• British grand prix winner says ‘respect runs deep’
• Silverstone comment was ‘Australian sarcasm’
Mark Webber has cleared the air with Red Bull after protesting over his team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s preferential treatment at last weekend’s British grand prix.
The Australian was heard saying “not bad for a number two” after he won the race at Silverstone. He later said he would not have signed a new contract had he thought he would be treated as such.
A day earlier, he sat stony-faced next to Vettel after the team took a new-design front wing off his car and gave it to the German, who qualified on pole position.
In a statement on his website, www.markwebber.com, under the heading “Respect runs deep at Red Bull”, Webber said the matter had been resolved.
“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,” he said. “We’ve already debriefed the race weekend at the factory and have cleared the air.
“It’s now understood that, should we face this unlikely dilemma again, preference will go to the championship points leader.”
Vettel was ahead in the drivers’ championship going into Silverstone but Webber’s win there lifted him in front of the German.
“Of course things get said in the heat of the moment which, with hindsight goggles on, shouldn’t have been said,” the Australian continued. “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.”
Webber pointed out that he and the Red Bull principal, Christian Horner, were friends who had known each other for years and once ran a GP3 team together.
“The respect within the team extends to the drivers,” said Webber, whose relationship with Vettel has been under close scrutiny since they collided while running first and second in Turkey in May.
“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 that are pushing hard and want to do the best for ourselves and the team.”