Former F1 champion Alan Jones has said the inter-team battles faced by Mark Webber shouldn't be allowed to overshadow his time in the sport after the Red Bull man announced he will quit F1 at the end of the year.
Webber will make a return to sportscar with Porsche at the conclusion of his current deal with Red Bull, bringing the curtain down his time in the sport after twelve years.
Speaking to Speedcafe
, Jones admitted the battles Webber had faced within his own team in recent years were part and parcel of the sport and said the much documented disputes with team-mate Sebastian Vettel shouldn't be allowed to overshadow his achievements.
“It's inevitable in Formula 1,” the 1980 champion said of the Red Bull battles. “I often say to people that when you've got large amounts of money involved, different nationalities and egos you can't jump over there's always going to be some agro.
“At the end of the day he's had a terrific run in Formula 1 and achieved what a lot of others haven't been able to do in having a long career at the top level.
“He's earned good money, won plenty of Grand Prixs and now he's got to move on to wherever he feels happiest.”
Webber has been quick to stress that he is unlikely to make a comeback to F1 at any point in the future given the new direction that the championship is set to take when fresh engine regulations come into force next year, but Jones said he felt sure that Australian fans would continue to have someone to cheer on on the grid.
“With a bit of luck there will still be an Australian element in Formula 1 that we can follow,” he said. “I've said it all along over several years that I believe Daniel [Ricciardo] has the talent to make it into a competitive team.
“I think he has got what it takes, but he'll want to lift his game a fraction because Jean-Eric Vergne seems to have the wood on him at the moment. It was the other way initially but Vergne has certainly stepped up.”