Webber holds position behind wounded Vettel (Red Bull race review)

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Gearbox problems hit both Red Bull drivers

Red Bull led almost half of the Canadian Grand Prix but their split strategies left Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber fourth and fifth.

As Vettel nursed a damaged gearbox to the end of the race Webber reduced his pace to hold position at the chequered flag.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 3 2
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’15.420 (+0.047) 1’15.373
Race position 4 5
Average race lap 1’21.018 (-0.021) 1’21.039
Laps 70/70 70/70
Pit stops 2 2

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Sebastian Vettel

Out-qualified by his team mate for the fourth race in a row, but Webber’s gearbox change penalty promoted Vettel to the front row alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Having started on the medium tyres Vettel put Hamilton (on super-softs) under pressure for the first seven laps, then took the lead when Hamilton pitted. Not wanting to spend too long on the super-soft tyres, his team kept him out so long that he lost track position to Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button which he never recovered.

Vettel took the super-soft tyres for his second stint and quickly discarded them to get back on the medium tyres. But halfway through the race he began to lose oil from his gearbox. A slow run through traffic meant he lost contact with Button and began to slip back.

On the radio Vettel was heard to ask, “I mean, seriously, how do you want me to pass being slower and slower?” He was told, “We are managing an issue.” A few laps before the end of the race Vettel asked what the fastest lap of the race lap and was told “Don’t even think about it. We’re nursing a car problem.”

In the last nine laps he lost 38 seconds to the leaders. Fortunately he faced no challenge from behind as his team mate had backed off and Nico Rosberg was almost three-quarters of a minute adrift.

Vettel may be frustrated to experience yet more unreliability from the RB6 – he also had a problem with his radio. However it’s doubtful Red Bull expected much better than fourth place on a track that was expected to suit McLaren better.

Compare Sebastian Vettel’s form against his team mate in 2010

Mark Webber

Webber would have kept his run of front-row starts going but for a gearbox change penalty – another manifestation of Red Bull’s chronic unreliability.

Starting seventh on medium tyres he kept away from the Felipe Massa-Vitantonio Liuzzi tangle to run fifth. He caught Button who was struggling on his super-softs and passed the McLaren at turn eight on lap five.

With Hamilton also slow on the super-softs Webber caught the leading trio and ran second behind his team mate after Hamilton and Alonso pitted.

Unlike Vettel, Webber ran the middle stint on medium tyres, leaving him to do a final stint on super-softs. The team stretched his middle stint out as long as possible to minimise the time on the super-softs.

With Vettel having pitted that meant Webber was in the lead. But once Hamilton caught him it was only a matter of time. After the McLaren passed on lap 50 Webber finally ducked into the pits for super-soft tyres.

There was a window in which Webber could have pitted and come back on the track in front of Vettel – from laps 36 to 39. But that would have meant doing up to 34 laps on the super-soft tyres, which Michael Schumacher’s experience showed wasn’t a good idea.

Webber backed off as much as Vettel in the closing laps, saying afterwards: “We turned the car down to save it for the next race.”

Compare Mark Webber’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 Canadian Grand Prix

    Browse all 2010 Canadian Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    45 comments on “Webber holds position behind wounded Vettel (Red Bull race review)”

    1. really disappointed in red bull and webber.

      He pitted and then didn’t really have any pace and my inner conspiracy theorist states that this was because Vettel was in front of him. Fresh rubber with no pace? doesn’t happen unless you’re told not to.

      Especially with Vettels problem at the end when he was lapping in the 1.24’s. Unless Webber had a problem too – which so far, I haven’t seen any evidence of, then this is really uncool once again from Red Bull

      1. i really wanted webber to catch vettel towards the end and be way faster. then would red bull have asked vettel to let him through?
        anyways, the strategy didn’t work but i must say, webber’s overtake on button was the highlight of the race for me. that simply isn’t an overtaking spot but he managed to nail it.

      2. Webbers had to make those supersofts last though. And given their other failed gambles throughout the race I don’t think they were going to have Turkey part II!

    2. oh yeh, and vettel’s not helping his reputation with those radio comments.

      1. weall, the asking for the fastest lap was iresponsible but very much in his character.

        An you would be annoyed by contradictory instructions, don’t know why but i still like Vettle when his face lights up. All the same, difficult race for both Redbulls, hope this continues till wee meeryy macca win both titles.

    3. Has vettel done 4 races on that gearbox?

      Because i think i am right in saying if he has not he will have to take a penalty at the next race?

      1. You can change a gearbox between races and not take a penalty as long as you are within the limit for the year, its when you change it between qualifying at the race while the car is in parc ferme that you take a penalty, same as the engine rule.

        I think thats right anyway.

        1. I dont think so. That is the engine rule. I think the gearbox has to last the full 4 races. I may also be wrong though!

          1. you are correct, just looked it up. The only way he would have got a free change is if he failed to finish this race.

    4. I too was ready for Webber to start catching Vettel on those softs but it just never happened. Webber used to be such a bad starter but this year hes been impeccable and Canada was probably his best start so far.

      1. As Brundle said on the BBC commentary, Webber had to go easy on the tyres for the first few laps to ensure they’d last the distance.

        He went easy for 3 laps, then significantly picked up his pace (lap 55 onwards) and started gaining on Vettel before deciding (or being told) to turn down the engine to save it for Valencia.

        1. I suppose there was not that much in it for Webber. Blowing his tyres and risking a clash with his team mate for a possible 2 points more would not have been the thing to do at that point of the race.

          He still improved on his starting position and did solid points (like Button did last year).

    5. I think that Red Bull had short fueled Vettel and that was the issue they were “managing” and the leaking gearbox is a cover story!!

      I believe they gambled on a safety car which would allow them to run a little less fuel and towards half distance when there wasn’t a safety car (and the chances of one getting slimmer) they knew they had a problem so told Vettel to turn it down.

      I think that Vettel stopping almost immediately after the finish line points to running on fumes.

      1. That idea was suggested to one of the drivers who was commentating on Radio 5 during practice – either Nick Heidfeld of Gary Paffett, can’t remember which. He said that you’d need to short-fuel a huge amount to get a worthwhile performance benefit.

        It goes back to the same figures we were looking at when working out whether Hamilton got pole position because he had too little fuel in the car. At Montreal for every 5km travelled a driver needs 2.37kg which costs him 0.06s per lap.

        Therefore over a 305km race running 2.37kg light will save you 3.66 seconds – but at some point you’ll have to save a lap’s worth of fuel.

        1. Agreed, however gambling on a safety car might mean they were looking to save more than 1 laps worth of fuel.

          A safety car is out for a minimum of 3 laps, I don’t know for sure how much less fuel is used while behind a safety car, but lets assume the fuel consumption is halved therefore 3 laps behind the SC would give you 1.5 laps less fuel.

          Now if Red Bull had gambled on the SC being out for at least 6 laps they could have saved 3 laps of fuel and that could be around 20 seconds over the course of the race, probably worth it!

      2. i agree i had the same thought after seeing him stop just after the line. i also think they left webber out in his middle stint so he would not beat vettel. own opinion of course

    6. I’m mightily impress with Webber. Outqwualified Seb yet again and even with that penalty he finished just behind him. I’m sorry but out of the two Mark is definitely looking the champion material at the minute.

      1. Unfortunately it looked like the wrong strategy was used and they kept Webber out too long on his second stint.

        Gary Anderson (ex-Jordan designer) commented on ESPN Star that when Webber was losing a whole lot of time to the McLarens and Alonso, the team should have brought him in for fresh rubber. Since it was going to be the options, there wasn’t really anyway those would last him to the end either, but he could have kept position over Vettel…

        1. I think the data above shows once he’d begun his second stint on the mediums there was no realistic way he was going to get ahead of Vettel on strategy. I wonder if he could have passed him at the end, though.

          1. like brundle said at the time tho they could have pitted webber had the tyres not worked and he had to stop again he would hav still finished 5th. Ted Kravits said Webber still had another pair of new primes left. So in my opinion they took the chance away from him.

            1. They had to swich Webber to supersofts. Those were never going to last much longer than 15 laps.

              They knew this because Vettel destroyed his supersofts in only 13 laps.

              So if they had switched Webber earlier he would have had to stop twice.

              The only realistic opion they had was to keep Webber out.

              Besides, Webber was driving in P5 before his stop. It’s a bit unrealistic to assume that he’s going to win the race on tyre strategy. Realisticly he was always going to finish around P5.

        2. I think Webber (and Vettel’s) first stop was way to early. The strategy might still have worked if they’d gone 6 or 7 laps longer on the first set of Primes.

          The others pitted on about lap 10 to change off the options. The Red Bulls pitted on about lap 15 to change off the first set of Primes. Why?

    7. CovertGiblets
      14th June 2010, 12:26

      I’m still to be convinced that Seb is as magical a driver as everyone thinks. He’s not that good a racer. How many overtakes have you seen from him? How many races has he won when starting from somewhere other than pole position? Sure, if he starts on pole and gets to the first corner ahead of everyone else, he’s ballistic and very difficult to beat. But then again so was David Coultard and would you put him in the same class as the greats?

      Seb’s race craft and temperament leave a lot to be desired, Turkey was a very good indicator of that. I really do believe if he doesn’t win the world title this year or next, he never will!

      1. He’s still young, but this is why JB is going to win the WDC

      2. indeed, he’s a lot like Massa in that he’ll win you a race from upfront, but not from a few places behind.

      3. The only thing that’s stopping vettel to winning the title this year is his car falling apart when he drives it.

        Vettel is future greatness and people who think different are only fooling themselves.

        You watch when he goes to mercedes, hamilton won’t know what hit him.

        1. Well, only if they improve their car, or the only hitting will be when Vettel emulates MSC in a too slow, draggy car being overtaken by Webber in the still fast, but maybe a little underpowered, RBR …

    8. Webber had Vettel in that last stint but was not allowed to take it to him. I was watching the Webber sector times, how he managed the softs for the first 3 laps and was ready to rumble. He came forward better than anyone today and if you were watching the condition of his tyres in that last hard stint you could only rate it as a masterful effort.

      This is worse than Istanbul for RBR as a team, straight after all the mouth music you get confirmation that you can’t trust them.

      Vettel’s efforts this year and last at making an overtaking effort are uniformly dismal. He just doesn’t rate next to Webber unless he is in clean air.

      1. “he managed the softs for the first 3 laps and was ready to rumble”

        don’t you mean he wore them out, which was why he couldn’t overtake Vettel?

        1. No he took 3 easy laps, far slower than he did in his first 3 on the hards in the stint before. Webber is generally better on tyres than Vettel but I don’t even need to factor that into his potential for the last stint, and Vettel didn’t go slow on dialing them in in his stint. Webber had him to rights in the last stint.

          It is also apparent from Vettel’s discussion on team radio that the team were “managing” the car outside of Vettel’s control. A good enough reason to dump F1 as a sport I reckon and they can have their “show”.

          1. Those softs were going to fall to pieces if Webber tried to catch Vettel. Everybody knows this. Nothing to do with being told to “hold station”. There’s absolutely no proof that Webber was held back by anything other than tyre degradation. Both drivers were compromised, Vettel by his gearbox (or fuel) issue, Weber by his tyres. There’s a very good chance that both drivers were marginal ion fuel (no SC) and Webber would have had to save fuel as well as Vettel.

            Why does everything have to be a conspiracy against Webber? He’s had his contract renewed. He’s said in an interview that if he felt that the team were favouring Vettel, he wouldn’t stand for it. Why is this so hard for his fans to accept?

    9. Horner said Red Bull will “allow our drivers to race each other”, but when Vettel is lapping 5 seconds slower than anyone else and is obviously broken and Webber slows down so he doesn’t catch him there is something rotten going on.

      I am a huge fan of Webber’s, but his comment that “We then turned the car down to save it for the next race” sounds ingenuous from someone trying to win a title. (Perhaps the new contract for next year also has some instructions for this year’s racing)

      If Webber misses the WDC by a point from someone beside Vettel then Horner, Marko and the other Seb-huggers are going to look even more stupid and incompetent than they did 2 weeks ago.

    10. “Webber Holds Position…”

      Way to go with the balanced viewpoint, Keith.

      So, what you are insinuating is that he cruised up to Vettel and then sat on his gearbox until the flag, not being allowed to overtake?

      We must have been watching a different race. In the race I watched, Webber finished a long way behind Vettel.

      1. You must of been watching something else then. I watched the same one as Keith

        1. Webber was miles behind. Just look at this picture.


          Yep, miles behind :S

          1. Yep sitting at the edge of the hot dirty air dipping into it over the finish line

          2. Not exactly in a position to overtake. Not at any stage. Please provide a picture of Webber lining up to pass Vettel and then I’ll believe that he was ‘holding sation’

            All this allegation of Red Bull Racing favouring Vettel, holding Webber back etc. does Webber no good. It makes his supporters look like a bunch of whingers.

            I am sure that there would be a lot less of this twaddle if Vettel was Australian.

            1. Exactly, it does not help Webber to make it as obvious as Barrichello did at Ferrari that he is holding position, he is better off keeping the tires well. That does not prove it did not happen either.

              If Webber had pitted earlier, and then drove with a mind on the tires, he could have stayed in front of Vettel, and maybe he even could have battled with Button, but probably not won.

              The team did not want to see a Webber/Vettel fight however, and kept him out, hoping that he would stay well ahead, or clearly behind – but then had to ask him to “conserve the engine for next race” when Vettel had to slow to finish.

              RBR do seem to make strategy mistakes with their drivers because they do not know if they should keep Vettel ahead, keep their drivers away from each other, or (a chance at) bigger points for the team. And in keeping their drivers apart, they do tend to give Vettel an advantage.

              A Webber fan might console him/herself by thinking that that is due to Webber being more capable, but I do think it is a bit unfortunate.

      2. Dr M maybe? Stuff your idiot team

    11. What exactly would Webber be “saving” the car for? Will he gain a position in Valencia because he had some “extra” car left over from Canada? Nonsense; the car is not a lollipop. If he loses the WDC to Hamilton or Button by a few points he will rue this day more than the day Vettel smashed into him.

      Regarding the fuel, I don’t buy the idea that RBR short-filled to gain a few crummy seconds over the race distance. Even if they did get a massive safety car period to save the fuel the same SC period would wipe out some or all of that advantage. If the period were too short, it would just serve them up for their fully-fueled pursuers. Not that I would put this kind of stragic idiocy past RBR.

      But wait a minute. Conspiracy theory decriers plug your ears now.

      Didn’t Keith set out on Saturday that this race is even higher consumption that Turkey? The lack of consumption problems in a SC-free race here has got to be a major story, then.

      But maybe Keith was not wrong: the team’s prescripton for Vettel’s gearbox problem was to short shift massively. Does that sound like it would help a busted gearbox? I would assume that if you have a problem with the gearbox, particularly, an oil leak, you shift as little as possible to protect the dog rings and the other fragile lubricated bits. You put it 4th or 5th and you pray to finish the race. So I am suspicious of this gearbox crisis on Sunday. If RBR have a small tank, I am certain they will try to hide this until after Monza.

      1. Um, engine and gearbox need to be used multiple times; they are part of the car. Maybe he meant he was saving those?

    12. They had to separate the 2nd choice of tyres in order to maximize the chance of victory. It’s just unfortunate from Sebastian Vettel’s point of view he is not the strongest at overtaking, and with Webber, it proved the RBR is harsh on it’s tyres, yet again tyre wear problems, gearboxes twice and all around reliability is costing them dearly. And to be honest that is a good thing, because as lovely as it was, the Brawn Story, it would have made a boring season if RBR had repeated the early season success and carried it through to the end.

      1. Webber went longer than just about anyone on the hard, the RBR was making time relative to others coming out of corners and on turn in weren’t they? Others were making time in straight line speed. So the RBR’s rears especially would have been more loaded unless the others were pushing past their lower limit coming of their corners. History anyway, see you later.

    13. I think Webber will be pretty satisfied with the race when looking back. He did get solid points to stay close to the WDC lead, like Button did last year when he wasn’t going to win. And Button did not win, so the advantage of the new WDC leader is smaller than it might have been.

      Sure, with hindsight, the choise of Mediums for Qualifying turned out to be the wrong one, but as Withmarsh pointed out before the race, it was a close call and something of a gamble. Nobody expected the mediums to be that bad.
      Probably the gearbox issue hurt Mark more. He said he maybe took too much out of them getting close to the front after the start. If he would have been able to keep the first set going for another 3-4 laps it might have turned out quite differently. He would have been able to get rid of the second set after a shorter stint, losing less time and could have ended on the podium or maybe with a win.

      Vettel has a worse situation, as he will have to get back 5 positions next time in Valencia, not a track known for easy overtaking. That will hurt, as Vettel is not soo great at overtaking himself.

    14. Gary Anderson may have years of experience in designing and technical , but come to world class television coverage he is just no way !
      his flat tone , mumbling all the way one can hardly understand what he is trying to say. Star sport ! please take him off !!

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