With only four races to run after Sunday’s Singapore grand prix, Red Bull appears no closer to making championship leader Mark Webber its number 1 bet for the world championship.
The Australian, 24 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel, has struggled relative to his front row-sitting teammate in Singapore, qualifying three paces behind the sister RB6.
“We have two drivers competing for the world championship and we will continue supporting them until for one of them it is not mathematically and practically possible for them to win the championship,” team boss Christian Horner said in Singapore.
But Webber, 34, answered “yes” after a long pause when asked by British television BBC if he would accept preferred status for the balance of the season.
“For me it’s an unique opportunity that I might never get again,” he also said in an interview with Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.
“But I can’t yet say ‘Hey Seb, let me have this opportunity because you might have the chance for another ten years or more’,” added Webber.
At the same time, he concedes that – despite some earlier ructions within the Austrian camp – Red Bull would be happy if he wins the title.
“It was rumoured that Helmut (Marko) would prefer Vettel, because they might have a closer relationship. But he would be very happy if I won the world championship today,” the Australian insisted.
“If we did it, everyone would have a headache from the party, no matter which of us is champion. The team situation is completely neutral,” added Webber.
He also played down rumours he is disaffected at Red Bull, revealing that when he decides to stop driving, he will probably continue to work with the energy drinks company.
“What Red Bull did when I broke my leg was impressive and I’ll never forget it,” he said.
“They backed me when I was totally in the shit. Yes, maybe we can continue to do something together,” added Webber, who is under contract only until the end of 2011.
© RIF | GMM