Red Bull Racing owner Dietrich Mateschitz has handed out all of the staff bonuses to his team following their double world championship victory this season, according to German newspaper Bild.
It has been estimated that the majority of the 500 staff in Milton Keynes were given £10,000 for their troubles over the season, while more senior staff earnt themselves a bonus of about £42,000 for their part in the victories.
World Champion Sebastian Vettel earnt himself around £2.6million for winning the world championship, on top of the extra sponsorship money and revenue he will now command following the championship victory. Proctor & Gamble have already signed a new sponsorship deal with the young German.
It is merely a drop in the ocean for owner Mateschitz, himself a millionaire, who is expected to receive about £62million in prize money for the championship wins. He has always maintained however that his wallet is not a bottomless pit when it comes to the budget for the team, they are estimated to have a middle ground budget of between €300million and €500million. Toyota were the top budget spenders in F1, but it is likely that Ferrari have regained the crown of the largest spenders in F1.
Here’s a selection of comments and quotes to Sebastian Vettel’s World Championship win today at Abu Dhabi.
Sebastian Vettel: “I am a bit speechless to be honest, I don’t know what you’re supposed to say in this moment. It is unbelievable. I went to bed and kept thinking about the race, about what might happen. I had some good imaginations and a good feeling.”
“We have seen incredible fights and a tight season.” don’t know how many times we have had a different leader. Some people got written off very early and then came back, like Fernando, they came back hard. Lewis [Hamilton] came back and was leading all of us. For some reason it does not feel like it is happening. It’s strange, but it will sink in when I finally go to sleep – but I think we will have daylight before that happens.”
Michael Schumacher (former 7 time world champion): “I’m quite happy for him because we are friends and it has been a tough year for him. He’s had up and downs he has had to go through, probably more on the mechanical side than on the driving side so he really deserves this championship. Well done to him, well done to the team, a great job from them all.
“My time was different time from his time, I just feel very happy for him. I think he deserves all the credit. He is a great driver, he is a fantastic guy, so I am more than happy for him.”
Christian Horner (Red Bull team principal): “It’s unbelievable. It’s been a very emotional week for this team. I’m just so proud of the team. It’s just an amazing feeling to be double world champions, it’s the icing on the cake with the drivers’ [title]. This team is the best team in the world. Sebastian, it’s the first time he’s led the world championship and he’s done it at the last race of the year. Unbelievable. A great job, he drove a perfect race when the pressure was on.
“He has had ups and downs, he’s had bad luck, he’s had some mechanical problems, some engine failures but he never lost his focus and belief – and now he is a champion. A great season.”
Mark Webber (Red Bull team mate): “I fully congratulate Seb on the world championship.”
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes Benz): “Congratulations to Sebastian today and he deserved the title.”
Jenson Button (McLaren): “Sebastian’s had some great races this year. We’ve all had up and down races this year, but for the last few races Sebastian has done a great job, and he deserves to be world champion of course.”
Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber): “I also want to congratulate Sebastian (Vettel) for his great success!”
Rob @TheF1FanaticsBlog: “I was always confident that Vettel would win a title someday, but I really thought Alonso would win today. Well done to him, but as a Ferrari fan I am highly disappointed!”
Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, ahead of team mate Mark Webber. The pairs 1-2 means that Red Bull are now the constructors world champions.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was 3rd, picking up more points as he looks to shore up the drivers championship.
We had a new pole sitter at the start of the race inn Nico Hulkenberg. However the glory was short lived for the German, who didn’t have a great start and was immediately over taken by Sebastian Vettel.
On the way down to turn 3, Webber took 2nd from the Williams driver while it took Fernando Alonso another lap to dispatch the former GP2 Champion. Alonso had managed to sneak past Lewis Hamilton for 4th, when the British driver made a mistake at the end of the straight into turn 3.
From then on, the Red Bull’s significantly pulled away and Fernando Alonso attempted to catch them up. Lewis Hamilton got stuck behind Hulkenberg, complaining of a poor amount of grip. He would eventually pit for harder tyres, set a few fastest laps and once again begin complaining of a lack of grip. This years McLaren seems to be struggling with the tyre degradation.
Further back, Michael Schumacher had a good start but got force onto the grass at turn 2, but got moved back to 10th when he rejoined. He slipped passed Jenson Button, but after his pit stop he got stranded behind Adrian Sutil.
Many drivers, including Jenson Button and Felipe Massa pitted for tyres early on to get out of the train that had formed behind Hulkenberg’s Williams. Both Massa and Barrichello had problems at their stops, no luck for the Brazilian’s today. Massa had to make a second stop, he seemingly had an issue with the front right tyre.
There was relatively little action in the middle half of the race, with the action coming from Webber trying to catch Vettel. Massa was making his way through the field, and Jenson Button too had thrown himself into contention.
On lap 51, Vitantonio Liuzzi got it all wrong into turns 1 and 2, had he slammed into the barriers by the pitlane. The safety car had to come out, and both McLaren drivers pitted for tyres as they had been complaining of a lack of grip. It left them with a lot of overtaking to do.
The safety car also threw Nico Rosberg into the pits, and a horrible pit stop where the front tyre changers appeared to have no idea which Bridgestone’s had been taken off the car and which ones were supposed to be going on. Nightmare stuff from the silver arrow mechanics. Rosberg pitted again a lap later changing his mind from harder prime tyres to super soft option tyres.
When the safety car returned to the pits, Vettel pulled away with the fastest lap of the race. Further back, drivers struggled to work their way through the traffic. Alonso was held up for far too long by Alguersuari, meanwhile the two McLaren’s couldn’t free themselves from a brace of fast cars in the midfield with their new tyres.
On lap 60, Massa went around the outside of Buemi at turn 3. The Swiss driver wasn’t happy so rammed Massa off the road. More bad luck for the Brazilian who is having oen of the worst seasons of his Ferrari career. Adrian Sutil also had contact with Buemi, but managed to get passed to secure 12th.
Nick Heidfeld was unlucky to be given a drive through penalty for ignoring blue flags at the restart. In all honesty, everyone in that pack wasn’t concentrating on the flags – either penalise none or all.
From there on it was a relatively easy race, and Sebastian Vettel took the race win ahead of Mark Webber. Red Bull are now the constructors World Champions.
|1||S. Vettel||Red Bull Renault||184.108.40.2063|
|2||M. Webber||Red Bull Renault||+4.243|
|4||L. Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||+14.634|
|5||J. Button||McLaren Mercedes||+15.593|
|8||N. Hulkenberg||Williams Cosworth||+ 1 lap|
|9||R. Kubica||Renault||+ 1 lap|
|10||K. Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||+ 1 lap|
|11||J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+ 1 lap|
|12||A Sutil||Force India Mercedes||+ 1 lap|
|13||S. Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+ 1 lap|
|14||F. Massa||Ferrari||+ 1 lap|
|15||V. Petrov||Renault||+ 1 lap|
|16||R. Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||+ 1 lap|
|17||N. Heidfeld||Sauber Ferrari||+ 1 lap|
|18||H. Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||+ 2 laps|
|19||J. Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||+ 2 laps|
|20||T. Glock||Virgin Cosworth||+ 2 laps|
|21||B. Senna||Hispania Cosworth||+ 2 laps|
|22||C. Klien||Hispania Cosworth||+ 6 laps|
|L. Di Grassi||Virgin Cosworth||63||Unknown|
|V. Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||50||Accident|
Red Bull’s slogan gave me that terrific title you read above, okay perhaps its no better than something you might read in a tabliod newspaper like The Sun but this weekend’s controversy surrounding the Red Bull Racing team once again highlights the problems with in-team politics and the effect it can have on the drivers.
Mark Webber was denied the use of the new Red Bull front wing, after his was given to team mate Sebastian Vettel for qualifying whose new wing had been damaged in Saturday morning practice. The Australian was duly annoyed when Vettel took pole position. It was another item of favouritsm toward the young German from this season, Webber is even using one of Sebastian’s old chassis.
Despite all of this, Webber managed to win the Grand Prix – barging Vettel off the road into turn 1 – but no amount of nice press photos with Christian Horner and Adrian Newey could put the lid on the problems within the team. Mark claimed down the radio on victory “not bad for a second driver”, a clear point towards his status within the team – or at least his percieved status. Red Bull had defended themselves by claiming they were giving the championship leader the advantage, but we will see if that is true in Germany as Webber now leads the standings ahead of Red Bull favourite Vettel.
“Whether the gap between us in qualifying was the difference between the two front wings, I don’t know,” said Webber after last weekend’s British Grand Prix. “But it was a far from ideal situation and it definitely made my win taste even sweeter.”
Christian Horner came out in the Monday newspapers claiming he regretted not speaking with Webber before the decision was made, and he categorically denied that it had anything to do with Helmut Marko or Dietrich Mateschitz the owners of the Red Bull Energy Drink brand.
“There has never been any pressure from Red Bull to favour one driver over the other.” Horner told The Daily Telegraph in England
“I didn’t have a conversation with Helmut or anyone from Red Bull regarding the decision to give Sebastian the wing. It was purely a technical decision, which I discussed with Adrian [Newey].
“My one regret is that I didn’t have time to discuss the issue with Mark personally prior to qualifying as I’m sure that would have given him a more balanced understanding.”
We have seen many instances of team bias and favouritsm over the years, most recently with the arguments between Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso at McLaren, a row which has never really been cleared up and forced the Spaniard to leave the team and then earlier between Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello during their time at Ferrari.
Top teams have trouble keeping their drivers together and motivated, especially when they are fighting for the championship – Barrichello even had trouble with Brawn GP last year with their dominance. However this is the first time we have seen the management of a team really getting involved and openly favouring one driver over another, even during the Schumacher days at Ferrari they did not willingly pass equipment or new parts over Barrichello – definitely not during a race weekend in any case.
The path Red Bull now tread with Webber is a difficult one, but they really have the Australian cornered to an extent. He has signed a new contract, and there aren’t really any race seats with top teams on offer for next season. He could potentially leave the team, who are looking likely to win the world championship, and head to Renault alongside Robert Kubica. That would leave the door wide open for Red Bull sponsored rally driver Kimi Raikkonen to come back to F1. Or Webber can just live with the favouritism toward Vettel and get on in trying to win the World Championship.
Nick Fry, the CEO of Mercedes Benz has seen these problems before, having dealt with the Button/Barrichello problems last year and advises Red Bull to sort the issues out quickly otherwise they have the potential of shooting themselves in the foot.
“I do sympathise on the one hand with them,” said Fry
“But one of the main points is to stop shooting yourself in the foot. Just looking at it from the outside, there seems to be a case of Red Bull causing more problems than they need to.
“They have clearly got the fastest car by quite a margin, and they should be way ahead of the rest of us, and they are not. So they do need to look at themselves and try and work out what they are doing wrong.
“They are beating themselves – which is very satisfying for the rest of us but it should not be what they are up to.”
All I know is, I am glad I am not in Christian Horner’s shoes this week!!
Christian Horner and Adrian Newey of the Red Bull Racing team have announced they are pushing the FIA to allow full engine equalisation from the start of next season.
Red Bull have had a good season thus far with multiple race wins and pole positions for both of their drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. The outfit which is based in Milton Keynes, England uses Renault customer engines and has done for some seasons. However it is widely known that the Renault power unit is not as quick as some of the other engines in the field, by around 35bhp.
The team attempted to become a customer to the Mercedes Benz performance engines, but this was blocked by McLaren under their special right to veto as the main customer for the German manufacturer.
Red Bull point out that they are happy with Renault and their service, they just want a power equalisation programme.
“I think if you look at basic studies you would say we are about three per cent down on power – which is probably about 30-35bhp,” said Horner. “That is as much as four tenths per lap, but until you run all the engines in the same conditions on a dyno and do a fair and proper comparison you can never be sure.
“You often hear Ross Brawn talk about weight distribution, or the centre-of-gravity and cooling efficiency so on, and the more power you have the more heat you generate.
“But you need to look at all the aspects in a collective format. The most important thing moving forward is that chassis will for sure converge, as there is freedom within the regulations, and that is where the engines will become a bigger factor.”
He added: “It is getting a bit boring. Through the regulations, there is nothing that specifically deals with engine equality, and that is the problem. I think it is acknowledged that there are differences and there is a format that was agreed last winter to evaluate the engines, which was agreed upon by all the manufacturers, but some of the teams stopped that from happening. We are back in to that situation.”
“In terms of supply, we are very happy with the relationship we have with Renault,” explained Horner. “They treat us very well, and we have a very good partnership with Renault.
“Unfortunately the product, due to the homologation, is frozen and therefore you have a performance freeze.
“Mercedes have made it transparently clear that they will not be supplying any additional teams for next year- so we rely on the FIA and the teams and manufacturers to create a healthy situation. It is not healthy to have a situation where one engine is significantly ahead of the rest.”
Red Bull Racing look set to make Sebastian Vettel the longest contracted driver in Formula One if insider reports from the team are to be believed.
Vettel, who is rated as one of the best young drivers in Formula One with multiple Grand Prix victories to his name has been sponsored by the Austrian energy drink company for the majority of his career. Following a stand-in race with BMW Sauber, the young German was contracted to Scuderia Toro Rosso for whom he promptly won their first and only Grand Prix in Monza in 2008. Since 2009 he has driven for the Red Bull team with whom he is contracted with until 2012.
However according to Autosport Red Bull executives want to extend his contract until 2015. This would make him the longest under contract driver in F1, with Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton being the other top two with contracts until 2012.
Red Bull also wish to retain the services of design ace Adrian Newey.
Team principal Christian Horner said about the Newey situation: “The relationship is open-ended. He is enjoying what he is doing, he enjoys the environment at Red Bull and he is still relatively young.
“It is not like he is an old timer, so I don’t think he has any plans to retire at the moment. He will certainly be here for the foreseeable future.”
Mark Webber could well be kept on under a single year contract extension for 2011 despite the recent troubles in the Turkish Grand Prix. If the Australian decides to move, his only serious option is seemingly Renault.
Christian Horner has openly dismissed the rumours circulating that his red Bull Racing team was about to hand the 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen a race contract for the 2011 season.
Raikkonen quit Ferrari at the end of last season so the team could take on Fernando Alonso. After failing to agree terms with McLaren, the former champion Raikkonen went off to race in the World Rally Championship for the Citroen Junior Team. At the time there was speculation he had a return to F1 contract signed with Red Bull, following the drink manufacturer becoming the Finn’s title sponsor with Citroen.
When asked about Kimi returning was a possibility Horner said ”No. Kimi has committed himself to rallying, and he seems to be enjoying that environment.
“We have been happy with the job that Mark is doing, so why would you change?”
Mark Webber now looks set to recieve a big contract to stay with the team for another year, as the 2011 silly season’s big movers are set to stay in their current environments. Felipe Massa is set to be offered another contract by Ferrari and Robert Kubica will commit himself to another season with Renault.
“When we sit down and talk about it, it will be very straightforward,” said Horner. “Mark is an important member of the team, he enjoys driving for the team and we have a great balance between our two drivers. So, it is the usual thing – if it is not broken, don’t fix it.
“I think that it is clear where our intent is, it is clear where his intent is. It is just a matter of sorting out the paperwork with his management, but in the coming weeks I am sure that will be sorted.”
Mark Webber’s victory in the Monaco Grand Prix yesterday looks set to deliver him more than just a helping of pride and a hangover, following an interview released with his boss Christian Horner.
Horner, who in team principal for Red Bull Racing Webber’s employer, says that he wants to offer the Australian another contract to stay on with the team and partner popular German Sebastian Vettel.
Webber’s future with the Austrian energy drink backed team had been in doubt with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, and former World Champion turned rally driver Kimi Raikkonen both being linked with poaching the seat with the current constructors championship leaders.
However despite this, the team say they want continuity as they focus on winning both the drivers and constructors titles and pushing their team to the front of the grid.
“We are very happy with the way that Mark is performing,” Horner told ESPN last night.
“He’s an important member of our team and he has got to a stage where, at 33, we said let’s take one year at a time rather than signing some long-winded agreement. I am very happy with the balance and dynamics in team, and there is nothing that we would change for.
“It’s all down to relationships and how he feels at the end of the day. He is driving fantastically well, he is a very valued member of the team, so when the time comes to sit down and talk about contracts I am sure it will be a very short conversation.”
Red Bull Racing have today launched their 2009 contender, the RB5.
It will be the teams 5th car, and will be piloted by Australian Mark Webber and German rookie sensation Sebastian Vettel.
Their car shares some similarities with the Ferrari F60, with winglets across the top of the nose, and also with the protruding poles out of the floor wide by the sidepods for aerodynamic purposes, and also those wide wing mirrors. The sidepods also feature in-built bargeboards, very similar to other cars. The incredibly thin nose is a throwback to some older McLaren cars, a clear Adrian Newey design piece.
Scuderia Toro Rosso will probably run an incredibly similar car.
Christian Horner said;
“2009 will also see us benefit from greater stability in terms of how we run the operation, with all our key players in the technical group having been with us for at least two years,” said Horner. “We should not forget they designed a car that won a grand prix in 2008, in the hands of Sebastian Vettel and Scuderia Toro Rosso.
“There is no reason to believe we cannot do that again with these new rules. The regulation changes almost constitute a new formula for the sport and it will be interesting to see how the teams interpret them.
“Certainly in the early part of this season we expect to see a much bigger spread in terms of performance between the teams than we have over the past two years. “
Sebastian Vettel admitted the clear goal was to win races.
“The target is to win. Obviously it’s not correct sitting here and say I am going to win the world championship. I want to, but we need to see.
“We need to see how we are going, where we are in comparison to the others. I believe that the new rules could give a chance to teams like us to close the gap to the front but the favourites are Ferrari and McLaren, no doubt.
“If we are doing extremely well then we will be in a position to score points regularly and maybe fight for a little bit more. I am not the kind of guy to tell you we are going to be here. I prefer to stay on the floor and work hard. If we are getting a surprise then it’s much better!”
Red Bull Racing today unveiled a new team sponsor in Trust, the Dutch electronic company.
Trust have previously sponsored in F1 with the Minardi team most prominently and Jordan Grand Prix, but also in GP2 more recently with heavy branding on the team Arden cars.
Trust’s logos will appear on both Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel’s helmets underneath the visors.
“We are pleased to welcome Trust to Red Bull Racing and look forward to a mutually successful partnership.” Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner said today.
“It is great for the team to enter the 2009 season with a vibrant new partner in Trust and with Formula One providing the perfect platform for Trust to showcase their cutting edge technology, we look forward to an exciting future together.”
Sebastian Vettel was unveiled today as Red Bull Racing’s choice to replace David Coulthard for the forthcoming 2009 season.
The young German has been part of the Red Bull project for a very long time, and was sponsored heavily during his time at BMW Sauber. He made the jump across to Scuderia Toro Rosso for the end of 2007 and this 2008 season.
With David Coulthard retireing there was rumour Fernando Alonso would join the Milton Keynes based squad, but instead Vettel who is tipped to be the next Michael Schumacher will race with them.
“We are delighted that Sebastian will be joining us next year,” said team principal Christian Horner.
“With David Coulthard announcing his retirement as a Formula One driver a fortnight ago at the British Grand Prix, after careful consideration, it seemed natural to announce his replacement here at Sebastian’s home race in Hockenheim.
“As he was already part of the Red Bull family, choosing Sebastian as Mark Webber’s team-mate was not a difficult decision. However, we have always stated that our aim is to have the strongest available driver line-up and Vettel’s selection also matches these criteria.
“Having only turned 21 at the last race and with only 17 Grand Prix starts to his name, he is still on a learning curve, but it is clear that he has plenty of ability and speed. We are confident that Red Bull Racing will make the most of these attributes and believe that, in Mark and Sebastian, we have a very competitive driver line-up for 2009.”
David Coulthard has announced that he will retire from Formula One at the end of this season.
The 36 year old Scot has been an F1 driver since 1994, completed 230 races and had 13 wins.
He is popular throughout the paddock, and gained many fans throughout the years, even more during the past few with Red Bull Racing with his free and easy approach to F1, bringing some humour to the generally dour pitlane.
Coulthard began his F1 career with Williams before jumping ship over to McLaren when they started their partnership with Mercedes. He raced there in the shadow of Mika Hakkinen until the Flying Finn retired. He continued with McLaren jostling for position alongside Kimi Raikkonen as Michael Schumacher took multiple world championships and completly dominated the sport. in 2005 he made the shock move to Red Bull Racing where he has had mild success but it has been marred with reliability problems.
He won’t be bowing completly out of F1, as he will continue to be a consultant to the Red Bull Racing team.
“I would like to announce today my decision to retire from racing in Formula One at the end of this season,” said the Scot in a statement ahead of the British Grand Prix.
“I will remain actively involved in the sport as a consultant to Red Bull Racing focusing on testing and development of the cars.
“I have an open mind as to whether or not I will compete again in the future, in some other form of motorsport, so I am definitely not hanging up my helmet,”
“The decision to make this announcement at the British GP should be an obvious one for all to understand, as I have achieved two of my thirteen F1 victories at Silverstone and I am a member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, which hosts this event,”
“I am proud of my work at Red Bull Racing and will continue to race with the same focus until the last lap in Brazil. Thereafter I will continue to help the team develop and move towards their ultimate goal of winning races.”
“There are many people who have played a part in my career and I would like to list a few of them below;
- My parents whose energy and encouragement through my entire career has been amazing
- Dave Boyce who guided me through Karting
- David Leslie Senior and Junior for teaching me how to set up and race a car
- Sir Jackie and Paul Stewart for putting me through their “staircase of talent”
- Sir Frank Williams and Williams Renault for having the faith to promote me from test driver to race driver, which lead to my first GP victory
- Ron Dennis and the McLaren team where I spent nine seasons and achieved the majority of my success.
- Norbert Haug and Mercedes for being racers through and through
- Dietrich Mateschitz and his Red Bull Racing team for providing me with the chance to contribute to the development of a new team, while continuing to compete and add to my tally of podiums
- Christian Horner for his open and professional management style in association with Helmut Marko
- Bernie Ecclestone for providing such a strong platform for us all to develop our skills and be able to call ourselves professionals. In years to come, my future family will still be thanking him for the financial success of F1
- My management team of Martin Brundle and David Cawthorne in association with Annette Hutchinson and Iain Cunningham for providing their valued opinions
- There have been three teams but only one designer, so Adrian Newey deserves special thanks for all the champagne that I have sprayed
- And last but not least, all the media, officials, marshals, medical support, mechanics, engineers, sponsors, lawyers, accountants and back room staff that I have worked with during this period.”
We wish David Coulthard much luck in the future with whatever he decides to do with his life. Congratulations on a prosperous career throughout F1.