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Only Vettel can decide if he wants to help - Webber

ESPNF1 Staff
November 11, 2010 « Ecclestone sings Abu Dhabi's praises | »
A relaxed Mark Webber in the Yas Marina paddock © Sutton Images

Mark Webber insists Sebastian Vettel will be free to decide whether he wants to help him at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and says the team has told them the "gloves are off".

Realistically, Webber needs to win and have Fernando Alonso finish third or lower to take the title this weekend, but he will be facing stiff competition from both the Ferrari driver and team-mate Vettel. He said he would fight openly with Vettel during the race, but when asked whether Vettel would hand him victory in order to win the title, he said the decision was not in his or the team's hands.

"I think it is a question for Seb," Webber is quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald. "What he does is going to be very dependent on how the race unfolds and there are so many scenarios that can happen.

"I can win this championship by finishing fifth and I can lose it by winning it. Let's just see how things evolve. It actually is very, very tough to make a call at the moment and we know the team's position is that the gloves are off between Sebastian and I. They want us to race, which we've done all year."

Webber, who has a one-year contract for 2011 with Red Bull, also played down rumours that he will retire at the end of the season.

"Yes, pretty much I'm taking on a year by year basis," Webber said. "The youngsters' eyes are really big when they arrive but I've been so proud of what I've done this year. I'm not an old guy but to take Fernando (Alonso) and Lewis (Hamilton) and Seb on week-in week-out, I feel proud I've been able to do that. I've had to lift the bar up and I think next year I can still drive very well. Timing is very important. To drive at 85-90% in this category - forget it, you need to be on top of your game."

He is expecting Red Bull to produce another competitive car in 2011, even though the team's resources have been stretched by developing the RB6 up until the final race.

"Time will tell but we've had a lot of good cars in the last two years," Webber said. "Last year was very, very taxing for us but the team responded for this year really well and produced another cracker. Next year we'll find out in the first few races. There are a lot of big new changes and the pedal's going in one direction for this team."