SILVERSTONE, June 27th, 2013 (F1plus).- Sebastian Vettel’s influence within the Red Bull team is a much-discussed subject. But, following on from the announcement that his teammate Mark Webber would be leaving F1 at the end of this season, to join Porsche’s sportscar effort, Vettel insisted that the decision on his team mate next year was ‘not my call’, as well as that his relationship with Webber did not seal the Australian’s fate at Red Bull.
Vettel also refused to be drawn on whether he’d prefer Kimi Raikkonen or one of the current Toro Rosso drivers – Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne – to partner him at Red Bull for the 2014 season, and insisted that “it doesn’t really matter who is your teammate.”
“It’s not my business’ and that ‘surely I’m not deciding (who will be selected).”
He nevertheless indicated that a quick decision on the matter would be preferable from his perspective: “it’s much easier when you know who’s racing with you, and the team knows who are the drivers for next season’. He added that he ‘only found out (about Webber’s career move) this morning”. He added.
When asked on the possibility of him being consulted on Webber’s successor Vettel said it would be “nice” to be consulted, but equally that
“I don’t expect it”, on being consulted on this matter or on anything else.
Vettel further stated that the belief that his relationship with Webber was ‘strained’ is over-stated: “I don’t really think that way….off track lots of it has been hyped more than it should have…if you look at other team pairings I think there’s worse couples than us”.
And while he conceded that he and Webber were “not best friends and probably never will be”, that in itself was “not a reason for us trying to change (Webber as his team mate) at all costs”.
On the happenings at Malaysia this year he said: "I don’t think these sort of things change the world from now…we had different opinions three years ago in Turkey and we had a successful time after that”.
Vettel was also complimentary of Webber’s contribution to Red Bull, saying “I’ve said it many times, I respect him a lot as a driver, we’ve been very successful in Formula One together, scoring a lot of points for the team”.