Catastrophe for Webber as Vettel cruises to win (Red Bull race review)

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It was a tale of mixed fortunes at Red Bull.

While Sebastian Vettel cruised to victory, leading every lap, Mark Webber had an absolute shocker.

With a poor start, a slow pit stop and a terrifying crash with Heikki Kovalainen, Webber will be glad to see the back of the European Grand Prix weekend.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 1 2
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’37.587 (-0.075) 1’37.662
Race position 1
Average race lap 1’45.782 (-3.09) 1’48.872
Laps 57/57 8/57
Pit stops 1 1

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Sebastian Vettel

Just the result he needed: Vettel out-qualified Webber for the first time since Shanghai and scored his first win since Sepang.

He led every lap of the way, his job being made rather easier by the safety car removing the Ferraris from the equation and Lewis Hamilton getting a penalty.

Hamilton relled off a couple of quick laps towards the end of the race but Vettel showed he had time in hand to keep the McLaren at bay.

Compare Sebastian Vettel’s form against his team mate in 2010

Mark Webber

Pipped to pole position by less than a tenth of a second – and that second-place starting position proved the beginning of his downfall. On a track where overtaking is supposed to be impossible Webber was passed by seven cars on the first lap.

Hamilton made too good a start from third for Webber to be able to crowd him out at the first corner. Fernando Alonso followed Hamilton through and Felipe Massa somehow got around the outside of the Red Bull at turn three.

Webber took a wide line into turn four which allowed Jenson Button to dive up the inside for fifth.

As they accelerated away Webber left Button behind but the McLaren driver and Robert Kubica went either side of Webber to demote him further. This slowed Webber further allowing both Williamses to take advantage, leaving him ninth.

After seven laps stuck behind Nico Hulkenberg Webber pitted, the team no doubt intending to bring him out in the ten-second gap between Kamui Kobayashi and Heikki Kovalainen. But the front left-tyre stuck on the car and he was stationary for at least an extra two seconds, meaning he came out behind Kovalainen.

Webber got very close to the back of the Lotus while slipstreaming to overtake it. Kovalainen braked earlier for turn 12 than Webber expected and he hit the T127 at massive speed, flying through the air and demolishing an advertising hoarding.

The car crashed down onto its roll hoop, flipped over and hit the tyre barrier hard. Remarkably, Webber climbed out of the cockpit and walked away.

Read more: Webber hits Kovalainen and flips (Video)

Compare Mark Webber’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 European Grand Prix

    Browse all 2010 European Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    25 comments on “Catastrophe for Webber as Vettel cruises to win (Red Bull race review)”

    1. Webber knows how to fly a car…

    2. Red Bull gives you wings :)

      1. Red Bull sure DO gives you wings.. =) Amazing crash the height he took and hit that bridge and the flip and all then just mad as all get out of the car and walk away. Amazing all I can say about the crash. I thought he would be hurt for sure when I saw that crash then you see him move and toss the guard thingie (whatever it’s called) away and get out and walk to the medic car.

        1. Red Bull have given Webber some wings to fly.

    3. Still can’t quite work out why Webber lost so many places. Now we know he’s OK, I wish some journalist would ask him for a detailed response on that.

      1. he was continuously being held off line, allowing everyone to just slip past him until a gap appeared for him to get into

      2. he was stuck on the dirty bit of track and everyone went past…

    4. damonsmedley
      28th June 2010, 12:40

      How did you know what happened to Mark to get down to 9th? It only showed him through the first corner and that was it. A poor effort from FOM I must say.

      1. Yeah I was wondering the same. In the replays of the start they showed him get passed by Hamilton and the Ferraris, and I’ve read descriptions of how button and Kubica passed, but how the heck did both Williams get past him as well? I wish that footage were available…

    5. It was a shame for Webber, however, a similar occurance happened last year to Button at the start of the race, got squeezed at the start and lost out heavily.

      i am glad he is ok after the crash, but for the start unfortunately he just got unlucky!

    6. Will Webber be allowed to race at Silverstone? I thought after a heavy crash like that, drivers were forced to rest for a while? Or will he need to pass a health check before the weekend?

      1. I expect he’ll be racing. Kubica missed the first race after his Canada ’07 crash but that was only one week after.

        1. As far as I remember, Kubica missed the next race only because he had suffered concussion, and the doctors were worried that if he had another crash with concussion the next weekend it might make things significantly worse. As far as I can tell, Webber didn’t suffer concussion, so should be fine to race.

      2. He should have had his head checked before Valencia. He could not have been thinking straight otherwise how can you explain him colliding with an object two meters wide, one meter tall that was in his field of vision for quite a long time and do it fast enough to lift off? I mean, seriouly? He did not miscalculate it to the point that he broke his front wing or something – he smacked into the back of Kovi fast enough to fly up in the air… the guy certainly could not have been thinking straight.

        1. Er…a braking point in an F1 car is a very specific thing. Different styles of driving can account for marginally different braking points, but usually there’s very little to separate them. Webber is not used to racing against a Lotus, and he was completely caught out by where Kovy had to pick his braking point, which in f1 terms, was miles ahead of where most other cars would brake. It’s nobody’s fault.

          We all say that the poor guy is one of the unluckiest drivers in the sport…well, he won’t have many luckier days than that one.

        2. What part of Kovi braked earlier than the previous lap do you not understand? Kovi was on the brakes about 80 metres earlier from what Webber has said + Kovi was moving left & right protecting his postion. Given Webbers greater speed, Kovi moving to protect his position & braking early, then not to be expected that something was to go awry.

          On a different note, seems Webber is being jinxed by his pit crew. Not the first time this season that he has lost time in the pits due to “wheel change problems”.

          1. me bad “then is it not expected that something……”

          2. at shangai and sepang; it happened the same but with the front right tyre…

          3. and remember, at the speed webber was going, he was travelling that 80m in less than a second. as fast as his reactions were, there was nothing he could do.

          4. Exactly that part – He was not braking earlier, he was breaking where his car allowed him to. The bottom line is that he could have been driving a beetle 73 and it would still be Webber’s duty to think and time his move right. He got behind Kovi like a crazy bull because he was frustrated with how his race was going and the botched pitstop. Kovi did not move left and right in front of him as you said – Webber was the one doing a little dance behind Kovi – you can see it from the camera filming the scene from the front angle, but you probably prefer the onboard camera in Webber’s car. In this one, because Webber’s car is the reference point, when he moves, it seems that they world is doing it instead – even the wall were conspiring against the poor Aussi…

    7. I just thought that other teams are gonna look very well at those webber accident pictures, study them and apply them on their cars, you have a wonderful view of the bottom of the car and the diffuser!!!!
      I would expect most other teams to steal some 0,1 or 0,2 seconds a lap from redbull in 3/4 weeks time.

      1. Yeah I thought of hat too, I mean, that’s the best view of the bottom of a modern F1 car I’ve ever had. So I guess it’ll be pretty good for the other teams as well.

    8. you could paint a tunnel on the side of a mountain n webber would try n drive thru it.

      webber hits a lotta things, includng parked cars. i’m just glad for Kovi – webber’s next victim may not walk away.

    9. I think you’re wrong about the tunnel. I don’t think he’d try and drive through it.

      Still, maybe you should paint a tunnel on the side of a mountain and wait there just to see if he does? Bring a packed lunch. ;)

    10. Was Webber’s engine turned up or down for lap 1? His reaction was good but his car didn’t go and neither did his wheels appear to spin. And he appeared to be slower out of the corners where the RBR had previously shown relatively superior low speed corner grip.

      If you remember the overtakes by Webber you voted in the top bracket last year he got close to predictable drivers like Alonso and ripped out, and you know how the RBR gets unloaded because Vettel won’t even try to overtake so Webber knows he needs to get in and do the business after making the decision. If he gets unpredictable behaviour like Kovaleinan’s he is stuffed.

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