Mark Webber has defended his decision not to tell his Red Bull Racing team about the shoulder injury he suffered prior to the Japanese Grand Prix, insisting that the incident had no impact on his performance in the final races.
The Australian revealed in a book he has just published in Australia that he had suffered a fracture to his right shoulder in a mountain biking accident between the Singapore and Japanese races. Webber was leading the World Championship at the time, but was ultimately pushed back to third behind Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
Although Red Bull team boss Christian Horner subsequently expressed surprise at news of the injury, Webber said he would have mentioned it had it been a problem in the car.
"I was very confident it wouldn't affect my performance in the car, which is why I didn't tell anyone," said Webber on his personal website. "There was no need. The shoulder wasn't causing me a problem, so there was no need to talk about it to anyone. If I'd had any issues with it in the car, then, of course, I would have told the team. But that wasn't the case.
"I've never missed a grand prix but, of course, if I couldn't drive the car a) safely and b) on the limit, I would have notified the team."
He said a pain-killing injection prior to the Suzuka race was purely a precaution.
"It was the first time I was going to do more than 50 racing laps, plus qualifying that morning, so I took what was the best medical advice for race day," Webber explained.
He also dismissed speculation that the injury had required surgery after Abu Dhabi.
"I can't imagine where those stories came from," said Webber. "Some people have asked whether the shoulder was the reason I didn't do the Abu Dhabi tire test in November, but it had nothing to do with it. I was never down to do that test."
Webber defended his decision to make the revelation in his book Up Front.
"It's what the book is all about," he said. "I wanted to give the readers in Australia a closer insight to a sport that's pretty hard for them to follow. I didn't sit down after the season had finished with hindsight goggles on and pick and choose what went into it. We did it at the time after each race. It [the injury] is something that happened to me, it was part of my journey this season, so that's why it's in there."