Newey: Vettel helped by Alguersuari

Red Bull Racing technical chief Adrian Newey reckons the lack of assistance Mark Webber got from Jaime Alguersuari in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix actually proved a vital factor in helping Sebastian Vettel win the title

Newey: Vettel helped by Alguersuari

Webber made an early stop for prime tyres at the Yas Marina circuit - and it was Ferrari's response to cover him that ultimately left the Spaniard down the order and stuck behind Vitaly Petrov's Renault.

Although Webber lost the chance to overhaul Alonso by losing time behind Alguersuari for a while as he emerged from the pits, Newey thinks it was this factor that forced Ferrari's hand.

"The irony was that had Alguersuari not held Mark up, then Ferrari would probably not have bothered covering because it would have been too late," said Newey after seeing Vettel's glory add the drivers' crown to the constructors' championship his team has already won.

"It is only because Mark got held up that they were able to go for the cover, so actually STR did us a real favour - rather unwittingly I suspect."

Newey reckoned that another factor in Ferrari's strategy decision in Abu Dhabi was that it was complicated by the fact that Alonso was fighting two Red Bull Racing drivers - because the Milton Keynes-based outfit had refused steadfast to back one man.

Speaking about the call Ferrari made to cover Webber, Newey said: "With hindsight they [Ferrari] almost certainly made a mistake because if Fernando stayed out then he would probably have finished fourth.

"At that stage of the race, it wasn't clear. I guess it depended on which one they wanted to focus on - if they wanted to focus on covering Mark for the championship or Seb for the championship.

"That is where our policy of allowing our drivers to compete against each other got us into the position where they had to worry about two and not one."

When asked if having two drivers still in the hunt had an important role to plan in Vettel's success, Newey said: "That had to be key because they did not know which one to cover.

"As it happened, they chose to cover the wrong one. But in fairness to Ferrari, it would have been hard to predict that at the time."

shares
comments
Fernandes still wants to keep Lotus name

Previous article

Fernandes still wants to keep Lotus name

Next article

Petrov: No qualms about racing Alonso

Petrov: No qualms about racing Alonso
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Plus

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021