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DATE News (chronologically)
06/27/10
f1
Kovalainen says Webber simply screwed up UPDATE (GMM)  Whilst being checked by doctors in Valencia's medical centre on Sunday, Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen shook hands.

Webber's Red Bull had back flipped spectacularly at full speed after hitting the back of Kovalainen's slower Lotus, before plowing headfirst into a tire barrier.

Pundits immediately said Finn Kovalainen should have let Webber pass, due to the big speed difference between their cars.

"In the end the thing that surprised me was how early he braked, that's the thing which caught me out," Webber told the BBC.

He was slightly critical of Kovalainen's "aggressive" driving, but said the real reason for the crash was the difference between the cars.

"It turns out it's about 80 meters before I braked for the previous lap so I mean it's a different category," said Webber.

Also to the BBC, Kovalainen said he thought Webber was "surprised how early I had to brake", but in a press release said he must have "missed his braking point and he ran into me".

"Well, it always takes two to tango, doesn't it? There's two of us in this incident," Webber told the BBC.

"I've driven slow cars - I've been at the back - and obviously when someone comes up with those kind of closing distances to be down the inside, bouncing off the limiter and carrying on like it is going to...

"I mean how long is that (staying ahead) going to last for? It's going to last another 15 seconds so is it worth it?

"I was looking for the best tow to get the job done and pass him and he was playing quite hard as well down the inside, blocking all of a sudden very aggressively.

"In the end the thing that surprised me was how early he braked, that's the thing which caught me out. It didn't matter where I was or how close to the tow, I still had everything under control."

Added to that, the Aussie can't quite understand why Kovalainen braked so early.

"Clearly I was surprised by what was happening on the run down to that corner.

"To start with I thought 'OK, he's releasing me' - letting me go - because obviously the pace difference is massive and then he started closing the door and he's having these small movements and I thought 'where's he going?'

"Yeah, he braked, or lifted or whatever, and it turns out it's about 80 meters before I braked for the previous lap so I mean it's a different category to what had happened the previous few laps."

But at least he's unhurt.

"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."

06/27/10 The accident on lap 10 between Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen during today's European GP was frightening and Kovalainen puts the blame squarely on Webber's shoulders.  He says Webber was so focused on trying to pass him that he missed his braking point and ran right over the rear tire of the Lotus, sending the Red Bull flying through the air upside down.  Kovalainen's account appears right because you can see the Lotus exhaust in front of Webber and he was clearly downshifting and braking.  It was at that point that Webber ran into the back of the Lotus and set sail.

“First of all it’s good news that both of us are ok," said Heikki Kovalainen. "Mark had a hardcore flight, and it could have ended up much worse, so it’s good we’re both fine. It’s such a shame the race ended that early – I was going really well, pulling away from the guys behind by about half a second a lap, and with Mark we were racing for position so I was always going to defend. I didn’t do anything wrong and he just ran into me. I think he missed his braking point and he ran into me at a very bad angle – his front tire hit my right rear and he took off. I had to make a mandatory visit to the medical centre, and shook hands with Mark there, but I’m absolutely fine, and glad Mark is too.”

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