Webber will stay at Red Bull says Mateschitz

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Red Bull owners Dietrich Mateschitz expects Mark Webber to stay in 2012.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Mateschitz says Webber will stay (Autosport)

Mark Webber will re-sign with us. This will happen for sure. He is very popular within the team, he feels very comfortable and it is an excellent relationship. He knows this and we know it.”

Team Air Asia on Twitter

“We are excited & proud to announce that as of Germany we will be sporting a new green and yellow livery (just like our fellow F1 Team Lotus).”

Drive Riot – GP2 Green & Yellow Caterham Team Air Asia (YouTube)

Pressure mounts on Martin Whitmarsh as failing McLaren begin to implode (The Times, subscription required)

“One source said: ‘The game is up. That performance at Silverstone was the last straw. Whitmarsh will be lucky to last the month because McLaren need a shake-up from top to bottom and he is not the man for the job.'”

County issuing permits for building work at F1 circuit (Austin-American Statesman)

“The county is in the process today of issuing permits for developers to pour foundations for four of the site’s most complex buildings ? the main grandstands, pit buildings, and media and medical centers ? and to construct five retaining walls.”

Motor racing-Indian F1 drivers disappointed by Mallya criticism (Reuters)

Karun Chandhok: “I think it’s a bit sad that in one breath the chairman of our Indian ASN (national sporting authority) is talking about how much he has done for Indian drivers and then in the next breath he is criticising India’s only two Formula One drivers. If you are going to criticise people, at least do it with some facts. Having never tested either Narain or myself in one of his cars, he doesn’t have the facts.”

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Comment of the day

Not much sympathy for Jarno Trulli’s power steering problems from TommyC:

So has Kovalainen had the same problems? Or is he just not making as much noise about it?

And if he doesn’t have the same problem, why would it take this long to fix it?

From the forum

Ned Flanders wants to know what you think about F1’s most famous, successful – and often controverial – team, Ferrari.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to ryanmack09!

On this day in F1

Ferrari scored their first F1 victory at Silverstone 60 years ago today. A feature on that race will be published here later.

A note on “60 years ago today: Ferrari’s first F1 win”

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This accusation is untrue. The article is an original piece written by Cari (who it is bylined to) and edited by myself within the past week, and any other sources used in it are cited by name.

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Readers should be aware that the false claim (along with several other abusive comments) was made using multiple anonymous identities and fake email addresses.

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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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135 comments on “Webber will stay at Red Bull says Mateschitz”

  1. did anyone else realise Hamilton did a doughnut at the end of the British GP? nice touch.

    also Boullier says Kubica is recovering ‘better than expected’

    1. Yeah I saw that from where I was sat, he got a good applause for it too :D

      1. They are so rare now, pity the TV feed didn’t pick it up but I suppose when they miss nearly everything else on track!!

        Hope Jean Todt doesn’t find out or he will want to ban Hamilton for rest of the season!

      1. Never saw that on live feed.Great to see that he had fuel for that. Was that the reason why he was asked to see the steward after the race as doughnut as banned in F1,not sure why?

        1. i’ve never seen another gp driver in recent years do that for his home crowd.

          1. Hamlton did it in silverstone 2009.

            also Webber Abu Dhabi 2010
            and Button and others Abu Dhabi 2009
            Kimi Spa 2007

        2. Bet they don’t want to show it as its officially not allowed! Great idea from Hamilton to actually do this for the fans.

      2. While I’m very happy Lewis did that for the crowd, I do wonder how he had managed to do that, after his fuel dramas earlier in the race. I thought he was skimping to the end?

    2. I did. While not on the main world feed, it was shown on the on-board feed that was shown on the BBC website

      1. Hamilton did doughnuts at silverstone in 2009 too right infrint if where I was sitting. And vetted did doughnuts at abu dhabi in 09 too

        I always thought doughnuts were banned because of the grooved tyres and the issue of irregular wear. I thought as we no longer have grooved tyres it wasn’t an issue

        1. I seem to remember hearing that JB did on at the end of the 09 Abu Dhabi race too, and webber maybe?

          Shame having fun after races is banned really.

          1. Well they all did it at abu dhabi as it was the end of the season and no penalties for the next race. Kimi, Hamilton and alonso are a little bit different

  2. I posted this in the forum but it has had little response thus far. It’s Audi’s video highlights of the Le Mans weekend and has some great footage + shows how teams go racing together.


    Just thought it might be worth showing a few more people!

    Interesting that Mateschitz has felt the need to comment about Webber’s future too. That in itself suggests unrest in my opinion, it’s usually Horner’s job surely?

    1. Mateschitz seems to like Webber, which I can understand as Webber has been there a long time, and put in a lot of hard work with the team to help make them competitive (one reason why I wish Webber won the WDC last year, and then Vettel wins it this year). But I don’t think Marko feels the same way. I have never seen him celebrate a Webber win?

      1. Marko was not happy with Mateschitz announcement. lol, Hope Webber can win next year!

      2. I think Red Bull is doing exactly the same thing Ferrari did with Massa after that “Fernando is faster than you”: Renew his contract.

        1. with a pay rise no doubt

          1. There is bound to be a pay rise, “for sure”.

            Aren’t the RBR drivers paid the same salary? It would seem logical then that they’d wave the carrot of extra cash under Webber’s nose while it would merely be the product of the team’s logics of same-salary-for-each-driver-and-let-them-race-it-out-cough-cough (I doubt Vettel wouldn’t have negotiated a little extra cash now he’s the current World Champion when he resigned earlier this season).

            It all works out perfectly for Red Bull, doesn’t it?

      3. If Webber has the dope on Red Bull they can’t drop him because his credibility is likely to be higher than the team’s in the court of public opinion. It wouldn’t matter what Mateschitz thought personally, if his “freedom” brand was going to take a hit it would be a business decision. Rehiring Webber with non disclosure contractual handcuffs that survive the natural justice test by means of great licks of cash inducement would be the only way to go.

    2. I saw it and I must say it’s very nice!

    3. Just watching those crashes again makes me feel all emotional again. Just how enormously strong that safetycell is! And how fortunate non of the marshalls or viewers were hurt as well.

  3. I wonder what will happen with the existing Lotus-ART team who also run a green and gold/yellow livery … surely there can’t be two teams in the same/similar livery?

    1. Red Bull and Toro Rosso seem to manage alright.

      1. True, but you could argue that the nature of the relationship between Group Lotus and Air Asia is probably not as healthy as that of RBR and STR.

        Cue handbags!

        1. Actually, it would be nice if they put on the black/gold livery of the Renault team in F1!

          1. That’s just being silly! ;)

          2. I meant the ART team going Black/Gold, that would make sense.

    2. I knew Group Lotus had done a stupid thing. Why should they ‘steal’ the livery of a rival team? ART should have remained white and red as always, and Caterham Team AirAsia should have been green and yellow (but why can’t they call themselves Lotus? If Fernandes has the rights to do so in F1, can’t he do it in GP2?).
      But things didn’t go this way. Now AirAsia shouldn’t change their livery half-way through the season. ART should be black and gold to match the livery of Renault F1, both sponsored by Lotus Cars.

      1. Lotus ART haven’t “stolen” the livery of anyone. They’re the first Lotus team ever to compete in GP2.

  4. so gp2 will have 2 teams running green and yellow liveries? (There was a team last year sponsored by Group Lotus that ran in green and yellow colours…)

    1. Yes. Which is a shame, because the original red and white AirAsia design looked great.

      1. It did? I thought it looked awful. White car with a dodgy ref flame decal across the back half of it. It didn’t look good at all.

        1. Agreed. It was atrocious.

          1. Well, I liked it.

            Now, let’s wait for Tony Fernandes to try and force Lotus ART to change their livey on the basis that he owns the rights to Team Lotus …

  5. James Williams
    14th July 2011, 0:16

    A bit of a disgrace that Caterham Team Air Asia are allowed to steal the colours of an established team in GP2.

    Words like, unification & brand can be tossed around as much as they wish, but ART got there first. Unlike the F1 livery which wasn’t actually used before Renault took it, ART are using it & Caterham are stealing it.

    1. I can’t really follow your argument here since companies don’t exist in isolated parts that don’t know eachother. Neither do motorsports series or the world in general. Anyone can paint their car as they like (like Renault showed us) as long as there is no copyright or thelike and it clearly makes sense to paint all your cars wherever they run in the same way. Possibly Group Lotus will do that aswell and race in Black and Gold wherever they are. Or the liveries will coexist. This whole Lotus thing is getting quite old and I sort of stopped caring to be honest.

    2. It wasn’t used but Team Lotus had announced their intention to use black and gold- and their rendering looked better. If anything this allows Lotus-ART to change their livery to black and gold so it resembles the F1 car, rather than having a mess of liveries floating about being used at random by group and team lotus.

    3. But the “established GP2 team” have only been running those colours for half a season. The team may be established, but the colours are not.

      1. Yeah, the ART team is rather well known for its White/red livery (a bit like the one AirAsia used so far in GP2 2011).

        Surely it would make sense for Group Lotus to put on the black/gold livery on all the cars they sponsor. That means for IndyCar as well. Just imagine how many Americans will still identify rather with that (Andretti!) than the green/yellow lotus that did race at Indy but a lot further back.

      2. James Williams
        14th July 2011, 18:35

        Well, that’s not relevant since they were using them for half a season as you say, now half way into the season Air Asia come along and take it. I’d understand if it was at the start of a season, but not now.

        It’s just petty squabbling between Tony & Lotus

  6. Ned Flanders wants to know what you think about F1′s most famous, successful – and often controverial – team, Ferrari.

    Love to hate them.

    1. Hate to love them. there’s always a special place in my heart for ferrari, yet they have been Hamilton’s biggest rivals since he entered the sport and i’m a Hamilton fan. not a mclaren fan mind you…

    2. Arrogant. Brilliant. Disgraceful and full if soul. There is no team I would rather see do badly but also no team I would rather not leave F1 and its ridiculous circus. Ferrari, the red marmite of F1. Would I eat it, no. Would I deny others eating it, no.

  7. Michael Griffin
    14th July 2011, 0:34

    McLaren have won two races this season, they have a quick car in race trim, can fight for victories with luck on their side, and are doing their level best to hang on to the seemingly unstoppable Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel, and this is reason to sack Martin Whitmarsh?

    I don’t think so, nor do I think this will happen. If they were going to sack Mr. Whitmarsh, they would have in 2009, when Hamilton muscled the McLaren to a very disappointing 16th at the British Grand Prix, not fourth like he did on Sunday.

    1. Agreed. It would be a very Ferrari- esque overreaction to two disapointing races

      1. Why ‘Ferrari-esque’ over-reaction? Maybe i’m wrong, but i don’t remember Ferrari overreacting and firing people after failing their objectives, even after Abu Dhabi, when a lot of people and press started demanding Domenicali’s head after the awful strategy that cost Alonso’s WDC.

        1. Chris Dyer’s head definetely fell.

    2. I think in 2009 it was Withmarshes first year, so no one was going to fire him over that. Development of the car was under Dennis, after all. And Withmarsh led the development race to get a winner by the end of the year.

      But i fully agree, that firing him now that they have a car that is as close as you can get to Neweys Red Bull sounds plain stupid.

      1. When are we going to stop reporting made up gossip from un-named sources reported in a pay-only rag as real news?

    3. I doubt he will lose his job, but he does seem to be more preoccupied with FOTA issues than Mclaren issues.

    4. Completely agree with Michael.
      You have to give respect where it is due. Red Bull have created a monster of a car, that is miles ahead of the field. Yet, Martin Whitmarsh has created a car that has been faster than it on race pace on a few occassions, and is constantly challenging them.

      I didn’t see a lot of people patting Martin’s back after he recovered from a disastrous pre testing pace, or when he strategised Hamilton’s win at China, and took a setup risk at Canada which payed off for Jenson big time.

      But I guess at Mclaren, two sub par weekends are enough to put your job in jeopardy

  8. Michael Griffin
    14th July 2011, 0:36

    The Group Lotus-backed GP2 team running a yellow and gold livery in GP2 confused me enough, but now a Caterham-backed squad will too? GP2 is going to be blimmin’ hard to follow at all at this rate.

  9. I guess the truth in the McLaren article is minimal at best but still, it strikes me as weird to consider sacking Whitmarsh. Sure, things don’t go well at the moment and haveb’t been great in a while but it doesn’t really look like there is a fundamental problem in the way its organised. Sure we don’t know what kind of work Whitmarsh does, maybe he is a lazy incompetent freerider but if that was the case I wouldn’t blame him but the people who put him in that position. Anyway, if McLaren don’t want him anymore, I’ll take him for our students team :-D

  10. LL Jehto (@)
    14th July 2011, 1:10

    uau, that (Webber) really surprised me! wouldn’t call this one in a million days (in fact I called exactly the opposite).

  11. Red Bull might have issued orders to Mark Webber at Silverstone, but I don’t believe there is a conspiracy against him the way everyone likes to believe.

    Consider this:

    First of all, Red Bull had seen their advantage cut for the British Prand Prix. On pace alone, Ferrari have made definite leaps and bounds forwards. Now, they and Sauber might have signed off on the agreement to abandon the OTBD ban after the race, and it’s yet to be seen how this will affect Ferrari at other circuits, but the statement is quite clear: Ferrari are going to be a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the season. From a purely mathematical perspective, the earliest Vettel can win the title is at the Japanese Grand Prix. However, taking into account the relative performances of other drivers, it may take Vettel much longer to win the championship.

    Secondly, if we look back at 2009, Red Bull made a serious mistake. By right, Vettel whould have been World Champion. He had the car and the ability to catch Jenson Button. But Red Bull did not issue team orders, and so Vettel and Webber spent much of the middle season taking points out of one another when Red Bull should have been backing one driver to take a run at Button. Because of this, I can understand why Ferrari had Massa move over at Hockenheim last year. I hate them for the fact that they did it, and that Alonso had to ask them when he claimed he was faster than Massa (and thus should have been able to overtake without team orders). But Alonso picked up an extra seven points there that kept him in the title fight going to Abu Dhabi. Without those seven points, winning the World Championship would have been almost impossible.

    So I can understand what Red Bull did at Silverstone. They’re playing the long game here – they know that Ferrari is now a genuine threat. Especially to the World Constructors’ Championship, since it is easier to pick up more points than in the Drivers’ Championship, and Webber has been off form this year. Their intentions in issuing orders to Webber were obvious: they wanted to preserve their position for later in the season when they might need it. After all why should Red Bull jeopardise their position in both championships just so that Mark Webber can get a bigger trophy and a few extra points?

    1. Weren’t Ferrari a genuine threat after Korea last year? Following your logic, it’s clear that RBR should have told Vettel to swap places with Webber at Interlagos. Why did they decide to jeopardize Webber’s position then? PM it’s clear to anyone that RBR is all about Vettel and Webber has no chance of winning a WDC with them. Even if he was in Vettel’s position this year I’m sure RBR would find a way to stop him.

      1. Last season much was made about Alonso’s last remaining engine for the title decider. And considering the fact that RBR themselves had some engine failures they were not willing to play MW alone since an engine failure might have completely taken him out of the equation. Also, from Korea onwards Mark lost the lead, so no more defending. He had to attack and finish ahead of the Ferraris which he did till Abu Dhabi.

      2. Why did they decide to jeopardize Webber’s position then?

        Because something has evidently changed within the team. Why do you assume that because something was true six months ago, it remains true today?

        1. PM credibility commenting on Webber = zero

    2. XbarrettmateX
      14th July 2011, 8:36

      If Mark is having such a poor season then why does he sit 2nd in the Driver’s Championship having scored points at every race?

      1. I mean a poor season in relation to Vettel.

      2. because he’s in a RBR. Easy question that one. :-)

      3. Because he’s 6-0 down in race wins?

    3. Swapping positions wouldn’t have changed the points take for the constructors championship, not jeopardising that.
      I’m a bit surprised that they didn’t want Webber to have the extra 3 points to try and play the long game for a drivers championship 1-2.
      With the reliability and performance they’ve recently I’m not sure anyone will catch Vettel even if it remains mathematically possible.

      1. I’m a bit surprised that they didn’t want Webber to have the extra 3 points to try and play the long game for a drivers championship 1-2

        Why? There’s no bonus for having two drivers occupying the top two positions come the end of the year.

      2. Vettel is now more than 3 full wins clear of his main rival (Webber), which he wouldn’t have been if Mark had got past, and that is a bit of a psychological barrier.

        It’s six extra points Webber will have to catch up – and the gap might have just been possible for Webber if the off-throttle diffuser ban had been kept.

    4. +1 PM. I can see why Red Bull did it.

      1. People can see why they did it, its pretty obvious. But its the fact that they were so vehement against team orders at the start of this year that leaves a sour taste with the fans. Like ferrari last year, it was the lack of honesty that frustrated fans like me

    5. I’m not convinced yet that Ferrari is now going to compete with Red Bull for the win from here on in. Without the extra long pit stop for SV he might have won the race and we would be talking about Red Bull’s continued domination and Ferrari still just knocking on the door when this is a time when they need to stamp their authority vs. Red Bull if they are going to make up ground. Methinks Red Bull is too strong for anyone else to be stamping their authority on a resurgence to form.

      In 09 JB was dominant in the first half of the season…from a purely business aspect and in hindsight sure perhaps Red Bull could have hung one driver out to dry early in the season and robbed the viewing audience of racing in the pinnacle of racing… thank goodness they didn’t…this year they are not playing catch-up…they are leading…different situation to 09 with JB, unless what you are advocating is that they learned a lesson, that being hang one driver out to dry from season one and let’s call that the pinnacle of racing, ala MS/Ferrari…no thanks…

      Last year when Ferrari gave it up for FA, they were also trailing, not leading, and an opportunity arose mid-season, in fact mid-race when SV and MW were not going to get any points, for FA to make quite a leap to close the gap to Red Bull by having a win…again, different from this year.

      I think to understand what Red Bull did at Silverstone while they lead the WDC and WCC chase comfortably is to agree with the MS/Ferrari philosophy of never giving the other driver a fair chance starting from race one of the season, the outcome on the team preordaned…only one driver will have the lion’s share of the points…again, ala MS/Ferrari…and to me that is not the pinnacle of racing…

      So to me Red Bull should not have issued that order to MW…it was not necessary at this point and rather than them showing to the world they treat both their drivers fairly, they showed they do not…

      Resultingly, I think Mateschitz is being pro-active and disingenuine…by coming out and saying there is peace and love on the team ‘and MW knows it’ like Mateschitz has to remind MW or something, I think these words are just meant to try to pretend to the world the team order for MW didn’t mean anything and that there still should be no reason for MW to not re-sign with them.

      I think we will only know when MW announces his intentions…he will either decide he is being hung out to dry and can’t go along with it anymore because what good is the best car if you aren’t allowed to win with it (see RB at MS/Ferrari) or MW will retire or try to move to another team if he feels handcuffed at Red Bull. Other options, hold his nose while signing for another year at Red Bull and hope SV has massive bad luck or unreliability.

      Bottom line for me, I’ve lost some respect for Red Bull as I don’t think that team order was necessary and it has now shown their true colours, and I was appalled at the MS/Ferrari era and never wish to see it repeated.

      1. oops…second paragraph, second-last line that should have read ‘hang one driver out to dry from RACE one,’ not season one.

      2. Webber talks a good game, but he needs to leave red bull in my opnion and go to Renault. It’s his only slight chance at the title for the next couple of years now. Red bull don’t want him to win the wdc IMHO

    6. Is it Webber that is off form or is it Webbers car that is off form this year? This illustrates exactly why Mark wanted and should have been allowed to take second place, his brand is damaged everytime he does not achieve a position that he is capable of achieving, the record reads Mw finished X places behind his team-mate, not Webbers car had malfunctioning KERS or Webber was ordered not to pass his team-mate, so people like PM just say Webber is not performing.

      1. Mark’s form is not much different to the last 3 years, so I’d stick with either “Webber is off form” or “Vettel is on form”.

  12. Wow, first COTD! Rather unexpected too…

    1. are you TommyB?

      1. No, no, sorry to dissapoint. I’m in Australia

        1. Regarding you comment mate, I just wonder why Jarno is still driving at all…

          1. Aye that was the original point I made (granted a bit late since I made it on a post where they said they’re fixing it), why is he still in the car and not Chandhok or someone else? Trulli’s going nowwhere and doing nothing but moaning. Fair play they think he’s a good driver, but if he readily admits he can’t drive the car, why is he in it?

        2. I guess that’s why its TommyC :-)

          Congratulations on it, very nice one.

    2. Sorry, to say that, but I don’t see anything in your comment that deserves COTD.You didn’t say anything new or interesting there. You’re also either a hater or ignorant. You heard about differing driving styles right? When the driving styles are very different(for example Kimi and Montoya in 2005, Mclaren said they had two completely different cars for the two of them not one setup aspect the same), one driver can experience problems the other doesn’t. The very fact that Lotus designed a completely new steering system for him(to be ready in Budapest) shows how highly they rate Trulli and have complete faith in his ability to perform when the car is right for him.

  13. The thing about Webber is where will he go if he decides to leave Red Bull? The only place left is Ferrari if they leave Massa & then without taking someone else take Mark which I don’t see happening.

    1. Well, who says he has to stay in F1? Maybe he will give Le Mans another crack, especially with Porsche returning in 2014. Maybe race for Audi in 2012 & 2013, before switching to Porsche for 2014.

      1. That is what I see as his options as well. Either stay in the fastest car out there at Red Bull, or call it quits in F1 to romp for success in Sportscars or something.

    2. Mark Webber will re-sign with us. This will happen for sure.

      Oh really Dietrich, we’ll see.

      1. See, as he’s the owner of the whole damn thing I’m inclined to believe everyone does what he says there. Or do you have other inside info?

        1. I see your point but consider the fact that the very idea of a contract involves TWO PARTIES REACHING AN AGREEMENT so there is at least ONE person I can think of that doesn’t necissarily have to do what the boss says………Webber.

          I vote Ferrari, he gets on well with Alonso, is definately more competitive than Massa & every driver should aim to drive for Ferrari in F1 before they retire.

      2. for sure

        1. Some strong rumour (again) that Red Bull have given wings to Kimi!

  14. Maybe Mateschitz doesnt want Webber going to another team with the Red Bull’s secrets. He has, after all, been with the team for an awful long time.

    1. Won´t those secrets come with a confidentiality clause?

      I do think Webber will stay…
      If he goes to Ferrari he is number 2 for sure…

      McLaren not open…
      Renault has Petrov because of sponsorship and Heidfield (I really would like to see Nick staying with them, he has being great lately and he seem like a really nice guy)…

      1. Won´t those secrets come with a confidentiality clause?

        It’s very unlikely that Webber (or any other driver, for that matter) would understand his team’s technical secrets on such a level that they could be exploited by another team. If they could, every driver would be forced to take time off every time they were released from a contract.

        1. Come on mate, give them bit of a credit. These guys are not stupid. RB’s front wing is so simple in concept that anyone with half of a brain could develop it. If I tell you that RB’s front wing affects diffusor’s performance, not to mention whole floor of the car…, what you’ll say!? Ferrari went in the same direction with their front wing and look at them now.
          Simple idea, but difficult to make it work. Mark knows how, for sure…

          1. Mark has been with them since they evolved their development of that concept, Im sure he knows how it works….these guys arent technical wizards, but they arent morons either.

          2. But whatever knowledge he has is completely useless. When a driver moves to a new team, he does so late in the development cycle of that team’s new car that it’s too late to introduce any knowledge from his previous team. By the time he gets into a position to influence development of the car, his knowledge is already (at the very least) six months out of date. You don’t just stick new parts on a car and expect them to work – all of the aerodynamics have to work as one.

            And while drivers might know what individual parts do, I still dispute the notion that they have such a high level of understanding of the design that they can accurately re-create parts for designers. For example, the off-thorttle blown diffuser is an immensely complex system. I doubt Webber has full knowledge of every engine map Red Bull uses.

          3. Boomer, if it was that simple Adrian Newey wouldn’t be so far ahead of all the other designers.

          4. Yes but there is a big difference between knowing how an atom bomb works & actually giving someone the instructions to make a working atom bomb! Mark may know “how” their car works so well, but he won’t KNOW how, if that makes sense. :-)

      2. What if he leaves? Who would go along Seb in the “#2” Red Bull?

        A STR driver is upgraded? Or someone else?

        1. Does it really matter ?

          As long as Vettel is in the team no-one else is going to be given a fair chance anyway so they may as well just throw one of their development drivers in and give them some experience.

          1. I think the drivers deserve a bit more credit for bringing information to new teams…nobody is saying they have such indepth technical knowledge that they could recreate parts for the designers, but that doesn’t mean they can’t provide general information about physicalities and concepts and directions teams are heading.

            Case in point, a few races back we saw LH checking out very closely the cockpit and the back of the steering wheel of the Red Bull once the race was over and they parked the cars together before heading to the podium…the commentator suggested it is a golden opportunity and the driver was likely instructed to have a look as opportunities like that for a competitor to get so close are rare.

            Also, particularly back when they tested in-season, when a driver was known to be leaving a team for another for the next season, then they weren’t shut out of testing for their existing team, but they were shut out of averything but the most minimal information as to WHAT they were testing…more like…ok we’ve change the car, now go tell us what you think…doesn’t mean the team would tell the outgoing driver what the change was…ie. outgoing drivers may not have the technical expertise or inside information to the nth degree, but they sure can provide a lot of info as to the direction th team is going…let’s face it, we talk all the time about how good a driver is at developing a car with a team and helping, with their input, to grow the team and turn the car into a winner…that takes some pretty heavy involvement with the drivers when there is no threat that they are leaving to another team…so when there is that threat looming, they are going to act differently and no longer involve the driver nearly as much on their future plans…hence, the driver’s input in bringing info to a new team should not be underestimated…

          2. It’s not that simple, Mark is doing a great job considering a; reliability problems and b:the team want him to finish behind Vettel as long as Vettel is on or near the podium. If, for instance, Mark went to Ferrari I would expect his performance there to be as close to Nandos as he is close to Seb in Red Bull and this would be a big problem for Red Bull in the WCC, especially if Ferrari closed the gap next year.

  15. Well…Mateschitz, Horner, Marko…I think Mateschitz is only one really want Webber. Horner? Webber’s old friend and co-owner of F3 team is saying not good thing about him. I wonder whether Webber still feels comfortable.

    1. I think that Horner is pro Webber but Mark made it hard to defend him… I don´t know how much power Marko has over RBR but I will take Mark over any of the Toro Rosso guys and Ricciardo ….

      1. I think if Webber backed RBR would be much more criticized than now.

    2. Well, since Mateschitz is the one paying all the bills, his opinion should count for something at least… As I said before after Turkey 2010, Horner is just an employee and probably has less actual power than any other team principal on the grid.

      1. That’s the whole problem – Mateschitz is paying the bills but all the decisions seem to be taken by Helmut Marko.

    3. Horner has to leave his and Mark’s commitments outsid#

      1. …outside F1 exactly where it belongs…outside F1. Otherwise it gets far too messy.

  16. Well, I guess that is going to be the payoff I was expecting for backing off of Vettel the other day but only after showing his skills to his employers.
    I like Webber but he is just there to make sure Vettel gets the maximum out of every race.

  17. I just don’t buy it Webber is better at figuring out technical development than some average engineer…
    It’s like Hamilton or Button can help Adrian develop KERS….:)

    1. +1.

      It’s another myth. Drivers say how they feel about the car and engineers do the science part!

      Like Jorge Lorenzo says (Moto GP World Champion)”I don’t know how an engine works”.

      1. I’m sure there are drivers who take an active interest in everything technical about their car; better understanding can only lead to better performance. Not that I have any idea if true, but Schumacher springs to mind as one who would know a car down to it’s pieces!

        1. John Cousins
          14th July 2011, 10:16

          Two words….. Jack Brabham.

          1. Two very good words, but I’m sure Jack would be the first to say he knows Jack about aerodynamic downforce.

  18. I am not surprised that Webber stays with RBR for one more year. Webber is the best number 2 driver that RBR can get at the moment and RBR has the best car that Webber can get. I tend to believe that Webber understands that Vettel is actually the better driver, his comments are probably more PR than they show real frustration.

    1. Yes, I think it’s quite clear that Vettel is better than Webber, that’s why I can’t understand why RB tends to “overnurse” Vettel while destroying Webber’s pride.

      The worst thing that could happen to Vettel is a team-mate outside Red Bull Nation (RBR+STR). I would love to see Kobayashi driving a Red Bull, but I don’t see him in Marko’s radar…

      1. I too would like to see Kobayashi at Red Bull if Mark goes, I don’t see Kobayashi letting Vettel push him of the track at the start or anywhere else for that matter.

  19. What about David Coulthard for Martin Whitmarsh? Even though David likes team orders, I think he would bring great things for McLaren.

    1. AdrianMorse
      14th July 2011, 9:27

      Would be even more interesting if he could combine it with his jobs at the BBC and Red Bull…

  20. Nice to see DM comment on Webber. I’ve always liked his no-nonsense attitude. Come to think of it, MW and DM are alike in some ways. Maybe that’s why they have mutual respect. But then there’s Helmut…

  21. I think any calls for Whitmarsh to go are a bit ott. Since he’s been in charge Mclaren brilliantly recovered in the middle of 09, had a race winning and title challenging car in 2010 and bounced back from testing and grabbed a race win at Canada and China. They’ve taken a bit of a dip in form of late but Lewis (who has been in a bit of bother of late) and Button have had a DNF each and Mclaren are traditionally good at developing so can probably bounce back again so they’re hardly failing.

    Red Bull are blowing everyone away and the last thing Mclaren need are to question their own leader. Mclaren have certain weaknesses like every team but Martin has managed his drivers beautifully, steered Mclaren out of some tricky situations and I think is a very calm but strong leader more so than Stefano.

    1. I agree! Martin will become a master of recovering from difficult situations. However, to win a championship you have to begin the season with no issues at all, sort of speak…
      McLaren as a team must discover the pattern of falling into difficult situations in order to improve their approach…

    2. This is the third year in a row that RBR built a quicker car.
      The second year in a row they are beaten by Ferrari in the development race.
      McLaren can – and most likely will – bounce back, but they should never be in a position that requires any bouncing back.

      I don’t think Whitmarsh should take the fall for this. I actually think Dennis is still largely involved in the F1 team behind the screens. So i’m not sure that the McLaren we see today was shaped solely on Whitmarsh’ visions.

      If you look at the rain radar, but you forget to look outside.
      If you gamble with fuel loads when the driver is Lewis Hamilton and the circuit is wet.
      If you put a huge effort in an exhaust system from which you realise only on the test track that its rubbish

      I think you need to bring some new people in with fresh views on things. But I don’t think Whitmarsh should be one of the people that have to be replaced. As a leader who holds the team together, who steers the team through difficult times, he is doing a brilliant job.

      But then again, he does bear the final responsibility and the Board will not be happy in being the 3rd team on the grid and yet another season of catching-up.

      1. Arguably Ferrari have had a worse time under Stefano than Mclaren ahve under Whitmarsh. Both teams have found themselves playing catch up and back in 07/08 that would have been fine but Red Bull are making their lives very difficult.

        I agree Mclaren rely on computers more than their own common sense to their detriment sometimes but I still think they’re doing well. You might well be right that a bit of a rejig could help.

    3. COTD

  22. I find it rather funny that some people seem to think that Martin Whitmarsh had some influence in the design of McLaren’s recent F1 cars. He has no more say than Christian Horner has in the design of the Red Bull cars.

  23. Ferrari under Alonso look hungry. McLaren don’t, apart from Hamilton, which is maybe why he doesn’t seem to fit into the team ethos any more.

  24. Sacking leadership is not about punishing or about assiging blame per se. In any organization, when you have erratic or underwhelming results, changing up the leadership or its structure may improve the product. Sometimes roles are missassigned, and working styles confound eathother, ineffective dynamics and communication issues crop up. Some organizations insist on such changes, no matter what, say, every two years. In this case, McLaren have been in the backgroud for 2.5 years now. In 2009, they rolled out a dog. Hamilton got it to the front a couple times, but if they had too merely good drivers like Kovalainen, Martin would not be eligible for much credit for the improvement would he. In 2010, they had a decent car, but progressively butchered it with ineffective upgrades and never bested RBR in development pace.

    It als a bit of a crutch to say, what can McLaren do against the superteam RBR. But RBR was not always thought of a superteam and they have had Newey for some time now. RBR’s drivers are a talented youngster and journeyman. McLaren have two world champions in their primes. The team has every material and technical resource at its disposal. So your moving your benchmark back to a hale run for 2nd place should not be acceptable.

    Another important factor here is that Hamilton is extremely unhappy. For the first time, he is openly talking about quitting the team. Say what you want about his maturity, but he is a franchise player. Given the alternative options right now, Hamilton’s potential exit is also weighing on Whitmarsh’s tenure.

  25. McLarenFanJamm
    14th July 2011, 20:07

    Thanks for the clarification regarding the Ferrari article Keith. Think there were a few of us genuinely concerned earlier but we can safely put our fears to rest :)

  26. I am sensing RBR superteam success to be slowing down a bit. Mclaren and Ferrari fans should be patient just one bit longer now. Tides are turning around you’ll see. No too much blame needed for Whitmarsh or Hamilton

  27. He was on course for winning the WDC for sure last year. So I don’t see why he should leave.

    And you’ll find he comfortably won the poll regarding the matter less than two months before the end of the season.

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