Horner blames both drivers for crash

Red Bull have responded to criticism of their reaction to the crash between their drivers in the Turkish Grand Prix, issuing a Q&A with team boss Christian Horner in which he divides blame for the accident between both drivers.

Horner also confirmed that Mark Webber had been instructed to turn his engine down before Sebastian Vettel, because he had used more fuel.

And he added that Helmut Marko no long blamed Webber exclusively for the crash.

Horner has also written an open letter pledging “both drivers will continue to be given equal treatment”.

Here’s the Q&A in full:

Question: What happened on lap 40 of the Turkish GP?
Christian Horner: We had a unique situation during the Turkish GP where the first four cars were separated by two seconds, with Mark having led every lap until lap 40. The race was the fastest of the season to date with all four drivers pushing each other extremely hard.

On lap 38, Mark changed his mixture setting based on his fuel consumption to a slightly leaner mode, which had an average lap time loss of about 0.18 seconds, whilst maintaining the same revs. Sebastian had conserved more fuel than Mark during the race and therefore was able to run in a slightly better mode for an additional couple of laps.

On lap 38 and 39, Sebastian?s pace picked up and he closed right up to the back of Mark while under considerable pressure from Hamilton behind. After a very strong run through Turn 9, Sebastian got a run and strong tow and moved to the left to pass Mark. Mark held the inside line and adopted a defensive position, which he is entitled to do.

When Sebastian was three quarters of the way past, he moved to the right. As Sebastian moved to the right, Mark held his position and the ensuing result was contact that resulted in Sebastian retiring, Mark damaging the front-end of his car and the team losing a one two finish. Ultimately both drivers should have given each other more room.

Q: Was either driver to blame for the incident?
CH: What we expect from our drivers, as team mates, is that they show respect for each other and allow one another enough room on the race track. Unfortunately neither driver did this on Sunday and the net result was an incident between the two. During the previous six one-two finishes we have achieved, there have been many incidences of close racing between our drivers and they have previously always abided by this understanding.

Q: What do you think about Sebastian?s actions when he got out of the car?
CH: The adrenaline was flowing and obviously there?s a great deal of frustration when you?ve just crashed out of a race. It will be discussed and I am certain that the air will be cleared before Canada.

Q: Some people commented after the race that Mark was to blame ?ǣ why was that?
CH: Ultimately we win as a team and we lose as a team and on Sunday we lost as a team, as a result of our two drivers having an incident. Having looked at all the information it?s clear that it was a racing accident that shouldn?t have happened between two team-mates. After looking at all the facts that weren?t available immediately after the race, Dr. Marko also fully shares this view.

Q: What do you think would have happened if Mark and Sebastian hadn?t collided?
CH: Our priority as a team is to finish first and second, irrelevant of the order. The Turkish GP was the closest race of probably the last twelve months with significant pressure coming from both of the McLarens. Sebastian?s pace improved from lap 37 onwards and he appeared to be the faster of the two Red Bull drivers. Had the incident not have happened, I believe we would have achieved a one-two finish and a maximum score for the second race in succession.

Q: Were you happy that Sebastian challenged Mark for the lead at that point in the race? You had a one-two, so why not stick with that?
CH: With the pace of the McLarens and with it looking like Sebastian was the quicker of the two Red Bull cars, the priority was to win the race. With intense pressure from Hamilton behind, who was in a McLaren that had a significant straight line speed advantage, it would have been impossible to back Sebastian off. Therefore it was acceptable to us for him to attempt an overtaking manoeuvre.

Q: Were there any team orders given for Sebastian to pass Mark?
CH: Neither driver was given any instruction to change position. There are no team orders within Red Bull Racing, other than that the drivers should race each other with respect.

Q: How will you resolve the situation?
CH: We?re a very strong team and we will sit down and discuss this openly with the drivers in order to learn from what has happened and avoid a situation like this arising again. One of the strengths of Red Bull Racing is the team spirit here, which has contributed to the performance that we have achieved so far this season. The drivers are both intelligent individuals and this issue will be resolved prior to the Canadian Grand Prix.

Q: How will you deal with the drivers? Have you already spoken to them?
CH: I have spoken with both drivers, who are both disappointed with what happened. They recognise that they represent the team and so are not only disappointed for their own loss, but the loss of points for the team who put in so much hard work before the race.

Q: What?s the plan going forwards for the team? Will one of the drivers now be given number one status?
CH: Both drivers, as has always been the case, will continue to be given equal treatment. The Turkish Grand Prix has been a costly lesson for both drivers and we are confident that this situation won?t happen again.

Q: Were there any positives from the race for the team?
CH: Up until lap 40 the race had been very positive for us. Despite our significant straight line speed disadvantage to the McLarens, we had managed to not only maintain position with Mark through the pit stops against Hamilton, but we had also managed through strategy and excellent pit stop work for Sebastian to leapfrog Hamilton during the pit stops. We were being pushed very hard, but appeared to have the race within our grasp until lap 40. We will now move on from this as a team and concentrate on the Canadian Grand Prix.

Q: What is Mr. Mateschitz?s opinion of the incident?
CH: Dietrich has spoken with both drivers following the incident. He has always supported both drivers equally and summed it up by saying, ??**** happens?? we shouldn?t talk about the past, but concentrate on the future. The fact is that we not only have the fastest car, but also two of the best and fastest drivers??.

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97 comments on Horner blames both drivers for crash

  1. steph said on 1st June 2010, 15:22

    Bar the first question he only mentions Mark once and Seb a few times but whenever he is mentioned it seems like well he was quicker and trying to get ahead/stay ahead of Hamilton. The rest of it is just team talk as expected.

    First it was a racing incident, then suggested it was Mark’s fault then it wasn’t Seb’s fault now it’s a racing incident again.

    It’ll probably be sorted by Canada though which is good for the team. I wonder if Seb makes a video though

    • Scribe said on 1st June 2010, 16:04

      I think whats happened is the team as a whole has realised that it was infact probably more Vettle’s fault, not because he was able to keep his engine turned up etc and obviously they’re not blaming him for attempting the manouver, but they’ve probably realised it was his impetutous driving that actually caused the contact. Also it seems like while Mulko will obviously back Vettle to the hilt to justify his young drivers programme to Mateschitz, Mateschitz and of course Horner just want to win the whole kit and kubudle an probably don’t care who wins the WDC.

      They’ve also realised that annoying Mark Webber unduly is probably a really bad idea, in so many ways so theyre back tracking quickly in there blame game.

      Really the one whose stock is falling isn’t Webber. It’s clearly Vettle, I wouldn’t be suprised if Vettles time as one of the “best three drivers in F1″ is over.

      • Maciek said on 1st June 2010, 16:45

        I’m pretty sure this has everything to do with PR damage control and nothing at all to do with anyone at RedBull suddenly ‘realising’ it was Vettel’s fault. They saw the same thing as everyone else, they just chose to try and paint it differently and now they’re backtracking, but well sort of, maybe, you know, like it was half and half, and after all who can really tell. I especially love the bit about information not being available to them immediately after the race – right, so after having come across some of their own information they now see things sort of a bit more like everyone who didn’t need more information than what their eyes told them. Pfffffffff. What hogwash.

        • James said on 1st June 2010, 20:45

          agreed 100%! Good post.

          • with you there, PR machine trying to cover the Dr’s ass, does not wash though, we are not morons Red Bull!

        • Jack Holt said on 2nd June 2010, 10:09

          Quite right Maciek. I’ve not heard anyone, pundit or fan, suggest anything other than it was entirely Vettel’s fault. I’ve been cheering on Seb for the championship, but the response of the team to this incident has left a bad taste in the mouth, especially as they also asked Webber to turn down his engine. I’d have more respect for the team if they just came clean and said that Vettel’s a future star and therefore their number one driver, rather than pretending there’s no favouritism. I’ve huge sympathy for Mark Webber.

      • BasCB said on 2nd June 2010, 15:18

        Is it possible, that those PR interviews were not only for the press, but also to do with Horner still wanting Mark Webber to sign his contract for next year?
        According to the Telegraph they have now signed it.

    • Tony said on 2nd June 2010, 4:25

      From the lap data I cannot see Lewis pressuring Seb. The gap was hovering around 0.6-0.7 from after the first pit stop. The RB’s couldn’t break away from the Macca’s, yes it was tight. All I can see is Seb catching Mark from lap 37…

      I bet the radio from SV was ‘MW is too slow, get him out of the way, I can go faster…’

      Still smells fishy to me… I would really like to see the fuel consumption figures from both RB’s, I wounder if SV had a little more fuel to start.

  2. John H said on 1st June 2010, 15:25

    “…other than that the drivers should race each other with respect.”

    Webber was ‘racing’ and left Vettel enough room. Vettel just turned in on him just like he did to Hamilton earlier at the same place.

    What’s wrong with Red Bull. Do they think we are all blind!?

    • Mike said on 2nd June 2010, 4:23

      But an argument can easily be made that Vettel had position, which he did, he was on the inside line and ahead, and therefore, Mark should have let him through.

      Of course I won’t make that argument, I think an analogy can be best used to sum this up.

      If two people are running at twenty km/h towards each other and they collide, who’s fault is it?

      • Macca said on 2nd June 2010, 8:18

        Q. If two people are running at twenty km/h towards each other and they collide, who’s fault is it?

        A. The guy that turns right.

        • Mike said on 2nd June 2010, 14:40

          ………. but if they are going towards each other —> <—
          and one turns right, they won't crash?

          (I see what you did there)

  3. George said on 1st June 2010, 15:26

    Both happy and sad to see red bull growing up like this.

    Happy cause it means they’re taking care of business :)

    Sad cause this marks the end of Red Bull being Fun and the start of the journey to becoming as corporate as Mclaren. :(

    • LewisC said on 1st June 2010, 15:33

      Sadly(ish) RBR need to start being a bit corporate if they’re ever going to attract title sponsors like McLaren do.

      • Paulipedia said on 1st June 2010, 16:27

        er they have Red Bull, turnover £3bn last year

        • DanThorn said on 1st June 2010, 17:22

          It’s rumoured that they’re looking to make Red Bull a constructor in their own right and have another title sponsor alongside Red Bull – Barclays bank was one such sponsor being batted about a few weeks ago.

  4. DanThorn said on 1st June 2010, 15:30

    If you were driving to work early in the morning, went round a corner and clipped a kerb with your nearside real wheel, damaging the rim and tyre and immobilising you, would you blame the road for not being wide enough? No, it’s your fault as a driver for not being aware of your surroundings.

    Mark had every right as a racing driver, team mate or not, to defend his lead in a tough but fair way, which is exactly what he did. If it were any other driver they’d be probably be complaining to the stewards, and if it were any other driver and Mark had yielded then he’d probably be copping flak from inside and outside of the team. This statement appears to highlight equality in the team, but in my opinion it still wont dispell the rumours of favouritism towards Vettel.

    • BasCB said on 1st June 2010, 16:15

      Nice comparison you make there Dan.

      Sure, RBR realized the bad PR in this, so weakend down the blaming of Mark.
      But the team still openly admits to what accounts to team orders, and why did we not see a video of Vettel apologizing for his driving error and his antics after getting out of the car? As well as Marko admitting his unfair treatment of Webber himself!

  5. Kate said on 1st June 2010, 15:31

    Horner says he wants his drivers to give “enough room”, which is precisely what Webber did. So how is he at fault? And he still doesn’t properly acknowledge that Webber going straight didn’t cause the collision, Vettel unreasonably turning into him did.

    To be honest I’m taking all this with a pinch of salt due to how many times they’ve changed their story. And cuddling one driver while giving the other a public kicking showed their true colours about ‘equal treatment’ on something which is now meant to be a racing incident.

    • Kate said on 1st June 2010, 15:35

      I do moan about Saward being grumpy at times, but hats off to him for an excellent analysis on the press statement – http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/red-bull-racing-the-official-story/

      • BasCB said on 1st June 2010, 16:20

        It is spot on. Only he might add, that Marko should now apologize as well and maybe not visit some races to show he was overstepping his mark.

        I do hope, the drivers will be treated equally, but even if they will, perceptions can be even more dangerous than facst, as we have seen in 2007!

      • Umar Farooq Khawaja said on 2nd June 2010, 15:01

        One question that Saward asks in his analysis is: was this the last lap in which Vettel could overtake Webber?

        Christian Horner in one of his post-race interviews said that Vettel had 1 Kg of extra fuel at that point. It stands to reason then, that this lap was indeed the last lap in which Vettel could have performed the overtake. After this lap, he would have had to turn down his engine as well.

        The corner was rapidly approaching. Vettel would not have been able to brake in time, would have gone deep in the corner, probably into the run-off area and probably would have been overtaken by Hamilton and likely Button as well.

        So he gambled.

        He started moving to the right, figuring Webber would either let up and let Vettel complete the overtake, or they both will be taken out. It was Webber’s pure good fortune that he survived and went on to take 3rd.

        This is my take on what happened. Vettel is at fault 100%. Furthermore, this is certainly not a simple racing incident and FIA needs to investigate. I am sure there is enough in-car telemetry available as well as car-to-pit communications to figure out what really happened.

    • agree with you Kate, Vettel’s character like a spoiled toodler. Go Webber win the championship!

  6. TommyC said on 1st June 2010, 15:55

    ‘man we screwed up. quick, make something up and spit it out quickly’.

    seriously, is anyone going to take them seriously now?

    i’m confused….

  7. PJA said on 1st June 2010, 16:00

    I think this is just PR damage limitation in response to the reaction Red Bull received after blaming Webber.

  8. Todfod said on 1st June 2010, 16:15

    Its a little too late to blame both drivers. It was clear during the time of the incident that Christian clearly was hoping for Mark to move over. Then his ridiculous ‘drivers giving each other space’ rule, which clearly pinned the blame on Mark. Not to mention Helmut Marko supporting his Red Bull driver program trained Golden boy, by saying that Mark should have moved.

    After seeing that pretty much every F1 fan is ashamed of the way RBR management are favouring a driver over another, they decide to do some damage limitation.

    Well its a little too late for that RBR has lost a lot of fans over the last few days… me included.

    • Paulipedia said on 1st June 2010, 16:34

      Really over this one mistake?

      There seems to be some very fickle people making comments on this throughout the WWW.

      This is the sort of incident that makes F1 so great, people will be talking about this for years to come.

      I think everyone needs a bit of time to reflect and just move on.

      • Great F1 = great racing, not cars taking each other out.

        • Paulipedia said on 1st June 2010, 16:50

          Really you don’t think crashes are exciting and add to the spectacle?

          Most people do on here http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2010/05/30/rate-the-race-turkey/

          • thestig84 said on 1st June 2010, 18:21

            I hope when talking about the crash some people mean a shocking moment that was so exciting. It was an exciting I cant believe it moment! I do not enjoy crashes but such a close race was so exciting as it was building up to something happening.

            That was such a massive moment that you cant say it didnt add to the spectacle. We are all still talking about it and it looks to have possibly changed the shape of the season.

          • agree with stig. crashes in and of itself are not good.

            ultimately, it’s the overtakes people will remember more, not the crashes.

      • David BR said on 1st June 2010, 18:04

        The incident was exciting sure, the problem is the implication that Red Bull may have tried to ‘arrange’ for Vettel to pass Webber. The fact it went spectacularly wrong in Turkey doesn’t mean that later in the season we might not see Webber being easily and rather suspiciously overtaken or outqualified by Vettel. If they have team orders, or shuffle their deck in whatever way for Vettel to ‘float’ to the top, how are we supposed to find that great Formula 1? A reminder: F1 went seriously downhill in estimation worldwide because of this attitude with Ferrari, Brawn and Schumacher. Red Bull are on dangerous ground right now.

  9. JediJames said on 1st June 2010, 16:52

    did anyone else notice that in one question CH mentions that a 1-2 was priorty and then in the next question he says the win was priority?
    If you are going to do a PR release at least get it consistent or the conspiricies will continue forever….

    • TomD11 said on 1st June 2010, 19:34

      “CH: With the pace of the McLarens and with it looking like Sebastian was the quicker of the two Red Bull cars, the priority was to win the race.”

      Yeah, to me this sounds like once they thought that a 1-2 wasn’t on the cards as the McLaren’s were too quick, they thought if one of our drivers is going to win and the other to come third or fourth then we want it to be Vettel who wins. Then maybe they even tried to manufacture an overtake with this whole turning engines up and down business.

  10. Electrolite said on 1st June 2010, 17:01

    Mark had left him enough room to overtake if he wanted to, as a driver and competitor he was always going to move over, but if Vettel had carried going straight on, he might have managed the move. It’s very obvious Vettel turned in WAY too early and that’s what happened. It’s a bit annoying reading all this stuff from Red Bull as it’s that bleeding obvious what happened.

  11. Schumi_the_greatest said on 1st June 2010, 17:04

    I just dont get all the hype about vettel…sure hes quick on his day and when he starts from pole he can dominate the race
    but he is rubbish at overtaking…when he has problems you dont see him charging through the field like alonso or hamilton.

    he seems to have the same strength/weaknesses as massa but you dont see massa being touted as the next shcumacher

    if hamilton had made that error there would be uproar now…vettel had alot of improving to do in my opinion he is nowhere near the finished article

    • steph said on 1st June 2010, 17:18

      Massa can overtake. Hungary 08, Canada 08, Silverstone 07. He isn’t the best at it and can be tentastive but he can overtake. Although I see what you say about Vettel :P

      • sumedh said on 1st June 2010, 18:46

        Vettel can overtake.

        While the whole world crooned over Kobayashi’s fantastic debut and Button becoming champion at Interlagos last year, Vettel managed to finish ahead of him in spite of starting behind Jenson.

        • PatrickL said on 2nd June 2010, 9:50

          That was because of Vettel’s strategy.

          Making up places is not the same as overtaking.

      • PatrickL said on 2nd June 2010, 9:54

        Hungary he had a good start. That’s hardly overtaking. Canada he overtook two drivers who pushed each other off (twice). Again, that’s hardly overtaking.

        Of course any F1 driver CAN overtake, but obviously there is a difference between proper overtaking such as Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen and Button demonstrate and what Massa and Vettel show.

        Massa really needs to be 2 to 3 seconds faster and even then there usually is contact.

    • Debjit said on 1st June 2010, 19:43

      Vettel IS the next schumi.. And he sure can overtake. Whoever said he cant obviously dont follow F1. He is the most daredevil driver u ll ever see.. mayb after schumi. He isnt afraid to take chances. He overtakes a lot lot better than hamilton or alonso. Hamilton followed webber and vettel for 40 laps in turkey, but he cdnt overtake though his car was faster in the straights.. If schumi or vettel was in his car, he wd hav overtaken in 4 or 5 laps max..

      • David BR said on 1st June 2010, 20:11

        Better than Hamilton or Alonso? Not in this life.

      • Todfod said on 1st June 2010, 21:27

        You question people whether they know anything about F1, and then you go ahead and make a statement like – Vettel can overtake better than Hamilton or Alonso.

        There is no way in hell Vettel is in that league of driver yet. And by saying Vettel is the next Schumi, are you insulting him or paying him a compliment?

        • debjit said on 1st June 2010, 22:39

          @ David BR & Todfod: For ur information, i am complimenting him. I see u 2 r die hard fans of alonso and hamilton but let me tell u something, u r chasing windmills with that.. D only person i can see replacing Schumi s greatness ever is Vettel. Ever since he won at monza in the rain in a toro rosso, i knew he will go places.. Chk out his runs in the race of champions. German blood runs in his veins. I believe schumi has it in him 2 win one more championship in these 3 yrs, and then… welcome to the vettel era.

          • David BR said on 1st June 2010, 22:57

            “German blood runs in his veins”

            errr, right! thanks for that one debjit…

            Just now the Willkommen in der Ära Vettel seems to involve running yourself off track and out of any championship contention, is that a German thing?

          • dragon said on 2nd June 2010, 0:47

            Lol! Die hard fans of Hamilton and Alonso? No, I don’t think they are, debjit, I simply think they – and the rest of us – haven’t seen Vettel pull of a tenth of the amount of overtaking moves the two aforementioned drivers have. Not to mention when Vettel tries a move, it seems to end in tears (Australia ’09?).

      • TomD11 said on 2nd June 2010, 10:22

        @Debjit, seeing as everything you just said was wrong, it’s hard to choose something to reply to. I’ll go with this; the fact Vettel got close to Webber on the straight was because he could follow Webber through turn 8, the McLaren has less downforce so Hamilton was too far back on the straight to benefit from his straight line speed advantage.

        Next, there’s a difference between taking chances and just plain stupidity, a not insignificant portion of Vettel’s competitive overtakes fall into the latter category. Add to the fact he rarely seems to get into that position anyway.

        Finally if, as you say, Vettel’s the next Schumi, he certainly has the crashing into WDC rivals part down, although he doesn’t quite seem to be at the Adelaide ’94 level yet.

  12. Tango said on 1st June 2010, 17:20

    I am just happy this wasn’t Hamilton crashing Button. I’d have to stop coming here for a week or two, and i probably couldn’t survive!

  13. hawkfist said on 1st June 2010, 18:22

    Whenever Vettel has “incidents” it always seems to be with the other driver being on his right: Webber on lap 40, Hamilton earlier same race, Hamilton/Webber after the safety car in China and the Hamilton pitlane incident.

    Could he just have some sort of mental block with people on his right?

  14. Britney's on the wall said on 1st June 2010, 18:55

    Mark missed a great opportunity for a quip

  15. HounslowBusGarage said on 1st June 2010, 19:30

    Does anyone know how far back Hamilton was in terms of seconds?

    • David BR said on 1st June 2010, 20:17

      What I find unlikely is that Red Bull wouldn’t have factored in the extremely high probability that the McLaren drivers too would have to conserve fuel. As indeed was the case. So why the panic? Seems to me that Red Bull has a number of strategy options, including Vettel fighting to keep Hamilton behind them both (isn’t Vettel supposed to be the new Schu after all?) but very quickly jumped for the one that meant Vettel going past Webber. Strangely enough.

      • Joey-Poey said on 2nd June 2010, 2:16

        You can’t always bank on them having to save on fuel when you don’t know. It’s pretty risky considering the McLarens have a much better straight line speed and were able to threaten coming into turn 12. They made the understandable choice to say “speed up” when Vettel had the fuel to do so. I don’t think any team wants the choice of having to defend when they’ve got the ability to go faster.

    • PatrickL said on 2nd June 2010, 9:49

      Hamilton was a pretty constant 1.2 seconds behind Webber.

      • HounslowBusGarage said on 2nd June 2010, 23:14

        So if it was ‘pretty constant’, Vettel was not being pressured by Hamilton . . .

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