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GP Week : Issue 97
McLAREN team principal Martin Whitmarsh has blasted Sebastian Vettel after the German crashed into Jenson Button on Lap 16. Button was in second place at the time. Vettel wasn't driving to F1 standards, accused Whitmarsh: "It was not what you would expect to see in F1 -- more reminiscent of junior formulae. A drive-through seemed a pretty light punishment to me." In the run down to the Bus Stop chicane, Vettel darted out from behind the McLaren as Jenson applied the brakes. As he veered left he lost control of the Red Bull and speared the McLaren sideways, destroying Button's port-side radiator. That was the end of the Englishman's race. Vettel took his punishment but, as he rumbled down the pitlane, the McLaren mechanics emerged from their garage to stand cross-armed, demonstrating their displeasure. On Lap 26, Seb made contact with Tonio Liuzzi as he tried to pass at the same place, slicing his left rear tyre. Vettel finally finished 15th -- a race he'd rather forget, particularly as he was on course for a podium. Whitmarsh added: "[Vettel] is a nice guy and he didn't need to do it, but when you keep doing these things you have to reflect on what is on your mind on this occasion. "It looked like he was trying to go for an inside gap where there were a few inches. What he thought he was doing there, I don't know. And he lost it. I would rather he did it with his team-mate rather than do it with us!" Is the pressure getting to Vettel? He says he misjudged Button's braking point in damp conditions, however Button told the BBC: "It was bone dry. He knew where I'd been braking as he'd already followed me for 16 laps. The McLaren is very strong on braking. Red Bull don't have an advantage there. I don't understand why it happened. I know he didn't do it intentionally, it's just such a shame." "I tried to out-brake him on the outside," explained Vettel, who was quick to apologise and accept full responsibility for the accident. "When I changed from the inside to the outside, I lost the car under braking on the bump and then I then I couldn't really control it anymore and unfortunately crashed into him." The German said the brush with Liuzzi had been particularly costly, as he had to complete nearly a full lap at reduced speed with a puncture (right). "I was already past him and then he destroyed my left rear tyre. I had all the way to come back -- it was probably the worst spot for it to happen, and that was it." It seems everything happened to Vettel today, but the worst was narrowly avoided. On Lap 1 he was bombing down the straight about to pass Robert Kubica. The Finn didn't see him and drifted into his path, forcing Vettel onto the grass at 180mph ... MARK Webber may have relinquished the lead of the world championship to Lewis Hamilton, but he couldn't have looked happier on the podium. The Australian had a mare of a start, when a clutch problem flicked on the RB6's anti- stall system and rolled towards La Source at a snail's pace. He fell to sixth place before passing Jenson Button on Lap 2 and making up two further positions when Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel clashed on Lap 16. He made his pitstops on laps 22 and 35. He got lucky when Robert Kubica fumbled his pitstop by overshooting the pitbox, promoting him to second: "I can't believe the top three qualifiers finished on the podium with all the changing conditions," he said. He joked that if he encounters his clutch problem in Monza he'll get his boxing gloves out: "Today's run was fortunately one of the shortest to the first corner. I had a big bog down on my formation lap and then we made a small adjustment to the clutch which I thought was hopefully going to get rid of that situation. But then I had it even worse on the main start itself. "I did my normal procedure but in the end you need to go through it to see what happened. Obviously I was pretty surprised and once you have a micro moment on the start in a Formula One race it is massively exaggerated with the performance of the other guys getting normal starts. I was on the back foot through Eau Rouge." Webber was sympathetic to Kubica's pit woes, but glad of the points: "It's so easy to over-jump your pit in those conditions. Dangerous for the mechanics, but they got away with it and that's where we got second place. Intermediates got the car home. I was hoping Lewis would make a mistake but it's not his first race, so I'm very, very happy with second place, to be honest, after the start I had. Sensational points, for myself." Webber now has a 28 point advantage over team mate Vettel, and has called for Red Bull to throw all their weight behind him. Asked if the team should focus on him, he said: "It depends how hungry they are." Webber chuffed with 18 points McLaren livid as Vettel ruins B German accused of "amateurish" racecraft Indicates it's time for Red Bull to back him 100 percent