British Grand Prix: Mark Webber frustrated by team orders

Red Bull driver Mark Webber has spoken of his frustration after being ordered not to overtake team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages of the British Grand Prix.

Webber was in a battle for second with championship leader Vettel and manoeuvred to pass the German.

But the Australian was told "Mark, maintain the gap" on the team radio.

"I'm not fine with it, no," Webber said after the race, and added that he did not pay attention to the orders.

"[If] Fernando [Alonso] retires on the last lap, we're battling for victory.

"Of course I ignored the team and I was battling to the end. I was trying to do my best with the amount of conversation on the radio.

"I wasn't doing much talking back, but I got a lot of messages coming my way, but I was trying to the end."

When asked if he felt like a number two driver, Webber replied: "Not really. I just want to race to the end.

"Four or five laps to go I started to get messages. Of course they want the points, but I also need to try to get some points as well."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that although he understood the Australian's frustration, he had to put the team first.

"We did not want to see our drivers in the fence at some time in the last two laps, which is how it would have ended up," he said.

"Mark is not out of the championship race but we could not afford to risk losing points. Mark should be fine with that, he is a team player. Second and third is a very strong result."

Horner insisted Webber was "free to race for wins" in the future.

"He qualified on pole position here, he had the opportunity to win this race," he commented.

"It didn't pan out for him today. We gave him every chance to do so, but from a team perspective, I made it quite clear in the drivers' briefing this morning to both drivers in front of the engineers that the biggest thing was about getting a team result in front of all of the staff who put in so much effort into both those cars, for the constructors' championship.

"We've come away with Sebastian having extended his lead in the drivers' championship, Mark moving into second and the team extending its lead in the constructors' championship."

When asked about how he would respond to the 34-year-old ignoring the team orders, Horner stated: "It's something he and I will talk about in private."

Horner added that he hopes this incident will have no effect on the completion of Webber's proposed one-year contract extension.

Vettel said that he could not fully understand why there was any controversy about what had happened.

"I was trying to defend my position, Mark was faster, he tried to pass me, I could stay ahead," he said.

"If I wouldn't be racing, I would wave him past. The last thing you want is to do something bad for the team.

"If it was the other way around, of course I would like to pass him but I don't see what is the big problem. To me at this stage [all the controversy] is quite funny."

Damon Hill, the president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, told BBC's Formula 1 forum: "If he was asked not to overtake, that's a bit serious for a racing driver."

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