Red Bull has put out a video with Mark Webber talking about Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix and his collision with Sebastian Vettel. And faced with a torrent of criticism on the team’s website and elsewhere, team boss Christian Horner has issued a statement which rows back on the position on Sunday night and seems to place more of the blame on Vettel.
Webber looks rather contrite in the video, but he also seems quite resolute. He talks of his own championship quest and the fact that it is going to be uncomfortable at times with two team mates fighting at the front, but makes the point that this is nothing that teams like Williams, Ferrari and McLaren haven’t dealt with in the past.
He is obviously talking on the Sunday evening after the race. The tone of the video is “all for one and one for all” and he talks about the team needing to work together to put the controversy behind them.
From experience, the rather stilted way he’s speaking is actually the way he talks to foreigners, he does it in media briefings, almost as is he feels he needs to speak more clearly when answering a non-English speaker.
“Sebastian tried a move, both of us.. in the end it didn’t work out, ” he says. “One of us could have won the race, but in the end we only got one third place.
“If you look back obviously after it all happens you of course want to do things differently. That;s something we learn as a team. We are in uncharted waters, both of us leading the championship. The team collectively with the drivers need to learn how to deal with these situations better in the future.”
“We are a new team. We are still learning. In Turkey we learned in a way which was not in the best way, but McLaren and Ferrari have had these days, They know how it can be when you have some adversity. We need to be united as a team and keep going.”
It comes at an interesting time for Webber as he was into discussions about a contract renewal for next year. How this situation unfolds over the coming weeks will obviously have a bearing on that.
The public reaction to the way Red Bull managed the crisis on Sunday has been largely negative, particularly in the English speaking world.
It’s impressive in many ways that Red Bull has left the comments section open on its website as there is overwhelming negativity in the 1000 + comments left there about the team’s pro-Vettel stance and in particular Dr Marko’s statements about the incident, which Horner has rowed back on a little with his Tuesday afternoon statement. The team now classes it as a ‘racing incident that shouldn’t have happened between team mates’ and Horner noted that Dr Marko also fully shares that view.”
Horner defends Vettel for having a run at Webber, because he says that to back him off would have led to him being passed by Hamilton, but he notes that Webber held his line “Which he was entitled to do. When Sebastian was three quarters of the way past he moved to the right.”
Red Bull likes to be seen as an edgy brand and they are certainly getting that at the moment, albeit they would prefer the message to be success on the cutting edge, rather than their internal politics splashed all over the media.