Mark Webber, a former Formula 1 driver who now works with British television channel Channel 4, spoke about how difficult his relationship with Sebastian Vettel was during their time as partners in Red Bull Racing.
Vettel joined the team from Toro Rosso in 2009, and he was the first graduate of the Red Bull youth program, not only to make his way to Formula 1, but immediately earned a reputation as a racer capable of winning – just remember what he got for the team from Faenza. first victory, winning the 2008 Italian Grand Prix.
In 2009, Red Bull Racing received a car for the first time that allowed to fight for the highest results, which is not surprising, because the creation of the RB5 was already carried out by Adrian Newey, the legendary racing designer, who had joined the team from McLaren three years earlier.
“We saw that Adrian was in anticipation, because in that season, Formula 1 switched to the new technical regulations, and he understood that he could have a huge impact on the whole car,” said Webber. – The team then collaborated with Renault minders, and it was not so easy to deal with them, since their engines were not always the most powerful. Therefore, Adrian had to find ways to increase speed through aerodynamics and improve the handling of the car.
Sebastian joined us and in 2009 became my new partner. At the beginning of the season, the Brawn GP team had success with Jenson Button, but gradually our car picked up speed.
Sebastian was a rider for the youth program at Red Bull, but I had experience, because over the years of my career in professional motorsport I have gone through a lot. Despite his youth, Sebastian was a fast driver, Red Bull invested serious funds in their program, and I, of course, also benefited from this, because we had Adrian Newey. His RB5 car was an engineering masterpiece, a real weapon of victory. “
But the next few years were remembered by everyone not only for the victories of Red Bull Racing and Vettel’s four championship titles: the relationship between the partners was very tense, suffice it to recall the accident at the Turkish Grand Prix of 2010 or the story that happened in Malaysia in 2013, when Sebastian, in violation of instructions team beat Webber and won the race. All this led to the fact that the Australian ended his career and parted with the team after seven years of cooperation.
Recalling his years for Red Bull Racing, Webber admitted that the confrontation with Vettel continued outside the track. When asked if he and Sebastian had been able to forget their differences as they left the cockpits of their cars, Mark replied: “Not at all. It was impossible.
We definitely crossed the line, and in a professional sense, I lost confidence in him. Now we have quite normal relations, we exchange messages, so everything is in the past. But in those years it caused the whole team a serious headache, because in 2010 we fought for the victory in the championship, and our rivals were Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, and before the last race all four claimed the title.
Psychologically, it was not easy, the team was divided into two camps, and Christian Horner had a hard time coping with it.