Red Bull team principal Christian Horner voiced frustration at the length of time it took marshals to get to Mark Webber’s blazing car at the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday.
Webber’s turbulent weekend ended with his Red Bull going up in flames after he was bumped off the track by the Force India of Adrian Sutil.
The incident sparked a bizarre turn of events that saw a marshals’ car take to the track and briefly lead the field before the Safety Car came out.
Australian Webber, who had earlier suffered a puncture when the tyre of McLaren’s Sergio Perez exploded, climbed free from the burning RB9 and was left staring at the car as flames quickly swallowed it up.
“It was a great shame to lose Mark, who would have been on the podium today, after he picked up a puncture from the debris from the Perez incident,” said Horner.
“Then after that he was the innocent victim of the incident that saw Sutil losing [control of] his car and hitting him, which caused a fire.
“It was somewhat frustrating to see our car on fire for what seemed to be an age.”
Webber, who is in his final year in F1 and a crowd favourite in Korea, was unharmed, hitching a lift back to the paddock on a motorbike to be greeted by a throng of photographers.
Webber told reporters he believed that it was his KERS – a device which boosts the acceleration of the car – that caught fire initially.
“I don’t know what happened, but obviously [Sutil] hit me from the inside and that was that,” he said.
“There was quite a lot of damage at the back of the car and I hope it hasn’t gone towards the chassis – we will have to see before the next race.”
Webber, who qualified third but started a lowly 13th on the grid because of a penalty from the previous race in Singapore, added: “Before that, I was very happy with how I drove and we’d got back to a very good position before I got the puncture.” (Reuters)
Subbed by AJN.