Mark Webber has left F1 of his own choosing after five years alongside Sebastian Vettel. And Ferrari dropped Felipe Massa at the end of his eighth season at the team, the last four of which were spent alongside Fernando Alonso.
In both cases the most recent arrivals to the team – Vettel and Alonso – were never beaten over a full season by the drivers they joined.
But as the statistics show it was a much closer contest at one team than the other.
Average grid positions
Alonso and Vettel had a similar edge over their team mates in both seasons, though Webber had a particularly strong year against his team mate in 2010.
Strikingly, after 14 races that year the qualifying score between Vettel and Webber was 7-7. But over the final five races, following the team’s introduction of an exhaust-blown diffuser and during which time Webber sustained a shoulder injury, Vettel was ahead every time and clinched the world championship.
Average race positions
Massa’s unfortunate record of failing to win in four seasons, all of which Alonso won at least one race in, would of course look very different had Ferrari not ordered Massa to hand a victory to his team at Hockenheim in 2010. But the fact remains he has usually been much further behind Alonso than Webber has behind Vettel.
His last extension, coming after a season where he finished 4.8 places behind Alonso on average, did not pass without comment from Ferrari’s rival team. Christian Horner said he wouldn’t have kept Massa based on how his results compared with Alonso’s.
|2009*||2010||2011||2012||2013||Total||% of team’s total|
*Previous points system
The view that Webber was closer to Vettel’s pace before the switch to Pirelli tyres is backed up by their points hauls. Webber was much closer to Vettel on Bridgestones in 2009 and 2010 than he was in the following three years.
However even in his final year alongside Vettel Webber managed to score more than half his team mate’s points tally – though he only just managed it this season. Massa, meanwhile, scored less than half Alonso’s points haul for the last three years in a row.
The graph below shows what percentage of their team’s points total the drivers scored in each season.
This graph shows how many non-classified retirements each driver had during the same time period, and whether those were caused by technical faults or another problem, e.g. a collision.
Over to you
Share your thoughts on the intra-team rivalries between the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers in the comments.
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