Those who caught our post-race coverage of the Turkish Grand Prix last weekend may still be scratching their heads wondering what happened. With the bulk of the race behind them, Red Bull Racing looked set to sail to a 1-2 finish, with Mark Webber (left) leading virtually uninhibited from pole. But then the unthinkable happened: Sebastian Vettel (right), who had been catching up to his teammate, moved to pass for the lead, but instead crashed into his wingman's car. Webber recuperated and took third place, but Vettel's race was over.
The big question on everyone's mind, however, is what exactly went wrong, and more pressingly, who was at fault. Opinions appeared divided among fans, pundits, even the team itself, and nobody was saying a thing. To observers it seemed obvious that Vettel was at fault, yet no clear attribution of guilt was issued. So what exactly happened?
Team orders, according to some speculation. The team claims it doesn't issue its drivers such controversial directives, but some reports indicated that just before the crash, team principal Christian Horner told Webber's race engineer Ciaron Pilbeam to instruct his driver to let Vettel by. Pilbeam reportedly refused – or simply neglected – to pass on the message, leaving Webber clueless to the plan.
If such team orders were indeed issued, Red Bull certainly isn't about to admit it. Pilbeam could get the old heave-ho as a result, but what good is a scapegoat if you can't place blame on him, anyway?
[Source: GrandPrix.com | Image: Cristina Quicler/AFP/Getty]