Webber hits Kovalainen and flips (Video)

Mark Webber’s European Grand Prix came to a dramatic end when he crashed violently with Heikki Kovalainen.

The Red Bull and Lotus drivers were racing for position and collided at the fastest point of the track approach turn 12.

Webber hit the back of the Kovalainen’s car and flew through the air.

A very similar crash happened at the same place in the GP2 sprint race this morning, with Josef Kral the unlucky driver flying through the air. He was taken to hospital:

Webber suffered a similarly violent accident at the wheel of a Mercedes sports car at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1999. On that occasion the car flipped of its own accord.

Webber and Kovalainen were racing for position and there was nothing obviously wrong with Kovalainen’s defensive move.

But we’ve discussed before this year whether slower cars should bother racing for position with the front-runners. Should Kovalainen have got out of Webber’s way?

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82 comments on Webber hits Kovalainen and flips (Video)

  1. Peter said on 27th June 2010, 15:56

    Webber’s fault but why was Hekki defending the position. It was only a matter of time before the Red Bull would of passed him and all defending would of cost him more time then just letting Webber pass.

  2. Kovi ‘could’ have just yielded but of course there should be no expectation of that so it has no bearing on the crash at all.

    At the end of the day Mark should have been aware that the Lotus would break earlier and, if he is that much faster, why did he need to be slipstreaming him so closely?

    Webber caused it and could have avoided it.

  3. SAW said on 27th June 2010, 16:21

    What are you guys on? Its obvious that MW was approaching HK at a reasonable speed and was prepared to slipstream HK around the corner or MAYBE pull out and pass him under braking when HK braked suddenly for no apparent reason. MW’s incar camera showed MW steadily gaining on HK when all of a sudden the distance between them disappeared – nowhere for MW to go and HK was nowhere near the corner yet. You Webber bashers above……get real!

  4. Webber never would have made the pass. He had a run, but was too late to make it before the corner. I also think Mark was too involved trying to get around Heiki and misjudged the distance to the corner.

    To bad the race isn’t on in the states until 2pm.

  5. Mike "the bike" Schumacher said on 27th June 2010, 16:27

    Strange, a couple of weeks ago some people wanted to get rid of blue flags, and now backmarkers shouldn’t defend their positions.

    • Keith said on 27th June 2010, 21:48

      I never thought I would hear anyone complaining about the back markers in F1. What about Schumacher? He was one today ha ha. Remember who gave Webber his F1 start – Paul Stoddart, and Mark regularly ran around at the back in the Minardi at least 4 secs off the leaders even back then. Webber has been in a strange mood all weekend. I think he is very frustrated – for example, he was the only driver NOT to congratulate Vettel on his pole. I think the team favours Vettel (pit wall hugs) and this pressure is beginning to show, but the incident was really down to Webber being far too agressive.

      I do believe Eddie is right – if they’ve paid their millions and got a car on the grid – they should race!

  6. etre said on 27th June 2010, 16:35

    Cmon guys , be fare with the australian. Was a racing accident. His maneuver was common in F1. No one could react fast enough. Lotus was slow , nobody’s fault.

  7. ciaran said on 27th June 2010, 16:44

    This crash reminds me of the Patrese Berger crash in Portugal 92.Here it is
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e5A55atmAc
    It was a hard smash but it was a racing incident.It is a blameless incident.Kovalainen should have moved over but Webber should have been less agressive.

  8. mateuss said on 27th June 2010, 17:10

    Webber all the time proves himself useless in making decisions in close combat, in Australia he was terrible from start to finish, more recent example is Turkey, where I completely lay the blame on Webber, and now this, I’am sure he is never gonna win the WDC because he always crumbles under pressure!

  9. Jared404 said on 27th June 2010, 17:16

    How hard should Heikki Kovalainen defend his position? Considering his team mate finished 4 laps down.

    I’m almost certain he could not have defended his position for the remaining 49 laps. But you never know…

    • mateuss said on 27th June 2010, 17:46

      It is worth reminding that Trulli had a problem at the beginning of the race, and was 2 laps down already when he came out of the pits at the beginning of the race, and also rest of the newbies finished only 2 laps down.

  10. djdaveyp said on 27th June 2010, 17:32

    Unlucky for Mark Webber there. Just a small error.

    Imagine if the kerb was one of the high ones they use at Monza etc. Could have been a lot worse!

  11. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 27th June 2010, 17:52

    Well it’s a racing incident for me, but if there’s any blame it’s got to be Webber really. Kovalainen weaved away from Webber, it was his own decision to follow him.

    • SAW said on 27th June 2010, 18:37

      Its not Webbers fault. Its possible that HK was moving aside for MW to pass, but he has mirrors too, so to brake hard early before the corner was just stupid when MW was up his behind. It is so obvious from the incar camera that HK braked at the wrong time for the wrong reason. Many above have bagged the Australian commentary team for their comments, but I agree with them. I would rather listen to experts who have been closer to F1 than any of us than opinions of backseat drivers who have no idea. Look at the incar camera, it is obvious that the space MW left for safety disappears in an instant because of HK’s actions. HK’s fault without a doubt.

      • Tim said on 27th June 2010, 22:11

        In a post-race interview Webber said that he doesn’t blame Kovalainen for the incident.

        Webber mentioned that the Lotus had braked 80 metres earlier than he (Webber) had braked the previous lap. But given that Kovalainen was 1) well off the racing line and on the dirt to defend his position and 2) in a slower car, perhaps Webber should have taken more account of that.

        Some of the commentary just after the incident asked why Heikki had bothered trying to defend from a much faster car. Turn the point around – why was Webber so desperate to pass a much slower car? Webber himself said he’d have been past in 15 seconds anyway so a bit of patience wouldn’t have hurt – no more than landing on his head, anyway.

  12. KateM (@katem) said on 27th June 2010, 18:46

    Kovalainen shouldn’t have to yield like DC is suggesting but IMO he was jinking around a bit too much while defending. More Webber’s fault, but Kovalainen wasn’t completely innocent.

    At the end of the day, it was a racing accident and the most important thing is that both are OK. What would have happened in the “good old days” doesn’t bear thinking about.

  13. disjunto said on 27th June 2010, 18:56

    this was a scary crash,everyone I was watching with stopped breathing when the car started flipping, shook me up for a good couple of minutes.

    but it goes to show the amazing safety features these things have, how do you flip a car at that speed ani walk away from the crash?

  14. DamionShadows (@damionshadows) said on 27th June 2010, 19:07

    Thank God for the massive amount of runoff area, i’d hate to see what would have happened if there had been a wall right on the side of the track.

  15. Nelson PK said on 27th June 2010, 21:13

    Well, as tragic as it was, this accident reminds me of Gilles Villneuve hitting Mass at Zolder after both swerved left at the same time. Villneuve sadly died, but Webber was unscathed. This shows how much F1 is advancing saftey-wise, because it was only last year where Glock suffered that horrible cradh at Suzuka where he broke his leg and vertebrea, and it was also last year when Massa’s freak accident occured. This year, no one has been injured in a crash, especially this one and that Chandhok-Trulli incident at Montecarlo.

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