Red Bull play down Webber's 'No 2' claim

Only hours after 115,000 spectators and 6.8 million BBC television viewers had cheered his dominant victory in the British Grand Prix, Mark Webber sat down with his Red Bull team at their headquarters in Milton Keynes as they pledged to thrash out the differences that opened up again on Saturday afternoon.

No sooner had the scars from the controversial clash in the Turkish GP between Webber and his team-mate Sebastian Vettel started to heal than the team took away Webber's new front wing and gave it to Vettel for qualifying. As Webber's race performance with the standard wing demonstrated, the team could have withdrawn the sole new version and avoided a situation where Webber remarked over the radio on his slowing down lap that it had not been a bad effort "for a No 2 driver". He and Vettel are supposed to have equal billing within the Austrian-owned team.

Immediately after the victory had made Webber the only world championship contender to have won three races, the Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, assured him that the team would sit down to clear the air.

Webber said he wanted to address the issues once and for all to avoid a repeat in the future, having made it clear in the post-race press conference that he would not have signed a fresh contract in Turkey if he had known the team would resort to favouritism.

Horner was at pains to play down Webber's post-race radio comment, saying: "Mark is king of the one-liners, as we all know. I think the biggest thing is that he has won the British Grand Prix and I am more than happy with his drive. It was a throw-away comment and I don't take it with any malice behind it. He was upset about the decision yesterday, and I can only imagine that he was disappointed he didn't get the wing yesterday. But I can't cut it in half."

He also confirmed that Webber's new contract gives him equal status with Vettel, whom Red Bull are trying to tie up until 2015.

"Mark has not signed a contract as a No 2 driver. He knows the lengths that the team have gone to, to try and achieve parity. He knows how much we have done to support him," said Horner. "Looking objectively at it, he as a sportsman will recognise that sometimes difficult decisions have to be made."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?