Red Bull’s policy of driver equality ultimately helped Sebastian Vettel to win the 2010 drivers’ world championship.
In the days and weeks leading into the Abu Dhabi finale, numerous commentators chided the team’s reluctance to make points leader Mark Webber the de facto number 1, including by switching the finishing order in Brazil.
It would have meant Red Bull went into battle last weekend “with only one driver with a chance instead of two — and probably the wrong driver,” said Dr Helmut Marko.
And “It is always better to have two strings to one’s bow instead of one”, added the energy drink company’s motor sport consultant.
It has been suggested that the equality policy confused Ferrari when Red Bull split its two drivers’ race strategies after the early safety car in Abu Dhabi.
“Our policy of allowing the drivers to compete got us into the position where they (Ferrari) had to worry about two of our drivers and not just one,” said Adrian Newey, the designer of the RB6.
“It depended on whether they wanted to cover Mark for the championship or Sebastian for the championship,” he added. “In the end they chose to cover the wrong one.”
Niki Lauda, who was one of the strongest voices in favour of the use of team orders before Abu Dhabi, conceded on Monday that Red Bull actually made the right call — and an honourable one.
“‘Didi’ (Dietrich Mateschitz) said he would do it like the Olympic Games, but F1 is not the Olympics.
“It’s incredible how this team won in the end in the most correct way,” the triple world champion is quoted by Kleine Zeitung newspaper in Austria.
“For me, it’s unique in the 60 year history of the sport,” added Lauda.
“If there were only two, three politicians who acted like Mr Mateschitz, we would be in a better place,” he said.
© RIF | GMM