Former Formula One driver and BBC’s expert commentator Martin Brundle says that the pressure of McLaren’s drivers at the Turkish Grand Prix led to the tension – and ultimate collision – between the two Red Bull Racing drivers.
Speaking in his column on BBC Sport, Brundle says that Red Bull aces Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel were taken out of their comfort zone by the competitive speed of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
“It was the pace of the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button which took away Red Bull’s comfort zone and applied the pressure which broke them,” he said.
“McLaren was partly gifted a one-two but that’s a little unfair because their pace was such that they pressured Red Bull into this scenario.”
Of the actual incident, Brundle blames Vettel for the clash.
“Webber instinctively defended and left an F1 car-sized gap at the side of the road on the dirty, unused part of the track. Vettel chose to take it and moved alongside and then slightly ahead,” he said.
“At this point the German either realised he would never stop in time, or he wanted to muscle and intimidate Webber across the road to ensure a better line into the hairpin.
“It was a deliberate move of the wheel from Vettel, not a slide under braking.
“Unsurprisingly, Webber never moved, contact was made, Vettel was out of the race and Webber’s car was damaged.”
After the race, Bundle spoke to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Red Bull’s motorsport manager Helmut Marko who were initially blaming Webber for the collision.
“They asked how I called it on TV and I told them I said it was 100 percent Vettel’s fault for swerving into Webber,” Brundle said.
“They clearly disagreed and said that Webber should never have been squeezing his team-mate onto the dirty part of the race track when as a team they needed to be defending against the ever-present McLarens.
“There’s some substance to that argument but the bottom line is that Vettel turning right into the side of Webber’s car was not the right answer. He so nearly wiped him out for a second time in the run-off area at the hairpin, too.
“The team can’t expect Webber to score three consecutive dominant pole positions and wipe the floor with all comers, including his team-mate, in the previous two races in Spain and Monaco and then suddenly turn all passive the first time Vettel makes a move on him.
“If Webber had lifted or moved over he may as well have just handed the world championship trophy to his team-mate and headed back to Australia.”
Since reviewing the accident, Horner has come out and addressed his assessments of the crash, blaming both drivers for the “unnecessary” accident.
Webber has urged his team to become a united force. Check out the video below for a one-on-one debrief with the Australian F1 championship leader.