‘Webber could have helped Vettel more’
28 May 2012 – Mark Webber, despite fighting Sebastian Vettel for victory in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, could have played a better role in assisting the German to a podium finish - by holding up Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso prior to his team-mate’s pit-stop. That is the view of ex Jordan designer and BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson.
Vettel, who had started from ninth on the harder compound tyre, ran significantly longer than his rivals before having to pit. He emerged in fourth place, ahead of both Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, but could have been even higher up the order.
“The tyres are difficult, and Red Bull are struggling to get the car balanced front to rear, so fair play to Webber for producing the weekend he did,” Anderson said in a column for BBC Sport. “Webber could actually have done a little bit more help to Vettel in his attempt to gain positions; had he backed Rosberg and Alonso up a little more, Vettel might have been able to sneak in among them.
“Webber would have been wary of getting jumped by Vettel himself but he should have been able to make sure that didn't happen, knowing what the minimum time for a pit-stop is. It was a great drive from Webber. He controlled it in very testing conditions - the rain towards the end gave plenty of chance to screw up, but he was flawless.”
Talking of the ongoing technical disagreement between Red Bull and its closest championship rivals, Anderson now awaits a revision from F1 governing body the FIA.
“It's to do with a hole in the floor in front of the rear wheels that improves the aerodynamics,” he continues. “Red Bull's rivals believe this contravenes article 3.12.5 of the Technical Regulations, which dictates that the floor must be ‘impervious’.
“I think there has been a system breakdown at governing body the FIA over the issue. Red Bull have clearly got a clarification from the FIA saying that it is okay, which the other teams don't agree with - and neither do I. It's not Red Bull's fault, nor that of the other teams. That's why it would have been wrong to protest against Red Bull - which after a lot of talking, the other teams eventually decided not to do.”
Red Bull have never won in Canada, scene of the upcoming Grand Prix in just under a fortnight’s time. Three of the last four events at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve have been won by McLaren, with Lewis Hamilton triumphing in 2007 and 2010 before Jenson Button beat Vettel in the last-lap thriller of one year ago.