Horner hits back over Webber criticism

Korean Grand Prix

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner described claims that driver Mark Webber tried to take one of his championship rivals out during the Korean Grand Prix as “absurd”.

After crashing into a wall on lap 19 of the race Webber’s car swung into the path of Nico Rosberg.

The Mercedes driver was running fourth at the time in between Webber’s championship rivals Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Gerhard Berger was quoted saying it was “clear” Webber hoped to take another driver out after crashing during the Korean Grand Prix, adding “He took out Rosberg, but it was the wrong one. I think in his mind he would have preferred Alonso or Hamilton.”

Horner told the Daily Telegraph:

As with every incident in Formula One, opinions will always be made without all the facts. Just to be absolutely clear ?ǣ Mark?s intention was not to take out another driver after his crash in the Korean Grand Prix and it?s ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

After Mark?s impact with the wall, it was clear on the TV and from the data that his car was badly damaged. However, the natural and immediate instinct of any competitive driver is not to give up and to keep going.

In the atrocious conditions, Mark made the snap decision to continue as every driver would in that situation ?ǣ it?s absurd to suggest that Mark would ever deliberately take out another driver.
Christian Horner

Rosberg also questioned Webber’s actions during the crashsaying it was “crazy” of him to allow his car to roll back across the track.

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205 comments on Horner hits back over Webber criticism

  1. The Limit said on 27th October 2010, 19:56

    Without telemetry proving otherwise, these accusations are unfounded. However, I think what goes against Mark Webber is the number of incidents involving him this season with other drivers. Personally, I love it because its exciting to watch, but I bet other drivers and teams have talked about it behind closed doors.
    With Rosberg I can feel alot of sympathy. He got passed Lewis Hamilton early in the race, and for once the Mercedes had good pace and Nico was handling the grands prix well. Would Lewis have been fast enough to beat Rosberg if not for the accident? Now that is an interesting question, and one Lewis is no doubt thankful he didn’t have to answer.
    As for Christian Horner, he is doing everything a team leader should be doing, and that is by supporting Webber. Horner would no doubt have been singing from a different hym sheet had a Ferrari or McLaren plowed into one of his drivers, but that is the nature of the beast.

  2. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 27th October 2010, 20:40

    To anyone who thinks Webber could and should have stopped on the racing line, rather than roll: you do know that the track isn’t very wide at that point, right? That there would be only just enough width for a car to go by, since it’s highly unlikely Webber would have been able to stop it dead before the car rolled part-way onto the line? That Rosberg or anyone else wouldn’t have had enough time to slow down to be able to hit that gap and would probably have hit Webber anyway?

    Then there’d be this great big conspiracy that Webber deliberately left it on the line for Hamilton to hit him and right now conspiracy theorists would be saying he should have parked it off the line like he actually did in real life.

    I wonder if the people who’ve seen the video a million times noticed that Mark had his wheels locked before the impact and then they were immediately loose again after he’d hit the wall. It absolutely couldn’t have been brake failure, could it? I guess they missed the part where it shows Webber with only one wheel on the actual racetrack.

    Let’s see if there’s any inquiry and if data shows anything before calling Webber a dangerous cheat.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 27th October 2010, 22:55

      Webber should have slid along the wall onto the grass that was straight ahead.

      He should NOT have released the brake and rolled back on track.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 28th October 2010, 11:02

        Again, you’re assuming he could control the brakes. Let’s see.

        And it would have been impossible to purposefully slide along the wall given he had at least one wheel off the ground and an unbalanced car.

  3. It does look like he did it on purpose but im not going into that at the moment, but Rosberg would have won. He was ahead of Hamilton whom ended up ahead of Alonso after Fernando’s botched pitstop. Vettel’s engine would have gone anyway because of the safety car period’s, and only Hamilton going wide would have let Alonso past, into 2nd. Rosberg would have won. But Mark’s a smart bloke, in the instance he crashed, he knew he was out and thought the best thing would be to take a title rival with him, but he missed and cost Nico his first Victory

    • baracca said on 27th October 2010, 21:13

      Well, sometimes you also get your victories being able to change your trajectory fast enough and getting it exactly right when the unexpected happens.

      Alonso got it right and Rosberg didn’t, when surely Rosberg had it easier, he went the wrong way and lost it. No wonder Alonso won.

      • Dianna said on 27th October 2010, 21:20

        Rosberg hasn’t got Alonso’s experience.

        • baracca said on 27th October 2010, 21:38

          Exactly, that’s the point. I said before: maybe he’s not good enough yet

          • Rosberg has definitly got the skill, he just hasnt got the experience of dodging bumper cars…

          • No, just luck, Alonso was on the straight between the two corners, he had the choice and correctly did what Brundle always says steer to where the car is, it will be gone by the time you get there. Rosberg was already committed to the apex of the second corner, he couldn’t of gone around the outside, he didn’t have a choice, unless he had and 99 times out of 100 would of been ok if Webber had slide down the wall which is what normally happens.

  4. I don’t think it was anything malicious. He’d just lost the car, thought he saved it and then crashed I doubt he had time to think “oh look Hamilton”. He was probably just trying to carry on or get out of the way of all the oncoming cars plus he’d picked up a puncture.

    I know Nico’s upset he was in a good position but given the conditions there’s no guarantee where he would have ended up. Plus, I think he should have gone right rather than left and he’d have been ok but he barely had any time to react just like Webber. It was just one of those unfortunate things to me and thanfully noone was injured.

  5. Faraz said on 27th October 2010, 21:12

    Listen Why would Mark crash on purpose?? Isn’t he fighting for a championship??. Berger’s comments were distasteful and childish I’ve lost the tiniest respect I had for him.
    Webber would not crash on purpose. Everyone who that Mark should have braked is clueless you talk like you were in that situation. If this was Jenson. There would be no debate they would say something was wrong with the car. Biased.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th October 2010, 22:21

      Why would Mark crash on purpose?

      No-one’s saying he crashed on purpose. Berger said that after he went into the wall he tried to steer his damaged car into the path of one of his championship rivals.

  6. schooner said on 27th October 2010, 21:34

    I suppose that it’s possible that the outcome could have been different had Webber kept his foot planted on the brakes (if, in fact, he hadn’t), but to suggest that he made a split second decision to allow the car roll out in an attempt to take out someone behind him is quite a stretch. I don’t buy it.

  7. Oliver said on 27th October 2010, 22:02

    Berger is trying hard to be the new Lauda of controversial comments.

    Back to the point though, I believe Webber just tried too hard to recover from the crash and didn’t take into consideration the other cars. The way his car hit the wall it appeared like it had come to rest, then suddenly swerved back onto the track which appears to me like he tried to recover.
    The fact that the front right tyre wasn’t making contact with the ground as he came back on track, makes me believe he had left rear suspension failure, that might also explain why he couldn’t execute a recovery spin and hence wandered across the track.

    Alonso was just fortunate, by the time Rosberg arrived, the dynamics had changed Hamilton was just lucky that the second accident didn’t throw the car back on the road.

    • Alonso was just fortunate, by the time Rosberg arrived, the dynamics had changed Hamilton was just lucky that the second accident didn’t throw the car back on the road.


  8. verstappen said on 27th October 2010, 22:36

    about the ‘splitsecond’ point… I ve been in a couple of carcrashes in my life and i can tell you i had complete stories in my head in those split seconds. It s adrenaline and in such a situatin you get a big shot of it. So that is no point in this debate.

  9. baracca said on 27th October 2010, 22:37

    Alonso was just fortunate

    I beg to differ. Watch the vid (there are plenty of youtube links already in the thread) Alonso swerves to avoid Webber. At first he goes right, in the same direction Webber is going, a split second afterwards he turns left to avoid him. How he did that without losing grip is beyond me, but by going straight ahead he would certainly have t-boned Mark begore he got to the wall. By the time Hamilton arrived, both Mark and Nico were safely off track.

    • Oliver said on 28th October 2010, 4:44

      So you agree that Alonso met Webber while he was going off track, and Rosberg met Webber while he was coming back on track. Two very different situations. Because the first spin was a somewhat predictable motion of the car, hence Alonso being fortunate. The second spin was unpredictable hence Rosberg’s misfortune.

  10. Fer no.65 said on 27th October 2010, 22:38

    utter nonsense… the damage for him was already done.

    Why taking out someone that, at that point, wasn’t his major rival?????

    hope this is the end of this stupid theory. And don’t look at my Webber avatar.

    • Alonso was behind and his main threat, he wouldn’t of know he was clear at that point he decided to let the car slide back across the track… and it was split second it happen relatively slowly in F1 terms. More than enough time to think about it. As a top sports man if you can’t think that quickly… well…

  11. dragon_2712 (@) said on 28th October 2010, 0:53

    Why are you all arguing with Alistair? Please just ignore him. His posts are stupidity to the point of trolling.

  12. David BR said on 28th October 2010, 1:46

    Okay, I’m really not trying to be contentious. But look at around 20 sec on this clip:


    After spinning, hitting the wall and facing the approaching traffic, Webber clearly seems to accelerate across track and *into* the path of the oncoming car – as it happened, Rosberg. Other clips appear to support the idea that he accelerated backwards into the oncoming driver’s path.

    If so, draw your own conclusions. But personally I think Berger is probably correct. Not that it matters much now!

  13. what i find to be somewhat troubling about the Webber slide is that his rear wheels were actually rolling in reverse. this means that either his engine had shut down, while in no gear, or he had actually shifted the tranny into reverse. this would explain the sudden acceleration after his initial contact with the wall. This still does not mean that he was trying to take out any other drivers, he simply may not have known exactly how long he would slide and thought that the trajectory would be a little straighter than it was. In any event, there will always be victims in unexpected crashes, just take a look at any NASCAR race.

    • David BR said on 28th October 2010, 11:33

      Phew, not just me seeing that acceleration then! Everyone is discussing whether he braked or not when it looks like he’d shifted into reverse and maybe accelerated too, just after the car had realigned from roughly parallel to the wall to pointing across the track. Presuming he’s the one responsible for these movements, what was he up to? Maybe he was trying to return as fast as possible, reversing and then looking to spin on track to the face the right way. Which would have been fine on an empty freeway. Or maybe he knew his race was over and he drove straight into the path of what he thought was a championship rival. Either way, pretty mad.

  14. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 28th October 2010, 2:48

    I doubt that Webber is stupid to do something of that magnitude.It is more about putting the media pressure on Webber (as someone pointed in the web) so that he crack some other wins the WC.

  15. Rahim.RG said on 28th October 2010, 5:32

    i think as Hornor said…Every driver would try his best to continue..thats what he was trying to do….i believe these things are just crap…

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