Christian Horner has revealed that Mark Webber had asked the team to instruct team-mate Sebastian Vettel to drop back on the lap before their fateful accident in last weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix.
Vettel has been able to close on his Red Bull team-mate as a result of saving fuel earlier in the race. However, when the German attempted to pass on lap 40 the two RB6’s collided – sending Vettel out of the race and Webber down to third, after a nose change.
Prior to the collision Horner revealed that Webber had radioed the pit wall asking for his team-mate to ‘back off’ – a request which the team’s management found unacceptable with the two McLarens in close proximity on the race track.
“It was quite clear that with the speed advantage the McLarens had on the straight, it was impossible to fall back into them,” Horner told Autosport.
“Mark had requested the lap before to ask Sebastian to back off a bit. There was no way you could do that because of the McLarens being right there.”
Despite the accident cost Red Bull a one-two finish in the Turkish Grand Prix, and caused great animosity in the team, Horner is hopeful that the relationship between his two drivers will not be seriously disadvantaged.
We’re fortunate that both our guys are mature, balanced individuals,” he said. “Obviously emotions were running high on Sunday, but they’re both professionals.
“They are probably not going to be down the pub for a drink together, but they will continue to work professionally in the manner that they have done in the forthcoming races.
“They work for the team at the end of the day and they know what the rules are.”