Mark Webber on Thursday bristled when a reporter suggested he won the recent Monaco grand prix with an “illegal” car.
“I’m happy to be called lots of things,” said the plain-speaking Australian, “and I’m happy to have criticism about my driving and lots of stuff. But I will not take criticism in that respect. It completely pisses me off to be honest, because the car has passed every single technical regulation after the race.”
Indeed, despite rumours in Monaco of a post-race protest lodged by Red Bull’s rivals Ferrari and McLaren, the FIA’s clarification about the holes in the floor of the RB8 came only days ago.
“The car passed the test after Bahrain, the car passed the test after Monaco and now there has been a clarification on the rule, and the rule now is different,” Webber insisted.
His teammate Sebastian Vettel admitted it had been “surprising” to learn that while the car was legal in Monaco, the FIA changed its mind afterwards.
“In reality I don’t think that it makes a huge difference on the track, it is just a bit distracting that first it is illegal, then legal, and then illegal again,” the German is quoted by F1’s official website. “What I mean is that in the future people should make a final decision, and spare us this back and forth.”
Reigning world champion Vettel also played down suggestions that, after dominating Webber in 2011, the Australian is – like in 2010 – once again breathing down his neck.
“We are speaking about one race (Monaco) only,” Vettel insisted. “This is a different weekend and a new chance, so let’s see what develops over the next three days,” he said in Canada.
Webber, meanwhile, acknowledged that his form could re-fire the tension in the Red Bull garage.
“It’s a good problem to have,” he smiled.