Webber says Red Bull team orders just a one-off
|By Jonathan Noble and Pablo Elizalde||Thursday, July 21st 2011, 15:00 GMT|
Mark Webber says he and Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel remain free to race each other, and claims the British Grand Prix situation was most likely a one-off.
The team was involved in a controversy over team orders at Silverstone after Webber was asked to stay behind Vettel in the closing stages of the race.
The Australian said after the event that he had decided to ignore the orders up to four times, even though he finished behind Vettel after all.
Webber said on Thursday in Germany that he and team boss Christian Horner had discussed the affair, with the Australian driver guaranteed Vettel would also have been ordered to stay behind had the situation been reversed.
Webber believes the Silverstone call was the "awkward one", and he insists Red Bull's drivers are still free to race each other.
"We had a chat straight after the race debrief," said Webber. "Christian put his view forward of how the situation built and he came to 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 interest and I was in a situation where I was trying to improve my own position.
"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, when 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 Felipe Massa to let team-mate Fernando Alonso through.
"That is why I made the decision at the time," 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."
He added: "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 is...it makes it a bit more tricky. There are some questions that you guys need to ask Christian, which I cannot answer."
Webber insisted he still wants to stay at Red Bull, but admitted he is in no hurry to secure a new contract.
"I should still be driving in F1, not just the road car to get the groceries. I am relaxed at the moment, I am talking to the team and in a good position, performing very, very well and team doing a good job as well, so no rush. I will let you know when we make a decision.
"Silverstone will have zero impact on the contract. We have been talking for a while now and I think I could have been faster with my decision up until now but I haven't been."