Mark Webber has admitted that his British Grand Prix victory was more satisfying because Red Bull Racing had moved to favor teammate Sebastian Vettel with a new front wing.
Red Bull Racing controversially opted to take a new front wing design off Webber's car minutes before qualifying and put it on Vettel's machine, because the German's own had broken during the final free practice session. Although team principal Christian Horner insisted that the differences between the two wing versions were minor, and only affected driving characteristics, sources have revealed that there was both a lap time and a weight difference between the two versions.
The move to change wings left Webber furious and, after his victory at Silverstone, he made it clear to the team that he would not have re-signed for 2010 if he knew that was how he was going to be treated.
Writing on his website on Monday, Webber said there was no way of proving that the differences between the wings cost him pole position, but that the perceived favoritism added to his satisfaction.
"Whether the gap between us in qualifying was the difference between the two front wings, I don't know," said Webber. "But it was a far from ideal situation and it definitely made my win taste even sweeter."
Webber dominated the race at Silverstone, after taking the lead from Vettel with an aggressive dive down the inside at the first corner. Although his charge later on was hindered by a safety car period, he admitted that he was actually happy the field had bunched up.
"I was actually quite pleased to see the safety car, because it closed up the field and meant I didn't have to worry about backmarkers. As the race leader, you always worry that the backmarkers haven't seen you coming – and we saw in Valencia what can happen if a faster car stumbles over a slower one.
"Lewis [Hamilton] was right on my gearbox at the restart on lap 31, but I got a clean run out of the final corner and managed to put some daylight between us. On my first flying lap I set the fastest lap of the race, which sent a clear message to Lewis that it wasn't going to be his day."