Australian Mark Webber is not considering his future in Formula One and will drive in next month's Chinese Grand Prix, his father said today. Webber, 36, was incensed when Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel defied orders to overtake him and snatch victory in last Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.
He returned to Australia for some reflection and was reported to be contemplating missing the April 14 Chinese Grand Prix but his father, Alan, said his son would be on the Shanghai starting grid. "We'll be up in China for the next one," Alan Webber told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Webber's father said he believed triple world champion Vettel was sincere in his apology to his son but the damage to the already fractured relationship was unlikely to be repaired. "I think it will take a while to earn the respect and trust again," he said.
Webber said it was not just his son who was upset with Vettel, highlighting that the Britain-based Red Bull team had also expressed their displeasure.
"Sebastian disobeyed team orders and most, if not all the team, are disappointed with him," he said. "Up and down pit lane Mark has not lost any credibility at all. It's probably Sebastian who has lost an awful lot."
Alan Webber said Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz confirmed his son's position on the team was "assured". Webber and Vettel have a strained relationship with the Australian openly questioning the support he gets from the team hierarchy as opposed to the German.
There is a history of bad blood going back to Vettel's crash with Webber at the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix that ended the German's race and wrecked the Australian's chance of victory.
Webber showed Vettel his disgust prior to the podium presentation at Sepang last weekend, saying only "Multi-21, Seb Multi-21" in reference to Red Bull's race instructions over the team radio. Vettel leads the drivers' championship on 40 points, with Webber third on 26.
Red Bull is also on top of the constructors' standings with 66 points.