You may recall that Red Bull were very critical of Ferrari’s team orders a few years ago. The Austrian energy drink company really makes a stand when it comes to team orders. That stand has been challenged over the subsequent years and its been the subject of frustration within the team as you will recall driver Mark Webber’s famous, “Not bad for a number 2 huh?” radio comment after winning the British GP in 2010.
The fact is, team orders are allowed these days and even when they weren’t, technically, allowed that never bothered Ferrari as they have always been centered on the team effort and not the driver. Red Bull slathered the Italian squad with a lot of criticism over their stance but the 2012 season seems to be another possible challenge to Red Bull’s staunch anti-team orders position.
As the championship wanes, Mark Webber is a long shot…a very long shot for the title but his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, is leading the points chase. The inevitable question is, will the the team tell Mark to support Sebastian to secure the title? Team boss Christian Horner told the press that there doesn’t need to be an official order at the team because Webber is a smart guy:
“Mark is a strong competitor and he is a big team player,” said Horner. “I am quite convinced that he will want to see the team achieve its best possible results.
“I am sure as a team player, if required, he will do everything to support the team.
“Mathematically now it is very difficult for him to win the championship and he is a smart guy. He has been an important part of the team and I have every confidence that he will be doing his best to help the team achieve its objectives for the championship.”
Mark Webber is a very smart guy, there is little question about that fact. He’s one of the sharpest tacks on the cork board but he’s also a competitor and has proven year-on-year that he’s no wet nurse for Vettel. In fact, it really ticks him off when he’s in that role.
Will Mark yield to Vettel and make the team proud? He probably will but no matter what Red Bull say, Mark’s “smart” nature is just another way of saying, we’ll have team orders for the remaining three races. Just like Ferrari will.