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. Debjit said on 1st June 2010, 19:37

    Why doesnt anyone see that Mark did not give vettel any room in the first place. After vettel dived for the inside, Mark put him on the grass!! and pl notice that both backed off the throttle, taking a conservative approach.. But vettel s nose was already forward. And he swerved right, cuz he was approaching a left hand corner. He was on the inside and had every right to do so. But mark didnt move away. What the hell is he trying to prove? That he has got nerves of steel? I wd say that he was simply afraid of losing to his younger teammate and he made a wild dash. Mark had a lot of room on the right hand side of the track but still he didnt move. Vettel had by then already made his move. The place was his.

    • dsob said on 1st June 2010, 21:26

      Beg pardon, which race were YOU watching?

      Certainly Webber did not put Vettel on the grass. As they crested the hill, Vettel dived left, and yess it does appear some dirt/grass is pulled on to the track by his air wash. It is umclear as th whether or not his wheels actually crossed the kerbing and were on the grass. Webber at the time moved right, giving Vettel space, mainly in an effort to not get run into there, it seemed to me.

      Webber then held his line as Vettel attempted the overtake. Before they reached the braking zone, Vettel clearing moves forcefully to the right, while his rear wheels are about level with the sidepod of Webbers car.

      Vettel only has a “right” to move to the right, to place himself on the line for the braking zone, if he has completed the overtake. Having your front wing ahead of the other car does NOT constitute a completed overtake.

      Mark had a lot of room on the right hand side of the track but still he didnt move. Vettel had by then already made his move. The place was his.

      Again, same question: Which race were YOU watching?

      • debjit said on 1st June 2010, 22:53

        Seriously.. Mark gave him room?? It SEEMS to u like he did but did he actually?? No.. he was there like an iron curtain. Watch the tape again. Look from vettel’s Carcam. U ll see how much room he left him. Fine, i agree vettel did not complete the move, but he had his nose sticking out. rt? When u have your nose sticking out on the inside, there s a 80% chance that d place is urs. Mark should have known that vettel would naturally twitch right. But ya, u wont agree. Mark is at no fault, right? Wy?? ya, rt.. he won the last two races.
        Christian horner didnt just blame him for nothing at first. They 2 saw the footage. But yes, u think ur analysing powers are better than horner.. red Bull.. wy dont u sack Horner n get this dsob guy??

        • debjit said on 1st June 2010, 22:55

          by the way, i was watching turkey 2010..

        • dsob said on 1st June 2010, 23:14

          Thanks for recommending me to Red Bull, but I already have a career I like.

          If I’m wrong in my assessment, then so are James Allen, Martin Brundle, a host of other F1 pundits…and Red Bull’s official statement. Even Horner now admits, albeit indirectly, that Vettel moved right too early.

          Happy Days :)

        • just tell me why Vettel didnt go to the right to overtake Webber like Button did twice, once on Schumi , then on his team mate? the kid cannot overtake- admit it, you die hard red bull fan you :) oh, and get a life while you are at it

        • Todfod said on 3rd June 2010, 7:15

          From your previous posts,I know you are a hard core Vettel fan, but that doesnt change the fact that Vettel has no idea about how to overtake.

          What was he thinking? Getting alongside, or a nose in front of Mark did not entitle him to move to the right. Unless his car was COMPLETELY in front of Webber’s car, would he be able to steal the racing line from him. And Webber wasnt just going to move over and let him by.

      • debjit said on 1st June 2010, 22:59

        Ur question “Which race were YOU watching?” seems a bit non practical to me. Did u earlier see Vettel n webber clash at that corner before?? So u n i cant possibly b watching 2 different races, rt? I am afraid u had somethhing calld ‘Deja vu’, my friend..

      • debjit said on 1st June 2010, 23:05

        vettel wasnt on the grass?? Check out this video… Webber didnt even leave him a foot.. U ll see vettel s left tyres on the grass..
        “dirt/grass is pulled on to the track by his air wash!!” my foot..

      • debjit said on 1st June 2010, 23:12

        not just sticking out his nos.. 3/4th of Vettel s car was in front. watch the video carefully.

        • dragon said on 2nd June 2010, 0:50

          Can’t do math too well, either, can you. 3/4 means that he isn’t in front yet, which means he can’t move without hitting Webber. Pretty simple to everyone but you, it seems…
          And finally, answer the burning question – do you see Vettel’s left wheels on the grass at any point?

  2. Formoe said on 1st June 2010, 23:04

    Maybe Vettel will bring a scrapbook to Canada, Trulli style!

  3. dsob said on 1st June 2010, 23:17

    Poor debjit.

    I beleive it is he, tilting at windmills.

  4. Hairs said on 1st June 2010, 23:29

    While Vettel may be to blame for the crash, I don’t think the “public” (fans and the media) really have that much animosity towards him – he made a bad move, heat of the moment, 200 miles an hour, it happens, we can forgive that.

    Horner’s comments directly after the race were pretty vague and classic Team Principal circumspect. Good job there.

    From the post race driver’s breifing onward Mark alluded that he knew something was up, and he wasn’t happy but he wasn’t about to slate the team either. He is known up and down the paddock as a man of character and fairness, and he showed it again today. He’ll have gained more fans again today.

    So to the facts:

    Red Bull’s assertions about engines, lap times, etc etc were handily blown out of the water on the F1 forum by Ted simply showing the lap times for the previous 3 laps – Webber’s didn’t change significantly, whereas Vettel’s did. So he wasn’t going slower, losing lap time, or at a disadvantage to the McLarens behind.

    Vettel was holding station with Lewis, who wasn’t catching him significantly at all in the previous laps. If Vettel can’t handle that level of pressure then that’s not the fault of the guy in front.

    Assertions that “the 1-2″, or the win needed to be protected because Hamilton would have passed Vettel don’t make any sense.
    – Webber held off Hamilton all through the early stages with absolutely no problem. So did the team just think Vettel’s not capable of defending and want the better driver to do the job instead?
    – If Hamilton is faster than both RB’s, and Webber is slower than Vettel, then all letting Vettel past means is that Hamilton will get past the #2 car even quicker and mount an assault on the lead.

    It’s very very obvious what happened in terms of the two driver’s actions – there was a crash. What’s murky is what the team were up to, why, and most important why they continue to bother attempting to misrepresent the obvious. While the drivers are in the spotlight for the incident, it is the reaction of the senior management figures, who are supposed to be the cool heads, which has brought the team a frankly unnecessary PR disaster.

    Marko owes Mark an apology. Then people will start to move on.

    Compare Ross Brawn’s behaviour when Rubens had his tiff, and the decline in Jenson’s performances due to nerves last year, with Red Bull’s rabbit like darting about and changes of story. Teams should be moulded by leaders, not people running to a paymaster’s lackey’s outbursts.

    Speaking of teamwork, I do love how quickly and with such vigour, the McLaren team as a whole went about psychologically digging massive rents in the Red Bull team. Lewis even took time to do it during the driver’s breifing while Jenson was answering questions, backing up Mark about vettel’s behaviour. Then the engineers and Gary Paffett were at it, they had a go in their final post race roundup, and were even at it today in interviews.

    Welcome to the Pirhana Club proper, Mr Horner!

  5. Electrolite said on 1st June 2010, 23:36

    Interesting how EJ seems to be on Webber’s side now;


  6. webber was probably looking in his mirror, Watching vettel and then slightly turned to the left as a result,Causing the crash.

    Webber was probably driving to defensive because he wanted to get a third straight win.

    He was trying to squeeze vettel as much as possible to make it harder to pull of the pass.Thats why he didn’t move to the right and give him any space.

    • dragon said on 2nd June 2010, 0:57

      It’s only Vettel fans left that seem to think there wasn’t any space. Here’s the big secret – as long as there is road for all four wheels of your car, there’s space. If it’s dirty, too bad, that’s Vettel’s decision to overtake up the inside rather than the outside – thankyou Button for showing how it’s done.

      And unfortunately for you, all the video footage indicates Vettel drifted right, not Mark left – in fact, just before contact, Mark went right as well.

  7. Mike said on 2nd June 2010, 4:47

    ….. Fellow Fanatics, I ask thou. doth all things seen and heard have to be thy controversy to our disgrace? Shall not we see a day, when thy accusation and thy blame may be equal, and when’th thou both acted in wrong doing?

    yeah ok that was lame, But my point is, Yes Vettel was squeezed too far by Mark, and yes Mark was cut across by Vettel, and yes Vettel had track position, and yes Vettel increased his pace suddenly………

    But couldn’t this be because Vettel wanted to win? and attacked suddenly just as Button did to Hamilton (another “controversy” *rolls eyes*)
    and then Webber didn’t want to let him through, because Vettel is his main rival, so he tried to force him to yield,
    and as a team they got it wrong and had a collision.

    And then the dumb commentators made everyone think it was suspect. and then Eddie Jordan was realistic and said it was just a racing incident, so no one was going to believe that.

    ….. Every race now there is something that becomes a “controversy”
    it’s becoming the new thing to do like “for sure” or “Button’s smooth driving style”

  8. BasCB said on 2nd June 2010, 12:29

    Here’s what Stuart Codling thinks of the incident:


    No doubt, there was a team order in play here, so Mark would be guilty, of causing the crash by not being told to adhere or refusing to do so.

    I also had the impression, that Horner is a lot more even to both drivers than the owner/Marko or even Bernie ecclestone.

  9. Schumi_the_greatest said on 2nd June 2010, 13:40

    @debjit….i dont follow f1…well ive hadly missed a race or qualifying session since the mid 90’s so i guess it depends what you consider following f1…

    vettel tries to force his way through..he sticks his nose in front and then force his way across the track…there was hardly any room there in the 1st place why didnt he swtich to the outside and line webber up for the 1st corner instead? webber had every right to defend his position.

    Vettel is over rated in my opinion yeah hes fast but he wont be on pole every race so he needs to improve his ability at getting past other drivers.

    hes got a long way to go before you can say he will match the greatness of schumi…he needs to grow up 1st after his petualnt finger wagging after taking himself out of the race and costing his team a 1-2

  10. BasCB said on 2nd June 2010, 15:15

    It appears, that Horner managed to get Mark Webber convinced about the teams intentions. The Telegraph reports Webber talked to the team members and sign the contract for next year.

    So was the contract used to push Webber into shutting up, or did Webber tell them to put it where the sun doesn’t shine until they at least did a halfhearted U turn on who is to blame. And i would like to know, weather he had a “let Seb be in front or pass you” clause in it.


  11. SiY said on 2nd June 2010, 18:31

    Keith, I know how much you love football, but I’ve just noticed: the next time Vettel and Webber take part in a Grand Prix is the same day Germany plays Australia in the World Cup!

    The media will, no doubt, mention it a few times to try and get a reaction…

  12. Cazzii said on 2nd June 2010, 18:44

    I just think that we should begin to forget this all.
    We could play the blame game for hours on end (As a 13 year-old I know it’s possible), but the quicker we accept that mistakes can be made from both sides, the quicker Webber and Vettel can re-build the strong friendship they have/had and become the power team again for Canada.
    Vettel shouldn’t have shunted him, but Webber should have given him more room, we now that. They should get back to focusing on Canada and the rest of the season

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