Mark Webber has said that his rivalry with Sebastian Vettel is healthy – and that he would go to the aid of his team-mate if the German was drowning.
“If Seb’s drowning in the ocean I’d go in and help him out,” he told Reuters. “We don’t hate each other’s guts … but it (the rivalry) is totally natural.”
Webber’s admission came in the context of talking about the supposedly better relationship between McLaren team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
“It’s not easy to have a beautiful, fuzzy, warm relationship when he (a team-mate) is clearly a competitor,” Webber added.
“That is absolutely the case at McLaren too, I believe it.
“They are working hard to put a bit of smoke and mirrors up but those two are racing hard. If you are always racing at the front, inevitably it’s going to come.
“I don’t want the headlines to be Hamilton and Jenson are going to hit each other this weekend, that’s not what I’m saying.
“What I’m saying is that it’s inevitable given what’s at stake, they are both hungry, both driven. If I don’t care, if I’d got no competition about me, no fire and desire about me, I’d get on with Seb [Vettel] like a house on fire.”
Hamilton and Button have been pointing out in recent days that unlike the situation at Red Bull, the two are yet to come to blows on the track.
But Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also hit back at the pair, saying it would only take a ‘small incident’ to disrupt their relationship.
“Anybody that thinks Lewis and Jenson aren’t competitive and won’t push each other to the limit is sadly mistaken,” said Horner.
“It’s inevitable … that in a competitive sport they will be pushing each other and perhaps won’t be having so much of a love-in when that does happen.
“It will only take one small incident for things to flare up between the McLaren drivers, I’m sure.”