Marko says Webber engineer had “blackout”
1 June, 2010
Jun.1 (GMM) Red Bull Racing team advisor Helmut Marko maintains that, prior to the contact whilst leading the Turkish Grand Prix, Mark Webber’s race engineer Ciaron Pilbeam should have passed on the team’s instruction that Sebastian Vettel was not yet in a fuel-saving mode because he had an extra lap of fuel.
“Why (he did not pass on the information) is still not entirely clear,” said Marko. “This engineer simply had a blackout; he did not respond properly.”
He insists the turning down of Webber’s engine did not amount to a team order. “The message to Webber should have been ‘You’re too slow. At this rate, Hamilton is going to be straight past you. If Vettel is faster, don’t fight against him, concentrate on Hamilton’. That is not a team order,” Marko said.
Meanwhile a crisis meeting is scheduled in the next few days at Red Bull’s Milton Keynes headquarters, in a bid to ease the ill-feeling in the wake of the Vettel-Webber shunt.
“The goal is to win the world championship with the fastest driver. Above any individual interest must be the general interest, and that is the success of the team,” Marko said on Austrian television Sport und Talk aus dem Hangar-7. “The two drivers do not need to go out for dinner with each other, but they must cooperate,” he insisted.
In the aftermath of the collision, it has also emerged that Webber is still set to have his contract renewed by Red Bull Racing. After the incident, team chiefs pointed the finger of blame at the Australian.
Championship leader Webber had been in the throes of a contract renewal with Red Bull, in the wake of his dominant wins from pole in Spain and Monaco.
Notably, Marko had been the most strident in his criticism in the wake of the Istanbul crash, but he said on Tuesday that Webber is still set to stay alongside Vettel in 2011.
“I would say it is more or less a formality that the ongoing cooperation with Webber will be finalised in the next few days,” he said on Austrian television. But clarified that it is only going to be a one-year deal. “Webber is not a youngster,” he insisted.