• The Inside Line

The broken record

Kate Walker October 12, 2013
Mark Webber took Renault's record-breaking pole position © Getty Images
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Huzzah! A Formula One record has been broken, and for once it wasn't Sebastian Vettel doing the breaking.

Don't get me wrong - Vettel is an incredibly talented racer, and richly deserving of the gazillions of records he has accumulated in less than three decades on this planet. But it's getting to the point where the young German has collected so many records that the powers that be will need to give him the record for the most records shattered, and that's hardly fair on everyone else.

So it was with some relief that I learned it was Mark Webber, and not Vettel, who had helped Renault overpower Ferrari in the 'most poles from an F1 engine manufacturer' stakes. It may be small beans from a driver's point of view - in fact, the odds are high that Webber is currently blissfully unaware of his achievement - but it was good to see that someone other than Seb was making history for a change.

The Queanbeyan racer secured the twelfth pole of his career on Sunday afternoon, all of them powered by Renault's RS27 2.4 V8 engine. And Webber's twelfth pole was Renault's 209th, putting the French engine manufacturer ahead of Ferrari (208), Ford-Cosworth (139), and Mercedes (99).

Renault's achievement is all the more impressive when put into historical context. Ferrari have been competing in Formula One since before the dawn of time - also known as 1950 - using their own engines from the get-go and supplying other teams since 1991, while Renault only got in on the fun in 1977, securing their first pole two years later.

While Webber was the man to tip Renault over the edge and into engine manufacturer pole victory, it must be acknowledged that SebVet has more than done his part for the boffins in Viry-Chatillon - Red Bull's perennial pole-sitter is responsible for a mind-boggling 20 percent of Renault's poles. That's one in five, despite the fact that his first Renault pole was at the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix, a mere 88 races ago…

Poor Mark. Even when he wins, Seb wins better.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Kate Walker is the editor of GP Week magazine and a freelance contributor to ESPN. A member of the F1 travelling circus since 2010, her unique approach to Formula One coverage has been described as 'a collection of culinary reviews and food pictures from exotic locales that just happen to be playing host to a grand prix'.
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Kate Walker is the editor of GP Week magazine and a freelance contributor to ESPN. A member of the F1 travelling circus since 2010, her unique approach to Formula One coverage has been described as 'a collection of culinary reviews and food pictures from exotic locales that just happen to be playing host to a grand prix'.