Red Bull play blame game after drivers collide
Istanbul: Team mates Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel blamed each other for a Turkish Grand Prix collision that cost Red Bull a one-two finish and a championship lead.
Webber, in typically blunt language even with the expletives deleted, described the afternoon as a "disaster" and said he was in no way responsible.
"If I wasn`t there, there wouldn`t have been contact obviously, but we were there together and it wasn`t the easiest thing to predict what he would do in that split second," added the 33-year-old Australian, who still leads the drivers` standings.
Vettel was not about to apologise either: "It is pretty obvious if you watch the scene. We are here to race. I was on the inner side, would have had the go for the next corner.”
"I was concentrating on braking, then I felt a hit and the race was over. I lost control over the car.”
"I was not over eager. I felt I was a little bit faster. Very silly among team mates. As a team mate you should give each other some room," said the 22-year-old German.
Vettel had tried to go through on the inside heading into turn 12 and appeared to turn into Webber 18 laps from the end. The German spun and retired with a punctured rear right while Webber went off and lost the lead. He ended up third.
The acrimony was not limited to the drivers either, with the team losing the lead in the constructors` championship to McLaren by a single point. A one-two finish would have seen them at least 43 points clear.
Austrian Helmut Marko, a close confidant of team owner and compatriot Dietrich Mateschitz as well as a strong supporter of Vettel, blamed Webber while team principal Christian Horner suggested the younger man was more in the wrong.
"Sebastian got a run on the inside of Mark, but then came across too early," said Horner.
Marko disagreed and said Mateschitz was not amused: "Sebastian was ahead already, and there was a corner coming, so he has to go on his line," he told reporters, scowling as he headed out of the paddock.
"Vettel was under enormous pressure from (McLaren`s Lewis) Hamilton. He had to do something, otherwise Hamilton would overtake.”
Marko denied however that there was a rift emerging between the German-speaking side of the garage and the Anglo-Saxon part of the British-based team.
"That`s not true. We are handling our team and both drivers in the same way," he said, while making clear that he felt Webber should have let Vettel go past.
"Again, Vettel was under such pressure and if such a situation comes up you have to look after the team. It still could have been one-two," he said. "He was already ahead, at least two metres.”
"The whole situation was unnecessary. We will talk with everybody quite clearly to make it not happen again."
Pouring further fuel on the flames, an unsmiling and stone-faced Webber was enigmatic in the post-race news conference as speculation mounted that some form of `team orders` might have been involved.
Asked whether there was a reason for Vettel managing to get a jump on him, he replied: "Hmmm, maybe.”
"You guys need to dig more, somewhere else."
Team sources said the Australian, chasing his third win in a row, was told to turn down the power of his car`s engine before the incident -- which would have allowed Vettel to get within striking range.
"I heard that Mark was told to turn the engine down and I don`t know if Vettel did, he seemed very quick in a straight line," world champion Jenson Button, who finished second in a McLaren one-two with Hamilton, told reporters.