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Watch your back, DC // Coulthard sits out with back pain, as potential Red Bull racers step in

Published by Christine Blachford

David Coulthard sat out yesterday’s test in Barcelona because he’d “tweaked” a muscle in his neck. I’m assuming that’s not the medical term for it, but it will do. He was back in action today after some treatment and a good rest.

Sebastian Vettel was given the golden opportunity to move up from Toro Rosso to Red Bull for the day, as STR were only running the one car. Vettel did pretty well, no major incidents and ended up 7th. Personally, I’m happy he got the chance, as I’m a Vettel fan. However, it does leave some questions in place.

The first question is why Vettel? Why not Bourdais? Autosport’s reporting of the event said:

“...it was an obvious decision to draft in Vettel to run alongside Mark Webber.”

Why obvious? Vettel has slightly more experience than Bourdais, and perhaps they didn’t want to risk any smashes. Maybe it was a reward for all the hard work that Vettel put in last year.

But they clearly pulled out all the stops to get Bourdais signed to the team and I wonder how impressed he’s going to be over this favouritism.

And it is favouritism. Because when Toro Rosso finally get their hands on the RB4, a few races down the line, Vettel is going to have a clear advantage over Bourdais.

Sébastien Bourdais

That’s not really very fair, is it?

I have heard it mentioned that Red Bull are grooming a replacement for David Coulthard and used his injury as an opportunity to give the German a shot at the big time.

Also, another question – where was Red Bull’s test driver? In their coverage of today’s events, Autosport said:

Sébastien Buemi, who had travelled to Barcelona just in case he was needed but will now have to watch from the sidelines.

He should have been here yesterday. Of all the places for a test driver to be on a test day, you’d think it would be at the circuit. If not driving, surely he can provide some insight for the team back in the garage?