That is the claim of Red Bull‘s Dr Helmut Marko, who plays down suggestions Australian Webber and German Vettel only really fell out after the well-documented ‘Multi 21′ team orders saga of this season.
Not so, Austrian Marko told the Swiss newspaper Blick, as “It goes back to Fuji 2007″.
In the Japanese grand prix six years ago, Webber was running strongly for Red Bull when Vettel, a rookie racing for Toro Rosso, crashed into him whilst running behind the safety car.
A furious Webber famously slammed “kids” who “f*** it all up”.
“He (Vettel) probably cost him (Webber) his first victory,” said Marko. “Since then there was trouble.”
After Vettel wrapped up his fourth title in India last weekend, Webber did not appear for the post-race team photo, in which Red Bull also celebrated its fourth consecutive constructors’ championship victory.
“Well done to Seb on his championship,” Webber said in a post-race statement after retiring with alternator failure, “and also to all the team; to get a fourth title is amazing.”