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Webber lifts the lid on Red Bull rancour

NEWS STORY
29/06/2015

Mark Webber has lifted the lid on his fractious relationship with Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel.

The former F1 star, now in WEC with Porsche, told ABC's Australian Story how he believed weak management at Red Bull ultimately led to the disintegration of the relationship between himself Sebastian Vettel.

"There's so much personal interest in some decisions," said Webber cryptically. "I just happened to be one of the jokers in the game."

As the programme walked through his career, Webber's manager Ann Neale recalled he initially liked Vettel. However, things turned sour midway through 2010 when the Australian won the Spanish and Monaco grands prix.

"We got the impression that Sebastian wasn't happy with how things were going," Neale recalled. "This old Aussie was beating him and it wasn't the way it was supposed to be."

"I'd just won the previous grands prix from start to finish and then a new rear wing arrives and it goes over to the other garage," said Webber. "I know for a fact the mechanics were furious.

"We just think yeah, is there a bit of an agenda going on?" he continued. "They were very keen to keep him a little bit happier... probably because I was an old dog I was expected to be a little bit washed up."

"The issue started to come because of poor team management, really, letting (Vettel) get away with things," Neale added. "I just thought 'Really? You're going to let him get away with that?'"

The frosty relationship hit an all-time low at the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix when Vettel disobeyed team orders - the legendary multi-21 instruction - to pass Webber to win.

"We got off the podium and he just came over and said 'we need to talk, I've just done… I've f****d up, mate. I f****d up so bad'. I said 'well mate, let's just talk. Let's talk next week'."

Those discussions however didn't end well and all but signalled to Webber that it was time to call an end to his Formula One career.

"He just said he had massive respect for me as a driver and not much as a person," Webber revealed. "That really affected the relationship. At the time we could hardly stand the sight of each other.

"The team, after multi 21, were disappointed, no question about it," he continued. "They were shown how toothless they were. They couldn't handle the two of us on track which shouldn't be like that.

"They just needed something to change and I helped that decision for them and left!"

Mat Coch

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by scf1fan, 06/07/2015 1:04

"@ TheBucketIfTruth - "Favorites" is relative and has always been a part of F1. Very few teams had (have) the resources to provide two complete and independently capable cars. So there will usually be a number 1 and 2 in the team; and in some circumstances (like if they only have one nose) it can be a bit painful. But there is a very simple way to become favorite; just beat your team-mate! I wasn't arguing the why's, I just think that MW's current exposť is a little weak. (And then I found out he has a book to sell!)"

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2. Posted by TheBucketOfTruth, 01/07/2015 6:14

"@ scf1fan
I'd say that it's clear to see Red Bull was playing favorites, and that does nothing for mechanic and driver morale on the other side of the garage. Mark may have had that championship in 2010 had he not thrown it off the wet track in Korea. From there I just don't think he got on nearly as well with the Pirelli tires as Sebastian leaving aside any favoritism.

F1 is business, not just sport. The weight of the team behind you (or not so much) can have an effect on your results. Just look at Raikkonen vs Massa in 2007 and then in 2008."

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3. Posted by @R1Racing71, 30/06/2015 15:48

"It's a fair comment that SV was the favoured driver, presumably for marketing reasons. Be interesting to know however what Mark really meant by the team having a "personal interest" in his team mate."

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4. Posted by Darvi, 30/06/2015 9:05

"Yawn.... old news, who cares?"

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5. Posted by ghendoaus, 30/06/2015 3:14

"Red Bull are throwing the toys out of the sandbox now that Renault can't provide them with a competitive engine! Just shows the true character of those involved in the management!"

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6. Posted by scf1fan, 29/06/2015 22:28

"As much as I generally like MW, and I'd agree that some of the things SV & RB did were less that tactful, I believe that the statistics tell a slightly different story. A team with a truly dominant car and with two nearly equal drivers will finish 1-2 all the time. (Such as MB is doing currently.) MW struggled much of the time to be a consistent #2 in the race even though the RB was thought to be a superb car. (This is born out by the driver standings in the championships.)

Perhaps some of that was due to RB meddling, but I suspect not much. RB put their chips on SV, and more often than not he delivered them the goods; even if they did it in a rather ham-fisted fashion. It's a situation that many teams have had to deal with; some just did it more successfully than others."

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7. Posted by testa rossa, 29/06/2015 14:46

"F1 soap series continues, next week why Montezemolo didn't like Todt. LMFAO "

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8. Posted by Joop deBruin, 29/06/2015 14:36

"Webber famously lost a drag race in his RB F1 car to a 5yr old on a Mattel Big Wheel."

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