In their quest for mechanical grip British Grand Prix, Red Bull overlooked the mechanics of the mind. The resulting fallout has left them with much to think about over the remainder of the 2010 season.
No sooner had I written of the potential lack of inter-team driver headlines, Adrian Newey and Christian Horner went and wrote their own in a situation that could so easily have been avoided. It’s not often that a team can win so emphatically – as they did on the weekend – while claim more headlines for their route to implosion.
Their decision to take bits of one car and bolt them onto another may have made sense from a purely technical perspective but was a disaster from every other angle you can imagine.
McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh put it down to the inexperience of consistently fighting for the championship. The truth is probably even simpler than that.
Inter team rivalry is what makes Formula 1 – and in fact most if motor sport – unique to almost every other competitive discipline. The modern driver is ably equipped for that fight. What he can’t accept is not having a fair crack of the whip. Barrichello accepted it at one stage in his career, but does so no more. Mark Webber is of too strong volition to except anything other than a fair crack: especially at this stage of his career.
Numbers and data crunching may have indeed done the talking as to who got the prized front, but they don’t scream loud enough. If Horner has learnt one thing this weekend, then finding the time to have a word in the ear with his drivers over the decisions he takes on a race weekend will prevent having both his ears torn off.
To be privy to Webber’s discussion with his team principle would have been to witness an exercise on in-house firefighting. They had better hope those flames have been doused for the remainder of the season, because with their competitors putting up such an intense challenge, the last thing Red Bull need is one of their own causing havoc in their proverbial China shop.