June 08, 2012
Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber celebrates winning the Monaco F1 Grand Prix on May 27. Photo: Reuters
Mark Webber says he’s ‘‘pissed off’’ at suggestions he won the Monaco Grand Prix with an illegal car.
The Australian and his formula one teammate Sebastian Vettel yesterday played down a furore over a ban on ‘‘holes’’ in the floors of their Red Bull team’s cars.
German Vettel said the positive effects of the controversial floor design, outlawed last week by the International Motoring Federation (FIA), had been exaggerated.
Talking to reporters ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, he said the fuss made about the concept was overplayed.
The design was banned by the FIA after the Monaco Grand Prix, won by Webber, following complaints by rival teams.
Webber said he was disappointed at the decision and the reaction to it because it suggested that his victory in Monte Carlo may have been achieved unfairly.
‘‘I think that I would not know if the floor is changed or unchanged,’’ Webber said. ‘‘From the driving side we are very optimistic that the change will not make much difference at all. You won’t believe us, but we had some changes for Valencia anyway which included no hole, irrespective of the rule changes.
‘‘And in relation to winning races with an illegal car – I am happy to be called lots of things and have criticism about my driving, but I will not take talk about the car being illegal.
‘‘It pisses me off, to be honest. The car has passed every single technical regulation after the race.
‘‘All the teams against it did not make any protest after Monaco, the car passed the test after Bahrain and passed the test after Monaco and there is a clarification, and the rule is different.
‘‘We had a car that was legal for the start of the season. The rule has been changed and we will race on.’’
Vettel said, ‘‘I don’t care. I don’t believe it has a big impact on what we do on the circuit. I think it is more important to get the tyre pressures right’’.
He added that while the floor design had been a focus for other teams and the media, Red Bull had made gains through other updates during the same period.
‘‘It wasn’t just [the floor] that came,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s more that we tried a lot of things, some things worked, some things didn’t work. There’s much more behind it.’’
‘‘I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the car we had at Monaco, or before that. Nevertheless I don’t think it will make a big difference.’’
He added that his biggest complaint was about the lack of clarity over what is considered legal.
‘‘It’s a shame it goes one way and the other, one way and the other. I think it’s really difficult to understand what is going on. But it is as it is now,’’ he said.