Mark Webber hits back after Lewis Hamilton's 'drinks company' jibe

Mark Webber has taken a swipe at Lewis Hamilton after the Briton this week described Red Bull Racing as "just a drinks company."

Hamilton was referring to the fact Red Bull upset the natural order of Formula One last year by winning both the drivers' and constructors' championships in only their sixth season.

Unsure as to their longevity in F1 in comparison to Ferrari and his own team McLaren, Hamilton said: "I am certain both teams will do everything in their power to make sure they can remain at the top.

"But I have no clue what Red Bull are planning to do because they are not a manufacturer, they are a drinks company."

Appreciably, that cut little ice with Webber who is now approaching his fifth season with Red Bull that begins on Sunday with his home race around Melbourne's Albert Park.

Asked as to his expectations this year, Webber's initial remark was a pointed one as he said: "Well, we're just a drinks company in the end!"

The 34-year-old added: "We had a pretty good season last year, so I hope we can build on that, but we've some sensational rivals.

"The red guys (Ferrari) are a phenomenal team, have a phenomenal history, and that's what gives us our great rewards to compete against those sort of guys."

Webber, who missed out on the title to team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the final race of last season, added: "The team has again set the bar high this year.

"Of course, we're looking for championships. Both of them would be nice.

"As we saw last year when it goes to the end it can go either way, but we want to be there at the end, no question about it.

"That's the goal for the team."

Despite the considerable effort and resources put in by Red Bull last year, the team appear as if they will again be frontrunners this season.

In terms of preparation, as Webber looks to end a home hoodoo that has seen him finish no higher than fifth in nine previous attempts in the Australian Grand Prix, he could not be happier.

"We've had a pretty smooth winter," added Webber.

"It's easy to have niggles when it's a completely new concept, and with the new regulations, but the team have done a good job to get on top of those to a degree.

"Both myself and the team have put in a lot of effort to make the most of the testing days that we had.

"We couldn't quite achieve the mileage that Ferrari did. They did a very good job in terms of that.

"But in general it went pretty well for us, and now we'll find out in the next few weeks where we are performance wise.

"The first three races will be interesting."

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