Mark Webber says he ignored team orders in British Grand Prix battle

Mark Webber says he is 'not fine' with Red Bull's request that he hold position behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages of the British Grand Prix and ignored the instruction

Mark Webber says he ignored team orders in British Grand Prix battle

Webber caught Vettel in the final laps and mounted several overtaking attempts without success.

The Australian said he had received "probably four or five" messages from the team asking him not to attack Vettel, but declined to follow them.

Asked how he felt about the team orders, Webber replied: "I am not fine with it, no. That is the answer to that.

"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."

Last year at Silverstone, Webber famously quipped "not bad for a number two" over the radio after winning the race in the wake of the qualifying day favouritism row, which erupted when Red Bull took the latest front wing off Webber's car to put on Vettel's after the German's example had failed in practice.

Asked if he felt 'like a number two' again, Webber said: "Not really. I just want to race until the end. 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."

Vettel said he could understand why the team wanted them to avoid racing each other, but also that he was happy to 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 could not understand why a furore was developing over the issue in the press conference.

"I finished second..." he responded when asked if the result was a 'sham'.

"As I said earlier, Mark tried to pass me, I could stay ahead. Clearly you could see he is quicker. If I would not be racing then I would just wave him past, so surely the last thing you want is to do something bad to the team?

"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.

"I think we were racing. It was not a scheduled 'I move right, he moves right, I brake here, he brakes there...' He tried to race me as hard as he could, he didn't find a way past.

"To me at this stage it is quite amusing."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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