The Brazilian Grand Prix confirmed what we already thought - that even after a year-long development war, Red Bull still has the fastest car in Formula 1. And the team wrapping up the constructors' championship is a fair and just reward for six years of hard work.
With one title in its pocket, Red Bull heads to the grand finale with the single goal of lifting the drivers' championship as well. There are lots of different scenarios that can lead to either Mark Webber or Sebastian Vettel being crowned champion, and with the focus on the constructors' title removed, it can think more clearly about the drivers'.
There is a little bit of pressure lifted already, because the teams' title is where the financial rewards are - and there is good value in Red Bull winning it as a non-car manufacturer. But the big one to win is the drivers' championship and right now Fernando Alonso is the man with the advantage there.
There's been a lot of talk about what Red Bull will do regarding team tactics. Every contract I ever had said that the driver had to follow the reasonable instructions of the team principal - then it was just a case of debating what was reasonable!
But Sebastian was very clear on Saturday when he said that both drivers will do whatever is required of them as they are paid by the team. I don't doubt for one moment that if Sebastian can't win the championship, but his actions can help Mark to be world champion, then he will do the right thing. The big question is if they are in that position, when is the right time to switch? There are always a lot of unknowns in a grand prix. As we've seen this year, there have been right up until the last lap.
And let's not forget, Fernando's points haul in the second half of this season hasn't been luck. He and Ferrari have done that by performing, and there have been races this year where the F10 has been setting the pace. Fernando will be hoping that Abu Dhabi is another race where he can fight for the win, but Red Bull was very strong there last year.
If it's anything like Brazil, then it's just a case of which Red Bull driver wins the race.
Feeling the love
In a team with two drivers there can only be one winner. There's always going to be friction, and none of us on the outside can relate to the pressure these guys are under.
It was just unfortunate that Mark's comments about feeling equal in the team were treated in the way they were. Not for one moment was he talking about the guys that build and operate his car, it's obviously how he feels in terms of senior individuals inside the Red Bull organisation.
When I felt a similar way at McLaren, I don't recall ever saying anything in public. But that was a different generation. The team bosses back then were old enough to be our dads, which is not the case anymore. But I used to have lengthy conversations with Ron Dennis about how I felt. The classic example was if Mika would take pole from me, and the McLaren pitwall would erupt. You sit in the car, looking out at that, and it's very difficult not to read something into it. They might be doing exactly the same thing when it's the other way around, but you don't see that because you're on track.
These little things can have an effect on you. You can't tell people not to have feelings, and I don't know any racing drivers who are totally devoid of emotion. It is Mark's right to feel however he wants, just like it's the team's right to remind him who pays the bills.
To continue reading this feature, join Autosport Plus today.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
- Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from a monthly or yearly membership.