JUNE 4, 2010
New Twist To Red Bull Incident
Intrigue is growing surrounding the collision between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel which robbed Red Bull Racing of a 1-2 finish in the Turkish Grand Prix.
In the aftermath of the accident, Red Bull Racing's Helmut Marko and other senior team personnel appeared to hold Webber more responsible for the coming-together despite it being Vettel who had made the obvious driving error.
From the reaction it was easy to infer that despite Webber having led the race for the first 40 laps, it was Vettel who the team believed should be taking the 25 points maximum score.
The only way in which it made sense for Webber to be shouldering any responsibility for the accident was if an instruction had been made for the Australian to allow Vettel to pass. The team always denied this, however, and on Tuesday, Red Bull's PR department issued its own Q&A with team principal Christian Horner.
In it, Horner states: "Neither driver was given any instruction to change position. There are no team orders within Red Bull Racing other than that the drivers should race each other with respect."
Two days later, however, the British magazine 'Autosport' published its report of the race. Its Grand Prix editor, Mark Hughes, wrote: "Going into lap 40 team boss Christian Horner instructed Webber's engineer Ciaron Pilbeam to tell Webber to allow Vettel past. Pilbeam could not bring himself to pass the message on."
The magazine was published on the very day that the two Red Bull drivers met with Horner, Helmut Marko and Adrian Newey in Milton Keynes to have discussions that, it is claimed, were 'positive' and drew a line under the incident, although pointedly neither driver admitted responsibility.
Elsewhere, Autosport speculated that it might suit Marko's political agenda for Pilbeam to be sidelined as a scapegoat for the incident, although if this was to happen it would hardly foster the 'strong team spirit' that Red Bull claims and would no doubt go down like a lead balloon with Webber...