Webber faces talks after team sing-along
Mark Webber and Red Bull are at least singing from the same song sheet again after a controversial British Grand Prix, team principal Christian Horner said on Tuesday.
London: Mark Webber and Red Bull are at least singing from the same song sheet again after a controversial British Grand Prix, team principal Christian Horner said on Tuesday.
Horner told Reuters that he would sit down with the Australian driver later in the week to talk through some of the things Webber said at Silverstone before and after he won Sunday`s race.
However, he also made clear that some degree of harmony had been restored at a post-race barbecue at Horner`s house, with Webber joining German team mate Sebastian Vettel on stage for a joint rendition of `American Pie`.
"It was great to see both drivers letting their hair down a bit and having a bit of fun," said Horner.
"I think so much was made of Mark`s comments after the race," added the Briton. "But the most important thing is that the team achieved their 11th grand prix win at the weekend, which was the result of hard work by all of the team.”
"It was a shared success with team mates and colleagues, winning one of the most prestigious and important races for the second year in succession, which all got a little bit overshadowed."
Webber`s Silverstone success, his third win of the season and fifth of his career, was engulfed in a favouritism furore triggered on Saturday when Red Bull took a new-design front wing off his car and handed it to Vettel for qualifying.
The 23-year-old German, who was ahead of his team mate in the championship, took pole position while Webber, seething in a later news conference after qualifying with the old-style wing, joined him on the front row.
The Australian turned the tables in the race, getting off to a storming start while Vettel made contact with McLaren`s Lewis Hamilton and suffered a puncture that left him fighting back through the field to seventh.
Webber said sarcastically as he took the chequered flag that his triumph was "not bad for a number two driver" and told reporters he would never have signed a new contract for 2011 had he thought Vettel was going to get preferential treatment.
"I`m more annoyed about the points we lost because of the unlucky contact with Sebastian and Lewis than anything else of the weekend," said Horner, whose team are 29 points behind McLaren after 10 of 19 races.
"Mark and I will sit down and discuss the events of the weekend in a rational manner away from the grand prix circuit," he added.
"We`ll sit down this week and go through it. He knows me long enough and vice-versa to know that this shouldn`t be an issue at all moving forward.”
"I want to talk to Mark about some comments raised after the race. It`s important we talk through those. He lives only 10 minutes up the road."
Horner said it was only to be expected that the rivalry between two highly competitive drivers, who collided while running one-two in Turkey in May, would occasionally flare up but Red Bull accepted that.
"Obviously there`s tension, competitive tension between the drivers but they are contracted to the team to push. It`s not because of what they look like but the speed they have," he said.
"I can understand his frustration on Saturday but it was important for us to run that component. We need to keep pushing the boundaries. I still think it was the right decision."
Vettel had broken his front wing in final practice on Saturday and Horner said the only remaining one, on Webber`s car, had almost not been used either because of a reliability concern that proved unfounded.
He highlighted Webber`s contribution to the team, pointing out also that the Australian had joined them in 2007 at a time when Red Bull were still struggling to score points and the driver had only one podium finish to his credit.
"He`s now a genuine world championship contender and has been driving fantastically well," said Horner.
"No individual is bigger than the team," he added. "We have won more races than any other team, nine out of 10 poles and we are set for a really exciting second half of the championship. We have to concentrate on it race by race."