After being at the centre of a team priority controversy in Britain, Mark Webber could watch from a distance as the Ferrari team orders row enveloped Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in Germany.
AUTOSPORT heard Webber's thoughts on this matter, plus his own recent form, when he met the press in the Hungaroring paddock today.
Q. Any engine worries after the problem in Germany?
Mark Webber: Zero. We are very happy with how the engine finished the race. All of the oil analysis looked very good, so we were very lucky that it got home with no problems. Obviously we switched the engine off very quickly at the end of the race and we did everything we could to manage the engine in the grand prix to make sure we didn't have any problems.
Q. What was the exact problem?
MW: The refill system wasn't really working so we had a consumption problem with that, so we had to manage in a different way. We found the problem.
Q. What do you think about the Ferrari team orders row - should the rules be changed so they're not hidden, or should there be further restrictions?
MW: Very, very, very difficult to control team orders. They've been happening for 40 years in the sport and they'll happen in the future. That's the way it is. If you have a two-car team, three-car team, four-car team, there's always going to be certain situations at certain tracks and certain points in championships where one car is going to need to be in a definite position and the team can influence that - so they will.
It's better than doing a deliberate bad pitstop, or whatever. You can do so many things to make it hard, so to try and have a rule which says that you cannot manipulate or have a team order in a grand prix is virtually impossible. I could [agree] something tonight between you and me in the hotel and it would be done.
Q. You'd rather it was done openly?
MW: Yes, much better to do something like that than something that's hidden from everyone. In this case, this team got the maximum result. Obviously for the fans, you can understand it was a different thing. But it's happened so many times since '02. For the victory it's a different thing, but the people who think it's the first time it's happened are absolutely dreaming. It's not the only time.
Q. Was Ferrari too open about it?
MW: It's like I said, you could have a deliberate bad pitstop... there are many other ways. They gave Felipe a good opportunity to win the grand prix as well. They gave him the chance to win the race up to the point where he couldn't pull away from Fernando. Obviously they had a decision in the team where the fastest guy in the team wins the race. The fastest guy on that day won the race.
Q. Massa's image has suffered in some places because of this - some supporters say they want someone like Mark Webber who will say things like you did at Silverstone. But isn't it a different situation to yours - if you were 31 points behind Sebastian Vettel, would you let him past?
MW: It is a different situation. I think Felipe has had a very tough but incredible last eight months to come back from what he had to. It's clear that he hasn't had an amazing start to the year, and nor has Ferrari, but I think he'll be much stronger for the back part of the championship and for next year. He'll be a much, much better driver because he's had to come back from a difficult situation.
He's been at Ferrari a long, long time. He obviously feels comfortable there and he'll be there for the future as well. He needs to be ready for when he's back fully. He'll say he's 100 per cent now, but let's see how next year goes, and he can maybe win some races before the year's out now.
I still believe he has a chance to win this race here - a real chance to win. If he is fast enough to disappear, he will win the race. That was the opportunity he also had at Hockenheim. His first stint at Hockenheim was incredible, a very good first stint. The second stint obviously just wasn't quite fast enough to avoid the positions being moved around because they wanted the faster guy to win the grand prix. I think he'll be stronger as it goes.
Q. Will the issues between Alonso and Massa benefit Red Bull?
MW: I don't think there are any problems in Ferrari at all. I think they're a team who had a pretty difficult start to the year with lots of things happening. They deserved the result they got because there was no attrition, nobody had any problems, it was just a clean one-two for them. Clearly they're in good shape performance-wise. I don't think there are any problems in the team that will benefit us.
Q. Critics say you had an anonymous weekend in Germany...
MW: It was the first time I wasn't on the front row since the first race. I made a mistake in Q3 so when you qualify fourth people say you're invisible.
The first part of the race I was with Lewis [Hamilton]. We knew with the strategy now if you're fifth or sixth on the first lap it's very difficult to get on the podium from there, you need a safety car or something. I was still happy to get something out of the weekend.
I was very happy I had a problem with the car on a weekend when I couldn't win the race. If at Silverstone, Monaco or Barcelona I'd had this problem it would've been very disappointing for me. I could've easily pressured the McLarens a lot more but I wanted to finish the grand prix, so we gave them an easy life to finish the race. Jenson [Button] jumped me at the pitstops with a different strategy. I think you can have one weekend where it doesn't work out.
Q. You're now equal on points with Sebastian, are you sure nothing will happen within the team?
MW: Yeah, but I've won more races... I'll try to win again this weekend and double [the margin]. No, we're even, Seb and I, we've been very, very even between both of us. We're coming here to get a very good result for the team. We need to get into that gap to McLaren. We're not interested in leaving here with the gap opening. We need to close the gap here.
Q. Is Ferrari the main threat rather than McLaren now?
MW: It's just one weekend at Hockenheim that wasn't an amazing weekend for McLaren in terms of pace. They got some points but there was some indication that there was another team that was very strong, and that was Ferrari. So we have another team at the party. It's good for you guys, it's interested for us to have a fight with more than one or two people. There are quite a few people who can win the race this weekend.
Q. Is it fair to say Hungary isn't an ideal track for Red Bull?
MW: I think it's a very good track for our car. One of the best for us, I think.
Q. Is your main goal here to beat McLaren?
MW: We still need to beat everyone. There are still a lot of points to go. We can't say we'll let Ferrari do their thing and we'll just concentrate on McLaren. We need to beat everyone and that's the plan this weekend - have a clean, perfect weekend and get as many points as we can. It needs to be a good weekend.
Q. Red Bull had to catch up with the F-duct, McLaren had to with the blown diffuser. Who suffered the most?
MW: They're both big technical challenges. We would love to have had the F-duct as we have it now in Turkey. It would've been a completely different race, but we didn't. And fair play to McLaren, they had it sorted out better than us at that time. But we had the blown diffuser from the start.
These are things that people can see. People are making a lot of assumptions that these are the absolute critical parts. But we could've won races without a blown diffuser. It's not the silver bullet on our car. Our guys have done an incredible job with the whole package and it's another thing that helps us. Barcelona and Silverstone I'm pretty sure we could've won with a standard diffuser anyway.