Team Tensions

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
After Damon Hills recent comments regarding the relationship between Hamilton and Button in the past week, yet another player from the sport has come out echoing the sentiments of the 1996 Champion.

During PR build up to the British GP at the new refurbished Silverstone track, Hill was quoted as saying;


Damon Hill said:
It's just been on simmer so far and it will start to boil over. Between the two British drivers in possibly the best car you will have a very close and fascinating battle."
This has now been backed up by Mark Webber and Christian Horner,

Mak Webber said:
It's not easy having a fuzzy, warm relationship when [a team mate] is a competitor,

When you're at the front and trying to win there'll be a healthy rivalry.
Christian Horner said:
Anybody who thinks Lewis and Jenson aren't competitive and won't push each other to the limit is sadly mistaken,

It will only take one small incident for things to flare up between the McLaren drivers, I'm sure.
The comments come, in spite of McLaren's continued efforts to display a united front to the rest of the world. Indeed, they have been offering many joint photo shoot opportunities to their two championship winning drivers, and seem eager to display their relationship at every juncture.

Where as Hill's comments come, probably as a true representation of his opinion, it seems that MW and CH may merely be trying to stir the hornets nest, so to speak. As has been well publicised, it has not been the easiest season in the Red Bull camp, with technical failures, and below par achievements undoubtably adding to the friction between he two drivers, that of course cumulated in the incident in Turkey. No doubt, similar tensions in the McLaren camp would do nothing but benefit the Red Bull team.

In spite of these comments, and the obvious rivalry between Lewis and Jenson, the McLaren camp does seem to be functioning better than everyone perceived it would at the start of the season. The media appearances seem genuine, and the team displaying their drivers relationships does not seem to be such the big case of "smoke and mirrors" as RedBull have suggested.

No doubt any incident between the two in future races will be blown out of all proportion by the media, and the sentiments put across by McLaren will therefore be put to the question. For me, however, the idea we have about the two British boys seems genuine. There is obviously more below the surface that we do not see, but I think the good working, relatively friendly environment at McLaren is more fact than media fiction. The ability to have a joke during an interview says it all for me really.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
There is one thing that should keep the tension between Jenson and Lewis on track, it is the fact that both drivers are able to overtake. They have both shown excellent spacial awareness, regard for other drivers and the innate ability to predict the unpredictable.

I hope this is not a classic commentator's curse. :crazy:
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
These comments are a severely unhelpful sign regarding the inner-team relationship - at Red Bull!

Although, obviously, it is not all sweetness and light at McLaren, the fact that Red Bull are apparently so desperate to break up any semblance of harmony shows that it is Red Bull who are worried.

I doubt that this partnership will boil over into a Jones/Reutemann, Senna/Prost, Hamilton/Alonso situation, but I may be wrong!
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
Webber and Horner really should stop looking at other teams drivers and concentrate on their own team and drivers relationships as this seems to be the biggest bone of contention on the grid at the moment.

Jense & Lewis genuinely seem to have a healthy respect for each other and the way they drive. This is only being mentioned due to Jense being opportunistic and attempting a pass on Lewis in Turkey, what Red Bull need to do is study the move as a lesson in how to have a battle between team-mates without binning the car..
 

McZiderRed

Champion Elect
Supporter
It's very much in Red Bull's interest for there to be unrest in the McLaren camp. No surprises with their statements, trying to infer off track tensions that, so far, are not an issue.

A healthy rivalry between team-mates is good. I suppose the question is, will it stay healthy the closer we come towards the end of the season..? (Which is what I suppose Damon was inferring). The McLaren duo's on track battle this season is one of the things to watch, "for sure"! :D
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
I think there probably is a healthy rivalry on track, but I also think there is a healthy respect. Both drivers have won WDC's and are therefore skilful enough to not do anything too stupid on track and neither have the hot-headedness of Alonso to publicly throw toys out of the pram. Of the two, I think Lewis is probably the more ruthless, but I'm sure he's only too aware that he and Button both answer to Whitmarsh and will avoid incurring any wrath!
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I'm not sure what motivated Damon's comments, Brogan suggested (not sure if it was in a thread) that this was just a bit of "spin" to generate some additional exposure for the up-coming British GP.

As for Webber & Horner these comments are laughable. Of course there will be rivalry between two drivers who want to win but Red Bull aren't going to be able to play mind games with either Mclaren or their two drivers given (as others have pointed out) their own internal problems. I'm sure they want to focus attention away from the very obvious problems they have but Christian Horner is never going to win this sort of battle against Martin Whitmarsh especially with Ron Dennis lurking in the background. It's a little like Sam Alerdyce trying to play mind games with Alex Ferguson.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
FB said:
It's a little like Sam Alerdyce trying to play mind games with Alex Ferguson.
They do tend to be on the same side in mind games though, I'd say its a Keegan-Ferguson moment.

I'd luv it if we beat them!
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I think that harmony will be easier to maintain at McLaren with Whitmarsh in control than it would have been had RD still been in control, as I believe that Whitmarsh is far more even-handed than Ron ever was.

It will be fascinating to see what happens to the performance of the cars with the debut of the new improvements. If one of the drivers is perceived to have gained an advantage over the other, will cahrges of favoritism rear its ugly head (like it did at Mercedes)?
 

Matthew Little

Points Scorer
RickD said:
Webber and Horner really should stop looking at other teams drivers and concentrate on their own team and drivers relationships as this seems to be the biggest bone of contention on the grid at the moment.

Jense & Lewis genuinely seem to have a healthy respect for each other and the way they drive. This is only being mentioned due to Jense being opportunistic and attempting a pass on Lewis in Turkey, what Red Bull need to do is study the move as a lesson in how to have a battle between team-mates without binning the car..
Agreed. Horner should worry more about his own team's problems and not worry so much about the other teams............. :o :o :o
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Its all looked like Horner has been pointlessly stoking this fire when you consider the respective performances of Red Bull and McLaren thus far into the British Grand Prix weekend.

I presume the fact McLaren's upgrades haven't worked is not down to negative energy coming out of the cockpits of either Button or Hamilton.

Really, performance just proves how little Red Bull need to do the talking when they race well. However, I would not be too surprised if idiocy within the camp gifts Alonso or Hamilton an easy victory.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
"Not bad for a number two driver!"
"It is a throw-away comment by Mark – who has just won the British GP. I don't take that comment with any malice behind it. He was upset about the decision yesterday, and I can only imagine that he was disappointed he didn't get the wing yesterday.
So, no team tensions then?

Idjut.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
It's fairly clear that Red Bull is a fractured team.

The owners and backers all want Vettel to win, after all they have invested a huge amount of time and money in him.

Horner may or may not be stuck in the middle, but he's not dealing with it very well.

I wouldn't be surprised if Mark and Red Bull agree to part ways at the end of the season and he moves to Renault.
 

higgins87

Rookie
The Red Bull is much faster that Renault, he's more likely to win more races if he stays where he is so I wouldn't be surprised if he did decide to honour that contract. And if he can prove to the team that there's no point in favouring Vettel then all the better imo!
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
higgins87 said:
The Red Bull is much faster that Renault, he's more likely to win more races if he stays where he is so I wouldn't be surprised if he did decide to honour that contract. And if he can prove to the team that there's no point in favouring Vettel then all the better imo!
Some elements to consider though are

a) The Renault team will have an engine at the least comparable with the RB Renault engine.
b) With no double diffusers next year, will RB lose part of it's current advantage it enjoys with it's bespoke blown diffuser?
c) Should he end the season with a WC under his belt, Mark might decide it's better to be in a team that wants him than one that's at times not working in his favour.
d) Webber has also said that had he known an event such as the front wing incident (henceforth to be known as FWI) would happen, he wouldn't have re-signed.
 

Bullfrog

Rookie
This might be the first weekend where I've felt a little bit sorry for Horner, and actually I think he's caught in a difficult situation and doing about the best he could hope for. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a little Dr Marko voodoo doll as I think it can only be him behind most of the pro-Vettel actions within the team, he's the little darling of his own young driver program after all. I'm coming round to the idea that Horner would much rather run the drivers on an equal footing (large points differentials notwithstanding, I think Webber would understand and accept these kinds of decisions far more easily if it was later in the season and he was out of the title race) but a large faction in the team want someone who they see as 'one of theirs' to win their first title. Lets not forget that Red Bull never really wanted Webber, I seem to remember Briatore wangling him into the team as part of some wider deal. Horner isn't stupid, he knows that the way to avoid even more tension between his drivers (especially after Turkey) would be not to do things like swap new parts around and I think if he had it his way it wouldn't have happened.
 

McZiderRed

Champion Elect
Supporter
Bullfrog said:
This might be the first weekend where I've felt a little bit sorry for Horner
Yeah and me, but only a little.

When Jake Humphrey interviewed Horner after the race, Jake referred to Webber as Horner's "self confessed No. 2 driver.." Horner looked embarrassed, if nothing else. He didn't have anything to say, let alone deny the accusation... Horner in a corner - between a rock & a hard place. I get the feeling none of this is of Horner's making and he has to "man the front line" in front of the camera... My heart bleeds for him...
 
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