• European Grand Prix

Webber refuses to apportion blame after crash

ESPNF1 Staff
June 27, 2010 « Sauber hails 'amazing' Kobayashi | »
Mark Webber talks to reporters after his accident © Getty Images

Mark Webber refused to blame Heikki Kovalainen for their crash at the European Grand Prix and said he was caught out by the Lotus driver braking earlier than expected into turn 17.

Webber was out of position after an early pit stop and was closing on the Lotus for position when he clipped its rear wheels, somersaulted into the air and bounced into the crash barriers. He emerged unscathed from the accident and, speaking in the paddock afterwards, refused to apportion blame after he and Kovalainen had shook hands.

"Well, it always takes two to tango, doesn't it? There's two of us in this incident," he told the BBC "I've driven slow cars - I've been at the back - and obviously when someone comes up with those kind of closing distances to be down the inside, bouncing off the limiter and carrying on like it is going to ... I mean how long is that [holding position] going to last for? It's going to last another 15 seconds so is it worth it?"

"I was looking for the best tow to get the job done and pass him and he was playing quite hard as well down the inside, blocking all of a sudden very aggressively. In the end the thing that surprised me was how early he braked, that's the thing which caught me out. It didn't matter where I was or how close to the tow, I still had everything under control."

He reiterated that the difference in braking capabilities between the cars was what caught him by surprise.

"It was a nasty incident," he added. "Clearly I was surprised by what was happening on the run down to that corner. To start with I thought 'OK, he's releasing me' - letting me go - because obviously the pace difference is massive and then he [Kovalainen] started closing the door and he's having these small movements and I thought 'where's he going? He braked, or lifted or whatever, and it turns out it's about 80 metres before I braked for the previous lap so it's a different category to what had happened the previous few laps."

Kovalainen said there was nothing he could do about the accident and suspects Webber missed his braking point.

"First of all it's good news that both of us are ok," said Kovalainen. "Mark had a hardcore flight, and it could have ended up much worse, so it's good we're both fine. It's such a shame the race ended that early - I was going really well, pulling away from the guys behind by about half a second a lap, and with Mark we were racing for position so I was always going to defend.

"I didn't do anything wrong and he just ran into me. I think he missed his braking point and he ran into me at a very bad angle - his front tyre hit my right rear and he took off. I had to make a mandatory visit to the medical centre, and shook hands with Mark there, but I'm absolutely fine, and glad Mark is too."