Webber gets revenge at British GP

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:17 AM ET

If it is indeed true that revenge is a dish best served cold, Mark Webber must have been near the freezing point when he climbed the top step of the podium at Silverstone on Sunday after his win at the Formula One British Grand Prix.

Only 24 hours earlier, his Red Bull team had humiliated the Australian by denying him a newly developed front wing, instead giving it to his teammate Sebastian Vettel during qualifying. Webber was livid at the slight.

So when the lights went out at Silverstone to start the British GP, Webber made the pass of his career on Vettel in the first turn, so startling the young German that he went off the track, puncturing a rear tire in the process.

From that moment on, Webber was in the control of the race and, although McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton appeared to challenge for the lead, it was never going to happen given the superiority this season of the Red Bulls.

Now the interesting part begins. This is the second public spat between Webber and Vettel this season.

Webber, after finishing second to Vettel in qualifying on Saturday, sarcastically remarked that the team was “happy with the result.”

The inference was clear: Webber thinks that the Austrian-based team favours the German driver.

And after the race, Webber was more pointed in his remarks when asked about his recent contract extension with the team

“I would never have signed a contract for next year if I believed that was the way going forward,” he said.

But now that Webber has leap frogged over Vettel in world championship points, might Red Bull want to reconsider its priorities?

Not likely. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if petulant Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz orders that Webber step back in line behind favoured son Vettel.

Danica’s dilemma

There is growing pressure from the bosses at JR Motorsports for Danica Patrick — who makes back-to-back stops in Canada starting with this week’s Honda Indy Toronto — to commit full time to the NASCAR Nationwide Series next season in the No. 7 Chevrolets.

The dilemma for Patrick is that she still has two years left on her IZOD IndyCar Series contract with Andretti Auto-sport to drive the No. 7 Dallaras in that series.

And after her best NASCAR performance to date this season — a 24th place finish at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday — even more pressure is being put on her slender shoulders.

While Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Rick Hendrick — co-owners of JRM — have not publicly commented on her contract status, drivers in the HMS garage have been not so quietly telling her that she should concentrate on NASCAR alone if she plans to drive stock cars full time anytime soon.

For her part, Patrick appears to agree, but wants to keep her options open, as she said at a post-race interview in Chicago.

“I think if you want be to be really good at anything you have to obviously centralize your focus,” she said. “But at this point in time, I have a tremendous amount to learn, and even if it was full time, would it be going better? Maybe. But it wouldn’t be some big, dramatic difference.”

Patrick’s next NASCAR adventure comes in August at Michigan International Speedway following Indy Car races in Toronto, Edmonton and Mid-Ohio.

Finish lines

Canadian Daniel Morad led from start to finish on Sunday at Silverstone for his first victory of 2010 in the GP3 Series. Fellow Canuck Robert Wickens finished sixth.


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