Should Ricciardo receive equal treatment with Vettel?

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    Up to this point, I have felt that Mark Webber has received unjust treatment from Red Bull, a sentiment that is shared obviously by Mark although he knows better than to mention it except in Silverstone and Malaysia. I’m sure he knows that every comment will cost him a couple of million at least so he’s right to keep his mouth shut and of course we will all find out the truth some day while reading Mark’s autobiography or even better watching a documentary titled Webber:-)

    Now that Ricciardo will be replacing Webber, do you folks think that he should receive equal treatment as a proven 3 time WDC driver like Vettel?

    I actually find myself on the fence with this one. Obviously I really would love to see someone challenge Vettel but at the same time I do have to recognize that Vettel has proven himself at Red Bull to have earned top treatment within his team.

    If I were Vettel and a new driver was joining the team, I would expect to receive top treatment within a team.

    Over to the other F1 fanatics! What do you guys think?

    Max Jacobson

    I think they already do – Mark just blows things well out of proportion. Equal equipment =/= equal talent and results.

    So they just have to continue that; whoever comes out on top then should naturally get the backing if the other is out of title contention and of course the faster driver will have a greater hand in development to suit their style. So in essence, exactly as they have been doing is how they should treat Ricciardo!


    Just like Max I think that they should (and will) simply continue with the policy of giving their two drivers equal opportunity, and let whichever driver is superior, rise to their natural position as leader. It worked very well with Vettel and Webber (though Webber never really liked to admit that Vettel was just plain better than him), and I’m sure will keep delivering championships as long as they keep building decent cars.


    It is pretty much nonsense to imagine a team giving one of its drivers inferior material or worse strategy, since the team is always interested in maximizing the points tally.
    If Red Bull were interested in having the WDC, they would have gone for Webber in 2010, two races before the end. But they maintained their policy of not interfering, in a moment where Webber expected the support from team and team mate.
    For some, that meant they were openly supporting Vettel, but at least on the sight of it that would be an unfair claim. Even in that season, Vettel was better than Webber, deserving to seize his chance as long as he had one.
    Ricciardo will be able to prove himself against Vettel, since, once again, no team has any interest in losing points. Let’s see how he compares after half a season.

    Jon Sandor

    If Mark Webber told me that the sun would rise in the east tomorrow morning, I’d seek independent corroboration. People involved in professional sports are hardly known for their scrupulous adherence to the truth, but Webber is pathologically sneaky and dishonest. He’s been treated more than fairly during his time at Red Bull.

    As I’m sure Ricciardo will be.

    A more interesting question would be why so many people who “see no evil” when Grosjean is ordered to move over for Kimi, or Rosberg for Hamilton, have such a burning obsession with the question of equality at Red Bull.


    The main point of this post was whether Ricciardo should be treated fairly especially in view of Horner’s remarks that there will be equality.

    The only top team to treat its drivers equally is McLaren. Ron Dennis was explaining the other day how expensive that policy is and there have been long discussions in many forums that have proven that and how idiotic it is to treat drivers equally. Ron Dennis’s comments have sealed those discussions.

    Getting back on track, should Red Bull treat Ricciardo as Vettel’s equal?

    Jon Sandor

    Treating drivers equally and treating them fairly is not always the same thing. It’s unfair to treat unequal drivers identically. Mercedes openly favor Hamilton over Rosberg. That’s not “equal”, but it is “fair”, since Hamilton is the better driver.

    Should Red Bull treat Ricciardo (who has yet to score a single podium) as the “equal” of a driver who currently has three WDC’s and over thirty race wins? The question is absurd on its face. Should they treat hm fairly? Absolutely. And I see absolutely no reason they imagine they will do otherwise.


    Red Bull has been treating its drivers equally.

    If you think that Helmut Marko loves Vettel, only because he is Sebastian Vettel, you are wrong in my opinion. Marko loves Vettel because he is from the Red Bull Young Drivers Program (and partly because he is an excellent driver).

    PS: If my text is not possible to understand, please tell me :)

    Jon Sandor

    “Getting back on track..”

    You’re the one who went on about Webber supposedly receiving “unjust treatment” at Red Bull. (And not for the first time, as I recall) You can’t say now that that topic wasn’t “on track”. You can try to defend your claim, or you can admit it was wrong.


    The moment a team designs a car differently to benefit one driver, they are not treating drivers equally.

    And let me go on record and say that Ferrari, McLaren, and Renault would really love if Red Bull would treat their drivers equally so that they can start snatching WCCs and WDCs left and right:-) It’d be Christmas for F1 teams and drivers alike!

    We’d have Vettel racing with a bushel of cucumbers throwing them at the other drivers screaming “I could have been WDC 4 times! I’m not making it up! Damn you Christian! You cucumber, I’ll show you equality”

    Meanwhile Alonso would be readying his WDC speech at the start of the season, Hamilton would be asking the FIA to let him know the size of the trophy so he can make room in his WDC cabinet and even Button would be thinking “maybe I can get a second one, who knows?”

    Equality at Red Bull when the driver himself claimed 3 years ago that he’s being treated as a #2 driver? Don’t make me laugh. Horner, Newey, and Vettel would be rolling on the floor reading this.


    Silverstone 2010 you mean?

    Webber after FP2: “Nah mate. I don’t like the new wing. I’ll race with the old one.”
    *Vettel breaks his in FP3
    Horner: “Oh look. Mark’s new wing is unwanted and is lying on the floor. Let’s use that one.”
    Webber: “Flippin’ hell mate. I wanted that wing.”

    Other than emotionally – even Webber admits that he’s had equal opportunities, where hardware and equipment is concerned.



    I think Webber realized that if the team wanted to put the wing on Vettel’s car, then there was a good reason that had not been shared with him.

    Last year at Monaco, Red Bull was doing everything it could to give Vettel the win. If you watch the interview Webber alluded to the fact that [whatever they were brewing] ” was not going to happen”.

    The 1st argument that is made is that a team wants to win the most points and the only way to do that is to give equal opportunity to both drivers. It’s not in their interests to sabotage the team. That’s a great argument but it’s a hollow one especially for top teams because the odds of winning the WDC when supporting both drivers are next to none. It’s probably the #1 rule for any team principal that if you have a top team, you do NOT give equality to your drivers especially if they are closely matched in terms of skill. It’s a recipe for disaster.

    The main argument is that anytime you have 2 people who are not 100% identical, look the same way, talk the same way and do everything identically you do not have equality. If you are in doubt, go to your workplace and find out:-) I’m sure there is tons of inequality there even among equals.

    Life is simply not equal – one person starves and another throws away organic prime rib because he’s too full. Another person turns down a $9 million offer for a license plate because it has the words F1 on it while another can’t afford to make a living.

    This goes doubly for F1 where vast sums of money, power, glory, and vested interests come into play.

    Getting back to the equality, the only way Webber would have received equality is if his name was Vettel and he looked identical to Vettel to the point that they couldn’t tell them apart and he drove just like Vettel. Even so, Horner would have labeled the 2 identical drivers Vettel 1 and Vettel 2 and split the teams pushing more resources to Vettel 1 or Vettel 2 depending on his preference.

    Vettel 1 and Vettel 2 could of course trade places each race without anyone knowing and share the glory thus retaining equality however I doubt that the favored Vettel would have done so even if his opponent was another identical Vettel. It’s human nature not to want to share anything equally especially at that level.


    @freelittlebirds It’s all well and good being hypothetical, but factual examples would be nice.

    You do realise that in Monaco 2012, Webber said, “Thanks for letting me win this one, guys?” Besides, if they were even *able* to try to let Vettel win, don’t you think they would’ve tried to slot him in P3 or even P2, rather than P4?

    Silverstone 2010 – what on earth are you talking about? Webber returned the wing to the team when he said “No I don’t want it.” If you return a library book, then it doesn’t matter who you are, but you have no right to feel aggrieved over who gets lent the book next.

    Don’t forget that Webber did not hire Red Bull to make him a car – but rather, Red Bull hired Mark to drive the car, as-is. They could’ve kept Mark stuck on the wing he didn’t want (new), or they could give him the wing he wanted (old) – are you saying they should have said, “NO! We will NOT give you the wing you want. Go with the new wing whether you like it or not”

    Worth nothing that they extended Vettel the same courtesy in 2012 China. If the driver prefers older equipment, even if the data says its slower, then they let the driver have it.

    2009 is often forgotten, when Webber was often the one to get the preferential call, and team orders. “Sebastian, save your car, Mark is faster. Save your car, Mark is faster.”

    What of 2010 Hungary, when they asked Vettel to back the pack up behind the safety car to help Mark build a gap, but instead Mark stepped on the throttle, causing a penalty for Vettel (thanks to the 10-car-length rule)

    Mark tells the press after Singapore 2009 that he (mathematically out of title running) wouldn’t help Sebastian in any way to win the 2009 title, but then he asks it of the team in 2010 (despite Vettel being still in mathematical running), and feels aggrieved that he doesn’t get it? Get real.

    Mark usually says it like it is, in that moment. Sadly he forgets the times when the same treatment gets given the opposite way.

    Loud Aussie complains, silent German stays quiet. Which do you think makes a better story for the press? Humans love conspiracy theories and bad news.


    Well, you did ask for one so here’s a factual example. When you won, did you share your winnings equally with those that needed it more than you? I’m not passing judgement or anything but was that your first thought and your actions or did self-interest guide your actions?

    Do you think that Horner’s decisions are guided by ensuring that the holy covenant of equality in F1 is upheld to the highest standard at Red Bull at any cost to the team, or by ensuring that the team wins the WDC and if possible the WCC while throwing all other handicaps like equality out of the window?


    @freelittlebrids Huh? If you won something, then you fall “equally” under the rule that your winnings are yours. The “equality” refers to the base to which everyone starts, not the outcome. If you shared winnings (points, in F1 terms) then you’d end up with no one becoming champion.

    Horner’s responsibility is not about equality, his responsibility is to the team to ensure the team gets the best combined result, which means giving each driver the equipment which he is most comfortable with (ie, with which they have the biggest expected return)

    Why didn’t anyone complain when Vettel’s car wasn’t getting equal QC to Mark’s in 2010? Spark plug in Bahrain, Torsion bar in Melbourne, Brakes in Spain, Chassis crack in Spain & Monaco, brakes in Monza, engine in Korea? Those things all cost Vettel far more than any new front wing would ever have cost Webber, or any KERS issues – which Vettel also has, I might add.

    Some fans even think the startline troubles Mark has is on purpose. Was it also favoritism when Mark would go from front row to P14 by turn 2 back in 2003/2004? Mark has had a history of bad starts, even before Red Bull. And if they were on purpose, how do you explain the times when he’s started better than Vettel despite being close by? Germany 2013 for example.

    Guess what? It’s way cheaper to hire a driver with less skill, rather than to build and design an expensive upgrade, and botch it on purpose. Use your common sense for a change.

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