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

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

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

Browse all 2010 Korean Grand Prix articles

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

  1. Any chance you could take out the massive outlier lap (i.e., when it was red-flagged) as it makes it difficult to see any difference between the two team mates performance?

    1. You can click and drag on the chart to zoom in on the laps you’re interested in. It adjusts the scale automatically so the distorting effect of lap four is removed.

  2. To me it looked like Webber’s car was too damaged for the brakes to work after the impact with the wall. I thought the car looked like it was ‘listing’ to one side when slewing back across the track. Maybe this caused the brakes not to work properly.

  3. Accidental Mick
    25th October 2010, 16:50

    There is something else to bear in mind. Even on a normal road car the brakes don’t work anywhere near as well when the car is reversing. I forget what the percentage difference in efficiency is but it is quite high.

    I would imagine racing cars exagerate this discrepancy. So. in reverse, only 2 wheels on the ground and a wet track – Webber couldn’t have done anything differently.

  4. Charles Carroll
    25th October 2010, 17:03

    So, is there any more talk about how Michael should retire or should have never come back after this last performance?

    1. Now it’s, “the other guys all threw it off the road, so it doesn’t count”. :)

    2. Schumacher got dusted again by Rosberg, all weekend. If it wasn’t for Rosberg’s misfortune it would have been another beat down. We’re still waiting for the coming to grips with the car we were promised by Brawn after they redesigned the car to suit Schumacher after Catalunya.

      1. Charles Carroll
        26th October 2010, 3:48

        If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas. When Rosberg wins seven championships, I’ll say he’s better. Until then, I don’t care if Michael is towed along in a wagon by Ross Brawn, he is still the better driver.

      2. Lol, errrrrm ok.

  5. I don’t blame Webber… Even if he braked the car would slide back to the track… On 3 wheels it’s hard to break (has you can se on video)…

  6. a penalty for webber for letting the car roll accross the track, that’s the most ridiculous thing i have heard all day, the guy had an accident and some people feel that he should receive a penalty for ending up back on the track just after his accident? it’s called an accident, accidents usually involve some loss of control, so get over it, it was an accident…i seriously doubt he did it on purpose…

  7. Watching that onboard it almost looks as though the front wheel that’s still on the ground is locked up after the initial impact…it’s hard to tell though because of the spray etc…

  8. 1. Oh, I now get all the Hamilton fanatics that say Webber was trying to take him out, and not Alonso, at that point 2nd in the WDC and right behind him in the race. Webber was not informed that Rosberg overtook Ham, therefore he missed on Ham and hit poor Nico. So it works out that it was a team error… silly

    2. Even if Webber’s action was intentionally, he’ll never get a penalty. Imagine the media roar against Ferrari: penalty with 2 races to go + Hockenheim = media tsunami… ufuf

  9. Great race for Schumacher his best of the season. Feel bad for Nico a potential podium is lost on a race where they were looking very strong.Hope they are learning a lot from this season so that they can come back & fight for the WC in 2011.

  10. Let’s see, in absolutely horrid conditions Webber loses control, spins into the wall and two seconds later is backwards across the track. And some folks think he checked for traffic, figured out who was behind him, deliberately didn’t brake and then steered to so as to take Rosberg out in the same horrid conditions that caused his spin. All this from crap video that you’re lucky to tell what make of car it was? Slow-motion isn’t real-time, either. Get serious. Webber might have been stunned, whatever, but I distinctly recall him removing his gloves, cleaning his fingernails, eating a sandwich, talking to his Mom on his cell and putting his gloves back on before Rosberg collected him.

  11. Has anyone got the onboard footage from Rosberg? Would love to see the crash from that angle and how much he really could have done to avoid crashing into Webber.

  12. Is there any way to change the scale in the lap times window? I’m trying to compare the lap times of the two drivers, but the differences are compressed by the one really long lap.

  13. This is one silly conversation! I find myself wondering if any of the posters have been in a car crash ever… The truth for me as a young man with plenty of experience of car and motorcycle accidents, where I generally and by instinct seemed to be able to do exactly the right things needed to avoid injury and minimise damage is that it all gets mentally rather busy very quickly. (was a pity I didn’t just ride/drive better in the first place, but I digress). You could say “Webber could have played it differently”, or “Rosberg could have avoided the accident”, but NONE OF US WERE THERE dealing with the situation and conditions unlike the drivers who we are so blithely commenting on.

    1. Charles Carroll
      26th October 2010, 14:40

      I’ve been in two rather violent collisions myself. Being conscious, I knew enough to hit the brakes to ensure that my vehicle did not drift back into traffic. For matters of full disclosure, I do not possess a super license nor make millions of dollars driving Formula One cars. Apparently, if one does that for a living, they forget how to use the breaks after an accident.

      1. Actually my mother had someone crash into the back of her car a week ago and just lost all braking power after that. She managed to brake by downshifting a bit and then shoved in the guardrail to come to a standstill.

        From those replays, and seeing Webbers front wheel was in the air, it was hard to tell if braking actually still worked on his car.

  14. Charles Carroll
    26th October 2010, 14:11

    It seems pretty clear that Webber did not brake on purpose. Gerhard Berger agrees: Not a very classy move by ol’ Weebs.

    1. Berger is bored has has been making some grand statements lately. I think he’s taking over for Lauda…

      1. Who in turn was only trying to rival Moss.

  15. I find it hard to believe that the same Mark Webber who was so concerned about safety that he didn’t want to race in those conditions, (like many of the other drivers) is going to expose himself to the possibility of a 200MPH torpedo in the vulnerable SIDE of his car… Sideways on when you are the recipient of the impact is the crash that breaks your hips (which can be well nasty, possibly involving that all important wedding tackle!), staves in the side of your head and generally makes you unattractive to pit girls etc, and I just can’t see that being an attractive option.

    I like conspiracy theory generally, but this one doesn’t pass the common sense test, IMHO, I am sorry to say. BUT. I could be wrong, the conspiracy theory could be right, (some of the 9/11 ones definitely are!) and only time will tell, and I am always grateful when people like yourselves make me look at events from another viewpoint.

  16. I don’t have an opinion on whether he tried to brake, didn’t, should have, or couldn’t have. I do find it amusing that so many are of the opinion that in the space of less than two seconds, Webber concocted a subversive plan to take out another championship contended with his broken car. While 1994 Schumacher/Hill incident comes to mind for comparison, the timing and mental calculations required there would have been far more conducive than this circumstance. Also, keep in mind that Webber’s ability to brake was affected by wet conditions and the fact that both front wheels (and perhaps the right rear) were disabled by the time he came off the wall.

    Despite what pundits (Berger, for example) have said, I find it to be very tall and unlikely accusation to suggest Webber tried to cause a collision with anyone.

    1. edit: I meant ‘left rear” may have been disabled….

      1. Not to mention the conspiracy theory relies on Webber getting it wrong as to who he was taking out.

  17. The explanation is simple! In fact no explanation is required for something so obvious.. at least for ppl with a bit of F1 intellect. After contact with the wall Webber would have been optimistic of continuing the race, which is what racers do. The broken suspension would have compromised his controlability of the car. He had NO control of his car’s ‘travel’ & was at the mercy of the car’s directional momentum. Unfortunately Rosberg could not manoeuvre around the stricken red bull. It was unfortunate that the track contained so many walls on the shoulder of the track! In hind-sight it woulda been best to steer across the kerb & go with it’s direction rather than steer across it, but for that wall being were it was. It is preposterous to think Webber positioned his car in order to take anyone out deliberately.. absolutely preposterous! He would’ve hoped of continuing!

  18. I meant to say.. In hind-sight it woulda been best to steer with the direction of the kerb rather than steer across it & to the right.. (because the kerb’s height had interfered with the steerability of the car). Cheers

  19. All these negative comments and implied intentions of Webber to “take out” someone are ridiculous.

    Please consider:
    1. Does anyone know if his brakes were left in working condition after the first impact?
    2. His left front wheel was totally off the pavement as his car backed onto the racing surface, I don’t think he could “steer” the car if he wanted to.
    3. Would ANY driver risk getting T-boned at high speed, risking injury that could end his championship hopes on the spot?

    Let the conspiracy theories multiply!

  20. If you are look this video, , first half you think why Webber didn’t breake but in the second part you will see that one of he’s front wheel is in the air, so maybe he was breaking…

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