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Webber disobedience won't affect 2012 talks - Horner

ESPNF1 Staff
July 12, 2011 « Hamilton keen to avoid burnout | »
Horner defends team-orders

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said Mark Webber's decision to ignore team orders towards the end of the British Grand Prix will not affect any contract talks for 2012.

Webber was asked four or five time to maintain a gap to team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the last few laps of the race when the pair were running second and third. However, he continued to push and after the race said he was "not fine" with being asked to hold station.

Horner admitted he would talk with his driver about the incident in private, but when asked if it would have any bearing on Webber's future at Red Bull, he said: "I sincerely hope not.

"At the end of the day it's about the team. I can understand sometimes that a driver will be frustrated with an instruction, but my responsibility is to ensure that the team optimised its result. There would have been absolutely no benefit in both cars coming back on a tow truck."

He added: "It was obvious that neither was going to concede and, as we saw with Massa and Hamilton at the last corner when they made contact, it made absolutely no sense from the team's point of view to allow them to continue to fight over that last couple of laps. Mark obviously chose to ignore that and didn't make the pass in any event, but that's the team's position."

Webber's manager and ex-Renault boss, Flavio Briatore, agreed that the team should have come first.

"Welcome to F1," Briatore told Italy's Sky Sport 24. "I would have done the same. If you're playing for a world championship, you have to take decisions and drivers need to understand that it's not your car and it's a team of hundreds of people. They need to respect that."