Mark Webber is not about to immediately turn his back on Formula One in the wake of Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix team orders controversy.
That was the message from Webber’s father, Alan, who believes Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s credibility has suffered with the Milton Keynes-based marque.
Vettel blatantly disregarded an order from team principal Christian Horner to hold station behind Webber as they ran first and second following their final pit stops 14 laps from home.
Vettel, instead, put himself first and was involved in a wheel-to-wheel battle with Webber before going on to take the chequered flag for the 27th time in his F1 career.
In the bitter acrimony that followed the race, Webber claimed, when asked whether he would now consider his future, that he had thought about “many things” in the closing stages.
Speculation surfaced that given Webber’s anger he would consider pulling out of the next race weekend in China from April 12-14.
Dismissing the claim, Alan Webber said: “We’ll be up in China for the next one.”
Webber Snr, speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, has made it clear this latest incident has only served to drive the wedge deeper between his son and Vettel.
“I think it will take a while to earn the respect and trust again,” added Webber Snr, who claims the team are far from happy with their three-times world champion.
He added: “Sebastian disobeyed team orders and most, if not all the team, are disappointed with him.
“Up and down the pit lane Mark has not lost any credibility at all. It’s probably Sebastian who has lost an awful lot.”
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, meanwhile, believes Vettel has now made a rod for his own back should there come a time when he requires the help of Webber.
“Let’s assume these two guys are in a position to win the championship at the end of the year, then there is no way Mark is going to help Sebastian,” said Ecclestone.
“So Sebastian has to think about that. Maybe there will be a stage when he would like Mark to help him, but I don’t think Mark is going to come up front and do it.”
Ecclestone, however, believes Red Bull were wrong to impose such an order in the first place at such an early stage of the season.
“At this stage of the championship, I do not believe there should be any team orders. It does not matter who it is,” said Ecclestone to the Daily Telegraph.
The same goes for Mercedes where Lewis Hamilton finished third ahead of Nico Rosberg after the latter was told not to overtake the former by team principal Ross Brawn.
“I was disappointed Mercedes didn’t let Rosberg go past,” added Ecclestone.
“I thought that was a stupid decision. I think Rosberg could have chased the two Red Bulls down a little more. That decision wasn’t sensible.”