Pirelli unmoved by Red Bull tyre complaints

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery shrugs off Red Bull’s complaints about tyres saying “the other teams are very happy”.


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Paul Hembery on the Malaysian Grand Prix (F1 Fanatic via Youtube)

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013No support for Red Bull in tyre row (NBC)

“Red Bull?s lobbying cannot have been helped by the fact their cars finished first and second in Sunday?s race, as Webber acknowledged.”

Williams could revert to FW34 exhaust (ESPN)

Mike Coughlan: “We’re of the opinion at the moment that a FW34-type of car would be faster. I don’t think we’ll go back to an FW34, but we might go back to an FW34 style of exhaust system and treat Fridays as tests across cars.”

Red Bull’s Mark Webber to stay in F1 after clash with Sebastian Vettel (The Guardian)

“[Mark Webber’s father] Alan Webber said: ‘We’ll be up in China for the next one.’ Webber’s father, speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, has made it clear this latest incident has only served to drive the wedge deeper between his son and Vettel. ‘I think it will take a while to earn the respect and trust again,’ he added, while also claiming the team are far from happy with their three-times world champion.”

Webber and Vettel partnership doomed, says Briatore (Reuters)

“I don’t think the relationship can be sewn together again.”

Not Easy To Juggle Interests Of Drivers, Says Domenicali (Speed)

“For sure, it?s not easy. You can see what is happening in other teams. I never speak about the others (other teams); you know me. You go and speak with them, it will be fun!”

Massa sure he can end winless run (Autosport)

“I think if we carry on in this direction, the chance for winning races and fighting for the championship is there.”

Paul Seaby Delighted with Team Effort in Opening Rounds (Lotus)

“On Friday our practice stops were as good as they ever have been, but from Saturday onwards we were struggling to string good stops together. The switch from wet to dry conditions and subsequent front wing flap adjustments didn?t help, but even taking that into consideration it still wasn?t our best weekend. We have to take that on the chin, put everyone through their paces with some more practice at Enstone, and work hard to get back to where we should be and deserve to be.”

Malaysia?s post-race interviews (MotorSport)

“I don?t remember ever interviewing a more disheartened top four drivers. Even in Germany when Felipe Massa was told the infamous words ‘Fernando is faster than you’, Alonso still celebrated the win ?ǣ although he had to play the part as team orders were not allowed.”

The Smiling Assassin (The Buxton Blog)

“On Sunday afternoon Sebastian Vettel gave the fans what they wanted to see. He said, ‘To hell with team orders. You can shove them. I?m here to win, not to finish second and I?m not turning down my engine until I know I can’t be beaten.’ I only wish he?d been man enough to admit it.”

A history of team orders in Formula One

“Vettel, though, had a more singular perspective: he spotted a chance to boost his own tally by seven points, the kind of ruthless pragmatism previously espoused by racers such as Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher (although in such situations the latter invariably had the benefit of a meek accomplice).”

Rookie diary – Caterham?s Giedo van der Garde (F1)

“The drivers? parade – my very first – was pretty cool. We did the 2013 driver photo before the parade and that was a great feeling, knowing I?m part of the show and surrounded by a lot of guys I?ve known and raced with for a long time.”


Comment of the day

Do the events of Sunday’s race prove Sebastian Vettel is not the undisputed number one driver at Red Bull?

If Vettel is Red Bull’s number one driver, why was the team order for Vettel not to overtake Webber, rather than the order being for Webber to move over and let Vettel pass him?

It seems a slightly unusual tactic to tell your number one driver not to win a race, no?

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

John Watson set the record for winning a race from the worst starting position on this day 30 years ago.

Watson lined up 22nd on the grid for the United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach and won. Niki Lauda started 23rd and finished behind his team mate, with Rene Arnoux third.

The last F1 race at Long Beach began with drama as Keke Rosberg spun while trying to pass Patrick Tambay for the lead:

Watson has been in the headlines this week after having some sharp words to say about Sebastian Vettel’s conduct in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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  • 103 comments on “Pirelli unmoved by Red Bull tyre complaints”

    1. Seriously though, what chance do Red Bull actually have of succeeding in this tyre campaign? Yes they are multiple winners, but they don’t have the political capital Ferrari had in say, 2003 Michelin-Bridgestone saga. It’s the same for everyone. Get on with it.

      1. I would rather they did end up winning though & the current tyre situation is starting to get ridiculously stupid!

        OK you don’t want tyres that are super durable, But at the same time I think the current tyres are too far the other way, There way too sensitive & are seriously starting to hinder the racing as everyone’s just running around tyre-saving all race.

        All you hear on the team radio’s now is save tyres, watch your throttle application, Be more gentle on turn in to watch the tyres etc…

        If I wanted to watch drivers running around conserving tyres, I’d watch Le Mans racing rather than F1!

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          27th March 2013, 3:30


          I don’t want to see tyres that are too durable, and I don’t want to see tyres that are the way they are now.

          Personally, if we could have a slightly softer model of the 2010 Bridgstones, then it would be perfect, coz it would mean the drivers aren’t driving at “8 tenths”, they could push, but a set of options would only last, say 15-20 laps.

          1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            27th March 2013, 3:33

            Or, Pirelli could just use the medium and hard compound for every race.

            1. But are tyres really that big a factor? All the teams seemed to be managing tyres, but some how Vettel had plenty of tyre-life left when he assaulted Webber. And even after passing he was considerably quick. Merc’s problems were more fuel related than tyre wear.

              See this is a game theoretic problem. The teams want stability and FIA want to give a fighting chance to the midfield guys. Sutil’s drive in Australia was one example of that. Plus there is always the “learning” that takes place each race. The teams will eventually figure out the tyres as this is Formula 1 after all. The correct formula will be achieved sooner rather than later.

            2. As you say, @sankalp88, Vettel clearly showed that Red Bull were overly cautious about their tyres by using them for what they are meant to do. He had the softer tyre on there, and made it do the job.

        2. +1.
          Tyres lasting 7-8 laps is ridiculous. We know season is in its infancy and teams will be on top of that half way through but c’mon, 2013 tyres are way too sensitive.

          1. David not Coulthard (@)
            27th March 2013, 12:42

            Tyres lasting 7-8 laps is ridiculous

            It depends on which track you’re talking about. If it’s the Green Hell or the Spa-including-Masta, I think 7-8 laps is fine, if not too durable :D

            1. @davidnotcoulthard – it’s just a shame we don’t race there anymore!

      2. It’s not just Red Bull. Both them and Mercedes have asked to revert to last year tyre specs. I do, however, agree that this is largely pointless and not just because Ferrari are against it, but because ‘to improve the show’ has been the dominant motto in F1 for some years and these non-tyres do provide what F1 administration perceives as ‘the show’.

    2. I don’t understand all of the rubbish about Vettel being a “true racer” who just “wanted the win more than anything” or “will give up nothing to win”.
      So what?
      That can be said about every single driver on the grid. I’m sure Max Chilton’s will to win is as strong as Vettel’s, and I’m definitely sure Webber’s is. That’s why they are all racing in the most elite form of Motorsport because they’ve shown that will to win throughout their career (and in some cases, a bit of cash..).

      Vettel disobeyed a team order, he didn’t gallantly stride toward a noble victory.
      He showed no sportsmanship in a sport where it’s very much about the TEAM as much as the driver.

      Rosberg swallowed his pride and accepted the outcome.
      There’s no excuse Vettel couldn’t do the same.

      1. The point is fans hate team orders. Vettel didn´t follow. He is making a point that every true winner and racer won´t be happy crusing to second place, when he has the chance to go for first.

        By this logic the actions of Rosberg are the ones that are wrong.

        1. Even “true racers” can show sportsmanship.
          From the various number of team and individual sports I’ve taken part in, nothing is held in higher regard than good sportsmanship.

          Vettel had to apologise because he was wrong.
          There was no sportsmanship shown in what he did. None. Nada. Zero. Zilch. I don’t care how much of a “true racer” he is, to me he’s only shown the persona of a spoilt child. Sure he apologized but the damage was done.

          1. I agree @nackavich . There are several examples of selfless acts by drivers (most clear in the ’50s and ’60s), like when Peter Collins handed his car to championship rival Fangio. Or the drivers who saved Niki Lauda’s life (Edwards, Merzario, Ertl and Lunger), although that matter was definitely more serious.

          2. From the various number of team and individual sports I’ve taken part in, nothing is held in higher regard than good sportsmanship.

            75% of the readers of this site thought that Webber did the right thing in ignoring team orders at Slverstone, so I’d say that peoples views of “sportsmanship” tend to be highly subjective.

        2. The point is fans hate team orders. Vettel didn´t follow. He is making a point that every true winner and racer won´t be happy crusing to second place, when he has the chance to go for first.

          I might understand his decisions if he could stand with it.. But he was excusing after race and that makes it silly.

        3. The point is fans hate team orders. Vettel didn´t follow. He is making a point that every true winner and racer won´t be happy crusing to second place, when he has the chance to go for first.

          Gilles Villeneuve gave up his chance at the 1979 Championship by following team orders and allowing Jody Scheckter to win the Italian Grand Prix, and I don’t think anyone doesn’t regard him as a “true winner and racer”.

          If Vettel was a “true racer” he would not have advised the team to “be wise” as Webber closed on him in the 2011 British Grand Prix, would not have asked for team orders to move Webber over earlier in the Malaysian Grand Prix and would have declared at the start of the season that he wanted no team orders at Red Bull because he wanted to beat his team-mate fair and square.

          Webber’s actions in earlier grand prix don’t really leave him in a position to criticise Vettel however.

          1. This is a very measured opinion, I like it.

        4. I don’t hate them and I am a fan.

        5. @celeste I don’t hate team orders. I’d rather have them, it’s hilarious!

        6. The issue is not team orders but an understanding that had been agreed upon between the drivers and the team. Vettel reneged on the agreement and without forewarning the team or his team mate, decided to attack Webber. He lied when he accepted the agreement.
          The agreement should never had made by either driver. Their history has been void of any trust since at lease 2010. They need to settle their issues on the track as racers. Anything less is unacceptable by the fans; however, Red Bull is a team that has a lot of money invested so they want to cover their bottom line. This is truly a mess they have on their hands.

        7. If Vettel had said before the race began,

          ” I will not agree to any team orders, I will do what I think will give me the best result regardless of how it might affect Mark”

          then no-one would have anything to complain about and Mark would have been aware that he had to continue to drive at full speed and power to win.

          1. @hohum – did Webber do that in Silverstone? I can’t recall him saying anything of the like. We know now anyway that Vettel is a ruthless competitor as is Webber, so I wouldn’t be complaining about it – it’s going to be a fantastic battle!

            1. @vettel1, no I don’t expect he did, however before the race started they were supposedly racing each other till the end, unless they had a specific tactic which only comes into effect when 1 is in the lead, which neither were, and in the end Webber only feined a pass attempt before falling back into formation.

            2. @hohum – regardless, I still don’t see how a great battle is something to complain about, no matter who the drivers are and their history.

      2. When I Look at Webber and his Theatrics in the last few days….. it is like some sort of Opera with the grief stricken female lead, Sobbing audience who is feeling anger and hate towards the villan, then there are those girly speculations Oh will he every come back and race again…. Oh will he ever smile again… He has not tweeted yet….. OMG will he ever tweet again ….. oh the nerve wracking 3 weeks wait till he reappears again hopefulllY (sob sob) in the Chinese GP. Then there appears his dad who vows that his Son will be back…. Unsual apology from the villian….This looks like it has all the dramatic elements developing for a Romantic Story of Love and Betrayal

        Comon guys I thought this was a sport …and he calls himself Aussie Grit ….. This is a complete opera material. I can hear the soft tragic music in the background … LOL

        1. The fact that Mark stayed quiet means he isn’t the one generating the operatics, rather it’s the number of people expecting him to tweet generating the drama.

          Regardless, he’s now tweeted a picture he took whilst training.

        2. @tmax
          Haha well said. Well said.

        3. Antonio (@frosty-jacks-racing-team)
          28th March 2013, 2:14

          +1. All that came to my head was the Neighbours theme tune…

      3. What he did was wrong and he has apoligized, however some fans still tag his act as “PR stunt”…

        The good thing about it team orders are bound to extinction at Red Bull because drivers don’t trust each other.

      4. I’m sure Max Chilton’s will to win is as strong as Vettel’s

        I think there is a huge amount of naivety in the belief that at an ultra-high professional level (F1 driver, multinational CEO etc.) somehow, deep down, everybody is equal in attitude and talent.

        The difference between them may be imperceptible for two reasons: all of them are light years ahead of us, average joes; plus we are outsiders missing a large part of the picture. But the difference is still there.

      5. Vettel is a true racer if that means knifing your buddy in the back. If Webber hadn’t had the car on savings mode, Vettel would never had gained so much under DRS and that alone is unfair, the surprise effect is another, call it a fight and go for it, like men do.

    3. The COTD misses the point. It wasn’t the team order, it was Mark’s “protected” comments after the race that revealed most about the setup at Red Bull.

      1. Oh, please. Mark Webber is a smart man, and he is playing with us. He knows what to say to the press in ways very few driver does, and fans eat it all..

        Tell me what was Mark´s punisment after Silverstone 2011? No punishment. Or the one after Brasil 2012? No punishment. Or his punisment after he hide the fact that his shoulder was broken in 2010 since Japan´s race?

        No Mark Webber has never recieved a punisment.

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          27th March 2013, 1:30

          When Watson states Vettel should be banned for a race, I think he speaks about it from a “moral” point of view. But as the Tv commentator said just before the podium: “How would you punish a driver who currently leads the championship and drove the car in the right way for 3 years? Some people don’t accept that Webber had the same chances (even more chances) to become a champion, at least in 2010, and got nothing.
          That’s the dilemma.
          Do you think Red Bull would raelly ban Vettel for a race? And it’s not FIA the one to ban Vettel, because from the regulations point of view, the pass was legal.
          What a brain stroke!!!

          1. Watson is speaking from the point of view of Horner proving *he* is in charge of his drivers. The only punishment that can really work at this level is preventing the driver from driving, through whatever means.

        2. @celeste

          Tell me what was Mark´s punisment after Silverstone 2011? No punishment. Or the one after Brasil 2012? No punishment.

          Tell me, how did Mark Webber defy orders?

          Sure, he was told to “maintain the gap” at Silverstone in 2011, which he didn’t do – but at the same time, he never passed Vettel. So even though he ignored an order, Red Bull still got the outcome that they wanted. And even though he ignored orders at Interlagos in 2012, Vettel’s race was ruined by a collision with Senna, and his car was so damaged that Red Bull were lucky he didn’t get shown a black-and-orange flag. In the end, the result was still the one that Red Bull desired.

          The difference with the Malaysian Grand Prix is that Vettel ignored the order and the outcome was different to the one Red Bull had intended.

          1. Funny, ignoring is not defying. And, folowing that logic, if Vettel hadn’t managed to overtake Webber, he would have been a real hero.

          2. I Love the Pope
            27th March 2013, 12:29

            So, just because Mark wasn’t successful (and Seb was), its okay? In other words, they did the exact same thing, but Seb was better, so Seb is at fault? Silly.

        3. Tell me what was Mark´s punisment after Silverstone 2011? No punishment. Or the one after Brasil 2012?

          Once again, someone else who fails to understand that Silverstone 2011 and Malaysia 2013 were two COMPLETELY different situations.

          In Malaysia 2013, Vettel only caught up with Mark because
          a) They pitted Vettel first event though he wasn’t the lead driver giving him the undercut and
          b) Webber was told that Vettel would not come at him and subsequently turned his engine down as they were both instructed, but as we know, Vettel ignored this order.

          At Silverstone 2011 Webber caught Vettel simply because Vettel had ruined his tyres and was too slow. Webber DID NOT catch Vettel because he had been told to turn his engine down and from what I can understand, there was no agreement or understanding before the race as there was in Malaysia 2013.

          And I’m sorry, but what orders exactly did Webber ignore at Brazil in 2012? I’ve watched that race several times and saw two things
          a) Vettel’s problems in that race were down to him turning into turn 4 from very wide just expecting no one to be there. He should have opened his eyes and been more aware. What’s more, he should have received a penalty for causing an avoidable collision and causing the retirement of 2 drivers.
          b) Webber pulling over and letting Vettel through and even being thanked by the team for doing so over the radio.

      2. @john-h I agree that COTD does miss the point. I believe that neither Mark or Seb’s contract say anything about a number one driver, but Seb knows he can get away with anything he likes, not because he’s a world champ, but because he has the backing of the people that matter, the guys at the top, HM and DM.

        Horner is the one I question, how complicit is he when is comes to day to day operational issues? His job is to get the best from both drivers and their respective pit crews/mechanics to maximise the points for the team. However, he also has to keep his boss happy by pushing his agenda and maximise Vettels points. All whilst maintaining Red Bulls PR image.

        His “silly” comment is a prime example of the tricky balance he has to try and maintain, he knew he had to say something on the radio because his silence would have been defeaning, both to Mark and the public. But, he couldn’t say anything too strong for fear of upsetting DM.

        1. @gdog Webber actually has the backing and loyalty of Dietrich, probably an appreciation of all he has done for the team since they bought out Jaguar Ford. Vettel is Helmut’s protegé, which is unsurprising given he is in charge of the young driver programme and Vettel is far and away the most succesful product of that. Probably never to be beaten.

          I’m surprised that Helmut did come out and say that he thought Vettel was in the wrong on Sunday, when, in the past, he has defended Vettel quite vigourously. Has he been told to be less one-sided by DM (I suspect DM won’t have been impressed by HM’s very public attack on MW over the winter)? Or has Vettel made up his mind to leave for Ferrari at the end of this year and Helmut has fallen out with him?

      3. it was Mark’s “protected” comments after the race that revealed most about the setup at Red Bull.

        That might make sense – if Mark had ever been punished for his own defiance of team orders in the past. Since he has never received more than a slap on the wrist, what exactly does it reveal about the setup at Red Bull?

        All I’ve learned from this is that Mark “True Aussie Grit” Webber is a bit of a drama queen.

    4. Not sure if anyone has ever drawn attention to this, but another famous disobey-er of team orders (and recently coveted by one knight of the realm) was Colin McRae. His example, of driving even more flat-out than usual, must run at a similar risk level in rallying as wheel-to-wheel racing does in single-seaters. But his refusal to bend to team orders is another that’s always held in high regard. I’m not judging (I frequently let my daughter win at ‘guess who’), I’m just citing another interesting case.

    5. That Mercedes’s tweet is wrong. They got 27 points, not 37.

      1. 37 points including Hamilton’s fifth in Australia.

        1. Oh, ok then. I thought it was regarding the malaysian gp only.

    6. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      27th March 2013, 1:04

      Domenicalli saying he doesn’t like speaking about the other teams? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!
      (well we have a 3-week break)
      This is so much fuss about “Vettel was wrong”. Yes, he was wrong (if you want to feel it that way). I think it`s quite fine to do what he did, despite “it’s a team sport” or “I hate whatever Vettel does” comments. I think that he knew (or probably didn’t know) the risk he was taking. He didn’t get team orders, but sometimes your boss can be wrong too, can’t he?
      If you feel I’m wrong, it’s your right to say it, as much as it’s other people’s right to totally disagree with your point of view.

      1. To be fair, I don’t see Domenicali shooting his mouth off at other teams that much. Or maybe he looks humble and quite neutral in his views by comparison when he’s in the same team as Luca di Montezemolo!

      2. I think Domenicalli and ferrari have every right to give their 5 cents worth in this whole red bull saga.Red bull weren’t shy to give ferrari stick after hockenheim and they were acting all holier than thou with their “we let our drivers race”.Well that statement blew up in their face.So respect to domenicalli for staying out of it.

    7. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      27th March 2013, 1:17

      Flavio Briatore pinned the blame on Red Bull’s management.

      “Unacceptable,” he is quoted by Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport. “You can see who the real manager is at Red Bull; it’s Vettel.”

      This coming from a manager who thinks making one of their drivers crash to make the other win

      1. @omarr-pepper +1 LoL ….

        Look Who is talking …Of all the people Flavio commenting he he. This is becoming a joke. Sometimes I feel they are like vultures hovering around RBR on the first smell of the blood.

      2. +1

        Briatore is not the person to point fingers at Red Bull and I think the reporter knew it as much he knew that Briatore would not resist coming up with his two cents.

        1. Well Briatore is part of webber’s management team and he has a close relationship with Mark.So obviously his going to say something.

      3. Or we could discuss Flavio’s statement on its merits, rather than taking cheap shots based on who made it.

        The internal discussions Red Bull have will determine who’s in charge at the team. If Vettel is “protected” as Mark suspects, then clearly Briatore is right. On the other hand, if there are repercussions for Vettel (and these will take place behind closed doors, remember) then there is still a chance for authority to be restored to the team management.

      4. @jcost

        you’re viewing this all wrong. briatore is the go-to person to point fingers at Red Bull, because the issue isn’t about whether team orders are allowed in f1, the issue is about one of the drivers defying the team.
        in his day, briatore clearly made sure that his drivers would follow the preset team orders – sometimes to extreme measures, as we’ve seen. and if they didn’t, they would really have a hard time.

        1. @andrewf1

          Your point kinda makes sense. I bet Nelson Piquet Jr. was aware of what would’ve happen to him in case he did not crash on that infamous day.

    8. On the tyre issue, Despite the official line been ‘Its just Red Bull’, From what I have been told, It isn’t just Red Bull, Its actually at least 5 teams which have been critical of Pirelli. As I said about a week ago its also a vast majority of the drivers who don’t like having to run around to a delta time conserving the tyres.

      From what I’ve been told by 2 people at FOM, Nobody (Teams or drivers) are against the Pirelli concept of tyres which wear, However there getting fed up of how much & how quickly they are wearing. The teams don’t like having to run the car at an un-optimal setup, The engineer’s don’t like how sensitive the tyres are & the drivers hate having to run around conserving them all race.
      I was given a quote from 1 top driver saying that with F1 as it is now its way more physical to race an F3 car flat out in a 45min sprint race than having to run a 90min F1 race driving to a delta time at under 80% the maximum performance of car/driver.

      I was listening to the team radio stuff on the pit lane feed this past weekend & 90% of the team radio clips that were played were drivers been told not to push because they needed to save the tyres.

      1. Call me back when you have some quotes.
        I can keep pulling the mentioning-no-names out thin air whole day.

        1. the moment those names are named, they will stop talking! There’s a good reason for journalism to not disclose sources in many cases.

      2. Interesting information, thank you.

      3. Thanks for the post GT_Racer! It seems pretty clear that Hulkenberg being upset at the end of the race had to do with tyre management (see Forum).

        I guess its time to sit down with everyone and really discuss how to approach it next year(s) with a new contract with Pirelli. Personally I am all in favour of having one of the tyres great for qualifying. But maybe they should look at the “start on your quali tyres” and “use both compounds” rules and just make a clear difference in what the tyres do. One going fast but short, the other being durable enough to maybe make it on a 1 stopper but really less speedy.

    9. For another 2 more races if all the drivers are driving at the prescribed speed than the actual racing speed, then there will be a lot of pressure on Pirelli & FIA. The idea was to slow down Red Bull but it looks like it has slowed down the entire field practically making it counter productive. Lotus were very positive after OZ GP about their Tires.After the Malaysian GP struggles they too are scratching their heads.

    10. Mark Webber might not win a world championship and he might not be able to stop Sebastian Vettel from claiming his fourth title but one thing is for sure, he certainly won’t help him win it again. Those days ended on lap 43 on Sunday March 24, 2013.

      I also don’t understand the comments where people say Vettel should not expect any help from Webber, As if last three years Webber helped him in every race and WDC. More than help he was just troubling him like Brazil 2012. I dont think anything changes from that perspective for Vettel and he had nothing to lose.

      1. + 1

        Webber got a dose of his own medicine last Sunday.

      2. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
        27th March 2013, 4:26

        I don’t see any problem in Brazil, it’s just a sprint to first corner, things get crowded and Sebastian lose few places. People just choose to forget when Mark eventually move over and let Sebastian passed him, as Ciaron Pilbeam then said, “Thank you, Mark.” If anything, it was in 2012 Abu Dhabi when Mark refused to hand the place, he blocked Sebastian about 2 laps. (The last race Mark had chance mathematically last year).
        Let see the bigger picture, it’s a long story back to 2010, when Red Bull (especially Helmut Marko) screwed Mark. The first time the pairing had a controversy was longer ago. Remember when Sebastian (3rd) crashed into Mark (2nd) in Fuji 2007?
        Both are not blameless, additionally in fact Red Bull policies had triggered it. And it sure difficult for the old guard saw a teenager got pass him and achieved everything. Both has taken it personally and sometimes forget that they are employee of a team.
        This time, it’s Sebastian fault.

      3. Yes, Mark was not pivotal in any of his 3 WDC but he can be destructive this time.

        1. That might well be the case. In Brazil he was not cooperative to wave Vettel through without as much as losing a second, which no doubt Vettel, and the Team, were unhappy about. If he really wants to be uncooperative, I am sure he could keep Vettel behind a lot more (to help Alonso win it?)

          1. I don’t think Webber can possibly be much less uncooperative than he has been. Unless he deliberately rams Vettels car, but in that case he’ll be fired on the spot.

            Ultimately this is a management failure at Red Bull. They should have taken firm action long before this, or else hired someone else in place of Webber.

    11. EDIT that

    12. There are a couple of moments in that video which make you go :O. First, Keke’s start! If someone did that today the stewards would be looking at that before you could say “drive through penalty”. The second is his mighty car control! Recovering so quickly after that spin and only losing one place was very impressive.

      1. Yeah sweet link, some golden moments! That spin and recovery is magnificent!

        1. Which was the other race he managed to do that?
          (spin through 360 degrees and then continue immediately/)

      2. He didn’t jump the start. It’s very obvious. Although, it’s also very obvious how slow Ferraris were off the line. Keke’s teammate also made quite a good start.

    13. Red Bull’s lobbying cannot have been helped by the fact their cars finished first and second in Sunday’s race, as Webber acknowledged.

      In fairness to Red Bull, the standard comeback for Hembery et al. when someone complained about the Pirelli tyres was “he’s not winning”. Now that a winning team is complaining, it would be strange to dismiss their concerns as “they’re winning, so what are they complaining about”.

      As GT Racer mentioned above, it’s not only Red Bull Racing that are dissatisfied with the Pirelli tyres. In the press conference for after the Malaysian Grand Prix, Hamilton backed Webber up:

      I was fuel saving from an early point in the race which lost me a lot of time but generally these tyres make… it’s not fun, I didn’t enjoy the race. It’s not the same as back in the day when you had stints where you are pushing to the maximum the whole time, you had tyres that would last. Now you’re just… it’s like you have a hundred dollars and you have to spend it wisely over a period of time. It makes racing a lot different. It’s more strategic rather than pure speed racing.

      The racing on Pirelli tyres may be more interesting for the majority of fans, but I can understand if not all drivers are too keen on it.

      1. Poor old Hami, imagine the last time he had to spend $100 wisely.

    14. If Vettel is Red Bull’s number one driver, why was the team order for Vettel not to overtake Webber, rather than the order being for Webber to move over and let Vettel pass him?

      I believe that the arrangement was for the drivers to race until the final pit stop, at which point whoever was in front would go on to win (barring a mechanical failure or accident).

      Favouring one driver exclusively so early in the season would be a mistake. The last thing Red Bull want is to back one driver over the other at every race, only for something to happen to the preferred driver that puts him on the sidelines for a long time – like Michael Schumacher breaking his leg at Silverstone in 1999. If they did that, then Webber would likely be out of contention for the championship. So it would appear that the situation at Red Bull is for both drivers to get preference on a race-by-race basis to give the team as many points as possible without putting all their eggs in one basket. But then, at a pre-determined point in the championship, they switch to backing one driver, most likely when they’re confident that the second driver has enough points to take over the reins if the first driver is taken out.

      Of course, this is just speculation – there’s no pattern as to where Red Bull decide to make the call to support one driver. In 2010, they obviously wanted Vettel to be the first champion with Red Bull, even though common sense said that they should have backed Webber, since Webber had seven points in hand. And in 2011, Vettel dominated from the start, so there was no need to make the call to have Webber back off. If they made the call in 2012, then it was probably some time around the Hungarian Grand Prix. Vettel finished ahead of Webber in that race, and closed to two points of Webber’s position in the championship. He passed Webber’s in the drivers’ standings in Belgium, and maintained that lead for the rest of the season.

      1. PM, your post just explains the COTD more in detail. The point is that its pretty clear that Vettel is not the absolute No. 1 driver at the team (certainly not like Schumacher was in his time at Benneton and Ferrari, or like Alonso is treated at Ferrari). Otherwise Vettel would have gotten past Webber by following team orders rather than the opposite.
        It does seem that Vettel is now demanding that status though – see his comment in the race about taking Webber out of the way.

    15. The Red Bull team order thing basically comes down to three things:
      – Was Red Bull (and Mercedes for that matter) right to give their drivers team orders?
      – Was Vettel right to ignore them? (and Rosberg wrong to obey them?)
      – Who’s fault is it that the Red Bull drivers got out of control?

      Focusing on the second point: I read in Will Buxton’s piece (excellent comment by the way) that he applauds Vettel for ignoring the team order. He even refers to Helmut Marko’s youth, where he apparently raced with a ‘win at all costs’ mentality against Jochen Rindt – arguably one of the best F1 drivers in history. I’ve never appreciated this mentality, not in sports and not in personal life. To use a heavily overused sentence: ‘the journey is more important than the goal’.

      I for one would rather see a driver finish second with fair play than a driver winning by cutting corners. In my opinion, Mark Webber didn’t put up a fight (at turn 4) not because he accepted the ‘fact’ he is the number 2 driver (like Buxton claims), but because he was confused. He must have wondered why Vettel was trying to pass him – had he missed something? It’s his teammate, so if he starts blocking Vettel he will get some stern words from Horner afterwards. In the hat of the moment, Webber just didn’t know what to do, but after he had thought it through in the 10 or so laps that followed, he came to the conclusion that Vettel had screwed him and the team over.

      Returning to the ‘win at all cost’ mentality: Vettel basically cheated in my opinion and I don’t have any respect for cheaters. Formula 1 is about proving that you are the best and taking easy victories proves absolutely nothing.

      1. In the hat of the moment


        1. “He’s a dedicated follower of fashion!”

          1. @dirgegirl @andae23 It’s nice to know that even on such a hot button topic, I’ll always find something to give me the LOLs.

        2. -hangs head in shame- :P

      2. @andae23 I don’t know, I think Webber might’ve been racing fully at turn 4. Perhaps he just expected Vettel to undercut and get better traction, so he covered the inside a bit. Vettel quickly reacted and went round the outside (similar to Rosberg vs. Button in Istanbul, probably in 2011).

        Not sure but that’s how it might’ve been.

        1. I doubt he was thinking of the undercut. He actually defended very well up to that point – his move around turn one where Vettel was seeing an opportunity to grab the inside at 2 and Webber just flicked the rear out and slid on over there was sweet…

          Turn 4 though… My guess would have been he was out of KERS or something, it looked like an easily saved corner but he just didn’t get going… Really not sure what happened there…

      3. In my opinion, Mark Webber didn’t put up a fight (at turn 4) not because he accepted the ‘fact’ he is the number 2 driver (like Buxton claims), but because he was confused. He must have wondered why Vettel was trying to pass him

        People claiming that Mark Webber did not put up a fight can’t have been watching the race. It was one of the most intense and hard-fought battles I’ve seen n ANY Grand Prix, with both cars racing within centimeters of each other and refusing to give ground. If that had been Hamilton and Alonso fighting each other it would be celebrated as one of the great driver duels of the season, or of the decade.

        1. I agree, Mark was fighting hard, but that’s why I added ‘turn 4’ in brackets: in my opinion, Webber must have thought to himself: “This is getting ridiculous” and he just let it go. Whether this is how it actually went, no idea.

    16. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      27th March 2013, 10:41

      I feel really sorry for Pirelli here. They have done exactly what they were asked to do by the governing body and look at all the flak they take for it. If I were them I’d be long gone… and who’d take over?

      The best solution would be for the FIA to realise there is a fundamental problem in their tyre supply philosophy and do something about it soon. I firmly believe they could allow Pirelli to produce ‘better’ tyres and offer greater choice for the teams. This would give less opportunity for criticism of Pirelli and best of all give us some good hard racing.

      Pirelli should be asked to produce four different dry compounds to be the same for the whole season. Ideally I’d like to see tyre which would go quarter, half, three-quarter and full race distances (Get rid of that silly must use two compounds rule). Then teams could opt for which tyres they want prior to each race for each driver, obviously allowing enough time for the manufacture and logistical constraints.

      Then teams would then at least have the option of not having to do tyre conservation during races as they would always have the option of a harder wearing tyre. Wouldn’t this please everybody?

      1. It would please me.

    17. Why are teams allowed to moan publicly about the tires? It’s extremely unprofessional and unethical.
      It’s not like Pirelli was asked to make durable tires but are failing at that.
      They are doing what their asked to do by the governing body, so there should be sanctions if anything for those who discuss this matter so unprofessionally.
      I agree that not every team might think that this amount of degradation is the right amount of degradation, but they are all in the serious business and this kind of things are easily discussed behind the closed doors. They have bunch of meeting all over the year, so there’s more than enough opportunity to bring up the subject.

      This thing we are seeing is blunt abuse of the airtime and freedom the teams and drivers are given.

      These are the rules and there’s no changing them mid-season so stop the lobbying because that’s exactly what this is. They are not just “answering the questions by the media”, they are trying to put a public pressure in the most unprofessional way, at the matter which should be discussed behind closed doors.

      1. They have been muzzled ever since Pirelli began as supplier but things are getting worse not better.

        1. Exactly, There was a FOTA agreement regarding criticism of the Pirelli & DRS been done behind closed doors.

          The reason you get bits spill out into the public domain from time to time is often a case of those doing to talking feeling that there view isn’t been listened to in the closed door meetings or because the drivers feel things have gone too far & something needs to be said.

          Regarding what Pirelli were asked to do, They were asked to make tyres that were not as durable as the Bridgestones were in 2010, The problem has been getting the balance right.

          Pirelli are not been criticized for making less durable tyres, There been criticized because many feel they have gone too far the other way & in fairness to the teams/drivers who have been critical, They have been talking to Pirelli about this since they got the contract in 2010 & part of the reason your starting to hear some public grumbling is because many feel Pirelli are either not listening to any of the team/driver feedback or are simply incapable of making tyres that are any better than what we currently have.

          Vast majority of the drivers want to be able to push them more, They don’t like driving around to a lap delta conserving the tyres, They want to push hard & race & they feel the current tyres don’t allow them to do either.

    18. I know it’s been said before, but if anyone deserves a victory for what he’s gone through over the past few years it’s Massa. Between the last second heartbreak in Brazil, through the frightening injury and the constant team orders to fall into line dutifully behind his teammate, the man has been through a difficult spell. It would be a wonderful story if he were to snatch a win somewhere along the way here. Perhaps in Bahrain. I’ll continue to root for him hopefully all the same.

      1. Me too, would like to see Massa get a win this year ‘for sure’. Unfortunately, if you look at how he fared in the race in Malaysia it doesn’t bode too well for him. Yes, he had some good overtaking going on but that was on fresh tyres. He really (or indeed Ferrari) should have done better from 2nd place on the grid.

    19. I would like to see Pirelli make the tyres a bit more durable as I think the tyres currently do play too big a role because the degradation is a bit too much.

      Like others who already posted a comment, I don’t have a problem with tyres wearing but I do have a problem with exactly how much & how quickly the current tyres do wear.

      I am getting a bit fed up with tyres been the biggest talking point through a weekend (As well as before & after) & with the current situation of drivers been forced to cruise around through a race looking after the tyres.

      Ideally (Under the current tyre rules) I would prefer to see a tyre which does wear at a reasonable rate but that still allow drivers to push & race fairly hard.

    20. The tyres are rubbish. We need tyres that the drivers can push 100% for the whole race. It’s horrible watching them plod around saving tyres.

      1. Thank you! I couldn’t agree more.

    21. Perhaps if Pirelli listened to Red Bull, races wouldn’t descend into a farce like the last quarter of the Malaysian GP. Drivers are not pushing the car and aren’t utilising their full talents or abilities in them, they are tip-toeing on eggshells, even in qualifying because they want to save tires.

      I understand that Formula 1 is not just about speed but strategy too (with some luck and politics in the mix as well), but the sheer spectacle of F1 is tainted when the cars’ performance are deliberately limited by the tyres.

    22. Massa sure he can end winless run (Autosport) — “I think if we carry on in this direction, the chance for winning races and fighting for the championship is there.”

      I HOPE FELIPE WINS SOON! Go Massa!!!

    23. Pirelli may be unmoved, but I’m not. I know it may be petty, but I don’t like the way their designing their tires for racing and I’ve changed my mind: I’m buying new Michelin’s for my car now instead of the Pirellis I was considering. The only vote I get in this mess is with my spending and I’m voting.

      If Formula 1 wants more pit stops to “spice up the action” then simply mandate 3 or even 4 pit stops. The teams can decide when they want to time their strategy for the stops by how quickly the tires are going off. But the tires should still be going at 98-99% of their beginning pace even when they’re changed because i watch F1 to see the best drivers in the world pushing the best cars in the world to their limits. I have no interests in seeing drivers save their tires.

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