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

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

  1. Yarab said on 31st May 2010, 4:41

    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.

  2. Pedro917K said on 31st May 2010, 4:48

    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.

  3. wasiF1 said on 31st May 2010, 5:43

    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.

    • wasiF1 said on 31st May 2010, 9:40

      This are not my words!!

    • Patrickl said on 31st May 2010, 13:08

      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.

  4. F1 Monitor said on 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.

    • David Johnson said on 31st May 2010, 7:55

      Thank you…summed up perfectly..

    • rapu said on 31st May 2010, 9:42

      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.

  5. JW Tacoma said on 31st May 2010, 6:21

    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?

  6. Blik said on 31st May 2010, 6:26

    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.

    • Oliver said on 31st May 2010, 12:49

      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.

      • Patrickl said on 31st May 2010, 13:10

        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.

  7. 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.

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

      • 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?

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

      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.

      • “fair racer” ?

        You are talking about the Piranha Club, right?

      • 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?

        • Patrickl said on 31st May 2010, 15:21

          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.

  8. Adrianrelward said on 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

  9. Blik said on 31st May 2010, 7:44

    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.

  10. zeke said on 31st May 2010, 8:19

    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

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

      Perhaps I watched a different race?

      • reg said on 31st May 2010, 9:24

        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.

        • 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.

          • reg said on 31st May 2010, 9:42

            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.

          • 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. :)

      • Patrickl said on 31st May 2010, 13:14

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

  11. zeke said on 31st May 2010, 8:53

    For that fast flowing left hander onto the next right you have to be almost in the middle of the track at the place where thay made contact. If Vettel had gone right he could have held Webber further left of the ideal racing line for the left hander and then had the inside line for the next right. Look at Hamiltons line in the video of the incident, he is considerably further right than both Webber and Vettel when he gets to where they initially hit,and no he’s not taking any avoidance.

    • You are completely missing the point that being on the inside going into the left hander allows you to hold a driver over onto the right, dirty side of the track and easily claim the line you need through the corner. You choose the breaking and turn in point. You don’t have that control on the outside.

      If Vettel had gone right around Webber he would have to have been considerably further ahead of Webber by the left hand turn in order to chop his nose off and keep the advantage.

      Vettel made the right choise of side to pass on bearing in mind he had one lap to make the move before he turned his wick down.

      The driver on the inside of a corner almost *always* has the whip hand.

      • reg said on 31st May 2010, 9:36

        Did you miss not 10 laps later when Jenson successfully passed Lewis on the right going into 12? In the case of your almost *always*, I think the triple chicane of 12, 13, and 14 at Istanbull does not apply.

        Vettel had the momentum, I think he lost the extra speed lifting when he realized he was in real trouble for braking into 12. He would not have lost that extra speed on the right.

        • My point is exactly the difference between the positions of the cars relatively in the two manoeuvres.

          It is obviously all conjecture at this point. We will never know.

          But you touch on it yourself in your own reply..

          “Vettel had the momentum, I think he lost the extra speed lifting when he realized he was in real trouble for braking into 12.”

          So did he really have the required momentum to make it stick, or not?
          I think not. Not from the outside.

          My contention is that Vettel would not have been sufficiently past Webber to assert control and turn in on that corner. All Webber had to do then was turn in later and Vettel would have been left high and dry on the outside, and had to follow Webber through the complex.

          Sure it *could* have gone either way. Depending on how we project forward. And it is just that, our own personal perceptions.

          But bear in mind also that in Jensen’s case he had time to plan and line up the pass. In Vettel’s case he was reacting to a suddenly much slower Webber, and a one lap window where he had to make a move stick.

          • reg said on 31st May 2010, 9:57

            Yes it is all speculation…

            I think Jenson’s chance on Lewis came as a surprise to himself, if you watch that in replay, he was not that close out of 8. I was spitting bits of rain on that area of the track, maybe Lewis was being cautious into that 9/10 chicane and that gave Button his shot. Doesn’t take much caution to give up 3 tenths!

            Anyways, highly entertaining race.

          • We can certainly agree on one thing!

            It was a “highly entertaining race”. :)

  12. Mark e said on 31st May 2010, 8:54

    Clearly Webber simply held his line, Vettel’s move was VERY sudden – perhaps Webber should have predicted it – I doubt he had time enough to avoid it.

    Clearly, Vettel was in the wrong.

    Hamilton was in a position to see it all, and clearly (and surprisingly) stated his opinion.

  13. For me, Webber clearly drove predictibly and professionaly, defending the inside line to the corner. Vettel chose to go for the small gap, rather than around the outside (like Button did to Hamilton later), and Mark gave him enough room to keep it safe. It looked like Vettel then lost control on a bump or something, because the car was a little bit out of shape, and then he turned into Webber.

    100% Vettel this one… and Horner, Marko and Mateschitz inability to at least offer this as a “Racing Incident” and instead favour Vettel as the victim disgusts me.

    Completely against RBR for the Constructors, and give Mark complete support for the Drivers. Though, ultimately I want McLaren to achieve both :-)

  14. steph said on 31st May 2010, 10:03

    I don’t really care how or why Vettel was there, the issue is why that move went so wrong.

    In Brazil 2009 there was the shutn between Sutil and Trulli. Sutil gave an overoptimistic Trulli no room, he went over the kerbs and garss and lost it. Sutil didn’t have to give the room, Trulli didn’t have to make that move there. Sutil could have been a gentleman but he’s racing driver. In comparison, Vettel had some room just not the room he wanted because he was on he dirty side. He didn’t want to brake in the dirty stuffy and to me, that means Vettel back off then because there’s only one racing line and only one clean side and Webber shouldn’t have to budge just because you have rocked up. If someone is in the dirty stuff and wants to get ahead should the one defending just wave him through? Webber made a mistake by leaving the door open in the first place but he shouldn’t have to stand there holding it open.

    I don’t know if Vettel lost the car or not. If he did then that was an accident but Vettel has turned right in on people a couple of times, in the pits and earlier that very race with Hamilton.

    I noticed what Red Andy said above that Vet has always pitted first. I don’t like conspiracies and Macca pointed this out before me
    “Q: You chose to come out of the garage for your final flying lap ahead of Sebastian. The previous lap you would have been behind Sebastian. Was that trying to put pressure on him at that stage?
    MW: No, I don’t know what happened. It should have been me second. But, anyway, I think we left too early. I don’t know what happened. We need to see what happened on the pit wall. Normally I would go second this weekend.”
    Seems Mark himself doesn’t know.

    Do I think there are deliberate teamorders? Probably not. I think RBR would be happy to have either driver win this title. However, the will of the team may be to see Seb win in the end. This will probably sort itself out in the end with Seb coming back fighting and a reassurance to Mark (he’s a sharp guy though) and they’ll be on their way again.

  15. Jian said on 31st May 2010, 11:26

    I have the perfect solution if Red Bull wants to favour Vettel: bring in Heiki Kovalainen to replace webber! He never fails to be a gentleman and opens the door…albeit not only to his teammate but to anyone sneaking up nicely…

    Case in point: 1.48 in
    (sidenote: damn I am missing Heidfeld, he had some really slick moves, and memorable fights with Alonso all 2007…)

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