Sebastian Vettel has conceded that there is a certain amount of 'distance' between himself and Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber – even if the pair 'work together to bring the team forward' – and has conceded that by their very nature, every driver in F1 is a natural egotist.
Having fallen out spectacularly over their costly Istanbul collision – for which team management initially blamed Webber, and the majority of observers Vettel – a degree of calm had descended over the two RBR stablemates' relationship, with a public front of harmony. Until Silverstone, when the team unsuccessfully tried to wing it.
The well-documented media furore that followed, and the comments made by both parties, have once-and-for-all blasted apart any façade of friendship between the Australian and German – and whilst the former hinted at favouritism against him within the energy drinks-backed outfit in the wake of his superb British Grand Prix victory, the latter contends that as competitive animals, every single driver on the grid is ultimately looking out only for himself.
“The team is the priority,” the 23-year-old told German magazine Der Spiegel
now that another truce has been re-established, “[but] in the end the pecking order is led by the faster man. Every driver is an egotist, because you go down in F1 if you aren't. The team-mate is the first you want to beat because he has the same equipment.
“There is always a certain distance [between himself and Webber]. We work together in certain areas to bring the team forward and to further develop the car, but apart from that everyone is focussed on himself and seeks his own advantage. I have no joy in being an also-ran. I need this self-affirmation that I am better than the others.”