Webber's warning: British duo are on collision course

Mark Webber believes it is only a matter of time before McLaren team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have a similar incident to the one he had with Red Bull partner Sebastian Vettel in Turkey, when they collided while fighting for the lead. The Australian, speaking ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, believes McLaren have done a good job of projecting team unity thus far but in his opinion – and the Australian is nothing if not honest – there's more to the British pair's relationship than meets the eye.

"They've been working very hard with smoke and mirrors with Lewis and Jenson at McLaren," said Webber. "They get on, but if they are always racing at the front it's inevitable that something is going to happen, because of what's at stake and because both are hungry drivers. Our whole team learned from the incident in Turkey. It was a new experience for us. But 80 per cent of the grid would give their right arm to be in a similar position, with two guys fighting at the front. It's unlikely to happen again."

Webber, however, did not totally discount the possibility of another similar crash – as he knows well, this is a very high stakes game and who knows what might happen if the pair of them were fighting for the world championship heading into the first corner at Abu Dhabi in November? But he says that he is getting on just fine with the young German who, walking from his wrecked car in Istanbul, made the finger twirling gesture that was intended to indicate that he thought his team-mate was crazy.

"Seb and I are pretty good. If he was drowning in the ocean I'd go in and save him. But it's totally natural that there will be rivalry. If you are like Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen at Lotus there isn't so much at stake right now, but look at Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell, when they were at Williams in the '80s. They were both at the front and were both trying to win, and there was healthy rivalry. It's not possible in that situation to have a beautiful fuzzy relationship because the other guy is your competitor."

While not discounting Ferrari, Webber expects the strongest challenge to Red Bull on Sunday to come from the two Brits at McLaren. "We know Jenson and Lewis will be there, that's totally obvious. We know that. But it'll be a top four at least, because Seb and I will be there too, for sure.

"I'd be very happy to win the British GP. It's a prestigious event. I know the home crowd will be rooting for Lewis and Jenson, but I've always got on pretty well with the British fans."

He says he has no ill effects after the spectacular back-flip he performed last time out in Valencia, after hitting the back of and being launched by Kovalainen's Lotus.

"I'm over that, let's move on to Silverstone. A bit of whiplash. Knew straight away that I'd hit my big toe pretty hard. But I didn't even know I was upside down. It happened so quick. I was very mindful that I should let go of the wheel, but I wanted to keep my arms in the car. It definitely takes two to have that accident. I've been in his [Kovalainen's] situation, with Minardi, and I learned that if you fight the quick guys you always lose more time. But everyone's entitled to have a fight. I thought that was co-operating, then I realised that he was gonna defend.

Webber will race a replacement chassis this weekend. In the old one, under repair at Red Bull, his number one mechanic, Mark Lenton, left a poignant note: "You gave me the best day of my life, and also saved my mate."

News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
News
news
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

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003