Red Bull’s Helmut Marko says “Webber should have let Vettel pass” (Video)

Marko (right) believes Webber should have moved over for Vettel

Marko (right) believes Webber should have moved over for Vettel

Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko has reiterated his belief that Mark Webber was solely to blame for his collision with Sebastian Vettel which put both cars out of the lead of the Turkish Grand Prix.

Speaking to Speed TV Marko said:

Mark for whatever reason was slower. He was getting lap by lap slower, and Vettel was getting faster and was coming under enormous pressure from Hamilton. So if he would have stayed behind Mark, he would have been overtaken. So he had to do something. And Mark knew that he was slower, so he should have let him past.
Helmut Marko

Update: Red Bull have put out a video in which Mark Webber discusses the crash. See below.

Marko added that Vettel, who now trails Webber by 15 points in the drivers’ championship, had been “unlucky” not to score again:

It?s unbelievable how unlucky Vettel is. He showed so much speed, and if you have all these incidents it?s unbelievable how strong his morale and commitment still is. To make points in this new points system is the most important thing. And now Vettel has two zeroes.
Helmut Marko

Red Bull have come under criticism for their support of Vettel in the immediate aftermath of the crash. Team boss Christian Horner also said Webber should not have forced Vettel onto the dirty part of the track.

Most people outside the team appear to blame Vettel for the collision – including 74% in a poll of over 4,000 fans conducted by F1 Fanatic.

Webber discusses the collision rather cagily in this video for Red Bull. He said:

Unfortunately, Sebastien tried a move. For both of us, in the end, it didn’t work out for both of us and we made contact. And it’s a real shame for the team, obviously, because we lost a good opportunity to win the race. One of us could have won it and in the end we only got one third place.
Mark Webber

Vettel and Webber collide

Image (C) Red Bull/Getty images

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372 comments on Red Bull’s Helmut Marko says “Webber should have let Vettel pass” (Video)

  1. TommyC said on 1st June 2010, 11:29

    i just hate the vettel sympathy. ‘oh he’s had so much bad luck’. how about ‘seb screwed up and cost himself and the team valuble points. let’s forget about it and move to canada’.

    luck has nothing to do with it.

    • TommyC said on 1st June 2010, 11:31

      and it’s not like they came out after the race in australia saying ‘oh mark’s had so much bad luck’. webber stuffed up qualy in bahrain and stuffed up the race in melbourne. difference is, he admitted it, apologised and moved on.

      • Patrickl said on 1st June 2010, 16:29

        Actually first Red Bull stuffed up Mark’s race in Australia.

        Webber was being held up by Vettel who was struggling on his worn intermediates. They called in Vettel so late that when they finally had time for Webber to come in he dropped from P2 to P6.

        If Red Bull hadn’t screded up so royally there, Webber would have come out on P2 or P1 and he could very well have gone on to win the race.

        Now he was frustrated and in a position where he had to take a lot of risk to overtake cars. Which indeed in the end didn’t go too well.

        He should never have been in that mess to begin with though.

        • My thoughts exactly. Webber was in with a real shot at winning Melbourne, and they sacrificed that for Vettel. And remind me of how many points Vettel scored in Melbourne again?? Not only did RBR ruin their chances of a race win & decent points, they deprived us Aussie fans of seeing Webber on the podium at his home race, possibly even on the top step. An Australian has never won the Australian GP & we were all so keyed up for it to happen. It didn’t, and it should have, and so nearly did.

  2. Andrew G said on 1st June 2010, 11:29

    In reality I don’t think anyone doubts a bias toward Vettel. I mean, a young German spokesman for Redbull is clearly a better marketing tool then an older Australian. I say this as an Australian and Webber supporter. Redbull are the experts at marketing. I suppose one of the weaknesses of f1 is the difficulty of drivers from places like Ausrtalia and other similar countries to get into f1 as they are less marketable. Webber showed promise for a long time but really only got into F1 as he was hired by the Minardi owner at the time, Paul Stoddard, another Aussie.

    The point I am getting to is favouring one driver may make marketing sense but in situations like this it may make the company look worse and be a marketing disaster.

  3. Mike Collins said on 1st June 2010, 11:37

    Horner & Marko keep pushing that Vettel, by slipstreaming, had saved a “kilogram” of fuel and as such did not need to go into fuel saving mode. Since a kilogram of fuel is approximately 1.4 litres, my question is how far that would take Vettel’s car? Certainly not one lap by my calculation, more likely less than half a lap.

    Then why weren’t both drivers told to turn down their engines on the same lap?
    I think we all know why

  4. steph said on 1st June 2010, 11:39

    Another contradiction was that these two were previously told they were free to race or at least that is what Horner and RBR have said to the media numerous times. Free to race, not contingent on the circumstances or being in a 1-2 positon and under threat. Alonso seems like he’s constantly stuck behind Massa, Hamilton overtook Button in Aus that shows how teammates can race. They weren’t in 1-2 positions but Horner said before Malaysia that his drivers were free to race when Mark was on pole. If they could race in that instance at the start of a race (here they had a little but constant gap to Hamilton) then I don’t blame Mark for assuming he could defend now.

    Mark actually didn’t not let Seb by though. He squeezed but he left enough room for Seb to get by and kept his wheel completely straight. When Vettel turned in on him he then moved to try to avoid contact. There was sufficient room. The gorund work was there, Seb could see ahead if he couldn’t execute the move then that doesn’t mean it’s Mark’s fault. Seb had the room, he wasn’t in the gravel/grass or on the kerbs. He had an F1 car sized space.

    The favouritism issue is just speculation at the minute but it is very strong. That doesn’t make it true and it could just be perception but they’re going to watched incredibly closely and even if the drivers are pacified now, I wonder if there is still a trace of doubt left in their minds particularly Mark’s and coming out and saying this in public really can’t do any favours to a driver’s mentality.

    • OEL said on 1st June 2010, 12:03

      I agree. “Mark actually didn’t not let Seb by though.” Of course, because why would he? Both of them are fighting for the championship “on equal terms” as Red Bull call it. Now Vettel wanted more than just enough room, because he wanted a good line which could make him hold the lead after turns 12-14. As it was he was on the dirty side of the track, and would’ve had to brake very early, likely to hand Webber the lead back. Webber’s move was hard but fair, and that’s how it should be.

      What Vettel did was another stupid move, which is why I dislike him. Crashing with Webber now and in Japan 2007, and with Kubica in Australia 2009, is not good enough for a “true champion” as Red Bull seems to think he is.

      • rob said on 1st June 2010, 22:51

        harsh – a racer in his early 20’s cant make a few mistakes?

        would you have booted Hamilton outta the sport for not seeing a red light?

    • Tim said on 1st June 2010, 15:32

      I don’t there’s much doubt that Red Bull’s management would prefer to see Vettel winning over Webber – but there’s a big difference between favouritism and preferential treatment.

      It’s perfectly possible for a team to wish to see one of its drivers win races instead of the other, while still supplying them both with identical equipment and the same opportunities to succeed. Ron Dennis has admitted that he was much closer to Mika Hakkinen than he was to David Coulthard, but both received equal equipment from McLaren. Hakkinen and Coulthard, of course, also once managed to collide losing their team a likely one-two – at the 1999 Austrian GP.

      There have, however, been occasions when a team has provided preferential treatment to a clear number one driver, Michael Schumacher at Ferrari being an obvious example. There are plenty of other examples – Jackie Stewart turned down the offer of a Lotus drive alongside Jim Clark, observing that Lotus’ number two driver rarely did anything worth mentioning.

      Webber rarely pulls his punches – if he believed Red Bull was consistently disadvantaging him relative to Vettel I don’t think he’d hesitate to say so.

  5. Puffy said on 1st June 2010, 12:16

    Everyone complains about no overtaking in Formula 1 but then berates drivers when they try and overtake their team mates as a “dangerous move”. A lot of people spoke of how lucky it is that Button and Hamilton didn’t go the same way as the Red Bulls. The only real over taking in an otherwise boring race was between team mates, had the Vettel/Webber and Button/Hamilton battles not taken place, I think the ratings for the race would have been a lot lower than they were.

    As for the Vettel/Webber incident,l this is the way I see it, Vettel was running faster than Webber and thus took a chance to overtake, dived up the inside and couldn’t get completely ahead of Webber before he had to move into a position to brake for the corner. At this point, he’d committed to the move and it seems to me he had two choices. 1. Continue on the dirty line and miss the turn in to the corner, forcing both the Red Bulls off the road. 2. Try and move aside into a position where he can brake and make the turn in to the corner and hope that your team mate moves to give you both enough room.

    I agree though that the handling of it by the team by laying the blame on one of their drivers when clearly both could have played a part in avoiding it, it a poor show and will only serve to demotivate and alienate Webber. They should have treated it as a racing incident and spoken to both drivers at the same time without laying blame.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st June 2010, 12:26

      Everyone complains about no overtaking in Formula 1 but then berates drivers when they try and overtake their team mates as a “dangerous move”.

      I don’t agree that is what’s happened here at all.

      Vettel is being criticised for moving across on Webber and causing a crash.

      I don’t think I’ve read a single comment where someone has said “Vettel should not have tried to pass Webber”.

      • Puffy said on 1st June 2010, 12:40

        It was merely an observation of some of the comments I’ve seen and heard since the race. More often directed at the Button/Hamilton fight, and a fair amount saying that it was dangerous and they were lucky to get away with it. In your team-by-team analysis you mentioned “…they can consider themselves lucky it didn’t end in tears.” In fact, a lot of people heavily criticised Alonso for his move on Massa in China, yet had they not been team mates it would have just been hailed as an opportunistic move. I just don’t feel that should be at the forefront of their minds, I want them to race and try and overtake each other, not the least because there are some fantastic drivers in the same team and it’s then down to setup and skill to see who prevails.

        Again, it was just a general attitude I’ve picked up on, not to say that people don’t want team mates to race, but just that they feel it should be some sort of watered down pseudo-racing where you only overtake if you can drive completely around the outside of your team mate with no element of risk.

      • Puffy said on 1st June 2010, 12:44

        And one other thing, that of course only popped into my mind once I’d hit submit. A lot of comments do mention that if Red Bull wanted to secure a 1-2 then Vettel should have protected Webber rather than attack him. While that is a prudent strategy if you only have one driver in the running for the WDC, at this stage of the season I’d rather they just race.

      • TommyC said on 1st June 2010, 13:58

        exactly, sure have a go but if you can’t do it cleanly, pull out before that happens. it’s ridiculous how marko suggests webber should have let him through. that is not racing. people want to see well fought and clean overtaking

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

        The big issue here is not that Vettel made a mistake, but the fact that Red Bull claim that the driver who didn’t make a mistake was to blame.

        Also the fact that by now it’s blatantly clear that there was some form of team effort going on to put Vettel in front of Webber.

        What they did looks like the most disgusting form of team orders that you can imagine. Instead of actually being man enough to tell the lead driver to move over, they crippled his car and boosted the following car. Telling only Vettel what was going on and Webber was quietly getting done in.

        The FIA should investigate this as team orders are illegal. In what form these orders are given is irrelevant.

        Hamilton argued that his pitstop in Monaco 2007 was a form of team orders too. The FIA judged that it wasn’t but at least they investigated that situation.

    • Brake Bias said on 2nd June 2010, 3:46

      Puffy, he also had a third option which was he could of backed off & waited until another opportunity presented itself. Sadly, he did not.

  6. IvanC said on 1st June 2010, 12:26

    I am certain the RBR team wanted a 1-2 finish, but with Sebastian 1 and Mark 2. That is the meaning of the code speak telling Mark to turn his engine down while telling Sebastian to turn his up.

    That is why Mark was not outraged at the incident, because he was expected to respond to the code, and knew he would be in trouble for how things turned out.

    The fact that he technically made just enough room for Sebatian, but then Sebastian messed it up is why the team is unhappy with him. He was supposed to make it easy, and that is what Sebastian expected.

    This is exactly the same sort of code speak as Maclaren telling Jensen “fuel is CRITICAL” ie. HOLD STATION! All the teams do it since they cannot be up front with the team orders.

    As for why they prefer Vettel for 1 and Webber for 2, there have been a lot of good speculations in previous posts. I think most plausible is Webber is likely to move teams for next season, and would take 1 with him.

  7. antonyob said on 1st June 2010, 12:29

    To play devils advocate for a second, F1 is littered with teams who lost championships as a result of not favouring drivers or of trying to anyway ( just Williams an Mclaren have lost countless WDC’s). Michael Schumacher wasnt as successful as he was because his team mate was given equal treatment.

    Red Bull are allowed to favour a driver, he is their boy and he is the future. They have seen it blow up in their face in this race but whatever the rights and wrongs of that, generally you win more by having a number one

    • TommyC said on 1st June 2010, 14:00

      and that should be webber. he’s leading the championship and simply driving better now while the maclarens are catching them

  8. Wadey said on 1st June 2010, 12:38

    Im disgusted. Poor Webber. I feel so much for this guy. He looks utterly wrecked. I just hope that he isnt put to bed now.

  9. zeke said on 1st June 2010, 12:50

    RBR management wanted Seb in front because he would not have won the pressure battle with Hamilton. Webber would have had a better chance of holding off Hamilton.
    Seb’s quick but he’s mentally vulnerable and commits to many errors under pressure when it comes to man on man dogfights.
    His move on Webber was like a kid on a Playstation, he fogot in the real world there are consequences of getting it wrong. There are many buttons on an F1 steering wheel but “Play Again” isn’t one of them

    • MouseNightshirt said on 1st June 2010, 14:45

      “There are many buttons on an F1 steering wheel but “Play Again” isn’t one of them”

      Such a true point. Vettel isn’t and hasn’t been the only driver who needs to get a grip with that point. Piquet Jr springs to mind…

  10. Rahim RG said on 1st June 2010, 12:55

    I still can’t believe it….after looking at the incident so many times and even after reading the team’s comments …..u guys still feel iys vettel’s fault….i clearly think its webber’s fault…..its clear red bull don’t favour anybody….but they can’t just support the one who is in fault….i think its clearly webber’s fault

    • dragon said on 1st June 2010, 13:25

      I really am curious, Rahim, as to how you blame Webber here. Really, I am. Theories, evidence, all would be welcome…or are you just content to say it’s Webber’s fault, with no real reasoning?

    • MouseNightshirt said on 1st June 2010, 14:46

      It’s exactly after watching the incident so many times that the majority of us have come to the decision that it was Vettel’s fault. The management’s position is not relevant to who gets apportioned blame, but it’s getting discussed as it is contradictory to most of the general thought direction here and elsewhere on the web.

    • dsob said on 1st June 2010, 20:22

      Rahim, I’m wondering which race you were watching?

      Because in the one being discussed in this thread, it is blatantly obvious that Vettel couldn’t pull off a clean overtake in time to be on proper line in the braking zone, and cut to the right well before he was clear of Webber’s car, evidently expecting Webber to lay down and let him drive by.

      As to the tema’s comments, it’s clear that if Marko and Christian actually believe what they are saying, they wouldn’t know a fact if it bit them in the butt.

  11. Horacio said on 1st June 2010, 13:02

    Awsome. Just awesome.
    It will be AWESOME to see the team with the fastest cars on the track loosing the championship because of the awfully moronic team management.
    Marko, do are doing an awesome job! After the first four races I thought that the season will be a boring series of RBR 1-2s. Now, thanks to Marko and Horner, we will have some dispute because you two are cracking the team apart with your mindless statements.
    It will be awesome.

  12. David BR said on 1st June 2010, 13:23

    I think at this point FIA should be investigating team orders by RBR during the Turkey Grand Prix. By continuing to insist Webber was wrong to defend his lead, Marko and Horner are effectively declaring that Webber was under ‘implicit’ instruction to let Vettel past: their complaint to Webber is that he didn’t ‘understand’ what the team wanted. That’s team orders, irrespective of whether they happened or not. RBR are throwing this season’s F1 championship into serious disrepute, since if their car continues to be ahead of the rest, RBR will be deciding off track who wins this year. And it isn’t their current best driver and WDC leader. This is a serious issue.

    • Horacio said on 1st June 2010, 13:27

      I agree 100%.
      The problem will be how to prove before the FIA that RBR is using the fuel control to decide who wins.

    • Patrickl said on 1st June 2010, 16:41

      Completely agree. Remember the Monaco 2007 case where they investigated whether McLaren had kept Hamilton back from winning that race.

      The data should show exactly how much fuel the drivers had and who was running at what engine setting. They knew this things during the Monaco 2007 investigation too.

      The team (especially Marko) is quite clear on the fact that the team wanted Vettel in front of Webber.

  13. NSWD said on 1st June 2010, 13:35

    “…with Sebastian Vettel which put both cars out of the Turkish Grand Prix.”

    erm…Mark finished 3rd.

  14. Cole said on 1st June 2010, 13:40

    Used to be a Red Bull fan.
    I’m a Webber fan now.
    How stupid all this sounds! Can’t explain the unexplainable. It is clear on the images how Vettel moved to the left and collided Webber who was on his lane and with enough space inside for Vettel to pass. If it was the dirty side, is Vettels problem. Can’t force Webber to the outside kerbs just to let your team mate go!!….
    The most important thing here is that Webber showed that he has what it takes to be a tilte contender in the last races, so RBR should give him the opportunity and don’t put all the apples on Vettel’s basket.
    Remember when Ferrari didn’t let Irvine to be WC, just because they wanted MSC to be the following year?
    Shame on them and shame on Red Bull now!


  15. Alex Bkk said on 1st June 2010, 13:40

    My take on it was this. I thought, hats off to the kid for taking the shot at Webber. If Webber wasn’t gonna give him the room then the kid had the balls to try to push it. Webber didn’t give and SV ended up on the bad side of the deal. I think we can all think of more than a few WC’s that that had both those qualities. That’s racing isn’t it?

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