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Whitmarsh: Vettel needs to learn from Button clash

Martin Whitmarsh claims that Sebastian Vettel needs to learn from his collision with Jenson Button in the Belgian Grand Prix
McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has labelled Sebastian Vettel's botched passing attempt on Jenson Button as akin to something seen in the junior formulae, and said that he hopes that the German will learn from his mistakes.

Vettel was harrying Button after the pair both took advantage of poleman Mark Webber's poor start but, with Lewis Hamilton already fleeing out front, the German knew that he had to dispense with the hobbled #1 McLaren if he was to have a chance of adding to his victory tally. Unfortunately, he decided to make a move at the tight right-hand entry to the Bus Stop chicane and, finding that his chosen inside line was being covered by Button, attempted to move back to the outside, only to hit a bump and be turned into the side of the world champion.

Although Vettel was able to make it back to the pits for a new nose, Button was out on the spot, his championship chances as damaged as his car, causing Whitmarsh to slam his assailant for an amateurish move and label him a 'crash kid'.

“Sebastian is an exceptionally fast driver, but he has made a habit of colliding with other drivers,” Whitmarsh told sections of the German media, no doubt recalling the incidents with Mark Webber in Turkey and with Tonio Liuzzi later in the Belgian race. “I'm sure he'll learn a lot from this, but it hasn't only happened [here].

“Jenson was in a strong position, and the collision hasn't only damaged his world championship chances, but is also bad for our team. A mistake like that is something you usually only see in junior formulae, not in F1. Sebastian is a likeable guy and we know he didn't do it on purpose but, when you're fighting for the title, this sort of thing is not easy to take. He saw a gap that didn't exist and it affects not only him, but also those around him.”

Naturally, Red Bull Racing was quick to jump to its driver's defence, with team principal Christian Horner claiming that Vettel had been caught out by how early Button had braked for the chicane - something that the Briton vehemently denies [SEE STORY HERE]. Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko made the same claim, before criticising the decision to hand Vettel the drive-thru' penalty.

“Sebastian could not stay all the time behind Jenson,” he told Auto Motor und Sport. “He was so slow that Vettel was losing a second a lap to Hamilton, so he had to pass to still have a chance of winning.

“Regarding the penalty, there is still a double standard. [Robert] Kubica put Sebastian on the grass at 320km/h, and Liuzzi hit him at the chicane, even though Vettel was over [on the racing line], and both have gotten off scot-free.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 and Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA), Force India F1 Team, VJM03
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Saturday Practice,  Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 and Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 crash
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid

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stone - Unregistered

August 30, 2010 9:20 AM

I'm sorry but I've looked at this crash many times on video and it clearly shows Vettel firstly looking inside, then pulling out on the outside at the last second...now here is where he blew it...he pulled out to far and then over corrected trying to bring it back, you could see from in car camera he had to much lock on his steering wheel. Pretty much snap oversteer occured and I believe that Martin is being extremely diplomatic here. Maybe a lesson in this for Helmet Marko to look how Martin has conducted himself. Jenson has clearly stated he did not brake earlier...he did absolutely nothing wrong and the on board camera and telemetry backs this up.

glr - Unregistered

August 30, 2010 12:17 PM

Someone at RB really needs to tell that guy Marko to pull his head in - the guy never says anything itelligent and it is 100% bad PR for Vettel every time he "defends" him.



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