Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel v Mark Webber: The final chapter

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Since 2007, when Sebastian Vettel drove his Toro Rosso into the back of Mark Webber's Red Bull in a wet Japanese GP, Mark has had a bit of a problem with the 'kid', and both the problem and the kid have only grown. 

Following an impressive two seasons at sister team Toro Rosso, Vettel was partnered up with Webber at Red Bull in 2009.

The Australian being the senior driver, was expected to nurture the young and rising Vettel. However, Sebastien was quick to stamp his authority, finishing the season second in the Championship, 14.5 points ahead of his senior partner.

He also snatched the DHL Fastest Lap Award from Webber. Both drivers had equal number of fastest laps, but Vettel had more second fastest laps, and thus, got the prize.

Things tumbled in 2010 though.

The situation exploded when they both collided in the Turkish GP, when Vettel attempted to make a passing move on the Aussie for the lead. Vettel had to retire as a result of the collision, while Webber managed to salvage third.

Neither driver took responsibility, but the tension worsened when the management appeared to be siding with Vettel.

Things strained further at the Silverstone GP of 2010, when Vettel was given Webber's car's front wing, after he crashed his' in FP3 (since it was a new part, there were no spares).

Although Team Principal Adrian Newey claimed his decision was based on Vettel outpacing Webber in the practice sessions, Webber did not appreciate this.

After a dominant win, the Aussie was quoted on the cool down lap as saying: "Not bad for a No 2 driver!"; clearly pointing out what he believed was Red Bull's favouritism for his German partner.

Vettel won the 2010 Championship in the final round, coming from behind, and an injured Webber finished third, having led the Championship for a long time. This made Sebastien the youngest World Champion in the sport, and the clear numero uno at Red Bull.

2011 and 2012, were dominated by Vettel, with Webber having to content himself trailing Seb almost throughout the season. But the tension between the two has not fazed down.

At the Malaysian GP earlier this year, Vettel charged a coasting Webber from behind and, ignoring the team orders, took the lead from the Aussie. Webber was furious after the race, and clearly stated his feelings on the podium and the after race conference. Although Vettel apologised for ignoring the team orders, he refused to apologise for going for the win, and claimed if he had to go back, he'd do the same again.

This has perhaps acted as the final nail in Webber's career, with the Aussie soon afterwards deciding that he would quit Formula 1 at the end of the season. This would bring curtains to what has been one of the most volatile rivalries in F1 in recent times. 

Vettel's moves in Malaysia have made this a no-hold-barred dog fight, and the Aussie hoping for one last hurrah, would certainly take the fight to the running Triple World Champion.

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