in defense of red bull racing – and ferrari!

this is a mini-manifesto.

from someone who has been interested in formula one in a household were no one else was since the age of 11, and watched every single race since 1994. from someone who is arrogant enough to think he can determine what is “right” in term of sportsmanship and what is wrong in formula one. and the subject is that of team orders.

i know that there are many opinions on this, but once again i will be arrogant enough to say that it is not a matter of opinion or relative truth, but this actually a pretty clear question. and i must say that i am very surprised not necessarily by the lack of knowledge of bloggers all around the world criticizing RBR after yesterday’s race, but by the terrible and unfounded opinions found in newspapers all around the world. i will just say it: most of them are simply wrong. and i’m right! 😉

what do to? vettel and webber have quite an onion to unpeal...

this is the game, this is the sport, this is formula one. there are two titles to be won in the formula one world championship. this is due to the fact that each team participating in the expensive competition has the right and duty to hire two drivers. there can only be one champion team, and there can only be one champion driver, that’s as simple as it is.

generally, teams equip drivers with the exact same material. at least in theory. in praxis, it is very rare that two drivers have the same ability to drive a particular car. most of the time, one driver is constantly the faster one; this is just a general statement that completely justifies, from the point of view of the team, why one driver might get more current or better material when there is only one piece available. it would not make sense at all to limit the second driver deliberately, since this is commercial nonsense. if schumacher, for example, had the advantage in new materials in his car, it is not because he was more beloved; it is because he was simply faster than a barrichello or a massa. this type of privilege, including the one in strategies during the race, is deserved in a purely competitive merit. this happens because formula one is run by teams, and they do have limited recources and economical considerations. not necessarily to sell more mercedes benz (in case of mercedes gp), but in terms of expenses and outcome. felipe massa would deserve priority in material and race strategy if he were more likey to score more points for his team. this is, once again, a merit that is earned through a career and a race-to-race performance. and now, more then ever, performance can actually be clearly measured and cracked into data, interpreted statistically and used to make decisions.

in this case, i am totally in favor of team strategy. and, this should be said, it is actually pretty rare that a driver  gets a real advantage over his team mate, since the differences, even if they exist, are too small to actually matter; this is what i’ve seen over the years. and those who complain too much about differentiated treatment are mostly just bad loosers.

a second situation is, what do you do if two drivers of one team fight meet each other on the track? i truly believe that here, there is a way to settle things in a sportive manner. first of all, if there is a duel between drivers of the same team at all, most of the time the faster driver in that particular race is the one attacking. this is very simple: to even get to a fight for positions in formula one, other than a good or bad timing in box stops, the car behind must be going faster than the car in front. in this situation, two phases should be put into practice. in the first phase, the car in front has to show that he has at least equal speed compared to the car behind. if he fails to show that, he should let his team mate pass. this is to reduce the risk of both drivers getting themselves out of contention through a stupid and unnecessary accident. open fights like senna x prost were only possible because no other drivers had cars good enough to compete with them, and there this is justified financially. but that would never have happened if other drivers were in contention for the end of year’s crown. it’s almost a decision for the fan: do you want to see two drivers driving for the same team battling it out on the track, or do you want multiple drivers from different teams trying to become world champion? i must say, i prefer the latter.

alonso could be the champ, and in my book, it's legit.

i am in favor of a faster team mate in a particular race be able to pass, if he’s shown that he is faster, for whatever reason (better or newer tyres, or just more pace).

what i am totally against is a driver with less pace being waved forward by the team for championship reasons before his team mate is out of contention.

just to finish up this little manifesto, here are examples.

ferrari making barrichello give schumacher the victory in austria – apalling and horrible, totally against the sport.

ferrari asking massa to let alonso pass in hockenheim this year, that was okay. alonso showed in the race that he was much faster. so actually massa should have let him past, but he couldn’t because that would be horrible for his fans in brazil, so the team order became the only option. i don’t applaud it, but alonso deserved to pass, since he is in the same team and was much faster. it doesn’t really matter that alonso as ahead in the championship (and at the time out of reach in the title race).

red bull not letting webber pass for the championship was correct, yesterday. if webber had reached vettel and started attacking him, vettel should’ve at least not complicated things and let him pass if he attacked. that’s my opinion. since vettel showed he was superior yesterday (and most of this season and all of last season), that was not an option and red bull made the right decision.

there is one exception to the rule, which is when a driver has no mathematical chance of being the world champion, and his team mate does. in this case, it is normal and understandable for a driver to help his team mate; this might be vettel’s case in the very last lap of the abu dhabi grand prix. a pretty sad way for webber to be world champion, somewhat humiliatging, but still, that’s what vettel should do. unless webber deservers the title and wins the race by his own merit.

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Published in: on November 8, 2010 at 16:58  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. what is more important?? pilots Title or Team title?? if you think that TEAM is more important than pilot/Racers…so i agree with you….and they should pay less to all of them.

    Otherwise…you are wrong and so many levels….cheers

  2. […] in defense of red bull racing – and ferrari! […]


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