Mark Webber, Red Bull, Monaco, 2012

Webber rubbishes claims he was told to help Vettel

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Mark Webber, Red Bull, Monaco, 2012In the round-up: Mark Webber refutes Mercedes’ suggestion he might have been told to delay his pursuers to help Sebastian Vettel in Monaco.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Mark Webber column: Winning in Monaco is always special (BBC)

“I heard afterwards people had been speculating that I was ‘backing up’ Nico [Rosberg], Fernando [Alonso] and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who was also behind me, to help my team mate Sebastian Vettel gain places… That is absolute rubbish. You just cannot be that fancy around Monaco.”

As I wrote on Sunday, the lap charts bear this out:

New York F1 race in doubt – Ecclestone (ESPN)

“I don’t know if it is going to happen. I hope everything will be OK. They are sorting things out internally with some of their funds. If they are ready for 2013 we will have them.”

Analysis: What’s Bernie’s game? (Grand Prix)

Williams have previously said the fire in Spain was caused when they were draining fuel and not by KERS. But that won’t put Ecclestone off his hobby horse:

“I think the fire was a lot to do with that kinetic energy thing which sparked. It should never have been introduced. It’s an expensive secret because nobody knows anything about it. The public don’t know and don’t care.”

18 Millionen Euro f???r KERS und Motoren (Auto Motor und Spot, German)

Engine manufacturers say an engine and energy recovery system package for the 2014 will cost ??18m (??14.4m).

Vettel: Geheime Ausstiegsklausel (Bild, German)

Helmut Marko says Sebastian Vettel has a performance clause in his Red Bull contract which allows him to leave in 2014.

McLaren MP4-26 2011 ?ǣ Fan Tail (Octopus) Exhaust (ScarsbF1)

“This exhaust solution was not the ??Octopus?? as described; in fact McLaren Technical Director Paddy Lowe explained to me at the 2012 cars launch, that ‘it didn?t look anything like an Octopus’. Adding ‘The exhaust we had was a slot, we called it a fantail’, which was a simpler, albeit still innovative solution.”

Monaco Grand Prix: Suspension With Bells On (Gizmodo)

“Back in 2004, McLaren was approached by Dr Malcolm Smith, a Cambridge University Don. He had a solution that could absorb the sudden bounce from the tyres, in a way that conventional shock absorbers cannot.”

Mistakes from McLaren-Mercedes are hurting Lewis Hamilton (The National)

“If McLaren fail to get their act together before the circus rolls into Montreal in 10 days’ time, it would not come as a major surprise if Ross Brawn, the Mercedes chief, hears a knock on his motorhome door an hour or so after the chequered flag falls.”

McLaren F1 Developer Designs New Auto Driving 100 MPH on 96 MPG (Bloomberg)

“‘We?re taking on this monster industry, but we know it?s going to work,’ says [Gordon] Murray, standing in front of a mural depicting his victorious Formula One cars. ‘I love the idea of being a giant killer.'”

Comment of the day

Are Williams better off with Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna than their predecessors? Girts isn’t sure:

The main problem of the ??second tier? (if I may use this combination of words) F1 drivers is not that they cannot deliver, that is, be as quick and great as a Vettel but that they are unable to perform consistently at that level, which, in my opinion, is the case with both of Williams? current drivers. By hiring Maldonado and Senna, Williams might have gained a lot of money that they have been (successfully) investing in the development of the car but I think they have also lost some valuable points that Barrichello or Hulkenberg might have scored.

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On this day in F1

A puncture brought Nigel Mansell’s string of victories at the beginning of the 1992 season to an end in the Monaco Grand Prix.

It dropped him behind Ayrton Senna, and he was never going to find a way around the master of Monaco. Not for a lack of trying.

Here’s Mansell losing the lead (the pivotal moment was missed by the TV director):

And the frantic final laps:

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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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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  • 63 comments on “Webber rubbishes claims he was told to help Vettel”

    1. I believe webber, no nonsense. Like he says you get too fancy at Monaco and it’ll bite ya.

      1. Like Nico said, the soft tyres took a little while to warm up, which is why the undercut didn’t work for him, and why Webber was also taking a while to lap as quick, and then quicker than Vettel after his pit stop. Maybe not a bad thing, as the Pirelli’s really don’t last if you push them hard on the first couple of laps, which you could see with Alonso pushing to catch Maldonado in Spain.

        1. Yeah with NR on his butt all day the thought that MW might be trying to back up the field to help SV never even entered my mind. Not to mention I would hope there is more racing going on between the drivers at Red Bull after only 6 races than that. There is everything to be decided yet and I would hope all drivers, including FM for now, are free to form their own future in the standings with all out racing, until the math dictates otherwise with a third of the season left.

    2. “I think the fire was a lot to do with that kinetic energy thing which sparked. It should never have been introduced. It’s an expensive secret because nobody knows anything about it. The public don’t know and don’t care.”

      how alarmist! are they broadcasting it into brains, or putting it in the drinking water? oh wait, it’s just the inevitable future of the automobile. bernie doth protest too much.

      “I don’t know if it is going to happen. I hope everything will be OK. They are sorting things out internally with some of their funds. If they are ready for 2013 we will have them.”

      a very personal tone, slightly optimistic. there is serious trouble for these people.

      1. On the latter, that just means Bernie has asked for a predictably high amount of money and the fools in power are scrambling to meet his demands.

    3. i don’t know why Helmet Marko came up with this statement at this time (seb was not very happy after monaco he didn’t celebrate the victory with the team)
      not only vettel has this clause in his contract but all the other drivers including Fernando Alonso who has the strongest contract on the grid in terms of duration+salary have a clause in their contracts
      this type of clause is based on a periodic review of the situation relative to the rivals,the constructors championship, team-mate …..
      Seb already denied talks about a move to Ferrari in 2014 & Marko is talking about the possibility of Vettel leaving the team in 2014
      what’s going on ????

      1. Nick.UK (@)
        31st May 2012, 1:13

        Mark doesn’t often celebrate a team mates victory either. To Seb it will still be viewed as a loss, any race a driver doesn’t win probably will be.

        As a side note, I always found it quite disrespectful how Red Bull used the cardboard cutouts of Mark in the team photos in 2010. Japan & Brazil I think it featured in the team photo.

        1. Especially when it’s your teammate winning – proving your car was a winning package!

          1. And it was Webber who got it nailed in qualifying, while Vettel had to give a lot to even make Q3 and then just could not get a time good enough for the front 2 rows in.

            I guess that when Marko was asked a direct question, he saw no reason to deny something that is pretty usual in F1 contracts.

    4. Thanks for the birthday shout! I can remember watching Senna and Mansell battling on the streets of Monaco like it was yesterday. It was my 12th birthday :)

      1. DK (@seijakessen)
        31st May 2012, 1:21

        I believe Senna’s defense against Mansell was by far the best I have ever seen in racing. You see none of the idiocy that we would see out of Schumacher years later, just clean defending without causing a wreck. Senna’s awareness for knowing when to close the door on Mansell is incredible.

        1. I don’t think Schui would have done anything different but certainly lesser drivers would have likely wilted under the pressure and outbraked themselves off the track.

        2. Yeah, because Senna never wrecked someone else.

          Monaco is a completely different story than any other track. If you don’t make a mistake on your own it is almost impossible to get your car into a situation where the leading driver has no chance but to back out. As you could see with Button, the most you can hope for is to put your front wing next to a car, but you will cause a collision if you insist on staying there. Mansell was calm enough not to risk his second place and Senna didn’t make a mistake. But especially in this situation the anti-Schumacher-Senna-fanboy comment is unfitting.

      2. Nice birthday gift @duncf1!

        1. It certainly was back then, and it is again today :)

    5. What is Bernie on about? He really has no idea!

      1. Bernie has lots of ideas, they are usually the opposite of an idea he had 3 or 4 years ago.

        1. He’s old…you gotta forgive him :P

    6. @keith-collantine, Thanks for the re-run of Monaco 92, I was in a bar not far away the 1st. time I saw it and had insufficient French to know exactly what was going on. However I could see the battle between Senna and Mansell, that is what I miss about F1 as it is today, and this year it is the tyres that are mostly responsible for drivers not being able to attack at every corner as Mansell did in the last 4 laps of Monaco 92.

    7. Not much of a surprise that Bernie now wants to get rid KERS despite being all for it when it was first regulated, eventually Bernie will be asking what idiot thought interrupting the racing with pit stops was a good idea. Of course Bernie is looking for other economies now that he is re-negotiating with the teams, every dollar he can save the teams is another dollar he won’t have to give back from total revenue.

    8. So Bernie is at it again, trashing another American Grand Prix. Keep talking, Mr Ecclestone, if you yell ‘disaster’ enough times, the US fans (and more importantly, our lovely lovely greenbacks!) might start to believe you and not show up. Then you could say “see, they won’t pay me show up, just like I predicted” and head for the hills.

      I’ve said it before, Bernie: give us a chance. We’ve set attendance records before, we can do it again. We can make you rich…er. Richer. So whaddya say? You shut up, and we throw money at you. Deal?

      1. Don’t take it so personally – Bernie does this to everyone.

      2. Maybe he is trying to keep the hype down. You know with US, if you let that promotion machine roll, you are destined for a doom.

      3. Its probably just negotiation talking here, details of what is paid up front etc. It nicely fits in with reports about a mexican GP that could replace NJ, to put pressure on them @wonderduck

    9. “kinetic energy thing”


    10. Keith, the link to the “Mistakes from McLaren-Mercedes are hurting Lewis Hamilton (The National)” article is incorrect.

      1. @adrianmorse Fixed, thanks. Whenever this happens it’s always because my too-smart-for-its-own-good browser has stripped the http:// portion off the URL for reasons passing understanding.

    11. Bottas is the answer for Williams. Don’t care on whos expense. He is next Hakkinen/Raikkonen.

      Perez in same category as Maldonado.

      1. He doesn’t have a -nen behind like other Finns. How come? Is he not a complete Finn>?

        1. The nen will naturally sprout after he enters F1. The s will be dropped, and the double t will be replaced by a double k.

          He will become Valteri Bokkanen.

          1. lol +1 haha

          2. @raymondu999 you should have put a disclaimer, not to be read in office or something like that!
            Almost fell off my chair laughing!!

    12. Happy birthday guys! @the-dutch-bear and @DuncF1

    13. “I think the fire was a lot to do with that kinetic energy thing which sparked. It should never have been introduced. It’s an expensive secret because nobody knows anything about it. The public don’t know and don’t care.”

      Bernie really doesn’t have any faith in the intelligence of F1 fans does he! Does he think we are all gibbering imbeciles who watch races drooling, mesmerised by the noise, colour and pretty grid girls saying things like “Pretty car go round in circles… red car make loud noise. I like loud noise.” Just because he doesn’t understand KERS doesn’t mean he should assume we don’t and that we aren’t interested in the technical side of the sport. Eejit!

      1. Apologies for the rant by the way! :)

        1. I like loud noises and pretty cars.

        2. No aplologies needed, probably Bernie was talking to those F1 watchers that only watch a GP on TV if it is broadcast at a convenient time for them.

      2. @geemac I agree
        I always tought that motorracing is not just a sport, but a ground for R&D. Over the last few decades we have seen engineers producing the most brilliant devices. Without motorsport we would not have 4WD cars, cheramic brakes, automatic/semi automatic gearboxes, etc… You never know when will the engineers come up with an ultimate innovation regarding KERS or ERS, that mere roadcars could use.
        Plus, I think KERS adds to the strategical side of F1 too, which is a good thing.

        1. Exactly @bag0 .

          What I think the promotors and marketers of F1 don’t seem to comprehend is that the sport is different from say football (soccer for our US cousins) or Rugby where the only thing that matters to the viewers is the result on the field of play. F1 is so much more complex than that. It’s not just the result that matters to us fans, but how X driver and X team got to thE result they did. Was there an inspired overtaking move or a genius stragetgy call? Did the team come up with a technological marvel that blew everyone out of the water? All these things matter to us so for them to dismiss things like KERS, active suspension, mass dampers and F-ducts as “not contributing to the show” or being “irrevelant because no one understands them” is just plain wrong and shows me that the powers that be are out of touch with their fan base.

          1. @GeeMac Unsurprisingly, Bernie has once again deliberately simplified things. There are all sorts of F1 fans and, for sure, there are some who watch F1 just to see crashes / grid girls / sweaty boys on the podium. But there are also some tech freaks. And then there is the ‘silent majority’ (I love this term since Joe Saward reinvented it at the Bahrain GP), who most probably are somewhere in the middle and have a general understanding of what KERS is.

            Let’s be honest: the technical side of F1 will never be fully understandable to the majority of fans (including myself). Even if we got rid of KERS, DRS, front wings and had only one type of tyres instead of six, one would still need to learn and practice for years to get a full understanding of how an engine or a gearbox works. This is why F1 shouldn’t be ‘simplified’ to create an illusion that everyone could be an expert in the sport.

            1. Well said. Like most I also fall into that category who only have a general understanding of how the technical side of the sport works. But I do (again like most die hard fans of the sport) still take a keen interest in the latest techincal developments becuase they are key to what happens next in the sport. I’m no engineer, but I do at least try to understand how all this stuff works. And after watching the sport for over 20 years now I can at least have a sensible discussion about some if it. For Bernie to right off the role of these technical aspects in the sport is just wrong, because it is an interesting side of it.

    14. The gap between Webber and Rosberg after the stops, before Vettel did his, stayed between 1.8-2.4 seconds. Man, there must’ve been a lot of turbulent air comming out of that Red Bull.

      1. @Kingshark Almost by definition, a car with more drag and/or downforce will have more dirty air, because the air is made “dirty,” and loses its energy, to both drag and downforce (the energy goes to pushing the car back and/or down)

    15. Is there a chance Hamilton goes to Mercedes next year and Schumacher goes to McLaren in return? That would be really epic.

      1. No, there isn’t. In Spain they’re saying Alguersuari is heading to Force India to replace Paul di Resta who’s leaving FI to replace Schumacher at Mercedes next year.

        1. Schumacher replaces Alguersuari maybe? :P

        2. Intersting and plausible. This is all premised on MSC deciding to retire because from what Ross Brawn has said MSC’s future is solely up to MSC.

      2. I don’t think MS has time left in his F1 career to start with a new team. I’m convinced he will retire as a Merc driver. Whether that will be after this year, or if he’ll try to extend his contract, perhaps on a year to year basis, I think will depend on how the rest of his season goes. Another pole and/or a win, and less bad luck, and who knows…there may be no harm in him trying for one more year, and I’ll assume the team would have him. If NR still outpoints him by season’s end, it might come down to whether MS wants to risk that hit to his ego for a 4th year, or just leave it at that. I don’t think MS will catch up to NR unless NR starts to have similar bad luck to MS, but that said MS may look at it as a season that had him in the game but just unlucky, so perhaps being outpointed by NR this season, assuming that happens, might be something he’ll look at as out of his control, and he may want another year to answer for an unlucky 2012.

        1. I don’t think MSC will want to race after 2012 unless he quickly begins to perform much better. Like, regularly fighting for the lead and winning races.

    16. 18 millions for and engine+KERS? How much is a Rolls Royce engine for airplanes?

      1. @jcost I think that cost covers the while season requirements and I assume engines for testing as well.

      2. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        31st May 2012, 10:54

        About $13.5million I believe, at least thats what the A380’s engines cost apiece

    17. So, Ecclestone is seemingly against KERS because he thinks it is too expensive for all the teams to remain competitive? Fair enough ‘nobody cares who is 9th or 11th’ anyway.

    18. Williams might have gained a lot of money that they have been (successfully) investing in the development of the car but I think they have also lost some valuable points that Barrichello or Hulkenberg might have scored.

      Considering both Williams drivers are ahead of Hulk in the table, i’m not sure its fair to say they pick up points where another driver may have scored. In Spain Pastor had the opportunity to score a win and duely took it, and Senna has scored in every race where he hasn’t been nerfed off the track by a competitor or had a car failure (I’m conveniently forgetting that he was absolutly nowhere in australia before the Massa incident for this arguement!). Sure, neither driver has helped themselves and theoretically could/should have more points, but this is racing!

      1. @thomf1s Well, I believe Williams clearly have had a better car than Force India so far. I agree that discussions about ‘what would be if…’ always mean speculating. But it’s clear that both Senna and Maldonado have thrown away possible or even certain points more than one time. Maldonado’s crash on the last lap at Melbourne is just the most obvious example. In Monaco, the team admitted that they should have left the circuit with more than a single point. Just like in Australia and Spain, Senna’s qualifying performance was not good enough. In these races, Maldonado’s quickest lap time, if not anything else, proved the car’s potential. And Maldonado managed to wreck his Monaco weekend himself even twice.

        1. Yeah I guess you are right, the Williams boys have ballsed up a fair few points scoring opportunities, but you can say similar things about a fair few others on the grid not reaching their potential too, i.e. McLaren, Lotus.

          1. I have always questioned the long-term benefits of pay to play drivers. I realize that for some teams it has become the economic reality, but what a shame that has become the case. I too feel that it is all well and good that they bring money that may help develope the car, but if they cannot translate said development into realtime points, and there are other better drivers available, then what was the point? It’s a tough one though, because as I say I do acknowledge it is just an economic necessity for some teams.

    19. Many thanks for the COTD! I even went as far as to criticise Maldonado, one of my favourite drivers, just to become famous.

      On a more serious note, I don’t come here to gain popularity; recognition, however, always feels nice!

    20. It all sounds like sour grapes to me. Mark Webber beat everybody and won the Monaco Grands Prix by driving a measured race, nothing ‘fancy’ and the man himself would say. Even if there was one crumb of truth to these accusations, then Vettel did not benefit from it as he was also beaten by Rosberg and Alonso to the line. Complete hogwash on the part of Mercedes, who I believe were still upset at Schumacher losing his pole position the day before. Tough!

    21. I hate how every race is always put in doubt, it is so repetitive. Korea in 2010 had doubts of being ready, then India followed in 2011, USA this year, GP of America next year and Russia after that – all have been in doubt at one point. If this is the case, why are they brought in for a certain year? Why can’t they have more years to get it ready? Or why not do what MotoGP did with the Hungary/Aragon situation? Bring in one race until the other is ready? In the case of the MotoGP situation, Hungary was meant to replace China in 2009, but they delayed it for a year hoping it would be ready in 2010, it wasn’t however, so they got Aragon on the calendar and will have it there until 2016, when the Balatonring will take over for 2017.

      Back on subject, Russia got given the right to host the race in 2010, and I’ve seen pictures for the Sochi circuit, I must say – the facilities and circuit look incredible. Now they got the GP in 2010, and got given until 2014 – but even two years down the line, they are claiming “The GP is in terrible danger!!!”, well you are not giving yourself the benefit of the doubt! Well I have an idea, why not host it at Moscow Raceway until Sochi Olympic Park Circuit is ready?

    22. Here’s an idea, if F1 or FIA want to save costs, get rid of BE. That should help with half their profit.

      1. + Infinite! :D

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