Sebastian Vettel refutes Mark Webber claim

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The Independent Online

Sebastian Vettel has hit back at Mark Webber's claim that Red Bull are emotionally favouring the young German.

Webber yesterday suggested his tilt at the Formula One title this year had been "inconvenient" to Red Bull.

Team principal Christian Horner dismissed Webber's comments, insisting the Australian had received the team's full support.

It prompted what appeared to be a heart-to-heart between the two men last night outside the team's hospitality unit in the paddock at Interlagos, with Webber in particular quite animated.

Now Vettel has had his say, notably via one comment aired on German television station RTL in which he said: "If Mark needs help then he should take the medical car."

It further underlines the divide which exists between the drivers and seems a clear indicator that Vettel will not aid Webber's cause at any stage.

Asked specifically if he felt the team were emotionally rooting for him, Vettel said: "No. Obviously a lot of things have been said or written.

"Everyone has his own opinion, but for me we both have the same chance every weekend to do well.

"The team supplies us with a very good car and that's ultimately the situation that you want to be in, having a car where you can win races and fight for podiums.

"Mark has been in Formula One much longer than I, but I remember my time three years ago, I was dreaming of being a guy able to finish on the podium, able to win races.

"I'm enjoying a lot what I'm doing and I'm very proud and happy to be in the position I am now, and happy to be in a team like I am."

Vettel also feels he has had the rougher ride this year in terms of mechanical issues.

He suffered a spark plug problem that dropped him from first to fourth in Bahrain, a wheel failure that pitched him into the gravel in Australia when he was leading and a blown engine while also leading in Korea in the last race.

It was also Vettel who came off worse when he and Webber collided in Turkey, as he retired while his team-mate managed to keep going after spinning off, eventually finishing third.

"I think I've had lots of ups and downs this year, but if something has broken then it has tended to break on my car," Vettel added.

"But do I think there is any conspiracy in the air? No, it's the last thing I think about.

"I always approach things by thinking there is a reason something has happened.

"If it does I speak to Christian, I speak to Dietrich (Mateschitz), the people responsible for our team.

"If something is not right, not happening the way I feel it should, then I say something. That's what everyone does.

"I am who I am and I always say what I think. Sometimes I might hold back on my opinion because I think it's the smarter way.

"But I'm the last guy to cause conflict when it's not necessary."