I have been thinking about this issue for a few days, and everyday there seems to be a bit of news from the RBR camp. Webber has admitted that he ignored the orders to hold position and continued to challenge Vettel, Horner has admitted that he was a bit pissed that Webber had done so, but team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has said that Webber will be signed for next year as Mark has no better choice than to continue to drive the best car on the grid and that RBR has no better or faster drivers to replace him.
Sounds like everyone has kissed and made up. Well, I see it a bit differently. I have a little first hand knowledge, and I suspect the Webber/Horner discussion may have centered around Mark's embarrassment at being publicly order to "slow down."
Mark argued that it would seem reasonable to let him "appear" to challenge Vettel, to get very close to him, but not actually pass for position. It would look good to all racing fans, it would allow Webber to maintain his honor as a racer, and it would be as effective as team orders without the embarrassment of having to issue the directive for all the world to see and hear.
Many of us lost respect for Rubens after he yielded his dominant leading position at Austria in 2002, an event that brought the "no team orders" rule into F1 for the first time. We accepted that he was Michael's paid "bitch" and was required to park his car one turn from a victory in order to let Schu win the race.
Webber will not allow himself to be seen as anyone's "bitch." But, he may agree to hold position in circumstances like Silverstone if he is allowed to "appear" as if he is racing. So PLEASE, no obvious team orders that yank his Ozzie balls right out of his driving suit.
Just make an agreement in the paddock to the circumstances that would imply team orders, let Mark appear to race, and do not yank his balls by embarrassing him in front of all of OZ on live television.
Give him some public dignity even though the team has privately decided that he is to play the role of the pretty girl alongside the manly Teutonic Knight.
County officials today are issuing permits for the next round of construction at a Formula One racetrack southeast of Austin. County officials met this morning with circuit officials and developers for a progress update and to discuss traffic and emergency management plans.
“Our meeting today with the county was a regular update regarding construction progress at the site that concluded with the county issuing the next round of permits,” track President Steve Sexton said in a statement. “We are moving forward as scheduled.”
Anna Bowlin, the county’s director of development services, said, “It was a good meeting, we got a progress report, and things are coming along. It was nothing unexpected or earth-shattering just keeping the coordination of information current.”
Officials hope to have work completed at Circuit of the Americas by next summer. A provisional race date of June 17, 2012, has been set, though it could change.
The county is in the process today of issuing permits for developers to pour foundations for four of the site’s most complex buildings — the main grandstands, pit buildings, and media and medical centers — and to construct five retaining walls, Bowlin said.
The fire marshal has to approve developers’ plans for the structures on those foundations before that work can begin.
The county is issuing the permits in phases based on what developers say is critical and that includes several conditions the county has set on road improvements and traffic and emergency management.
Developers previously had only been able to grade the land, make some utility improvements and construct two tunnels to run under the track.
The circuit is outside Austin city limits but near enough to be subject to some City of Austin development rules. Austin officials approved most permits needed to build on the site June 28, a city official said.