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Briatore: Webber should have kept quiet about injury

24 January 2011

Mark Webber was wrong to have revealed that he ended the F1 2010 World Championship campaign nursing a fractured shoulder, the Australian's manager Flavio Briatore has asserted.

Early last month, the publication of his book Up Front: A season to remember disclosed that Webber had fractured his right shoulder in a mountain-biking fall after returning to his homeland in the wake of the Singapore Grand Prix [see separate story – click here].

That meant the 34-year-old entered the critical final four races in Japan, Korea, Brazil and Abu Dhabi carrying the injury – without informing his team, much as had been the case with the broken left shoulder he had sustained at the same time as he broke his right leg in a similar incident over the winter of 2008/09.

The revelation left Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner 'disappointed' [see separate story – click here], although Webber himself remained adamant that 'there was no need' to tell anyone apart from his personal trainer and the FIA's doctor and insisted the accident did not hamper his performance or ultimately unsuccessful title challenge.

Briatore, however, contends that confessing to the injury in the wake of RBR team-mate Sebastian Vettel's world championship success was not the right approach to adopt.

“It would have been better to leave it with no excuses at all, or to have said it when it happened,” the outspoken Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “The truth is that Mark lost the championship only because of the mistake in Korea. Otherwise, he would be champion.”

As to the forthcoming campaign, the disgraced former Renault F1 managing director tipped another of his drivers, double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso, to come out of the starting-blocks in flying form in the Bahrain curtain-raiser in March.

“Fernando is very motivated and Ferrari have promised to give him a car that he deserves, which is in front of the others,” the 60-year-old mused. “In addition to that, the organisational changes made are a sign of Ferrari's trust in their driver.”


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