Team-Mate Wars: Interlagos

Date published: December 2 2011

The final TMW of the season, and Mark Webber finally got one back on the man with the most photographed forefinger in F1…

Apologies for those expecting this on Tuesday. I totally confused the PF1 office by submitting it early, then sneaking off abroad. In F1, the first person you have to beat is your team-mate, but then you knew that.

McLaren
Season: Hamilton 8 Button 11
Race: Button
Button’s qualifying went better than expected, Hamilton’s worse. Had JB got in front of Mark Webber going into Turn 1 at the start then we might have had a more interesting race, but he didn’t and we didn’t. On the grid McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale confessed they had gone towards a wet set-up, so no surprise that Red Bull disappeared into the distance. Good to see Lewis and Felipe making up and good to see Lewis making the move towards Felipe. That warm fuzzy feeling won’t be dissipated by another clash in two weeks’ time – they can text, they can write, but the Christmas Card list will need amending.

Red Bull
Season: Webber 2 Vettel 17
Race: Vettel
This may seems a bit unfair when Mark won the race, but Vettel was better than him in most departments this weekend apart from the ‘having a fully functioning gearbox’ department. Seb was quicker in qualifying, got a better start, established a 2.2 second gap by Lap 2 and from there it will have looked like a run in the simulator to the flag. An exercise in gap management. Seb likes to have at least a four-second gap going into pit-stops and by Lap 12 it was 3.4 seconds with another six laps to build that to over four seconds. As we all now know, that wasn’t meant to be as the call from Rocky, his engineer, must have come around Lap 13 and by Lap 14 the gap to Mark was down to 2.9 seconds. Even so, Vettel did a remarkable job to keep his gearbox intact till the end of the race. Nobody will begrudge Mark the win – it’s just come a year too late, that’s all.