Webber denies backing up rivals

autosport.com

Wed, 30 May 12:35:09 2012

Mark Webber has rubbished suggestions that he was backing up his rivals during the Monaco Grand Prix in order to help team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

The Australian started from pole position and took his first win of the season after resisting race-long pressure from Mercedes's Nico Rosberg, who was chased by Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel started the race from 10th position but used a different strategy than his rivals in order to gain places in the race, the German starting on Pirelli's soft compound and running a lot deeper into the race than the men in front.

He pitted on lap 46 and returned to the track in fourth place, ahead of Hamilton's McLaren.

On Wednesday, Webber denied suggestions that he had deliberately run slower in order to slow down the field and allow Vettel to gain ground on his rivals before his pitstop.

"I heard afterwards people had been speculating that I was 'backing up' Nico, Fernando and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who was also behind me, to help my team-mate Sebastian Vettel gain places," wrote Webber in his column for the BBC.

"That is absolute rubbish. You just cannot be that fancy around Monaco.

"Ultimately, Seb ran out of tyres and he had to pit because the rest of us started to go quicker, but if they'd kept going he would have been pushing for the win.

"If we had been trying anything on, I could have been even cuter. I cleared Seb by quite a lot. If I'd wanted to slide him in among other people, I could have slowed down and it would have been even better for the team. But it just wasn't part of the plan.

"The problem with trying to do that would be that you're exposing yourself to even more pressure from the guys behind - Nico and Fernando in this case. And then the boys in the pits might mess up Seb's stop and it would all be for nothing.

"You always get bitten on the bum when you get fancy. So you just don't try."

 

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