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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
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

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York