Belfast Telegraph

Formula One: Webber warns Button and Hamilton on collision course

Mark Webber believes it is only a matter of time before McLaren team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have a similar incident to the one he had with Red Bull partner Sebastian Vettel in Turkey, when they collided while fighting for the lead.

The Australian, speaking ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, believes McLaren have done a good job of projecting team unity thus far but in his opinion, there's more to the British pair's relationship than meets the eye.

“They've been working very hard with smoke and mirrors with Lewis and Jenson at McLaren,” he says.

“They get on, but if they are always racing at the front it's inevitable that something is gonna happen, because of what's at stake and because both are hungry drivers. Our whole team learned from the incident in Turkey. It was a new experience for us.

“But 80 per cent of the grid would give their right arm to be in a similar position, with two guys fighting at the front. It's unlikely to happen again.”

Webber, however, did not discount the possibility of another similar crash totally — as he knows well, this is a very high stakes game and who knows what might happen if the pair of them were fighting for the championship heading into the first corner at Abu Dhabi in November?

But he says that he is getting on just fine with the young German who, walking from his wrecked car in Istanbul, made the finger twirling gesture that was intended to indicate that he thought his team-mate was crazy.

“Seb and I are pretty good. If he was drowning in the ocean I'd go in and save him.

“But it's totally natural that there will be rivalry.

“If you are like Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen at Lotus there isn't so much at stake right now, but look at Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell, when they were at Williams in the eighties.

“They were both at the front and were both trying to win and there was healthy rivalry.

“It's not possible in that situation to have a beautiful, fuzzy |relationship.”

While not discounting Ferrari, Webber expects the strongest challenge to Red Bull to come from the two Brits at McLaren.

“We know Jenson and Lewis will be there, that's totally obvious. But it'll be a top four at least, because Seb and I will be there too.

“I'd be very happy to win the British GP. It's a prestigious event.

“I know the home crowd will be rooting for Lewis and Jenson, but I've always got on pretty well with the British fans.”

He says he has no ill effects after the spectacular backflip he performed last time out in Valencia, after being launched by Kovalainen's Lotus.

“I'm over that, let's move on to Silverstone. A bit of whiplash.

“I knew straight away that I'd hit my big toe pretty hard, but I didn't even know I was upside down, to be honest. It happened so quick.”

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