How Vettel and Webber got on a collision course (Turkish GP team-by-team)

The damage to Vettel's right-rear tyre after the crash

The damage to Vettel's right-rear tyre after the crash

How did Sebastian Vettel suddenly get close enough to team mate Mark Webber to make the fateful move than destroyed their hopes of a one-two?

The interactive chart below shows how Vettel suddenly started lapping quicker than Webber in the minutes before the collision.

Rumours claim Red Bull instructed Vettel to turn up his engine shortly before the collision.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 3 1
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’26.760 (+0.465) 1’26.295
Race position 3
Average race lap 1’32.351 (+0.077) 1’32.274
Laps 39/58 58/58
Pit stops 1 2

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Sebastian Vettel

Zoom in on the interactive chart above (click and drag) to see the laps running up to the lap 41 collision. It’s clear to see that Vettel, despite already being within a second of his team mate, suddenly found a couple of tenths more.

After the race the BBC reported rumours that Vettel was instructed to turn his engine up to get a power boost before the crash – and Webber had received the opposite instruction to turn his engine down at the same time.

It’s understandable that Red Bull would have wanted to help Vettel maintain his advantage over Hamilton. But with Vettel so close to Webber surely they would have realised it would leave Webber vulnerable to being overtaken by his team mate?

The team avoided such a scenario at the same track last year, instructing both their drivers to save fuel and hold position after Vettel had fallen behind Webber.

Vettel started the race from third place after a roll-bar failure in qualifying prevented him from improving his time.

Compare Sebastian Vettel’s form against his team mate in 2010

Mark Webber

Took his third consecutive pole position and held onto his lead at the start – despite coming under considerable pressure from Lewis Hamilton.

While the RB6’s speed through turn eight allowed him to keep Hamilton at bay, he was unable to keep team mate Vettel from getting a run at him.

After the collision Webber pitted for a new front wing but still brought the car home in third place.

Compare Mark Webber’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 Turkish Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Turkish Grand Prix articles

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165 comments on How Vettel and Webber got on a collision course (Turkish GP team-by-team)

  1. Spencer said on 30th May 2010, 20:33

    At this stage of the season I really do not believe either Mclaren or Red Bull are favouring either driver. Race engineers have their own drivers best interests at heart. We are not privy to the telemetry info they are recieving and a call to save fuel or adjust mixtures can be for all sorts of reasons.

    I think people are reading far too much into this.

    The Red Bull drivers were both in the wrong today. They are team mates and lost their team a whole heap of points. Had it been team on team we may have just put this down to a racing incident however, as it was teamates they were foolish and both deserve a reprimand from the team.

  2. TMax said on 30th May 2010, 20:42

    Webber is a gentleman, Vettel is a nice guy. Sad to see that it has been made too poltical by media, fans and everybody.

    Same with mclaren too. Simple team decisions are getting politicized.

    This is racing. And drivers will fight hard. Why make so many assumptions if each action.


  3. maestrointhesky said on 30th May 2010, 21:30

    Vettel’s fault – 100%! He tried a very similar thing down the pit lane with Hamilton at Shanghai where he suggested Hamilton tried to ‘touch’ him. A very different result when you try it at 190mph though! He needs to rein his neck generally but more to the point, he should have driven within the space Webber allowed him. I’ve never been a big Webber fan, and yes, he perhaps could have yielded to Vettel knowing that he had to save fuel earlier which would have enabled the team to score a potential maximum. That is a not in a race drivers’ instinct and hats off to Webber, he was going to make the pass as difficult as possible. Had he managed to keep Vettel behind for that lap they would have both been in that ‘fuel saving’ mode and the tactic could have paid off the with a Webber win. The fact remains, Vettel tried to drive into space that wasn’t there and the stewards should reprimand him for causing an accident!

  4. strogateta said on 30th May 2010, 22:28

    I might be wrong, but I’d swear Vettel’s abrupt move to the right occured an exact milisecond after it became clear that that pass-attempt of his WON’T succeed.

    By all means, it was most probably a moment of psychological weakness (a momentary failure to execute a succesful pass maneuver causing a so-called ‘cracking under pressure’ – which is not something new in F-1, especially with less experienced / very talented superlicense-holders such as Vettel.

    The ethical aspects of such a move are falling under the chapter ‘I sink, so you’ll sink too’, but IMO in 99.99% of the cases it is not intentional, but a momentary lapse of reason, under pressure.
    A totally irrational moment, which some particular drivers have been experiencing rather often,
    as we all know.

    Anyway, a clear minus in Vettel’s proffessional superlicense-holder’s biography.

    It has been said before :

    being a superlicense-holder is one thing.
    Being an F1-driver is something else.

    • Alan (Evo) said on 31st May 2010, 1:55

      Everyone seems to have missed something Hamilton said (during the BBC footage) after the race;

      Shortly after the first round of pit stops when Vettel got ahead of Hamilton and LH was closing on SV about to make a move on him. LH came up along SV to try and slipstream him and he SV did the exact same thing to Lewis – a move to the right when there was no need for him to do so, but Lewis backed off from it????

    • reg said on 31st May 2010, 3:02


      fairest comment I’ve read on this yet.

  5. rapu said on 31st May 2010, 0:48

    It seems Vettel is being favoured in my view,
    1. in qualifing Webber should have been 2nd this race not Vettel
    2. Vettel pitted before Webber (allowed/helped him to pass Hamilton, this happened last race as well, saving the potential pass) and catch up to Webber
    3. this fuel saving issue

  6. Jian said on 31st May 2010, 0:54

    The plot thickens…everything points to that Red Bull is putting the blame on Webber for this one, contrary to what “everybody” here, BBC crew Couldhard + Whitmarsh says.

    From the official website nonetheless:

    Q: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he didn’t believe it was Vettel’s fault. Is this the official opinion of the team?
    HM: Well, in the situation Sebastian was in, he had no other choice than to act the way he did.

    Q: Is it true that the team gave instructions to Mark Webber’s race engineer to let Sebastian Vettel pass because otherwise Lewis (Hamilton)would be able to overtake?
    HM: That is not correct, because that would mean a team order. We informed Mark about the situation and it is for the driver to decide. The fact is that if Sebastian hadn’t passed he would have been overtaken by Hamilton.

    Q: That suggests that one of the two should have given way to the other…
    HM: Yes. (no doubt its Webber)

    Q: And you will discuss with them who that should have been …
    HM: Yes. (another reason Webber looked like crying and Vettel was cuddly with the team? Webber has it coming…)

  7. Robert said on 31st May 2010, 1:01

    I am agree with Horner. It’s Webber to be blame for this accident. But I wish to add my point of view for this situation:
    Webber – Fuel Save Mode
    Vettel – Brain Save Mode

    • phil c said on 31st May 2010, 3:56

      Your kidding me. Webber did not do a thing wrong. Vetell cut accross trying to scare webber off the road. Didn’t work and its webbers fault.

      Webber held his line, didn’t need to or have to make it easy. Vettel had to slow down and turn around. Webber was never going to touch him. Vettel lost it and cost Redbull the most and his chances of a title. Redbull want vettel to win, but the reality is he is not consistent and prone to mistakes. Done it in the past and will continue to do it in the future.

  8. M0tion said on 31st May 2010, 1:14

    It doesn’t look good for Mark to stay with RBR and maybe in F1. RBR wanted to give the championship to Vettel today. This is worse than the Schumacher and Barrichello incident because it smacks of slithering underhandedness, all this coded this and that and “media management” makes it a real turn off for the sport.

    Same applies with Hamilton and Button. Button was faster and had been all weekend over Hamilton, no doubt about it. He also had his ride height lower and was managing his tyres standing off in 4th whereas Hamilton was nibbling in the dirty air and running harder in T8 than he would have if he wasn’t always get the run down to T12. At least McLaren had the risk management excuse though, and with Hamilton behind in the championship Button could insist on a square up later in the same circumstances.

    The Austrians want this Vettel franchise thing so much they could throw a championship for it. So far all they have created is a little pratt.

    This is Webber’s shot at the championship and he can’t throw it for them. If they sack him he can live a life with his head held high. It is a sad day for all the drivers drivers.

    • David Johnson said on 31st May 2010, 8:21

      I think M0tion has uncovered the real F1 scandal…”Button was faster and had been all weekend over Hamilton”, yet Hamilton was allowed to start further up the grid !! How can this be fair ?! :)

  9. M0tion said on 31st May 2010, 1:25

    And I forgot, Vettel apparently didn’t move in the braking zone according to the stewards. Maybe Bernie will give Vettel another special lift home in his jet to make him feel beter.

    • Patrickl said on 31st May 2010, 13:03

      I remember they gave Webber a drive through for tapping into Barrichello in 2009 after the start. Pretty similar incident. Although in that case both drivers were able to continue.

      That wasn’t in the braking zone either.

      Neither was Hamiltons supposed weaving …

      Neither was Vettel when he got reprimanded for pushing Hamilton off the fast lane …

  10. james l said on 31st May 2010, 1:48

    I really hope Mark stands up for himself here. He’s leading the Champ for a reason and if vettel wants to pass it’s HIS job to do so cleanly, not Mark’s to make it easy for him. For once Webber had the luck on his side, if you can call it that, and managed to salvage 3rd. I hope he uses this as inspiration to keep pushing & winning! Lets not forget this isn’t the 1st time vettel has taken webber out!

  11. F1 Novice said on 31st May 2010, 2:17

    I’m only drinking MONSTER from mow on :)

  12. This is Racing, it was a great race! 4 cars within 3 seconds after the half race :-) There should be clear rules, what the drivers are allowed to do and what not! Expensive incident for RBR Renault…

  13. Wadey said on 31st May 2010, 3:23

    Im livid at this whole situation. Rapu, i noticed the same thing as you – even though Webber is out in front, they pit Vettel first. Its rubbish. What team does that?

    Ill be the first to admit – Vettel has probably another 12 – 15 years in him and is the future. Webber doesn’t – that doesn’t mean though, drop everything when Vettel cries. Webber was leading for F***s sake. *getting really steamed up*. Leading the darn race.

    Against every adversity thus far, Webber – IMO – has raised to the occasion. Vettel is cracking under the pressure and cant handle it. Getting beaten by the old dog and comprehensively too.

    So much for team orders. What a Joke. Vettel is clearly being given the best chance at a WDC. I met him in Australia this year and really admired him. But after the way he conducted himself, especially the hand gesture after the spin, i dont anymore. Im more annoyed at him.

    Lets not forget Fuji eh? When Vettel ran up the back end of Webber to end his race! Vettel cant, nor wont he, see past his own nose.

    Sad really and annoying because Mark has endured sooooo much to get where he is right now.

  14. Regis said on 31st May 2010, 3:35

    I wonder what would have happened if Vettel hadn’t moved and Webber would have held his line… They probably would have both got overtaken by Hamilton on the right.

    Webber should have moved to the right for sure, he can’t squeeze his team mate like that, that is crazy. And the line he had wasn’t the racing line, would he have moved to the right sundenly at the end of the straight?

    Vettel shouldn’t have moved like that to the right, but at the same time couldn’t stay there so tightly, must be scary at that speed to be so close to the grass, i think he freaked out a bit and moved right.

    Maybe Webber didn’t cause the accident , but he sure created an ugly situation !

    • Chris said on 31st May 2010, 6:39

      Webber squeezed Vettel? The race I watched showed Webber driving in a straight line and Vettel going for an improbable overtaking maneuver, subsequently turning into Webber. It’s like Vettel thought he was Schumacher and the race was Jerez ’97.

    • Patrickl said on 31st May 2010, 13:04

      There was plenty space for Webber to still move back to the right.

  15. civicspoon said on 31st May 2010, 4:13

    frm my perspective, both drivers have equal chance to mention by Horner, both have equal cars. the team should acknowledge webber that vettel is gaining lap times.and with this info webber should yield. webber shouldn’t give hard time for his team mate. like mclaren both boys they fought each other with space avoid any collision. thats professional sportsman. webber have to face it. vettel is gaining. its not the last lap. if webber thinks his fast so he could catch up vettel again with 20 remaining laps. for vettel reaction to turn right, if turn left he could damage his car and hamilton could overpass him. if look in replay, webber has time to yield, but maybe the feeling of pressure to get the most time is already overpowered him.

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