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SBD Global/March 28, 2013/Franchises

Flavio Briatore Says Mark Webber Will Leave Red Bull Racing At The End Of The Season

Former Renault Team Principal Flavio Briatore, who said he had spoken to the Australian in the aftermath of Sunday's controversial Malaysian Grand Prix and been told that the relationship was fractured beyond repair, said that F1 teammates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber "will not stay together at Red Bull beyond the end of this season," according to Oliver Brown of THE AGE. Briatore said, "I don't think it can be sewn back together again." Asked if he expected either Vettel or Webber to leave Red Bull at the end of this year's campaign, the Italian replied: "For sure. Last year already there were problems" (THE AGE, 3/28). The AAP reported it could be Webber's F1 "swan song based on his stated position he will not move down the grid purely to stay in F1." Briatore said that "the team's chances of winning a fourth title could be doomed following the Malaysian Grand Prix controversy." He said, "They are two professionals, they will win races and so on, but it's unthinkable that Mark may help Vettel in the future and I don't think Vettel will help Mark. So we'll have two enemies inside a single team, and this will (probably) advantage Ferrari." Briatore also accused Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner of being "weak" for refusing to sanction Vettel. He said, "Their car is very competitive so drivers want to stay there, but (Sepang) was proof that no one is in charge at Red Bull" (AAP, 3/28).
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