Q and A with Mark Webber on shoulder fracture

Mark Webber

There has been a lot written about Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber this week in regard to a shoulder injury that he revealed in his new book, an injury he failed to disclose to team bosses at Red Bull Racing. After seeing the amount of media attention this tidbit of information stirred up, the Aussie racer released the following Q and A…..

It has emerged that you sustained a shoulder injury prior to the Japanese Grand Prix. Now everyone’s talking about it…
A little bit of information can be a dangerous thing! I came off a mountain bike while training between the races in Singapore and Japan, and an x-ray revealed a small fracture to my right shoulder. I was very confident it wouldn’t affect my performance in the car, which is why I didn’t tell anyone.

Do you regret not telling anyone at Red Bull Racing?
There was no need. The shoulder wasn’t causing me a problem, so there was no need to talk about it to anyone. If I’d had any issues with it in the car, then of course I would have told the team. But that wasn’t the case. I’ve never missed a Grand Prix but of course if I couldn’t drive the car a) safely and b) on the limit, I would have notified the team.

Why did you have a pain relief injection before the start at Suzuka?
The injection was an absolute precaution. It was the first time I was going to do more than 50 racing laps, plus qualifying that morning, so I took what was the best medical advice for race day.

How serious was the damage to the shoulder?
Many people will be aware that shoulder injuries can be complex but I was lucky this mishap didn’t affect my main line of work. In that sense, that was the most important thing to me.

Have you had an operation on the shoulder since the end of the season, as reported on the internet?
No I haven’t, so I can’t imagine where those stories came from. Some people have asked whether the shoulder was the reason I didn’t do the Abu Dhabi tire test in November, but it had nothing to do with it. I was never down to do that test.

Has the amount of press interest surrounding the injury surprised you?
Yes, I think it must be a fairly quiet week news-wise.

If the fracture was a very small one and it didn’t impinge on your performance in the car, why did you decide to reveal it in your book?
It’s what the book is all about. I wanted to give the readers in Australia a closer insight to a sport that’s pretty hard for them to follow. I didn’t sit down after the season had finished with hindsight goggles on and pick and choose what went into it. We did it at the time after each race. It (the injury) is something that happened to me, it was part of my journey this season, so that’s why it’s in there.

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