• British Grand Prix

Webber unhappy with team order

ESPNF1 Staff
July 10, 2011 « Disappointed Button rues team blunder | »
Mark Webber had started on pole, but lost out to Sebastian Vettel in to turn one © Press Association

Mark Webber said he was not happy with the team asking him to hold position when closing up behind Sebastian Vettel towards the end of the British Grand Prix.

Webber was in third place and having cleared Lewis Hamilton was reducing the gap to Vettel lap by lap as his team-mate struggled with a KERS problem. With eventual race-winner Fernando Alonso over 15 seconds ahead in the lead and Hamilton struggling far behind Christian Horner radioed to Webber to "maintain the gap" in order to reduce the risk of any collision. However, when asked if he was fine with the team order, Webber said he ignored the message.

"I'm not fine with it, no," Webber said. "So that's the answer to that. If Fernando had retired on the last lap then we would have been fighting for victory. I was fighting to the end; of course I ignored the team because I wanted another place. Seb was doing his best, I was doing my best, for sure I don't want to crash with anyone. That was it."

Despite his apparent annoyance with the message, Webber did say that he didn't feel like he was being treated as a number two driver.

"Not really. I just wanted to race to the end. With four or five laps to go they started to chat to me about holding my position. Of course they want the points but I also wanted to get some points as well."

Vettel himself did not seem too bothered by the incident, saying that he didn't want to risk losing points but that he felt the pair had to race.

"I tried to stay ahead obviously, we're racing each other. I think there is nothing wrong with that from a team point of view. If you have two cars quite isolated in second and third, the first guy is away and the fourth guy is pretty far away as well. From a team point of view there is no point in racing and trying to do something stupid because the points for the team are the same.

"The difference between second and third is not massive but naturally we try to race. What can I say? I was trying to defend my position which I did - I was struggling, Mark was faster. Then there was the chequered flag."