• Red Bull news

Fry warns Red Bull to keep drivers in check

ESPNF1 Staff
July 14, 2010 « FIA advised Ferrari to let Kubica pass | »
Nick Fry has warned Christian Horner to keep his drivers in check © Sutton Images

Mercedes CEO Nick Fry has warned Red Bull not to let the internal bickering between its drivers get out of hand.

Ill feeling between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel sparked off at the Turkish Grand Prix earlier this year and was ramped up at the recent British Grand Prix when Webber's updated front wing was given to Vettel before qualifying. After dealing with dissent from Rubens Barrichello at Brawn after the German Grand Prix last year, Fry said it is important to let the drivers know who is boss.

"Drivers are a vital part of the team but they're not the team and that needs to be clear," he told The Sun. "As soon as the lunatics start running the asylum you have big problems. You must nip these things in the bud. If it is allowed to fester, it can quickly get out of hand. When we've had issues before, we've had a discussion quickly and made clear our view. We run the team, not the drivers."

Red Bull consultant and ex-driver David Coulthard believes Webber went public with his anger to gain "leverage" at the team.

"Red Bull would doubtless prefer it if Mark aired his grievances in private," Coulthard wrote in his Daily Telegraph column. "Mark, who suspects Red Bull's Austrian owners would prefer Vettel to win the championship, clearly feels he can gain more leverage by going public and trying to shame the team whenever he feels hard done by.

"It is a risky strategy. If it goes wrong, the relationship with the team could sour irreparably. If it comes off, he could consolidate his position, attract public sympathy and be remembered as a steely champion who battled against the odds to win his title."