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Webber’s crash car was the Spain and Monaco winner
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Webber’s crash car was the Spain and Monaco winner
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Jun 2010   |  11:57 am GMT  |  149 comments

Mark Webber has revealed what was going through his mind as he experienced the worst accident of the season so far. And he has revealed that the chassis involved was the car which won the Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix.


Webber hit the back of Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus on the run to Turn 12 when he was travelling at 300km/h. Webber had recently pitted after a poor start which dropped him from second to ninth place. He was fighting with Kovalainen for position, not lapping him.

The car flew through the air and was badly damaged, although it saved his life. Red Bull is currently checking through the monocoque to see if it can be repaired for further use. As monocoques are homologated now, they will have to work with the FIA on this process.

Ironically the chassis was the same one in which he won the Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix.

“I wasn’t sure what he was thinking,” said Webber, “Whether he was going to release me, because sometimes it’s happened before that when you catch those guys they don’t put a fight up.

“Then he went back to the right, so I thought okay, he’s going to fight. I was in the slipstream, I looked to the left, then he went back left, and then as soon as I looked right, he braked. It was so far before the braking point, it was 80 metres earlier than my previous lap – I couldn’t believe it.

“In a Formula One race if you have someone braking that early, things like that can happen. My car felt like it was airborne for a long time. I had time to worry about whether there were any bridges at that point on the track, which, luckily there weren’t. If there had been one, I would have hit it because I went pretty high. But the car stood up to the accident well.”

Estimates put the height Webber’s car reached at between five and ten metres.

Kovalainen has argued that he was defending his position and that he braked at his normal place. Meanwhile Lotus technical director Mike Gascoyne has said that the fault lies entirely with Webber, as the overtaking car is responsible for passing safely.

That Webber survived the accident unscathed – the third time he has been airborne in a racing car after his Le Mans flips with Mercedes in 1999 – is a great recommendation for the beefed up safety regulations over recent years, particularly the stringent crash tests on the roll hoop structure.

Formula 1 is now in its seventh decade and it was only when reflecting on Webber’s accident that I realised that the 2000s was the first decade in which no-one died in an F1 car, which is a massive achievement.

As a multiple race winner and particularly a Monaco GP winner, the car would be expected to have had a significant extra value.

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149 Comments
  1. kbdavies says:

    Webber need to clam down. He always seems to be involved in incidents when he is trying to make up lost places. He seems to consistently suffer from really bad case of the “Red Mist”.

    Why would he slipstream a car, that that is 4 secs slower than his, with much less downforce, at the fastest part of the track, into a braking zone??? Madness! Surely, he knows that the Lotus WILL brake earlier; That their braking points CANNOT be the same. Why did he not make ANY allowances for that? Why did he not just sweep around the outside – since he is that much faster?

    This is purely Marks fault. He threw away a 2nd place for nothing. And nice guy that he is, he usually cracks under pressure. This is the major chink in his amour.

    Red Bull will be very lucky if either of their drivers win the championship this year – as they are both known to crack when trying to overtake!

    1. Fausto Cunha says:

      I totally agree, well said.

      1. phil says:

        I don’t understand why the Lotus brakes 80 metres before Webber. OK I can see a small margin but usually they only brake 100m or less from the corner. Braking 80m before another car seems bizarre.

        It sounds more like Heiki lifted off assuming Webber was not right behind him. Shame they
        don’t release the telemetry so that we can see what really happened.

      2. Tim says:

        The Lotus was well off the racing line and on a part of the track which wouldn’t have been cleaned up over the weekend – bear in mind that street tracks have even less grip offline than normal tracks. Kovalainen would have needed to brake earlier to make the corner. This may explain at least some of the difference.

      3. greg best says:

        If you look at webber’s fastest time in the race it was a 1min 44sec’s Kovalainen’s was 1min 46sec’s so he was only 2 second’s slower not 4 seconds, and if you look at the the race results vettel’s best lap was 1min 39sec’s and trulli’s was 1min 41sec’s again only 2 second’s slower. Around that track it would have been hard for webber to overtake which might be the real reason he drove into the back of the LOTUS

      4. Monji says:

        Totally agree

      5. David says:

        it would’ve been real hard? he was already right behind him at the time of the crash, and able to brake 80m later than heikki, so overtaking wasn’t a problem. Use a bit of logic, please.

      6. Tom says:

        David – He didn’t manage to break 80m then Heikki, so it’s a bit of a null argument. They were both off-racing line, and Webber screwed it up.

        The fact that he crashed trying to overtake proves either that Valencia does not open to many overtaking possibilities (and hence the moves that exist are much riskier in less space/areas with less grip) or that Webber is prone to rash moves. Use logic?

      7. Declan says:

        Completely agree. Mark has been shown up pretty badly this weekend. I was hoping that he turned round the corner with his recent results, but he hasn’t yet (and maybe will never?) figured out the percentage game needed in F1.

        I think the fact that he qualified 2nd and ended up 9th on the first lap not to mention the coming together with Heikki shows he really lacks the racecraft which is expected of someone with his experience.

        The Red Bull was capable of winning this weekend, and he dropped 25 points to his team mate. This is the ‘disaster’ weekend; not Turkey.

    2. David Turnedge says:

      I agree, too. And I’m Australian and want to see Webber take the Championship this year.

    3. Hisham Akhtar says:

      Agreed.

    4. Frankie says:

      Mark has not tried to blame Heikki one iota. He is giving his reasons why he made the move and created the accident and I can understand his position. Webber has been guilty of the red mist previously, but this was not an example. As for all these comments about slip streaming please, since when with that speed advantage does slip streaming come into the equation.

      The point most relevant here is that Mark had seen the back markers just move aside in these situation, Heikki being one of the most amenable in this regard. So Webber has that in his mindset when approaching Heikki, but Heikki has decided to change tactics and deliberately block Webber.

      Heikki is perfectly within his rights to do so, but even he should be able to understand that his change in tactics could cause problems when previously his actions have been the opposite. Then you have to ask what gain can Heikki get from this situation? absolutely nothing.

      So Mark was wrong and never stated anything else, Heikki was entitled. But the reason Mark gave for making the mistake is very valid.

      1. Trent says:

        I agree with your comment, except for the part about Heikki having nothing to gain by holding Mark back.

        Even a slow car can hold back a front runner on a difficult-to-pass circuit. And who knows how the race will eventuate? That front runner could have trouble later in the race, and the couple of laps he was held back might just give that slow car an extra position.

        I heard Coulthard alluding to his issue at Monaco with Bernoldi, even though he didn’t specifically refer to it. That issue was an outrage, and I never quite regained full respect for Coulthard after that incident. Slower drivers are there to RACE, and under no circumstances should they just move over when fighting for position. David, you weren’t good enough that day to pass Bernoldi – end of story.

    5. F1Fan says:

      How do you figure he threw away a 2nd place? There were 7 or 8 other cars ahead of him when he crashed.

      1. kbdavies says:

        “How do you figure he threw away a 2nd place? There were 7 or 8 other cars ahead of him when he crashed” – Correct!I overlooked that fact.

    6. Alex Cooper says:

      Totally agree as well. As Gascoyne says, it’s the driver making the overtaking move to pull it off and pull it off safely (which is why to my mind Seb Vettel was responsible in Turkey).

      As for Coulthard’s comments on the Beeb, I surprised myself by agreeing with EJ on Sunday. There is no official B series in F1 and Heikki was right to defend. It may have ruined their race but Lotus certainly got some camera time!!

    7. Paul Kirk says:

      KB, you should watch and listen more closely! Had you done that you would have noticed Mark moveing to the right (to pull out of the slipstream and overtake on the right of the Lotus). Had the Lotus not braked unexpectedly early, Mark would have completed the manoevre safely! Regarding “why slipstream a slower car?” well drivers learn to take advantage of every benefit available to them from as early as Karting and Formula Ford, so they’re not going to suddenly stop doing it just because they’ve got into F1. Also the effect of the long lens made it look like Mark was close behind the Lotus for quite a while, but if we’d seen it from a chopper we’d have got a more acurate vision of the situation.
      PK.

      1. Mark M says:

        Paul you hit upon it by stating “the lotus braked unexpectedly early” but the point is it was only unexpected by Webber .
        Kovaleinen knew when he was going to brake.
        It was for Webber to ensure he didnt get caught out.
        To expect the same barking point with the fastest car and one of the slowest is silly

      2. Jake Pattison says:

        Wouldn’t the slower car brake later for a corner not earlier? Which destroys the argument that Heiki was braking “as usual”. 80m is a huge difference in braking zones and can only be explained by Heiki’s incompetence. There is a reason why he is in a Lotus and Mark is in a Red Bull.

      3. @Jake says:

        A car with less downforce has less stopping power. It’s likely that the Lotus’ braking point would be significantly before the Red Bulls.

        What would be interesting is telem. data from the previous laps showing where Heiki first hit the pedal without someone right up his a*se.

      4. Andy says:

        To Jake Pattison above,

        Slower cars are slower -because- they have to brake earlier, their top speeds are just as good as those of any other team. Heikki is a far cry from being incompetent, he suffered bad luck at the beginning of his tenure at McLaren and never really recovered from that, but before that he was faster than Fisichella at Renault (on his debut season) and now shows that he is the fastest of the drivers for the new teams.

    8. Marc says:

      I have to agree.

      Mark was far to agressive against the Lotus without getting any kind of insight first. Had Mark been dancing about in the Lotus’ mirrors for a few corners then fair enough but..well we know what happened.

      Martin and David called this one wrong IMO.

      1. Mark M says:

        Jake

        slower cars are slower because they dont have the aero of the likes of Red Bull,
        This effects braking as well as a big part of braking is the aero assistance .
        The actual straight line speeds of the cars arent hugely different, most of any difference is dependant on the previous cornering speed.
        To say Heiki is incompetant is silly.
        He performed well enough last year in the McLaren and while he was shaded by Hamilton , so was Alonso and now Button.
        To claim he braked 80 m early is disingenuous.
        Who has seen any data? to back up your claim.

    9. Jameson says:

      Wait you are asking why a driver would slipstream a slower car in a sport where teams spend millions of dollars to claw back a tenth of a second? That’s the definition of asinine.

    10. nemo says:

      Kovalinen has always been a 2nd rate driver, and thats being generous. Why on earth he would want to loose time to try to defend his position on a much faster car is anyone guess. The worst Finnish driver ever, which is a real shame

      1. Andy says:

        Kovalainen had a misfortunate start at McLaren (check those first races he did at McLaren, he was fairing very well against Hamilton, if not for his bad luck) and never really recovered from that, but to call him 2nd rate is over the top. He outdrove Fisichella in Renault on his debut season and now shows he is the fastest of the drivers for new teams. The question is, why on Earth would he be racing in F1 if he didn’t even try to defend his position? It’s called racing for a reason, nobody is there because they enjoy driving around the circuit.

    11. Legend2 says:

      KBDavies,
      Gotta disagree with you and all you other guys.

      If anything, Heikki needs to be investigated for weaving on the track. If you watch the replay from inboard Webber’s car you will see that Heikki makes half a dozen movements left and right. Therefore Mark is not sure what direction Heikki is going to go – Mark does not know whether to go to the inside or the outside. There is an agreement that the driver in front should only make one movement, Heikki clearly did not. Add in the fact that Heikki braked extremely early, and the incredible accident was the result.

      David Coulthard found out first hand what happens when drivers in front brake early on the racing line, and after his experience he commented that he had been wrong to slow down on the racing line when Schumacher ran into him in Spa 98.

      Now, Mark is not blaming Heikki for the incident, he is explaining why the incident has occurred. All these people coming up saying Heikki should not have been defending are being arrogant – Heikki was racing for position and therefore had every right to defend his position. The way he defended it, with half a dozen movements left and right was not fair however. So all the people blaming Mark for this accident, MOVE TO THE BACK OF THE BUS.

      1. kbdavies says:

        “The way he defended it, with half a dozen movements left and right was not fair however”

        Please try to be objective…rather than emotional. Pls show us where Heikki moved “half a dozen” times? Heikki moved only twice – which according to the regulations he is allowed to do.You can move off the racing line to defend, then back into the braking line.

        This incident, is in itself not an unusual occurrence. It is quite common. We are only discussing it because Mark became airborne! Drivers usually loose their front wings when they misjudge the braking point of the car in front, or when they outbrake themselves. NO one has ever blamed the driver in front for this(except, maybe Schumacher, who claimed D.C brake tested him).

        The question, the big elephant is the room is – why was Mark that close to him in the first place? You should ponder on that.

      2. Legend2 says:

        Cheers for the response KBDavies:
        Watch the long replay from Webber’s car, it is shown around 5 minutes after the accident; Heikki moves 7 times. Left, right, then left, then right, then left, then right and finally left again.
        “No one has ever blamed the driver in front” – Almost all the German fans were blaming DC for the Spa incident – and DC was in front.

        James, a couple of things I’ve noticed: People trying to belittle other peoples comments will often say things such as “Please try to be objective, not emotional” as KBDavies has done in response to a predominantly factually based comment – it just makes these people appear approval seeking when they use the expression incorrectly.
        James, the other thing I’ve noticed is people saying “I’m a _____ fan, but I think _____ is rubbish” etc. as if to give themselves some credibility when criticising someone.

        Apart from that, great blog, keep up the good work. We just need to be careful about some silly comments, otherwise the blog degenerates into a forum for low IQ people, rather than a place for intelligent comment and debate.

        Cheers,
        Legend.

    12. SH says:

      I don’t understand. Drivers are allowed to make one move when defending, right? So how come HK jinked left, then moved right, then braked hard?
      He moved several times and given the speed Webber was closing on him an accident was just about inevitable.

    13. Phil says:

      Think Mark’s a nice bloke, but after a while, when ‘accidents’ keep on happening to the same bloke, you start to wonder if it’s really bad luck or just them….

      I long since stopped thinking it was bad luck.

      Basically, he doesn’t keep his head well when racing, and hence has way more than the usual portion of racing ‘incidents’.

      What I do find ironic, and a little irritating is when he compounds this with harping on about other driver’s driving (usually on the grounds of safety). No problem doing that, but ends up looking a bit hypocritical when he seems to be one of the worse culprits.

  2. PaulL says:

    Yeah, the “B teams” have added nothing and on Sunday they spoiled the race for the fans.

    1. Andy W says:

      I know these ‘B teams’ are such a disgrace, all these fly by night privately run teams should be banned from the sport, after all what have the likes of Red Bull, Williams, Beneton, Jordan, Tyrel, Brabham and the rest ever contributed to the sport!!!

      1. TM says:

        Well said.

      2. PaulL says:

        I’m sorry, those teams didn’t kick on at the back 1.5 seconds off the next slowest car. I’m all for independents as long as they’re fit for the TOP class motorsport in the world. Plenty of feeder series to sort out who might be ripe and the new teams rarely made a splash in them. Slap on a name change, an investor and they think they’re ready for the big time. Not on the evidence of what I’ve seen!

      3. Andy W says:

        New teams are needed in the sport, every team started as a new team, and it is ignorant to believe that new teams can enter into the mid field, especially the teams that entered last season when you consider the circumstances of their joining and the lack of testing available to them.

    2. Paul Kirk says:

      So what do YOU want, Paul, half a dosen cars all going the same speed, and the rest of the cars parked in the pits? You might be happy but you’d be one of the few!
      PK.

      1. PaulL says:

        Something like 2008. The gap between first and last was often as small as 1.5 seconds. 2008 now seems as if it was the final year of F1′s upward trend.

      2. Trent says:

        Look through the record books and you’ll see Ferraris more than 1.5 seconds slower than the leaders as recently as the early 90′s.

        Empty grids look pathetic and I’m in complete disagreement with you over their contribution.

        I’m looking forward to Team #13 in 2011.

      3. Andy W says:

        and how many cars where on the grid in 2008? How many teams have left the sport since?

        The sport needs new teams if its going to survive. ANY team that comes into the sport is going to take time to catch upto the speed of the pack, thats obvious. Personally I am hugely impressed with how close Lotus, Virgin and HRT are to the pace given how little time they have had to develop their cars and how little testing they were able to do pre-season, and the lack of in season testing.

        That said I do think that F1 needs to do more to help new and struggling teams, my simple solution would be to create an extra practice session at each race weekend and only allow teams/drivers who have failed to score any points to compete (with an extra allocation of tyres that could only be used in this practice session). Actually I would suggest a slightly more complex system that gave time to rookie drivers, and as the season progressed allowed teams with a couple of points to also use this session.

    3. nick f says:

      You could argue that they made the race since the crash and the safety car were hugely important in the story of the race.

      crashes are very scary, but also hugely exciting.

      …Anyway i’m very happy Mark walked away from it with no injuries.

  3. Fm says:

    True Aussie grit

  4. Gareth says:

    I agree with Mike Gascoyne, the responsibility for the overtake at that point rests entirely upon the following driver. Whilst I agree Heikki moved slightly, I did not see the movement as blocking ala Schumacher or even tow breaking as Lewis did earlier in the year. I think Mark simply did not allow enough room and treated it as a lapping rather than an overtake for position.

  5. Marc says:

    First, glad he is ok, that did look pretty bad.

    But he is fully to blame for the accident, he showed a lack of judgement. Heiki did not do anything wrong, zilch. Webber basically drove into Heiki, like he did many times before in his career, including this season, ask Hamilton.

    Eddie was spot on with his comments about it, while DC and Brundle were way off.

    What the hell was especially DC talking about? Pretty much saying that Webber was pretty much blameless and the Lotus should have just evaporated into thin air because his buddy Webber was driving in the Red Bull car that also pays his salary.

    His car was 4 secs a lap faster? Ok, take Heiki the next corner then instead of balancing on the edge, 3 feet away from Heiki’s wing while he was preparing to brake? Webber followed Heiki’s movements in detail, in milliseconds, while there was no need for it…much faster car rememeber?

    Webber was driving like he was fighting for the lead in the last lap, last corner with Hamilton.

    It seems to me, when the topic is Webber, DC and Brundle support him come hell or high water, even when he screws up badly. You can almost hear them thinking while talking, trying to bend and twist things and make sure they do not critisize Webber in any way, while when other drivers do similar things they blast and mock them.

    If Vettel had driven into Heiki like that, they both would have said it was Vettel’s mistake, no need to be that aggressive with a Lotus and he needs to mature more.

    Many say BBC has a bias towards Red Bull Racing….no, it is a bias towards Webber, to be accurate.

    1. Voyager says:

      Is DC still paid as a ‘consultant’ to Red Bull?

      1. KP says:

        Yes paid consultant to RBR and Torro Rosso. And obviously, Webber’s lawyer, ha!

    2. Paul says:

      I agree fully.

      Especially about how Coulthard and Brundle always defend Webber, no matter what. If Vettel had done this, they would be all over him.

      And how Coulthard twisted the facts when he used the ‘Heikki moved 2 times’ excuse…… he forgot to mention that rule only counts in the braking area which Heikki was no where close to. Very sneaky David. Heikki was following the curves in the ‘straight’, positioning his car for braking. He moved 1 time for the braking area which is exactly when Webber plunged into him.

      But the average listener would say ‘hey that’s true, Heikki moved 2 times’. And even if it was true, still doesn’t give Webber the excuse to drive into him while he could have avoided it by not buzzing around Heikki’s wing like a mad hornet hyper on caffeine.

      He needs to cool down and start driving using his intelligence. Many people still won’t admit to it, but Webber could have also easily avoided what happened in Turkey with Vettel.

    3. Paul Kirk says:

      Funny how some people see things, Marc, I don’t see it like you do. In my opinion it was a racing accident brought about by the unexpectedly early braking of the Lotus.
      PK.

      1. KP says:

        Funny indeed how you see things. Next time someone crashes into your car from the back, you will tell the insurance you were to blame ;)

      2. paul says:

        first sane comment so far, there is no doubting that the Lotus braked early.

      3. MartinWR says:

        Please note: the preceding comment of mine relates to response no. 57. I don’t know why it ended up here

  6. monktonnik says:

    Firstly, it is a miracle that he walked away from that, and it is a testament to the work that the FIA the GPDA and particulalry the likes of Max Moseley, DC, Jackie Stewart have done.

    I like Webber as a driver, but I find it a bit hard to accept the line that he, Red Bull and David Coulthard have all expressed; that Kovalainen shouldn’t have defended his position, because he was going to get passed eventually. That is just not in the spirit of racing, and smacks of some sort of assumed superiority over the new teams.

    Looking at the replays it seems that Heikki was actually starting to move across to brake, and possible to open the door a little to Webber. Webber followed the move to the left and then darted right. He seemed to be trying to get a tow into the braking zone and the space just wasn’t there as Heikki braked.

    I know this is a controversial opinion, but I put the blame for this incident 100% on Webber. If he hadn’t moved across to get the tow and just braked off line he would have had enough room, you can see this on the replay. Heikki was defending prior to the accident, which he was entitled to do and drove fairly in my opinion. If anything Webber was too hasty, particularly when you consider that he is claiming that he would have passed him within a lap or two anyway.

    A racing incident, but not one that I feel the Lotus could have avoided without pulling off the race track and waving him through.

    1. "for sure" says:

      Agree entirely. I’m a fan of Webber, but he got this all wrong and the accident was his fault and entirely avoidable. Why is he not penalised as a consequence? Is causing a life threatening accident of this magnitude less serious than jumping the safety car by a metre?

    2. Tim says:

      DC tangled with Jarno Trulli’s Jordan at the first corner of the British GP in 2001, putting both out of the race. In an interview afterwards, DC expressed the strong view that Trulli should have been more careful because he (DC) was a title contender and Trulli wasn’t. FYI – DC and Trulli had qualified 3rd and 4th, a mere 0.003 seconds apart.

      For a driver who believed that other non-title contending frontrunners should get out of his way, it’s not a big jump for DC to suggest that slower cars should do likewise.

      The logic was flawed then and it’s still flawed now – Webber may be a title contender in 2010, but perhaps he needs to drive a bit more like a world champion.

      1. monktonnik says:

        Perhaps you also remember the incident with DC and Micheal Schumacher when DC slowed during a race in wet conditions and Schumacher ploughed into the back of him. I don’t remember DC suggesting that it was his fault for not moving over.

        But, I don’t want to attack DC, MW or Red Bull. I just don’t see it in the same way.

      2. MartinWR says:

        Maybe his problem is that he simply isn’t in fact WDC material. Webber shows every sign of being completely unable to control himself when things are going badly. In this class of racing that is indeed a very dangerous trait to possess. After the other incidents he has been involved in this year I fully expected his manager to read him the riot act. Clearly he didn’t or if he did it had no effect on calming him down.

        What a contrast to Jense who was forced to sit behind a slightly slower car for virtually the whole race on a track where passing is well nigh impossible without a big speed differential. By rights most would have expected Kobayashi to change tyres in the early stages of the race. Of course he didn’t. That tactic certainly wrecked Jense’s race and must have been absolutely infuriating. However I don’t recall him losing his cool then (or at any other time for that matter). That is why Jense is WDC material and always has been. Webber? I don’t think so, on current showing.

  7. Charles Fox says:

    I’m sorry but I have to say something about this

    “He braked 80 metres before i did on the last lap, i didn’t realise they were sooo much slower”

    load of rubbish, Kova braked just around the 100m board(probably 110 or 115 before the corner) if you view the videos. which fromn 190mph down to ~60ish, seems a fair braking distance. and after watching hamiltons pole lap from 2009, be braked around 120m before it on his pole lap of a 1:39.5ish. so kovalinen was braking pretty much bang on what you’d expect. whereas theres no way in hell the RB6 even with its greater downforce than the lotus and last years mclaren was braking <50m before that corner!

    he knew he shouldn't have let that happen, and damn right should have known better with his experience. annoys me how much everyone likes to moan about slow cars, makes me wonder how they'd handle Le Mans (LMS/ALMS also) with the great speed and performance differentials. it seems Davidson did ok (Still don't think he touched the Corvette)

    1. David Turnedge says:

      Have you seen the telemetry?

      1. charles fox says:

        Obviously not, should I have?

        If:
        It has been published “my bad” but i stand by the fact that the RB6 cannot have such a grip advantage to brake 80m later than the lotus or last years mclaren (both clearly not as good as the RB6 aerodynamically/grip wise, but clearly not 30% as capable under braking).
        Or
        you’re some sort of insider working for RB/know some people, good for you but clearly the public will not know that.
        Or
        Your defending webbers statement that he braked 80m earlier than webbers RB6 did on the previous lap.

        either way, i don’t know the ins and outs, but 80m is a ridiculous thing to say, i can’t think of a single seater formula that’d have to brake 80m before an F1 car (illustrating that the claim for a lotus effectively needing tripple the braking distance of the RB6 is ridiculous). doubt even sub F3 formula renault or something single seater, would need to brake at 150m+ for that corner, maybe Nascars oval brake setups…

      2. Tim says:

        Watch the video again – Kovy Breaked around 120m – if you look at the track you can see the skid marks in the breaking zone where the breaking occurs – Kovy breaked before this. I am guessing the normal breaking zone is around 80 meters (for example at i have stood next to Barcelona turn 1 and they break at 50-60 meters although the corner entry speed is higher) so he definetly breaked earlier than a normal car. This is probably what got webber.

        James do you have any idea what the breaking distances are for that corner ?

      3. David Turnedge says:

        Who do touchy? Innocent question – you sounded so sure you know the braking was early – others have denied this – I was just asking. Not a life or death question, mate. Be cool.

      4. Trent says:

        Can’t help but think there is some peculiarity in the circuit that contributed, with an almost identical crash happening in GP2 earlier that day.

        Both Webber and the GP2 driver appeared not to realise how close to the braking zone they were – perhaps even just the ‘concrete tunnel’ effect of a street circuit?

  8. J. Potocki says:

    Firstly I would like to start by saying that I am very relieved that Webber was able to walk away from that terrible accident unhurt. I found it had some eerie similarities to the accident that claimed my fellow Canadian Gilles Villeneuve.
    Having said that, I do feel that Mike Gascoyne is absolutely right. It’s up to the car doing the passing to make sure the coast is clear. He (Kovalainen) was not being lapped. I’m getting tired of the front runners expecting all the other drivers to almost park the car on the side of the track to let them get by. In my racing days (20 years ago) the rule of thumb was that you always kept to the racing line and it was up to the faster car to get around you. The rule was simple, when entering a corner if your front tire was along side the other drivers shoulder, the corner was yours. No shutting of the door like you so often hear mentioned these days. And what ever happened to drivers simply sticking out their hand to indicate what side you should pass them on.
    I’m a dinosaur because I remember when drivers would lift their right arm to indicate that they were entering the pits. Lol

    1. Jan Isley says:

      Well said. If you are a dinosaur, you are in good company. The evolution of Formula One has not always been for the good. Certainly Weber is walking and talking today because of the advances in car safety. As someone else commented – that chassis is priceless.

      Has this greater safety contributed to the decline (as I see it) of the gentleman driver? Did those dinosaur drivers of yore operate under a more gentlemanly agreement than is practiced today because the real stakes were higher?

      I am glad to that Mark and Heikki are okay. Heikki’s shunt was no walk in the park either. I have to say that I agree with Mike Gascoyne’s analysis of the accident – Mark drove over Heikki – ’nuff said. I am a fan of Mark’s. I like to think he would be a good bloke to have as a neighbor and friend. He does have a history of tailgating to excess though. Perhaps this will be the one to break him of that habit?

  9. Stu says:

    The bit that Webber mentions about thinking if there were any bridges on the track at that point reminded me of a crash between Berger and Patrese at Estoril 1992 when Patrese hit the back of Berger and rose up into the air quite near a bridge on the start/finish straight.

    The safety of F1 and how much it has come on in the 20yrs I have been watching it is a real credit to the sport.

  10. Michael SW20 says:

    Webber doesn’t seem to be pointing a finger really, so fair play and here’s hoping that he is back in the next race to teach Vettel who’s boss :)

    1. Spyros says:

      Quite right. I think he said most of what he said to save some face, rather than due to any real anger towards anyone else… I’m pretty sure he knows why the accident happened, and simply wants to move on. Past Vettel, that is!

  11. Adam Taylor says:

    After hoping that Mark was ok after his flying experience, is it a bad thought that my next immediate thought was to think that the engineers and aerodynamicist of rival teams would like this as they get a chance to see the underside of the Red Bull car, just like the shots that were shown on here with Alonso’s car in Monaco

    1. nick f says:

      I remember thinking that at the time too. I had forgotten though until i read your comment which reminded me.

      F1 still isn’t in high def though so i’m not sure they have that many pixels to work with.

      Presumably some photographers were around at that corner. I wonder if they got a good shot of it.

  12. Nick Webb says:

    What amazes me about the whole thing is Webber’s response. He can understand he was racing for position, but at the same time Kovy should have moved because he was going to get passed anyway? And then Webber makes comments about being 4 seconds a lap faster – so what was the rush to pass there and then – if the room wasn’t there, with that speed differential it wasn’t going to take him long to find a clear-cut opportunity. I think Webber felt under pressure because of the poor start and has just been rushing things too much. His fault entirely.

    1. Trent says:

      I think we should go easy – it was a massive accident and I guess it’s human nature not to put your hand up and say ’100% my fault’; after getting a fright like that, I’ve no doubt his mind would be a bit scambled.

  13. JimmiC says:

    “As a multiple race winner and particularly a Monaco GP winner, the car would be expected to have had a significant extra value.”

    For saving his life, it is priceless.

    For my two-pennies worth, I agree with Martin Brundle’s immediate analysis before he changed his mind during the replay – namely that Webber was trying to get a little extra slipstream and just tried to grab too much. I don’t think Kovvy can be blamed for that one.

  14. Andy W says:

    Can someone please ask Mark where he expected Kovi to brake? As has been repeatedly pointed out Kovi was 4 seconds a lap slower in the race (and 2.5 slower in quali), surely part of the reason for that is that his car can’t brake as late into corners as the Red Bull….

    I am sorry but as a road driver I find that I have to evaluate other road users by their abilities not my own, and their cars performance based on what that particular car is and not on the performance of my own car, and whilst I haven’t been a racing (let alone F1) driver I find it beyond comprehension that these basic tenets of driving safely on the road don’t apply to racing.

    Now I am not blaming Mark entirely, I think what happened was a racing incident and could have been a horrific one very easily, but Mark was the one who drove into the back of Kovi, he was trying to slipstream by sticking to the Lotus gearbox and for the life of me I can’t see what Mark expected Kovi to do on that short straight leading into the tight corner to ‘get out’ of Marks way.

  15. Conor says:

    I dread to thing what would have happened if Webber’s car had launched at more of an angle and collided with the catch fence. Krosnoff’s fatal Indycar crash (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kODJoZwik_E) has always stuck in my head and when I saw Webber’s car launch… well I’m glad it didn’t contact the fence.

    Webber was the luckiest man in Spain on Sunday. Some crash.

    1. Rowan says:

      Agreed, that crash also came to my mind when I saw Webber flip. also very similar to the GP2 crash in the morning, just hours before the F1 race.

    2. JR says:

      “Motor racing is dangerous”, that’s what it says on the ticket. There are a hundred ways a driver could be killed — but through improved engineering, specifications and rules the odds of a big accident are reduced each year. The big one I keep seeing is those telehandlers that trundle on to the run-off areas to remove cars that are damaged: a racecar will slide under one one of these days. Can it happen? Yes it can, I was there when a Formula Ford went under a lorry at Aintree some years back. The driver stood no chance. Please warn the authorities about this one, James. I hold my breath every time I see it happening.

  16. Michael S says:

    Glad he is ok, but that was 100% his fault…. He was in 18th or 19th at the time so one or two more corners behind the Lotus would not have killed him. I can only assume he was still fuming at himself for one of he worst starts I have ever seen in F1…. With a top car it is not easy to fall from 2nd to 9th in 5 corners and with no contact involved.

  17. Adrian says:

    “I had time to worry about whether there were any bridges at that point on the track, which, luckily there weren’t. If there had been one, I would have hit it because I went pretty high.”

    No bridges, but he did take out some overhead advertising I noticed..!!

  18. Robert says:

    This is why I voted in the last poll on this website for the drivers to fight it out. Had Webber knew that regardless if he was lapping or not that he would have to fight Heikki he would have been more careful. As it was he made a rookie/kid mistake. He got too close and waited too long to brake. He either would not have made the corner anyways or still hit Heikki. 80 metters too early…. pfft! Heikki was on the dirty part of the track. At least he had the presence of mind to realise where he was and brake appropriately. No one has commented on that so far…. As for DC, he has completely lost my respect. I doubted his commenting before, but this really takes the cake.

  19. Rowan says:

    yeah that crash was a real heart-in-the-mouth moment for me. Webber annihilated the DHL advertisment with the underside of his car as he took off. It was also lucky he stayed relatively straight in flight. We’ve all seen those awful crashes in Indycar when they get taken up into the catch fences and Webber wasn’t too far away from doing that himself. In some ways the crash was similar to Villenueve and Schumachers crash in Melbourne back in 2001, and as we all know in that instance a marshall lost his life.

    F1 is certainly alot safer these days. but there have been some almighty accidents during the last decade that, had they happened 20 years ago, would likely have been fatal or resulted in serious injury.

    Burti at Spa 2001
    McNish at Suzuka practice 2002
    Jenson at Monaco practice 2003
    Ralph Firman at Hungary practice 2003
    Alonso at Italagos 2003
    Kubica at Canada 2007
    Massa at Hungary qualifying 2009
    and now Webber at Valencia 2010

    There’s probably more but I can’t think of them right now.

    We, and they, are lucky indeed that safety is so good in F1 these days.

  20. Justin says:

    I have to ask what Webber was thinking getting that close to a back marker when he has so much to risk, he is fighting for a world championship he really should have given Heiki a wide berth and more respect. I wouldnt imagine the possibility of flying through the air went through Mark’s mind before the event, but he must have made a concious decision to risk being that close and have considered that they could have touched and put him out of the race. I know there is some debate as to whether Kovalainen moved or not, but whether he did or not it was only by a small amount, there was room available for him to be safely in (much more room than he allowed Vettel a few weeks before).
    So why would he put himself in that position? I can only think that he was really rattled by suddenly finding himself so far back and the red mist had descended putting his emotion before the cold calculating brain that an F1 driver needs to use at that level. I suppose Alonso too might be put into this category of having his race ruined (though less spectacularly) by letting emotion get the better of him by stewing over the Hamilton incident

  21. Calixto says:

    It was a racing incident, these things just happen sometimes.

    1. Trent says:

      Totally. Let’s not overdo the criticism of Webber.

  22. Paul says:

    James is right to point out the safety point. Amazing that he just got out and walked away for an early shower.

    The FIA, Jackie Stewart, DC, Berger and all the others have been mentioned but don’t forget Sid Watkins. His three books on being the F1 Doctor are worth a read.

  23. Mike says:

    In my opinion Webber was entirely at fault. It was his responsibility to make a safe pass and should have expected a Lotus (or any other car) to defend it’s position. He was only stuck behind Heiki through his own lack of racecraft in the first place. Heiki moved once slightly to the right and then rightly took his position for braking into the corner. Webber was far too close and it’s not the first time he has overshot his braking mark.

    I’m sick of the supposed A-team cars (Ferrari in particular) thinking they have entitlement to pass. Webber’s arrogance saying that there was no point in Heiki defending as he would have been passed in 15 seconds anyway proves how unnecessary Webber’s failed attempt to pass really was.

    A racing incident perhaps, but a grid penalty or disqualification from the next race would not be out of order for causing an avoidable accident and ruining Heiki’s race (as well as endangering his life). Obviously I am relieved that neither driver was injured.

  24. Tim B says:

    I’ve got a lot of time for Mark, and am relieved and amazed that he’s ok, but like many I feel the crash was more his fault than Kovaleinen’s (sp?)

    He was very close to the Lotus, and in that position there’s always the danger of being caught out if the car in front brakes before you do. Since he didn’t seem to know where the Lotus’s braking point was, it was a bit silly to get that close.

    I think the “red mist” comment above is spot on – Webber has a history of pushing too hard when things have gone against him. It’s one of his few weaknesses, though, so hopefully he can get better at controlling that aggression.

  25. Gary says:

    Yes, I’m relieved Webber’s OK, and I usually really admire him, but …

    I think it’s sad when drivers just say things and most people will just believe them, even when they are telling porky pies to make them seem less to blame for something … I suppose it’s what they are told to do by their teams, when they make a mistake (Vettel at Turkey?)

    Webber says “I looked to the left and then he went back left …” actually, the Lotus went left and then Webber <> him to the left – and this just before the 100M board!!!

    Then, he says “It was so far before the braking point, it was 80 metres earlier than my previous lap” … ???? He usually brakes 20-30M from the bend??? It happened just before the 100M board, and if he was so wrong about this then that explains the crash.

    It wasn’t about the Lotus defending its place, it was that Webber lost track of where he was on the track, didn’t realise he was into the braking area for the Lotus, and made a real big and dangerous mistake of trying to slipstream someone as they were braking … it’s simple physics from there on.

    Weber’s (dangerous) mistake, pure and simple. Maybe he was pissed about having lost so much ground, but this was brain fade.

    1. Alexx says:

      I agree!

      One thing i have noticed about Webber is that he always says ‘im not giving a shooping list of excuses’

      but then proceeds to put the blame on others!

  26. Nate says:

    Fault lies completely in Webber’s lap. EJ was spot on in is comments on the BBC – rare but true in this case. DC is a fool… Webber simply tried to eek out every last bit of tow which as others have said here completely foolish. Webber’s shown all kinds of poor judgement before and this is just another on the list

  27. Yeah I agree with most comments. While Kovy didn’t really give him a clear path, he shouldn’t have been that close in the slip stream. He should have placed his car clearly left or right to indicate he was coming past one side or the other.
    Easy for me to say though, I was in my chair with a bear, not in an F1 car doing close to 200mph. Racing incident. Important thing is everyone walked away.

  28. Spark says:

    Well, I think Webber was the luckiest man of last sunday at the race. To escape a crash like that, without even a scratch it’s amazing.

    The thing I don’t understand is why Webber was following Kovolainen so closely. If the time difference is really that large, then overtaking wouldn’t be a problem. And the tow would be unnecessary.

    Although Webber isn’t really pointing at Kovy, to me it is simple who is to blame. The one that is riding into the back of the other is actually always to blame, except for braketesting or mechanical failures.

    So Webber is even more lucky as he also escaped a penalty. In the past several drivers have received penalties for riding into the back of the car in front of them. Luckily, this year the drivers can race each other more than previous years without receiving a penalty.

  29. BA says:

    It’s similar to Alonso tried to overtook Chandok at canada. Alonso try to get a toe on chandok to make his live easier. It turned out that chandok hit brake on blue flag, which then unintentionally blocked alonso in the process and Jenson overtook him. The differences there were no blue flag waived in Webber-Kovy case, and the latter crashed.

    My point is, don’t bother slipstreaming behind slower cars, Or you’ll end up nowhere but junkyard.

  30. MHD says:

    I really don’t understand why people rate Webber. It was his fault entirely: as has been said, he was behind, he had nothing to prove.

    Throughout his career, almost every time he’s under pressure, he wilts. He keeps making rookie mistakes even when he’s not. He talks a good game, has the square-jawed look that suits a racing driver – but frankly, he can’t cut it.

    I’ve held this opinion for a long time though I started to revise it earlier this year when he seemed to have upped his game. I’m reverting to opinion A, and it’ll take quite a shove to revise it again.

    1. Alexx says:

      I agree

  31. Diamond says:

    Big Webber fan. Thank goodness he is okay. As an observation, he tends to make these mistakes when he has a bad start. Instead of playing percentages, goes for the glory and comes unstuck. If he is fighting for position, then he has to fight for it, no matter if it is a slower team or not – just as Button had to do with Kobayashi. Slow teams is for FOTA and FIA to sort out. I hope he learns from it and it fires him for the rest of the season.

  32. RichT says:

    Just glad it didnt happen on the swing bridge… (why o why o why is that feature of the track even allowed)?

    1. Brace says:

      Because one Bahrein is more then enough?
      I don’t want all the tracks to be 1km run off areas in the middle of the desert.

      1. RichT says:

        There is a difference between large run off areas and a huge low-slung swing bridge over water that the cars travel over at 130mph.

        hardly the same.

        /grin ;)

  33. Liam says:

    This must surely be the only time I’ve agreed with Eddie Jordan. I usually have a lot of respect for all that Coulthard and Brundle have to say but this time they were way off.

    As has been said here already – A driver in a faster car does not have the god given right to get past, they have to work for it. Heikki had every right to defend his position for has long as he could and I would argue that if he didn’t see it that way he is in the wrong profession.

    Seriously, Webber needs to accept fault here, there was absolutely no point in getting as close as he did in to a braking zone… Of course Heikki was gonna brake earlier, his car was 4 seconds a lap slower.

    Completely stupid but glad Webber is ok.

    1. MartinWR says:

      I’m not quite sure why it is so common for people to laugh at EJ’s opinions. Maybe he lacks an air of gravitas, maybe because he’s older generation, I don’t know. I think people forget that EJ is as much an insider as anyone, and for all that some see him as a buffoon, he actually knows what he’s talking about. In contrast, the opinions expressed by DC (especially) and Brundle were downright laughable. Webber’s driving was really dangerous and should have been investigated by the stewards. And that is in addition to his questionable behaviour in previous races this season.

      Clearly DC’s association with Red Bull affected his judgement more than somewhat. To say that Heikki was weaving around in front of Webber to stop him passing was just a joke. Heikki barely moved a tyre’s width to the side, and that before the braking zone, as is clear from the onboard shots. By comparison, I seem to recall a certain LH recently weaving from one side of the straight to the other to prevent Petrov overtaking him, without being censured in any way at all (as usual).

      1. Hamilton wasn’t weaving to prevent Petrov overtaking him, that’s against the rules. He was weaving to break the tow, which is not against the rules.

        Webber shouldn’t have been that close in the slip stream. He should have clearly indicted which side he was going to pass on, but I put this down to a racing incident.

        I disklie EJ on TV. I’m sure he knows what he’s talking about, but he’s not a good TV pundit. It’s clear from whoever he speaks to he’s widely thought of as an idiot.

  34. Chris Partridge says:

    Regarding driver safety, after all the criticism thrown at Max Mosley during his tenure, his absolute commitment to driver safety is an immensely impressive legacy as recent events of the past few years demonstrate. His actions have saved several lives for sure, I believe.

    1. Harvey Yates says:

      That is one way of looking at it. Another might be that it took the deaths of Ratzenberger and Senna for the FIA to implement recommendations that had been on his desk for some time.

      The history of safety in F1 in particular and motor sport in general is a fascinating subject. I think praise must go to the engineers who have pushed the boundaries of car safety design. It is they who have allowed the compromise – for all safety regs in motor sport are just that, a compromise between, amongst others, safety and spectacle – to favour speed.

      The fight in the Italian courts over the Senna crash concentrated a few minds.

      Before that weekend at Imola the sport had enjoyed a number of years without deaths and there had been few serious injuries. It is possible that complacency set in at the regulator level as the cars had not kept up with what was possible.

      I accept it is easy to be wise after the event but, that said, some people were pushing for improved vehicle safety but were ignored, until two of the horses bolted that is.

      What was worrying in Webber’s crash, as in the Mercedes crash at Le Mans, was the aerodynamic features of the car. It literally flew. I think that needs addressing. Quite apart from the danger to Webber had such an accident occurred at the bridge there is the risks to spectators to consider.

      Attitudes have changed. I remember reading criticisms of Stewart in a well respected monthly motor sport magazine when he was pushing for what were very basic safety features for F1 cars and the circuits. Incredible though it might sound today, he appeared to be a lone voice, ridiculed by many with influence.

      It is the ‘certified idiot’ we should be thanking for Webber’s survival and blaming his detractors.

      It was a heart-stopping moment. I can’t have many more of them at my age.

  35. Flintster says:

    I’m sorry – you are racing for position! Hekki like anyone on that grid would have defended – these are the best drivers in the world and should not expect people to move over just becuase there alittle slower….. if Weber was driving a Lotus, I could see him moving out of the way…..yeah right!!!!!

    Get a grip…..

  36. Andy C says:

    I like everyone else had a heart in mouth moment when the crash happened on sunday. What a leap in safety we have seen since the fatalities at imola.

    Great to see neither driver hurt.

    I felt that webber should take most of the blame as he appeared. That said it was a spur of the moment judgement call that he just got wrong.

  37. packapoo says:

    Kovalainen braked as normal…..

    There lies a clue why these cars are soooo slow.
    Spend too much time braking (thereby causing other breaks).

  38. Matthew J Sullivan says:

    It’s true that no one died “in an F1 car” during the 2000s. But that is a very carefully wordsmithed statement.

    Change the word “car” to “race” and the statement is no longer true. At least two track marshals were killed at F1 races during that decade.

    Drivers are surviving wrecks due to a combination of car design and track design. Giving the FIA credit for design standards that helped save the lives of drivers but allowed the deaths of track workers is a fairly gruesome accounting trick.

    As for the FIA’s much-vaunted crash standards: the most easily survived crash is the one prevented in the first place. I’ve seen enough flying F1 cars during my decades as a fan to have long ago decided that open wheel cars are unnecessarily dangerous. Christian Fittipaldi’s flip years back could have caused mass carnage had he landed just just a few feet over – in the pit lane.

    What will it take for the FIA to wake up to this risk? A repeat of Le Mans 1955?

  39. Sammy says:

    Glad he’s ok but entirely his own fault.

  40. EM says:

    Here’s a question for F1 fans: Do Red Bull try too hard to win?

    It’s traditional wisdom that sometimes to get an F1 title consistency is the key. Points for a safe second are better than risking them for a win and going home with nothing.

    We’ve seen Mark Webber’s kamikaze move in Australia, their first corner dicing in Malaysia, the infamous Turkey experience and now Webber making a last gasp move on a much slower car.

    Meanwhile we’ve seen so-called hot-headed drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso take the results they can get over the past few seasons and stay in the mix despite not putting together and run of poles and wins.

    As for the team it looks like this season’s car is built to be the fastest not necessarily the strongest, and they’ve failed to turn those first row lock outs into a string of top two steps on the podium.

    Currently Red Bull remind me of an attacking football team, always pushing for a goal but due to their pressing always likely to let one in too.

    1. Diamond says:

      I agree. RB are hungry for that first world championship. Ferrari and Maclaren and their drivers dont have anything to prove besides upholding their traditions. Also this is the first time Mark has had a fast and reliable car, and his time is running out. This is where he needs to relax and let it come to him. Easy to say, tough to do in the heat of the moment. Maybe his race engineer needs to learn to calm him down when things go South.

    2. MartinWR says:

      There isn’t a team on the grid that isn’t straining every sinew to better their rivals, and in the case of the top teams, win the championship. But they have to do it without employing drivers who repeatedly crash into their rivals and threaten their lives and the lives of those around them. On their current showing, that doesn’t seem to be the way it is working out for Red Bull.

      1. Diamond says:

        I agree, but that straining can and I think has for RB manifested itself as desperation and then exasperation when it doesn’t come off. I agree they need to better manage their driver’s emotions in the heat of the race. I think Maclaren are doing this with Hamilton. Although I suspect much of that is him growing up a little, and Buttons relaxed attitude. I think Webber would be where Button is IF he had already won a championship, but he hasn’t and that is causing added friction.

        Maclaren and Ferrari know they are going to win again, it is just a matter of time, so that gives them extra mental space and relaxation to get the job done, and do it right.

  41. DK says:

    Webber has driven some slower cars before, so I expect him to be more understanding for drivers trying to race decently in slower cars.

    Fault was entirely Webber’s. He should have apologised to Heiki for ruined his race.

    Looks like the Red Bull drivers still have a lot to prove in overtaking on track.

  42. True Blue says:

    Gascoine IS going to say what a great car they have and that Kovalinen did nothing wrong.
    The fact is that all the new teams are an extra hazard that the other drivers have to negotiate.
    They should be penalised if they dont get out of the way because no way are they racing.

    1. Stu says:

      Don’t agree, when your fighting for position on the track you have a right to defend your position.

      If the faster car behind is so good, then they will soon be past without incident.

      Oh, hang on…..

    2. Brad says:

      Spot on.. even the new teams admit they are only racing each other atm. Why would the slowest car even bother blocking the fastest car after only 9 laps into a 60 odd lap race? Even though Webber is at fault for the crash the reason I watch is the competition between teams, not ridiculous attempts of backmarkers to race cars that are miles ahead.

    3. Rebecca says:

      Sorry, but you’re talking rubbish. Penalised for not getting out of the way? Should that apply for every car that holds up a faster one? Should Kobayashi be penalised for holding up Button? Of course not! It’s racing. ALL the teams are there to race. Lotus have as much right as Red Bull to be there. They have an official F1 entry, they qualified same as everyone else (and were within the 107% which will apply next season), and on lap 9 Heikki Kovalainen was ahead of Mark Webber and had every right to defend that position, no matter how fast the car behind ultimately was. The fact of the matter is it was Webber’s responsibility to make that pass safely, and he was unable to do so.

  43. senna says:

    racing incident.
    Let’s see how this it’s going to affect webber. In my view he is going to be eclipsed by vettel in qualy and in the races.

  44. henry says:

    JA, your comment on ITV website that Hamilton took an unfair advantage in spain is a big disgrace to yourself. If it was Jenson you won’t say that rubbish. i know you are bitter that hamilton didn’t lose any position and Jenson didn’t get second position. can any spanish website write that rubbish against Alonso?

    1. James Allen says:

      What are you talking about? He got an advantage by getting ahead of the safety car. It was unfair, clearly. He got a penalty for it, but the penalty cost him only time, not places.

      1. henry says:

        so Vettle got unfair advantage aswell? JA, i don’t need to be a rocket sciencist to know that if vettle was ahead of SC then Lewis would be ahead aswell or very very close to SC, so nothing unfair here. what is unfair to us fans is how Jenson who can’t qualify on podium and is second in WDC.

      2. Stu says:

        Nothing wrong in being consistent, look at Keke Rosberg in 1982 as an example…

        And to be honest, the only reason anyone has a look in the WDC this year is because of Red Bull consistently throwing away races in what is blatantly the best car. They should be doing a Mansell in 1992 right about now!!

      3. David Perel says:

        No Vettel passed the Safety car line before the Safety car came out the pits. You clearly were not paying attention ;)

      4. Tim says:

        Vettel didn’t pass the safety car after it had passed the relevant line on the track – Hamilton did. Had Lewis stayed behind the Safety Car as per the regulations he would have been forced to complete that lap more slowly behind it before pitting, losing him track position to the cars who were able to pit the lap before.

        Alonso was just behind Hamilton when the Safety Car came out but stayed behind it – he dropped from 3rd to 9th because of it. I’m not mentioning Alonso because of his rattle out the pram comments, just to illustrate to you the scale of the advantage Lewis gained by passing the Safety Car. In fact, Hamilton would probably have dropped further down the order than Alonso because McLaren needed to change his nosecone, damaged in the first corner clash with Vettel.

        Had Lewis simply been in the right place at the right time when the Safety Car came out (as he was in Monaco 2008), no one could have objected. In Valencia, Hamilton was also in the right place at the right time – but only because he broke the rules to get there.

      5. MartinWR says:

        What always irks LH’s detractors is the way he invariably seems to gain from questionable antics and yet never receives any significant penalty.

        On this particular occasion you have to wonder whether the authorities looked at the “penalty” they were imposing and actually took note of the fact that, in the circumstances, it wouldn’t even be a penalty at all! Clearly, at the very least, he should have been put back in front of Alonso. Even that would not have represented any punishment whatsoever for breaking the rules. It would merely have put him back in the position he would have occupied if he hadn’t passed the second safety car.

        I rarely find myself sympathising with Alonso, who not infrequently acts like a cry baby, but this time his frustration was very understandable.

      6. MHD says:

        What?? LH never gets a penalty? What about Spa 2008? What about Canada when he ran into cars i the pitlane. He’s attracting penalties because he pushes at the limit – as you’d expect of a racing driver.

  45. Tony G says:

    The Sydney papers have been quoting Gascoyne as saying Webber was at fault. I think the real culprit was Mike Gascoyne for designing such a slow car in the first place……

  46. Kenny says:

    I’m the biggest Webber fan, and I was very relieved when he walked away from the crash. He is so lucky!

    In retrospect, he shouldn’t have been anywhere near the back markers – but that was due to his poor start, where fault only lies with him.

    A couple of races ago, everybody was backing Webber and saying how he has improved. Now all of a sudden its Webber has ‘red mist’, Webber can’t drive, is reckless etc etc.

    Every driver has their (+) and (-) and we are all entitled to an opinion. No point critising a driver when in the same situation who knows what we would have/could have done.

    Sure it was Webbers fault. He hasn’t blamed Heikki. He explained the situation and it is a racing incident. Bring on Silverstone, where I’m sure we’ll see some AussieGrit to regain what was lost from this race!

  47. BiggusJimmus says:

    Has anyone else realised that this crash has given all the opposition’s engineers a good look at the floor of the bulls? Anything of interest to note there?

  48. BMG says:

    I think Mark just paniced, tried to push to hard and he has a history of doing this.Heikki did look like he moved twice.

  49. Marybeth says:

    James, I have seen the question raised on another site, “Nobody has talked about how after a lap Webber went from second to 9th? Okay so he had a bad start and went to 4th after a few turns, but then lost how many more positions? Bad tyres?”, & that is my question too. I wonder just what happened to Mark’s start that he ended up back there and trying too hard, in the first place…?
    I seem to recall LH saying a couple of weeks ago that he wanted championships like MS, but he did not want them “tainted”.
    Steve Matchett said on Dave Despain’s “Windtunnel” Sunday evening that he would rather see the bigger teams, Ferrari, McLaren, RB, Merc…race three competitive cars than the slower cars who often break down and don’t finish. It was also mentioned that starting organizations be allowed to buy a chassis for their first year.
    Dave said that Jean Todt might be on “Windtunnel” this coming Sunday, July 4th, on Speed at 9 pm. That could be interesting! :)

    1. James Allen says:

      He lost a place to Hamilton at the start, then he was off line and the Ferrari’s went through. At Turn 8 he bumped with Barrichello and lost places to him and Hulk.

      1. Mr Squiggle says:

        James, thanks for clarifying this, I haven’t seen this (P5 -> P9) info anywhere else. It certainly wasn’t broadcast in Australia.

        My worries over MW were evident after qualifying. I posted them in earlier blogs on your site. There were real signs that the wrong MW had turned up to Valencia (Remember last year? he ran an incident-free race to full race distance and still couldn’t get into the points).

        Slipping from P2 to P9 in one lap? I haven’t checked, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this was the biggest give up of positions in one lap by any top ten driver this year.

        I think his frame of mind was ‘troubled’ to say the least when he arrived behind HK.

        However, I haven’t seen any information (other than MW’s assertion) that HK braked 80m earlier. It certainly looks true on the footage, and MW would have moved past slower cars many times over Practice and Qualy. I trust his claim over the 80m on this point.

        I think this accident is a racing incident, but with MW carrying a good deal more blame than HK and his rep must wear it.

        Afterall, real champions seem to have a happy knack of avoiding these indicents, don’t they? Maybe that’s how they get to the top

  50. mael says:

    I’ve said this elsewhere but I think it worth saying again.

    Webber has been acknowledged as one of the unluckiest drivers on the F1 grid and it has proved to be a great frustration to himself and his many fans, but when it has been truly important he has had the most incredible fortune.

    Three high speed flips, a confrontation with a 4WD whist on a mountain bike… the amount of luck you have would not seem important, but it’s timing is everything.

  51. Tony G says:

    Has anyone looked at how Webber’s car landed? To me he is one very lucky boy. If the car had not landed on the kerb or had straddled the kerb, (i.e. the rollover hoop on the track but the cockpit on the kerb) his head could have struck the kerb. I think it is past the time someone looked at kerb heights and what could happen if such a scenario came about in a similar shunt elsewhere.

    1. iceman says:

      I don’t know, that sounds like it would be New Labour-style knee-jerk law-making. This was a pretty exceptional accident. Exactly how likely is it that a car will land upside down straddling a kerb? You can’t legislate for every possible freak occurrence. What if the car ended up upside down in the gravel? The roll hoop could sink in. What if the car ended up upside down on the tyres – should the tyre barrier have a cover on top to prevent the roll hoop dropping down inside the tyres?

      1. Tony G says:

        What I’m concerned with is the possibility of a high kerb actually reducing the effective height of a roll over hoop if the hoop was on the track surface but the cockpit was over the kerb the driver’s head could very easily be in contact with the kerb. All I’m asking is if someone has thought of this when proscribing kerb heights at tracks. Webber’s car appeared to land upside down on the kerb and that got me thinking.

  52. Trent says:

    I’m just waiting for (dreading) the debate that crops up after these accidents, calling for brake lights and wheel covers. I think Eddie Jordan once even suggested ‘bumpers’ in front and behind the wheels.

    Sheesh….

  53. guy says:

    James- off topic but will you be at goodwood? If so are you there professionally or personally?

  54. sinnae404 says:

    5-10m of air? Don’t think so. I’d say less than 2m.

    But I must say the distance he travelled is impressive…

  55. MartinWR says:

    Perhaps the most baffling thing about this incident was the amount of idiotic nonsense spouted by the BBC “pundits” DC and Brundle. As most here have pointed out, this accident was quite simply Mark Webber’s fault and to argue otherwise is laughable. On road or track you keep clear of the guy in front, i.e. you don’t drive into the back of his car.

    I don’t buy the clean cut Aussie hero crap, Webber’s driving has been wild and dangerous on a number of occasions this year and I am very surprised he has not been put under investigation by the authorities for it, let alone severely censured. And his attitude to other drivers is weird. How many drivers think they have the right to instruct their team to stop their team mates overtaking them? And yet at the same time he thinks other drivers (on the same lap) have to pull over for him! Maybe he’s suffering from delusions of grandeur now he’s in a top team because he has developed a sense of entitlement that is totally at odds with his perceived “nice guy” image.

    1. Diamond says:

      Webber knew when we was on top after his podium double and qualifying triple, and it would be hard to know that appears to have swung full circle. To be fair, it is the first time he has been in this situation on top for his team, seemingly, a couple of races ago, clearly having all the answers over his team mate, and leading the championship.

      Yes, he can make rash decisions trying to make up points, but any guy who can still make it with the best with a broken leg at the start of last season, good car or not, has got plenty of mental strength. He just has to learn to use it in other areas. So the mistakes, and then the intense media scrutiny has been testing. I could be wrong, but it seemed like he and not Vettel was made to answer the media. He almost looked depressed after qualifying last weekend.

      It was good to see him shake Vettel’s hand after his crash and congratulate him on the win. I hope the crash settles things down between them and they both pull together knowing that racing is a very distant second to being alive.

      And I don’t know that he is an Aussie ‘Hero’. He is more like the guy next door that kept at it and has now only started to see some of the rewards. But then again, most Aussie ‘Hero’s’ are exactly that, and that has it’s upsides and downsides.

  56. Alexx says:

    Webber is the new Trulli!

  57. Scott S says:

    I think it was a just a racing incident, glad Marks OK, probably worked out to be a good thing for the rest of the teams as they finaly got to see the Red Bulls knickers ! (and alonsos in a twist)

  58. Robert Powers says:

    If you drive at 10/10ths all the time this is what happens.Stay within your limits and you get to the finish and score points.

    I know Webbull just made a mistake.It had better be his last one though if he plans on being champion this year.

    1. MartinWR says:

      I think what you’re saying is that a man has to know his limitations.

      Now, where have I heard that before?

  59. Phil W says:

    Webber was lucky. Imagine if his car flew up over the barriers?

    1. JohnBt says:

      And it happened before in F1. Wished I bookmarked that you tube clip.

      The accident was like a high jumper executing a perfect jump.
      Thank god there were no fans on the other side.

      IMO it was Webber’s fault. He should have waited and would have passed Kovi in a couple of laps.

  60. Jason C says:

    The fact that these very severe accidents (this one, Kubica in Canada in 07, Massa last year) have been survived is a great thing and everyone involved in F1 safety shold be congratulated.

    But we’ve got to remember not to get blasé about it – at some point in future another driver will be killed in F1.

    Also, although no-one has been killed in an F1 car in the noughties, let’s not forget the 2 marshalls who were killed during F1 races in that decade.

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