This week’s “Thank you, Captain Obvious” award goes to Red Bull’s F1 team boss, Christian Horner, who has finally admitted that Webber wasn’t entirely at fault in Sunday’s crash. The accident occurred when Sebastian Vettel made contact with Mark Webber’s car during a failed attempt to pass the race leader. Red Bull cars had been running in first and second, and Vettel’s boneheaded move eliminated an all but certain 1 – 2 finish for Red Bull.
Horner stops short of absolving Webber, and instead calls the incident a “racing accident that shouldn’t have happened between two team mates”. I’ll agree on that part, but here’s where we differ: a driver leading a race, regardless of the series, has no obligation to yield to an overtaking car that has not completed the pass. Webber did exactly what anyone in his position should have done, and he held his line in the corner. Vettel, carrying too much speed in his attempt to pass, drifted wide and struck Webber’s car. It was “day over” for Vettel, and an off track excursion for Webber that dropped him from 1st to 3rd.
You can continue to expect tantrums from Vettel as long as the team takes no action to address the situation. We can’t know what goes on behind closed doors at Red Bull, but Vettel’s much needed ass-kicking from Christian Horner appears unlikely. I’d expect the rift between Red Bull teammates to grow wider, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find Webber with a new ride for the 2011 season.