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)

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  1. Racing incident!!! The resulting penalty is just the kind of thing that nearly made me boycott F1 last year.
    Lets get some perspective here: these two men are racers. They are both in the heat of battle. Nobody did anything dangerous or reckless. Racing incident! Retrospectivly it is very easy to say, ” oh Kubica/Vettel should have done this”, but that’s missing the point. Also, one thing that really annoys me after these kinds of racing incidents is when you commenters try and defend a driver (Kubica in this case) by essentially saying (I’m paraphrasing here) “well X driver was so much faster than Y driver so he should have realised this and let him through”. Let me repeat: Racing drivers. It was a similar thing with the Hamilton/ Raikkonen incident at spa last year – I bet it was those same people here who said that Hamilton was so much faster so he should have just held back and waited instead of attacking at the first corner. Anyway, I’m digressing nad losing the point of what I was originally trying to say. And my blood pressure’s getting up :)

  2. The Limit said on 31st March 2009, 1:28

    @Oliver

    Well pointed out. The onboard shots from Kubica’s car clearly showed Vettel braking first into the corner. I have to admit, when I first saw the footage, it looked like Vettel had conceded.
    The Windtunnel show on Speed Tv suggested that maybe Red Bull should have ‘ordered’ Vettel to concede, as
    obviously Kubica was faster. However, very difficult for both team and driver to make that call with so much at stake.
    The simple fact is that it was three laps from the end, and had up until then been the dream start to Vettel’s career with Red Bull’s A team. They didn’t want to lose track position, and neither did Vettel.

    @. Jim.

    100% right. Both drivers made mistakes, but that is what makes life interesting. In any sport you have to apply pressure to a rival in order to force a mistake.
    More often than not, it pays off. Hamilton and Raikkonen both forced each other into making errors during last years race, as have Vettel and Kubica this time out. I like you cannot see the point in trying to stiffle this aspect of motor racing. If Hamilton had made all of his racing moves in the pits, would he have finished the race where he did?
    Ofcourse not, and the other drivers are no different. Two destroyed motor cars, no points, and two very cheesed off team owners will be penalty enough for Vettel and Kubica. They have been punished enough, as have we, with these nonsense penalties.
    If a driver delibrately endangers the fans, marshals, or fellow drivers by his actions, then that is different. Everything else should be par for the course.

  3. Polak said on 31st March 2009, 7:50

    The Limit, well spoken “Two destroyed motor cars, no points, and two very cheesed off team owners will be penalty enough for Vettel and Kubica.”

    Vettel made some mistakes that caused his already slower car to loose time. Kubica was probably told on the radio that he has a mathematical chance for a win. With that in mind it seems logical that Kubica went for the overtake. It wasn’t for 2nd it was for 1st. Vettel had just a split second to make up his mind. He chose to defend and quickly realized that he didn’t have the grip to do so. Hot blood on both drivers. Respect to Vettel and Kubica. It was a great show, but a shame that they got replaced by BAR and HAM.

    Also when Vettel admitted fault, I think its because he blamed himself for thinking he can hold his line and defend when in fact he didn’t have the grip. Racing period.

  4. wasiF1 said on 1st April 2009, 4:22

    I do believe it was a racing incident.Sory 4 vettrel,but what a start 4 d season.It shows RedBull has d pace,i will tip them 4 a win somewhere in d season

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