Helmut Marko: “Mark knew that he was slower…”

Alas on the track Vettel had no one covering his rear...

Red Bull’s Helmut Marko says that Mark Webber knew he was slower than the pursuing Sebastian Vettel in Istanbul, and should have let his team mate through.

Intriguingly Christian Horner told this blog today that just before the accident Webber had radioed the team and asked that Vettel should back off a little.

That would tend to support Marko’s contention that Vettel had more speed and, with Hamilton right on his tail, couldn’t really reduce the pressure on the leader.

“Mark for whatever reason was slower,” Marko told this blog after the race. “He was getting lap by lap slower, and Vettel was getting faster and was coming under enormous pressure from Hamilton. So if he would have stayed behind Mark, he would have been overtaken. So he had to do something. And Mark knew that he was slower, so he should have let him past.

“We have to talk with all the people involved and make sure it doesn’t happen again, because we still could have been one-two. Until this incident, everything worked perfectly, our team did really well with the pit stop planning and everything.”

Meanwhile Marko made his support for his protégé clear: “It’s unbelievable how unlucky Vettel is. He showed so much speed, and if you have all these incidents it’s unbelievable how strong his morale and commitment still is. To make points in this new points system is the most important thing. And now Vettel has two zeroes.”

Had Webber not pitted for a new nose – an endplate was missing – he might have been able to keep the pressure on the McLarens as they went into fuel saving mode. But Marko has no regrets about the stop.

“At that stage we didn’t know about their fuel problem. And once you are ahead here, and especially a McLaren is ahead, they are so much quicker on the straights where should we overtake them? Once they are ahead, even if they have a fuel problem, they just go around the corners slow and then on the straights they accelerate.”

The Austrian doesn’t think that McLaren have made a dramatic step forward, and says that the Istanbul straights simply suited the F-Duct. But that of course means that the next two races, which are essentially straights and slow corners, will favour McLaren more than Red Bull.

“It’s the long straights here. As soon as there are some long corners, we’re not so worried. I think Montreal will be very difficult for us, one of the most difficult circuits. Montreal and Valencia and Monza will be worrying for us.”


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41 responses to “Helmut Marko: “Mark knew that he was slower…”

  1. Vettel unlucky? I think his move was stupid and arrogant. It is impossible to tell, but it seems that he assumed that his teammate is going to move over and give him the racing line. Webber set himself up to have the inside line for turn 13 so he could regain P1.

    I would suggest that if Hamilton was the one pulling that move, Webber would have put Hamilton on the grass.

    Webber gave Vettel just enough to either make the pass or hang himself, and we all know what happened!!

  2. Lopek

    I think the way that Red Bull are spinning this is hilarious. There story does not add up at all.

    They claim that the 1-2 finish was the most important, but then go on to say that Vettel “had” to pass Webber in order to stay ahead of Hamilton. Quite how did they then expect Mark to stay ahead of Hamilton with a slower car than Seb to keep the 1-2 intact?

    It seems to me that the best way to maintain the 1-2 finish was to have Vettel protect Webber – his superior straight line speed could far better defend the F-duct’d McLaren of Hamilton.

    They really have not thought this explanation through clearly.

    I have no doubt they are prioritising Vettel, and expect Webber to be out (by his own choice) at the end of the season.

  3. Alan

    “Mark for whatever reason was slower,”

    “Mark knew that he was slower, so he should have let him past.”

    These quotes say it all for me.

    ‘For whatever reason?’ The only reason he was slower is because the Red Bull team had made him slower.

    That team is trying to give Vettel a clear run at the championship whilst throwing as many obstacles in Mark Webber’s way as they possibly can.

    Moreover, it seems that letting Marko do press interviews for the team is akin to installing Flavio Briatore as the FIA’s PR man in terms of how balanced they are! 🙂

    • Yeah Dr Marko is always good value! Don’t forget there’s a long list of drivers who gave been dropped by Red Bull in acrimonious circumstances even after getting years of support. Think of Klien, Speed, Liuzzi, or ‘outsider’ Bourdais, and those are just guys who made it to F1. He certainly has strong views about things, but no harm in that…

      • Alan

        After Monaco, all the indications coming from Red Bull were that they were going to offer Mark a new contract.

        Can you see this weekend being significant in whether or not that will now happen?

        Not sure if anyone has seen but there is an interesting video from Mark on the official RBR website about the incident.

  4. John S

    Marko makes it ‘sound’ plausible, except when you view Webber’s fastest lap posted on Lap 54 (accident on lap 40). How does he explain that? or it conveniently overlooked?

    • Hare

      Well, for starters, he’s 15 laps (roughly 30+ kgs) lighter on fuel.

    • andrewh

      I’m sure the Red Bulls would be real easy to pass, Not! Marko makes it sound like a little extra pace is all you need to pass in F1, Red Bulls cornering advantage would offset McLaren straight line speed combined with dirty air & a very wide Red Bull passing cannot be assumed.
      After hearing their “spin” I am starting to hope they trip themselves up and squander their Superior Car

  5. Jessica A

    I agree with Lopek. And if every car (even just within teams) just let faster cars past…. just because they were faster… well, it wouldn’t exactly be racing would it. If you’re in front and you’re slower, you defend. That’s what Mark did. That’s what Seb would have to have done with Lewis. Seb wouldn’t LET Lewis past just because he was faster. The ‘official’ team statements are absolute nonsense and only increase the suggestion that Seb is the team favourite. Rantsonf1 is also right. The whole thing had nothing to do with luck

  6. andrewh

    Banzai Vettel atitude reminiscent of the one he used to crash out Kubica last year in Austraila. Kubica naively thought the kid would relent as any sensible driver with no tires left would realize their race was undefendable., but he pulled a Schumacher / Hill crashout instead. Nice to see the little s*** fall on his mug again. Good on Mark! Is he supposed to rollover after his recent momentum and hand over the Chapionship lead to his biggest competitor? The Germans obviously expect that & he is no doubt screwed at that team now as they will control him through second rate strategy

  7. Peter Coffman

    Webber “should have let him past”??!!

    Not a chance. Imagine you are tied for the lead in the championship, and leading the race. Your main rival makes a move. You don’t let him past. Not even if he’s your teammate. You wouldn’t even let your mother past in those circumstances. You don’t chop him or drive into him, but you don’t give him room. You make him work like hell for every inch of advantage he gains.

    Had Webber made room, that would send Marko and Horner and the whole world one message: he’s not championship material. Mark proved that he is.

  8. topturtle

    What is with these Red Bull conehead managers? Horner and Marko need a can of Bull piss shoved where the sun don’t shine. Webber, with all the class in the world deflects spewing it all out to the media and tells them “to dig deeper” in search for why Vettel was faster-End of Story!!!!!!

    How can Red Bull continue to be so boneheaded to support some upstart like Vettel who continues to show his brain is not doing the driving. Vettel is exceptional but obiously not as solid a driver as Webber and certainly not nearly as classy. Maybe Mateschitz thinks he can sell more of that Bull piss with the antics of Vettel, possibly. However, if he wants to see a can of that on a dinner table in Monaco he better stick by Webber !!!

  9. ani

    maybe vettel didnt want to do just defending … he wanted to win .so he plain refused to hold station .
    with vettel being held up and potentially passed …webber would have been passed and they’d have lost a win . they wanted a win and vettel had the better chance . ( although i doubt anyone would pass webber that easily 🙂 )
    its just a mess..

    • Alan

      Someone who seems like he is (was?) a die hard fan of Red Bull made a mockery of Dr Marko’s claims that Hamilton was putting pressure on Vettel on Red Bull’s own community forums with the following:

      Lap: Hamilton Vettel Webber

      37: 1:30.425 1:30.181 1:30.334

      38: 1:30.357 1:30.190 1:30.406

      39: 1:30.522 1:30.611 1:30.626

      Clearly, the lap times show, as expected, Vettel is faster than Webber due to Webber being in ‘fuel saving mode’

      On the other hand, Vettel was actually faster than Hamilton on two of the three laps before the collision and only marginally slower on the third lap.

      So how can Dr Marko make a claim that Hamilton was putting pressure on Vettel when the lap times of the two of them clearly show otherwise?

      • John S

        Marko is, what we in Texas would call, “full of crap”.

      • ani

        I think what they meant is vettel wanted to shake off Hamilton and be comfortable … he could have but webber wasn’t going the pace vettel liked to go at

  10. paxdog57

    is the problem at Red Bull more management related. They seem to make too many mistakes but they are a young team and maybe this is another step in ecperience. I hope they create an equal opportunity for both drivers and not favour one.
    Alonso should send a thank you to Red Bull because at the beginning of the race, the big question was what happened to Ferrari.

  11. Hare

    A great spot from Todfod on another blog: Horner is clearly seen saying ‘Come on Mark, MOVE’ in the TV Coverage.

    Around 1.31-1.33

    Video here : bit.ly/9h6vFC

    Red Bull blame Mark for it. So does Vettel. It’s not Webbers team is it?

  12. Hare

    If I was Mark Webber, I’d be feeling VERY aggrieved right now. Remember many people thought he was going to retire before the beginning of this year. Perhaps Red Bull thought so too..

    Very telling memory from the James Allen blog:

    Last year after the race at the Nurburgring, I went into the Red Bull motorhome to congratulate Mark Webber on his first Formula 1 victory.
    There was no sign of Webber, but team principal Christian Horner and Dr Helmut Marko were deep in conversation next to the bar. Both looked pretty serious. Webber had won the race while Vettel had finished second, largely due to being rather tentative in qualifying, where he ended up fourth. I watched him very closely that weekend and spoke to him several times and I felt that he was really feeling the pressure of a home Grand Prix where you are expected to win.
    Mark Webber’s partner Ann Neil came out of the drivers’ area and walked across the room. One of the team said something like, “Isn’t it fantastic, Mark’s win?” To which she replied rather tartly, “I’m glad someone around here is pleased.” And indeed it did seem more like a wake than a celebration.

  13. RobertD

    What Helmut Marko said doesn’t make sense.

    He says Webber should have let Vettel by as he was faster and was under pressure from Hamilton and that this was the best way to get a 1-2 finish.
    Surely if Webber was slower then Webber would have been overtaken by Hamilton if he had let Vettel past.
    What Marko says again doesn’t add up, maybe he is saying Vettel is unable to defend as well as not being able to overtake.

    Helmut Marko has helped to make the disaster on track into something bigger off track. He may love Vettel but he has helped Webber gain lots of support from the fans of F1 when it comes to who they would prefer to win the title if it is to be a Red Bull driver.

  14. Webber was guilty for the incident. Seb was in front and MW had to keep the distance, because the front pilot has the right to choose the line!

  15. CARSON44

    Did anyone ever notice what a really likeable kid Vettle is,…when he wins. Other times, not so much.

  16. vettel’s fault thousand %…
    but I love de Red Bull Pit Babes though…;)

  17. cb12000

    Urgent message for RBR Management: Stop digging!

  18. Rob

    Marko’s claim simply isn’t backed up by the actual lap times.

    First Webber was slowing because he had to conserve fuel, now he’s simply not fast enough? It all smells like a smear campaign.

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

  19. they wanted vettel to take the lead… look at the pitsops order… lap 14 – vettel, lap – 15 webber… in normal conditions, vettel would and up leading…

    unfortunately, he came out between webber and hamilton….

  20. Hare

    Love this photo… Can you imagine them suddenly breaking out in to dance, especially the front two..

    ‘Hammer time!’

  21. Nicolas

    Since when being slower is a reason to let anyone overtake you in F1 ??

    Horner looked very nervous, very unconfortable on the pit lane during the race.
    Is he always like that ??

  22. Stevie Wonder

    Even I can see it was Vittel’s fault !!

  23. Jimmy

    Horner and Marko are two-faced, slipperly fools. Everyone now knows about their agenda now, they were too stupid to temper their comments after the incident.

    And is just Vettel a little upstart with an elitism complex.

    Webber is an honest, hard-working champion. He deserves to win the championship more than anything now, he has clearly had the edge on his “teammate” this year, but ridiculous, biased decisions are getting in the way of what should be rightfully his.

    He’ll rise above this mess and win in Montreal. He won’t let these three stooges block something that he has been working towards for better half of his life.

    You can do it Mark, everyone is behind you.

  24. Kate

    My reaction to this whole article is ‘um…and???’. Absolutely none of what Marko says changes the fact that Vettel turned into Webber. If his “unlucky” protege hadn’t made that mistake he would now be leading the championship, so my heart doesn’t exactly bleed for him.

    And how nice of Marko to say “Mark for whatever reason was slower” without mentioning that his engine had been turned down, they seem to have problems getting their story straight over that one. Which is why I’ll read what Horner said to you tomorrow with interest, but take it with a bucketload of salt. It just seems more like damage limitation at this point – they got it BADLY wrong after the race, and its their mishandling of the situation which has sparked all this controversy over team orders in the first place.

  25. Derek Wright

    If Mark was getting lap by lap slower ho come his lap times for previous laps were

    Lap 34 1m30.6
    Lap 35 1m30.8
    Lap36 1m30.5
    Lap37 1m30.3
    Lap38 1m30.4
    Lap39 1m30.6

    Can’t this Helmut Marko read a lap chart

  26. Where are the promised comments about fuel loads etc after your chat with Horner?

  27. chris green

    You gotta feel for Weber’s side of the garage. The mechanics and engineers and so on putting in the late nights and all the effort – then they get to the race and find out management prefer the other guy to win . It stinks.

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