• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Webber was not used to fool Alonso - Mateschitz

ESPNF1 Staff
November 15, 2010 « Vettel a deserving champion - Horner | »
Dietrich Mateschitz and Mark Webber before the race © Getty Images

Dietrich Mateschitz has rejected suggestions Red Bull's race strategy for Mark Webber on Sunday was a plot to mislead Ferrari and favour Sebastian Vettel for the title.

It was Webber's early pit stop that caused Ferrari to follow suit and bring title rival Fernando Alonso in for an early tyre change. Ultimately, the strategy was a big mistake, as Alonso got stuck behind Vitaly Petrov's Renault, preventing him from rising to the fourth place he needed in the event of a Vettel race victory.

So was Red Bull's strategy a deliberate one, with Webber used as bait to entice Alonso to cover him while Vettel strolled to the win from pole?

"Afterwards, everyone thinks everything like that is done deliberately, but that's not something you can plan," Red Bull owner Mateschitz told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

After the race, Webber was a notable absence as Red Bull celebrated its double championships. The Australian gave a terse "yeah" when asked if he will be back with the team in 2011. Also asked if Webber will be back, Mateschitz said: "I know Mark wanted a clearer position within the team and I can understand his disappointment. But he will go on with us."

The Austrian billionaire said Red Bull's strength now will be "continuity".

"We now have our dream team, with the right people in the right positions," added Mateschitz. "Of course, our people get many offers, but the entire team is staying together."