Mark Webber, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2013

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.”

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83 comments on “Webber handed grid penalty for Vergne collision”

    1. (@davef1)
      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.

        1. 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%.

        2. 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.

        3. 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.

          1. 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.

        4. 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.

      1. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

          1. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ?????

  6. 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.

      1. It seems more logical that Verne did not feel Webber was close enough to require him to move over. Verne might have felt that if he went wide, Webber could have been too far back to take the place and Verne might have then held Webber up in the exit. Rather wait until Webber is closer before letting him by.

    1. There is nothing stopping the other teams doing what Red BUll did and purchase a second team. Ferrari are allowed to do it, it’s their choice not to.

      1. @mnmracer
        Doesn’t change the fact that anyone with common sense would agree that it is cheating.

        Just shows what a hypocrite Horner is. He who cried and complains whenever Massa gives Alonso a helping hand is the same guy who abuses his powers to have control over two drivers who are suppose to be driving for another team.

    2. Webbe

      r obviously thought the Torro Rosso was going to just move over like a lapped car would.

      A more plausible explanation is that Webber mistook the TR for a Red Bull and thought he was taking out Vettel.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    1. @zantkiller

      I don’t think it’s about liking F1 or not as it’s more about liking Red Bull. Mark still has a few F1 years left in him and he could easily find a place with let’s say Williams (if Maldonado runs out of money), or Lotus (if Raikkonen makes the switch to Red Bull or they decide to ditch Grosjean), but…it wouldn’t be a sensible choice. Whichever team he might choose to sign with in F1, except for Red Bull, won’t be able to provide him with a better shot at the title than he had at Milton Keynes. And since Red Bull clearly won’t provide him with that chance either anymore, switching back to endurance seems like his best bet. Plus, it’s a long term contract with a factory team, if the rumours are true. Surely that weighs more, from every single point of view, than a short term contract with any F1 team.

      Hell, if I were him I’d throw my helmet at Helmut Marko right now and go ask Porsche to let me have some fun in one of their GTE Pro cars for the rest of the year before switching full time to LMP1 next season.

      Plus, as a die-hard endurance fan, I can’t wait to see McNish, Wurz, Davidson and Webber all fight for the win in LMP1. It’s like the 2000s we never got in F1…

      1. Plus, it’s a long term contract with a factory team,

        @tony031r – much better to be a driver in a formula on a team that actually wants you and values your presence, than spend another year w/ RBR where they only just remember to put the wheel nuts on and begrudgingly provide you fuel for the car in the first place.

        Webber had a great run in F1 but surely has maxed his potential, and the animosity from his “team” can’t be worth enduring if there are greener pastures elsewhere.

        I’ve always been a fan of his though and am so glad he collected two historic wins at Monaco so that he could do backflips into the pool!

  9. Im not shocked he actually got a penalty, his move on Vergne was quite clumsy. It’s unlike Mark to do something like that, very much like Alonso driving into Vettel at Malaysia. Seems like Mark was under some pressure from himself, and was in a hurry. He should’ve waiting for the DRS zone for an easy overtake, cause this was just wasn’t going to happen. A very dissapointing weekend for him, and to get a penalty for next week must leave a sour taste.

  10. I was initially going to say a penalty would be harsh, However I just saw the in-car shot from Mark’s car on the BBC & seeing that it was clearly 100% Mark’s fault.

    The 2 trackside shots make it looks like Mark was at least partially alongside with JEV just cutting across. However the in-car from Mark’s car shows clearly that Mark came from miles back, wasn’t alongside & just drove straght into JEV’s Right Rear.

    1. Not necessarily, TR drivers always yield to RB drivers and that looked like a yield until JEV probably realized that it was Webber whom he wants to replace next year at RB trying to come through…

  11. “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.”

    I can only take this to mean that Webber thought Vergne would jump right out of his way as soon as he appeared in his mirrors. Mark, you learned in Malaysia that your own team members aren’t all that willing to let you benefit from team orders, so why would you expect a member of your sister team to make your life any easier?!

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