Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel

News published in the Diari de Girona (Journal of Girona)
25 October 2010

Who are Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel? What conflict are in hand?

Webber and Vettel are the pilots of the team Red Bull Racing (RBR) Formula 1 owned Austrian beverage company Red Bull. In 2009, with the arrival of German Sebastian Vettel, the team won the runner-up of builders and pilots.

In 2010, RBR is a favorite to win the constructors title and Vettel win the pilots. Until now, these cars were very fast, becoming the first in 14 of the 16 qualifying sessions, but also have proved fragile mechanically, causing his retirement from racing, as in the Grand Prix of South Korea this last weekend. Indeed, Saturday, RBR was leading the teams classification, and Webber, against predictions, the drivers with 220 points. Fernando Alonso, with Ferrari and Vettel were second and third with 206 each.

The situation recalled the 2007 championship final, with 3 or 4 riders fighting to win the title. Three years ago when there were only three races for the World Cup final, the classification was as follows: Hamilton (McLaren) with 97 points, Alonso (McLaren) with 89 and Raikkonen (Ferrari) 84. So this year, the facts become repeat: 2 pilots in the same team in 2007 and 2010 McLaren RBR, fighting for the title against a Ferrari. In addition, Alonso once again present in the fight and Hamilton with McLaren, is still mathematically options.

During the 2007 championship, Hamilton and Alonso, teammates, turned the contest into a conflict within the circuits, with clashes between the cars, and out with statements to the press. The team manager, Ron Denis, promoted the fierce competitiveness, as was done in the past with Nikki Lauda, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. This time he was out of control everything. In the last race in Brazil, Alonso, Räikkönen and Hamilton is playing the title. At the end of the grand prize, Räikkönen is first and with 110 points wins the World Cup. Hamilton seventh and Alonso third, totaling 109 points, respectively, in the final standings. The confrontation during the season was gradually diminish their chances of victory and increased Raikkonen, and the shock between the two at the start of the Brazil GP definitely lose the title. Amazing, but true.

This year, Webber and Vettel were distributed shared podiums and victories. Experts say that Christian Horner, director of RBR, has managed to handle the conflict with much of dialogue and mediation, especially after the collision with Vettel Webber of the Turkish Grand Prix, and the infighting that has focused outwards, with other competitors. The lack of competitiveness has helped Ferrari. This has changed in recent races, Alonso is back and putting a lot of pressure. In South Korea, RBR cars have not scored since they have had to withdraw due to an error Webber and Vettel driving for a mechanic. That has benefited Alonso, who finished first, leading the World Cup. Unthinkable.

There are two races, Brazil and Abu Dhabi and the world must decide. Webber is still second. Vettel, the fastest quarter. Alonso, with more experience first. Hamilton, on the lookout, third. The last 50 points at stake. Everyone wants to be the champion. And in 2007, can draw some guidelines: if the machines work, the final victory of the RBR-faster than Alonso and his Ferrari-depends on managing the conflict between their two drivers. Because talking about Vettel and Webber, RBR in that order, increases the chances of Alonso to win races and World Championships. Attention! Christian Horner.