Really, you couldn’t help but to cheer for this guy. Super friendly demeanor. Homies with Russell, Lando. A good driver. Humble beginnings. All the ingredients for fans to gravitate to this Thai-English driver. A flash of brilliance here and there, but enough fuck ups to make the cut throat Red Bull Racing org rethink the driver line up for 2021. With the spin and resulting last place at Imola, well… he’s done. He just had to cock it up yet again. At this point, might as well count either Perez or Hulkenberg into the RBR seat in 2021. A good try, Alex. And good luck.
As Honda is set to leave Formula 1 after the 2021 season after mixed results this time around (3rd time in F1, if memory serves me correctly), Red Bull is now left holding its nuts in its hands with no readily apparent place to go. Would Mercedes provide engines to RBR? Nope. Would Ferrari? Maybe, but would Red Bull want them from Maranello considering how dismal engine performance has been in 2020? That leaves Renault. Remember their acrimonious parting a few years ago? (documented oh so in dramatic fashion by Netflix) The French manufacturer is probably Red Bull’s best (only) bet at this point. Sounds like Christian is gonna have to bend over and take one for the team!
The boys at Motorsport.com + Giorgio Piola have yet again done a fine job dissecting a new F1 car launch. Namely, the new Red Bull Racing RB15. From what has been reported, Max Verstappen came away smiling about the new car. Really? Are my greatest fears coming true? That Honda has finally managed to create an iteration of the hybrid that can perform competitively with the likes to Mercedes and Ferrari (and Renault, to a certain extent)? McLaren will be pounding the ground in disgust and anger if this is the case in 2019.
I really liked Sebastian Vettel. When he first burst onto the scene, everyone said he had the talent to become world champion. He was a young guy with big dreams and a personality that was animated and fun. He always had a smile in front of the cameras and was a welcome departure from robots like Kimi Raikkonen. I was cheering him on when he took his first victory as a driver at Monza in rain soaked conditions.
Fast forward to 2010. At the Turkish Grand Prix, Vettel veers right into the path of his team mate, Mark Webber, causing a crash that takes out both cars. Webber was able to continue and get a podium but he was all but assured 1st place up to this point. After he gets out of his race car, Vettel makes the above gesture as he makes his way back to the paddock. Replay after replay shows that there was no steering movement in Webber’s cockpit. Vettel says he was ahead but he clearly wasn’t. However you put it, it was Vettel’s mistake.
Red Bull Racing declares that it was Webber’s mistake. The team management hug and pat Vettel on the back – even though Seb caused the crash. What is this? Kindergarten? Others within the team declare Webber should have let Vettel pass him – where they got this idea is unknown, but when do you just let someone past because he wants to? This is racing. That doesn’t happen. Then based on the backlash by the F1 fanbase force their hand, with team principal declaring it a “racing incident” and even force the two to take what I deem as an incredibly uncomfortable photo, for they have “buried the hatchet.”
What hatchet? It’s clear Vettel screwed up due to his inflated ego (no doubt inflated further by the team) and / or a stupid rookie mistake… except Vettel is no rookie. He’s a third year professional in an organization at the highest form of motorsport and they currently have the fastest car. It’s also clear that Mark Webber is getting a bum deal. He’s been driving at his peak, taking home the victory at Spain and Monaco. Is this how you treat a driver who’s delivering the goods?