Mark Webber, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2013

Red Bull had ‘minutes’ notice Webber was leaving

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2013In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner learned that Mark Webber was leaving the team just a few minutes before the announcement was made.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Mark Webber leaves it late to tell Red Bull he is quitting F1 (The Guardian)

“‘An hour’s notice is a bit short,’ Horner said on Thursday night. After consulting his mobile phone he confirmed that in fact it was shorter than that, and a matter of only a few minutes.”

Christian Horner: “He?s obviously decided that the timing is right…” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“‘The guys at the factory are a bit more disappointed that they read it on the internet rather than heard something direct.’ Asked whether Webber had the option to stay at RBR he said: ‘We never got into that discussion.'”

Mark Webber Q&A ?ǣ 2014 and beyond (Mark Webber)

“Did you have options to stay in F1?
MW: Yes but since Formula One as a category wasn?t on my radar for 2014, they weren?t a consideration for me.”

Sebastian Vettel gives his full approval for Kimi Raikkonen to replace Mark Webber as his team-mate at Red Bull (The Independent)

“I think nobody could have a problem with Kimi as team-mate, except for Perez.”

Vettel keen for say on new team mate (BBC)

“I don’t know his situation in Lotus but we get along well. We have never been team-mates and I am not deciding whether he will be joining the team or not.”

Mark Webber a rare breed in F1 (The Telegraph)

Tom Cary: “He’s very down to earth; he’s actually one of the very few drivers that has chosen to make his base in the UK. He’s a full-on taxpayer here and there are no airs and graces about him – he’s not sauntered off to Monaco and stashing his money away.”

Raikkonen drops Red Bull hint (Sky)

“On the subject of being handed a free rein, Raikkonen said: ‘It’s one of the key points. Obviously you want to have a good car, but there are lots of small things that have to be right for yourself. They might sound like stupid, small things but I’ve been long enough in the business to know what I want and if those things aren’t right then that decision might be different.'”

2013 British Grand Prix – Thursday Press Conference (FIA)

Fernando Alonso: “This year we are a little bit dominated by the tyres? performance and the tyre issues that we face every weekend. Some weekends are hit by some tyres against the others but it seems that if you have a weekend where you make the tyre work properly and last properly throughout the race you have a better chance to win, so despite the performance of the car in the high speed corners or low speed corners, I think it will be a weekend over the next couple of races to make the tyres work in the maximum performance in qualifying and in the race, because sometimes you hit one of the two and it?s not enough so we need to improve in that aspect.”

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2013Designer Morris to leave Sauber (Autosport)

“Head of concept design Eric Gandelin will take over the role at the start of next month, although the timing of [Matt] Morris’s departure from the squad has yet to be finalised.”

Q&A with Force India?s Adrian Sutil (F1)

“I wouldn’t say I’m more unlucky than others, but it?s true that there have been some races in the past where I should have achieved better results. Things like in Montreal shouldn’t happen. There was a chance to overtake Bottas as he had a bad exit out of the corner, but it didn’t work out and I unfortunately spun. Next time I would wait and overtake him on the straight because the speed was in my car.”

Bernie Ecclestone waives Nurburgring’s GP fee (The Times of India)

“Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has waived the ??14 million (US$18m, ??11m) entry fee to allow the insolvent company which owns the Nurburgring race track to host the German Grand Prix on July 7, according to a report on Wednesday.”

McLaren and Honda rekindle relationship that was winning formula (FT, registration required)

“The Japanese carmaker will supply McLaren?s 2015 engines from its Tochigi research and development facility in Japan. Honda will have some of its people embedded at McLaren headquarters in Woking, Surrey, but the hub of the research and design will be carried out in Japan.”

MotorSportsTalk?s predictions: British GP (NBC)

“Most to prove: Giedo van der Garde. Montreal was a pretty horrendous race for him as he collided twice with drivers who were trying to lap his Caterham. He needs to stay out of the stewards? office this weekend.”


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Comment of the day

@Girts on the all-important question of who will take Webber’s place at Red Bull:

I believe that Raikkonen is a serious candidate. I think that his dislike for PR stuff often gets exaggerated (partly by himself) and also that his attitude has changed after the sabbatical. Even before that, he spent eight years with teams that he theoretically should hate, according to his image.

I?m not saying that Red Bull?s PR events are going to make Raikkonen happy but he certainly wants to be in a car that?s capable of winning championships and I don?t think Lotus will ever be able to give him one, mainly because of the lack of money and also the recent loss of James Allison.

From the forum

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If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Victory in the non-championship Rouen Grand Prix went to Giuseppe Farina in a Ferrari 60 years ago today.

Images ?? Red Bull/Getty, Sauber

71 comments on “Red Bull had ‘minutes’ notice Webber was leaving”

  1. Reports earlier today (either with quotes from Webber or Mateschitz, forget which one) stated that Dietrich Mateschitz was well aware of the negotiations and actually helped Webber with guidance as to making the choice (and confirmed that RB will follow him as a personal sponsor).

    So while you can say that Webber should’ve told Horner though you can kind of understand why he didn’t, you gotta really question the way the team is ran when the actual owner of it didn’t even make Horner aware even after knowing for a few months.

    1. Its almost like Mateschitz already knows whom he wants as Marks replacement (Kimi) and doesn’t need Horners input.

      1. Really? You got that from Mateschitz encouraging Webber and committing the company as a personal sponsor?

        1. I got it from the fact he didn’t tell Horner so they could plan for a replacement.

    2. Quite possibly we have to differentiate between knowing something on a personal basis and having been “officially” told on a business basis, no doubt the timing was driven by Porsche.

      1. Having read the Kimi R interview I expect that Horner was hoping to sign Kimi before Mark announced his departure, Kimi now has a little more leverage than he would have had if Mark was prepared to stay another year with RBR

        1. on the drivers, its also possible that Red Bull now have a better negotiation position with other drivers (as they know Kimi is RBRs first choice), and at the same time its good for Kimis bargaining position vs Lotus!

      2. As it seems that Red Bull might be supporting Mark at Porsche too, I think its well possible that Mateschitz had been in the know about a serious option of Webber going to Porsche and discussed the scenario with him @hohum.

        It rather shows how much Horner runs the team really. Vettel does what he wants, Marko overrules what Horner says (and then Horner changes his lines too), Webber rather goes over his head and discuss things with the boss. Curious how some people mentioned they saw Horner as being the right guy to take over from Bernie

    3. Like any other ethical workplace, an employee-employer discussion should be held in confidence until the staff member actually hands in his/her resignation. I think Mateschitz acted honourably toward his employee and professionally towards his team.

    4. Horner is no team principle. For some time he didn’t had the pressure on top of him therefore you wouldn’t notice him, that said he had plenty of time to get costumed. In these past years he has showed that he isn’t up to the task, it must be a tough job but in the last 3 years there were numerous moments in which Horner looked powerless and oblivious to what his team is doing. I agree that he tries really hard just look in his face as he was launching the new Renault power unit. Horner has always tried to transpire leadership, confidence and honesty but all his efforts seem to have been undermined and highlighted by the Turkey clash, the front wing drama, the multiple team orders row, and in the end to make matters worse he often let his frustration speak louder thus hindering his status.
      Everyone has been saying that Raikkonen is destined to fill Webber’s seat, what if Raikkonen is also destined to reunite with Allison, this time as Red Bull’s Team Principle?

      1. Principles are what Webber has, while Principals are something else entirely…Webber could have gone whinging to the press, but it’s Horner who’s done that.

        You may be right about Allison going off to Red Bull – I wonder if he’ll soon be making Adrian Newey’s tea and learning how to take over from him one day, while also acting as bait for Raikkonen…

      2. I can’t muster any enthusiasm for Horner bashing, for a guy apparently lousy at his job he sure has a good CV and results record, maybe he knows more about it than we do.

      3. Mr. Mateschitz bypassed Horner completely. I wouldn’t be surprised if Horner leaves RB at the end of the season.

    5. Sorry, but I don’t see how Horner can claim he only had “minutes” notification when RB and Webber were in contract negotiations. FTA-“Webber brought down the curtain on his 12-year F1 career just as Red Bull were about to enter into negotiations over a new one-year contract.”

      Given the way RB has treated Webber over that past few years – I have to ask why they are surprised? Best wishes in your new career, Mark. I might start watching La Mans again.

    6. Keith Huitson
      30th June 2013, 17:34

      I think after the malaysian grand prix, mark had no choice to arrive at his decision, there is no
      doubt that vettel is horners blue eyed boy, if shoe at been on the other foot, and mark disobeyed
      a team order, he would have been desciplined, horner should be the one to go now webber
      and as mark was no1 driver before vettel came he was badly wronged, with the lack of horners
      decision not to descipline vettel !!!!

      1. if shoe at been on the other foot, and mark disobeyed
        a team order, he would have been desciplined

        So why wasn’t Webber “disciplined” after disobeying team orders at Silverstone in 2011?

        See: Webber ignored Red Bull’s order not to pass Vettel

  2. Correction: Christian Horner had “minutes” notice that Webber was leaving.

    Deitrich Mateshitz has know for at least as long as Webber.

  3. I think that in years to come, if a book ever comes out from a well placed insider about the past few years at red bull, it’ll be a fascinating, or horrifying read.

    Webber and Horner ran a racing team together. If Horner only found out from a message a few minutes before the announcement, then it seems to indicate that relationship has broken down quite a bit. If Webber’s been dealing with the owner for months about this, it means both Vettel and Webber have been going over the head of the man who officially runs the team about almost everything. That’s very bad for his position with everyone else under his command.

    Having a loose cannon like Marko around isn’t helping the team’s image or its operations either.

    As for Newey, well he’s the man who allegedly demanded the swap of front wings, and he’s known as both a driven and egotistical figure.

    I’m willing to bet that all in all, it’s quite a toxic environment in there.

    1. Horner is just a mouth-piece. Someone to speak to the media. (Increasingly true for all Team Principals.)

      1. jimscreechy (@)
        28th June 2013, 9:40

        Interesting comment. Based on…

          1. The Blade Runner (@)
            28th June 2013, 12:28

            You beat me to it!

            “Multi 21 Christian, Multi 21…”

    2. Really? A front wing swap? In Formula One? Surely that never happens!

      This is almost as lame as the two-minute-hate surrounding Vettel’s decision – completely unprecedented in the whole history of Formula One! – to ignore team orders.

      1. As I recall Webber did not like that front wing in the first place, guess he was ****** off not to be the one to offer it to Seb.

    3. The only thing keeping together that team is their success, one can only imagine what’s going to happen the day they stop winning, the worst case scenario is Red Bull quits of course.

  4. Fitzroyalty
    28th June 2013, 0:38

    Webber’s lack of notice to Horner may represent a lack of professional courtesy but it is about what Horner and Red Bull deserve. Webber’s loyalty and self-discipline have been impressive for years. As Keith Richards once sang, ‘I’m gonna walk before they make me run’…

    1. And they’re business partners in MW Arden GP3 team…

      This is really strange.

  5. For some reason – perhaps because he speaks German? – everyone harps on Marko’s dislike of Webber. But it’s very obvious that Horner and Newey don’t care much for the guy either. I’m sure his habit of going over their heads to their boss contributed to that.

    1. Yeah if anyone watched the subtle comments and body language would realize nether Horner nor Newey are too fond of him. The question about him going over their heads depends on how that occurred. Did he went over their heads because he felt they didn’t care to listen to him or did they start not caring because he went over their heads.

  6. It’s a bit difficult for me to swallow the fact that Webber’s decision was a surprise to Horner. If it was, then it sorta makes Horner look as though he’s completely out of the loop as to what’s actually going on with his drivers. It’ll be interesting to see how Horner and the rest of RBR treat Mark for the rest of the season and just as interesting to see Mark’s response should things turn a bit nasty.

  7. Alonso using the word “tyre” five times in one answer = F1 2013…

    1. OMG! You said the “T” word!

  8. The guys at the factory are a bit more disappointed that they read it on the internet rather than heard something direct.

    A. horner never passes up the opportunity to lay blame or paint someone else as a villain

    B. the guys at the factory are just fine

    1. Horner has being throwing such little nails at Webber for the last three years now. I’m surprised many people thought Horner was actually an ally of Mark in the team.

  9. Mark Webber leaves it late to tell Red Bull he is quitting F1 (The Guardian)

    Horner should be thanksfull that Mark decided so early in the season. They have 6 months to search for a new candidate, even if they were probably already looking at options, it’s clear and open this time, so it must be easier for them.

    Don’t see much difference between a couple of minutes or a whole day… what’s that gonna change for them?

    And afterall, Mark said that Dietrich was well aware of his decisions… so…

    1. Exactly, Horner’s reaction is a bit rich!

  10. Hey Red Bull how about boycotting that young drivers test now!?

  11. So after Malay the media reported that Mark was going to Porsche next year only to be told ‘No’. Now it is a surprise?

    Hopefully Kimmi will drive for Red Bull to make this eras dream team. I can just see it. Kimmi and Vettel pushing each other for fastests lap upon fastest lap. Lapping the entire field 5 times over. Only to struggle with 10 laps to go on wets because they had burnt out all their tires. “Kimmi Vettel is faster than you” “Yeh well, watch this action”.

    1. I can just see it. Kimmi and Vettel pushing each other for fastests lap upon fastest lap. Lapping the entire field 5 times over. Only to struggle with 10 laps to go on wets because they had burnt out all their tires. “Kimmi Vettel is faster than you” “Yeh well, watch this action”.


  12. Just thought I’d share some cakes that I’ve been working on. I own a cake business, and someone asked for a McLaren cake, and another asked for a Silverstone cake (he’s going to silverstone)…

    On the McLaren cake I made a F1 style car out of icing – it’s completely edible!

    And the Silverstone one just features the design of the track

    Last year for the same guy we made a life sized Valentino Rossi helmet! All out of cake!

    If any of you guys have any feedback (positive or negative) then I’d love to hear it! :)

  13. Ok, so to move away from Ref Bull for a moment:
    Who’s going to drive for Lotus next year?

    1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      28th June 2013, 3:50

      Not Grosjean.

    2. God, I hope they pick Kobayashi…although I doubt it would happen :-(

      1. I imagine they would take someone from GP2 or Formla Renault 3.5 … they’ve been linked to a move to Honda in 2015, so I could see them taking someone like the McLaren-backed Vandoorne in anticipation of a new engine deal.

    3. Hulkenberg and Maldonado seem to be good options for them

      1. Then they’ll have a driver who is quietly consistent and one who crashes all of the time. Oh…

        1. Now if we can only make Maldonado smiling all the time.

  14. After 20+ years of hardcore F1 following I am glad Mark has left for a more pure form of racing category. F1 has become a joke, a toxic category driven by artificial racing.

    1. 100% agree.

  15. Red Bull should still be confident that they’ll have Mark Webber driving for them next year. 8 out of 10 times, Mark Webber stalls the getaway and ends up right back in the pack. Why should this be any different? ;)

    1. Webber should kill in WEC, no standing starts :)

      1. Haha, that’s dead on! No front wings either.

    2. @William Katz & @Uan – Webber’s starts have been much better this year and from the back half of last year. A few times he was caught out by electrical issues as the car kicked into anti-stall for no parent reason. From my understanding due to space issues mainly because of KERS and the tightness of the RBR package they couldn’t run a the system he liked from 2010/11.

  16. So, Vettel ignores Horner’s orders and overtakes Webber. Webber doesn’t inform Horner until the last minute and then informs only because “contractually, he should”.
    Vettel has full support of Marko. Webber discussed everything in advance with Dietrich Mateschitz.

    So what role does Horner play in Red Bull? Does Newey at least respect Horner’s authority?

    1. Yeah, Adrian is the only one, he took his role after the Malaysian GP. Only Horner knows why :-/

  17. I am noticing a curious trend with Vettel’s team-mates. None of Sebastian’s teammates have been able to find a seat on the grid immediately after they left their current team. They either had to leave F1 entirely, or sit out and come back after a hiatus.

    1) He first partnered Nick Heidfeld at BMW in 2007. Heidfeld continued with BMW for another 2 years before he had to sit out of the sport for some time after which he came back in end 2010 with Sauber.
    2) He then partnered Liuzzi at Toro Rosso in 2007. Scott Speed continued only till end of 2007 after which he had to sit out as a test driver for 1.5 years after which he came back in in end 2009 with Force India.
    3) He then partnered Bourdias at Toro Rosso in 2008. Bourdias continued till mid 2009 after which he was replaced. He never came back.
    4) He then partnered Webber at Red Bull. Webber is also leaving F1 at the end of 2013.

    Wonder if the same fate awaits Sebastian’s next team mate.

    1. Also amusing to not that three of Vettel’s former teammates have or are going to WEC – and all in the LMP1 class!

  18. Little notice? Is 6 months not enough!!! Red Bull have really disappointed me in recent years with the way in which they’ve handled situations and Webber has been very professional with them considering. How anyone can trust Red Bull boss I do not know, he only has eyes for Vettel, lets face it!

    Kimi is a good choice for Red Bull, he shares that same ‘trendy’ outlook as the team do, similar to that DG dude that dresses funny and drives rally cars around warehouses getting nowhere. That does however leave me in a predicament, I like Kimi, want him to do well, but not at Red Bull, hmmmm.

    Good luck to Webber though, he deserves to join a team like Porsche where the correct level of respect will be offered. I hope he has a fantastic race at Silverstone this weekend (and maybe knocks Vettel off the tracking too!)

  19. Many thanks for the COTD, I highly appreciate that!

    It’s also noteworthy that Kimi Raikkonen took his first-ever pole position at Nurburgring on this day 10 years ago. Here’s his pole position lap:

  20. Wonder if Vettel woulf be as welcoming if it was Hamilton joining the team…. :)

    1. looking at how lewis fares against rosberg that was outperformed by webber last time, i doubt he needs to wary of him. ROFL

      1. Webber and Rosberg drove together in a terrible Williams in Rosberg’s debut season. That’s like saying Raikkonen is no match for Alonso, because he lost out to Massa in the standings in 2008, and look at how Alonso is beating Massa now..

  21. Good God, does Horner have to moan about everything? In my opinion he deserved no more than to be told of Webber’s decision precisely when Webber was good and ready as he has had all the good will he can expect from Mark over the years. Malaysia was just the straw that broke the camels back.

  22. Good to see the Nürburgring’s entry fee being cut: I’ve been there a lot watching old-timer races and the 2011 GP was the very first one I visited. It’s a fantastic circuit, challenging for the drivers, many places where you can watch the cars from and the infrastructure is not too shabby either.

    I do think Ecclestone’s quote in that article is a bit odd: “I appreciate Nuerburgring and its history […] I’d love for the Nuerburgring track to keep hosting the race and continue the Formula One tradition.” Didn’t he say a few days ago ‘historic’ tracks like Monza might make way for circuit in ‘new markets’? Can’t find the article anymore.

    1. Bernie is trying to keep the Germans happy for some reason ;)

    2. It’s all politics with Bernie. As a business major, he is a prime example of an (unethical, but) successful entrepreneur. I highly doubt Bernie wakes up in the morning thinking ‘money money money, gotta get some more money, gotta kick the European races off the calendar for more money!’, but it is likely he looks at things from a financial level. If he threatens to cut the European season, he knows organizers will look at the possibilities to come up with the money for his demands, and let’s not act like all race organizers are angels.

      If you throw an article like this one through Google Translate, you’ll read some of Monza’s directors have had complaints filled for knowingly letting safety issues exist and financial offenses.

      1. Maybe those Monza directors would have fixed those issues and avoided the financial offenses if they had been able to make a reasonable return from holding a F1 race.

  23. I think that Horner got all the notice that he deserved from Webber considering the way that Webber has been treated by the Horner and Marko Et Al.
    I suspect that the decision was already made that Webber wouldn’t have been re signed for next season even if he wanted to stay on.

  24. How many of us didn’t tell our boss we were thinking of leaving, and then handed in notice once everything was finalised?

    I think that maybe Porsche brought forward the announcement, and the only thing Mark could do was text Horner just before it happened.

  25. I quite like vettel sometimes. He seems humble and has a good sense of humour.

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