McLaren believe Webber will move over for Vettel if need be

13 October, 2012

YEONGAM-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - OCTOBER 13: Pole sitter Mark Webber (R) of Australia and Red Bull Racing and second placed Sebastian Vettel (L) of Germany and Red Bull Racing attend the official press conference following qualifying for the Korean Formula One Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit on October 13, 2012 in Yeongam-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mark Webber; Sebastian Vettel

Pole winner Mark Webber and second placed Sebastian Vettel during the post qualifying press conference in Korea

Oct.13 (Reuters) McLaren’s Jenson Button dismissed, with a broad smile and theatrical nod of the head, Red Bull rival Mark Webber’s chances of Korean Grand Prix victory on Saturday if it means denying his teammate Sebastian Vettel a vital points haul.

(L to R): Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6 and team mate Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB6 after the two collided in the race. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Race, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Sunday 30 May 2010.Australian Webber will line up on pole position on Sunday with team mate with double Formula One world champion Vettel alongside.

Vettel is four points behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, with five races remaining; he is 56 ahead of Webber.

Asked whether he expected Webber to ‘ride shotgun’ for the German, allowing Vettel to pass and build up an advantage while keeping others behind him, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said that he doubted it.

“I don’t think he will, do you?”, said Whitmarsh. Button, sitting on a stool alongside, nodded vigorously to the assembled reporters.

“I do,” said the driver.

“Well, I don’t think he will willingly,” countered Whitmarsh.

Lewis Hamilton at Korean GPMcLaren have Lewis Hamilton, fourth in the standings and 42 points behind Alonso, third on the starting grid and directly behind Webber.

With Vettel on the ‘dirty’ side of the track, and Webber not always the quickest driver off the grid, Hamilton will be looking to strike early.

So-called ‘team orders’ are now legal in Formula One but Red Bull have so far resisted imposing them, or not had any need to.

Button will have to play a more strategic race after qualifying 11th at a track where overtaking has not been straightforward in the past although the ‘DRS Zone’ where the rear wing can be manually operated for more straight line speed has been extended in distance.

“As soon as the field spreads out, I think you’ll see more overtaking than in previous years,” said Button. “There’s quite a lot of degradation with the tyres so I think people will be [using] different strategies.

“I’m hoping there’s going to be a lot of fighting and overtaking.”

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