Raging Bulls or warring bulls?

Posted on May 31, 2010

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Little this season has sparked more discussion and debate than the Turkish crash of Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel collide on lap 40 of the Turkish Grand Prix...

Both drivers seem to be blaming each other for the incident on lap 40, when Vettel dived up the inside of his teammate and appeared to drift right to try and force a more conventional line into the approaching corner.

... Leading to a disastrous end for both men's race. Credit: BBC

The crash itself was a racing incident: ordinarily you would hope both men would dust themselves off and carry on at the next weekend. Webber managed to finish and score 15 points, Vettel was left with a smashed car and in the gravel trap.

Certainly if they had been in different teams, they might have clashed in the media but it would be unlikely to cause special problems down the line.

But these are no ordinary times. Red Bull have secured every pole position so far this year but netted just three wins. The car is so fast the only drivers sensibly picked for the title at the moment are Webber and Vettel.

It all means team boss Christian Horner has a delicate job to do to ensure his drivers can take advantage of the equipment beneath them.

After the race he said: “It’s disappointing for the team to have got into that position today. The one thing I always ask the drivers is that, yes, they can race each other, but give each other room, and that’s exactly what didn’t happen. They were too far over on the left, Sebastian got a run on the inside of Mark, but then came across too early. They didn’t give each other room; it’s as simple as that.

“To give McLaren 28 points on a plate is very frustrating for everyone in the team – especially after so much hard work. We’ve lost a lot of points today with what’s happened. We need to learn from it, so we don’t find ourselves in this position again.”

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button demonstrated how team mates can battle at the very highest level. Credit: http://www.mclaren.com

Horner’s been careful not to explicitly place blame – though comments about how far over on the left they were certainly would seem to imply he thinks Webber was not placed properly on the road. This might just be a case of massaging egos but Horner must tread carefully.

These two should, and almost certainly will, have a great battle this season. More often than not they will probably be racing each other, rather than the McLaren pair – who ably demonstrated how to race with a stunning display later in the race.

Lewis Hamilton was told over the team radio as he took the chequered flag McLaren had put pressure on Red Bull and they had cracked. I think this is taking an overwhelming optimistic view of potential failure in the Milton Keynes squad. At the moment, this accident at Turkey is nothing more than a potential fissure in the championship favourites challenge.

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Posted in: Formula One, News