Red Bull made a very clear statement in Brazil. It is either run by someone who is stark raving bonkers, or is only willing to apply team orders at the last minute, if it is necessary to do so to save the Drivers’ World Championship from going to Ferrari. It seems that until there is absolutely no chance at all left for Sebastian Vettel to win the title, the team is not going to help Mark Webber. Small wonder that Webber feels aggrieved. The one thing he can do to strengthen his situation is to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but thanks to the decisions that have been made he still has to hope that Vettel will be there behind him to keep Alonso out of second place. If Vettel screws up, crashes or blows an engine, Red Bull Racing will likely lose the title because Alonso will be there to snap up second place. The only thing that the team could then hope for is some help from McLaren…
Red Bull has the best car and should, logically, finish 1-2 in Abu Dhabi, but if that is the case and Vettel leads Webber and Alonso to the finish line, then Alonso will win the title. Vettel’s only hope is that things will go badly wrong for Alonso and he will finish fourth, but that has happened only once in the last eight races. If the order is Vettel-Webber-Alonso as they go into the final lap on Yas Island it will be necessary to tell Vettel to allow Webber to pass, but if the team is really going to carry through this much-vaunted sporting attitude that it has spouted forth all year, it will have to give the biggest prize away.
No-one is that stupid in the modern day and age.
Worst still, if Alonso crashes or blows up and Vettel and Webber are running one-two in the final laps of the Abu Dhabi race, both will end up with 256 points and then it will be down to counting back the points. That would likely trigger utter mayhem between the two team mates… as we saw in Turkey, because Vettel would win the countback. If both collided and Vettel retired Webber would be champion… In such a scenario Webber has nothing to lose but to try to pass the German.
All of this could have been avoided by switching Vettel and Webber in Brazil. That would have meant the same Constructors’ points but would have meant that Alonso would have needed to beat at least one Red Bull to win the title. Switching Vettel and Webber would not have been a case of applying team orders to the detriment of the sport. It would have been logical and the FIA has never worried about such things in the closing stages of a championship. In any case, it can hardly punish Red Bull with more than a fine, having let Ferrari off earlier in the year, without making itself look bad.
Hey-ho… Roll on Abu Dhabi.