• Korean Grand Prix

Burst oil radiator to blame for Webber's fire

ESPN Staff
October 6, 2013 « Hulkenberg proud of 'one of the best races' of career | Di Resta gets vote of confidence »
Mark Webber's car on fire caught by the big screen TV © Sutton Images

Mark Webber's car fire at the Korean Grand Prix was caused by a burst oil radiator after he was hit by a spinning Adrian Sutil. Webber originally suspected a KERS fire but a report on Autosport.com confirmed it was due to leaking oil that caught fire on the exhaust.

Webber endured a difficult race, starting 10 places down on the grid due to a penalty, suffering a puncture after his second pit stop and finally retiring from the race in a ball of flames. Sutil made a mistake under braking for Turn 3 and hit Webber on the apex, resulting in the damage that led to the fire.

"There was a KERS fire immediately and it got quite heavy quite quickly, so it's good that the fire guys weren't too far away," he said "I would have liked to have got somewhere a bit closer to an extinguisher but I wanted to get out myself. I tried to put it out with an extinguisher in the car."

However, Webber's race had started to go wrong before the fire when the debris from Sergio Perez's delaminating front-right tyre caused a puncture on the Red Bull.

"It destroyed the race because we were in very good shape," he added. "It was on the outlap after we stopped and Perez had a tyre explosion, which wasn't nice and I just missed the debris from the tread of the tyre. I hear he got a puncture because he locked up, but we're locking up because there is no tread on the tyre because the tyre wears out so fast that you can't brake deep anyway. There is so much pace management going on, all the drivers are looking after their tyres.

" I did what I could to get back up to third or fourth and have a good fight with Kimi towards the end of the race, but I picked up a Pirelli puncture off [the debris from] a Pirelli tyre. It's pretty impressive."