With Mark Webber a massive 73 points behind his teammate but so far refusing to play a subordinate role to Sebastian Vettel, the ‘team orders’ issue remains a pertinent one as Red Bull pushes for another drivers’ title.
Australian Webber said in India that he has no intention of “pulling over” for the sister RB8, despite rumours a specific points gap laid out in his contract now requires him to support Vettel’s charge.
When asked about the issue by SID news agency ahead of this weekend’s third-last race of the season in Abu Dhabi, Dr Helmut Marko answered: “We have always said that we appeal to the reason of our drivers.
“And they have in recent weeks demonstrated that they work constructively together, remembering that they must do nothing that is at the expense of the team,” he added.
However, on the record, Webber insists he is driving primarily for himself.
Is that just a reluctance to show weakness?
“Racers have a certain intelligence,” Niki Lauda told Bild newspaper. “That was the same for me.
“If I had no chance to win the title, I was motivated to help my teammate.
“Webber is not going to say that, because he obviously doesn’t want to show any weakness. But unless sheer hatred prevails, which isn’t the case at Red Bull, you would rather see your own team win than someone else,” added the triple world champion.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is quoted by Welt newspaper: “Both of our drivers are experienced enough to know what is at stake for the team.”
© RIF | GMM