Mark Webber insists that the level of unrest in the Red Bull Racing camp has been 'blown out of proportion' by the media following the British Grand Prix, but admits that he has no regrets about the post-race outburst that added fuel to the fire.
The Australian was heard to refer to himself as the team's 'number two driver' while congratulating his crew on the warm-down lap, highlighting the fact that he had been given an older-spec front wing while German team-mate Sebastian Vettel used the new version that Webber had run throughout practice. While Vettel suffered a puncture on the opening lap at Silverstone, Webber went on to comfortably hold off McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and re-establish himself as RBR's leading title contender ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix.
Following further 'clear the air' talks with RBR boss Christian Horner in the week following the race, Webber insists that there is no problem with his relationship with the team, and claimed that the issue had been magnified by journalists looking for a story.
"It was a situation that happened which was very unusual," he said of the Silverstone 'row', "As I said already, I don't have any problems with Sebastian - what happened at Silverstone was nothing of his doing. I had some discussions with Christian over the weekend, [as] he is running the team and we learn and we go forward. There are always unexpected things throughout any driver's career. You are dreaming if you think it is always going to be straight up.
"[The 'number two' comment] was said in the heat of the moment, but we're both treated very equally in the team and, as I said at the time, I would never have continued [with the team in 2011] in that situation. That's why I am continuing,. Technically, the cars give both of us a really fair crack and I'm looking forward to trying to have that big problem [of what to say in response to victory] on Sunday if I can.
"The team is ready to go forward. We are both competitive and it is only natural the media and everyone wants to wind up a nice rivalry between whoever it is, but Seb and I are naturally going about our jobs. What we have in common is that we work for the same team, have the same passion and the same drive to get the same result - and there is nothing wrong with that, so we are fine. The team is learning here and there along the way but it is a healthy learning.
"We are in a sensational position. Two years ago, the team was not doing this type of result. Now we are and we are taking on the best teams in the pit-lane, so it is an absolute credit to us and we are looking to continue that."
While insisting that he had no regrets about what he had said over the radio at the end of the race at Silverstone, however, 33-year old Webber conceded that perhaps the content should have been fruitier to prevent it from being broadcast to millions of television viewers around the world.
"I don't have any regrets - as a sportsman, that is why we are all here, but things happen in the heat of the moment," he told journalists at Hockenheim, "Perhaps I should have put some colourful language either side of my radio transmission, because maybe it would never have got run. But I was polite and it did get run, and then a few extra people heard what I had to say."
Vettel, meanwhile, has called on the German fans at this weekend's race to show Webber the respect he deserves as a rival competitor.
“I hope that, at Hockenheim, all the drivers are welcomed with respect,” he told the Koln Express
newspaper, “I know that I will never lose respect for other people. We are all sportsmen and should be treated in such a way.”