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Only Red Bull free to spurn driver inequality – Villadelprat

Red Bull’s refusal to dictate a driver hierarchy for the 2010 championship would not have been possible for other teams.

That is the claim of Joan Villadelprat, the Epsilon Euskadi chief who was among the multitude of pundits who said the energy drink-owned team would be justified to make either Mark Webber or Sebastian Vettel a de-factor number 1 driver in order to win the drivers’ title.

“They decided to play fair, be honest and they did well,” he wrote in his column for El Pais newspaper.

Niki Lauda had also staunchly opposed Red Bull’s reluctance to deploy a team strategy for the drivers’ title, but when Vettel won he applauded the “Olympic Games”-like attitude.

“It’s incredible how this team won in the end in the most correct way,” said the triple world champion.

“For me, it’s unique in the 60 year history of the sport.”

Villadelprat believes the approach is also an unique privilege of the Red Bull team; a major marketing arm of the energy drink company whose car is adorned with few external sponsors.

He said Vettel chasing down his points deficit by securing pole position and charging for the race win in Abu Dhabi required the “complicity of Red Bull that he would not have had in other teams”.

“They (Red Bull) could do it because it was the actual owner of the team (Dietrich Mateschitz) who said he would rather lose than to win the other way.

“In other teams that would have been impossible,” said the Spaniard, “because your commitments with sponsors create binding obligations.”

 © RIF | GMM