Kubica and Vettel collide (Video) (Update: Vettel handed penalty)

Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel clashed in dramatic fashion in the dying stages of the Australian Grand Prix.

Kubica was catching Vettel and leader Jenson Button at the time and looked set to mount an improbable bid for victory – instead his race and Vettel’s ended in the barriers.

Kubica had a clear run at Vettel and tried to pass him around the outside of turn three. But the pair banged wheels, and both ripped off part of their front wings.

Both continued but both got no further than turn five. Vettel put his wheels on the grass on the way into the corner and clattered into the barriers. Kubica simply under-steered straight on and met the same end.

Then followed the bizarre sight of Vettel trying to drag his now three-wheeled Red Bull around the track. At first the other cars hesitated to pass him as the safety car had been deployed, but Vettel eventually gave up and pulled his wrecked RB5 to a halt.

The drama meant the race ended behind the safety car for the first time since the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix. Vettel and Kubica were classified 14th and 15th.

Update: Sebastian Vettel has been handed a ten place grid drop penalty for the Malaysian Grand Prix for the incident. To my mind, it looked like a standard racing accident and wouldn’t have apportioned blame on either side. But Vettel immediately apologised so he must have considered himself at fault.

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190 comments on Kubica and Vettel collide (Video) (Update: Vettel handed penalty)

  1. chaostheory said on 29th March 2009, 11:02

    @Dougie – watch the video again. If Vettel would go or heading to the inside – there would be no incident. I mean the moment right out of the corner – watch it from heli cam.

  2. Swaveck said on 29th March 2009, 11:02

    Daugie,
    I’m affraid you are not saying the truth:

    Frame by frame:

    http://strony.aster.pl/sim/misc/p11.jpg
    http://strony.aster.pl/sim/misc/p12.jpg

    Vettel is moving OUT of the corner pushing on KUB car.
    I’m sorry man. You don’t have to like KUB but please be objective.

    • hitchcockm00 said on 29th March 2009, 11:04

      That’s because Vettel was forced to take a very tight line…

    • Dougie said on 29th March 2009, 11:05

      Can’t argue with that… but I was already coming to the conclusion it was 50/50 to be honest…

      btw… I like Kubica a lot and was rooting for him in the first half of last year, and was appalled to see BMW not support his championship challenge. I have no favouritism between these two, I just said it as I saw it.

    • Mr Soap said on 29th March 2009, 12:48

      Look at the first frame, Vettel has no space to go, and his wing is in contact with Kubicas wheel, by the second frame it’s already been sheared off.

    • Mr Soap said on 29th March 2009, 13:23

      I tell a lie, it looks more like it’s that Vettels wing got caught by the front of Kubicas sidepods, not his wheel.

      Something, I hasten to add, that could only have been caused by Kubica turning in too steeply.

  3. Bart said on 29th March 2009, 11:12

    To all those who still try to igure out whose fault was that.

    By Sebastian Vettel:

    “It’s a shame as it meant the end of the race for both of us. Should I have let him go? You always want to fight. Maybe I should have said let him go and bring third back home, but that’s life.
    I tried to defend and, up to the mid-corner, I had reason, but then I had no grip to avoid a collision. I’m sorry to the team and also to Robert, as it didn’t just mean the end of my race, but also his.”

    • Dougie said on 29th March 2009, 11:16

      Fair play to him and I stand corrected… but this makes me sad for F1…

      Maybe I should have said let him go and bring third back home

    • HKat said on 29th March 2009, 11:47

      Vettel deserves credit just for blaming no one but himself. How many others would’ve done the same without pointing the finger at the track, the car, the other driver, anything to avoid taking the blame?

  4. Swaveck said on 29th March 2009, 11:14

    Lol :))

    VET was forced to brake down – not to take tight corner. Clear rule. You have got no space to take the corner – means you have been just overtaken – slow down and try to recover at te next corner – and don’t ram!

    • Toro said on 29th March 2009, 11:26

      Well I think this just concludes our discussion:)
      Another thing is how do you feel, did Kubica with his paca have any chance for a succesful fight with Button driving on those super soft tires?

  5. Toby Thwaites 93 said on 29th March 2009, 11:18

    VETTEL SUCKS! KUBICA RULES
    Thats the only outcome i can find

    • chaostheory said on 29th March 2009, 11:25

      Oh what are you talking about? Vettel proved last year – and today – hes a great talent. Kubica did the same since hes in F1.

  6. Damon said on 29th March 2009, 11:19

    OMG people need to get in touch with reality!

    @ Swaveck
    Your picture is ridiculous. Come on, get real!

    The fact that Vettel had some centimeters of space on the inside of the corner means NOTHING.
    A car canNOT always go anywhere the driver wants it to go. There are LAWS OF PHYSICS that you cannot go round only because you want to.

    Vettel was 1) forced to take the inside line into the corner and 2) he was braking very late (duh!).
    Because of this, he couldn’t go into the corner as tightly as one wishes. It was obvious – and Kubica should’ve known that – that Vettel would not be able to keep to the inside of the corner all the way through.
    Both cars braked as hard as possible – as they always do, but Vettel was forced to do it on the verge of skidding. He couldn’t have braked harder than he did. And if he turned right more rapidly he would simply spin and throw them both instantly from track.

    Robert lacked imagination to prevent the accident that was inevitable under circumstances that he himself created.
    He should’ve given Vettel more room. Because Vettel couldn’t vanished in the air or jump over Robert’s car.

    Final verdict: Kubica’s fault all the way.

    • Toby Thwaites 93 said on 29th March 2009, 11:36

      Why did Vettel get the 10 place grid penalty then? I think you should leave the deciding to the Stewards as they have better equipment to assess the crash and seen as though Vettel apologised to Dr Mario and Robert he knows he could of done more and he got the penalty, shows that this was VETTEL’S FAULT not Kubica.
      Dr Mario as did the math, he new Kubica could of won the race http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7970558.stm

  7. Dougie,

    Racing does not mean a total lack of cooperation between pilots.

    Letting someone ahead when he’s

    1) already ahead
    2) way quicker than you

    is intelligent cooperation for the interest of both, not a fear/inability to race, as you imply with those monkeys.

    • Dougie said on 29th March 2009, 11:24

      Letting someone ahead when he’s
      1) already ahead
      is intelligent cooperation

      Duh!! You first, no you, no you, I insist.

      Mansell & Senna (and Rossi & Stoner) have showed how intelligent cooperation does not detract from the racing and still give a great show.

    • Mark Z said on 29th March 2009, 11:27

      Problem is, Vettel was ahead of Kubica when they reached the braking zone. Should Kubica have rolled over then? Of course not. But when you’re on the edge like that you’ve got to give each other some room.

  8. Martin said on 29th March 2009, 11:24

    Vettel gets two penalties after the accident.

  9. Swaveck said on 29th March 2009, 11:35

    Damon:

    “Vettel was 1) forced to take the inside line into the corner”

    LOL – do you thing KUB should slow down and let VET take better position to take corner? KUB was there which means there is no place for VET. If he had no space to make a corner properly he should brake down what he has even admitt – but somehow you still trying to defend those weird ********.

    ” and 2) he was braking very late (duh!).”

    :>>>> Now I’m just wondering if for sure you have been watching 2009 Australian GP. It is a bloody clear VET was braking much, much earlier. please watch this race again, and if neccessary, watch it again and again. Maybe you will se how early were VET’s brakes.

    To help you out – please watch the 7th second of the video on the top of this page.

    Vettel’s 100% fault.

    • Toby Thwaites 93 said on 29th March 2009, 11:56

      Well said

    • hitchcockm00 said on 29th March 2009, 12:49

      “LOL – do you thing KUB should slow down and let VET take better position to take corner?”

      Well you seem to think that Vettel should have slowed down even more to give Kubica the position….
      Like you say later in your post, Vettel broke very early for the corner. He obviously did this because he wanted to *avoid* a collision, it was a sensible thing to do and he still went into the corner side by side with Kubica. Kubica has said that he thought he was clear of Vettel and turned in. So even though he’s not man enough to admit his part in the accident, it does seem that he was at least partly to blame.

      Either way it was an accident so blaming Vettel and acting as though he did it deliberately seems a bit silly. He didn’t want to go out of the race either.

  10. Mr Soap said on 29th March 2009, 11:35

    Penalty is apparently for his driving round after the accident, not the accident itself.

  11. Ethnic_Tension said on 29th March 2009, 11:36

    I was at corner 3 when the incident occurred. Kubica was clearly ahead by the time they reached the corner. Kubica was on the racing line. He left enough room for Vettel however Vettel’s tyres were in a poor state and he was on the dirty side of the track. Vettel started to brake before Kubica, however by then it was already too late.

    It was neither Kubica’s nor Vettel’s fault. It was just an unlucky situation. True that both of them are experienced and could have handled it better however nothing you can do now.

    By the way, from where I was standing it looked like after the initial impact, Kubica intentionally tried to send Vettel into the wall.

    • hitchcockm00 said on 29th March 2009, 12:52

      “By the way, from where I was standing it looked like after the initial impact, Kubica intentionally tried to send Vettel into the wall.”

      I thought that as well actually. But I thought it was more to do with Kubica trying to keep his foot down after he had been hit, to get out of the crash before Vettel, rather than him deliberately trying to ram Vettel off the track.
      A bit silly.

  12. Dougie said on 29th March 2009, 11:42

    Actually NO!! I stand by what I initially said… I’ve just watched the footage yet again.

    Going into the braking zone, Vettel was well ahead of Kubica and Vettel was still alongside on turn in… Kubica should have given him more room. My very original comment still stands.

    I got to go now, its been fun. Have a great Sunday guys.

  13. ElMundek said on 29th March 2009, 11:42

    for those who prefer to be blind than objective.

    Sebastian Vettel has been given a ten place grid penalty for the Malaysian Grand Prix after the Melbourne stewards judged that his late-race collision with Robert Kubica in Australia was an ‘avoidable accident’.

    Source http://www.itv-f1.com/News_Article.aspx?id=45387

    and Kubica and Vettel opinion:

    Kubica: “Sebastian went wide in corner one and then he braked early,” “I was already in front, but he didn’t want to let me by.
    “Then he had a lot of understeer and touched me.
    “My front wing was under the car, therefore I crashed in corner 5.
    “I think Sebastian was a bit too optimistic.

    Vettel: “I had a stupid racing accident with Robert,” he said.

    “At the time I turned in I was ahead, but I couldn’t keep up speed in the corner and Robert was on a harder tyre, so was much quicker.
    “At the time we collided he was in front, but I had nowhere to go, I couldn’t stop the car, or turn to the right and my tyres were gone.
    “Should I have let him go? You always want to fight.
    “Maybe I should have said let him go and bring third back home, but that’s life.
    “I tried to defend and, up to the mid-corner, I had reason, but then I had no grip to avoid a collision.”

    All clear? or still not?

    • Dougie said on 29th March 2009, 11:49

      Nope, again the stewards get it wrong and take a racing incident, apportion blame incorrectly, and prevent proper racing in the future.

      It was a racing incident, Kubica could have given more room, Vettel could have been more cautious on worn tyres, in the circumstances I think Kubica (but that is just my opinion) and ultimately it was a racing incident and no penalties are required.

      Massa driving into the side of Hamilton after a clean pass is an “avoidable incident”.

      ps. I like Hamilton, was well impressed with his drive today, and I was rooting for Massa in 2008.

  14. Dougie,

    You don’t WANT to understand what I’m talking about.

    I don’t think people should let faster opponents by, especially when no overtaking manoeuvers are taking place, just driving close to each other.

    But there IS a point DURING such an overtaking manoeuver where you should accept that – for the time being, at least – you are defeated. Maybe you have a go again in the very next corner or straight but that one is lost.

    Not accepting this won’t miraculously turn the situation around, producing some GREAT racing, it’ll just ruin it for both drivers.

    Oh, and I don’t see how your Mansell reference is is contradiction to anything I said. I agree on what you say there, and I also love action like Kubica-Massa in 2007.

    This was just not that kind.

    • Dougie said on 29th March 2009, 11:56

      Hi MJ4, I do hear what you are saying and do appreciate your point of view…I agree with you in the main on the last comment, just I feel this is not that situation… I think Vettel had the right to the corner, he was ahead in the braking zone and alongside on turn in (watch the view from Kubicas car cam), and that Kubica could have given more room and gone around the outside.

  15. NDINYO said on 29th March 2009, 11:44

    Somebody who is not wearing KUBICA merchandise explain to me how only Vettel got punished for that incidence.

    For all those exonerating RK i recall the moral argument against Ham on his Spa move on Kimi last year being that he should have held back since he was the faster car anyway.The argument then was that it was a sign of maturity in a driver. I would expect that between Vettel and RK, the pole should be the more mature driver?

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