Alonso celebrated his 200th Grand Prix, even though he only started in 198 of them. I guess he doesn’t want to celebrate in Bahrain.

    1. He can still arrive in Barcelona with more points than last year

      He will need a 3rd and a 4th place in the next two races to be ahead of 2012 championship poitns by two just 2pts which is very realistic given the performance of Massa in the last race and Ferrari will have an updated aero package for China but i do believe that his performance of 2012 will be in the history of the sport it is just unrepeatable , i think that it is possible for him and Ferrari to score more points than last year and even win championship but there is a difference between performance and results, this year’s car is much better and it will allow him consistently to fight for victory (if its development through the season will be OK), and BTW last year Fernando has 2 retirements and 2 poor results, theoretically he can afford this year 3 or 4 retirements and 1 more win and he can still be ahead on pts

    2. it’s interesting to think that already it’s arguably impossible for Alonso to equal his performance of last year.

      I don’t expect him to score more points than last year. But then, all he needs to do is score better than his rivals this year.

  18. “But then again we had the same thing in Brazil the other way around.”

    Only YESTERDAY Horner said “I’m not quite sure what he means by that,” referring to Webber saying Seb will be protected. This is what he meant Christian! You’re already doing it!

    1. True! Weber should be looking for another team or job now.

    2. @petebaldwin Here were I live what Horner did is called “stating the obvious”. It’s quite a long way from protecting Vettel, which I think is kinda baffling as Horner has been a hundred times more critical of Seb than he was when Mark disobeyed team orders.

      1. what Horner did is called “stating the obvious”.

        The great big baffling question is why not a single F1 reporter – to the best of my knowledge – has ever stated the obvious with respect to Brazil 2012, or asked Webber the question which should be staring everyone in the face – why did you make things so difficult for your championship-chasing teammate?

        There is something very wrong with the state of F1 journalism.

        1. @jonsan

          Because they don’t want to know.
          Ask yourself this? What delivers more hits and gets you more readers?
          1. Making a triple champion look like a villain.
          or 2. Making a multiple race winner who is often perceived as the underdog a villain.

  19. I think Vettel’s plan was to disobey the orders and then apologise.
    Great plan, knowing there’ll be no repercussions.

  20. “But then again we had the same thing in Brazil the other way around”
    And by your statement i predict that it will be the same thing in the next races

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