F1: Red Bull Secures Team Title But Big Prize Still Unclaimed, 'Team Orders' Would Have Been Wrong Photo:
Mike Stevens | Nov, 08 2010 | 4 Comments

At its sixth attempt since debuting in 2005, Red Bull secured its first constructors' World Championship on Sunday at Interlagos.

"To do this after six seasons is great," said team boss Christian Horner on BBC, before mechanics began blaring Queen's 'We Are The Champions' from the speakers in the pit garage.

But the coveted Drivers' World Championship is still up for grabs, with Mark Webber – who finished second in Brazil – eight points behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with just next Sunday's Abu Dhabi finale to go.

But a "one (point gap) would have been nice," admitted Australian Webber, referring to his spat with his teammate Sebastian Vettel.

He is referring to the fact that, if Red Bull had imposed team orders and moved winner Vettel aside at Interlagos, he would be seven points further up the road.

But German Vettel and race winner is still in the hunt, 15 points behind, while Lewis Hamilton's 24 point gap means his is only a remote mathematical chance of a second title.

"If we're not quick enough here, we won't be quick enough in Abu Dhabi," said the downbeat Briton, who finished fourth on Sunday.

His McLaren teammate and outgoing World Champion Jenson Button is now definitely out of the hunt.



Team Game Would Have Been Wrong 'This Weekend': Horner

Christian Horner has left open the possibility of a position switch in Abu Dhabi next weekend, if it means a Red Bull driver wins the drivers' title.

Had Mark Webber been ushered past his teammate Sebastian Vettel at Interlagos, the Australian would now be just one point behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with one race to go.

Instead, with Vettel at the top of the podium but still 15 points behind, Webber's gap is eight.

But if Vettel is once again running ahead of Webber in Abu Dhabi next Sunday, and that result would mean Red Bull misses out on the drivers' title, it seems clear that a team strategy will be deployed.

Briton Horner would not answer the question directly in Brazil, but he did tell German Sky television: "It would have been wrong, this weekend, to interrupt a driver still with a chance to win the World Championship."

The implication is that the mathematics will speak for themselves in the finale.

Until then, Alonso has the advantage, because – no matter the positions of the Red Bull drivers - he only needs to finish second next Sunday to secure his third world title.

Vettel was coy about whether he is open to a team game in Abu Dhabi.

"In a week we'll know," he said.



Red Bull tactics now turn to drivers' title victory: Marko

With the constructors' title now in the bag, Red Bull will turn its attention to securing the drivers' crown next weekend in Abu Dhabi.

In Brazil, with Sebastian Vettel behind on points but still mathematically in the hunt for the Championship, the team rested on owner Dietrich Mateschitz's "sporting ethos" and refused to play a team strategy in Mark Webber's favour.

But with just Abu Dhabi now to come in six days, and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso still leading the standings by eight points, a different approach to the season showdown may be necessary.

"We will be considering how to approach Abu Dhabi, both technically and tactically," admitted motorsport consultant Dr Helmut Marko on German RTL television after the Brazilian Grand Prix.

"Right now we will celebrate and then all of our efforts will be aimed at winning the drivers' title in Abu Dhabi," he added.

And if Vettel and Webber are reluctant to play ball?

"Then we will remind our drivers of the fact that they are team players," the Austrian is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.



Vettel Will 'Never Be Friends' With Webber

As one icy F1 relationship almost completely thaws, another has frozen solid.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso clashed infamously at McLaren in 2007, but Hamilton has now admitted he would be happy to reunite with the Spaniard.

"I'm happy with the way I have things now but I would have no problems having him as a teammate," the Briton said.

Hamilton also refused to agree that Alonso's potential 2010 title win has been tainted by the team orders affair, insisting the now Ferrari driver would "deserve to walk in the company of the great names of the past".

"You are going to be very hard put to find someone beat him on raw talent," he told the Mirror.

"When he comes to Zurich he texts me every now and then to meet up," revealed Hamilton.

Meanwhile, at Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel has revealed that his relationship with teammate Mark Webber is near irreconcilable.

"Quite a few things have happened this season," the German told Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung newspaper.

"Let's put it this way: we will probably never be friends," added Vettel.


[top image: Sebastian Vettel, by Clive Mason / Getty Images]

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