Mark Webber has admitted he raced in the final four grands prix of the 2010 campaign with a fractured shoulder after suffering a mountain bike accident ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Australian, who was leading the title standings at the time of the crash, kept the injury secret from his team at the time and only revealed it to the public in a new book he has just published.
Webber says that he suffered the injury after colliding with a friend on the ride – his first back on a mountain bike since he broke his leg and fractured his shoulder during a crash in Tasmania in late 2008.
In his book, Mark Webber Up Front, Webber reveals that he needed pre-race injections to overcome the pain the injury was causing.
In extracts from the book published by Britain's BBC, Webber relates: "On the Sunday morning before [the Japanese Grand Prix weekend at] Suzuka, I got on a mountain bike for the first time since my accident in Tasmania at the end of 2008. I was riding with a great friend of mine. Suddenly, he crashed right in front of me and I had nowhere to go but straight through the ears of the horse! I suffered what they call a skier's fracture to my right shoulder.
"Suzuka is a brutal track, so it was a blessing that the Japanese weather gave me an enforced rest day on the Saturday (when qualifying was rained off), and a pre-race injection helped, too. In the end, we got through the weekend all right."
Webber finished second to teammate Sebastian Vettel at the Japanese Grand Prix, and crashed out of the following event in Korea after losing control of his car in the wet conditions. He eventually lost out on the title to his teammate at the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi.