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Webber confirms he and Vettel cleared the air post-Abu Dhabi

Having seen his Red Bull Racing team-mate and on occasions bitter rival Sebastian Vettel pip him to the F1 2010 Drivers' World Championship crown in Abu Dhabi, Mark Webber has admitted he sought the German out to clear the air
Not for the first time this season, it has emerged that Red Bull Racing team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber sat down to clear the air in the wake of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F1 2010 finale last weekend – but this time, rather than being artificially reconciled by their team, the olive branch was extended by the Australian entirely of his own volition.

The pair's relationship this year has not always been the easiest, with flashpoints such as their controversial collision in Istanbul, the now infamous Silverstone front wing controversy and comments made by both men pre-Brazil – with Webber suggesting his impressive form in 2010 has been 'inconvenient' for Red Bull's preference to see Vettel triumph, and the German hitting back by declaring that should his team-mate require help, then he would be best-advised to 'take the medical car' [see separate story – click here] – meaning that at times over the course of the campaign, team principal Christian Horner has had a fractious atmosphere to manage indeed.

However, after conceding defeat in his own title bid at Yas Marina, Webber has revealed that he subsequently put his disappointment to one side and went to seek out new F1 World Champion Vettel – the sport's youngest-ever title-winner – to 'talk about things like men'.

“After I heard Sebastian come back into the motorhome area in Abu Dhabi, I went into the room and I wanted to make sure that he was on his own so both of us could have a chat,” the 34-year-old explained. “We spoke about many things from the whole season.

“I think as a competitor, what's important is to give everything that you can, but at the end of the year I think you still have to be able to give credit where it's due and for both of us to be able to talk about things like men and get on with it. That's how it should be, and I want to congratulate Sebastian on the drivers' world championship – what he did this year in the cockpit was incredible.”

Webber, of course, indirectly played a key role in ensuring Vettel clinched the crown, with Ferrari misguidedly jumping to react to his early pit-stop in the UAE with one of their own for Fernando Alonso – a strategy that wound up costing the Spaniard dear. Notwithstanding his understandable frustrations at personally missing out at the last, the six-time grand prix-winner reflected that what Red Bull has achieved in 2010 is 'absolutely incredible' and truly 'unique'.

“I think it was pretty clear that [Ferrari] reacted to what we tried to do, which was something that ultimately might have made things a little bit easier [for Vettel],” Webber mused of the way the race panned out in Abu Dhabi. “Obviously, on the lap that I pitted Ferrari were fourth and fifth, which at that stage for them was not a bad position – but I was trying to jump Fernando, pushing very, very hard to get ahead of him, and in the end Ferrari reacted with both [Felipe] Massa and Alonso. That didn't work out at all and it wrecked their race completely, so maybe I played a small role.

“In the end, though, we do it all together as a team and it was an incredible season, I think, for all of us. We had so many fantastic battles throughout the year. I think we had a clear goal back at the start of the season to achieve some very, very special things – and [to win] both championships in F1 is something incredibly unique and something we should never take for granted. With the team of guys that we have here and the vision from Austria, we've managed to take Ferrari and McLaren on, which is an absolutely incredible achievement.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sunday, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Race Celebration, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 2nd position
Race, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 2nd position and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner
Qualifying, Press conference, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 2nd position, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 pole position
Thursday, Press conference, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and 2010 Champion
Saturday Practice, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Race, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 2nd position and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner
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hamsterace - Unregistered

November 19, 2010 2:35 PM

A magnanimous gesture from a straightforward and popular guy. However, my only reservation is that I wonder if he is being a bit TOO magnanimous. After all, can you see Vettel doing the same if the reverse situation had unfolded? As far as I can see, he has (in a sporting sense, at least) done nothing wrong this year - so if anything it is Vettel who should be seeking him out to "clear the air". If he is to challenge for the title next year, he has to be sure not to back himself into a corner where he becomes the undisputed second driver, as with Massa. Vettel now holds most of the cards now, and will undoubtedly try to make the team his own now - if indeed he hasn't done so already. Stand your ground Mark! And good luck for next year.

Googolplex

November 19, 2010 11:03 PM

Mark would have been feeling very low after the Abu Dhabi race. Unlike a lot of posters above, I think it takes a real man to do what he did in the circumstances. A lesser person would have avoided Seb altogether. I understand that Seb may not feel he want's to say anything publicly nice about Mark, but if he was magnanimour enough to do so (and he sure as well afford to do so now he has won the WDC), he would go a long way up in my opinion.



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