An angry Mark Webber has bristled at claims that he is being dominated by Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull Racing, describing the notion as 'absolutely f***ing ludicrous' and contending that 'nothing lasts forever' – not even his team-mate's winning run.
Vettel has triumphed in five of the last six races spanning the end of F1 2010 and the beginning of F1 2011 – and has out-qualified Webber seven times in swift succession. The German is undefeated this season so far whilst the Australian has been hobbled by an unidentified issue with his RB7 in Melbourne and a KERS failure at Sepang, but Webber responded incredulously when asked if he was fed-up at being 'hit over the head with a baseball bat' by Vettel – a reference to the famous Eddie Irvine quote about Michael Schumacher.
“Absolutely f***ing ludicrous question mate,” the 34-year-old replied. “You've known me long enough. Five wins in a row? Yeah, but that doesn't mean...he's not just beaten me, he's beaten everyone, so no-one will turn up then? We may as well all stay at home.
“That's what a competitor does (comes back fighting). Nothing lasts forever – that's the way it goes. Like I said, he is doing a good job and Malaysia was close between us. Tough first lap [for me], but that's what happens. Come here, see how we go...I think I'll stop there.”
Webber was six tenths of a second slower than Vettel in FP1 in Shanghai today ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, but he slipped back to more than one-and-a-half seconds adrift and from second to tenth in the afternoon FP2 session, as the defending F1 World Champion reigned supreme at the top of the timesheets throughout.
“I didn't have the best FP2, particularly on the short run with the new tyres, which is why my time is down a little, but the long run on the 'Option' tyre was good,” the 34-year-old reported. “We'll look at KERS tonight – we'd like to run it this weekend, of course. Generally, it was a good Friday, we learned a lot and the car was reliable.”
“We had a good day today, but it's only Friday and so it's early in the race weekend,” added Vettel. “We found a good rhythm and we're happy with the car. There's still a lot to do and I think it will be tight tomorrow and on Sunday, so we'll look at where we can improve – but today we had no big issues.”