Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Sebastian Vettel, right, of Germany and Red Bull Racing team mate Mark Webber of Australia during a press conference after the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit in October. Mark Thompson / Getty Images
Sebastian Vettel, right, of Germany and Red Bull Racing team mate Mark Webber of Australia during a press conference after the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit in October. Mark Thompson / Getty Images

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber share grudging respect, if not love

Formula One champion talks up bond between drivers as Red Bull duo's time together runs short.

Sebastian Vettel insists he has “enormous respect” for Mark Webber as the often feuding Red Racing Bull duo attempt to repair their relationship before the Australian finally quits Formula One.

Webber, who is to compete in Porsche’s sports car programme from next season, remarked of Vettel that the four-time world champion was “in another category” following his seventh successive win at the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

It is all a far cry from the bad blood that has existed during the previous five years they have been teammates, sometimes resulting in on-track feuds, with the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix and Malaysia this year the low points of their relationship.

With just two grands prix remaining before Webber bids farewell, in the United States this weekend and Brazil next, Vettel said: “We’ve always had respect on the track when we’ve been fighting each other.

“I don’t think we’ve lacked respect. We’ve respected each other inside the car and the other’s abilities. As teammates for the last five years we’ve got to know each other very, very well.

“That means I know his strengths and I know … not his weaknesses, but corners where I might have an advantage for instance, and vice versa.

“It has always been very close, maybe closer than people remember, and I have appreciated that, so therefore I have enormous respect.”

The 26-year-old German acknowledged that he and Webber had not always seen eye-to-eye, but added their professionalism had ensured they had helped enjoy one of the most productive driving partnerships in F1 history.

“Being honest, if you look back, we’ve not had the best relationship on a personal level,” he said.

“But at the end of the day we’ve been very successful for the team, winning four constructors’ championships in a row, always scoring enough points for the team.”

In terms of Sunday’s race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, a venue that proved an enormous hit on its debut last year, Vettel can set yet another record.

Another victory will be his eighth in succession and surpass Michael Schumacher’s 2004 mark for consecutive wins in a season, which he matched in Abu Dhabi.

Alberto Ascari has the record for most successive wins at nine in F1, but that was split over two seasons, with six coming in 1952 and three in 1953.

sports@thenational.ae

Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 F1 driver Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing is fifth in the Formula One drivers' standings, 46 points behind leader Nico Rosberg. Diego Azubel / EPA / April 20, 2014

Nothing Vettel can do about car, but Ricciardo’s superiority should be worrying

It isn't Sebastian Vettel's fault his Renault-powered Red Bull Racing car is so inferior to the Mercedes, writes Graham Caygill, but he isn't proving much by being outpaced by teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

 Paul Pierce and the Nets own a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series against Toronto. Warren Toda / EPA

‘Dinosaur’ Brooklyn Nets roaming ominously in NBA play-offs

Brooklyn's veterans found their form toward the end of the season and now pose a threat in the East, writes Jonathan Raymond.

 The Eastern Conference play-offs have provided the bigger shocks so far, such as Jeff Teague, left, and the Atlanta Hawks win over the Indiana Pacers. Steve C Mitchell / EPA

In the NBA play-offs, better play finally rises in East

It took six months and 82 games but, finally, the Eastern Conference has become interesting.

 Stanislas Wawrinka lifts the Monte Carlo Masters trophy after his triumph over Roger Federer on Sunday. Claude Paris / AP / April 20, 2014

Wawrinka on the rise after topping Federer for Monte Carlo Masters title

The Australian Open champion suggested he is not just a one-major wonder as he bounced back to beat Federer in the Monte Carlo Masters final on Sunday for his first Masters title.

 Roger Federer seemed to wear down during his Monte Carlo Masters loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the final on April 20, 2014. Wawrinka won 4-6, 7-6, 6-2. Michael Euler / AP Photo

Federer sees positives but one negative remains

There is plenty to cheer about for Roger Federer fans, but there could be one worrying indication.

 Diego Simeone has used Atletico Madrid supporters to his player’ advantage.

Neutrals’ favourites Atletico Madrid start as underdogs against Chelsea

It has been 18 seasons since they won the Primera Liga title but 40 years since reaching the Champions League final, but they dare to dream, writes Ian Hawkey.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National