Horner backs off Webber blame; Brawn says RBR can be caught

Hey! A headline with two untruths in it! :)

OK, remember, I’m just the messenger here, but there is more Red Bull Turkish crash news today, this time courtesy of the BBC and Christian Horner.

Horner in an interview with the British be-all and end-all of public broadcasting further distances himself and the team from the initial, “It’s Mark Webber’s fault” reaction to the Turkish crash between Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

(Side note: Has this incident earned a “Crashgate,” “Spankgate” or “Liegate” type moniker? If so, I’ve missed it.)

Here’s Horner:

“There were a few opinions that were voiced without all the facts available. Emotions are running high, one or two comments were made without all the facts to hand.

“In the cold light of day it was a racing accident, nothing more, nothing less. It was wrong to blame either driver.

“Both drivers are professionals, they’re both grown-ups, they’ve both been in that position racing wheel to wheel, both with themselves and with competitors, and I’m sure it won’t happen again.

“It’s wrong for us as a team to apportion blame. They both got themselves into a situation which was arguably over the limit.

“The result was that both of them found themselves in a situation that they didn’t want to be in, the result was contact and a loss of points for the team and a gift of points to our rivals.”

And then Horner goes on to provide a little additional background, with a particular emphasis on Vettel’s still maintaining he wasn’t at fault:

“I don’t think either driver is going to stick their hand up and say ‘yes, it was all down to me’. As Mark has said, both drivers will go to their graves with differences of opinions.

“We got the drivers together, sat down with Adrian [Newey, the chief technical officer], with Helmut and we had a very positive and constructive meeting.

“Mark is one of the hardest guys in grand prix racing, he’s is a tough racer, a tough competitor.

“He’s mentally very strong and he’s in the form of his career at the moment and he won’t give a quarter, and arguably the person you least want to be overtaken by is your team-mate.

“I think both drivers recognise from a team point of view that it was a disastrous outcome.

“They were sorry for the team, the body language between them was very relaxed because they are good team-mates, they work well together and they have raced each other successfully wheel to wheel on several occasions and an incident like this we won’t allow to disrupt that relationship.”

I understand 100% what Horner is saying. Let me pull the curtain back on F1B for a second.

As these RBR stories have continued to play out — many of them getting a lot of great comments, which we love to see because the fun of the site is all the interaction — there was been some very pointed e-mails among the staff about how much we’ve been posting, who has been posting the most on these stories and just why.

A lot of disagreement on the coverage, and who was right and who was wrong.

Lots of finger pointing, in other words. And Grace, of course, has made the “crazy sign” in all our directions.

It’s been pretty tense. But finally, we all sat down in a room (virtually), out of sight of the F1B media that tends to follow us around, and we’ve hatched everything out.

And I think the body language among us now is pretty good, pretty relaxed. We know we can’t let this couple weeks of stories disrupt our relationships.

Of course, I still haven’t listened to this week’s podcast because I’m so mad at both Todd and Grace.*

And it doesn’t surprise me that Horner is having to address the issue still. Whatever your take on it was, it clear was an issue and there was an aftermath that had to be handled.

And despite what Horner says, we haven’t seen real proof that all is hunky-dory between Webber and Vettel.

OK, enough of that. On to the second untruth: Ross Brawn says that Red Bull can be caught.

Um, right Ross. You know you don’t have a unique trick diffuser this year, right?

Well, that’s what he tells Autosprint magazine, quotes that Autosport helpfully has provided the world:

“I think so,” Brawn told Autosprint magazine when asked if Red Bull was still within reach.

“In their design there are aspects different from anyone else’s, so I think others will introduce them over the next races. For instance, I know that everyone is looking with interest at Red Bull’s exhaust system.

“What they haven’t managed to get to work is the F-duct. It’s what makes McLaren competitive: on a suited track it makes up for the deficiencies they have in relations to the RB6.

“As for the championship table, Red Bull is still completely reachable,” added Brawn, whose team is 71 points behind Red Bull, now second in the standings, one point behind McLaren.

Now, I know we all doubt Brawn at our peril, but when Renault is talking about passing your team, it might be more time to try to stay ahead of the guys behind you than be aiming for the team way out ahead.

Of course, the only way to catch that front team is to target them, but you get the picture.

You get the picture. The question is: Do you agree with it?

* Umm… yeah, all that’s a joke. Well, except where I note we had a lot of stories on the Turkish crash.

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