Webber handed grid penalty for Vergne collision

2013 Chinese Grand Prix

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2013Mark Webber has been given a three-place penalty for his collision with Jean-Eric Vergne during the Chinese Grand Prix.

According to the stewards: “The driver of car two [Webber] admitted that he attempted to overtake car eighteen [Vergne] because he believed car eighteen would give him sufficient room.”

“Car eighteen maintained its normal line through the corner and car two was unable to avoid the collision. The driver of car two admitted it was his mistake.”

Vergne said: “I think Mark could not have got through from where he tried and I?m not even sure if he was trying to pass me.”

“Certainly I didn?t even know he was there. Unfortunately, the impact put me into a spin and the incident damaged my floor. From then I lost a lot of downforce. It was not a good race from then on, having lost a lot of time and having to drive a damaged car.

“It?s not been a good weekend, as I did not have a smooth time of it from the start. However, as I said yesterday, the pace of the car has improved in the break since Malaysia, as could be seen from what Daniel was able to do today. Therefore I am now looking forward to Bahrain with a positive outlook.”

Webber said he was “coming from a reasonable distance behind” when he made the move. “Jean-Eric was really wide, but when we came close to the apex he wanted to hit it, which he is entitled to do, but by then I was committed to the inside and the incident happened.”

2013 Chinese Grand Prix

Browse all 2013 Chinese Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

Advert | Go Ad-free


83 comments on Webber handed grid penalty for Vergne collision

  1. Jake (@jleigh) said on 14th April 2013, 11:03

    As in a 3-place grid drop. Or just moved back 3 places in this race?

  2. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 14th April 2013, 11:03

    I guess that means JEV will on his way to job-centre soon.

    • OOliver said on 14th April 2013, 11:12

      I doubt just yet as he didn’t to it to Vettel.

    • Anonymouse said on 14th April 2013, 11:19

      Why would that be if Mark drove like a moron?
      On a lighter note, that would only happen if it was the other RedBull driver

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 14th April 2013, 11:30

      Or a bottle of Champagne from Marko for finishing the job the garage so clearly started.

      I wasn’t a conspiracy theorist yesterday, but the evidence has become too compelling, simply too many ‘coincidences’ blighted Mark’s race.

      • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 14th April 2013, 16:34

        I have nothing but admiration for the determination from red Bull to show Mark who’s number 2.

        Mark on the other hand, I suspect to have the same ‘hobby’ as Max Mosley.

  3. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 14th April 2013, 11:03

    Seems rather harsh to me.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 14th April 2013, 11:17


      Looked like it was partially the fault of both drivers.

      Webber too aggressive, and Vergne just not looking in his mirrors.

    • magon4 (@magon4) said on 14th April 2013, 11:17

      I’d give him a 5-place drop. It was a stupid move by Mark, who was having a great race until then though!

      • James Walker (@jameswalker) said on 14th April 2013, 11:22

        Webber was half way alongside and turning in a radius in line with the corner when Verne came across to take a normal apex as if Mark was not there. Was Marko a race Steward?

        • Webber was half way alongside and turning

          No, he was not…

        • Webber was half way alongside and turning in a radius in line with the corner when Verne came across to take a normal apex as if Mark was not there.

          He was definitely not. He plunged for the apex from behind, cutting through. Vergne didn’t do anything other than hold his racing line there which was the sensible thing to do.

          I’ll bet this month’s paycheck on the fact that Webber thought Vergne will move out of the way to the outside and give him room, when he planned that move. It was a gamble, it backfired, that’s it. Still Webber’s fault 100%.

        • Even at the moment when both cars passed the trackside camera (giving us a sideview of the action), and Webber was already in the process of making the lunge, he was still fully behind Vergne. A clearly misjudged overtaking move.

        • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 14th April 2013, 13:17

          That’s what Webber said abut the incident:

          He was really, really wide and looking like he opened the corner and was giving me the line. But we got to the apex and he took it. It’s disappointing. He was entitled to do that, but if he’d just gone around the outside we would’ve both survived.

          Mark thought that Jean-Eric was letting him through (maybe because it’s the Torro Rosso). Surprisingly, Vergne just took the racing line and Mark smashed into him. This penalty seems just right to me.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th April 2013, 14:42

            Yes, I think this being an STR car definitely helped in Webber getting that impression @maroonjack.

            Webber is experienced enough to know that such a move could never work unless he was really being let through there.

        • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 14th April 2013, 20:39

          Half way alongside doesn’t mean anything anymore. That was a valid remark when Mansell, Prost and Senna were still racing. The last few decades it has been that you have to be ahead before the breaking point to have the right to the racing line.

          Although recently they have amended that a driver cannot be pushed off track before the brake point. Unless it’s Raikkonen apparently. How Perez got away without a penalty is beyond me.

      • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 14th April 2013, 11:57

        He was about a car length behind.
        By your logic Sutil did not give Gutierrez space, because he was faster and beside him, and what was Sutil doing, taking the corner normally? What was Sutil thinking…

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 14th April 2013, 15:25

      @ecwdanselby agree. It was a racing incident at most…

      But seems these days that drivers cannot make mistakes and everything they do is penalizable.

  4. tmekt (@tmekt) said on 14th April 2013, 11:04

    Is this for Bahrain quali as Webber wasn’t classified?

  5. Fair enough.

    Webber either saw Vettel coming out of the pits there and tried too hard, either he simply took Vergne for granted and assumed he will move out of the way as soon as there’s a Red Bull in his rear-view. Either way, stupid decision to try and overtake there.

  6. Oli Peacock (@olliekart) said on 14th April 2013, 11:06

    5 place grid pen to Gutierrez for crashing into Sutil

  7. Darren (@dazmatic) said on 14th April 2013, 11:09

    Wow, I think that is harsh :( I think F1 will be losing Mark at the end of this season… that is not good in my opinion.

  8. OOliver said on 14th April 2013, 11:14

    I guess Webber at one point thought Vergne was letting him through, because the Torro Rosso driver did appear to take a very wide line then turned in late.

    • William (@william) said on 14th April 2013, 12:34

      But we will still have Dan Ricciardo from Perth

    • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 14th April 2013, 19:18

      And it isn’t like the Torro Rossos don’t let Golden Boy through every chance they have. It was Webber’s mistake for actually expecting the same courtesy as Seb…

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th April 2013, 3:08

        @freelittlebirds – It was Webber’s mistake for making a lunge when Vergne was already turning in, and couldn’t anticipate Webber’s move.

        • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 15th April 2013, 13:36

          The move is very reminiscent of the moves that TRs make when Vettel passes them. Webber explained that he thought Vergne was moving out to let him through.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th April 2013, 19:10

            Yet Webber still made contact, since his lunge was a clumsy one.

          • But Vergne did not “move out” anywhere – he simply followed the normal racing line through the turn.

            Having watched that incident several times, I’m more baffled than ever by what Mark was up to. Perhaps he mistook the Torro Rosso for a Red Bull and thought he was ramming Vettel instead. It doesn’t look in the least bit accidental.

  9. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 14th April 2013, 11:15

    That’s harsh, racing incident I would say. Vergne opend the door and Webber just stuck his nose in and the Vergne decided to take the appex because he didn’t see him and bang it was done, You really can’t blame either of the drivers.

    But the stewards are really not consistent Perez got nothing for weaving all over the place and putting Raikkonen of the track. Double standard!

  10. KateM (@katem) said on 14th April 2013, 11:18

    I’m not keen on 3 place drops, seems like a compromise penalty to me. If this was dealt with in-race he would have either got a drive through or let off – neither of which are really the equivalent of a 3 place drop. Not finishing due to an unrelated issue has either got him off lighter or more heavily penalized, and that doesn’t seem right to me.

  11. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 14th April 2013, 11:23

    The crash was 100% Mark Webber’s fault he came from nowhere and he cut the corner while JEV is already turning in but i’m just wondering if Vettel was there instead of webber what JEV will do ? and how Marko will react ?????

  12. Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 14th April 2013, 11:28

    I guess this is even more evidence to support the fact that Redbull have ordered Torro Rosso drivers to move out of Webber and Vettels way. Webber obviously thought the Torro Rosso was going to just move over like a lapped car would. Such orders are illegal and the FIA need to seriously look into this, because it is unfair on the other teams.

    Either allow it and allow Ferrari and co to also have third and fourth cars, or disallow it so that each team only has two drivers. Cant have one team with four drivers while the rest are limited to two teams.

  13. Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 14th April 2013, 11:33

    I’m shocked that they give Webber a penalty for that incident. Yeah he did stick his nose in but you can’t give a penalty for that, he had to get a new front wing, that’s penalty enough I think.

    • By this logic, anyone who causes an accident and gets himself a DNF should be automatically let off the hook.

  14. TMF (@tmf42) said on 14th April 2013, 11:51

    Not sure what Mark was thinking but 3 is actually a mild one. Had Maldonado or Grosjean made this move it would have been 5.

  15. cg22me (@cg22me) said on 14th April 2013, 11:52

    My memory fails me…
    What lap did Webber crash into Vergne?

    If it was Lap 21, I’m calling ** on F1; it’s clearly all scripted to cause as much turmoil to Webber as possible :P

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.