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

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
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

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home