Hello and welcome, this is Day 14 of the F1 Advent Calendar 2010, a mini series recapping all the key events from this year's F1 season. We're over halfway through the series, and just about halfway through the season, so we've got some catching up to do. Let us get on with it right away. Day 14 - Two for two.
From Canada, F1 moved back to Europe and to Valencia for the next round. Red Bull introduced their version of the F-Duct, making them even faster than they had been before. Vettel secured pole position, and after a first corner challenge from Hamilton, dominated the race as well. Webber though, was not quite so lucky. He had qualified 2nd, but lost a place to Lewis on the opening lap.
The Australian pitted early, and had quite a slow stop, so he fed back out quite far down the order - behind Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus, in fact. On the ninth lap of the race, Webber attempted an overtaking move on Heikki, and it went wrong. The Red Bull mounted the side of the Lotus, flew up vertically into the air, smashed into an advertising hoarding, flipped right over, landed, and slid into the run off, eventually coming to a halt. It was a huge accident, and of course a tribute to the ongoing safety improvements that Webber walked away from the crash absolutely fine.
If Webber was feeling low after the crash, it was only to get worse. The team decided not to bring the chassis back to race trim, instead opting to use it as a spare. Webber was given an old chassis, that Vettel had discarded after Monaco, claiming it just wasn't working properly. The team had looked at the chassis and discovered some faults, but it was patched up and ready for Mark to use in Silverstone.
Between the pair of them, they dominated the British GP, but all was not smooth sailing. Vettel was fastest in FP1, and Webber in FP2. During Saturday practice, Vettel once again posted the fastest time, and whilst remaining unbeaten, he did suffer a problem at the very end of the session. A brand new front wing, developed for the race, fell off the car, and was damaged.
Post-practice, the team decided that although they had brought two front wings, one for each driver, Vettel should be given the new one that was previously destined for Mark. That left Webber with an old wing, without the latest updates. Vettel's damaged wing was replaced, and he went out and took pole position, with Webber coming in second.
The Australian was visibly frustrated at second, going so far as to offer to swap places with Fernando Alonso in third.
Come race day, Webber made a great start, and though Vettel tried to defend his position, he ran wide, picked up a puncture and ran even wider. Webber gained the lead and concentrated on his own race. Vettel dropped far back, but wasn't giving up easily. He started zipping through the field, overtaking and sometimes barging his way up the order, until eventually he was seventh. He could do nothing about Webber taking his third win of the year. On the slowing down lap, Webber uttered the most telling words of the year so far, via team radio: "Not bad for a number two driver, eh?"
After the race, Webber vented his feelings some more. Referencing the fact that after the incident in Turkey, he had re-signed with the team for 2011, he said: "Honestly, I would never have signed the contract for next year if I believed thats the way it was going to be going forward. We’ll see how it goes in the future, but I’ll just keep doing what I do and hopefully it’s enough."
The warning was there, and for the second time this year, Red Bull celebrated a good result, with a shadow hanging over their driver equality policies.
That's all I have for you today, I hope you're enjoying this brief look at the 2010 F1 season. Don't forget you can leave your thoughts in the comments on Sidepodcast.com. I will be back tomorrow with Day 15.
All content in the series F1 Advent Calendar 2010
Filed under Mini Series
References Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen
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