Mark Webber’s future with Red Bull
Racing, always seemingly a political
football this time of year, was kicked
back into play at the British GP when
the team – which had publicly
insisted the Australian’s re-signing
for 2012 was just a formality – put
the brakes on when Webber
threatened teammate Sebastien
Vettel’s second place in the closing
stages. Webber – who said that he
had decided to ignore the orders up
to four times, even though he
finished behind Vettel after all – said
he was satisfied that a postrace
discussion with team boss Christian
Horner had clarified he situation.
“We are still free to race most of
the time,” said Webber. “It is not
often that things like that happen in
terms of the time of the race, and up
until then we will be racing.”
The apparently improved
competitiveness of Red Bull’s rivals
could put that to the test, whether or
not Webber signs on again.
YOU’RE NO. 1 WITH
US, EXCEPT WHEN...
Red Bull wants Webber
back, on its terms
“IN 2011, KV RACING IS
SHOWING ITS POTENTIAL.
WHY? TONY KANAAN”
If ever there was a team that
needed the steady hand of a
veteran IZOD IndyCar Series
driver, it was KV Racing in 2010.
(Someone out there must know
how many yellow flags were
caused by third-year driver EJ
Viso, sophomore Mario Moraes
and rookie Takuma Sato last
season.) Yet in 2011, the Kevin
team is showing its potential.
Why? Because ’04 IndyCar
champion Tony Kanaan and his
partnership with new engineer
Michael Cannon so frequently
bears fruit. While Sato is often
faster at finding a good setup for
road courses, the driver who
brings it home – and whose
restarts often make up huge
chunks of any qualifying deficit
– is usually Kanaan. That’s why,
as we went to press, he lay
fourth in the title race. Read
about the TK/KV match made in
heaven from page 22.
The driver Kanaan fought for
a podium place in the season-opening IndyCar race, Simona
de Silvestro, is also featured this
month. Given that strong start
to the year, no one – least of all
de Silvestro and HVM Racing –
would have predicted quite how
torrid their year would become.
Kanaan and de Silvestro are featured this
month, and for very different reasons.
Carl Edwards, may be priced out
of Jack Roush’s range for 2012
should RFR lose key sponsors. If
that proves to be the case, then
Edwards’ departure could be the
first of many dominoes to fall in
the 2011 NASCAR silly season.
Finally, we’d like to wish the
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course a
happy 50th birthday. Our
celebration of this great track’s
heritage starts on page 36.
CONNECT WITH US!
Vettel and Webber are a dynamic pair,
but managing them remains a challenge.
A positive outlook despite the
cards she’s been dealt has won
her many fans, but the rock-solid racer beneath the sunny
disposition won’t be satisfied
until she’s a winner, period.
The same can be said for the
Prodrive team, assigned the task
of making the Mini into a World
Rally Championship contender.
Hearts have been captured by
BMW pushing the link between
the brand and its rallying
heritage. But goodwill can only
go so far and signing up
Prodrive is proof that the Mini
WRC campaign is more than a
Roush Fenway Racing, too, is
all about results, but star driver
WHO’S MINDING THE STORE? Williams’ choice of engineering chief draws fire Poor Mike Coughlan just doesn’t seem able to stay out of the line of legal fire. The former McLaren engineer – who had been drummed out of F1 for his part in the “spygate” controversy involving McLaren and Ferrari in 2007 – agreed to return to F1 with Williams, but in doing so landed his new employers in a fresh court challenge. Coughlan is slated to take over the chief engineer role at Williams, in place of technical director Sam Michael, whose “resignation was accepted.” However, Michael Waltrip’s NASCAR team, which brought Coughlan stateside after he was fired by McLaren, was having none of that. “Michael Waltrip Racing will incur many certain and substantial damages” in replacing Coughlan, not to mention the expenses MWR devoted to Coughlan’s employment, the benefits of which will go unrealized,” read the lawsuit, which sought monetary damages. The Williams squad denied any knowledge of MWR’s action.
A problematic season for the Williams
team may be improved via Coughlan’s
input, but the team will have to settle
accounts with Michael Waltrip first.