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Webber insists team orders weren’t needed 11 Jul 2011

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 8 July 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7 ahead of Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 10 July 2011 (L to R): second placed Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and pole sitter Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 9 July 2011 Webber and Vettel battle with each other

Red Bull’s Mark Webber has defended his decision to ignore pit-wall instructions in the closing stages of Sunday’s Silverstone race, insisting he and team mate Sebastian Vettel are quite capable of racing each other without coming to blows.

“The team was worried about Seb and me crashing because it wanted the points for the constructors’ championship,” said Webber. “I understand that, but I wanted points for the championship too and we proved that we can race without making contact.”

The Australian put Vettel, struggling on worn rubber, under intense pressure in the dying laps and admitted afterwards that he had ignored several calls from Red Bull telling him to back off. He eventually finished third, just 0.4s behind his German colleague.

“The team radioed me about four times, asking that I maintain the gap to Seb,” confirmed Webber. “But I wasn’t happy with that because you should never give up in F1, so I continued to push. If Fernando (Alonso) had retired on the last lap, we would have been battling for the lead.”

While Webber’s team bosses may not have been happy with his decision to race on - prompting further speculation over whether he will remain with them next season - Vettel had little problem with it, even if he did admit he could see both sides on the matter.

“Obviously, we were racing each other,” he said. “I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Sure, from a team point of view, if you have the cars quite isolated in second and third, the first car is away, the fourth car is pretty far away as well, so from the team's point of view, there's no point in racing and trying to do something stupid because the points for the team are the same, the difference between second and third is not massive, but naturally we try to race.”

The race result meant Vettel extended his lead over Webber at the top of the drivers’ championship table to 80 points, 204 to 124, with third-placed Alonso a further 12 adrift on 112. In the constructors’ table, Red Bull now lead McLaren 328 points to 218, with Ferrari third on 164.

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