Mark Webber. In choosing the weekend’s Hot Rod, we usually like to go for someone you may not have appreciated during the race, who doesn’t drive for one of the top teams and has generally exceeded the capabilities of their car.
This is not one of those weekends.
We simply feel we have to give it to Mark Webber not only for his flawless drive from second place on the grid to victory, or his superb pace all weekend, but for his response to the team moving his new front wing over to his team mate.
Yes, he shouted about it and looked thoroughly miserable, but then he went out and blew the rest of the field away. Comprehensively. He showed just enough respect to Vettel through the first corner to be tolerable and, from then on, never looked back. Even when being chased hard by Hamilton during the opening stint of the race, he didn’t make any mistakes and continued to drive beautifully.
It was the best way to respond and showed the Red Bull management what a minefield they’ve stepped into. If they’d thought about it for more than it took to look into Vettel’s boyish face and give him the wing, they’d have come to the conclusion that each driver had a wing and, if one breaks, that’s tough luck and they get to use the only marginally worse old one.
As a side note, what about Vettel? We at Badger know what F1 drivers are like. Asked “do you want this shiny new piece of kit?”, they’re definitely going to say yes, even if it comes off the back of a truck from North Korea. Now, should Vettel have thought for a second and said, “hang on chaps, this isn’t right”? In an ideal world perhaps, but he cares only whether it’ll help him win the race and the world championship, as Webber does.
When the team management decide to move a piece of kit about, it’s their choice. Could he have fought it? Yes. Would it be unrealistic and, frankly, a touch odd to expect him to, yes.
Whatever happens, we’re in for one great Red Bull ride until the end of the season. Enjoy it.
Read the rest of ‘Hot Rod or Hot Dog’ for a report on each team, in order: