Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has come to the defense of his driver Mark Webber after some accusations were made yesterday by former driver and Toro Rosso team boss Gerhard Berger. As we discussed here, Berger was stumped as to why Webber rolled back onto the circuit collecting Nico Rosberg. He then suggested that perhaps Webber was aiming for Alonso or Hamilton. He wasnâ€™t the only one who thought it odd as Rosberg himself was rather scathing at Webberâ€™s lack of brakes.
Today, Horner tells the Telegraphâ€™s Tom Cary that this is all nonsense:
â€œAs with every incident in Formula One, opinions will always be made without all the facts,â€ Horner told Telegraph Sport. â€œJust to be absolutely clear â€“ Markâ€™s intention was not to take out another driver after his crash in the Korean Grand Prix and itâ€™s ridiculous to suggest otherwise.
â€œAfter Markâ€™s impact with the wall, it was clear on the TV and from the data that his car was badly damaged. However, the natural and immediate instinct of any competitive driver is not to give up and to keep going.
â€œIn the atrocious conditions, Mark made the snap decision to continue as every driver would in that situation â€“ itâ€™s absurd to suggest that Mark would ever deliberately take out another driver.
â€œMark accepted immediate blame for this incident, which in itself deserves credit.”
Fair enough. We ran the story because it was worth discussion. Our own Paul Charsley was a little curious as to why Webber wasnâ€™t immediately on the brakes as well. In the attempt to debunk the conspiracy, we emailed Speed TVâ€™s Steve Matchett to clarify the independent nature of the braking systems and to attempt to ascertain the very real possibility that both front and rear brakes were most likely damaged in the crash. Matchett agreed that both systems are independent and pointed out that the left rear wheel took a large impact as well.
I am fine at leaving it there but todayâ€™s explanation, or quai-explanation, is even more odd to me. Horner says that Webber was not rolling across the circuit because his brakes had failed; he says it was because Webber is a racer and was still trying to keep going. Really? With your front left Wheel off?
Does this help answer the conspiracy theory? Does it add clarity to the situation? Berger has been dismissed as a wind-breaking old lunatic who is knitting with only one needle. Is he? If Webber wasnâ€™t aiming for Alonso or Hamilton and truly trying to continue his race, I feel even sorrier for Nico Rosberg who now seems to have been collected by a guy trying to continue a race on three wheels. Good thing Lewis Hamilton didnâ€™t try that at Monza.