Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Red Bull play down claims angry Mark Webber will quit team at end of the season

The Formula One team insist it is too early to talk about their 2014 line-up after claims from members of Webber's management that he will exit in the wake of Sunday's controversial Malaysian Grand Prix result.

Red Bull have dismissed claims that Mark Webber's days with the team are numbered in the aftermath of Sunday's controversial Malaysian Grand Prix.

Webber, out of contract at the end of the season, was left fuming as teammate Sebastian Vettel ignored team orders to win in Sepang, a move which has since brought the German widespread criticism.

Flavio Briatore, a member of Webber's management team and former F1 team principal, reacted by claiming Webber and Vettel's relationship was beyond repair and that he expected the two "enemies" to be parted at the end of the season.

But Red Bull today insisted it was too soon to speculate on the team's likely line-up for next season.

"It's pure speculation that Mark will not drive with the team in 2014," Red Bull said .

"Mark's contract has been renewed for the last few years on an annual basis - he has continually chosen to drive for the team each year and the team has similarly wanted to continue working with him as he is an excellent driver and a competitive racer.

"We are two races into the current season and it's far too early to be talking about 2014."

The reigning world champion overtook the 36-year-old despite being instructed not to by the team because of the need to look after the tyres and save fuel.

Webber had turned his engine down in response to the orders from the pitfall and was furious with the 25-year-old German for putting himself above the team.

Others, including Briatore, questioned who was really in charge at Red Bull.

The Italian, who was banned from Formula One after the Renault team he led were found to have ordered Brazilian Nelson Piquet junior to crash deliberately to help his team mate Fernando Alonso, accused Horner of weakness in a radio chat show in Italy.

Newsmaker: Sebastian Vettel's Jeykll and Hyde transformation

But Red Bull last night hit back, saying: "A 'weak' team principal would be unable to steer a team to three consecutive world championships and oversee and manage the extensive team work that goes into this achievement - while managing two talented racers.

"This feat has only ever been achieved by four teams in the entire history of the sport."

The team added that the pairing of Webber and Vettel had won 35 races, taken 80 podiums and 13 one-two finishes since their first season together in 2009.

"This successful period includes some spells of intense on-track rivalry between the two drivers, which began in Turkey 2010 and has seen both drivers ignoring team orders at different times," it said.

"The team has managed the situation each time in its own way behind closed doors."


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Mitchell Johnson of Kings XI Punjab bowling in the IPL match against Rajasthan Royals at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on Sunday. Pawan Singh / The National / April 20, 2014

IPL Day 5 action in Sharjah

Images from the fifth day of the Indian Premier League in the UAE on Sunday, with Kings XI Punjab beating Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets with eight balls remaining.

 Raheem Sterling of Liverpool scores the opening goal against Norwich City on Sunday at Carrow Road. Michael Regan / Getty Images / April 20, 2014

In pictures: Sterling, Suarez inch Liverpool closer to title

Raheem Sterling, with a double, and Luis Suarez accounted for all three goals in Liverpool’s 3-2 away win over Norwich City on Sunday, leaving them five points up on Chelsea with three left to play.

 Manager Matt Williams benching star Bryce Harper, above, may have sent the wrong message to the rest of the Washington Nationals. Mike Ehrmann / AFP

Benching Harper sends Williams’s right message the wrong way

Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals manager, made the biggest move of his 18-game tenure on Saturday, benching rising star Bryce Harper for his “lack of hustle”.

 Arsenal's Lukas Podolski celebrates his second goal during the Premier League match against Hull City at The KC Stadium in Hull, England, on April 20, 2014. Lynne Cameron / AP Photo

Arsenal maintain push for top-four finish with victory at Hull

Hull could end up in Europe regardless of the FA Cup final result if Arsenal finish in the Uefa Champions League places

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Stanislas Wawrinka turned away fellow Swiss Roger Federer with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 20, 2014. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Wawrinka backhands Federer aside at Monte Carlo Masters

Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time after rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National