Briatore says Webber and Vettel relationship is destroyed

Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault F1 Managing Director with Mark Webber

Flavio Briatore with Mark Webber

Feuding team mates Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel will not stay together at Formula One champions Red Bull after this season, according to Italian Flavio Briatore.

Briatore, the former Renault team boss who has been part of Webber’s management throughout his grand prix career, told Italy’s RAI radio that he had spoken to the Australian by telephone on Monday after the Malaysian Grand Prix.

He said Webber was still furious with triple world champion Vettel winning at Sepang after ignoring team orders and overtaking him in the closing laps.

“I don’t think the relationship can be sewn together again,” added Briatore.

Asked if he expected one of the two to leave the team at the end of 2013, the Italian replied: “For sure. Last year already there were problems.”

Webber, who will be 37 this year, is out of contract at the end of the season while Vettel is tied to Red Bull until at least the end of 2014.

He and Vettel have had several flare-ups since the start of their pairing in 2009, including a collision at the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix that cost Webber a victory and sent the German out of the race.

Webber has long maintained that the team favours Vettel, despite their insistence that the two have equal status.

Briatore said Malaysia had showed that Vettel was in charge at Red Bull, rather than team principal Christian Horner.