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Page last updated at 15:34 GMT, Sunday, 27 June 2010 16:34 UK

Webber 'lucky to be in one piece'

Mark Webber flips out of European Grand Prix

Webber flips out of European Grand Prix

Mark Webber admitted he was "lucky" to escape unhurt from a horrific 200mph accident in the European Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver somersaulted and landed upside down after running into the back of Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus.

Webber said: "I'm happy. I was just having a shower and thinking, 'Mate, you're lucky to be in one piece.'

"It was a nasty incident. I was surprised by what happened. I'm a little bit tender here and there but the car did a great job."

Webber was fighting his way back up the field after two early blows to his hopes.

Red Bull's Mark Webber

Webber feeling 'lucky' after big crash

A poor start from second on the grid meant he ended the first lap in ninth place and then he dropped to the back after making an early pit stop to change tyres in the hope of making up lost ground.

He came up behind Kovalainen, whose Lotus team are one of three new outfits this season, all of which are at least four seconds off the pace of the top teams such as Red Bull.

Webber said he had been caught unawares by Kovalainen's driving in the much slower Lotus as they approached Turn 12 on lap nine.

"Initially I thought Heikki was letting me go," said Webber. "Then I thought he was closing the door and started to make little movements.

"I thought, 'What is he doing?' And then he braked 80m before I did on the previous lap - it's a different category (the new teams are in).

He was behind me but I was defending and racing - he was not sure which way to go and at that moment I hit the brakes and he had no chance to react

Heikki Kovalainen

"Picking up the tow, he goes across to the left, then across to the right, then left, then a little jink and we're still along way from the braking point.

"He was blocking pretty aggressively. The thing that caught me out was how early he braked.

"I still had everything under control. Heikki may have been braking for his corner, but for me it was a massive surprise."

Webber said he felt Kovalainen's defence of his position was pointless against a car that was so much faster.

"It takes two to tango," added Webber. "I've driven slow cars and when someone comes at that closing speed, how long is that going to last for? Another 15 seconds. So it's not worth it."

Kovalainen said: "I'm very happy that Mark is fine as well. It was an unfortunate incident that should not happen but it did.

Heikki Kovalainen

Kovalainen does not blame Webber for crash

"I think Mark was surprised how early I had to brake for that corner.

"He was behind me but I was defending and racing - he was not sure which way to go and at that moment I hit the brakes and he had no chance to react."

The issue led BBC pundit David Coulthard to point out the potential dangers of the decision to introduce adjustable rear wings next season in an attempt to improve overtaking.

The idea is to allow drivers trying to overtake a rival to be able to adjust their rear wing to make their car faster on the straight to make passing the car in front easier.

Kovalainen said he did not think the speed differential between cars was a significant risk.


"I don't think it's an issue," said the Finn. "We should be good enough to deal with that.

"We need to see the telemetry and everything to see if we can learn from the incident.

"It can happen - it was a big accident and luckily he didn't get hurt. The speed difference between my car and the top cars has not been so great that I've felt I couldn't handle the situation."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: "I think Mark is blameless for that (accident). (But) I don't blame Heikki for that either - he's a pro and racing in a car that's a great deal slower.

"Lessons need to be learnt and observed from that."

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European Grand Prix

RaceLast updated: 15 Nov 2012 12:35 UK
Position Country Driver Race Time
1 germany S Vettel 1:40:29.571
2 great britain L Hamilton 1:40:34.613
3 great britain J Button 1:40:42.229
4 brazil R Barrichello 1:40:55.198
5 poland R Kubica 1:40:56.693
6 germany A Sutil 1:40:59.739
7 japan K Kobayashi 1:41:00.536
8 spain F Alonso 1:41:02.380
9 switzerland S Buemi 1:41:05.870
10 germany N Rosberg 1:41:13.953

see also
Vettel beats Hamilton in Euro GP
27 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso angry at 'unfair' result
27 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
European Grand Prix as it happened
27 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
European Grand Prix photos
27 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
F1 tech changes to improve racing
23 Jun 10 |  Formula 1

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