One: Will a Fernando Alonso championship be tainted? I think Todd’s handled that one pretty well here.
The other: Does Red Bull need to put “fairness” aside and throw the weight of the team (and the driving of Sebastian Vettel) behind Mark Webber?
Christian Horner apparently is thinking it through, according to Autosport, which also lays out this handy factoid: If Red Bull go 1-2 at the remaining two races, but that 1-2 is Vettel-Webber, Alonso still could win the title by finishing on the podium both times.
In other words, Webber still needs a victory to comfortably seal this title up.
Here’s Horner’s thoughts:
When asked if the team would consider swapping positions between its drivers in Brazil to give Webber a bigger haul, Horner said: “I haven’t had time to look at all the mathematics and scenarios, but it is something that we will look at pretty closely between now and Brazil.
“Obviously the objective for both of them is to be ahead of Fernando and Lewis, as we achieved in qualifying in Korea.”
That said, Horner still is hedging the decision:
“As you saw in this grand prix, the championship leader changed between three different drivers at three different points of the race, and we gifted Fernando Alonso 25 points, which is obviously frustrating.
“This championship will go to the last lap in Abu Dhabi I believe. Mark retains P2 in the championship and Sebastian has now dropped to fourth, but there is still only a race win between Sebastian in fourth and Alonso in the lead.
“And how many times have we seen this year the championship to and fro? So it is impossible to predict what will happen in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.”
So, it’s a pretty straight-forward question: Should Red Bull tell Vettel this isn’t his year and do what it can to support Webber for the drivers title? (Figuring, if the team does so, the constructors title will follow?)
As you think about it, keep in mind: Ferrari looks very strong right now. And it isn’t as if McLaren, Lewis Hamilton in particular, have fallen off the face of the earth.
And, in my thinking, it isn’t as though Webber would be a terrible representative for Red Bull. He might be older than the marketers would like, but he’s been with the team a while and could be a part of a strong PR campaign.
(So, my answer: Do it, already. Just be more discrete than one of those other teams was earlier this season.)