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
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

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate