F1.com released a Q&A with Red Bull’s motorsport consultant Marko Helmut today and as Dietrich Mateschitz’s right-hand man in the pit lane, he seems to be nonplussed with the whole situation in Sunday’s race in Istanbul. An almost guaranteed 1,2 for Red Bull turned into a nightmare as the two drivers crashed each other out of the lead with Sebastian Vettel unable to continue and Mark Webber finishing a distant third.
Q: Helmut, how disappointed do you feel to have let victory slip from your grasp?
Helmut Marko: A sure-fire one-two to be exact! It leaves you speechless.
Q: Do you regret there are no team orders anymore?
HM: Well, we thought that we had two responsible drivers who wouldnâ€™t get into such a situation in the first place.
Q: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he didnâ€™t believe it was Vettelâ€™s fault. Is this the official opinion of the team?
HM: Well, in the situation Sebastian was in, he had no other choice than to act the way he did.
Q: How will the team respond?
HM: We will carefully analyse the situation and sit down with all involved to have a serious word about what happened and how to handle situations like that in the future.
Q: Will you change something in the future to avoid such an incident happening again?
HM: Well, first of all we always told them that it is a strict no-go to go to the wall with each other. Whatever happens they always have to give room to the other. I hope that all the people involved will think a bit more in the future before acting.
Q: That suggests that one of the two should have given way to the otherâ€¦
Q: And you will discuss with them who that should have been â€¦
Q: Is it true that the team gave instructions to Mark Webberâ€™s race engineer to let Sebastian Vettel pass because otherwise Lewis (Hamilton)would be able to overtake?
HM: That is not correct, because that would mean a team order. We informed Mark about the situation and it is for the driver to decide. The fact is that if Sebastian hadnâ€™t passed he would have been overtaken by Hamilton.
Q: Why was Sebastian so much quicker than Mark so suddenly?
HM: I think it was in the tyres.
Q: Have you received a phone call from Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz?
HM: Yes. What does the Queen say? We are not amused? Thatâ€™s what he saidâ€¦that he was not amused!
Q: At the next race, if you have a one-two, how will you tell the drivers to behave?
HM: Montreal is a track that is probably not the best for our car, and if it is, we will surely make the right decisions.
I can’t help but detect a series of pointed words for Mark Webber from both Helmut and Christian Horner regarding Sunday’s debacle and ultimately this could effect the ongoing contract negotiations between the Australian and Red Bull. It’s unfortunate as most F1B readers feel Webber was not at fault but the team can’t help but sounding differently.