Mike Stevens | Jul 13, 2010

The international press saw Sunday's events as Mark Webber fighting hard to avoid being a number two driver.

The Australian said his win at Silverstone was "not bad" for teammate Sebastian Vettel's subordinate, before revealing he would not have signed up for 2011 if he thought he would be playing second fiddle.

Asked by the Guardian if he stands by those comments now, Webber declared, "Absolutely", adding that the race win was "an Australian response, a little upper-cut".

After losing his new front wing to Vettel before qualifying, Italy's authoritative sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport said Sunday was indeed the 33-year-old's "revenge".

Spain's El Pais added: "He is determined to fight against his teammate Vettel, and if necessary against even the whole team."

L'Equipe in France said Webber has "declared war" on the situation, Italy's Corriere dello Sport agreeing that he "was never a second driver and never will be".

There have been suggestions he might try to break his newly-signed 2011 contract, and as the only driver to have won three Grands Prix this year, he would not find himself without a job.

But Webber said: "I am more than happy with where I am next year once we have some discussions this week."

It is unlikely those discussions will involve Vettel, despite Webber quipping he would rescue the 23-year-old if he was drowning in the ocean.

But as for whether he would take Vettel for a drink at the pub, perhaps his own Stag Inn not far from Silverstone, Webber replied: "Definitely not.

"We don't want the German national anthem played in Germany (in two weeks)," he added.

So far, Vettel's has been the quietest voice in the 'wing-gate' saga, declaring before leaving Silverstone: "I have an opinion but I am keeping that for myself."

(GMM)

 

Angry Webber Not Set To Leave Red Bull: Horner

Christian Horner has said he is happy to meet with Mark Webber in the wake of the team's tumultuous British Grand Prix.

Webber, who won at Silverstone on Sunday, said afterwards that he would not have signed with Red Bull for 2011 if he thought he was going to be teammate Sebastian Vettel's number two.

But boss Horner said that if a similar situation arises in the future, he would once again take the decision to remove a new front wing from one car and attach it to the other.

Asked if this means he would receive the best parts at Hockenheim now that he is ahead in the Championship, Webber told reporters: "I should do."

And reports have emerged that the civil war is threatening to move into the ranks of mechanics, after Webber's crew took the 'old' wing from the RB6 while packing up and waved it at Vettel's side of the garage.

Vettel told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "The most important thing is the atmosphere within the team. We have a really strong car and the only thing that can stop us is ourselves."

Horner, describing Webber's car-to-radio 'number two driver' comment as a "throwaway line", said, "Of course we will talk about it, and if the air needs to be cleared it will be cleared.

"Mark hasn't signed a contract as a number two driver. He knows the lengths the team has gone to, with the weight difference between the two drivers, to try and achieve parity."

Webber's father Alan admitted on Sunday evening that he was "worried" about his son when he struggled to eat breakfast prior to the race.

The obvious implication is that the 33-year-old might be regretting his decision to sign up for another season.

"We have provided him with a car that has enabled him to run at the front, win Grands Prix and challenge for the World Championship," Horner said. "I doubt very much that he is going to walk away from that."

The Briton expressed frustration as the reporters' scrum broke, muttering: "We've just won the f---ing British Grand Prix.

"He (Webber) has been under contract for well over a month, so it goes without saying he will be here next year," Horner added.

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