In an astonishing accusation, ten-time grand prix-winner Gerhard Berger has claimed that erstwhile world championship leader Mark Webber tried to take out one of his F1 2010 title rivals after crashing out of Sunday's inaugural Korean Grand Prix.
Having entered the Korean weekend some 14 points clear of nearest pursuers Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso in the chase for the coveted crown, Webber lost control of his Red Bull Racing RB6 on a slippery kerb on only the second racing lap, spinning into the wall on the opposite side of the track and in so doing throwing away second position and his world championship lead into the bargain.
Even more unfortunately, the Australian's car was then spat back across the track again where it struck the Mercedes Grand Prix of his luckless former team-mate Nico Rosberg, who had already taken to the grass in an effort to avoid the wayward RBR but found himself with nowhere to go as it smashed into him, ending both drivers' races on the spot.
Webber was quick to hold his hands up afterwards to admit fault for the error [see separate story - click here] - but Berger contends that there was something rather more sinister to the incident than that, arguing that the man from Queanbeyan had in fact endeavoured to collect either third-placed Alonso or fifth-placed Lewis Hamilton upon rebounding from the barriers, but had got 'the wrong one'.
"He could have hit the brakes and stopped the car at the wall," the Austrian - a former co-owner of Red Bull 'junior' outfit Scuderia Toro Rosso - told Servus TV. "He took out Rosberg, but it was the wrong one. I think in his mind he would have preferred Alonso or Hamilton.
"I think it's very clear [that the move was deliberate] - he goes off and he knows it's over. In this moment, you're frustrated and a thousand thoughts go through your head. It's very obvious; you can see his wheels are not locked-up. Perhaps he had a brake problem, but I don't think so. One has the feeling that you would rather take someone [else] with you, take points off him [too]..."
"Sucks! I don't understand why Webber didn't hit the brakes," added a disappointed Rosberg on Twitter. "It was crazy to roll back across the track like that."