Mark Webber has vowed that there will be no repeat of the embarrassing accident that cost Red Bull
Racing victory in the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix, despite lining up alongside team-mate Sebastian Vettel
on the grid.
The pair clashed infamously on lap 40 of last year's race, as Webber attempted to retain the lead under pressure from Vettel. The Australian had already been told to lean his engine off in an effort to preserve fuel consumption, but both had the McLaren
of Lewis Hamilton
harrying them from third place. The clash sidelined Vettel, and restricted Webber to third as McLaren
swept through to claim a 1-2 for Hamilton and Jenson Button.
Webber has struggled to match his team-mate form or fortune at the start of the 2011 campaign, but a charge to the podium in China boosted both his points and confidence and the Australian proved to be 'best of the rest' in qualifying for the first time this season as F1 returned to Europe - and the scene of RBR's lowest moment of 2010. Although four-tenths separated the pair in qualifying, Webber is hopeful of being able to run with Vettel in the race, especially with tyres a concern for everyone.
"Seb did a great job today - we know he's running good pace on Saturday afternoons, so he's done a good job," he conceded, "Yes, I would have liked to have been a bit closer, but we know these cars are very complex and you need everything right to get the laps done. In the end, I was happy with what I did, the team did a great job and it's the ultimate result for the team. It would be nice to get pole, but we're on the front row, and we'll see how we go tomorrow. It's the first lock-out we've had of the front row [this year], so we'll try and have a smooth day tomorrow."
The clash between the two Red Bulls at Istanbul Park twelve months ago was the start of an acrimonious summer for the team, with suspicions of favouritism within the camp that soured a two-pronged assault on the championship. With the rifts beginning to heal, however, Webber insists that there will be no repeat of the skirmish this time around.
"I think, last year, when I was in this room, there was a different atmosphere, for sure," he reflected, "It wasn't the ideal race. There was a bit of momentum coming into that grand prix, obviously, with a few different stories here and there [and], in the end, there was contact, we had a crash.
"This happens in motor racing, very rarely between team-mates, but it happened. I think it's a bit more straightforward these days. The racing is still intensive, but the DRS and things like that make it a bit less intense in some ways. You can only do so much. I think we both learned a lot from last year - not just in that situation, but in some other situations.
"At certain stages tomorrow, of course, if we're racing each other - and we don't know, sitting here, how the race is going to unfold - there might be times when we're close to each other [but] of course, we're not going to repeat what we did last year. Wisdom helps you."