Mark Webber said he ignored Red Bull’s order not to try to pass Sebastian Vettel at the end of the British Grand Prix.
Webber was closing on Vettel in the final laps of the race and was one second behind his team mate with two laps to go.
Webber was told on the team radio “Mark, we need to maintain the gap”.
After the race Horner said: “It’s a team result. Circumstances earlier in the race… Sebastian had a KERS issue that we were dealing with and the last thing you want to do is see the team give away a whole load of points.
“From a team point of view we decided that it was best to hold the positions in the final two laps.
“Obviously Mark disagreed with that. The thing is, I can understand he’s maybe a little bit frustrated, but from a team point of view we can’t afford to give away a whole load of points.
Asked if this meant Webber could no longer fight for the championship Horner said: “No, not at all.
“But you get to that stage in the race we’d managed situation earlier in the race to get Mark ahead, give him the undercut effectively, and with the final two laps it was entirely the sensible thing to do.
“The last thing you want to see is both of your drivers in the fence which is how that probably would have ended up.
“The message was quite clear to him, what the team expected of him – not what I expected, what the team collectively expected.”
Horner said Webber: “should be fine” with the team orders, adding: “It was crystal clear this morning when we went into the race that it was all about getting the most points we can out of this event.
“Obviously we’ve had a rear jack issue with Sebastian that cost him the track position to Fernando. That’s racing sometimes, these things can happen. Ferrari was quick today, second and third is still a very strong team result.”
But speaking in the post-race press conference Webber said he was not happy with the instructions.
He revealed the team had first instructed him to hold position “four or five laps” before the end.
He said: “I ignored the team and I was battling to the end.”
Were Red Bull right to order Webber not to pass Vettel?
- No opinion (2%)
- No (76%)
- Yes (21%)
Total Voters: 377
2011 British Grand Prix
Image © Red Bull/Getty images