First off, courtesy the Independent, is a story with anonymous sources saying that Red Bull got on top of the issue fast enough to contain any damage from lingering resentment between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
Insiders at Red Bull believe they have moved quickly enough to contain the collateral damage arising from the controversial crash between drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, which cost them another one-two finish and a haul of 43 World Championship points in Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix.
In a meeting with top team management on Sunday evening, neither was allowed to leave the Istanbul Park circuit before the matter had been talked out. Asked what was discussed, one source said: “Plenty! We had a detailed meeting and everyone had their say. There was no way that feelings were going to be allowed to fester. The matter is now all talked through.”
Of course, the story then goes on to report this little nugget, followed by Christian Horner’s ongoing public line:
Neither Webber nor Vettel accepted responsibility, and the management is divided. With team engineers expecting the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix to be a McLaren walkover, there is concern that the matter could become a distraction.
Yesterday the team principal, Christian Horner, stressed: “The most important thing, and I have had this situation before with drivers in different formulae, is to get issues out into the open and deal with them, and that is exactly what we will do here.
“There is no animosity between the drivers. They are both competitive. They are both hungry animals, and it is down to us to ensure that they learn from this and it doesn’t happen again.”
One thing in all this. In most incidents in which Vettel has been even maybe at fault, he’s been quick to say “I’m sorry” over team radios and has taken the blame, often to the point of being criticized for doing so. He isn’t doing that this time, which is either an evolution of his character, his belief he really was right, his vaguely rattled state of mind or… something else? (He did apologize, in some fashion, to the guys in the pits, including Horner and Adrian Newey, but it sounds like that wasn’t anything near a mea culpa.)
Now, add this piece into the mix. Selections from Webber’s column, which he does for the Australian Daily Telegraph:
Seb and I will sit down and have a chat about it because we need to avoid costly slip-ups like this in the future. We’ll probably have a difference of opinion about what happened on Sunday [night] until we go to our graves, but we’re both adults and we need to find a way of racing together that doesn’t compromise the team.
Up until lap 41, it had been a great race for me. I made a good start from pole position to lead into Turn 1 and after some jostling for position behind me, Lewis Hamilton took up the chase. We settled into a good rhythm and although Lewis was a bit quicker, I had track position.
He wasn’t going to find a way past because I was quick enough through the corners to stop him getting a run along the straights. We pitted together on lap 15 and I came out ahead, and I was pleased when I saw that Seb had jumped ahead of Lewis as well because I thought he could act as a buffer.
I was on the prime tyre – the hard compound – after my pitstop and I wasn’t quite as happy as I’d been on the option at the start of the race, but the top four cars – myself, Seb, Lewis and Jenson Button – were all doing comparable lap times.
It was very intense, but good fun because we were all driving flat-out.
Then came the Seb incident. The focus now moves to Montreal, which is back on the calendar after a year’s sabbatical. I’m sure the car will be competitive and I can’t wait to get back on track.
I can’t help but notice that the “until we go to our graves” comment is one Mark’s used elsewhere in the media. He’s sticking to a script, it sounds like, and I sense the usually quick-to-speak Australian is holding back.
In other words, I’m in the “Not” camp when it comes to believing all is well with Red Bull and its drivers.