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Red Bull confirms Webber won't take the blame

ESPNF1 Staff
June 1, 2010 « 'We need to be united as a team' - Webber | »

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has confirmed that his team does not hold Mark Webber to blame for causing the accident which took team-mate Sebastian Vettel out of the Turkish Grand Prix.

In the immediate aftermath Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko appeared to blame Webber for not giving the faster Vettel more space under braking. This lead to rumours of a rift within the team, but Horner insists that no such division exists and Marko has now revised his opinion after studying all the evidence.

"Ultimately we win as a team and we lose as a team and on Sunday we lost as a team, as a result of our two drivers having an incident," Horner said in a press release aimed at diffusing the situation. "Having looked at all the information it's clear that it was a racing accident that shouldn't have happened between two team-mates. After looking at all the facts that weren't available immediately after the race, Dr. Marko also fully shares this view."

He added that Red Bull will now hold a meeting ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix in order to put the crash to rest.

"We're a very strong team and we will sit down and discuss this openly with the drivers in order to learn from what has happened and avoid a situation like this arising again," team principal Christian Horner said. "One of the strengths of Red Bull Racing is the team spirit here, which has contributed to the performance that we have achieved so far this season. The drivers are both intelligent individuals and this issue will be resolved prior to the Canadian Grand Prix. Both drivers, as has always been the case, will be given equal treatment. That will continue."

He said that Vettel's actions after the crash, which included pointing at Webber and making gestures suggesting his team-mate was crazy, would be discussed.

"The adrenaline was flowing and obviously there's a great deal of frustration when you've just crashed out of a race," Horner said. "It will be discussed and I am certain that the air will be cleared before Canada."

With two days to assess all the data, Horner also gave a more comprehensive analysis of the accident.

"We had a unique situation during the Turkish GP where the first four cars were separated by two seconds, with Mark having led every lap until lap 40," he said. "The race was the fastest of the season to date with all four drivers pushing each other extremely hard. On lap 38, Mark changed his mixture setting based on his fuel consumption to a slightly leaner mode, which had an average lap time loss of about 0.18 seconds, whilst maintaining the same revs. Sebastian had conserved more fuel than Mark during the race and therefore was able to run in a slightly better mode for an additional couple of laps.

"On lap 38 and 39, Sebastian's pace picked up and he closed right up to the back of Mark while under considerable pressure from Hamilton behind. After a very strong run through Turn 9, Sebastian got a run and strong tow and moved to the left to pass Mark. Mark held the inside line and adopted a defensive position, which he is entitled to do. When Sebastian was three quarters of the way past, he moved to the right. As Sebastian moved to the right, Mark held his position and the ensuing result was contact that resulted in Sebastian retiring, Mark damaging the front-end of his car and the team losing a one two finish. Ultimately both drivers should have given each other more room."

When asked what Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz thought of the accident, he responded: "Dietrich has spoken with both drivers following the incident. He has always supported both drivers equally and summed it up by saying: 'Shit happens… we shouldn't talk about the past, but concentrate on the future. Fact is that we not only have the fastest car but also two of the best and fastest drivers'."