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GP Week : Issue 84A
ONE extra lap of'full'power set up the circumstances which led to the controversial Webber/Vettel clash in Turkey. Initial paddock response was intriguing. As to what prompted the speed differential between the Red Bulls at that fateful moment, conspiracies were beginning to build. Or had Mark made a mistake? "You guys need to dig more, somewhere else,"he hinted to the throng of reporters. "They were both pushing, and they both had the same engine maps. Mark was struggling a little on the prime [tyre],"said Christian Horner, initially. However, it would later transpire that Webber had started conserving fuel on that lap. Vettel had been able to save fuel when running behind other cars early on, and he had enough extra petrol on board to be able to run one more lap at full power before he too would have had to turn his engine down. That meant his only realistic chance of getting past Webber was on lap 40, when he enjoyed a brief car advantage over his team-mate. "We now have all the facts,"said Horner, an hour or so after the race. "Mark had changed down into a fuel saving mode that cost him a little bit of performance on the straights, which also explains how Sebastian got a very clear run on him. "The large mistake remains that not enough room was given, and the explanation is there on how Sebastian had managed to get into the tow. He had managed to save an extra kilogramme of fuel -- as both cars start the race with the same amount of fuel. "Effectively he had one more lap of the optimum engine mode, but we couldn't back him off because he was under pressure from Lewis Hamilton behind." Despite most commentators agreeing that the accident was Seb's fault, given that Mark had held his line and left just enough space, Horner reiterated that both were at fault. "I think Mark put Sebastian on the dirty side, gave him just enough room and Sebastian came across obviously quite aggressively -- but he was quite a long way down the inside. "So, it was very, very frustrating. We saw the McLarens racing each other and giving themselves a bit more room, we've seen drivers racing each other previously in Malaysia -- which springs to mind as a recent race and they are usually very, very good at giving each other room. On Sunday, for whatever reason, that didn't happen." Asked if this incident could leave lingering bad feeling between the pair, Horner says he's confident the whole issue will be resolved before the team flies to Canada. "I've spoken to both drivers. They are both grown ups, they are both big boys, they are both competitors, and the most important thing is that we have given away a load of points today. It must not happen again. They must learn from it. "It is right to let the drivers race. We saw McLaren today letting their drivers race, but when drivers are in the same team it is important that they give each other a bit more respect and concede if one has got a run on the other." What stoked conspiracy theories after the race -- namely that Red Bull GmbH favours Vettel in this championship -- were comments made by Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko. Marko accused Webber of being to blame, and told media how upset Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz is. Horner was quick to dismiss whispers that Webber was being abandoned: "Both our drivers are treated absolutely equally,"he said. "They both have the same equipment, they both have the same opportunity." The cat is certainly among the pigeons though. Fuel economy gave Vettel one chance -- and he blew it ... 6