GREATER NOIDA, India, Oct 29, 2011 (AFP) - Mark Webber Saturday grumpily rejected Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel's offer to let him past at the Indian Grand Prix as he chases second spot in the Formula One championship.
Webber said he didn't want any favours from Vettel, who wrapped up the title this month and has strongly hinted that he would give up positions so the Australian can complete a clean sweep for their dominant team.
"Nothing will be different. There's been a lot of talk from the team but no talk from me," Webber responded curtly, when asked whether Red Bull would change its normal strategy of team orders.
"I don't want any positions off Sebastian, For the remainder of the year, nothing will change," he said, turning to his team-mate with a shrug.
Red Bull already have the drivers' and constructors' titles and they can round off a perfect season if Webber can move up from fourth place to second overall.
But the Australian, who was at war with Vettel last year over team orders favouring the German, insisted he only wanted to win races heading into the final three events of the season.
"I think wins are more important for me," he said briefly.Webber had earlier categorically denied reports that it took him three days to congratulate Vettel on this year's title, sealed on October 9 in Japan.
"I sent a text message that night and Sebastian texted me the next morning. I said well done Sebastian for the championship, ra ra," Webber said.
"That night I texted him and the next morning he texted me. That's on my mother's life, that happened."
And the 35-year-old Australian, who was just one race from the title last year, said he remained hopeful of finally winning the championship next year despite his quiet 2011.
"As you go on it doesn't get any easier of course. 2010 was a huge chance, clearly, it went down to the last race," Webber said.
"Next year. You've got to stay in the championship as long as possible, that's the goal: to keep the points range within reason, and then you always have a chance."
He added: "As a competitor I always see the glass half-full, I always say there's a chance next year. This year has been OK but it hasn't been phenomenal. Next year, I'd like to do better."