LONDON // Mark Webber and Red Bull are at least singing from the same song sheet again after a controversial British Grand Prix, Christian Horner, the team principal, said yesterday. Horner said he would sit down with the Australian driver later in the week to talk through some of the remarks Webber made at Silverstone before and after he won Sunday's race.
However, he also made clear that some degree of harmony had been restored at a post-race barbecue at Horner's house, with Webber joining his German teammate Sebastian Vettel on stage for a joint rendition of American Pie,the pop ballad. "It was great to see both drivers letting their hair down a bit and having a bit of fun," Horner said. "I think so much was made of Mark's comments after the race. But the most important thing is that the team achieved their 11th grand prix win at the weekend, which was the result of hard work by all of the team.
"It was a shared success with teammates and colleagues, winning one of the most prestigious and important races for the second year in succession, which all got a little bit overshadowed." Webber's Silverstone success, his third victory of the season and fifth of his career, was engulfed in a favouritism furore triggered on Saturday when Red Bull took a new-design front wing off his car and handed it to Vettel for qualifying.
The 23-year-old German, who was ahead of his teammate in the championship, took pole position but Webber turned the tables to win the race, while Vettel made contact with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and suffered a puncture that left him fighting back through the field to seventh. As he took the chequered flag, Webber sarcastically said his triumph was "not bad for a number two driver". He also told reporters that he would never have signed a contract for 2011 had he thought Vettel was going to get preferential treatment.
"I'm more annoyed about the points we lost because of the unlucky contact with Sebastian and Lewis than anything else of the weekend," said Horner, whose team are 29 points behind McLaren after 10 of 19 races. He said it was to be expected that the rivalry between two highly competitive drivers, would occasionally flare up. "I can understand his frustration on Saturday but it was important for us to run that component. We need to keep pushing the boundaries. I still think it was the right decision," he said.