Formula 1 News

Frustrated Webber ignored team orders

In the last two laps Webber and Vettel competed very closely in what could have ended with Webber reaching the second place in the race.
Sunday, July 10, 2011

SIlverstone, United Kingdom, July 10, 2011 (AFP) - Frustrated Mark Webber admitted he ignored team orders not to overtake his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel during the final stages of Sunday's British Grand Prix. The 34-year-old Australian caught German Vettel in the final laps and despite instructions from his team telling him to maintain the gap', he mounted several unsuccessful overtaking attempts before settling for third behind winner Fernando Alonso.

Webber, who famously remarked not bad for a number two driver' after his victory at Silverstone last year, said he was unhappy with the team's decision and had decided to ignore them. "I am not fine with it, no," he said. "If Fernando (Alonso) retires on the last lap, we are fighting for the win.

"Of course I ignored the team because I wanted to try and get a place. Seb was doing his best, I was doing my best. I wasn't going to crash with anyone. "I try to do my best with the amount of one way conversation I was having - I was trying to do my best to pass the guy in front."

Webber played down talk of another favouritism row and suggested that if the situation had been reversed, Vettel would have responded in the same way. When asked if he was feeling like the number two driver again, he said:

"Not really.

"Four or five laps to go, they started to chat to me about holding my position. I wanted the points but I also wanted to get some more points as well.

"I just wanted to race to the end and I'm sure if it had been the other way round it would have been like that as well."

Defending drivers' champion Vettel, 24, said he understood why the team asked them not to race each other but conceded that he had enjoyed the battle. "I try to stay ahead, nothing wrong with that," he said.

"If you have the cars quite isolated in second and third, with the first guy away and the fourth guy pretty far away, from the team's point of view there is no point racing and doing something stupid.

"The difference between second and third is not massive but we naturally try to race. I tried to hold position. I was struggling, Mark was faster and then there was the chequered flag."

Vettel added that he thought the situation had been blown wildly out of proportion.

"To me at this stage it is quite amusing," he said. 

"If it was the other way around, there is no point - of course I would like to overtake Mark at that stage, so no point trying to do something stupid. I don't see why there is such a fuss."

Vettel finished second and now holds an 80 point lead in the title race, Webber is second with 124 points, with Alonso of Ferrari a further 12 points adrift.

Prince Harry (left) tours the Red Bull Racing garage with team Principal Christian Horner before the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit

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