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

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

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  1. 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…)

  2. 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

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. David Johnson
      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 ?! :)

      1. That was so funny.

  4. 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.

    1. 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 …

  5. 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!

  6. I’m only drinking MONSTER from mow on :)

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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 !

    1. 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.

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

      1. I mean “road” there was no hurry to move to the right just yet.

  10. civicspoon
    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.

  11. OK. The title of the article is “How Vettel and Webber got on a collison course”… how about answering the freaking quesrtion. Love the website, but one of your worst posts ever. Moronic even.

  12. Hi,
    From my perspective Webber did nothing wrong at all and Vettel drove into him while trying to go up the inside. I don’t think he could have stopped and made the turn anyway on the dirty line in. He should have waited until he could pass cleanly, but he doesn’t seem to know how to do that yet….. I’m bitterly disappointed for Mark as he could have possibly won, or come 2nd anyway. If Mr Horner thinks Mark caused it he must be blind.

  13. At the start of lap 40, it now seems that Webber had been instructed by his engineer to reprogram his engine management to save fuel. That in turn meant a slightly slower speed on the back straight to the final sequence of corners.

    Behind him Vettel, who had conserved his fuel running in Webber’s slipstream, seized his chance. As Red Bull team boss Christian Horner later explained, it was probably the young German’s only chance of victory.

    “He had managed to save an extra kilogramme of fuel” Horner told Autosport magazine. “Effectively he had one more lap of the optimum engine mode, but we couldn’t back him off because he was under pressure from Lewis Hamilton behind.”

    The rest, as they say, is history.

    1. This are not my words!!

    2. Yeah it’s sad. They masterminded that first Vettel would get ahead of Webber and then they would slow down Vettel. Let Webber deal with Hamilton.

      Serves them right that Vettel blew it.

      Guess they knew that Vettel wouldn’t be able to defend his position. Odd that they didn’t know that Vettel is incredibly poor at overtaking too.

  14. F1 Monitor
    31st May 2010, 6:12

    Seb initiates what has to be a fraught move at that speed, given all that’s riding on it (race lead, championship lead, intra-team lead) and is the one who needs to be extra-careful as he is ‘attacking’ his team-mate for top (&top dog) position. And Mark has built up a professional superiority in qualy and recent racing to deserve respect as leading the team’s push at this point.

    Aware Mark’s turned down his engine that lap and he has that one in the chamber, Seb sends one up the inside too late to be able to make it stick so tries to squeeze Mark out wider into the turn – Mark holds his racing line while super-professionally leaving Seb enough space on the track to make the corner. Mark’s driving was defensive so as to make Seb slow more by being off-line to take the turn, enabling Mark to pull out and carry more apex & speed on exit so he had a good chance of re-taking him at the next turn.

    Seb couldn’t appreciate reality at the critical moment – he couldn’t complete the move there yet didn’t want to lose out on exit speed and compromise his next corner. Rejection of reality meant Seb was frustrated & tried to relocate Mark on the track so he could have racing line over the race-leader, and tears for all. It’s one thing to throw the car in there, a different matter pulling off the whole move; it was never going to work in that corner at that point in that way with Mark driving none other than predictably (read: professionally).

    And Red Bull need to have an hard think, not about their drivers as much as the idea they would knowingly advantage one team-mate via engine-consumption settings when Seb only had that fuel advantage from running slower, performing lesser on track, and even let him have a go at Mark who has only used more fuel by driving faster in the lead…doh!

    Mark would prefer to be 14pts ahead of Jenson if only 5 ahead of Seb, rather than just 5 ahead of Jenson. Given his position for the team, hard to ascribe any fault to Mark for what was a perilous move by Seb – why on earth would Mark ‘get out of the way?’ – he might as well get out of F1. Not so sure about Seb being another Schumi, more like another Villeneuve (J) with last-ditch moves, hang the consequences. Schumi (in the 2000’s) would have thought it through in advance and known the pull-back points. This year Schumi has been most dignified and professional in rejecting ego-traps, obviously competitive (eg final turn Monaco), and steadily regaining optimal ‘competence’ whilst guiding development of the Mercedes.

    1. David Johnson
      31st May 2010, 7:55

      Thank you…summed up perfectly..

      1. A well written comment

    2. I agree 100%, Vettel had enough room, see the white line in the replay. They both could have cornered together, even though Vettel was slightly ahead on impact he would have had to brake early for the corner, being on the dirty line and inside of the corner. If not he may have taken Webber out as they cornered if he braked too late.

  15. Question: For argument sake, if it had been Schumacher instead of Webber, and Vettel drove into Schumi, wouldn’t the stewards penalize Vettel? From thee replays, it sure looks as though Weber holds his line, which he has every right to do. If it had been Hamilton attempting a pass on Weber, and Hamilton turned into Webber–don’t you think there would be a penalty? What if it was Kobayashi turning into Webber? I am actually a fan of Vettel, not so much Webber, but absent any team orders, Vettel just screwed up — again. RBR’s response is shameful. They are really cuddling Vettel. Sure Webber’s in the twilight of his career, but they are likely going to reap what they sow, if they continue to cuddle him, will he ever learn from his mistakes?

  16. Jenson saved fuel (and tyres) running running a little further back for some time rather than sliding about in wakes. Jenson and Seb’s engineers may also have started them both with a few extra kg’s of fuel. Jenson and Seb may therefore have had more available when they tried to pass others.

    1. You got it wrong mate, you can also save fuel while in the slip stream of a leading car.

      And this save fuel stuff is nonsense, if you save fuel to attack later it means you drop back, if you have to make that gap up, it means you lose the fuel you saved, at least a good portion of it.

      1. Both Button and Vettel gained 2 or 3 seconds on their pitstops. They might very well have saved some fuel running slower during their first stint. They would have made up for hat loss just by their pitstops.

  17. As I see it Webber has a fatal flaw…

    Despite all the other issues in this situation, Webber could have protected himself from the incident by moving over for Seb. He had been passed, and he had lost the inside line for the corner coming up. So he only had one choice : Start looking ahead to see how he could perhaps get his lost position back.

    If you look at the Hamilton and Button incident, ignoring the rights and wrongs of it, they both raced hard and neither driver put the other drivers race at risk.

    Likewise with Kimi and Hamilton last year. They raced hard, neither put either driver’s race at risk. Ultimately Kimi crashed through his own fault / bad luck.

    Webber is a great leader *from the front*, like Massa. But put him under pressure and the red mist comes down and he gets belligerent, and will quite happily risk his own and the other drivers race.

    We’ve seen it time and time again this year. Eddie Jordan even spoke to him about it before this race with reference to incidents earlier this year. It was clear from Webber’s reply that he still has not come to terms with that internal issue, which is 100% a failing in his psyche.

    1. Mate, were you even watching the same incident as the rest of us?

      1. Yep. And guess what. I am neither a fan of Webber or Vettel.
        I just call it how it is.

        What makes me laugh is the blind adoration for drivers that people here allow to cloud their judgement.

        By the way, I’ve watched both the Vettel – Webber, and the Hamilton – Button incidents several times today when gauging all the comments here.

        Have you? Or are you just judging things from your heart?

    2. Fixed that for ya:

      “Vettel is a great leader *from the front*, like Massa. But put him under pressure and the red mist comes down and he gets belligerent, and will quite happily risk his own and the other drivers race.”

      Look at all the incidents where Vettel is making threatening pushes against his opponents.

      He pulled the same stunt on Hamilton as Hamilton was passing him going into the same corner. Luckily Hamilton was able to avoid a crash, but still, that’s not fair racing on Vettel’s part.

      He pushed Button off the track and into the pitlane exit in Valencia 2009. He pushed Hamilton off the fastlane (for which he got reprimanded)

      Vettel is just not a very fair racer.

      1. “fair racer” ?

        You are talking about the Piranha Club, right?

      2. What is different about all the incidents you cite, and the Webber – Vettel incident is that yet again Webber threw a race away by being stubborn and not making a wise call. How many crashes this year (and in previous years) has he been involved in with different drivers.

        Why do you think Eddie Jordan pressed him on it in his pre-race interview with Webber…. That was *before* this race…. Think about that for a moment.

        Webber had lost the place. But even so he was willing to bin the entire race for his entire team, rather than move over.

        Vettel races hard. Webber is willing to crash to keep a line.

        Who is more foolish?

        1. Well Vettel is the one who rammed into Webber, so in this case obviously Vettel was the foolish one.

          Sure in Australia Webber was being a bit foolish, but he got mistreated by the team in that case too. Every pit stop is done in favour of Vettel! If they hadn’t waited for ever to pit Vettel, Webber could have stayed in front (instead they dropped him to P6) and he never had to attempt to overtake cars.

          Both Vettel and Webber are pretty poor at overtaking. Webber less so than Vettel, but still. The team shouldn’t have let Webber down so much in Australia.

          As Eddie Jordan said, obviously Red Bull wanted Vettel to get past Webber. They (possibly) told Vettel to hurry and they certainly told Webber to slow down.

          So Webber hardly threw away anything. At best he would have gotten P2. To bet P3 or P2 on winning the race, I would take fighting for the race win every time.

  18. Adrianrelward
    31st May 2010, 7:17

    Would it not be great if team raido was jammed and the drivers did the driving.Pitboard comunications only PUT THE FUN BACK

  19. Emil……….Drop back 1.5 to 2 sec’s into clearer air, match lap times while conserving fuel and tyres by being smooth. Close up too much and you slide and hit the rev limiter turn after turn trying to keep close enough to draft past on the straight.

  20. If you look closely at the video Vettel as he comes up behind Webber actually jinks firstly to the right and then suddenly goes left to overtake Webber .
    I think Webber actually thought he was coming down his right side at first as you notice a slight left hand down by Webber at the same time Vettel goes left.
    This puts Webber about a metre further left as Vettel comes down his left side.
    Vettel still has room but cuts right to early.
    If he had passed Webber on the right he would have had track position holding Webber left and offline for the next left hander.
    Cause is Vettels impatience.

    Vetels next chassis to be named Veer Right Vicki

    1. How do you hold someone “offline” by going round the outside of them on a corner?

      Perhaps I watched a different race?

      1. Yes I think Vettel wishes he had that millisecond back when he decided to go to the left of Mark instead of the right. The right side offered controlling the racing line(and the opening was definitely there)–he and Mark would both have clean braking(entire right side was clean due to drivers trying different ways of braking into 12 with those nasty pavement undulations)and he might have prevailed in a pass.

        Coulda, shoulda, woulda… That incident was definitely THE pivotal moment of the season for Red Bull, and maybe that is why I can’t stop thinking about it!

        And then the McLaren guys did the same exact thing! The only reason that didn’t come to tears was because Jenson relented in turn 1 as Lewis forced him off the track. Jenson should have timed his turn 14 exit better as that is where Lewis really got the position back…

        Young lions vs old lions, what can you do? :) Unfortunately, trying to read into the comments from Red Bull, it looks like Mark might get neutered… :( I hope not.

        1. Can someone, anyone, explain to me how being on the outside of Webber (and not fully past him) going into the first left hander of that complex, would have allowed him to control the racing line?


          If Vettel was fully past Webber, sure he could have turned in, infront of Webber. But they would have arrived at the corner side by side and Webber could have controlled the breaking and turn in point in this particular situation.

          Its quite different from the other incidents that people are comparing it to IMO.

          1. Button/Hamilton into was the same incident except it was properly played by going to the right!

            Vettel would been on the inside of Webber for thirteen, and could have payed it exactly as Jenson did to get past Hamilton.

          2. I think we covered this in our discussion on the next page.

            Just for clarity for others, I do understand what you say…

            In my opinion, and it is just that – my opinion, I don’t think Vettel would have been sufficiently past Webber to make that move work. :)

      2. Did you see Button pulling that exact move on Hamilton? It was only a few laps later …

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