It started of quite dull, but the Turkish GP saved up all the drama for the later part of the race, and the most memorable scene from Istanbul was of the two leading Red Bulls clashing into each other. The team has now confirmed that race leader Mark Webber was driving in fuel-save mode when teammate Sebastian Vettel made a move on him on lap 40.
The Aussie, who was heading for his third win in a row, turned down engine revs to ease to the finish line, but his young teammate had one more lap of full power to use before he also had to go into fuel-save mode. This means that on that particular lap, it was Vettel’s best chance to get past his teammate to snatch the lead.
“He had managed to save an extra kilogramme of fuel – as both cars start the race with the same amount of fuel. Effectively he had one more lap of the optimum engine mode, but we couldn’t back him off because he was under pressure from Lewis Hamilton behind,” team boss Christian Horner explained to Autosport.
He did put the blame squarely on one driver though. “I think Mark put Sebastian on the dirty side, gave him just enough room and Sebastian came across obviously quite aggressively – but he was quite a long way down the side. So, it was very, very frustrating. We saw the McLarens racing each other and giving themselves a bit more room, we’ve seen drivers racing each other previously in Malaysia – which springs to mind as a recent race and they are usually very, very good at giving each other room. Today, for whatever reason, that didn’t happen,” the disappointed boss lamented.
Webber came out of the incident better than Vettel. The Aussie managed a podium finish even after pitting for a new front wing and leads the championship with 93 points, five ahead of Jenson Button. Race winner Lewis Hamilton is third in the table with 84 points. With zero points for this round, Vettel drops to fifth in the standings.