Mark Webber: “At that point, I´m a passenger…”

Webber walked away unscathed from the spectacular crash. Photo: Cooper

When Mark Webber emerged from the Red Bull energy station after the race his cool demeanour belied the fact that an hour and half beforehand he had experienced the biggest crash F1 has seen since Robert Kubica´s off in Montreal in 2007.

Webber thanked his Red Bull RB6 for keeping him safe, and to his credit, made only subtle references to Heikki Kovalainen´s attempt to race him with a less competitive car.

“The cars are very safe, and I was very lucky obviously as it was a very dangerous crash,” said Webber. “Obviously I was out of position, coming back through, and I caught Heikki. I was a lot faster than him. I wasn’t sure… At the middle of the straight I thought maybe he’s letting me go, then I thought no now he’s starting to fight and defend, because obviously it’s for points. Then a long, long way before the braking point, he braked. You’ll see it in the telemetry, it was 80 metres [earlier than expected].

“At that point I’m a passenger. And I was worried about the bridges. I didn’t know how high the bridges were, and obviously if I made contact with the bridges, it’s a big problem for me. But the car, thank God, was very safe, and I’m OK. I lose some points, but in the end, when I’m up there I’m not worried about points, I’m worried about that I’m OK. I’m happy I’m OK, and I’ll be ready for Silverstone.

“When you are in that situation you cannot control where the car is going, and how hard the hits are going to be. Of course the hits were pretty hard. It’s my Monte Carlo and Barcelona winning chassis, a lot of pole positions, so this chassis has been good to me. But also good to me today, because it saved me from some injuries.

“I’m not 100% at the moment, but I will be by Silverstone. For sure I’ve taken a few hits here and there. But I’ve been through a little bit, so I’ll bounce back.”

Webber had got into the situation that led to the crash after being bundled down to ninth on the first lap. The team pitted him early in an attempt to find a clear track, but a stuck wheel dropped him behind Kovalainen.

“I had a very difficult start, and then got a little bit out of position at the chicane. And then also out of the second chicane, it concertinaed into the next one as well, so that on the to Turn 8 I was a bit out of position having a fight for I think sixth or seventh at that point, and then I got touched I think by a Williams, which pushed me wide.

“It was a little bit of a punching bag in the first sector. But anyway that’s the start of when you’re out of position and then you need to come back through. In my opinion the accident should never happened. There’s a point obviously when you’re racing for position, and also a point when you’re five seconds a lap slower than someone, and you’re not racing really.”

Webber had scored points in every race prior to Valencia, and conceded that his streak was bound to end at some stage.

“It’s the first race I lose points, I’ve scored points every race this year, so now I join all the other drivers in not scoring at every Grand Prix. I remain incredibly positive. We go on. It’s half way through the championship – bloody hell, let’s get on with it, and I’m looking forward to it.

“I got 50 points in eight days not that long ago. There’s a long, long way to go in this game. You never want non finishes, but they’re inevitable in a 19-race championship. It wasn’t a little brush with the wall, a non-finish like that, it was a spectacular incident, and I’m just happy that I’m here.

“And also what’s good is that it’s a good result for the team, Seb won. He’s a rival of mine as well, but at least the team got some more points with him.”

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Mark Webber: “At that point, I´m a passenger…”

  1. Lopek

    “…There’s a point obviously when you’re racing for position, and also a point when you’re five seconds a lap slower than someone, and you’re not racing really.”

    Erm no, he’s on the grid, he’s racing for position. Full stop.

    If Webber had maybe respected the slower cars a bit more he would not have been flying through the air upside down after wrecking the Lotus’ afternoon.

    The FIA should have investigated the incident imo.

  2. It was clearly a racing accident, no one was to blame… Heikki although did braked a little early but thats how Heikki’s car is designed to brake early for a perfect turn while Red bull cars brake late into the corner.

    I am glad both are fine. =)

  3. teamworf1

    Of course NEVER his fault, we get that!!
    But he forgot to mention that he is a professional DRIVER!!!! what he did is not acceptable and not excuse that Heikki was slow!!! He did the same to Lewis another year!!!
    He looks like a rocky driver!!! The only time he’s safe AND everyone else is when he’s at front!!! Period!!

  4. Mark;
    Glad to see that you are alright, mate. Better luck next race.

  5. Des

    The only problem was that the Lotus’ breaking point was 80 meters before the Red Bull’s breaking point. And since Mark had never raced against the new teams before he got caught out by this. Racing Incident, glad everyone’s ok.

  6. Peter G

    When someone brakes 80 meters earlier than you, it was inevitable that there may be a collison.

    A LOTUS racing for position..Give me a break !

  7. elephino

    Where did Webber say it wasn’t his fault? He talks about his thought processes of whether Heikki was defending or not but doesn’t blame Heikki for it.

    While Heikki had every right to defend his position, there was no gain from doing so.

    The braking differences between the cars appears to be huge. If someone needs to brake 80m before you and you’re not expecting it, you’ll hit them.

    • Pete

      Why wasn’t he expecting him to be braking so early? “Class B” teams brake a lot earlier, accelerate a lot slower and have very low top speed, and I am pretty sure all drivers on grid know that very well. MW should have said, “he’s probably going to be braking a good distance earlier than me, I probably shouldn’t be following tow so close”. Why was he following tow anyway? He;s so much faster, he doesn’t need that. I think MW was not thinking clearly yesterday (as seen by how he was going backwards down the grid to 9th in just few laps).
      BTW, even Christian Horner was reluctant to completely exonerate Webber for the accident…

      Why wasn’t he expecting him to be braking so early?
      Because he was expecting HK to just let him through (I think). This is racing, and if HK didn’t let him through, he should have picked a better place. What can HK do if his car has to brake so early? His fault though is probably in moving left and right a bit too much…

      • l4mbch0ps

        If you check the pictures, Mark hits Kovaleinen at approximately 120-110m before the corner (you can see the 100m board for reference) If what Mark said is true – that would mean that the Red Bull brakes for a corner from nearly 200 mph in 40-30 meters, while the Lotus brakes for a corner from a slightly slower speed in 120-110 meters.

        I don’t buy that.

        Secondly, Mark Webber was *not* 5 seconds a lap faster than Kovaleinen, nor did he have a top speed advantage on him.
        HK is lapping 1:46:… consistently for the last half a dozen laps before he is struck.
        MW has lapped 1:44:… and 1:45:… times before he pits. Does a 2:02:… on his pit lap and a 1:48:… on the lap before he collides with HK. 2 seconds SLOWER than Kovaleinen.
        Race traps show HK at 302.6 km/h and MW at 305.1 km/h – a difference of2.5 km/h, or .69m/s. In qualifying, HK actually topped MW in the traps – 308.1 and 307.3 respectively.

        Don’t buy the big team hype.

  8. tom baker

    Mark, look on the bright side. Nobody was injured, which is the most important thing. And you’ll have a brand new chassis for the next race!

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