Mark Webber has tried to play down the revelation that he competed in the final four races of the 2010 season with a fractured shoulder.
And despite suggestions that the injury hampered his championship challenge – Webber squandered a 21-point lead to lose the title to team-mate Sebastian Vettel – the bigger issue might be that he deliberately concealed the injury from his team’s management.
Team boss Christian Horner was none too impressed upon discovering the news – which the Australian revealed in his new book Up Front (you can read our review of it here), which in turn has sparked rumours that the 34-year-old could find himself forced out of the team for 2011.
“A little bit of information can be a dangerous thing!” Webber quipped, in reference to the uproar his revelation has created. “I think it must be a fairly quiet week news-wise.”
Webber had told the FIA’s doctor, Gary Harstein, and his trainer, Roger Cleary, of the injury, but maintains: “I was very confident it wouldn’t affect my performance in the car.”
Webber contested the final four races with the assistance of painkilling cortisone injections, and recently underwent surgery to treat the injury, which was ironically caused by another cycling accident (which followed his first leg-breaking collision with a 4WD during his annual charity challenge in Tasmania in late 2008).
But Webber rejected suggestions that his absence from the Pirelli tyre test was due to the scheduled surgery.
“I can’t imagine where those stories came from,” he added. “I was never down to do that test.
“It wasn’t causing me a problem so there was no need to talk about it to anyone,” he insisted.
“I’ve never missed a grand prix but of course if I couldn’t drive the car safely and on the limit, I would have notified the team.”