Sebastian Vettel offered to pay for the delivery of a brand new front wing from Red Bull’s British factory to Japan last weekend.
The team travelled to Japan with only two versions of the new wing; one for Vettel and the other for his teammate Mark Webber’s sister car.
The German damaged his with a crash in Friday practice.
But because it was the driver’s mistake and not the team’s, boss Christian Horner never contemplated taking the wing from Webber despite the fact Vettel was on the cusp of wrapping up the world championship.
The replacement wing arrived at Suzuka just 20 minutes before qualifying.
Triple world champion and German-language pundit Niki Lauda revealed on Red Bull’s Servus TV channel this week that Vettel offered to pay for the long-haul transit, involving expensive private planes.
“It surprised me to know this and shows what kind of harmony they have now,” said the great Austrian.
“As a driver I would have never thought to pay for a flight. But he was the cause and responsible so he said he would assume the extra costs. This is part of what makes this team so successful.”
Lauda, the owner of an airline, estimated the cost of the wing’s private transit from Milton-Keynes to Suzuka at EUR 150,000.