Webber: Vettel is Red Bull's favourite

Mark Webber has suggested that Red Bull Racing is 'emotionally behind' his team-mate Sebastian Vettel going into the final two races of the world championship battle

Webber: Vettel is Red Bull's favourite

The issue of team favouritism has been a hot topic at Red Bull this year, following Webber and Vettel's collision as they fought for the lead of the Turkish Grand Prix, and the incident where Webber had to hand his upgraded front wing to Vettel before Silverstone qualifying after the German's example failed.

Webber and Vettel arrive in Brazil 11 and 25 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso, but with the team adamant that it will continue to support both men's title bids.

When asked if he felt he was getting equal support, Webber replied: "technically everything's been very, very good" but when pressed on whether he felt he had the same level of emotional backing as Vettel, he said: "It's obvious isn't it?"

Webber added: "Of course when young, new chargers come onto the block, that's where the emotion is. That's the way it is.

"Which is absolutely fine, because I've had a great opportunity and a great car to go and do some great things this year, and I have done that.

"I've got favourites in life. I've got people I like to be with. That's how it is. It's human nature."

While the team has remained adamant that it will not impose any form of team orders, Webber said there was the potential to let both championships slip away if Red Bull did not handle the final races correctly.

"I'm a driver, and I think that of course you increase your risk of that happening if you race each other and potentially take each other out, or race as hard as you want all the way to the end then you might not get certain championships," he said.

"But it's certainly not my decision and what I think is really all that important to how we will probably go about it. You'd need to ask the people who run the team."

He was not sure how he would feel about supporting Vettel if the points positions were reversed.

"It's a tough question and a tough situation to know how you would do things," Webber admitted.

"There's a lot of really good people at this team and there's no getting away from the fact that we would love to win some championships this year.

"We're at different parts of our career as well, so it's not as easy as some might imagine. I'd need to think a lot further about that.

"For different reasons here and there, obviously Seb's never led the championship this year and I have, so whatever happens in all the races we've had, we've now got two races to go and that's what the scoreboard says.

"Whatever the best way we go about handling trying to win the championship, we'll see on the Monday after Abu Dhabi if it was the right way."

He insisted he could still be satisfied with his season even if he ultimately missed out on the title despite leading the standings for much of the year.

"If you had asked me at the start of the year, I have a chance of winning the championship, I've won four races, I've had nine podiums, it's been a sensational year for me," Webber said.

"I can still put the icing on the cake and I'd love to be able to do that. If we don't, then the sun still comes up on Monday morning."

Webber also dismissed Gerhard Berger's allegation that he had allowed his car to run back across the road during his Korean Grand Prix crash because he had been keen to try and eliminate one of his title rivals. The spinning Red Bull collected Nico Rosberg's Mercedes in the incident.

"I know Gerhard's had some pretty nasty accidents in his time and so have I - Le Mans, Valencia..." said Webber.

"I'd never put myself or anyone else in any more danger than I need to. I've lost control of the car and [Berger's saying] all of a sudden I've regained control of the car and try and take people out... I'm a genius, aren't I?"

When asked if he was surprised that Berger's comments came on the Red Bull-owned Servus TV station, Webber replied: "absolutely".

shares
comments
Button on his first term with McLaren
Previous article

Button on his first term with McLaren

Next article

Q & A: Webber on title showdown

Q & A: Webber on title showdown
The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022