Count Down to Korean Grand Prix
With just a few days to go before the Korean Grand Prix, the atmosphere within the various teams is getting tense and the question of team orders is yet again raising its ugly head.
Gaining the driver’s championship title is as vital to a team as it is to the driver. Although the income that a team receives is determined by the constructor’s championship, the kudos and long term future is determined by securing a championship title for one of its drivers.
With only three races to go both McLaren and Red Bull have both of their drivers in contention for the championship and although there is only one Ferrari driver in the hunt, their other driver has a role to play.
The owner of the Red Bull team Dietrich Mateschitz has made a public statement that team orders will not be issued to either of his drivers and that Mark Weber and Sebastian Vettel must battle it our between themselves. He also said that both drivers must be very careful to avoid making any mistakes that might jeopardise their own or their team mate’s championship chances. Currently Weber leads the championship with 220 points and Vettel has 206 points as does the Ferrari drive Fernando Alonso.
In the McLaren camp, where Lewis Hamilton is fourth in the chase with 192 points and is just ahead of his team mate Jenson Button who has 189 points, the stated strategy is also not to issue team orders and similarly the expectation is that both drivers will be careful not to take each other out.
This all plays into the hands of Ferrari who in the past have been quite blatant about their intention to use team orders even though it is against the rules and they have already received a fine for issuing them. The second Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, who clearly is the number two driver and anyway is out of the championship hunt, is now an effective rear gunner for Alonso. He has said that he will do everything in his power to help his team mate win the championship. It could make all the difference.
Mark Webber is the favourite for the F1 driver’s championship and is priced at 11/8 by 888sport.