Following his retirement from F1 at last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Mark Webber has backtracked after opening up about the animosity between himself and Red Bull.
The Australian posted comments on his official website on Wednesday, however, those comments have since been taken down.
In them the 37-year-old speaks of the increasingly tense relationship between himself and Christian Horner before speaking about the two most controversial figures within the Austrian team, Dr Helmut Marko and Sebastian Vettel.
Firstly commenting on team boss Christian Horner, Webber admitted last week that relations deteriorated following the response to the crash between himself and Vettel at the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix. Prior to that the pair had got along so well they co-owned a GP3 team.
In the comments he said the two of them were ”probably not as close now as we once were”.
“Christian is going to be with the team for a long time – indefinitely, you’d imagine, unless he gets an approach from somewhere else – so he’s got to make sure that he tries to keep everything as smooth as possible,” said Webber.
“In some cases that hasn’t been something which might have benefitted me. That’s put a stress on the relationship.”
While Webber’s issues with Horner have come over time one man he certainly never got along with was Helmut Marko, the Austrian has always been highly critical of the Australian and since Vettel’s arrival and subsequent success, the outspoken Marko has always been seen on the German side of the garage.
Webber said: ”I still don’t really know his (Marko’s) role in the team, so … yeah. He was very critical of me from day one but in the end he’s obviously brought Seb through and done a great job with that.
“He’s probably disappointed that F1 teams have to have two cars. But they do,” he added.
Finally he moved onto Sebastian Vettel, the history between the pair dates all the way back to 2007 when, driving for Toro Rosso, a 20-year-old Vettel crashed into the back of Webber while running behind the safety car at the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji.
From there the pair have had several run-ins particularly in the highly combative 2010 year but the final one came in Malaysia this year as Vettel ignored team orders to pass Webber for the victory at Sepang.
In the deleted comments Webber actually began by describing the now four-time champion as “phenomenally gifted” adding: ”We know that his strength is qualifying and the first five laps of the race. That’s his signature punch. That’s the hardest part to control,” said Webber.
However of the relationship the pair have he was less praising.
“There’s so much water under the bridge between us that it’s hard to think of more positives than negatives.
“That’s a bit disappointing because you want to keep everyone in a respectful light, and give them as big a chance as possible, for as long as you can,” he added.
“But I think there’s probably too much that’s gone on between us. Maybe when we’re 50-odd things will be different but with what we’ve been through it’s hard to draw a line under too much of it,” said Webber.
“For sure I’m not super-bothered by it and nor is he. That’s just the way it is,” he concluded.
Indeed the feelings between the pair even stem as far as a Brazilian flag that was given to Webber by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone following the press conference at Interlagos.
According to Auto Sport und Motor the flag had been signed by all the drivers on the grid except Vettel. In the press conference Ecclestone asked the German to add his signature, Webber was said to be “not pleased”.
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