F1: Webber 'Stand Off' Caused By Vettel Defects, Rosberg Happy To Give Schumacher Lower Number

Mike Stevens | Jan 27, 2011

There would never have been a single mention of team orders at Red Bull had Sebastian Vettel enjoyed a run of technical reliability in 2010.

That is the claim of Helmut Marko, Red Bull's ever-controversial driver manager and motor racing right-hand man to team owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

Vettel, the new reigning champion, and his teammate butted heads last year when Webber led the Championship and pundits pushed the wisdom of a team strategy in the Australian's favour.

There were claims of team favouritism in Vettel's favour but Red Bull clung to its stated policy of equality and the young German ultimately won the battle.

But speaking to Sport Bild, Austrian Marko hinted that Vettel's dominance last year was muted only by technical setbacks.

"Without the 66 points he (Vettel) lost due to technical defects, the standoff with Mark Webber would never have occurred," he said.

Team orders have been legalised for 2011 but Marko is adamant that Red Bull's policy will not change.

"We don't use them (team orders) because the sporting aspect should be the primary focus of Formula One," he insisted.

(GMM)

Rosberg Happy To Give Schumacher Lower Race Number

Nico Rosberg has shrugged off his allocation of the higher car number at Mercedes for the second season in succession.

Last year, with Michael Schumacher coming out of retirement, Rosberg agreed to relinquish the lower number 3 because the returning seven-time world champion is "a bit superstitious" and prefers to wear odd race numbers.

Schumacher went on to score 70 fewer points than his younger cohort but, for the forthcoming 2011 season, Mercedes has once again agreed to allocate the premier odd number (7) to the 42-year-old.

"We talked about it in the team about a month ago," Rosberg told the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper. "Michael wanted the number seven.

"First, because he is superstitious and thinks odd numbers are luckier, and secondly because of his seven World Championships. I had no problem with that.

"Anyway, the number seven has only ever caused me bad luck in my career so I'm happy with eight," Rosberg said.

Meanwhile, Rosberg said he was in Mercedes' driver simulator at Brackley last week where he got to grips with the additional buttons for 2011, including to charge and deploy KERS and operate the adjustable rear wing.

"At the beginning it was very difficult," he admitted. "There are so many things to consider at the same time."

(GMM)

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Filed under: f1, Racing, mark webber, speed, michael schumacher, Nico Rosberg, mercedes f1, red bull f1, News

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