Mark Webber and Red Bull End Silverstone Conflict
In the final practice session of the British GP, Sebastian Vettel damaged his car's front wing – newly developed by Red Bull – and team boss Christian Horner decided to take the front wing off Webber's RB6 and fit it into Vettel's. It all happened less than an hour before the qualifying session, which triggered plenty of frustration – voiced in the media – from the Australian.
After winning the race, he even told the journalists at Silverstone that he regrets having signed a one-year extension with the Austrian team. However, after talking things through with his team, Webber issued a statement in which he explains his actions and comments made at Silverstone.
“My disappointment on Saturday after qualifying spilled over into Sunday but it was simply due to the fact that I, along with every other driver on the grid, wanted the best possible chance of success,” said Webber in the statement.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Of course things get said in the heat of the moment which, with hindsight goggles on, probably shouldn't have been said. Formula 1 is a highly charged and fiercely competitive arena where emotions and adrenalin do run high from time to time like in many sports and 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.”
“But rest assured, under the helmet I was massively rapped about winning one of the most prestigious events on the F1 calendar and Red Bull Racing's local race. It's a home race of sorts for me; I only live 40 minutes down the road and the UK and Buckinghamshire in particular has been home to me for the past 15 years so Silverstone and the British GP are both very special to me.”
“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 team has produced an awesome car and has come a long way in a short space of time. There are more than 500 people at the Red Bull Racing factory at Milton Keynes and I know that each and every one of them share the highs and lows that Sebastian and I experience during the season.”
“The support we both enjoy is phenomenal and on Sunday evening many of them joined us at Christian's annual post-race party and celebrated our win in style.”
“The respect within the team extends to the drivers. I know I have a very good driver as a team-mate and I wouldn't want it any other way. We share information freely in team meetings and contribute to the development and improvement of our cars.”
“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, it's as simple as that. The British Grand Prix was a wonderful result for myself and the team; however time moves fast and looking in the mirror for too long doesn't prepare us for Germany. We've moved on,” concluded Webber.