Marko says Webber engineer had “blackout”

Marko alleges that Mark Webber's engineer Ciaron Pilbeam had a "blackout"

Mark Webber with engineer Ciaron Pilbeam who team advisor Helmut Marko claims had a "blackout"

Jun.1 (GMM) Red Bull Racing team advisor Helmut Marko maintains that, prior to the contact whilst leading the Turkish Grand Prix, Mark Webber’s race engineer Ciaron Pilbeam should have passed on the team’s instruction that Sebastian Vettel was not yet in a fuel-saving mode because he had an extra lap of fuel.

Dr Helmut Marko of Red Bull

Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko

“Why (he did not pass on the information) is still not entirely clear,” said Marko. “This engineer simply had a blackout; he did not respond properly.”

He insists the turning down of Webber’s engine did not amount to a team order. “The message to Webber should have been ‘You’re too slow. At this rate, Hamilton is going to be straight past you. If Vettel is faster, don’t fight against him, concentrate on Hamilton’. That is not a team order,” Marko said.

Meanwhile a crisis meeting is scheduled in the next few days at Red Bull’s Milton Keynes headquarters, in a bid to ease the ill-feeling in the wake of the Vettel-Webber shunt.

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 16:  Mark Webber (R) of Australia and Red Bull Racing celebrates with Red Bull Racing Motorsport Consultant Dr Helmut Marko (L) after winning the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo Circuit on May 16, 2010 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mark Webber; Helmut Marko

Mark Webber celebrates with Helmut Marko after victory at Monaco

“The goal is to win the world championship with the fastest driver. Above any individual interest must be the general interest, and that is the success of the team,” Marko said on Austrian television Sport und Talk aus dem Hangar-7. “The two drivers do not need to go out for dinner with each other, but they must cooperate,” he insisted.

In the aftermath of the collision, it has also emerged that Webber is still set to have his contract renewed by Red Bull Racing. After the incident,  team chiefs pointed the finger of blame at the Australian.

(L to R): Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing with Dr Helmut Marko (AUT) Red Bull Motorsport Consultant. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday 29 May 2010.

Sebastian Vettel talks with Helmut Marko in Istanbul

Championship leader Webber had been in the throes of a contract renewal with Red Bull, in the wake of his dominant wins from pole in Spain and Monaco.

Notably, Marko had been the most strident in his criticism in the wake of the Istanbul crash, but he said on Tuesday that Webber is still set to stay alongside Vettel in 2011.

“I would say it is more or less a formality that the ongoing cooperation with Webber will be finalised in the next few days,” he said on Austrian television. But clarified that it is only going to be a one-year deal. “Webber is not a youngster,” he insisted.