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 close 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.

2013 F1 season

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

  1. Lou (@l-ciamp) said on 22nd December 2013, 23:02

    This is why I can’t wait to see what happens are Ferrari next year. I’m just hoping Kimi plays the part of Seb.

  2. Jason (@saint-jay) said on 23rd December 2013, 2:07

    I’m honestly tired of the “Webber did not help Vettel win the 2012 title” comments and so on.

    Who won the 2012 title exactly? Seb needed no help.

    • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 23rd December 2013, 3:38

      The comments are “Webber made it an effort for Vettel to lose the 2012 title”. There’s a key difference.

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 23rd December 2013, 11:11

        @mnmracer And those comments are lies, worthy of Vettel who lied by agreeing to multi-21 prior to Malaysia. Like driver like fans. BOO

        • @montreal95

          Vettel who lied by agreeing to multi-21 prior to Malaysia.

          Which is also a lie. There is no proof, what so ever, of a pre-race agreement.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 23rd December 2013, 15:51

            @mads Right, so in that case you want me to believe that Webber is as naive as a sheep for slaughter? Otherwise, there’s no explanation to the fact that he turned his engine down by request of the team, relying on Vettel’s compliance with multi-21. I don’t believe he was that at all. Mark Webber directly said in the press conference on the podium that it was a decision made before the start of the race but “Seb made his own decisions today and will have protection as usual”. This wasn’t denied by anyone in the team too. So either MW is both a liar and a naive or Seb is a liar. You can always say(if you’re anti-Webber) that it’s him who’s the liar, but both a liar and a naive is stretching it. Especially coming from those(not saying you’re one of them) Webber-haters who say that he’s “manipulating the media”

          • @montreal95
            Every single driver on the grid turns his engine down here and there every single race.
            Horner confirmed afterwards that they were running the SAME engine maps at the time. So presumably, Webber turned his engine map back up. It’s not like it’s irreversible. And he would see that overtaking coming a few laps earlier. So he had plenty of time to do so.
            Webber turned his engine down initially because he had to. He had used more fuel early in the race, which got him the lead. Vettel had saved his advantage to the last stint, and Webber came to suffer from that.
            That is racing. It was as fair as anything.
            And no, Webber did not say they made the descision to hold position. He talked about turning the engines down and saving the tyres towards the end. I don’t see why that should equal holding position. If it was, wouldn’t he have told us that?

          • there’s no explanation to the fact that he turned his engine down by request of the team

            There’s no evidence at all that Webber ever “turned his engine down”. He racked up by far his fastest lap of the entire race while battling Vettel for the lead, after supposedly “turning his engine down”!

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 23rd December 2013, 22:31

            @mads Here’s the transcript from the press conference for you:

            “then after the last stop obviously the team told me the race was over, we turned the engines down and we go to the end. I want to race as well, but in the end the team made a decision, which we always say before the race is probably how it’s going to be – we look after the tyres, get the car to the end and in the end Seb made his own decisions today and will have protection and that’s the way it goes.

            So you were surprised when he went past you?

            MW: Yeah, well I turned my engine down and started cruising on the tyres and the fight was off. Anyway, we know he’s a quick peddler but I was disappointed with the outcome of today’s race. In the end the team did a good job, I had some good fans here from Australia, so thanks guys. I did my best”

            I don’t think it gets any more clear than that really. Webber wanted to race, but the team told him to back-off because of the multi-21. There’s no evidence whatsoever that he had to do it. Webber got the lead because he judged the change to slicks to perfection not because he was abusing his car, or wasting too much fuel. At the beginning of the race the track was slow, you’re not abusing anything at such pace. Then afterwards he was saving some fuel and tires. Remeber when Seb came on the radio, to say “Mark’s too slow” and MW responded by setting the fastest lap of the race up to that point the next lap. He clearly was pacing it beautifully

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 23rd December 2013, 22:35

            @jonsan Webber said so, the team said so, what more proof do you want telemetry? So Webber did his fastest lap of the race when fighting Seb? And Sergio Perez set the fastest lap of the race in the rubbish Mclaren on the last lap of the race, so what? We al know that these are meaningless with the fuel loads and drivers driving to a delta nowadays

          • @montreal95
            And how does that prove or suggest that it was a pre-race agreement?
            Is it that Webber says that he was surprised to be overtaken?
            Of cause he would be. The team had told him that the fight was off, and then evidently, it wasn’t.
            But let’s not pretend like it was some sneak, back stabbing kind of attack. No. Vettel came out of the pits, guns blazing and put the pressure on from the moment he saw him.
            The battle took place over two laps or so, plenty of time for Webber to realize “oh hang on, I might have a fight on my hands here”.
            It was exactly like what happened in Silverstone two years earlier.
            Webber didn’t comply, and attacked.
            Perfectly fair and square racing.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 26th December 2013, 19:47

            @mads Except it wasn’t like you said. Webber came out of the pits and then fought Vettel off. If Vettel would’ve came ahead then, it would be totally fair, since it’s not yet after the pitstops and Webber would’ve expected Vettel to fight him still. Then after he shaked him off it’s not like Vettel was on his tail on every corner for two straight laps. If that’s what you remember then you’re wrong and I suggest you watch the race again. Something happened in between the initial fight after Webber came out of the pits and the actual overtake. What happened was multi-21 and Vettel’s overtake was a clear back-stabbing as opposed to what you said.

            Here’s the interview with Webber where he explicitly says that they had a plan before the race. watch from 0:35 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKQYlpup_Rc&list=FL6dsdxhH_OOObJSV2pEHcTw&index=1 Watch until 1:42 I think it’s very clear what he said there, impossible to understand in any other way.

            So if the transcript from the press conference, the straight forward answer in the interview and what I wrote above with regards to your mistake about “all guns blazing relentless onslaught” does not convince you at least a little then nothing will. In that case, fair enough, we all have our preferences and our weaknesses. Love is blind and deaf as they say eh?

  3. montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 23rd December 2013, 11:08

    More or less balanced article, apart from all the things re: team orders etc. @keithcollantine you say that some people are “selectively ignoring the facts” yet here I feel it’s the case of pot calling the kettle black. here are some fact you conveniently for you way of thinking left out:

    1) You say that the only difference between Silverstone 2011 and Malaysia 2013 is that Vettel made the move stick. Wrong! The big difference was that at Silverstone 2011 RBR asked Webber in the middle of the race to keep station after his team-mate, who also had a huge lead in the championship at the time without pre-race agreement. In Malaysia 2013 there was a clear agreement to multi-21 prior to the race with both drivers, and Vettel lied pure and simple. How can you condone such behavior is beyond me

    2) Your assessment of Brazil 2012 is one-sided to say the least(especially for someone who denies being anti-Webber). You say that Massa let Alonso through twice during the race yet you conveniently neglect to mention that Webber also let Vettel through the moment he was asked to do it. As for the start if you believe that Webber intentionally tried to sabotage Vettel’s championship at the start then it’s a conspiracy theory twice as ridiculous as the “RBR sabotage Webber” theories. As Martin Brundle said many times , you cannot plan for the start, you cannot execute team orders in a start procedure and no team has ever asked a driver to “let teammate go” at a start since the start is the most chaotic part of the race when all the drivers are together, and you cannot think of anyone but yourself and how to stay in one piece without losing too many positions(especially true given Webber’s problem with the starts).

    3) It was Vettel’s mistake that he lost the lead in Malaysia 2013. Mark drove brilliantly and judged the conditions to perfection. All I can say about the pass is that Vettel should thank Webber for not being a dangerous driver, he would never try that one on someone like Michael Schumacher otherwise he would be in the wall at 300kph and they would still be collecting bits and pieces of him from the track. Didn’t deserve it, did Webber? Yeah right, this was a Vettel variation of spoiled, stupid, arrogant brat comment which was perfectly worthy of the boos he got for it. Again, none of this is reflected in your post Keith

    4) Webber’s recent lapse in form? Again this was not a balanced comment from you, Keith. It’s the same continuation of the unbalanced view you held putting Webber 12th on your list behind even Sergio Perez, that completely and again conveniently ignores the huge misfortunes that befell Webber this year, especially in the second part of the season but also in the first part as compared to Vettel who only had the Silverstone failure. So the contest this year was far from as one-sided as dry stats(and you) make it look.

    I could maybe go on but I’ll stop it here. I’ll finish with what I wrote in another response, which you denied but the above article only served to prove it to me “Keith is no fan of Webber, that much is crystal clear”. We all have our opinions, and journalists aren’t different from any other human being(I have a couple of journalist friends so I should know about that). Sometimes(am not in any any way comparing your views to these) those views are completely ridiculous, such as respected journalist Joe Saward having a man crush on Tonio Liuzzi, but it’s inevitable to have our opinions and they’re all valid. Same as people, pointing out the inaccuracies as I did here.

    • sumedh said on 23rd December 2013, 13:33

      Regarding point 1), Webber did not obey the instruction. In fact he said on the radio “maintain the gap, yeah yeah” and continued hounding Vettel.
      Regarding point 2), I think the major gripe is about Webber’s driving during the restart after the mid race safety car where he drew alongside Vettel and almost squeezed him but the damp track caught him out.

      Regarding point 3), yes, Webber raced very fair with Vettel in Malaysia. As did Vettel with Webber. So, if you are saying Vettel should thank Webber for not driving him into the wall, well then Webber should also thank Vettel for not forcing him on to the grass. It was hard but fair racing from both. Which is probably why that pass is on its way to becoming the best pass of the year in the poll on this website. I think that pass deserves a pat on the back to both Red Bull drivers, not just Webber.

      Regarding point 4), even on the days that Webber did not have any misfortune, he was comfortably behind Vettel. Look at how long it took Vettel to pass Grosjean in Suzuki and how long it took Webber. Even in the last race, Webber battled all race versus Alonso who was only in the third fastest car. Perez on the other hand had many days where he could easily hold a candle to Button.

      • ferrari was clearly 2nd fastest in brazil.

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 23rd December 2013, 15:31

        @sumedh I don’t dispute that Webber ignored the team order at silverstone 11. I lauded him for that, and would’ve lauded Vettel for Malaysia had it not been a break of trust. You had agreed to this arrangement pre-race Mr. Vettel? Please be consistent and obey if it happens to be against you as well. And since Webber agreed to that too(he shouldn’t have done that, but he did), had the situation been reversed and it was Vettel who needed the protection with Webber ignoring him, then I would’ve slammed him as well. I never was in favor of team orders but i’m even less in favor of lying.

        I don’t think Keith mentioned the restart. I agree that Webber could’ve handled that restart better, however it must be viewed in context, as Brundle commented at the time Vettel got caught sleeping at the start. Kobayashi behind him was faster than him on the run to the line and Webber behind Kobayashi was faster than them both. So Webber had to go to the right to overtake Kobayshi only to find Vettel there so he had to go even wider and sacrifice his own race to not endanger Vettel and that’s what he did losing 6 places in the process.

        My point on Malaysia pass was that at the moment Vettel went to overtake Webber he could’ve pinned him to the wall, quite a few drivers would do the same. If Vettel would’ve been in the wall he would’ve had no chance to squeeze Webber to the grass, wouldn’t he? And anyway, I’m not complaining about the pass itself that Vettel made, as you say it was fair from both of them, but the manner in which Vettel broke the trust by agreeing to multi-21/12 prior to the race, and then ignoring it when it wasn’t in his favor wasn’t fair at all. That’s why I think, and voiced it in the relevant place, that this Pironi-like overtake should never have been even considered for best overtake and it’s(IMO of course), a disgrace to F1Fanatics that it’s winning it

        Not always Webber was comfortably behind Vettel. At Suzuka they had differing setups and differing strategies with Vettel’s turning out to be sllghtly better. Had Webber managed to stay in front of Grosjean at the start, his strategy would turn out to be the preferable and he would’ve won the race. There was hardly anything between Webber and Vettel at Suzuka pace-wise. Webber battled all race Vs Alonso in Brazil because of a bad start and a delayed pit-stop. Pace-wise there wasn’t any doubt who would end on top and before slowing down on the last lap Webber built a big lead on Alonso as expected. He wasn’t as fast Vettel but neither was he far off, that start did him in again but otherwise, very comparable.

        As for Perez, I disagree with your comparison. First Button is nowhere near as fast as Vettel(in fact I don’t think he’s any faster than Webber, except than in very special circumstances). Second in the races most of the time Button was ahead of Perez both in midpack, and if you compare it to the RBR situation where Vettel would run first in clean air while Webber would fight in traffic after falling back at the start you can see why it’s perceived why Perez was closer to Button than Webber to Vettel. You might also mention that Perez beat Button 10-9 in qualifying. To answer that I’ll ask the following question: To which team-mate Button DIDN’T lose in qualifying? He was destroyed by Lewis every year, beaten by Rubens Barrichello in his own championship season no less 10-7, and in every season they had together apart from 2007 which ended in a draw. In fact the only team-mate Button ever beat in qualy over a full season was Takuma Sato. So no big achievement there. In summary I can’t see how Perez is in front of Webber in the ratings(same about Di Resta, Ricciardo and Button for that matter but that’s not a discussion for here).

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd December 2013, 19:32

      @montreal95 A transparent attempt to put words into my mouth. I am not and have never claimed to be for or against any driver. Your pretend I only have negative things to say about Webber which plainly isn’t the case.

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 23rd December 2013, 19:51

        @keithcollantine I never said such a thing. I hate to quote myself but the first sentence of my post proves this clearly isn’t the case. I said it was more or less balanced article, didn’t I? My post may seem long and fully negative but i’d only disputed a few things in the article that I felt were not balanced. I also didn’t agree(as I mentioned above), with your end of year rating for MW, as I would put him P8, above Perez, Ricciardo, Di Resta and Button but I’m only one of many people who have things they disagree with in your rating. I don’t see what’s wrong with that. And the post seemed long because I tried to explain every point I made as best as I could.

        If you feel like replying to any of the points I made please do. And if saying that IMO you’re not a fan of Webber is putting words in your mouth, than what’s left for my mouth I wonder?

  4. Tenerifeman (@tenerifeman) said on 23rd December 2013, 12:53

    Great article Keith but why no mention of the weight difference between the two drivers?

  5. Jackal said on 23rd December 2013, 20:07

    As the article rightfully points out … Webber is far from an innocent party in the degeneration of his relationship with Vettel. Malaysia was simply a dose of his own medicine and his whining and pantomime was quite pathetic IMO.

    Webber is a good driver, but Seb is clearly in a different league …. a pill that was apparently too difficult for Mark to swallow, until Vettel shoved it down his throat at Sepang.

  6. Does the Silverstone wing decision reflect badly on Red Bull? Yes.

    Why? Decisions like that are completely normal in F1. If a team has one new part the default position is to give it to the driver with the most points – in this case, Vettel. Lotus spent much of 2013 giving Kimi the latest parts while Romain had to make do with older stuff – and nobody raised a peep about it.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 23rd December 2013, 22:45

      @jonsan There were two parts. Seb’s broke, they took the part off Mark’s car prior to qualy and given it to Seb. Big difference. You don’t do that when your 2 drivers are fighting each other in the championship, unless one of them has a designated number 1 status or is far away in the lead. Vettel was barely ahead of Webber by a few points and it was the middle of the championship. How can you compare it to the completely different Lotus situation? If there’s only one part before the start of the weekend then yes you give it to the driver better placed in the championship. In the Lotus this year Kimi was fighting for the championship until the change in the tires and was always in a big lead over Grosjean since race one who was even behind Massa on points. But in 2010 Vettel only took the lead from Webber prior to the race thanks to him winning Valencia and Webber’s DNF

  7. Pauline Lowrey said on 24th December 2013, 8:10

    Re the Hungary 2010 incident: Webber was not ‘patently blameless’…..If you look at the footage of the race on most of the camera angles, it looked like a ‘racing incident’ but on one of the clips it was as clear as day that Webber turned in towards Vettle to clip Vettles tyre, spinning him off the track (known as giving him a kiss). The BBC has broadcast other clips of Webber doing the same thing, so there is documented evidence that that incident was not unique, Webber has done it more than once.

  8. …oh my, how the tables have turned now.

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