Mark Webber has so far achieved his most successful season yet in Formula 1, currently residing at the top of the driver’s ladder with a five-point lead over second-placed Jenson Button.
Although Webber’s notorious bad luck seems to have caught up with him over the weekend after an incident with team mate Sebastian Vettel cost Webber what would have been his third win for the season at the Turkish Grand Prix.
The Red Bull Racing team occupied the top two spots by lap 40 and was headed toward another one-two victory; although a failed overtaking maneuver by Vettel saw the two RBR entries collide, forcing Vettel into retirement and Webber into third spot.
According to Webber he had been instructed to wind down his engine to save fuel giving his team mate the better grunt out of turn eight. It has been suggested this move shows favoritism toward RBR young-gun Vettel who had so far been out-classed by his veteran team mate all season.
“I just stayed on the inside, tight, to make sure that he was still staying on the dirty stuff and then on the run over the crest, obviously after the crest, he started to come back my way and that’s when we touched.” said Mark Webber.
What happened next was unthinkable – especially between two drivers with an open channel of communication. While Webber stayed true to his line, Vettel veered into his side sending both into the run-off area.
Red Bull Racing officials are divided on the incident with Team Principal Christian Horner placing them both at fault while Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmet Marko places the blame on Webber.
“Both of them were under great pressure from McLaren and therefore Mark should not have made the move he did.” said Dr Marko.
Meanwhile from his position in the commentary box, Red Bull ambassador David Coulthard believes there was no need for Vettel to pull right as he did with Webber holding position.
Webber was at least fortunate enough to regain his position in the field and finish in third place – enough to hold onto his drivers’ championship lead – although this has sent RBR down into second place behind McLaren in the constructors’ stakes.
Source: Red Bull Racing