Sunday, 11 July 2010

"Not Bad For a No.2 Driver"

"Not Bad For a No.2 Driver." Does anyone sense a hint of sarcasm there? Mark Webber well and truly beat the pulp out of Vettel today, quite fairly I might add, and went some way towards vilifying Red Bull's decision to give Vettel the sole remaining new front wing they had just designed. The angry sentiment from Mark came about as he was forced to hand over the latest front wing to his team mate for qualifying as Vettel had damaged his earlier. This was the clearest indication yet that Red Bull want Vettel to be their number 1 driver and Webber did not like it one bit. He must have acceded to BBC's Mark Brundle's advice before the race that the right hand side of the grid "has a lot of grip" because Mark jumped past Vettel into turn one. Vettel subsequently went wide and lost a hat full of places before puncturing which effectively ruled out any chance of a podium. This British GP was one of the best of the 2010 season. With Hamilton hustling Vettel, an infuriated Alonso getting into all sorts of trouble with Kubica, Button working his way to 4th from 14th, Mercedes scoring their first podium in decades and pieces of rear wing flying off De La Rosa's Sauber. A lot of attention was given to the new Silverstone layout. The most interesting aspect is that it has now become a high speed track, something on a par with the famous Monza circuit. The start line will be moved next year meaning the experiences of Vettel flailing about turn one from the grid will be history. But all the headlines will be on Webber and his very public disapproval of the way he has been treated at Red Bull this season. He has leapfrogged Vettel into 3rd place in the drivers championship, 5 points behind Button and 17 behind Hamilton. It was remarkable to see Christian Horner being put well and truly on the spot by BBC after the race. All 3 commentator's getting straight to the point about favouritism. Coulthard mentioned Horner's sarcastic response to Webber's radio transmission "You can smile now Mark". Mind you Horner did the PC job of deflecting such criticism and instead chose to highlight the fact that his team had won the Grand Prix. However; the sight of a wincing Eddie Jordan as the camera's went to the press conference said everything about the awkwardness of the questions being posed at a team principal who seems to be in the headlines for the wrong reasons. Having secured pole at all but one race this season Red Bull should have been leading both championships comfortably by now. Vettel should have been on that podium as they had the fastest car. However; lack of reliability is one thing and team politics is quite another. Red Bull's circumstances remind us of a less potent version of the Senna Prost battles of yesteryear when we had in fact been expecting the Button Hamilton relationship to do the same. This season is hotting up nicely for viewers who are now comforted by the fact they can expect no Red Bullshit from team principals trying to orchestrate the championship.

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