8 July 2010
Webber to ride Vettel's ex
Mark Webber will be on a speed date with one of Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel's ex partners at Silverstone.
Sebastian Vettel may have broken off their affair, but Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber has decided to take a chance on 'Luscious Liz' after being paired in a Formula One speed date ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix.
The Australian, without a partner for the Silverstone event after wrecking his preferred chassis in the airborne accident he sustained at the European Grand Prix in Valencia, has been handed Vettel's cast-off, which he abandoned after damage left her unable to perform to expectation, by the Red Bull team as its hopes to keep both drivers in the championship hunt. With Vettel now riding 'Randy Mandy', Webber's Valencia car will be the team's designated spare at Silverstone, should the RBR crew be able to repair it back at base in Milton Keynes.
While Webber is unlikely to refer to his 'new' mount in quite the same way as his younger team-mate - who has developed, and spawned, a habit of christening cars in the past year or so - he is confident that there will be none of the issues that caused Vettel to move on after poor results in both Barcelona and Monaco.
"There was nothing wrong with it - it's fine," the Australian told reporters during a visit to the factory, "It's all we've got anyway..."
Webber also revealed that the car he wrote off vaulting over the back of Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus in Spain had already been offered to him on a permanent basis from the end of the season.
“I don't get attached to cars but, clearly, that one was unique,” the 33-year old admitted, “The boys put some messages on it because they thought it was all over, RIP, and they'll probably give me something else [now], but the car did a great job for me in two cases. It won races for me, and it looked after me when I needed it."
Team boss Christian Horner confirmed that the RB6 had been set for Webber's personal collection, but insisted that it would first be pressed into action at Silverstone should it be required.
"The car was quite a significant car for him because it won two grands prix and also saved his life, and we can shovel up the bits and drop them in his drive, but the chassis is being repaired anyway," he noted, "It hasn't been retired just yet - if we have a big crash on Saturday, it will be running on Saturday - but that's the chassis that he will be given at the end of the year."
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