Skip to main content

Webber denies reports of rift with F1 champion Vettel

Click to play
Inside the Red Bull machine
  • Red Bull drivers put on a united front after team's double world title success
  • Mark Webber shrugs off suggestions he does not get on with Sebastian Vettel
  • German says he talked with Webber to clear the air after winning his first drivers' crown
  • Red Bull boss Christian Horner says the team supported both drivers equally

(CNN) -- Mark Webber insists he never had a problem with Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel -- who beat him to the Formula One world drivers' championship.

The pair were part of a four-way scrap for the title at Sunday's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix along with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, and there had been tension between the two drivers all season.

Their rivalry boiled over at May's Turkish Grand Prix when a crash between them forced Vettel out of the race and cost Webber vital track position, but the Australian said he never had a personal issue with the German.

"I never actually had a problem with Sebastian," the 34-year-old, who finished third overall behind Alonso, told journalists at his team's headquarters in Milton Keynes, England.

We used our chance straight away to talk about things that probably got in our way a bit this year
--Sebastian Vettel

"We don't read yesterday's newspapers that often, they normally wrap fish and chips pretty quickly. I never ever once had anything personal with Sebastian. We're talking, we're fine."

Vettel claims Formula One world title

His sentiments were echoed by Vettel, who revealed he and Webber had spoken after the race at the Yas Marina Circuit and resolved their issues, although the 23-year-old admitted their relationship had been problematic.

"We had the chance to talk to each other and I think that was very important," Vettel said.

"He came to congratulate me and showed a lot of respect, which I think is one of the most important things that happened on this day. We used our chance straight away to talk about things that probably got in our way a bit this year."

Blog: Vettel triumph ushers in new era in Formula One

Webber, meanwhile, confirmed he will remain with the Austrian team next season as it seeks to follow up its double title success, having clinched the manufacturers' crown at the penultimate race in Brazil.

"I'm staying next year. I'll be driving here, and I think the season we just had was uncharted waters for a lot of us," he said.

"With two drivers battling hard against each other there's going to be some tension at times -- that's the journey, that's sport."

Ferrari 'astonished' by politician's rant

Christian Horner, Red Bull's team principal, believes the competitive nature of both drivers contributed to any problems in their professional relationship.

"They are very competitive sportsmen and they're going for the biggest goal in motorsport, and you're biggest competitor is also your teammate. He's the only guy who's got the same equipment," Horner said.

"We chose a policy where we said we were going to back them both absolutely equally and it will be down to what they do on the circuit. I believe that was the right way to go racing and ultimately the guy who has done the best job on the track has won the championship."