Formula 1 News

Red Bull team-mates free to race, says Webber

The Aussie ignored Chris Horner instructions to "keep the gap" with Vettel during the British GP.
Friday, July 22, 2011

NURBURGRING, Germany, July 21, 2011 (AFP) - Eleven days after his angry protests at Silverstone, Mark Webber confirmed on Thursday that he and his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel remain free to race each other.

The 34-year-old Australian told reporters that following a post-race discussion at the British Grand Prix, the path was clear for him and the runaway leader in this year's title race to fight it out on track if the situation arose.

Webber ignored instructions to obey orders from team chief Christian Horner four times during the closing stages of the British race as he challenged Vettel, in second place.

Webber said: "We had a chat straight after the race debrief. Christian put his view forward of how the situation built and he came to the decision he made. "And I put my case forward in how the situation built and we thought that we were both making the right decision -- him to make the call for the team's interests and I was in a situation where I was trying to improve my own

"We spoke about it. He guaranteed me that it would have been the same situation the other way around if Seb was closing in on me, he would have still shut the race down. "It was over pretty quick really."

He added: "If there is a similar situation, it is not often that you are closing in the last few laps, that was the awkward one I think. We are still free to race most of the time - it was an awkward one and it is not often that things like that happen in terms of the time of the race, and up until then we will be racing."

Webber says he decided to ignore the orders based on Horner's comments after the 2010 German Grand Prix. 

On that occasion, the team boss said he would never stop his drivers from racing on the back of the controversy generated by Ferrari's decision to ask Brazilian Felipe Massa to let team-mate Fernando Alonso through. "That's why I made the decision," said Webber. "I wasn't thinking about Hockenheim, but I was thinking about trying to pass Sebastian.

"He was not having the best stint for him and I was having a reasonable stint so I was just trying to pass him, clearly there is a question you need to ask him - see how he feels about it now. "Nothing really changes for me. I am comfortable with what I did at Silverstone.

"The points are important, but it is momentum and having the opportunity to improve. If Fernando is stopping on the last lap, which is unusual, but if he makes it a bit more tricky. "There are some questions that you guys need to ask Christian, which I cannot answer."

Webber added that the Silverstone incident had had no affect on his contract talks with the Red Bull team. He is expected to agree terms soon for one more year.

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