Red Bull avoided a repeat of last year’s ‘wing-gate’ by letting Mark Webber keep his latest specification front wing at Suzuka.
At Silverstone 2010, Australian Webber kicked off the controversy by angrily declaring ‘Not bad for a number 2 driver’ after winning the British grand prix.
The win came after the team took the front wing off his car because the only other version collapsed on Sebastian Vettel’s RB6 in practice.
At Suzuka, a similar situation arose when Vettel crashed at Degner on Friday morning.
But the German then tackled the rest of the weekend until qualifying with an older spare front wing replacement, and was duly outpaced in all the practice sessions by McLaren’s Jenson Button.
Suddenly, Vettel returned to the front in qualifying — with a brand new front wing.
“The team did everything to bring it back and just in time it arrived (from Milton Keynes) for qualifying,” the 24-year-old said.
Team boss Christian Horner told Reuters he never considered simply taking Webber’s front wing away again.
“Last time (at Silverstone), it failed and we had one left and it wasn’t anything to do with the driver,” he said.
“Yesterday it was purely down to him (Vettel), that’s why he looked pretty pissed off when he got out of the car because he knew he’d damaged a front wing that he knew there were only two of in Japan at that time.”
© RIF | GMM