Mark Webber believes that the recent changes in the ruling on team orders, changing them from being banned to being allowed, will not change anything in the sport.
The team orders ban had been in force for some time, but following Ferrari’s flagrant disregard for the rule at Hockenheim in 2010, speculation was to be that the rule needed to either be enforced or dropped.
Webber, of Red Bull Racing, has been at the forefront of “second driver” following his teams clear desire to support team mate Sebastian Vettel.
“Like they [team orders] never went!” said Webber during an interview with BBC Radio Five Live.
“Look, it is something that has been around since the 1950s, 1960s. It’s always been there, when you have got two drivers driving for a team and you swing results around every now and again to help the team achieve a better result.
“It has been done in the past, done up and down the field. I’ve done it myself at times and been on the receiving end.
“I think people should not get too nervous, they won’t see it every weekend, nothing is going to change.”
A new book being published by Mark Webber has revealed that the Australian drove the final four rounds of the 2010 season with a broken shoulder following another mountainbike incident.
Webber was one of 4 drivers in contention for the world championship last season, racing for Red Bull alongside eventual winner Sebastian Vettel.
An extract from the book, obtained by the BBC revealed:
“On the Sunday morning before (the Japanese Grand Prix weekend at) Suzuka, I got on a mountain bike for the first time since my accident in Tasmania at the end of 2008.
“I was riding with a great friend of mine. Suddenly, he crashed right in front of me and I had nowhere to go but straight through the ears of the horse! I suffered what they call a skier’s fracture to my right shoulder.
“Suzuka is a brutal track so it was a blessing that the Japanese weather gave me an enforced rest day on the Saturday (when qualifying was rained off), and a pre-race injection helped, too. In the end, we got through the weekend all right.”
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||18.104.22.1683|
|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 Racing and Lotus will both use Renault engines for the 2011 F1 season, it was confirmed today at Interlagos.
Red Bull are already supplied with the French manufacturers units, however there had been speculation that the team would abandon their deal and use Mercedes Benz power for 2011.
The deal signed today means they will continue the partnership that started in 2007. Previously the Austrian energy drink backed team had used Cosworth and Ferrari power units. The team will also increase the presence of Renault branding on the cars, with Renault badges being place on the nosecone of each Red Bull and text to be places on the visors of each driver.
“We’re pleased to announce this extension,” said team boss Christian Horner. “We have always enjoyed a very straightforward relationship with Renault and they have supported us extremely fairly during the past four seasons, contributing to our thirteen grand prix victories so far.
“The relationship continues to evolve and we look forward to working with them during our 2011 Formula One World Championship campaign.”
Lotus had already announced that they would be dropping their Cosworth power supply for 2011. The new team had also signed a deal to use Red Bull transmission in 2011 so this move to Renault power is a sensible one.
“I am absolutely delighted that we can now officially talk about the partnership with Renault,” said Lotus boss Tony Fernandes.
“There has obviously been a great deal of speculation about which engine will be powering our cars from 2011 and now the announcement has been made I think everyone can see just how ambitious we really are.
“The combination of the Renault engine and the Red Bull Technology gearbox and hydraulics gives our design and aero teams a successful, tried and tested platform to work with for next year’s car.”
Renault will be supplying the same amount of teams with engines that Ferrari and Mercedes Benz shall do next season. Cosworth are the other major engine supplier in the sport.
Jack Brabham, the three time F1 world champion says that fellow countryman Mark Webber has blown his career opportunity to win the world championship following his retirement from the Korean Grand Prix last weekend.
Webber crashed out in rainy conditions, after losing traction on the outside of a turn at the Yeongam circuit. He spun out into a concrete wall before cannoning across the circuit and smashing into Mercedes Benz driver Nico Rosberg’s car.
Brabham believes that Webber has now lost the opportunity to win this title, and possibly lost the opportunity to ever win a title as he gets towards the end of his racing career fighting younger drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
“It would mean a lot to me and it would mean a lot to Australia, but unfortunately I think his real opportunity has been blown last weekend,” 84-year-old Brabham, explained to the AAP news agency.
“I’m really there behind him in the hope that he gets there, but if he doesn’t do it this year I don’t think he ever will; people like Alonso are young and Mark’s getting a bit too old now, really.
“He can probably go one more year but every year that goes by now he’s getting older and this is a young man’s sport; he’s racing against 21 or 22-year-olds and he’s got the job in front of him.”
Red Bull have announced today that they have dropped up coming race driver Brendon Hartley from both their F1 test driver role and from their junior driver programme.
Red Bull run one of the most diverse athelete sponsorship programmes, and have worked with drivers like Sebastian Vettel and Vitantonio Liuzzi on their path into F1 along with other sports competitors such as Lindsey Vonn. Their junior motorsports programme is one of the most competitive to be a part of and usually guarantees some form of success, however Hartley has now been dropped from the funding scheme and faces and uphill battle to save his motorsport career.
The New-Zealander was racing in Formula Renault 3.5 with little recent success, and will be replaced in the Red Bull team in that series by Jean Eric-Venge. Daniel Ricciardo becomes the sole test driver for Red Bull Racing.
Christian Horner said: “We would like to thank Brendon for all his efforts and the work he has done with Red Bull Racing over the last few seasons. He has provided useful feedback for the team and we wish him all the best for the future.”
Meanwhile Hartley told this weeks Autosport Magazine: “I want to get across that they have given me a lot and I’m not bitter.”
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.”