Why Webber’s greatest misfortune was to be Vettel’s team mate

2013 F1 season review

Put two top drivers in a car capable of winning the world championship and there will inevitably be points of friction. That was certainly true of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel during their five years together at Red Bull, which came to an end at the close of this season.

Though closely matched at first, with time Vettel gradually asserted himself over Webber, to the point that in their final season together all 13 of Red Bull’s victories were score by Vettel.

This could be explained as Vettel’s precocious young talent maturing into one of the most formidable forces on the track today. But others perceived sinister forces were at work within the team, striving to undermine Webber. Which is the more compelling explanation for the superiority Vettel came to exert within the team?

The first season

Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Shanghai, 2009

In 2009 Webber began his third year with Red Bull. Both were yet to win a grand prix, but new team mate Vettel had brought cheer to the Red Bull project by scoring his first victory with sister team Toro Rosso the year before. That inevitably provoked questions why the rebranded Minardi squad had achieved the feat before the main team had.

Vettel put that right three races into his Red Bull career with a superb victory at a rain-soaked Chinese Grand Prix. But from the outset Webber was on the back foot – almost literally, having broken his leg in a pre-season cycling accident. Merely starting the season was a brave effort on his part, and in China he followed Vettel home to give the team a one-two.

In these early days there were times when the more experienced Webber was able to exploit Vettel’s lack of polish.

In the Turkish Grand Prix, their seventh race together, Vettel went off on the first lap and fell behind his team mate. Towards the end of the race Vettel caught second-placed Webber and, despite being ahead of his team mate in the championship, was ordered to hold position behind him. He did, and followed Webber home in third place.

This was unremarkable at the time but became significant in the light of subsequent events.

The Istanbul incident

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Istanbul, 2010Twelve months later at the same track a similar situation played out. Once again Webber led Vettel, who had been slowed by a brake problem in qualifying, with the two McLarens bearing down on them.

Vettel made to pass his team mate and was on the verge of completing the move when he edged back towards the racing line. It was too soon. The two RB6s touched, spinning Vettel into retirement, sending Webber into the pits with a broken wing and handing McLaren a one-two finish.

Television cameras caught an unimpressed Vettel making a ‘crazy’ gesture in reference to his team mate’s driving. Afterwards Red Bull’s Helmut Marko, the architect of the driver programme which had brought Vettel to the team, backed his young charge instead of the patently blameless Webber.

In any tension between the two team mates Marko invariably came down on Vettel’s side, which unquestionably undermined Red Bull’s insistence that the pair were receiving equal treatment. And the mishandling of a situation at Silverstone later that year did even more damage.

The team had brought two new front wings for the weekend, one each for Vettel and Webber, the latter trialling his team mate in the championship by eight points. When the mounting on Vettel’s wing failed during final practice, the sole remaining example of the new wing was allocated to him instead of Webber.

Vettel duly took pole position at Silverstone but first-corner contact with Lewis Hamilton left him with a puncture and Webber won the race. But his status within the team was fixed in the minds of many by his infamous post-race retort to Christian Horner: “Not bad for a number two driver”.

Despite the growing friction between their drivers Red Bull tried to use team tactics to their advantage when they could. During a Safety Car period in the Hungarian Grand Prix Vettel, who had pitted, was asked to delay the field to assist Webber, who was running in front of him and yet to make his pit stop.

However Vettel, whose radio was not working properly, failed to heed a reminder not to break the rules by holding up the field too much and inadvertently earned himself a drive-through penalty, handing the win to Webber. At the time the team kept quiet about the tactical error.

Vettel snatches 2010 title

Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Red Bull, Monte-Carlo, 2010In the second half of 2010, as Adrian Newey began to exploit the opportunities for boosting downforce by blowing exhaust gasses into the diffuser, Red Bull became increasingly unstoppable.

However it seemed Vettel was better able to adapt his driving style to access this extra performance than Webber was. What also helped Vettel’s cause in the latter stages of 2010 was that Webber was nursing another injury, this time to his shoulder, which wasn’t disclosed until after the season had ended.

Vettel went into the final races of 2010 as the driver to beat on race day, but at a disadvantage in the points standings after an error-strewn race in Belgium and a late-race engine failure while leading in Korea. Both drivers arrived at the Abu Dhabi finale with a chance of keeping points leader Fernando Alonso from the crown. But in the race Webber flailed, Ferrari missed an open goal, and Vettel sealed his first of four world championships.

The 2011 season continued as 2010 had ended. Vettel routed everyone – Webber included – and the deepening rift between them widened further following events in the closing stages of the British Grand Prix.

Webber was instructed to hold position as he closed on his second-placed team mate but showed how little he cared for the order by making a determined attempt to overtake Vettel. In the context of Vettel’s domination of the season it was inconsequential at the time, but later events would show Webber’s insubordination had made its mark.

That race saw Ferrari’s only victory of the season, which coincided with a one-off restriction on the use of exhaust-blown diffusers. The technology was further limited in 2012 which was welcome news for them and Webber, who regained some of the ground he had lost to his team mate.

The Pirelli factor

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2011But it was the 2011 introduction of ‘designed to degrade’ tyres, provided by Pirelli, that was Webber’s real bete noire, and something he recently identified as part of the reason why he fell further behind Vettel.

“I think he?s been very strong on the Pirellis,” said Webber in India this year. “Obviously [on] the Bridgestones was probably a little bit tighter but on Pirellis he?s certainly been very strong and no real weaknesses on those tyres so it?s been strong for him.”

Nonetheless with the value of exhaust-blowing greatly reduced an injury-free Webber enjoyed a much more competitive start to 2012. As late as round 11 he headed Vettel in the points table following victories in Monaco and Britain.

But a succession of misfortunes blunted Webber’s championship chances in the second half of 2012: gearbox change penalties in Germany and Belgium, a differential fault in Hungary, and contact at Suzuka and Abu Dhabi.

Parallel to the claims of Red Bull persistently favouring Vettel there have been insinuations of Webber receiving inferior or less reliable equipment. But the data from the five years they spent as team mates debunks the view that either driver had considerably worse or better machinery at their disposal.

Vettel’s race-ending technical failures outnumbered Webber’s seven to four during their five years as team mates. And taking non-terminal failures into account shows the pair were reasonably closely matched in this respect.

The final race of 2012 pitted Vettel against Alonso in a straight fight for the championship, with Webber long out of contention. The support each of the title rivals received from their respective team mates could hardly have contrasted more strikingly.

In the penultimate round Felipe Massa had accepted being given a gearbox change he did not require, in order to earn a grid penalty which moved Alonso one place forwards. In the Brazil finale Massa twice made way for his team mate.

Webber, however, made no concessions to his team mate at the start, squeezing him hard at turn one. Vettel fell back and was involved in a collision that nearly cost him the championship. Another marker had been laid down between the pair, and this would have repercussions just two races later.

“I was racing, I was faster, I passed him”

Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013According to Webber he made his mind up about his future before the first race of 2013, at which he took a group of journalists out for a meal. One week later they were writing about the latest episode of the Webber-Vettel soap opera.

On a wet track in Malaysia, Vettel threw away the lead by pitting too soon, ending up behind Webber. In a scenario not dissimilar to Istanbul three years earlier Vettel found himself staring at his team mate’s rear wing while under attack from another team – in this case the two Mercedes drivers.

Professional sportsmen and women have no time for niceties in the thick of battle and Vettel is no different. “Mark is too slow,” he told the pit wall, “get him out of the way”. But Red Bull showed no desire to change the running order.

Later in the race the threat from Mercedes dissipated and Webber emerged from his final pit stop ahead of Vettel. Now Red Bull laid down an order and it was not what Vettel wanted to hear. The infamous coded instruction “Multi 21″ – meaning car number two followed by car number one – was an order for Vettel to stay behind Webber, and one which does not fit a narrative of Webber always receiving second-class treatment from the team.

Vettel, of course, did not comply. He behaved exactly as Webber had done at Silverstone in 2011 but with one significant difference: unlike Webber, he made a move stick and won the race. A furious Webber chopped across Vettel’s bows after they took the chequered flag.

At first Vettel indicated remorse for what had unfolded. “For sure it?s not a victory I?m very proud of,” he said after the race, “because it should have been Mark’s”.

But after a few days his view had hardened. “He didn?t deserve it,” Vettel said in China. “There is quite a conflict, because on the one hand I am the kind of guy who respects team decisions and the other hand, probably Mark is not the one who deserved it at the time.”

“I don?t like to talk ill of other people. It?s not my style. I think I said enough. The bottom line is that I was racing, I was faster, I passed him, I won.”

This was an uncompromising verdict on his team mate. Yet at the same time it was clear Webber’s chickens had come home to roost. This was not a view widely heard in coverage of the race, which largely ignored the four-year history between them and portrayed Vettel as the villain.

Time to move on

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2013Malaysia was one of few occasions the pair went wheel-to-wheel on track during 2013. The ever-widening gap between them had grown even further, and by the end of the year Vettel had almost double Webber’s points tally.

It’s easy to forget how highly regarded Webber was before his five-year pummelling at Vettel’s hands began. And that even towards the end of their final season together he could still keep Vettel honest – as he did by snatching pole position in Abu Dhabi.

It’s not hard to understand why any racing driver would baulk at being ordered to let his team mate past or stay his hand in the heat of battle. But those who try to claim that only Webber has been asked to make those sacrifices for Red Bull, or that only Vettel has defied them, are selectively ignoring the facts.

Does the Silverstone wing decision reflect badly on Red Bull? Yes. And the same is true of the crashingly unsubtle partiality of Helmut Marko. But points like this do not come closer to accounting for why Vettel won 31 races more than Webber during their five years together. That is a reflection on Vettel’s skill as a driver, and especially how well he has adapted to post-2010 Formula One.

Given Webber’s recent lapse in form the timing of his departure from Formula One seems to be very well-judged. It will add much interest to next year’s World Endurance Championship to see him campaigning a works Porsche on the kind of classic old circuits he thrives at, such as Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and the mighty La Sarthe.

Before he joined Red Bull Webber already had a reputation for misfortune. Whether it was a string of car failures which always seemed to strike when he was on the point of some giant-killing feat, or the unfortunate timing of his switch to Williams, Webber often seemed to have more than his share of bad luck.

But his greatest misfortune probably occurred when he finally got his hands on car that was capable of winning races and championships – at the very same time he was partnered with the prodigious talent of Sebastian Vettel.

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139 comments on Why Webber’s greatest misfortune was to be Vettel’s team mate

  1. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 22nd December 2013, 12:41

    There are two elements to the Malaysia incident that are missing from what is an otherwise fairly balanced assessment of the two drivers’ five years together.

    Firstly that Vettel waited until Webber had turned his engine down before attacking, knowing that Webber believed – because he had been told as much by the pit wall – that the race was over.

    And secondly Webber’s telling observation, in the post-race interviews, that “Seb will be protected as usual,” in which he was undoubtedly proven correct. Red Bull’s tactics in the race may not support the idea that Vettel was favoured within the team, but what happened afterwards continues to raise more questions than it answers.

    • Malik (@malik) said on 22nd December 2013, 12:47

      Can you prove Webber’s engine had been turned down?

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 22nd December 2013, 13:07

        @malik – Webber talks about turning the engine down in this article. And anyway, even if Webber wasn’t leaned out, he was unquestionably ordered to coast because Red Bull had been experiencing massive degradation that weekend, and the race had been won on raw pace by that point, so the engine mode is largely irrelevant. Vettel knew the plan and used that knowledge to his advantage, and a win at the cost of sportsmanship is not a measure of a champion’s ruthlessness, it is plain cheating. For me, Multi 2-1 and Schumacher’s Monaco parking are filed in the same column.

        • Malik (@malik) said on 22nd December 2013, 13:14

          @william-brierty: I re-read the article twice and could find nothing about Webber talking about turning the engine down.. Can you please find it for me?
          and can I ask what about this one:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVoLbUyI0YE

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 22nd December 2013, 13:36

            @malik Ha! I forgot to link it to the article! Here it is.

            And regarding that video: Yes, I found it funny. No, I don’t to descend into a childish Vettel vs Alonso slanging match, because, quite frankly there is no competition. Without those extra seven points Alonso would not have found himself within a dodgy strategy in Abu Dhabi of winning the championship, and it was not unsporting on the part of Alonso, if was unsporting on the part of the team. Alonso was simply a victim of a year in which there was no DRS and team orders were illegal, two things reversed just 12 months later.

          • aka_robyn said on 22nd December 2013, 13:59

            It was a great victory, just like Singapore 2008! Because Alonso.

          • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 22nd December 2013, 15:47

            @william-brierty Team orders were not a problem in 2010, cf. Hockenheim 2010 ;)

          • @william-brierty

            No, I don’t to descend into a childish Vettel vs Alonso slanging match, because, quite frankly there is no competition

            I completely disagree, as do the statistics (four world championships to two). If that is of course what you are referring to, the competition between both drivers.

            On the “engine map” excuse (and it is an excuse), Webber shouldn’t have been so naive. He will have been well informed of Vettel’s position, he will have been familiar with the situation he initiated in Silverstone 2011 so simply Vettel beat him fair and square with judicious strategic employment.

            Malaysia 2013 was a completely legitimate racing victory.

          • Early on 2013 Pirellis, by the end of the stints lap time was increased as much as 4 sec.
            Common practice was to pit the leading driver of the team first (which would mean a 4 secs benefit over teammate). Being Vettel under threat of both McLarens, red Bull inverted the order and Pitted Vettel before Webber who was leading, (giving him a valuable 8 secs delta against the opposite order) in the light team orders would maintain track positions.
            Once Webber engine was turned down Vettel went on the attack.

            Vettel is (with Alonso) the better driver of F1, but calling this was a fair win is so untrue as stating all his success is because of Red Bull/Newey.

        • How the tyres degradation is relevant ?

          At the end of the race, Webber put on fresh new Prime tyres, few laps AFTER Vettel put on new Option tyres.

          So, if one of the two drivers had to turn something down to save his tyres, then it was Vettel, not Webber.

        • Malik (@malik) said on 22nd December 2013, 13:42

          @william-brierty: Thanks a lot for the link. This is the first time I read such a thing…

        • magon4 (@magon4) said on 22nd December 2013, 14:55

          @william-brierty rewatch the race please. No coasting. No engine turned down. That pass was not unfair in terms of sports, it was against a team order. But they had equal possibilities. You can bet on it.

        • Rockie said on 22nd December 2013, 15:09

          Yet he set the fastest lap before Vettel overtook him!

        • @william-brierty

          Horner has stated that Vettel had his engine turned down as well, just not as much since Vettel had saved more fuel.

          • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 22nd December 2013, 15:49

            So Vettel had made a better job and deserved to win.

            Vettel was faster than Webber the whole race, he just pitted 2 laps too early and lost a lot of time. Coming back and overtaking your team mate in the same car just shows how good Vettel is.

        • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 22nd December 2013, 20:31

          I really don’t get this argument about Webber turning his engine down. If he did, as he claims, it isn’t as if he couldn’t see Vettel bearing right down on him. When it came to the dual, Vettel out-smarted Webber with a fantastic overtake to earn a well-deserved win.

          In my opinion, Vettel was more than within his rights to go for it because, as stated, Webber did similar at Silverstone 2011, he just didn’t get the job done. Quite ironic. And after how uncooperative and obstructive Webber was to his team-mate’s in the title deciding race of 2012, which led to Vettel almost losing the title, I would’ve been disappointed if Vettel didn’t take this opportunity for some pay-back.

          Rather than being slated for his Malaysia 2013 win, Vettel should be applauded for it.

      • Horner confirmed for the BBC after the race that both cars were on the same engine map. Vettel had a fresh set of options available and saves fuel earlier in the race. Webber did the opposite.

        • magon4 (@magon4) said on 22nd December 2013, 14:57

          Exactly, Vettel’s startegy was planned to be strong in that last stint, and Webber’s, to lead before it. It would have been almost unfair not to let Vettel at least try to pass.

          It’s funny how some people hate Hockenheim 2010 AND hate Malaysia 2013.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 22nd December 2013, 19:20

            @magon4

            It would have been almost unfair not to let Vettel at least try to pass.

            Which is exactly what the team attempted to do. The decision to continue to race was Vettel’s alone.

            It’s funny how some people hate Hockenheim 2010 AND hate Malaysia 2013.

            Indeed… the height of hypocrisy. Personally I loathed Ferrari’s tactics at Hockenheim, but admired Webber’s defiance at Silverstone 2011 as well as Vettel in Malaysia. Team orders have their tactile uses in F1 to be sure, I’m not naive enough to deny that, but when the two drivers are racing on merit and not under direct threat from others, they should be allowed to race.

      • iAltair (@ialtair) said on 22nd December 2013, 18:00

        I don’t know but to say this.

        Do you still turn down the engine when you see your another car charging right behind in your wing mirrors?

        I think no F1 driver will do that.

        • If you know that you cannot finish the race without turning down your engine, then yes, most drivers would probably turn their engines down.

          There is no reward for dropping out of a race earlier – from the point of view of the driver, it is better to ensure that you’re still in the race for as long as possible just in case something happens to the drivers around you.
          Remember Smedley telling Massa to let another driver go, which he duly did, in the 2010 Spanish GP when having to limp home because a malfunctioning fuel pump left him short of fuel? Not to mention countless examples of drivers during the turbo era being powerless to stop other drivers passing them because they’d overshot their fuel consumption in the opening stages of a race and had to cut their boost levels in the closing stages.

      • João Oliveira (@oliveiraz33) said on 22nd December 2013, 21:57

        I can…. Webber had a 10 second lead when they went for the last pit stop. After that pit stop they were suposed to turn the engine down…. Webber did, Vettel didn’t otherwise Vettel wouldn’t “eat” 10 seconds of webber…

        Vettel is faster than Webber, but not by that amount… When Vettel tried to overtake webber, I think webber did put his engine with full power again, but seb was just a bit faster

    • Feuerdrache (@xenomorph91) said on 22nd December 2013, 12:57

      Some could also argue that Vettel saved fuel in the earlier stages to make full use of his fresh set of tyres for the last stint. After all, he almost missed Q3 to have this advantage. And I guess Webber’s observation is the complete opposite to what happened during the race when he has been advantaged by the team order! Like in Silverstone 2011, where he misobeyed them, Vettel misobeyed them here.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2013, 13:00

      @red-andy

      Webber believed – because he had been told as much by the pit wall – that the race was over

      Why shouldn’t the same have been true for Vettel at Silverstone in 2011? And that being so, shouldn’t Webber have realised that Vettel was every bit of capable of ignoring an order from the team to hold position as he was, and protected his position accordingly?

      Webber’s telling observation, in the post-race interviews, that “Seb will be protected as usual,” in which he was undoubtedly proven correct

      I don’t see what action Red Bull could have taken against Vettel that would have had any meaningful effect. Benching him for a race was completely out of the question – it would have hurt them as much as it hurt him. Cutting his pay would have been seen as an inconsequential slap on the wrist.

      • Malik (@malik) said on 22nd December 2013, 13:16

        Well said :)

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 22nd December 2013, 13:24

        @keithcollantine – I don’t quite get that, Keith, because, are you saying that Webber should have ploughed on into what was a lengthy final stint knowing that if he pushed to keep Vettel behind he’d become a victim on the rear chunking Red Bull had been suffering all weekend, simply in the knowledge that Vettel was “capable” of the defiance her nearly showed in Silverstone 2011? It was a logical strategy in Red Bull’s case at Malaysia because of their degradation (which makes it not necessarily comparable with Silverstone 2011), so I find it difficult to justify such self-centered disobedience in that instance.

        In terms of penalizing Vettel, a symbolic statement of remonstrance would’ve sufficed. Alonso was a subject of it, why not Vettel? Surely a dilution of his ego and not that abomination of a press conference in China would have been better for the team in the long term? Humiliation is an incredibly meaningful effect, and it was that that Vettel was feeling immediately after the race…before some pea-brained marketing man got hold of him to tell him that he could use it as an example of Senna-esc ruthlessness…

        • @william-brierty
          I think Vettel has over the past three years proved that if anyone knows what conditions his tyres are in, it’s him. The team is often panicking, ordering him to slow down, yet he doesn’t. And at the end it becomes perfectly clear that his tyres are fine.

          Secondly, why should Red Bull have given Vettel, even a symbolic punishment? They didn’t do that to Webber in Silverstone. Heck, Vettel got quite an earful in the drivers room by Adrian Newey after the race. Red Bull’s dissatisfaction with his actions was much more obvious then with Webber after Silverstone 2011. Or after Brazil 2012 where he almost, indirectly, lost Vettel the championship. Where nothing was said.

          • Folks keep saying how Marko has Vettel’s back, including Webber, but Dietrich M has Webber’s back. Of course it’s convenient to ignore that.

    • But first, Horner and Webber said, after the race, that Webber never turned his engine down or anything. He would have done this after his pit stop, but he didn’t because Vettel was already behind him when he came out of the pit lane.

      And secondly, Vettel hasn’t been “protected” since he’s not the villain here. Webber was “protected” exactly in the same way after Silverstone 2011. Everybody, fans who criticize Vettel’s move now included, applaused Webber’s move after Silverstone. “Such heroic. Only listening to his brave heart, ignoring unfair team orders. He was 100% right”. Nobody said he was selfish or things like that.
      If Vettel is protected by not have been “punished” by his team in Malaysia, then Webber is clearly protected exactly in the same way by not have been “punished” by his team in Silverstone.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd December 2013, 14:15

      @red-andy if Mark believed Seb would follow the order, given his own opinions towards team orders, then bad call.

      I still mantain Webber got what he asked for while at Red Bull. Fair treatment, let both of them have a go at the win. And they did, their scrap was the highlight of the season in terms of wheel-to-wheel battle, for me, even if Mark ended up being the loser.

      But he took his own medicine. Vettel was the real racer that day, something Webber has been praised for. He turned the roles around, yet won no hearts… strange how this world works, I suppose. I, for one, welcome our new Wonderboy overlord. Even as a MASSIVE Webber fan.

    • ROger Williams said on 22nd December 2013, 14:25

      That engine setting must be something pretty hard to turn back up. Because Mark pitted on lap 43 and actual pass happened on lap 46.
      Not to mention, Seb was assured by Rocky that there were opportunities available, this by lap 26 before Lewis actually caught Seb.

    • magon4 (@magon4) said on 22nd December 2013, 14:53

      @red-andy watch the race my friend – he did not turn his engine down at all!!!

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 22nd December 2013, 15:46

      They both came within .5 seconds after Mark’s last stop and for 2 and a half laps Vettel was quite aggressive and Webber almost pushing him against the wall made clear that he wasn’t surprised but was willing to fight for it – the engine map is used as an excuse that Vettel simply made it stick unlike Mark in Silverstone the year before.
      After the race he just did what he did best in the past 3 years – playing the victim – but bottom line he got what he asked for after Silverstone 2011 and Abu Dhabi, Brazil 2012.

      Also it’s quite strange how Vettel was hammered for this move – while Mark was praised in 2011. And compare Vettel’s move to what Senna did back in the day and everything seems to be way out of proportion.

    • Aaron Noronha said on 2nd January 2014, 16:59

      You must think f1 drivers are lazy or too stupid to turn a nob and control their engine map. When Webber came out of the pits he could clearly see Vettel attacking him. In fact Vettel was on his wing that entire lap. If indeed his engine was turned down Vettel would have overtaken him on the start finish straight which he dint (the speed difference on the straight is massive if your engine is turned down and the car behind also has the advantage of using Kers and Drs. Vettel only managed to over take Webber because he got better traction out of turn 3 or 4 because he has saved his best tyres for the 3rd stint. All Mark said was I was asked to turn my engine down and coast he never said I turned my engine down. And if Mark couldnt fight back to take the position it was only because Vettel used the faster tyre on his last stint while mark had already used them before his final pitstop

  2. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 22nd December 2013, 12:57

    I don’t think the tyre effect can be exaggerated here. Perhaps the greatest example of just how fundamental and influential the four contact patches are, is the change in dynamic between Vettel and Webber, with Webber going from a genuine title contender in 2010 to a mere supporting act in the subsequent years. Obviously we must factor in the growing brilliance of Sebastian Vettel and the receding motivation of Webber when analyzing the dynamic, but the fact that Webber scored more victories in 2010 alone than he did in three years of Pirellis really is too overt a correlation to ignore. In 2010, Webber could keep Vettel in sight in both qualifying and the race, and on tracks he liked, such as Silverstone and Monaco, he often had an edge, but with Pirellis he’d be on the top step just three times, often in cars more dominant than the 2010 RB6.

    The same is true to a lesser extent at McLaren, with Hamilton having an extremely comfortable margin over Button in 2010 to finding himself behind him on the table in 2011, but with Lewis redressing that balance in 2012. Whilst it is certainly too simplistic to put drivers into columns of drivers that can look after their tyres and those that can’t, and the chassis must also be factored in, Hamilton and Webber unquestionably to a hit in 2011.

    I would argue not so much that Webber’s greatest misfortune was being Vettel’s teammate, but that he had a teammate that already had an array of skills and a driving style honed throughout the junior categories perfect for the Pirelli era. Also had Vettel hypothetically followed compatriot Andre Lotterer to Le Mans in 2007 rather than race in F1, would Webber have been champion? Obviously the fact that he wasn’t second in the championship in any of Vettel’s championship years doesn’t automatically make that a “no”; I do actually think he would have won in 2010, but I still couldn’t see him beating Alonso or Button on Pirellis, even with truly great chassis like the RB7 and RB9 at his disposal. And this is a man that was very much on the pace of his destined four-time champion teammate in 2010! Shows how important those black things are…

    • Webber was never (and I mean never) on vettel’s pace during 2010. Be it quali or race. Just about every time he was ahead was because of some sort of mechanical problem for vettel.

      • magon4 (@magon4) said on 22nd December 2013, 14:58

        Yes, Vettel was very very unlucky that year AND made two mistakes.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 22nd December 2013, 16:02

        @juzh – So I guess Vettel had mechanical problems in Barcelona, Monaco, Silverstone, Turkey, Spa and Monza, oh, and of course the harder tyre which Webber qualified on in Canada was faster than the soft tyre Vettel was on. For a man that had a potentially championship ending crash at Brazil last year, but still finished sixth, that’s a whole load of bad luck. Webber was often on Vettel’s pace in 2010. Fact. Deal with it.

        • If you’re talking about 2010, off the top of my head, Vettel had a cracked chassis for Monaco and one other race I don’t remember (possibly Barcelona?), Silverstone he had a puncture, Turkey he had a brake issue in qualifying, Monza he had a gearbox problem or something like that that caused him to lose drive. As for Spa, he was an idiot. And I can’t remember Canada.

        • Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 22nd December 2013, 16:28

          Anti-roll bar failure in Monaco, Rear torsion bar failure in Turkey. I don’t want to bring your attention to the cracked chassis anyways. Question – which Silverstone are you talking about?

          Webber was often on Vettel’s pace in 2010

          How often is often in your terminology?

        • @william-brierty the fact however still remains that he was never going to beat Vettel over the course of a season ignoring misfortunes. Especially given Vettel lacked the polish he now has, I would place all my poker chips on Vettel to beat an on-peak Webber with Bridgestone tyres and no DRS.

          He’s a good driver Webber, but no chance would he beat Vettel over a season without other contributing factors which fell in his favour.

          • @vettel1 @william-brierty

            ^ This!

            I just love it, when people assume that Webber had any real chance of beating Vettel on a more “durable” set of tyres. Be it Michelin or Bridgestone, Webber will need an enormous amount of luck to beat Vettel over a season.

            Long story short, Vettel in equal machinery is unbeatable. Alonso would of course give him a close run, but that’s about it. The man’s raw pace (including qualifying) and his uncanny ability to bring it home weekend after weekend even when the odds are against him, makes him the best on the grid along with Alonso. A depressing assessment as a Ferrari supporter :( , but we’ll just have to live with it.

        • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 22nd December 2013, 17:24

          @william-brierty
          Barcelona: a severe front left brake problem
          Monaco: Cracked chassis
          Silverstone: Puncture at turn 1
          Turkey: some kind of problem at the rear of the car in quali
          Spa: Simple mistake at turn 1, costing him 0.8 seconds in quali, and he was terrible in the race
          Monza: Brakes sticking in the race
          I think that answers your rhetorical question perfectly

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 23rd December 2013, 12:47

          @ridiculous @vettel1 @sankalp88 @xjr15jaaag – People are clearly having problems remembering 2010. Yes, Vettel was the faster the Red Bull driver, but Webber was “often” on his pace, and stunning qualifying laps in Barcelona (In both Italy and Spain the brake problem didn’t emerge on Vettel’s car until midway through the first stint – i.e. didn’t have any impact on qualifying), Monza and Canada, where he beat Vettel to a front row spot on the slower tyre, I remember finding very impressive for a driver reaching the autumn of his career. And if you broaden out the analysis beyond just pace, and consider the often impetuous nature of Vettel midway through 2010, then it must we be said that at times in 2010 Webber was the better driver than Vettel. That is something that I would have had no problem asserting this time three years ago; it is simply the context of having watched Vettel take four consecutive championships that makes it so indigestible, but the facts remain: in a year where Vettel had both the car and the talent to win at a canter, a mixture of bad luck and poor judgement saw Vettel fail to extract the maximum from both himself and the car at every race, something he has since redressed.

          • @william-brierty
            ahahahahahHAHAHAHhAHA. cool story bro.
            “stunning qualifying laps in Barcelona” –> is this a joke? Vettel was 1/10 slower with a cracked chassis.
            “then it must we be said that at times in 2010 Webber was the better driver than Vettel.”
            another joke surely.
            Pretty much everyone on the top end of the grid failed to maximize their points in 2010 as everyone made quite a lot of mistakes that year. Be it vettel, webber, alonso or hamilton.

          • Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 23rd December 2013, 14:20

            People are clearly having problems remembering 2010. Yes, Vettel was the faster the Red Bull driver, but Webber was “often” on his pace

            @william-brierty – Both the RedBulls qualified on the harder Tyre in Canada expecting higher degradation. And thanks for clarifying that “often” means two instances.

          • uan (@uan) said on 24th December 2013, 6:06

            @william-brierty

            I’d agree that at time – at times – Webber was the better of the two drivers. Though flying over Heikki at Valencia wasn’t one of those times, nor was losing it in the rain in Korea.

            One thing to note, is that Vettel was only 22 at the time, then 23. Still maturing, and you can see that maturation over the last several years.

            But here’s the thing, we can talk all day and night about the slight differences in speed and the tires and etc. But the real difference between Vettel and Webber, and this is universally true across sports and disciplines, is mental. Webber had a championship in his hand and threw it away.

            Take the last 5 races of the seasons, a seasons where Alonso said after (or before, I forget) Italy, that for him to win the WDC, he’d need to finish on the podium at all the remaining races. Vettel basically had to win at all the remaining races to have a chance. He finished P2 in Singapore, P1 in Japan, DNF in Korea, then P1 in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

            Alonso also won 3 races from Italy onwards, and critically finished off the final podium in Abu Dhabi.

            Webber binned it Korea and totally collapsed in Abu Dhabi. Win it and he’s the champion. He couldn’t perform under the pressure, all he could do was whine about not being “No. 1″ in the team. What was all the talk about in Abu Dhabi? Whether Vettel would move over for Webber to let him win the race and the WDC. How pathetic. Conventional wisdom knew Vettel would win the race – that you could count on him to win the race – and that the odds on favorite for the WDC, Webber, wasn’t good enough to win on his own.

            Webber in Abu Dhabi – pretty good for a number 2 driver. No one ever brings that up, do they?

            Look at Hamilton, stupid errors in Singapore and Italy cost him the WDC as well. He more than likely would’ve finished P4 in both those races. Those 24 points would have him as the WDC.

            So the last 5 races of 2010 really separated Vettel from Webber, and if I was a team principal, I wouldn’t count on Webber to carry the torch for the team from that point on. That Webber doesn’t have a WDC is squarely on his shoulders alone. He’s a very good driver, but he’s not a championship driver. He should be grateful RBR continued to give him the opportunity to drive in one of the best teams on the grid, and always gave him a legitimate chance at winning races on his day.

            One of those days was in Abu Dhabi in 2012. With Vettel starting from pit lane and Webber P2, Webber had ever incentive to win the race, and he absolutely would have the full support of the team and Vettel to win the race. And he was already passed by Alonso before the second straight on the first lap and went backwards the entire race.

            So in the one area where it matters most, Webber doesn’t have it. I think Vettel is currently the strongest mentally in the field, followed by Alonso, then Raikkonen. As Webber himself pointed out, Vettel and Alonso are machines. And in sport where the cars and drivers are so closely matched, it’s the mental aspect that separates the drivers.

    • Sam (@ardenflo) said on 22nd December 2013, 15:49

      @william-brierty, If Webber were to be the number one driver and another one were at his side for the past four year I’m quite sure he would at least have been a double world champion over four years. The development could be targeted for Webber his style of driving rather than having an R&D working on slow corner downforce/diffuser in which Vettel excelled.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 22nd December 2013, 19:33

        @william-brierty Newey doesn’t tailor his cars to anyone’s driving style though. He designs them to be as fast as they possibly can be and expects drivers to be able to adapt. Vettel was able to do that, Webber wasn’t as able. So saying the cars would have been different is probably a bit of a stretch. Newey would have exploited the same rules he did and built the same cars he did. Would Webber have performed differently from the psychological benefit of being treated as the driver’s #1? That may be a valid question, but then… he would have had some team mate and it could have been another driver who like Vettel was able to adapt to the EBD better than he was.

      • uan (@uan) said on 24th December 2013, 6:14

        Review the last 3 races of 2010. Webber had a WDC clearly in his site. He crashed out in Korea, finished P2 in Brazil, and when a victory would wrap it up for him in Abu Dhabi, he completely collapsed and finished P8.

        You can’t blame Vettel for that. Or the team. That’s on Webber 100%. The pressure was too much for Webber.

        I know that sounds harsh, but I don’t hold it against him. He’s still capable of handling more pressure than most of us (me for sure!). I don’t think we can truly imagine that amount of pressure that drivers must feel in those circumstances. From the outside looking it, it all looks so serene. Then we so easily criticize drivers for letting the pressures get to them, as if they has some kind of panic attack walking to the kitchen to make a sandwich.

        But the harsh reality is that Webber just didn’t have that last bit of mental strength to win it all. Best number 2 driver on the grid by far.

      • Aaron Noronha said on 2nd January 2014, 17:09

        Fact is Vettel has been beating Webber right since 2008(in a redbull clone) 2009 double the wins compared to his experienced teammate. There was no way Redbull would build the 2009 car around Vettel. Its development had started in 2008 when Vettel was driving for Torro Rosso. And the men behind shaping the handling on the track were no other than coultard and Webber. So your point stand invalid that Redbull build their car around Vettels driving style because they dint know he would excel in them. The fact is they build the best car period. It is for the drivers to adapt their driving style and exploit it. How many times have Alonso changed teams. Have you heard him complain about the brakes in Ferrari or Mclaren or Renault being differnt to his liking? The best drivers learn to adapt thats what sets them apart from average drivers

    • If only Lotterer had the 2003 Jaguar drive instead of Pizzonia.. then we would know how he compared with Webber.. same for Pantano and Jaguar, until he was trumped by Marko’s $10m from RB for Klien in early 2004.

  3. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 22nd December 2013, 13:07

    However it seemed Vettel was better able to adapt his driving style to access this extra performance than Webber was

    That’s not true, in 2010 Mark Webber was able to extract the most from the blown diffuser with his driving technique in the first half of the season, he carries more speed at the exit of the corners unlike Vettel who is very fast at the entry of the corners with his very late braking, however by mid season the team managed to control the exhaust gases with some kind of software in the engine mapping which cut the advantage that Mark was having over Seb

    • Malik (@malik) said on 22nd December 2013, 13:21

      This is the joke of the year :D

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 22nd December 2013, 13:52

      @tifoso1989 – Yeah, if you’d have said pretty much the complete opposite, then that comment may have rung true. Allow me to talk you though the styles of Webber and Vettel…

      Vettel – Brakes quite early so have a quite neutral car mid-corner, before smashing the throttle sometimes even before the apex, rotates the car with the rear rotation, and the rear downforce from the blown diffuser coupled with a heavy front end prevents a slide and allows Vettel a perfect exit.

      Webber – Takes a lot of speed into a corner, scrubs off some speed with an aggressive turn-in which also, in qualifying, produces a small amount of passive rear slip to help Webber turn the car, but this small amount of “lift off oversteer” and the immense apex speed he takes often means he is on the throttle substantially later than Vettel. Because Webber is ideally looking for just a small amount of rear slip, he is also prone to struggle with a car that overtly understeers or oversteers.

    • @tifoso1989
      Try watching this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A09vlmgw9HE
      In an up-shot, Vettel rotates the car much quicker then Webber does, hence Vettel can make the corners shorter, and therefore he arrives to the point where he can put the power down quite a bit earlier then Webber.

      • This is a good example of what makes Raikkonen and Bottas so quick as well – they also shorten the corners, rotating the car well, which Kimi has a great feel for too. Kimi and Seb in the same car would be very, very close.. Horner knows that’s basically the WCC sewn up, with a WDC scrap. But now, Ferrari has the best driver pairing.. while RB have the ‘regenerated Webber’ – Ricciardo – fast 1 lap qualifier, Aussie, slow starter. But Marko tweaked his disposition!

      • Related video from that one – Vettel teaches young girl how to drive. Entertaining to watch in this context!

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd December 2013, 14:21

      @malik @william-brierty @mads I don’t think what @tifoso1989 says is untrue.

      I remember Gary Anderson writing about it back in 2010. The blown diffuser was there in that Red Bull since winter testing. But the weird engine mappings appeared late in the season, giving Vettel the edge. Before that, the car still had a normal feeling, instead of the counter-intuitive attitude it got later in the development stage, which Mark didn’t like very much.

      That’s why he got strong when they limited the effect of the blown diffuser (first stages of 2010 because early stages of development, Silverstone 2011, and early part of 2012 because of Newey still working on the coanda effect). Each time, once the team sorted that out, Vettel adapted better.

      Says more about Vettel growing talent than Mark obviously being slow to get comfortable with new things, which seems obvious given he was on the later stages of his career. Maybe had this all happened 7 years ago, he’d have been able to match Seb a lot more often.

      • @fer-no65
        But didn’t the engine maps do exactly the opposite?
        Without them the car would gain downforce, as the throttle is applied. Making rear grip hugely affected by the throttle position. I can’t see how that could be described as normal behaviour.

        On the other hand, with the funny engine maps that downforce would at least partly be maintained while off throttle.
        Giving the car an overall downforce gain at the rear, same as making the diffuser more powerful or a wider rear wing.

        • It’s reacting to something new, but stragely new.. if suddenly full downforce was available to 0mph, it would become an exercise in getting throttle down as quickly as possible, etc. I’m sure when TC came in, those guys that excelled at applying throttle, like Montoya, Raikkonen etc. had their advantage slightly clipped, like Kobayashi or Hamilton and DRS.

          Driving involves a lot of muscle memory, and this would have to be reprogrammed, which is where a simulator can come in instead of track testing. Hence Gutierrez takes longer to get up to speed, as Sauber don’t have one and thus he has less track time than everybody else.

        • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd December 2013, 16:14

          @mads going faster (i.e. having the trotthle open) gives you more downforce with the normal engine mappings, just like the wings give you more downforce the faster you go.

          But then, when the engine mappings kicked in, they had downforce everywhere, and braking got weird. Mark apparently never got confortable with that. Throw the Pirellis in the mix, and you got a recipe for disaster from Mark’s point of view.

          Obviously I’m just sitting here commentating about it, but that’s what Gary Anderson (and few others) said about it back then, I’m just reproducing their comments, which obviously are a lot more accurate than mine ! I wish I know it first person :P

          • @fer-no65
            But the downforce from the wings/floor is dependent on the speed. More throttle =/= more speed. It just means more power is applied to the ground.
            Say Vettel enters the a corner at 140km/h but lifts off mid corner, and Webber enters the same corner at 130km/h but on throttle all the way through. Normally Vettel would have more downforce in that situation.
            Without the engine maps on the other hand Webber would have more downforce, which is highly unnatural.
            It would also affect the driver in the sense that, if a driver looses a bit of rear traction, and therefore lifts off, then he will loose downforce and grip. Instead of just regaining grip on the rear tyres.
            I do believe that the it might have changed things under breaking, but I do think the car went from behaving weird, to normal’ish with the introduction of the engine maps, at least in respect to throttle movements and downforce levels.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd December 2013, 17:11

            @mads I think many said it was the behaviour with the engine mappings was unnatural.

            Maybe there’s something more we can’t explain…

      • Alonso vs. Webber in the 2005 Renault, with Raikkonen in the mix with the fast but unreliable McLaren, would definitely have been something to watch. As it turns out, Fisichella only notched a few wins when Alonso had a bad qualifying…

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 23rd December 2013, 21:46

        @william-brierty,@mads,@fer-no65
        Sorry guys for this late post but my new internship program didn’t left me any time even to surf the internet, As for Vettel’s driving style i’m still pretty confident about what i said because i heard Giorgio Ascanelli himself saying that Vettel’s speed came from braking very late and managing to control the car in that situation, i just don’t have time but i if you like check my previous posts because i remember i posted the Autosprint interview in which he talks about Vettel, As for the blown diffuser i think @fer-no65 explained it better than me

  4. The points gap between Webber and Vettle is shocking, poor Massa got slated for his tame effort v Alonso but Webber got let off for some reason.

    While Vettle dominated in the Red Bull (to the point it was boring) Webber always seemed to be battling for a podium. 2010 aside Vettle won the WDC with a large points margin while Webber couldnt manage 2nd… Really fail to see why hes rated in F1 terms.. He didnt win a race in the sensational 2013 redbull, glad a young driver gets a chance in that car now as he hung around a season or two too many.

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 22nd December 2013, 16:15

      Easy: Double standards.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2013, 20:29

      @kingshark

      The points gap between Webber and Vettle is shocking, poor Massa got slated for his tame effort v Alonso but Webber got let off for some reason.

      Massa’s performance compared to Alonso was much poorer than Webber’s was compared to Vettel. The 2013 season was Webber’s worst against Vettel and he still scored (just) more than half of Vettel’s points tally. Whereas Massa scored less than half of Alonso’s total in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

      • Rockie (@rockie) said on 23rd December 2013, 14:32

        Still no difference, Alonso is being hailed because of the difference to Massa
        Vettel has not failed with the best car so far? its even worse for Webber as the consensus is a monkey in the Redbull would still win the championship!
        The problem here is the Nepotism at Ferrari has helped Alonso become this over-rated driver he is today looking at this past season Alonso is the only driver in a top team not to feature on the front row even Massa was second in Malaysia, then Alonso keeps comparing his results to Massa in the other car, here’s where Vettel is better he’s thinking about improving his performance not bothered about what his team mate is doing hence gets better and better every season while Alonso rests on the fact fans think he’s out-performing the car, other than MSC and Kimi never seen a driver produce a season like Vettel did in 2013.

  5. infrequently guest said on 22nd December 2013, 13:25

    I don’t like my races to be fixed. That simple. Hence, for me F1 isn’t the easiest sport to follow, although I enjoy it.
    But a race in which the first four places were (or rather “should have been”, cause Vettel didn’t obey) fixed is simply an outrage.
    And then, surprisingly, it’s not this “cheating” which causes the public disapproval, it’s one driver who doesn’t bow to this.
    Very good indeed.

  6. andae23 (@andae23) said on 22nd December 2013, 13:37

    What a lovely Sunday afternoon read that was.

    At first Vettel indicated remorse for what had unfolded. “For sure it’s not a victory I’m very proud of,” he said after the race, “because it should have been Mark’s”.

    But after a few days his view had hardened. “He didn’t deserve it,” Vettel said in China. “There is quite a conflict, because on the one hand I am the kind of guy who respects team decisions and the other hand, probably Mark is not the one who deserved it at the time. I don’t like to talk ill of other people. It’s not my style. I think I said enough. The bottom line is that I was racing, I was faster, I passed him, I won.”

    I still think this is very confusing. In my opinion, there are two possible reasons why he had a change of mind: first, I guess he was afraid of people’s reaction to his ‘unsportsmanlike’ behaviour, i.e. damaging his reputation. But as soon as he realized there was a sizeable group of people backing his decision, he was confident enough to admit it.

    A second reason could be that he was afraid of Red Bull’s reaction. If he is the ‘bad boy’ and makes important decision without his team’s backing, would he still be welcome? Well, Horner wasn’t impressed, but maybe Marko convinced RB to let Vettel do his thing?

    Anyway, I still think it’s a very weird episode, one which took some of my respect away from both Vettel and Webber. They both behaved like children going through puberty, very unprofessional.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 22nd December 2013, 13:54

      @andae23 – I’m sure an idiotic marketing man got hold of Vettel before China and told him to portray the incident as a sign of his inner ruthless Senna…pffff…

    • @andae23, I shared that view. I have nothing of his driving this year but only praises, but off track sometimes it’s different story. on that post-race interview that weekend, Vettel showed a lot of different range of response:
      - race: “Mark is too slow, get him out of the way”
      - podium interview: “we need to discuss it behind the doors”
      - post race interview: “I didn’t ignore it on purpose but I messed up in that situation and obviously took the lead…. I want to be honest at least and stick to the truth and apologise…. yeah, all I can say is that I didn’t do it deliberately.”
      - more more interview with TV after race: “Obviously I’m the black sheep right now. Obviously I put myself in that position so, as I said, all I can say is apologies to Mark…. I made a mistake, simply.”
      - before China: “He didn’t deserve it. There is quite a conflict, because on the one hand I am the kind of guy who respects team decisions and the other hand, probably Mark is not the one who deserved it at the time. I don’t like to talk ill of other people. It’s not my style. I think I said enough. The bottom line is that I was racing, I was faster, I passed him, I won.”

      the paradox level is very high. I don’t know which one is his true emotion, whether his talk before China is just PR team suggestion or not, and I even don’t like it more when he bragged about Brazil 2012. while I actually cheered on the pass, after numbers of interview I could only say, ‘screw you, Seb.’
      He’s great driver no doubt about that, but he lacks of character. you can say he’s funny or whatever (which he really is), but that weekend is gonna be affect my view of him ever.

      • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 22nd December 2013, 16:03

        I think it happened like this: after the race, Newey said to Seb that he had done something bad and apologised for it. But by the Chinese GP, he realised he had done the same as Webber in 2011 and therefore deserved to win it.

        • Never thought of it like that before. Thank you. :)

        • Jas Naus said on 24th December 2013, 8:40

          A more simpler explanation could be that even after Vettel had initially shown his regret at disobeying the team order and accepted his mistake, Webber still kept at it throughout the next few days in the media while giving the impression that a deserved victory was robbed from him, and this must have infuriated Vettel to the extend that he decided to change his stance in the media and say that Webber didn’t deserve to be helped to a victory, considering that Vettel himself hadn’t said anything after what Webber did in Silverstone 2011 and Brazil 2012. I think Webber’s stance in the media after that race would have infuriated anybody.
          And a simple fact that no one had cared to mention was that when Vettel overtook Webber, there was still 13 laps to go to end of race which was almost 1/4th of the race still remaining, and two Mercedes not very far behind. 13 Laps is a long time to stay behind someone slower than you, when you can get ahead and build up a gap to cover any unforeseen mechanical issues that can happen anytime, especially when there are still 13 more laps to go. I think Vettel is a clever and thinking driver, who did what he did but definitely didn’t deserve all the slack he got, especially from Webber himself after all that he did before. This must have really ticked him off.

      • Breno (@austus) said on 22nd December 2013, 17:04

        After the race, Vettel was scared of being branded the bad guy in that situation. He had time to think about it, and by China, after discussing it with the team as well, he went on to say he deserved the win.

      • The reason that Vettel said Webber was too slow and asked for him to “get out of the way” was that, at that time, Webber was backing Vettel up into the clutches of the two Mercedes. You have to consider the context in which things are said. Without the context it sounds petulant.

  7. I’ve watched live timing for years now and webber couldn’t match vettel’s pace if his life depended on it. Everything else is irrelevant.

  8. Roger Williams said on 22nd December 2013, 14:30

    Red Bull’s philosophy of racing between teammates have always been “If he gets a run on you don’t defend too hard”. No wonder Webber didn’t get any support from the team for Turkey 2010.
    But to do something like Brazil 2012 with the championship at stake and make accusations about “Protection”, I would like to know what Webber drinks

  9. magon4 (@magon4) said on 22nd December 2013, 15:02

    About Turkey 2010.
    I don’t think it is a clear cut as @eithcollantine puts it. Not 100% Vettel’s fault.
    I would make it around 75-25 Vettel’s fault. Simply because I believe Mark should have backed up. It would have been the smart thing to do.
    He knew Vettel was faster the whole weekend, and I do give him respect for trying to let Seb not pass. But it was not a wise move.
    Vettel thought he had passed, that was his mistake. But his team mate did not give him much space to work with.

  10. Philippe (@philippe) said on 22nd December 2013, 15:52

    Great article, but a few things are missing.
    Vettel was comfortably leading the first two races of 2010 (Barhain and Australia) before his car broke down.
    He probably would have led the whole season without those incidents.

    Also, regarding the front wing in Silverstone in 2010: I’ve heard Martin Brundle say, on the Motorsport podcast, that Webber said to him off the air that he didn’t like the new front wing and didn’t wanted it.
    Just shows you how Webber plays the political game. Since he can’t beat Vettel on the track, he will make it look like he’s at a disadvantage within the team and will get sympathy from the fans…

  11. Philippe (@philippe) said on 22nd December 2013, 16:37

    Hey, he’s the one who complains about his team to the media but, off the record says the opposite.
    And, like I said, he couldn’t beat him on track so, might as well look like the good guy.

  12. Shena (@shena) said on 22nd December 2013, 16:38

    As to the popular myth that Red Bull developed the car to Vettel’s liking – namely exploiting EBD effect

    Q: Did Sebastian Vettel’s driving style influence the design of the car? Was he the reason you concentrated on the blown diffuser even more?
    AN: I wouldn’t say that he was the driving force behind it. We developed in that direction, because CFD simulations and wind tunnel results confirmed our theories. Our discussions with Vettel and Webber in terms of car development did not influence us one way or the other. In fact Mark Webber was more sensible to aerodynamical changes on the car, so if anything he was to be the bigger influence. But the development of a car is never orientated towards a single driver. (source)

  13. Does the Silverstone wing decision reflect badly on Red Bull? Yes. And the same is true of the crashingly unsubtle partiality of Helmut Marko.

    It does, but not to the extent that is proclaimed IMO. Vettel didn’t break the wing, it failed. So if they only had one wing, logic would dictate they give it to the driver who is ahead in the championship and hence more likely to be able to maximise the advantage it would give over the older-spec wing.

    It was hard on Webber but quite a sensible decision.

    Marko doesn’t dictate the team decisions either, so I tend to just ignore him.

  14. antonyob (@antonyob) said on 22nd December 2013, 19:18

    The funny thing is the guy who did more scurrilous things than Vettel has ever thought of is a deigned as a god, Senna, in a case you still didn’t know. Yet Vettels name is dragged through the puritanical mud for whatever and whenever an indisgression is deemed to have made. Fact is winners do the necessary to win. The rest is bitching by the losers.

  15. João Oliveira (@oliveiraz33) said on 22nd December 2013, 22:03

    This is pretty simple. Vettel is [a lot faster] than Webber, no doubt. People like webber because he’s a cool dude, not because of his F1 racing career.

    But the fact is that RB is VERY biased twards vettel:
    -The silverstone wings incident, were webber was fastest all weekend, and despite that, they still changed webber’s new wing, to vettel’s car…
    -Turkey incident, vettel’s fault, redbull did nothing…
    -Malasya incident, Vettel’s fault, redbull did nothing…

    This sucks… When hamilton went to mclaren, it was also the “golden child” but the team would reprimand him when they needed…
    Vettel has a team that’s in love with him, and it clearly shows… Helmut Markko makes sure that kind of love is clearly transparent, trying to defend vettel even when was vettel’s fault…

    And this pretty much sums up all the Hate vettel has… wich is not all his fault, but his team’s fault.

    • Feuerdrache (@xenomorph91) said on 22nd December 2013, 23:05

      @@oliveiraz33:

      -The silverstone wings incident, were webber was fastest all weekend, and despite that, they still changed webber’s new wing, to vettel’s car…

      No, Webber was only faster in FP2 and Q2, Vettel anywhere else. Besides he was the leading driver in the championship.

      -Turkey incident, vettel’s fault, redbull did nothing…
      -Malasya incident, Vettel’s fault, redbull did nothing…

      Silverstone 2011 incident: RedBull did nothing.

      This sucks… When hamilton went to mclaren, it was also the “golden child” but the team would reprimand him when they needed…

      When did they? Even when Hamilton tweeted the telemetry information, they didn’t do anything.

      It’s sad that people still try to make up stories despite the efforts Keith has made to prove them wrong and with sources.

    • This sucks… When hamilton went to mclaren, it was also the “golden child” but the team would reprimand him when they needed…

      Show me the Source to this please.??

      Turkey incident, vettel’s fault, redbull did nothing…
      -Malasya incident, Vettel’s fault, redbull did nothing…

      Silverstone 2011 – Webber’s Fault , RBR did Nothing
      Brazil 2012 – Webber’s Fault RBR did Nothing.
      So is Dietrich makes sure that kind of love is clearly transparent?

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