Daily Debate: Was Mark Webber’s Australian Reprimand Deserved?

Daily Debate: Was Mark Webber’s Australian Reprimand Deserved?

Mark Webber was reprimanded by the stewards shortly after the Australian Grand Prix for causing an accident with McLaren pilot Lewis Hamilton. The incident happened towards the end of the race when the pair were dueling with Fernando Alonso for fourth place. As Hamilton was ducking around the Ferrari ahead of him, Nico Rosberg was catching Webber behind and initially it seemed as though Webber was being a bit too brave, driving straight into the McLaren ahead of him as it slowed for the corner.

After the race, Lewis Hamilton was clearly annoyed by the incident but fairly philosophical about it, knowing his race had been compromised by a strategy decision from his team. Likewise, Webber had a difficult race, but apologised to Hamilton for the incident. Webber explained to the BBC that he lost all front grip under braking and simply couldn’t help but plow into the McLaren. The Australian explained he had tried to avoid Hamilton by turning tightly into the corner, hoping to bang wheels side-on rather than the eventual front-to-rear contact which caused the pair to run off the track and receive damage.

Was the incident a result of aerodynamic issues relating to the cars not being able to run close together, or was Webber just a little hot under the collar and fancied a do-or-die move? Does this reprimand discourage drivers having a go, potentially damaging the spectacle of the sport and turning races into Bahrain-esque processions?

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Image © Getty Images.


  • Webber is clearly one of the most respected drivers on the circuit, and he reacted like a gentlemen – apologising quickly. No need for the stewards to take it further, but it perhaps he should have been penalised if they are to apply the rules fairly to all drivers?

    You’re right though, both Hamilton and Webber had very eventful races and will certainly be fired up come Malaysia!

  • At the time it looked like a simple case of webber judging it all wrong, so yes.. He caused a collision and is officially a naughty boy.

    In his defense, it really doesn’t look like there was any mal-intent or particular recklessness (and Webber has hardly given us reason to disbelieve him previously), plus he’s admitted fault and apologised.

    Perhaps without the mitigation a grid penalty might have been appropriate, but a ticking off seems to me to be a pretty balanced decision.

    To be a little more provocative, weren’t we promised openness in stewards’ decisions? – Where’s our replays from all the onboards? Records of what the stewards took into account? – This sort of thing would really come in handy when we eventually (inevitably) come across a more contentious decision, in that we’ll be able to see what happened in similar circumstances, see how things differed from more lenient decisions, and see the stewards’ working…

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