Date:Wednesday April 17 2013
Following the Malaysian Grand Prix, many wondered just how Red Bull would react in China.
With Sebastian Vettel ignoring team-orders to not race team-mate Mark Webber in Malaysia, it's been a tricky time for the team.
The worlds media condemned the actions of the three-time Formula One World Champion, comparing his actions to seven-time great Michael Schumacher, who incidentally has been speaking with Vettel more following his second retirement from the sport.
Some called for Red Bull to punish Vettel, while Webber claimed the teams golden boy would get 'protection as usual'.
The Australian was proved right, Vettel received no internal punishments from the team for ignoring a direct order from team principal Christian Horner, while the team went on to announce that they would no longer be making team-orders to their drivers. Leaving them to battle it out on track, with all the knowledge required to make the best decisions for the team.
So would the team show no bias towards their two drivers in China?
From behind the garage wall, we of course have no idea, but the unfortunate events for Mark Webber have led to a number of conspiracy theories amongst the Formula One paddock.
The first clear event happened during qualifying, during Mark Webber's first run in Q2 a Red Bull refuelling rig problem left the Aussie out on track without enough fuel to provide a sample. This left his times wiped from qualifying and he was forced to start the race from the back of the grid [he later elected to start from the pit-lane].
Then during the race after he tangled with the sister car of Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne, Webber returned to the pits for new tyres and a new front wing. Only for the team to make a mistake in the pits, which meant that rather ironically, on the same corner that he parked up on during Saturday's qualifying, the wheel literally fell off Mark Webber's challenge and he was forced to retire.
The collision with Vergne was later punished by the FIA with a three-place grid penalty for Bahrain.
That's an awful lot of bad luck for one weekend, so much so that some conspiracy theorists have wondered if it was all simply bad luck?
When discussing team-orders after the Malaysian Grand Prix, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone reminisced about his time as a team principal, explaining that when one of his drivers refused to obey team orders they deliberately under fuelled his car.
Then just a few weeks later Red Bull do the same to Webber? Admittedly it was Vettel who disobeyed orders, but Vettel is obviously the teams number one priority?
'That's complete rubbish.
'Forget conspiracy. We're all about trying to get two cars to finish as high as we can. Anybody that thinks that there's a conspiracy here against one, or either, or any driver doesn't know what they're looking at.' Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told the written press following the race.
'He was back in the thick of it. The contact was unfortunate and then obviously to retire the car was even more unfortunate. Our objective is to get both cars to the finish as high as we can.'
Meanwhile rumours on Monday suggested that Mark Webber has signed a five-Year deal from 2014 with Porsche to race in Sports Cars.
Date:Wednesday April 17 2013
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