Mark Webber eager to prove he can win F1 title following disparaging remarks

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko questioned Webber's mental strength

Mark Webber has defiantly insisted he has what it takes to become a Formula One world champion despite recent disparaging remarks from Helmut Marko.

In an interview with the team's in-house magazine last month, the Red Bull advisor questioned Webber's mental strength, suggesting the Australian cracks under pressure.

Webber responded in kind by claiming the Austrian has his own agenda, the inference being Marko has sided with reigning triple world champion Sebastian Vettel for a long time.

Despite Vettel emerging as champion in the last three years, Webber is in no doubt he can still challenge the German, and at the age of 35 - as he will be later this year - take over the crown.

"I do believe I can have a crack at the championship again this year, as I have done in previous seasons," said Webber yesterday at the launch of the team's latest challenger, the RB9.

"That is my goal and what I think about each day when I get up, and I'm working hard with the team on doing that.

"They know I need 100 per cent support. You cannot win a world title with only 90, you need 100, and we're going into 2013 with this in place, and I'm comfortable with that."

Team principal Christian Horner was again forced to reiterate Webber is given equal support and the same package as Vettel, and that there is no favouritism towards the 25-year-old.

"Helmut can be outspoken at times," said Horner.

"But if we weren't happy with Mark then we would never have signed him to be with the team for this year.

"We're very happy with Mark and we give both drivers equal opportunity. It's ultimately down to what they do on the circuit.

"Certainly, within the team, that very much is the opinion, approach, and we will continue to do that.

"For us, it doesn't matter which driver wins, as long as it is a driver in one of our cars.

"Both of these guys believe they are the best, and the team will do the very best it can to support them."

There were no surprises when the car was unveiled at a warehouse a short walk from the team's factory, certainly given the stability in the regulations from last year through to this.

As technical guru Adrian Newey remarked: "We've been refining the RB8, so it is an evolution of last year's car.

"With this car, the devil is very much in the detail."

It is why Vettel will start the season as favourite to make it four in a row and continue his current domination of the sport, not that he is promising anything.

"It looks nice, but whether it's quick enough we'll see, and then it's up to us to make it reliable," said Vettel.

"I don't expect any miracles, but I do expect a very long, very tough season with close racing.

"Hopefully we can say at the end of the year we achieved our plan."

That plan was defined by Horner, who added: "There's a fierce determination to keep both of those trophies in the cabinet at Milton Keynes for another year."

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions