Mark Webber believes the video footage released of him getting a lift from Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari after the Singapore Grand Prix does not give a full picture of events.
Webber and Alonso were both given reprimands over the incident, with the Red Bull driver whose car had failed with a water leak admonished for going onto the track without marshals’ permission and Alonso’s punishment for stopping in a dangerous manner.
Video footage released by the FIA showed the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton having to dodge around the static Ferrari and Webber.
“Obviously, I got the penalty for not asking the marshal if I could walk on the track but there was no communication anyway,” Webber insisted. “I saw both Mercedes. The camera angle is from one way. If you see it from the other way, I have a good view down to where they’re coming from.
“I’m in the escape road so I can see down to the kink. I saw all the guys arriving. Lewis passed me at a grand speed of 56kph…
“Kimi [Raikkonen] stopped as well. I thought Kimi, Jenson [Button] or Fernando. I got two out of the three, but Kimi left. Fernando waited, I jumped on, job done. They were just the guys I thought of that might want to do an Aussie lift.”
The reprimands for the incident prompted a social media backlash, with Webber himself highlighting famous past examples of post-race “taxi” lifts that had gone unpunished.
“It’s just changed a lot. That’s the way it is now, in life and in sport,” said Webber. “What you think is probably not too bad at the time, other people don’t see it that way; they’re in a position to take a decision and that’s it.”
OPTIMISTIC DESPITE PENALTY
As the Singapore incident was Webber’s third reprimand of the year, he has automatically received a 10-place penalty for this weekend’s Korean GP, but is optimistic he can overcome it.
“It’s a good track for me. I’ve always been quick here,” he said. “You don’t want to arrive in 11th or 12th on the grid. But it could be wet for the weekend.
“It would be nice to be in a good position early in the race to get further down the line. It’s better than having a 10-place penalty in Monaco, that’s for sure.”
He strongly hinted that he was unhappy with all three of his reprimands. The others had come for an incident with Nico Rosberg in the Bahrain GP and failing to heed yellow flags in Canadian GP practice.
“You probably can’t print [my reaction], but I’d go back to the first reprimand in Bahrain, to be honest,” said Webber. “Don’t get me started on reprimands…”