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.”