(Or, for those who think F1B’s too focused on this story, I’ll put it this way: You had to know F1B couldn’t let the Turkish crash drop without getting Max Mosley involved, right?)
Well, Max has had his say at Welt Online, and even with the spotty translation below it is very clear who Max blames for the Red Bull crash.
Have a go at the translation:
WELT ONLINE: As a former racing driver, team boss and Fia president you know the best formula one. How do you evaluate the collision between the Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in Turkey, Mr. Mosley?
Max Mosley: It is always difficult to judge on the screen about a situation where the need for split-second decisions are made. From my perspective, I do not think that Sebastian Vettel, the debt should be given to the collision. Vettel at the time of the accident clearly faster than Webber. He had at this stage, the right and the duty to overtake Webber.
WELT ONLINE: The majority of his colleagues are of the opinion that not Webber, but he bears the sole responsibility of the collision.
Mosley: I do not agree. It can be seen clearly that Vettel had passed shortly before the collision, and that at that time would have to give his team-mate Webber more space. Especially since he had to know that Vettel was on the far left side of the track on which the liability of his tire was defective. We could argue, if not of Webber’s team-mate would be, but as such he should have been in doubt respecting the particular responsibility or role for his team and his teammates. Remember, both cars were at this point, with almost 300 km / h road, and apart from the risk that he took with his intransigence in the purchase, he would have his position during the race again in another place – even against Vettel – can improve.
WELT ONLINE: This is true also for Vettel!
Mosley: The point that speaks for and against Vettel Webber: the driver was a moment in this fast, the other slowly.
WELT ONLINE: There are suspicions that Red Bull is driven by a covert team order and with the argument that Vettel would have wanted to make more gasoline available to Webber, the German forward.
Mosley: I can not see any team orders. Vettel was under pressure from Lewis Hamilton, he was faster than Webber and had to pass to shake off the McLaren driver, necessarily slower on Webber. Even if the team this situation by radio to the drivers declared or should, that would be no team orders, but only an explanation of a particular situation and no manipulation of the drivers’ championship, but only a piece of information for both Red Bull drivers and the team was necessary. I think it makes a difference if – as happened at that time with Ferrari and Michael Schumacher in Austria – a driver is said or even ordered vorbeizulassen own equally fast or even faster team-mates because of the World Cup, or it only to point out makes that the teammate is faster and this opponent by even under heavy pressure a driver. One was a conscious manipulation of the World Cup, the other is the legitimate explanation of a racing situations.
WELT ONLINE: How do you assess the situation between the McLaren drivers Hamilton and Jenson Button? The call to save fuel to both can easily be a kind of stable government to freeze the positions held further for a better position to fight?
Mosley: It is the law of the good teams when there are problems with the fuel consumption to ask both drivers to adjust to the given situation rather than headless important positions or World Cup points at stake. It is not permissible to construct here a covert team order.
I actually think there’s something pretty worthwhile here, beyond just Max siding with Vettel. It’s the talk about team orders.
The print version of Autosport magazine, apparently, is reporting that Christian Horner did tell Webber’s engineer to get Mark to let Vettel pass. Here’s the summary of that at the BBC’s “rumors” page:
Going into lap 40 of the Turkish Grand Prix – the lap Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel collided – team boss Christian Horner instructed Webber’s race engineer Ciaron Pilbeam to tell Webber to allow Vettel past. Pilbeam could not bring himself to pass the message on. (Autosport magazine)
That description makes it sound like team orders. But Max, even with the tortured English version, makes an ever-so-slight distinction. Team orders aren’t allowed, but “an explanation of a particular situation” would be OK.
No? Well, yeah, me neither. I suppose it stays on the fair side of the rules to tell a driver, “Your team mate is coming up and he’s faster than you (cough, cough),” but if that isn’t running a foul of the spirit of the rules, I don’t know what is.*
Of course, coming just up to the line of the regulations (and occasionally crossing over it) is central to F1 and the cars’ advancements. I think, as Webber said early on, if this all had happened while he and Vettel were fighting for eighth and ninth, it wouldn’t have received the attention it has. But it has been a fairly undeniable example of just how “team orders” still exist, and right at the front of the grid for us all to see.
It’s the way of things in F1, if we needed the reminder.
* Yes, yes, I’m “new to F1,” I know.