AUGUST 11, 2010
Webber changes role
Mark Webber, recharging his batteries in the south of France during F1's summer break, has been in contact with Red Bull director Adrian Newey to wish him a speedy recovery from his shunt in a Ginetta G50 race at Snetterton last Sunday.
Webber and Newey share a burning competitive spirit and were seen in a genuinely warm embrace when Webber won Monte Carlo, although the Aussie was clearly less than impressed by the Silverstone front wing incident, a decision widely held to be largely Newey driven.
As the F1 season enters its crucial phase with the final European races of the year imminent, starting with Spa at the end of the month, Red Bull Racing knows how important it is to have the whole team fully focused if it is to achieve its ambition of beating established teams such as Ferrari and McLaren to the world championship.
"I've been in touch with Adrian and he's okay," Webber said, following the technical chief's release from the Norwhich and Norfol hospital with a bruised arm. "In fact, he was joking about not having a flexi bed in hospital."
Webber is used to being on the other side of psychological support following an accident, managing to keep his 2009 season and his Red Bull drive together after a breaking a leg and shoulder - which he kept quiet about - doing his charity Tasmanian Challenge at the end of 2008. His recovery was speeded by his natural fitness, an intensive programme of physiotherapy with trainer Roger Cleary, and widespread support from many of Australia's sporting elite.
Webber, who has scored two more 2010 wins than any rival, is gearing up for the finish of a campaign which could see him become the first Australian to win the championship since Alan Jones 30 years ago.
"It's good to be leading the points standings but there are still a lot of chapters to come in this world championship battle," he said. "The top five drivers are separated by 20 points, which is nothing. It's the equivalent of just eight points under last year's points system. There's everything to play for, but not until I've turned my phone off and had a couple of weeks' holiday!"