Dr. Helmut Marko has belatedly waded into the Red Bull Racing row that has so spectacularly spilled over from last weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, by arguing that if anybody has a right to believe there is a conspiracy against them within the energy drinks-backed outfit, it is Sebastian Vettel, not Mark Webber who, he points out, 'owes a lot to this team'.
Having seen the developmental front wing on his RB6 removed just ahead of qualifying to be fitted instead onto the sister car of Vettel without any prior consultation or warning, Webber went on to make his displeasure publicly known after dominating the race the following day, sarcastically quipping to his team over the pit-to-car radio on the slowing-down lap that his imperious victory – making the Australian the most 'winningest' competitor of the F1 2010 campaign to-date – was 'not bad for a number two driver', words that sparked a media furore.
The New South Wales native followed that up by stating in the post-race press conference that he 'would never have signed a contract again for next year if I believed that was the way it was going to be going forward' – though all parties have since been at pains to stress that the air has now been cleared.
Red Bull motorsport advisor Marko, however – a man who is known not to be a particular fan of Webber's, having unreservedly blamed the 33-year-old for the infamous Istanbul collision for which most held Vettel squarely responsible, and having suggested that Scuderia Toro Rosso ace Sébastien Buemi should take his place at RBR in 2012 – has defended the wing decision as 'very logical', brusquely dismissed all accusations of favouritism within the team and sought to back up his argument by reasoning that it is Vettel who has encountered the lion's share of the bad luck out of the pair this season.
“I don't know what Webber wants,” the Austrian told German publication Auto Bild
. “The driver who got the new wing was ahead in the championship and faster in the third timed practice. It was a very logical decision.”
“If Mark imagines there is a conspiracy between us and Vettel against him, then he is on the wrong track,” the former grand prix driver added in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport
. “If I was Vettel, then I would suspect the opposite. Which car has constantly had problems? Did Mark have a defective spark plug, a loose wheel, a broken brake, a defective chassis, a gearbox problem and the broken nose?
“In comparison, Webber has come out with only a black eye. Mark is having a great season and he has improved big-time, but he should not forget that he owes a lot to this team. Where was he two years ago? He could not even dream of grand prix wins. For us, it really does not matter who is champion – the main thing is that he is sitting in a Red Bull.”