Sebastian Vettel is not my enemy, insists Mark Webber
Mark Webber and Christian Horner have held talks to clear the air on the back of the British Grand Prix where Webber felt the team favoured his team mate Sebastian Vettel.
Webber was left seething when his new front wing was handed to Vettel after the German suffered a failure at the end of free practice on the Saturday and the team had no spare parts.
Vettel then stormed to pole position ahead of Webber, leading to further claims of favouritism towards Vettel, following the infamous on-track collision between the two drivers at the Turkish Grand Prix while Webber was leading.
Webber went on to win the race after leading from the first lap after Vettel suffered a puncture. The Australian made the acerbic comment “not bad for a number two driver” after he took the chequered flag, and also said he would not have signed a contract extension if he knew he was going to play wing man to Vettel.
Following talks with Horner at Milton Keynes this week, Webber released the following statement.
“Of course things get said in the heat-of-the-moment which, with hindsight goggles on, probably shouldn’t have been said,” said Webber.
“F1 is a highly-charged and fiercely-competitive arena where emotions and adrenaline do run high from time-to-time.
“My comment on the radio after the race was an example of Australian sarcasm – either at its best or worst, depending on how you choose to take it.
“Sebastian received the newer front wing for reasons which were not clearly explained to me until Saturday late afternoon.
“Obviously I can see why a team may at certain points have to favour a driver with more points in the championship, if there are only enough resources to fully support one of us. It’s now understood that, should we face this unlikely dilemma again, preference will go to the championship points leader.
“Christian Horner and I have known each other for many years. We’re friends and have a strong mutual respect which continues and extends to other activities, such as our GP3 team and interest in finding and nurturing young racing talent.
“The respect within the team extends to the drivers,” he continued. “I know I have a very good driver as a team-mate and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
“Seb and I are not enemies – we’re just two drivers pushing hard and want to do the best for ourselves and the team.”
Webber now has more points than his team-mate with 128 to the Vettel’s 121, so should a situation arise at the next race at Hockenheim, we can expect any decisions over parts to be in Webber’s favour after Horner admitted he would make a similar decision if the situation required it.