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

Browse all 2010 Korean Grand Prix articles

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

  1. Dave Blanc said on 26th October 2010, 3:16

    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.

  2. Daniel said on 26th October 2010, 6:58

    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.

  3. Steve said on 26th October 2010, 12:34

    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.

    • Charles Carroll said on 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.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th October 2010, 19:40

        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.

  4. Charles Carroll said on 26th October 2010, 14:11

    It seems pretty clear that Webber did not brake on purpose. Gerhard Berger agrees: http://en.espnf1.com/redbull/motorsport/story/32266.html. Not a very classy move by ol’ Weebs.

  5. Steve said on 26th October 2010, 23:46

    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.

  6. spudw said on 27th October 2010, 0:54

    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.

  7. Mickey Joose said on 27th October 2010, 16:08

    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!

  8. Mickey Joose said on 27th October 2010, 16:40

    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

  9. 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!

  10. If you are look this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl12WLsuCbI , 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…

  11. Not directly related to the article, but just wondering has anyone else noticed that the corner where Webber went wide and spun appears to be off camber (adverse incline).

    It appears that the track falls away from the centre of the corner. The FIA’s track design guideline / standard (Appendix O to the International Sporting Code) specifies, that adverse incline is generally not acceptable unless dictated by special circumstances in which case the entry speed should not exceed 125km/h.

    From watching some YouTube videos of laps around the circuit in the game F1 2010 (not the best reference I know, but the best I could find considering F1.com hasn’t uploaded an on board video yet) it appears the entry speed is around 150 to 160km/h.

    So yeah, I don’t really have a point, but probably goes part way to explaining why Webber spun there, and I guess if that corner is indeed off camber, how did it slip through the FIA approval process?

  12. drezone said on 28th October 2010, 8:19

    Let me guess if this is right. Webber leading championship in horrid conditions choreographs to lose it around an off camber corner and plan to hit the wall and hope the car is still driveable enough to go back across the track and take out opponents.

    Wouldn’t this have just allowed Vettel to have the edge going into the last two races and hinder his chances?

    Has anyone sensible thought of the possibility that he made an error a lap earlier and was losing time to Vettel with Alonso closing in and took the corner a little wrong and had an ACCIDENT and panicked when he realised he was off and tried to keep on racing as most race drivers do and probably didn’t realise the car was as damaged as it was. hmmm.

    And Berger. where have you been for a while. what a great way to get back into the spotlight. noticed you mentioned great drivers like Senna, Schumacher and Alonso. Wonder if any of these have blatantly taken off other drivers to claim drivers titles. maybe you’re upset that Webber may win one and you never did.

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