Horner “disappointed” Webber didn’t inform him of broken shoulder
Red Bull Racing
Horner “disappointed” Webber didn’t inform him of broken shoulder
Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Dec 2010   |  1:20 am GMT  |  79 comments

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has admitted that his driver Mark Webber should have told him about the shoulder fracture he suffered before the Japanese Grand Prix this season.

Yesterday morning JA on F1 broke the story that Webber had driven the last four races of the season with a broken shoulder. The 34 year old made the admission in his new book that he suffered a second mountain bike accident in two years resulting in a fractured shoulder, ironically the first time he’d been on a mountain bike since his collision with a vehicle in Tasmania.

Horner said that there was no visible drop off in Webber’s performance to suggest an injury and he didn’t suspect anything

“I didn’t even know about the book, let alone the shoulder,” Horner said.

“It is obviously disappointing that Mark said nothing. It was an injury that did not appear to have any effect on his performance but all the same it would have been nice to know about it.”

It is unlikely that Webber will go anywhere near a mountain bike again while he is still racing, but just in case he was tempted, Horner has issued a stong warning to steer clear, “Our drivers have an obligation to make sure they are fit, ” he said. “It seems bikes don’t agree with Mark so maybe it would be better if he stayed away from them.”

Photo: Darren Heath

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Hang on… Would I be correct in saying that he finished 2nd in Japan, did a great job in qualifing in Korea. He could have won if it had beena dry race in Korea, no?. Then in Brazil he got a 2nd. So apart from the last race his performance was only really marred by the Korea crash and the best make mistakes.


Just look at the accidents Mark had this season, and my were there some spectacular ones. His dramatic collision with Seb, Heiki nearly sending him into orbit and so on, all while at the helm of how many hundred horsepower, travelling hundreds of miles an hour. And yet he came out of all of those with only minor bumps and bruises.

However, its when he’s at the control of 0.1 horsepower on a mountain bike that he sustains a performance harming fracture. That’s pretty ironic. Perhaps the poor chap should steer clear of his ironobike next season.


This is classic Webber. The man just has a knack for crashing, whether it’s an F1 car or a mountain bike. And, where is the common sense to avoid any risky activities at the end of the season, when you are leading the WDC and need every bit of fitness at your disposal ? This is what I have been talking about for long time. He just doesn’t have the critical thinking needed to be a champion. Now, as to whether the accident had any effect on his performance, Horner doesn’t seem to think so.

aussie webber fan

i went to meet Mark at his booksigning in Melbourne, so many people!! Got a pic aswell!! After reading the book, it seems to me that he described the troubles of the team in a very positive manner, it was also a reflection on a great team result for 2010. It was more like a christmas gift to the team, including appreciation for team members at all levels! So without sounding rude, please read the book 1st as you will then know that the context is very positive and Red Bull should appreciate the free exposure and advertising of the brand


I agree with this. Finished the book yesterday and was actually a little disappointed that there wasn’t any slagging off of the team or Sebastian Vettel.

RBR have nothing to worry about. There is nothing in there to lose sleep about. The shoulder injury is like a paragraph and doesn’t even mention that the team was unaware.

It was a nice summary of the best year of his career (to date) and very positive in tone. I will now hope he releases another book after he retires that actually has real dirt about his time in RBR. That will be a book worth reading and discussing.


Was his shoulder really broken … or was it just a chip?


nice one!


RedBull is all about the extreme sports in a full on live life to the extreme.

Seems a bit wimpy to then go “yeah but it’s a tad dangerous so we’d rather our boys stayed at home and drank a cup of tea”

But this whole one man vs management… well it does seem to play to everyones strong points.


formula 1 is so safe now that it is officially safer than cycling!


Perhaps it’s the other way round. Webber (or Briatore anyway) seemed to be pushing for the team to favour him over Vettel in from around Spa onwards due to their championship positions. Revealing he had an injury would have dissuaded Horner from doing that even before Mateschitz decided on the no team orders thing.


Webber probably felt a bit of a fool for having this second bicycle accident. His keeping it quiet is hardly surprising as it clearly didn’t massively affect his driving as the “number 2” driver he perceived himself to be. No one wants to have their nose rubbed in it or hand a psychological advantage to one’s opponents. Motorcycle racers frequently ride with much greater injuries the full extent of which they often minimize – Rossi’s shoulder injury a case in point. No doubt Webber mentioned it in his book to keep the record straight and also perhaps to explain and excuse his drop off in performance towards the season end to his fans. I hope he comes back stronger next season.



Did you get the scoop because you read the book the quickest or did you have a tip off? 🙂


I got a tip off. Book is published on Australia. Which country do I present F1 coverage in?


Not mine unfortunately. 🙁


I’m a massive Webber fan and would like to know why he didn’t tell the team. I don’t think it was a case of breech of contract because he has shot himself in the foot because he has admitted what he has done. I know i have played sports (rugby & cricket) with injuries and haven’t told the coach because i really wanted to play and didn’t want to be dropped, but i wasn’t on a multi million dollar contract.

James do you think that this is kinda a publicity stunt by Red Bull (i do believe he cracked his shoulder). With everything that Mark has said and done over the last 6 months almost all teams would have punted him but Red Bull haven’t. After all Red Bull are in F1 to sell Jager Bombs 😉


I tend to agree Nathan, and along the same lines, Red Bull being a marketing company, could “publicity stunt” not cover nearly all the goings on at that team this year?

Just think if say the nose swap, “not bad for a number two driver” and all the other headline grabbing stuff that has gone on this year was actually all part of a company policy of no such thing as bad publicity, just publicity?

Which has been carefully balanced with the constant message of equal treatment to both drivers, which on the face of it did actually happen.

Just think how much extra column inches the team has had this year on the back of these incidents.


It’s one thing not to tell your boss (I can also understand that perfectly), but quite another to reveal it in a book and make your boss learn about it from the media. That might be a good publicity in terms of the book sales, but it won’t bring Webber much popularity within the team. I think Webber doesn’t really trust the team and he has just shown it to the world yet again. If he doesn’t like the situation he’s in in RB, then I don’t think this is the way to make it better. If I were the boss, I wouldn’t like such a behaviour for sure. He didn’t tell Horner during the season – that’s fine, but he should have called his boss before the book was published and tell him about the accident.

The public would still be interested (shocked?), but at least it would be more fair towards the team (I know they weren’t always fair to Webber during the season, but being even more unfair towards them will not make them, I think, change their attitude and won’t make things better).


Did Horner find out from this book being published etc , or did weber go to him after the season end and tell him ?

article does not make that part clear.



Horner found out from journos asking him at the BRDC lunch


All I would say on this is FFS Mark, stay off mountain bikes if you’re that bad at staying on them! If 2010 does end up having been a case of ‘what might have been’, that shoulder injury could well have been the difference between a WDC and nothing.

I sure as heck hope he isn’t tempting fate by doing another Tasmania challenge again this winter…..


Horner reaped what he sowed on this.

To nuture an adverserial culture in the team will produce adverserial behaviour.

Christopher Snowdon

The relationship between Mark Webber and Red Bull fell apart at Silverstone, and must have been on the verge of doing so before that, Turkey didn’t help, but I feel it runs deeper than that, and let’s be honest, with Vettel around, nothing is going to save or salvage that now. Although Vettel won the title, I standby my belief the team should have got behind Webber from Brazil (ie – play the percentages, and by all accounts Webber did to, maybe adding to the reason he said nothing). In Webbers case, it’s blindingly obvious the trust has gone, even to the point where Red Bull were willing to risk all on Vettel, even if that meant loosing the world championship. I get the impression that if Webber had won it, it would have been a hollow victory for the team. It’s almost like they had a vision of their man Vettel winning and Mark was threatening that, bit like a man who wants to build his own house to his vision, but gets it threatens by planners, architects and local residents. When you plan something out in your mind, that’s the way you want it to be. I agree with the view on here that Webber will not be wanted after next year, but you get the impression he will be replaced with a driver who’s happy to play what I call the Rubens role (sorry Rubens – doesn’t mean I don’t love your). This depends on Red Bull continuing to make the best cars, so they don’t become vulnerable to loosing Vettel.

Unfortunately for Mark, it’s Red Bull who are producing the best cars right now (not unfortunate in the fact he’s driving one I guess), and represents his best chance for success. Mark is only damaging himself with this shoulder incident, and more and more it seems, he is chipping away at his reputation with his actions AWAY from the track, which is very sad. I can understand why he kept quiet, but that should have been a long term strategy, and not a short term one (ie – reveal once he’s moved on, or retired etc). It’s worrying that a man in such a titanic scrap for the title is writing such books (another reason Red Bull won’t be happy), and it’s always begged the question, why do active sportsman insist on devoting time and energy to such projects, especially when they have all the time in the world to do so when they retire (I know money, and it’s Christmas season, and making such claims will sell books etc), but even so, sportsman writing books mid career always seems to create issue’s. But as everyone has alluded to, such frictions add to the spectacle, bring on 2011, but one thing for sure; it’s a bleak future for a team and driver where the driver can’t feel confident enough to inform them of a serious shoulder injury. Under the circumstances, especially given Mark’s championship position, the team should have broken it’s back to support Mark with rehab and adapt the car, seating etc to try and make Mark as comfortable as possible, in reality Mark knew it would be used as an excuse to weaken his already weakened standing within the team (if you can call their relationship team play?). I’m not even going to go into the safety issues, but for me it confirms he knows what Red Bull’s intentions were, but in reality, we all know.


All this has proved to be a very successful tool for advertising that he has a new book to flog this Xmas. I’ts hard to get noticed at this time of year but he has mangaged it. A few more dollars for the early retirement policy perhaps?


Look like Mark learned a thing or two about marketing from one of the best marketer in the world Red Bull.


I’m heading down to buy my copy right now mate! You kidding me. Me thinks that hardcore Webber fans like myself were pretty much going to buy this book no matter what. But hell’s yeah with this juicy tid bit!


Possibly, but if all the book reveals is a broken shoulder, it’s not saying much. If it contained any more inside info on his season then I’m sure that would also have been reported.

I see Webber in a similar position to Coulthard at McLaren, except Webber has a greater intensity and is far more outspoken, so his frustrations spill into the public domain when they should be directed at either the team or hiimself.

I’m a Webber fan, but it seems that since his wins in Silverstone and Hungary, the only headlines he’s generated have been off-track and have generally not done him any favours.

Time to put up or shut up.


my thoughts exactly


Odd behaviour from Webber, and I share Horner’s sentiments. As an athlete you are surely required to let your manager know when you are injured… I respect him for being able to keep it quiet and not complaining about it. But maybe Horner could’ve helped him in someway, rest him more or something.

Foolish in my opinion, I would be fuming if I were Horner, and it does show a break down in communication between the two.


Just wanted to say James recieved your book a couple of days ago and from what I have read so far, its a great read!


It does seem odd that Horner didn’t even know about the book. Curiouser and curiouser.


Certain elements at Red Bull weren’t being honest all year that they were backing Vettel to win the title so strongly that, deep down, they would have preferred a driver from another team to win it if Vettel couldn’t. And people want Webber to be honest about an injury that would have given them the perfect excuse to do publicly what they were doing privately? Please.


Great post, 100% you got it right


Initially I was stunned at MW’s naivety of not telling his boss but revealing all in his book. Then realised the amount of PR he’s getting for said book and *kerching*…

I don’t suppose this changes anything in terms of his position at the team. Regardless of this situation there was little chance of Webber being at RBR beyond his current contract and even less of them ending his contract early.


Pitpass is intimating that Webber won’t be at Red Bull next year, and if so, this gives them the perfect excuse. I follow Mark in the WDC, and I would be sad if he wasn’t in a championship contending car, but I don’t think Mark has done himself any favours in the back half of the season. The real story of what went on at Chez Red Bull would be fascinating…


Mark’s contract would be air tight. The only way it could happen is if they both agreed to it. The Red Bull management could in theory make it clear to him that his place within the team will not be supported next year but they risk the constructors money then.

I think it’s a no brainer for Red Bull. Webber pushed Vettel all the way. If they rate Vettel so high, webber must by default be up there too and worthy of retention.


I disagree. Contracts are rarely worth more than the paper they are written on. If Red Bull don’t want Mark, then they will find an excuse–and Mark may have given them one. After that, it’s in the lawyers hands.

I agree with the second part of your statement though. I think Red Bull could do far worse than Mark Webber. People are raving about Kubica and him putting the Renault in places it had no business being—Monaco, Spa, Suzuka. And Nico Rosberg. To that I say, Mark Webber:

2003, Brazil rain, Q3,(Sister car Q17), Jaguar

2004, Malaysia, Q2, (Sis. Car Q13), Jaguar

2006, Monaco, Q2, Williams (Sis. Car Q8 Nico Rosberg)

2005, Hungary, Q16, finished P7

2006, Hungary, Q5, (Sis. Car Q18 Nico Rosberg)

among others…


Dont’ forget Australia 06 – Webber was leading that race in the Williams and the crowd was going crazy. Then his car had its usual technical failure, while in the lead.


I dont believe any other team would tolerate a driver not disclosing a medical injury. Could you see Lewis or Jenson doing it? Nope. Just underlines the basic lack of trust Mark has in the team. Of course I’m sure Mark had his reasons mainly that the injury might have given Red Bull an extra reason to favor Vettel in the remaining races.

Still I don’t really see why Mark would want to do a book and reveal this. It’s plainly obvious that he wants out and I’m astonished Ferrari have not reacted here. Surely Mark is a great fit there, he even seems to get along with Alonso.


Well Horner didn’t tell Mark they were gonna switch the wing @ Silverstone…. I say it’s one-all……..


IMO Webber seems to be playing the public against the team, my reasoning is that he tried to pressurize the team into team orders by whinging to the press about his position wthin the team.

Now he blind sides the team by stating he was injured and never said anything, trying to get the public to say how much of a hero he was racing with a broken shoulder. Why didn’t he tell Horner about it??

Could that failure to disclose his status not result in a breach of contact? He misled his own team!

Red Bull should replace him with Kimi, Webber is a 2nd Barrichello!

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