When team-mates collide…

Formula 1 is always more exciting when two or more drivers are fighting tooth and nail for the championship. Let’s face it, 2009 was not exactly a stellar year, Button winning six out of seven, then able to coast the rest of the way. He never fought at the front again, he didn’t really have to. Then there’s the Schumacher years. apart from his duel with Kimi in 2003, can you really say that his run in the early part of the decade was exciting?

Compare these to 2008, 2007, 2006, and then the 1990’s, where there was never really a dull moment (except the dominance of Williams in 1992). Formula 1 lives for driver battles. When it’s between team-mates, even better.

The chance to see two drivers, in identical cars, both using different driving styles to push their opportunities to the maximum, while utilising identical machinery to the guy they’re racing, really shows the skill levels involved. It also gives an insight into a drivers mental make up, when they are challenged in this way. We learnt a lot about Fernando Alonso in 2007, and indeed it is amazing how fast Eddie Irvine was when Schumacher broke his leg in 1999.

So when team-mates battle, one is winning, one is losing, there will always be a point when it comes to a head. We saw it in Hungry 2007, Japan 1989, even Silverstone 1987. Now we’ve seen it again, in Turkey 2010.

Who was to blame? Personally, I lay it with Vettel, who moved over too soon. Should Webber have given him space? There is the argument that if it were any other driver alongside, then no, but as his team-mate, and for the good of the team, he should.

No way.

Many F1 fans don’t really care about the Constructors Championship. We remember the drivers who won the title. How many people out there remember who took the Constructors trophy home in 1994, 1999, 2008? While the teams fight for those points, the drivers are fighting for themselves. That is what makes F1 a sport.

It has to be mentioned that the McLaren drivers also enjoyed a battle at the front, which was contended with respect, both drivers giving room but fighting hard. If Vettel hadn’t moved right, he may still have got ahead of Webber, but we’ll never know that outcome. Right now, both these drivers need to focus on their goal, and their positions within the team. I don’t believe Red Bull are favouring Vettel, I think they are upset that Webber didn’t give him room. It’s up to Mark how much room he gives however, and I didn’t see anything wrong with what he did.

This championship was interesting before, but it’s getting much, much hotter now…


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