Red Bull spreads the blame

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:51 PM ET

TORONTO - Formula One’s Red Bull racing team has always had the reputation of being more than a little “out there” in terms of how they behave in the strictly controlled atmosphere of Grand Prix paddocks.

Team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, for example, gave a two-word answer when he was asked his reaction to Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel’s collision that cost the team a 1-2 finish at Turkey: “S--- happens,” Mateschitz said.

But in the aftermath of that incident there was some very un-Red Bull like finger pointing among some of the team’s officials. It seemed to many that Australia’s Webber was being painted as the fall guy.

That conclusion — especially among the English F-1 media and fans — was a not very popular one.

On Tuesday the team backtracked releasing a statement in an attempt to quell the uprising.

Red Bull racing boss Christian Horner made sure this new version of events at Istanbul spread the blame around more equally between Webber — who team advisor Helmut Marko had blamed — and Vettel.

“Ultimately we win as a team and we lose as a team and on Sunday we lost as a team, as a result of our two drivers having an incident,” Horner said. “Having looked at all the information it’s clear that it was a racing accident that shouldn’t have happened between two teammates.

“After looking at all the facts that weren’t available immediately after the race, Dr. Marko also fully shares this view.”

Horner went through the incident lap by lap. He said that just two laps before the crash Webber had turned his engine down to try to conserve fuel — which cost him 0.18 seconds per lap.

“On lap 38 and 39, Sebastian’s pace picked up and he closed right up to the back of Mark while under considerable pressure from (eventual race winner Lewis) Hamilton behind,” he said. “After a very strong run through

Turn 9, Sebastian got a run and strong tow and moved to the left to pass Mark.

“Mark held the inside line and adopted a defensive position, which he is entitled to do. When Sebastian was three quarters of the way past, he moved to the right.

“As Sebastian moved to the right, Mark held his position and the ensuing result was contact that resulted in Sebastian retiring, Mark damaging the front-end of his car and the team losing a 1-2 finish. Ultimately both drivers should have given each other more room.”

Horner also sought to end speculation that the German Vettel, was getting preferential treatment for the Austrian-based team, over Australian Webber.

“Both drivers, as has always been the case, will continue to be given equal treatment,” Horner said. “The Turkish Grand Prix has been a costly lesson for both drivers and we are confident that this situation won’t happen again.”

Finish lines

My friend Mike Zizzo, boss of all things media at Texas Motor Speedway, sends along this little item about Sunday’s Indianapolis 500: The day before both of Dario Franchitti’s 500 wins, his dad George Franchitti recorded a hole-in-one at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Crossroads golf course ... Speaking of Dario Franchitti, his pay day on Sunday was $2,752,055 US from an overall purse of $13,592,815 ... Montreal’s Alex Tagliani didn’t exactly walk away empty-handed for his 10th-place finish at Indy, collecting $302,805 for his efforts. ... Charlotte Motor Speedway is offering up $250,000 to the winner of a Legend’s Car race at the track in July. Legend Car races, that features replicas of 1940s and ’50 coupes, are the usual venue of pre-teen and hobby racers. The CMS race will be telecast July 17 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT on SPEED-TV.


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