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GP Week : Issue 124
Webber is ready to walk – Email us Something to say? Email us at email@example.com Time to call it a day? Seriously, when is Michael Schumacher going to stop the charade and give it up? His move on Kobayashi was simply clumsy and his performances all year are mostly bad by today's rookie standards. Rosberg's proving it's not the car. Ask in a few years who Schu's greatest rivalries have been with and you can add Petrov, Kobayashi and Alguersuari to the Hill, Mika and Alonso list. John Bagusauskas, Adelaide, Australia firstname.lastname@example.org Taking one for the team? Another great race – good to see Alonso and Ferrari win. Webber is DEFINITELY #2 driver – Horner said it was for the TEAM?? If it was for the “TEAM” why didn’t they tell Vettle to let Webber through for more points to help get second in the championship as well as first? Ash Sparks Upper Hutt, New Zealand Here we go again Flashback to last year: "We allow our drivers to race," said Christian Horner shortly after Golden Boy has taken out Webber in a desperate dive at Turkey.. Fast-forward to Silverstone 2011: "It made no sense from a team point of view to allow them to continue to fight over those last couple of laps." I know that team orders have now been legalised, but again this is a clear insight into the team and its pro-Vettel approach. Mark, if you've got something else half okay on offer for 2012, I don't mind if it is Ferrari or Renault, take it and go somewhere where you know the team will be for you, on equal terms with your team-mate, rather than against. Matt Kingsbury Henley-on-Thames, UK Can he or can't he? I'm starting to wonder whether the 'he can't overtake' (Vettel that is) critics might not be right. The defending champion pulled out of an inside pass into the old Becketts corner very, very early during his dice with Lewis I think, whereas, the old German stager, Michael, was still prepared to throw it up the inside on the same corner. I guess we'll find out either way when the young German eventually has a qualifying problem and has to start somewhere other than the front row. Looking forward to the day F1` arrives here! Dominic Freestone Kansas, USA It’s funny how cyclical these things can be. Last year, at Silverstone, Mark Webber was complaining that Red Bull were playing favourites. Having had his new-spec wing detached from his RB6 and given to team-mate Vettel, who then stormed to pole, he told us in the Saturday afternoon press conference conspiratorially: “I think the team is happy with the result”. He punctuated his point by taking a sip of water and then slamming the glass down on the table, drenching most of the front row. Yesterday afternoon Mark was more subdued. I asked him if he was fine with his boss, Christian Horner’s message to “maintain the gap” and not race Seb in the closing stages of the British Grand Prix. “I’m not fine with it, no” he said, with little trace of emotion, and then described how he had received four or five of these messages and had ignored them all. His calm but firm demeanor suggested that he expected team orders to come, and that he is spoiling for a fight with the management, which will take place behind closed doors. I would love to be a fly on that blood-splattered wall. Webber has a curious (and, in many ways admirable) psyche. I believe he is a man driven by conflict. He needs a dark force to rally against. If one doesn’t exist, he will go out of his way to create one. He thrives on being the underdog. On the face of it, this suggests he makes his life unnecessarily difficult, but it’s what makes him perform at his best. They love him in Milton Keynes, the Red Bull gang. They like that he’s so approachable, and that the guys on the shop floor can call him up and go for bike rides. Mark has a close bond with them, too. But his perception – rightly or wrongly – that he’s the ugly sister in Salzburg’s annual Golden Boy beauty pageant has caused him to rebel against the Red Bull brass. The rift between he and Christian Horner is turning into a chasm. Last year the points difference between he and Vettel was much opinion ADAM HAY- NICHOLLS GPWeek Editor They’ll be burning the midnight oil, down there at Ducati Corse HQ, in its secret underground lair in an extinct volcano, after yet another downbeat result at home at Mugello last weekend. Their engineers, always with a charismatic leader (current chief resident genius Filippo Preziosi is the latest heir to dynasty founder and desmodromic pioneer Fabio Taglioni) have a tradition of defying convention. But right now that tradition is biting them badly on the bottom. Ducati’s heresy is most prominent in the arcane art of desmodromics. An intricate piece of engineering espoused by nobody else. But it goes far beyond that beautifully wrought springless valve gear. Their engine layout is as perverse. A 90-degree vee offers perfect balance. But it also makes a longer engine. A longer engine in turn means a shorter swing-arm – the opposite of MICHAEL SCOtt MotoGP Editor opinion Ducati and the Law of Diminishing Returns 20