Rosberg questions why Webber didn’t brake in crash (Mercedes race review)

Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Korea, 2010

Michael Schumacher matched his best result of the year, passing Jenson Button on his way to fourth place in Korea.

But it was a case of what might have been for team mate Nico Rosberg who was taken out of the race shortly after overtaking Lewis Hamilton.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 9 5
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’36.950 (+0.415) 1’36.535
Race position 4
Laps 55/55 18/55
Pit stops 1 0

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Michael Schumacher

Reprimanded after blocking Rubens Barrichello in qualifying, but avoided a penalty and started ninth.

During the race suspension Mercedes took the opportunity to alter both their cars’ set-ups to make them more suitable for the wet conditions.

Schumacher overtook Robert Kubica on the first racing lap, then began putting Button under pressure. On lap 27 he took fifth place off the McLaren driver at turn three.

He dropped back from Felipe Massa during the final stint and briefly came under pressure from Barrichello before the Williams driver also started to struggle with tyre wear.

Compare Michael Schumacher’s form against his team mate in 2010

Nico Rosberg

Took fifth on the grid, Mercedes’ best qualifying performance since Silverstone, beating Felipe Massa and Jenson Button.

As soon as the race got underway he picked off Hamilton for fourth but his race ended when Mark Webber spun into the wall on lap 19. The Red Bull wreckage skidded back across the track where Rosberg had no chance to avoid it.

He hit out Webber on Twitter afterwards, saying:

Don’t understand why Webber didn’t hit the brakes. Was crazy (evidently) to roll back over the track.
Nico Rosberg

Given that Rosberg had been in front of Hamilton, who later ran in front of eventual winner Fernando Alonso, this was an enormous missed opportunity for Rosberg and Mercedes.

Compare Nico Rosberg’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 Korean Grand Prix

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111 comments on Rosberg questions why Webber didn’t brake in crash (Mercedes race review)

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  1. Mike-e said on 25th October 2010, 14:10

    I also wondered why he didn’t break, did he think it was Hamilton he was running back into?

    • Baracca said on 25th October 2010, 14:15

      Or Fernando. Or both. But I guess he didn’t have much of an option to avoid the collision.

      Nico would probably have avoided the crash if he had steered right instead of left.

    • Immediately after the crash Webber was probably too angry on himself to think. Then he saw the car his brain didn’t come back working properly. But thats only what I think. Bad luck for Rosberg anyway, a potential win thrown out of the window.

      • Skett said on 25th October 2010, 14:24

        In a crash its your natural instinct to hit the brakes. No matter how well trained you are your instinct for self preservation should kick in there

        • markus said on 25th October 2010, 14:42

          Not if your a racing driver. Braking and steering use up tire traction, F1 drivers have very well defined self preservation instincts honed by years of driving and crashing.

          Having said that: braking after hitting the wall would have been the safest thing to do so maybe OEL’s right.

      • I don’t think that was the case. In Valencia when he drove right over Kovalinen’s car you could see on the onboard camera on Webber’s car that his front tires locked up while in the air, which means that he had been fully on the brakes. Which i guess is because it is very instinctive for the drivers. I think that he should get a punishment, like a 5 place grid drop next race, he should have been on the brakes to stop the car rolling.

        • Ok, but this time he had already crashed (hit the wall), so maybe that makes a difference.

          • At that time he had hit Kovalinen and was in mid air. I don’t see how hitting the wall is worse :)

          • Jarred Walmsley said on 25th October 2010, 19:25

            @Mads, I think the point OEL is trying to make is when Webber hit Kovalnien he would have been on the brakes to avoid the crash, in this case he had already crashed

        • Baracca said on 25th October 2010, 15:10

          Deserved or not, that penalty would surely raise a lot of criticism. The season is almost over, Webber is the most serious rival of Alonso, and a penalty at this point would surely be perceived as an undeserved gift for Ferrari/Alonso. Maybe he should be punished, but my guess is he won’t.

          • @Mads: I didn’t say hitting the wall is worse, of course it’s the other way around :o

            And to clarify what I mean:

            After hitting KOV, he was chocked and afraied, this time he was frustrated so instead of thinking about what was the safest thing to do, he was so frustrated he just couldn’t think properly. When making a silly error that throws away such a good shot at the championship, you simply must be frustraited.

          • It would be bad for the championship yes, but that shouldn’t change anything. You can’t make a mistake and then not be punished just because it would be bad for the championship battle.

            And for OEL: Oh now i get what you mean, yes that could be very likely what happened.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 25th October 2010, 23:00

          After watching this video a dozen times,

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv6o2lWgET8

          I have to agree with Mags, he made no attempt to hit the brakes, and has instead steered the car on to the track away from the wall. At least a 5 place penalty for that move.

          • The onboard footage doesn’t tell the whole story, but it helps. Webber lets go of the wheel, and grabs it when it’s already sideways. Find a reverse angle of the crash and you’ll see the car drifts along the wall in a straight line for a moment and then something breaks and it veers onto the course.
            Webber is sensible to try and roll all the way off the road otherwise he’s going to cause an even bigger accident – no way an F1 driver wants another car spearing into the side of him at race speeds, to suggest it is lunacy!

          • i couldn’t agree with Andy more.

            Aint no-one rolling their car onto the racing line on purpose. Aint no-one no how. :)

      • Is it possible that the brakes were broken? I imagine that after hitting a wall and losing one half of your car that maybe the brakes don’t work quite as well as normal.

    • Andy W said on 25th October 2010, 15:19

      I dunno if it would have made any difference (or even if he did have his brakes on), only 2 of his wheels were in contact with the ground (rear left was ripped off, and front right was correspondingly up in the air) when he went off across the track into Rosberg.

      To me Rosberg’s comments sound like a bit of deserved sour grapes at having a potentially great race wrecked by another driver having an accident that had nothing to do with him.

      I thought Mercedes took a big gamble in putting an untested wet weather setup on the car on the track whilst the race was red flagged, but it was a gamble well worth taking and Ross and his boys all deserve lots of praise for doing it and making it work.

      • macahan said on 25th October 2010, 16:52

        I will have to agree here. Breaking or not I doubt would made much difference. Besides that big of a side impact would sure move your feet and legs about making it very hard to hit the break or even you did might cause you to loose the peddle.
        Further consider how close the wall where to the track at that location breaking could potentially also placed him right in the middle of the track which would been even worse. As pointed out one wheel up in the air and one ripped off break performance wouldn’t been the best. I’m not sure but I would assume the individual tires break systems are independent so ripping off the break system from one or more tires would still mean the others would still function. I assume they are like regular cars and have split hydraulic systems so failure on one or two tires would still allow power to the remaining tires?

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th October 2010, 15:30

      I also wondered why he didn’t break, did he think it was Hamilton he was running back into?

      What is wrong with you and Alistair? If Webber was a stupid man, then yes, he would intentionally back into Hamilton. But Alonso was and is Webber’s biggest threat. If you’re going to come up with conspiracy theories, at least let them make sense.

      • innim said on 25th October 2010, 17:59

        If webber took out hamilton, he would have been as good as out of the championship. That would only leave vettel and alonso to look out for. Yes, Alonso would have been better to take out, but Hamilton would have meant one less championship contender.

        • chemakal said on 25th October 2010, 19:14

          It is not about eliminating contenders, it’s about winning the tittle!!! Great Webber, nice job, you left Ham out but Alonso is the champion, eh?!?

          If the action was intentional, then Alonso would have been the man to hit. 2nd in the WDC and right behind Webber in th race. Some Ham fanatics sometimes just see the whole world conspiring against him

    • Cunning Stunt 8 said on 25th October 2010, 23:11

      I think perhaps the issue with Webber was that he only had two wheels touching the ground. The left rear suspension broke on impact with the wall which made the right front lift in the air when he was rolling backwards. I’ve never tried driving a car with two wheels but I doubt there was much he could do.

    • Daniel said on 26th October 2010, 6:37

      ATTENTION EVERYONE: brake is not the same as break.

      I’ve used them both in a sentence to demonstrate the difference.

      If you brake you have a better chance of stopping the car before it hits something and breaks.

    • macahan said on 27th October 2010, 14:43

      I saw this twitter message here recently from @VirginRacing

      If you tear front right and left right calipers off an F1 car and hit the brakes, would you expect pedal pressure? #justSayin

      Followed by in responds to a question

      Front/rears are obviously completely separate, but I think it’s quite possible that the rear circuit was u/s too. Will ask ;-)

      And finally

      @VirginRacing looked like left rear took a hard hit. My guess is no brakes. Thx for the insight mate.

      So if what ViriginRacing his hinting about in their communication with @Formula1blog

      Webber could try to break as much as he wanted to no avail, guess we will really never know for sure but I found this exchange interesting indicating that after that shunt he might or might not had any breaks at all. Only official word from RedBull Racing and/or telemetry data could really prove this. But at least this answered my question I had regarding the breaks. If you bust of the calipers on one front and one rear you no longer have any breaking power. Front wheel was for sure busted up badly and rear tire didn’t look to well of either she he might or might not had any breaks.

  2. Calum said on 25th October 2010, 14:14

    Mike-e that’s a good point..and it’s lucky hamilton did get took back over…i wreckon he would’nt have had that great a visibility as well to see that it was nico in his mirrors. looking at the crash there are only 2 things he must have been thinking -
    Try and keep this thing away from the wall and keep the momemtum by moving across the racetrack

    OR

    I’ll back up and hit Lewis – LOL

    • F1iLike said on 25th October 2010, 14:18

      Lol!

      OR

      If I’m not finishing, neither is anyone else!

    • chemakal said on 25th October 2010, 19:16

      Another one. Why Hamilton, doesn’tit make more sense to think he was trying to hit Alonso??

      • Daniel said on 26th October 2010, 6:23

        The conspiracy theory is because both the McLaren and Mercedes are SILVER whilst the Ferrari is RED. Even out of the corner of your eye you’d know it wasn’t a Ferrari, but whether it was a Mercedes or a McLaren you couldn’t be sure.

        Having said that, I don’t think it would have made any sense for Webber to intentionally take out Hamilton, he needed drivers in play to take points of Alonso and Vettel, having Hamilton finish ahead of either of them would have been preferable.

  3. F1iLike said on 25th October 2010, 14:17

    Yeah I was wondering that to! What the hell did he think? And also he turned the wheel so he’d roll back out on track. Clearly the car was damaged but he initially rolled backwards in a straight line and all of a sudden he turned the wheel to steer out over the track.
    Feelt so bad for Nico who could have scored maybe even a victory after Vettel’s engine blew up, which was soooo insanely sad! =/ Is Vettel the new Kimi Raikkonen with his unlucky problems?

    • Skett said on 25th October 2010, 14:26

      He didn’t turn the wheel for that, the front end was damaged and one of the wheels was totally off the ground, which is what caused it to go off in that direction

      • F1iLike said on 25th October 2010, 19:05

        I could see he clearly did turn the wheel. He turned the steering wheel and the left front was still on the ground and it turned.

    • macahan said on 25th October 2010, 17:42

      Uhm go look at the replays. One front wheel is WAY up in the air and the tire that was not in the air was the tire that hit the wall and more then likely had broken suspension and steering link as well.

      Plus to avoid hand and wrist injuries procedure is upon inevitable collision get your hands of the steering wheel and keep them off or find yourself with a broken wrist or ripped of thumb.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocKfnKDklPw
      Look at around 23 sec. Hamilton knows crash is expected so remove his hands of the wheel. At about 33sec you have another crash check the steering wheel how it snaps back and forth. Could caused serious injury if holding on to the wheel.

      Actually if you check the onboard camera
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GJJIFpuTCA&feature=related
      at about 1.12 when he is spun around and crash is imminent he takes hands of the wheel, slams into the wall and grab hold of the wheel again shortly after the crash but it’s not more then fractions later that he is hit again. It actually looks like he is trying to steer the car at a 90deg across the track or at least it looks like he is doing a small correction to get his cutting angle across the track bigger.

      If he had hit his breaks and/or not adjusted the steering angle I think he would/could have gotten stranded in the middle of the track which would been even worse.

      It was unfortunate that Rosberg got collected but such is racing at times. Alonso got nicely by but Rosberg was at the wrong place and took the wrong path. Feel sorry for him.

      • wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 26th October 2010, 2:21

        I don’t think Mark could have done anything better, he did hit the wall very slowly but he jumped back on track very fast after hitting the walls,poor Nico have now were to go.

  4. Steezy said on 25th October 2010, 14:25

    There’s no real excuse for letting your car roll back across the track like that. Webber got away with another one, yet again. Really he should be on the receiving end of a grid penalty for the next race.

    • Daniel said on 26th October 2010, 6:27

      How about: It’s broken and isn’t responding. Would that qualify as a real excuse?

      Or what about: If I hit the breaks, I’ll stop in the middle of the track, whereas if I don’t I’ll end up on the other side of the circuit out of the way. Does that qualify?

  5. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 25th October 2010, 14:37

    Was crazy (evidently) to roll back over the track.

    Crazier than trying to go past him by diving to the left, onto the grass, next to the wall? Nico has himself to blame just as much as Webber.

    • markus said on 25th October 2010, 14:49

      Whatever! Nico came around a blind bend and had milliseconds to decide which way Mark’s car was traveling, then which way he should go.

      Only Nico knows what was visual presented to him in that moment. He shoulders no fault.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 25th October 2010, 15:25

        Sure, ‘milliseconds’…it’s not Mark’s fault if Nico apparently doesn’t have the famed reflexes F1 drivers are supposed to have.

        Face it, it was his stupid decision.

        • UneedAFinn2Win said on 25th October 2010, 16:07

          Itchyes, you need to look up “friction”, “momentum”, “reaction time” and finally “trolling”

        • I think this is a stupid assertion, if Nico had carried on the racing line and still clipped Webber then Nico would be getting a penalty for not trying to avoid it.

          Doesn’t matter how fast your reflexes are, you have no idea how fast a damaged F1 car without four wheels in the wet is going to stop or slow down, and what Nico did was his best hope of avoiding it without looking in hindsight.

        • Dianna said on 25th October 2010, 19:16

          @Icthyes………..That is a bit under the belt and an extremely unkind remark about young Nico Rosberg? ………why blame the young man who was the innocent victim?.

          Of course it was Mark Webbers fault.This isn’t the first time he has taken other innocent drivers out.He should have been punished,leading the Championships or not,why should he get away with it??others are punished enough goodness only knows..

          • Steph said on 25th October 2010, 19:25

            I think Nico did go the wrong way but really he barely had a chance. Also, Brundle commented on the f1 forum that it looked like Webber had a left rear puncture so couldn’t stop I think.

      • Jim N said on 25th October 2010, 20:47

        I was very surprised at Rosberg, it does show lack of experience. Every time I have heard or seen written comments by top racing drivers from Moss to Schumacher they always say the same thing. In situations like that aim for where the loose car is coming from, don’t aim where it’s going. OK he may still have crashed into Webber, we will never know, but usually if they aim for where the car is coming from they get away with it, if they aim where the car is going they don’t.

        He actually had plenty of time to make his mind up, watching, I realised he was going to the wrong side of Webber as soon as he changed his line, and my reflex’s are those of an old man, not a GP driver at the prime of his life.

        I’m sorry for Rosberg, but he is not totally blameless in this.

    • Nico ran into Webber on a left hand turn, when Webber span Rosberg saw him collide with the wall on the right, to have turned right in that situations if just ridiculous.

      Webber’s fault hands down, his wheels didn’t lock therefore no effort was made to stop the car.

      Regardless of who he is, how far up the table he is, who his close competitors are or how far through the season we are, a penalty is deserved.

      I mean come on, this is way worse than Petrov’s incident off the line two weeks ago.

      • Dianna said on 25th October 2010, 19:19

        @Ben,At last,SANITY is back…,I agree 100% with you..

      • Daniel said on 26th October 2010, 6:33

        You’d have preferred if Webber had stopped his car in the centre of the corner instead?

        His car was heading off the circuit. It’s broken, so chances are he has no drive. He has two options: (a) let it roll off the track, (b) stop it in the middle of the track. Hmm.

  6. Mike-e said on 25th October 2010, 14:39

    @skett it was his rear left suspension which had failed, the whole car would have been pitched at an angle, he would have instantly known it was broken, what followed then could be one of those conspiracies that rattles on…..

  7. Muzzleflash said on 25th October 2010, 14:40

    He only had two wheels on the ground, with much smaller contact areas than usual. On a wet track too. If he did brake, he wasn’t getting much retardation.

  8. DaveW said on 25th October 2010, 14:47

    Oh no, another Timo Glock-Brazil conspiracy event? Rosberg probably didnt realize that one of Webber’s tires was pointing at the sky and the other front suspension had collapsed. Oh and it was sopping wet. If I were Webber I would have been keen to roll off the track instead of waiting against the wall for an unsighted car to ram him. Webber did the best thing he could in the circumstances.

    I hope everyone suggesting that Webber was trying to intercept Hamilton is trying on some dark gallows humor. That kind of accident, a car hitting another disabled stationary car, the kind that injured Will Power and Zanardi so badly, is the nightmare of motorsports. In today’s age of safety it is one present scenario with a good chance of killing a driver, or two.

    • macca77 said on 25th October 2010, 16:16

      Glock’s Brazil incident was staged of course, you really think Lewis would be so passive to let a WDC go in the last lap when all he had to do was to pass just one car if he didn’t know something was going to happen ?, don’t be so naive.

  9. 1)
    Do we know that he didn’t break?

    2)
    Did the brakes work at all after the crash?

    3)
    When you, after something like a crash, are moving across the track with a damaged car, then the last thing you should do is to alter the speed and direction of that movement when you know that other cars are closing in. Why? Well, if a driver sees your car moving in one direction he can estimate were that car will be when he passes it and then chooses the best way to pass. If the driver in the crashed car all of a sudden stops or change direction, then it will just confuses other drivers approaching with speed. If you think about it, you have probably seen many crasches due to this.

  10. Andrew White said on 25th October 2010, 15:28

    Loving Schumacher’s 2938-second lap time!

  11. Some pls correct me if my observation is wrong…after mark webber spun around and hit the wall there was still enuf momentum to put him into a 2nd spin..with only 2 wheels on the ground I’m sure even if he did break,he wudnt have been able to stop due to aqua planing. Secondly if he did slam on his breaks like most people suggestdont u think he wuda locked the breaks n slid of jus the way he did anyway considering how bad conditions wer(cars breaking in a str8 line we’re slidn ryt of)..and if he broke lightly then maybe he would have stoped in the middle of the track makin it even more dangerous for him or a driver behind him,taken into consideration that he wudnt have been able to move after comin to a stop because he car and rear suspension was broken pretty bad.

  12. F1WithMySon said on 25th October 2010, 15:32

    When I watched the replay of the accident I specifically looked to see if his front wheels were locked and then wondered myself why he didn’t seem to hit the brakes. Only Mark and the telemetry can tell us if he tried to brake, so it would be interesting if the team responded to this assertion. Regardless, it’s a shame that Rosberg was taken out.

  13. emiguel said on 25th October 2010, 15:34

    Most probably he was hard on the brakes but we have to remember the track was wet (and oily, also the crash probably severed a brake line or something.

    I don´t think Mark would put his life at stake to get Nico or somebody else for that matter out of the race…

    • Exactly! I can’t imagine someone intentionally putting themselves in the path of a 100mph+ car to take them out, especially when the car they are in has 2 wheels and no control.

      The monocoque is designed to take the force of one impact. A second impact in the same place and it’s useless.

  14. JustHuman said on 25th October 2010, 15:48

    I think some of you need to take a hard look at the onboard from Mark. He DOES take his hands off the wheel just before he hits the wall. As he hits the wall, he lets the wheel spin violently, then grabs it and tries to straighten the car out so that it DOES NOT roll across the track. Unfortunately, the left front was cockeyed and the right front is pointing straight- neither wheel changes direction when Mark is moving the steering wheel. Mark was unable to steer the car. It is unknown whether his brakes still worked and whether he hit them or not. It is also unknown whether hitting the brakes would have actually prevented his car from rolling.

    Webber’s Onboard:
    http://www.f1-info.cz/?page=showitem&path=SBOPLjQmJSBOPLjQmMHNlHNjHUM&item=HaPHUFOVgQnjOVoRkJOVnOiDPRnIKOOoJSHUOoMPSROVnQnkOoPRRNOVnPSPQUdSSaOiWQDT&sizex=HgeHdC&sizey=HaTHQX

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th October 2010, 19:34

      Looks like he did try to save it.
      Thanks for the link for race incidents, as I did not get to see the race but at least got to watch some of the interesting moments there.

  15. I can see now what Webber was trying to do. He obviously was unaware that the car was damaged beyond repair after the first part of the crash and tried to save it – whereas when I was watching it live, I thought he was crazy trying to park his car on that side of the race track. It all happens a lot faster than we can imagine, and slow-motion onboard shots can make him look a bit silly. It was obviously a spur-of-the-moment thing that he probably regrets now, but it’s not much good blaming him too much – as we all do silly things under pressure.

    • Alex Bkk said on 25th October 2010, 16:01

      Webber was a passenger… No driver has there hands on the wheel going into the wall, unless you want broken hands.

      Sorry M8′s, but Mark just did what any driver with common sense would do… let go of the wheel. The rest was Nico’s problem. Alonso got through with less time to react than Nico… so enough!

      • Journeyer said on 25th October 2010, 16:02

        We won’t hear anything more from Mark on this. He’s admitted he went off because of his own error. I don’t think he’ll go out of his way to confirm or deny Nico’s accusation, so that’s that.

        Bottom line: it’s a racing incident. Get over it, guys.

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