Horner: “We had the same thing in Brazil”

F1 Fanatic round-up

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.”

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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 :)
MDian

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

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th March 2013, 7:52

    happy birhday @guilherme Texeira and to @Marc

  2. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 25th March 2013, 8:16

    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.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 25th March 2013, 8:56

      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

    • 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.

  3. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 25th March 2013, 8:33

    “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!

    • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 25th March 2013, 9:45

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

    • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 25th March 2013, 14:40

      @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.

      • 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.

  4. Jason (@jason12) said on 25th March 2013, 8:37

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

  5. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 25th March 2013, 9:09

    “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

  6. Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 25th March 2013, 9:17

    The only part of the race I didn’t enjoy was the team radio of “Get Mark out of the way, he is too slow” and it wasn’t so much the comment, but it was the way he said it, I felt it lacked respect, something you wouldn’t hear from the other drivers about their team-mates. The actual duel between Webber and Vettel itself I found so exciting I was literally stood on my chair shouting and screaming! So I can’t really criticise Seb for making the race a whole lot more entertaining..The only other thing that was dissappointing was how glum Hamilton was post-race, yes it is not the way he wants to get on the podium but nevertheless, conjure a smile for your first podium for Mercedes? Anyway never mind, loved the race.

  7. Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 25th March 2013, 9:26

    I think the best bit of the whole debacle was the post-race/pre-podium green room.

    Not Webber getting angry, but Adrian Newey’s “i’m not angry, just very disappointed” face. I think that will get to Seb more than anything else. Also, if it’s planted in both Newey and Horner’s minds that Seb will openly disobey them and risk both cars, it could be interesting to see how it all plays out going forward.

    More telling was Marko’s BBC interview, where he called Merc out on ‘Team Orders’ with Toto Wolff standing right behind him.

  8. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 25th March 2013, 9:37

    Ban the bloody team orders, or make separate car teams, ooor one team=one car. You can’t control or can’t excpect to control real racers! Team orders=mobing! And now Horner is making things even worst! This is a problem that should be dealed now or we will have frustrations in the future as well.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 25th March 2013, 9:47

      The problem isn’t specifically team orders, it’s that the team agreed on a strategy and Vettel deliberately diverged from it. Mark had turned his engine down as a result of the agreement, Seb hadn’t, so Mark couldn’t effectively respond.

      • cg22me (@cg22me) said on 25th March 2013, 10:57

        Same thing in reverse in Silverstone, 2011.
        Vettel had a KERS issue, and so was told to drive cautiously, assuring that Webber wouldn’t threaten from behind. Of course, Webber did, catching Vettel off guard. Of course, Vettel retained the place in this instance.

        My summary of the whole situation:
        Vettel is a selfish kid.
        Webber is a hypocrite.
        The whole fight was incredibly entertaining.

        • ivz (@ivz) said on 25th March 2013, 11:20

          On your summary, that is pretty much spot on.
          – Vettel is even more immature than most 25 years olds. I have seen more respect, compassion and understanding in some teenagers.
          – Webber knows that he can’t trust the team, let alone Vettel as much as he wishes he could, so he knows full well that Vettel would go for the win, just as he would have wanted to if the roles were reversed (although ultimately he probably wouldn’t have the guts as it most likely would result in him getting the boot).
          – It was dam entertaining, just a shame it wasn’t called by the team that they are allowed to fight to the last lap half way through the race, would have made it much better.

      • Mark had turned his engine down as a result of the agreement, Seb hadn’t, so Mark couldn’t effectively respond.

        You’re just making things up now. Both drivers turned their engines maps down, and then had a cracking good race. Anyone who says that Mark “couldn’t effectively respond” did not watch the race.

    • David not Coulthard (@) said on 25th March 2013, 10:33

      This is a problem that should be dealed now or we will have frustrations in the future as well.

      While F1 isn’t as much of a team sport as something like football or basketball (or software projects, but those aren’t games), it’s still a team sport.

      With that being said, it irritates me that some commenters say “It’s a team sport” when responding to some things, the WDC is much more “precious” than scoring more goals than anyone else in a season.

  9. smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 25th March 2013, 10:53

    PR disaster for Red Bull, imagine putting Vettel’s picture next to a can of the stuff, most people will think, aahh thats the german guy who stuffed his team mate.
    Not clever.

    • ivz (@ivz) said on 25th March 2013, 11:24

      Is Red Bull the most hated team in F1? Would be interesting for a Keith to do a poll. Ferrari were well in front, but I would think that Red Bull would be right up there now lol.
      I like Red Bull as a company, but not fond of the F1 team combination of Marko, Horner, Newey and Vettel.

      • Eric (@mcl75) said on 25th March 2013, 13:18

        I love Seb, but find it very difficult to like Red Bull. That said, you have to respect their engineering and race strategy/management. My girlfriend loves Ferrari and Red Bull though (take a guess as to why, haha).

        I’m diehard McLaren. I love the way they conduct themselves and never seem to let a driver become larger than the team, and the name. However, you aren’t human if you didn’t start Malaysia pushing for Force India to mix things up again.

      • Roberto (@roberto) said on 25th March 2013, 13:32

        Any team/driver that goes on a long winning streak becomes hated and everyone besides their fans starts wanting to see them fail. I wouldn’t put too much weight on that though. We’ve seen it with Schumi and even Alonso when he won back to back titles. It’s actually a good measure of success..

  10. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 25th March 2013, 13:02

    Interesting thing is seeing people saying that this was an example of Vattel being hot headed and irrational. To my mind, what Seb did was very well thought out, logical, and (in most respects), absolutely the right thing to do.

    In 2010 Vettel won the championship by 4 points. In 2012 he won it by 3 points. The difference between finishing first and finishing second is 8 points. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that dropping 8 points to your teammate might make the difference between winning a fourth championship, and being a runner up. So under the circumstances Vettel made the most logical decision – overtake his teammate on the track and just deal with the fallout from the team later on. No matter what, those 8 points are in the bag, and come the end of the season they will likely be critical.

    Red Bull brought this problem upon themselves, just as they did in all of the other situations where their drivers have fallen out over team orders. While I totally understand the reasoning behind asking Seb not to attack Mark, the two drivers are not robots, and are extremely competitive individuals. As has been pointed out, Vettel, Webber, Button, and plenty more, have all disobeyed team orders in the past when they’ve turned out to be disadvantageous to them. Because every single point is totally critical. A better (though naturally more risky) solution is to say to them “ok guys, we’ve got the race win in the bag, turn down your engines and manage the tyres – you’re free to race, just keep it clean and make sure you bring it home in one piece” – give the drivers a little bit of credit and show that you trust their ability to fight it out without it coming to blows. And in a more relaxed situation like that, it’s less likely that they’ll have another crash. After all, how can you expect the two drivers to properly respect each other when you imply that you don’t trust them to be able to do their jobs properly?

    • Roberto (@roberto) said on 25th March 2013, 13:22

      @MazdaChris – Great comment and I agree. McLaren have done what you suggested in the past with Hamilton and Button and it always worked out great for them. They fought each other hard (but fair) with the team being fully in control. RBR should def take a leaf out of their book.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 25th March 2013, 15:12

      @mazdachris, in this instance, I think the team order was not for fear of them crashing (though Seb came pretty close to the wall), but for fear of them running out of tyres. Of course, by this stage Mercedes’s challenge had blunted so there was little reason for the team order.

      Also, telling them it’s Ok to race but to look after the tyres at the same time doesn’t achieve anything, as you cannot fight for position while looking after your tyres. The guy in front will have to go fast enough to keep the other out of DRS, so the guy behind can force him to speed up.

      In this case, I think Red Bull had two options:
      1. Let them race, and trust them to be mature enough to bring the cars home.
      2. Not give Vettel the benefit of the undercut. If Webber had been allowed to postpone his final pit stop until he could have made it to the end without worrying about his tyres, he would have started his final stint with something like a four-second lead, which he would probably have been able to defend (after all, Vettel couldn’t pass him either even when he was moaning “Webber is so slow, get him out of the way”). Prior to the final stop, Hamilton was 7 seconds down the road, so there was no danger of Vettel being overtaken by the Mercedes again.

      But instead Red Bull gave Vettel permission to attack Webber, and with Webber emerging from the pits side-by-side with Vettel, it is not a great stretch that Vettel’s permission to attack was still valid for the next couple of corners. Of course, Vettel should then have slowed down, but as he was still in the DRS zone, the temptation to have another go must have been too great, and must have seemed only a small extension of his ‘license to attack’.

      Btw, the difference between first and second is 7 points.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 25th March 2013, 16:01

        Sorry, yes, it’s 7 points not 8. Still, the fact is that championships are won or lost on far smaller margins than that. So I’m not in the least bit surprised that Vettel would have decided it was worth taking a bit of flak for the sake of a few extra points. I know it’s early in the year, but the points you win in the first race are just as important as those scored in the finale. Vettel was able to overtake Webber because he had a speed advantage in his car – at the end of the race, he was genuinely the quicker of the two. So as long as he was able to pass him safely, it’s hard to see why Red Bull would have such a problem. By making it a huge issue with team orders, they engineered a situation where the only way for Vettel to take the initiative was with a rather gung-ho and bitter battle on the track. How have they not learned by now that favouring one driver over the other inevitably ends in tears? In their team at least…

        Part of the problem is that Red Bull seem to be mired in the days when team orders were banned, so they have all of these smoke and mirror tactics for hinting to their drivers what they want them to do. Why not simply say “Seb, don’t overtake Mark”? Why all the coded nonsense? It makes it seem like they’re doing something underhanded. Or indeed why not “Mark, Seb is faster than you, don’t fight him when he overtakes…” if they were worried about tyres? It seems pretty obvious that someone as determined and competitive as Vettel is never going to turn down the opportunity to score extra points, if the opportunity is available to him. Maybe they were just trying to prove a point to all the people who claim that Vettel is the number 1 driver in the team and that Webber isn’t allowed to win races?

        The sad thing really is seeing Webber getting a sour face on (as usual) and whinging about it, when the fact is he lost a place because he was slower than his teammate. Contrast that to Hamilton’s reaction, almost being ashamed of having been gifted a place he didn’t deserve. Why does Webber think that he’s entitled to keep a place he’s not fast enough to keep on merit?

        • RedBullFan said on 25th March 2013, 16:27

          I don’t think that is what happened at all. Weber seemed to pit one lap ahead of what Red Bull expected (remember the scramble to get ready in the pit when he entered pit lane?). If Weber waits one more lap, Seb makes up enough time to come out in front anyway (as Weber’s tires were going off), and Red Bull gets the result they want/need for best PR benefit, which is why they are doing all of this.

          Instead, Weber comes in when it helps him the most, Seb can’t quite get by, Weber almost stuffs him into the wall defending his spot, and then on the next lap, Seb passes him. Then Weber brings up the team orders. When was the engine turned down? In the pits? Right when he came out? One lap later? No one knows.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 26th March 2013, 23:21

      @mazdachris

      I agree completely. Great comment.

  11. Eric (@mcl75) said on 25th March 2013, 13:12

    I think Webber summed it up rather nicely by saying, “Seb will have protection, as always, and that’s all there is to it,” or something to that effect.

    I love Vettel. But will openly admit to being lulled into thinking he was soft due to that baby face and generally boyish demeanor. There’s a shark under there. Webber needs to go. Not because he’s a bad driver, he isn’t. He needs to get out from under Vettel’s shadow and go where his skills are appreciated. Ferrari? Possibly. Though I find it difficult to believe he and Alonso would not have the same kinds of issues—even if they are mates.

    • I think Webber summed it up rather nicely by saying, “Seb will have protection, as always, and that’s all there is to it,” or something to that effect.

      Remind me again what harsh punishment Webber suffers when he defies team orders? Webbers’ hypocrisy on this matter is mind-blowing. His words explaining why he defied team orders:

      Asked how he felt about the team orders, Webber replied: “I am not fine with it, no. That is the answer to that.

      “If Fernando Alonso retires on the last lap, we are fighting for the win.

      “Of course I ignored the team because I wanted to try and get a place. Seb was doing his best, I was doing my best. I wasn’t going to crash with anyone.”

      To now turn around and cry that Vettel did not obey team orders is just contemptible.

      • Palle (@palle) said on 26th March 2013, 16:38

        @jonsan +1
        Webber just got his own medicine, but I wonder how many GP Horner needs to learn that he can’t control neither of these 2 drivers on track – and I don’t think he should either. Any of the top drivers should tell their team: When I’m driving I’m in control – You advice on strategy and provide the equipment, service and new tyres, but when I drive I do what I do best and let me control and decide for myself. A la Kimi’s comment: “I know what I’m doing!”

      • artificial racer said on 26th March 2013, 23:41

        Excellent comment.

  12. Slr (@slr) said on 25th March 2013, 13:17

    Regarding this ugly episode Red Bull are having, I can sympathise with Webber and I would also be angry if I was him. However I also would have done the same as Vettel, I don’t believe in morality when it comes to winning in sports, so I can understand Vettel’s actions although I don’t believe his apology is sincere and I think he’s talking rubbish when he says he didn’t mean to do what he did.

  13. BaKano (@bakano) said on 25th March 2013, 14:50

    I do not understand all the attention taken into the pit-stop error for justifying Button’s failure to get a good result! The problem was on the right tire, he retired due to severe problems on the left tire that they actually said could have broken the suspension. Perez had to pit the next lap due to his tires being dead as well!
    Even without the pit-stop error, Button would never be able to make the tires last until the end and the extra stop would put him at Massa’s reach for sure, probably even Grosjean!
    Unless the right tire issue could have been caused by the pit-stop error which does not seem logical at all.

  14. BaKano (@bakano) said on 25th March 2013, 14:53

    And what about Eclestonne’s new rambling regarding Lewis? Didn’t he had similar comments regarding other drivers moves in order to create dream teams?
    Does Bernie ever gives statements to the press not being high on drugs?

  15. tmax (@tmax) said on 25th March 2013, 15:24

    3 Years ago, Team orders were illigeal by FIA and it was a considered a Sin.
    Fast forward to today “Not Obeying a Team Order is a Grave Sin… ”

    I like F1 for this. Change is the only thing that is constant in F1. Good Job Bernie & Todt.

    I am waiting to hear from Marko, Bernie and Todt about their perspective of this incident.

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