Webber lays down gauntlet to Vettel

Mark Webber has laid down the gauntlet to his team-mate Sebastian Vettel by blaming his cycling injury for early season lack of form.

The Australian, who took his first win on Sunday at the Nurburgring, accepted Vettel had been quicker in the first part of the season but attributed it to recovering from his pre-season accident in Tasmania.

“I guess I was a bit under-cooked in the early part of the season and we’re out the other side now,” said the Red Bull star, writing in his BBC column.

He went on to reiterate that he would not be using the accident to justify bad performances, though.

“I never want to use my leg as an excuse because no-one can do anything about it, I put myself in the position where it happened, and let’s be honest it sounds rubbish anyway,” he added.

Many observers thought that Vettel had the upper hand over the Australian up til last weekend, as he seemed to be marginally faster most race weekends. But Webber’s words will crank up the tension between the pair, who are fighting to be favoured by the team as the championship comes to the boil.

The team has said that neither will be favoured at the moment, but both drivers know that only one can really take the fight to Jenson Button if a points gap of any significance starts to emerge.