First off, an apology for those who need it. Yes, another post that focuses on Turkey-related Red Bull and McLaren drama. But there’s a reason for it:
It’s what everyone is talking about. It’s the storyline dominating Formula 1 right now.
It’s at Autosport. It’s at the Telegraph. It’s at the BBC.
And I think if all the journalists are pursuing these stories, we can assume that the folks in the paddock are talking about them, too. After all, who do you suppose all the unnamed sources are?
I’ll direct you to two commentaries by two journalists I think do a good job of adding insight into the Formula 1 game. Andrew Benson at the BBC and Tom Cary at the Telegraph.
The two main things I pull from these are:
1. It is now understood that Red Bull team principal Christian Horner asked Webberâ€™s race engineer, Ciaran Pilbeam, to tell the Australian to allow the faster Vettel through, although the message was not passed on. Team orders are forbidden in Formula One. [Courtesy Cary.]
2. So why was Hamilton told Button would not overtake him? Why did Button overtake him?
Did Button not get the message? Did he not understand what he was being told? Did he ignore it? Did McLaren secretly want Button, as their lead driver in the championship, to pass Hamilton and win the race?
I understand that, actually, it was a simple misunderstanding, that the two sides of the garage were not telling their drivers the same thing.
Hamilton’s engineers had given him a lap-time target to ensure he got to the end of the race; Button’s had told him to save fuel but not given him a target.
Hamilton had been told that Button would not overtake; Button had not been told that he couldn’t. [Via Benson.]
And the bottom line out of both is that, behind the scenes, there is plenty of tension at Red Bull and McLaren.
So, for this moment, I think we can set aside whether we thought Webber was at fault or Vettel was. And I think we also can take off the table whether Hamilton overreacted or if Button played a dirty little trick.
I’m focusing on this tension, which is being described by numerous journalists and, as fans and just “plain old human beings,” is totally understandable.
I’d be surprised and disappointed, in fact, if there wasn’t some tension at these teams. If there isn’t, it means one or more driver and his race team don’t care enough about winning.
So that leads to my question (and Your View): Do you think any of the tension that is building — at McLaren or Red Bull or even another team where you think the boiling points is nearing — will explode this season, causing one of the leading teams to implode and lose out on championships?
Bonus Your View: When and why?