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 Post subject: The Great Red Bull conspiracy
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2010, 14:05  
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The Great Red Bull conspiracy
Following the events at Silverstone, we look at the simmering situation at Red Bull and how Vettel may have been the real loser

10 races in and Red Bull have claimed half of the race wins and all but one of the pole positions. But it hasn’t all been plain sailing. There have been reliability issues certainly, but the more pressing issue is whether the team has been favouring one driver over the other – the favoured driver being Sebastian Vettel.

In 2006, Vettel was seen as one of the future stars of Formula One. This view was consolidated in 2008 with that imperious wet weather victory in Monza. Inexperience, a bad start to the year and reliability cost him in 2009. But not only that: in 2009, he was very much the team leader for the second half of the season. The pair were relatively equal for the majority of the year, but from Valencia, Webber’s season took a turn for the worse and only Vettel stood a chance. Vettel’s form at the end of the season was also a warning shot to the rest of the field and the RB5 B-spec was easily the best car on track.

In many respects, the start of 2010 is what has led us to the current situation. The so-called civil war that is supposed to have boiled over at the British Grand Prix has sent the media into frenzy. Take this example from the Daily Mirror: "The racer who began the year as Formula 1's rising superstar has overnight become its darkest villain. Red Bull slid ever closer to civil war with Vettel and his team on one side, and Webber and the world on the other. Dubbed "Baby Schu" by his own German media, Vettel seems to have plenty in common with the legendary racer with a reputation for questionable ethics and dubious tactics."

Comparing Schumacher’s tactics to those of Vettel? Are they serious?!

This quote clearly shows how some feel and Vettel’s image is taking a pounding despite not really doing too much wrong. Yes, you can blame him for the crash in Istanbul and of course, that is where this whole saga really got started. The world blamed Vettel and Red Bull blamed Mark Webber. Helmut Marko was slammed and the integrity of the team was brought into question.

The front wing controversy in qualifying last weekend did little to sweeten the situation, yet other occurrences are not reported, because they aren’t interested. What about the fact that Red Bull tries to give Webber lighter parts due to his bulky frame? Hardly implies that Vettel is being unfairly favoured.

And again, I go back to an earlier point. Vettel is being called F1’s “darkest villain” yet before the season he was the man who was meant to win the title, was one of the best drivers and supposedly the journalists’ dream driver thanks to his approachable nature. But in 10 races, not much of that has changed but Vettel is being perceived as the villain in a movie, inflicting evil against the good guys. This simply isn’t true. Vettel is just doing his job – trying to be the best Formula One driver in the world. I am not his biggest fan, far from it, but some of the criticism labelled upon him has crossed the line. So what if he tried to chop Webber at the start, it’s not as if no other driver would have tried that. Vettel is being made out to be the enemy of his counterparts and the villain of the paddock. This must be difficult when fighting for the title.

Vettel himself is not the best driver when it comes to overtaking but he showed a little bit of his prowess in battle on Sunday. But remember Mark Webber’s attempt on Lewis Hamilton in Australia? Both Red Bull drivers have made mistakes and whilst Vettel has bore the brunt of the reliability issues, he is, in all fairness, more likely to be the future of the team. Vettel is 23, Webber 33. A young German, for Red Bull, is probably more marketable than Webber. However, Dietrich Mateschitz has said this week that the sole aim is to deliver both titles, irrelevant of which driver does it. But to deliver both titles, the drivers really have to get on. Situations like what happened at Silverstone won’t win the title – Vettel was not going to give up the lead and on a track where the RB6 was supreme – qualifying a mere 0.7s faster than the opposition – they only gained one point on McLaren.

As well as this, had Vettel won on Sunday, many would have put it down to him having the new front wing, not his abilities as a driver. The way Vettel has been perceived has also been down to some of Webber’s comments: what he said after Istanbul, after qualifying in Britain and then over the radio after he win. These sorts of quotes do not help Vettel and whilst Webber has a reputation for speaking his mind – something I am not criticising him for – it does little to assist harmony within the team. You have to wonder whether it would be better for both drivers if Webber kept his mouth shut. He talked a lot about ‘karma’ after the race and it can work both ways...

So is there a ‘Great Red Bull conspiracy’ occurring as we speak? Well, the team has the next few races to prove to us that there isn’t. But, with both drivers lagging behind the McLaren duo, you have to feel that there will come a point where one driver will be favoured over the other in an attempt to deliver the title. It will probably come down to whoever is ahead in the championship as the F1 circus heads to the flyaway races. If it isn’t then there will be more questions than answers. The team has said this week that issues from Silverstone have been resolved, but they said that after Istanbul as well.

Vettel’s home race is coming up next. Webber won in Germany last year and Vettel isn’t going to want to see a repeat. With another front row lockout looking probable, I wouldn’t want to be in Christian Horner’s position at about 12:04 GMT next Sunday.

Exciting isn’t it?

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Red Bull conspiracy
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2010, 14:32  
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Nice detaailed analysis by you Phil :).
I agree with you that people have been harsh on Vettel, though what he did in Turkey (talk to his hand :lol: ) was not good at all for his image, and that put people (including me) off. But the main problem has to be Red Bull management, it is there where all those issues are being created.
I am sure if Helmut Marko and co had just kept quiet after that incident, then there wouldnt have been much hate carried over, but Alas! it did not happen. As i have mentioned in many of my posts, Red Bull need to calm down and realize what they are here for

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Red Bull conspiracy
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2010, 08:53  
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Last year I liked Christian Horner and Sebastian Vettel. This year I greatly despise both of them.

Vettel could have refused to take Webber's front wing when the team told him about it, but he gladly had it put on his car.
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 Post subject: Re: The Great Red Bull conspiracy
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2010, 09:54  
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Red Bull lack experience of being in contention for race wins and championships and its showed this season - they've handled their two drivers very poorly and in the press let a manageable situation spiral out of control.

I doubt the drivers relationship is any better or worse form last season - they're two very different people, from different cultures and with a large age gap and that crash in Japan 07 won't have done anything positive for them. Its just this season with poor media management the press have concentrated on this and forced the team into several embarassing situations.

The post race interview with Christian Horner last race was toe-curlingly embarassing, Horner looked like a schoolboy being told off by a teacher and looked like he was desperate to escape the cameras. If Red Bull don't win the championship he'll almost certainly get the chop, and will deserve as his team have the fastest car but due to their own mistakes have mucked everything up.
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 Post subject: Re: The Great Red Bull conspiracy
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2010, 18:52  
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Article available at YallaF1.com as well now.

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Red Bull conspiracy
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2010, 19:25  
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Congrats twice again Phil :D.
Weell done. As i have said earlier, you really need to keep your writing skills alive, there might come a time when you might decide to choose it as a career :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: The Great Red Bull conspiracy
PostPosted: 23 Jul 2010, 00:02  
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Nice article Phil ... It was a good read.
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