May 31, 2010

Redbull vs. Mark Webber

I’m sorry, I have to say something. After watching the debacle that was lap 41 of the turkish grand prix, I cannot believe the team’s response. First, take a look at the accident:

Notice a few things:

  • 1:02 – this is the best angle of the accident, that shows how clearly Vettel clipped across the tarmac into Webber, and how Webber did not move one bit.
  • 1:33 – watch how team principal Christian Horner screams “MOVE” as he watches the accident start to unfold. It seems pretty clear here that the only person he could be talking about was Mark Webber. If that’s the case, did he expect Webber to just relinquish the lead after just being told to change his cars fuel settings to a reduced horsepower configuration?

2-3 laps prior to this accident taking place, webber was told by his race engineer to change his engine map to one which would help conserve fuel. As the McLaren’s were really pushing the RB’s, they were gulping more fuel than they had planned. With the team instructing him to do so, they were essentially asking Webber to start backing Vettel and the McLaren’s into him – or – putting him in a position at that point where his lead would become seriously in jeopardy.

So the question is: if RedBull only instructed Webber and not Vettel to change his engine mapping, how did they not see this coming? Did they inform webber of this change, and to expect Vettel to try something? How would you expect Webber, the driver with the higher # of points, to react to the news that the team has essentially decided they want Vettel to win the race? I would be fuming mad if I were Webber at this point.

What really drives me mad is the reaction and response from everyone at the Redbull team. First, the hugging and condolences for Vettel once he returned to the paddock, then the response from the team that it was Webber who was in the wrong for not allowing his teammate to pass.

Mark, it seems like you have more than your foes on track to fight in the battle for the championship this season. Good luck with that mate!

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