Webber shows he is still a contender

Reuters

Mon, 28 May 16:55:00 2012

Those who thought Mark Webber had blown his one and only chance of winning the Formula One title back in 2010 may need a rethink after the Australian's pole to flag Monaco Grand Prix victory.

In this most unpredictable of seasons with an unprecedented six different winners in six races, Webber has become a contender again.

With 14 races remaining, the 35-year-old is level on points with Red Bull team mate and double world champion Sebastian Vettel and only three behind Ferrari's overall leader Fernando Alonso.

Perhaps more importantly, after a disappointing year of driving in Vettel's shadow, the square-jawed Australian showed on Sunday that he has recovered the form that went walkabout in 2011.

"Last year was a little bit of a mystery to be honest," Webber said on Sunday, before he went out and back-flipped into his team's harbourside pool with the sort of youthful exuberance more often seen from his 24-year-old team mate.

"The gap sometimes was really really extreme and it was hard for me to understand why it was like that sometimes. I think there was also a factor of me getting on top of the tyres but it wasn't all of it.

"The first five months was very tough and I was in a different category to the other car, whereas this year it's much more like 2009 or 2010, which is nice."

In 2010, Webber won four races and went into the final grand prix with one hand on the championship.

Losing out to Vettel came as a hammer blow. This time last year, when Vettel left Monaco celebrating a fifth win in six races and speeding towards his second title, there were questions about how long he would put up with it.

Australia's triple champion Jack Brabham, a family friend, certainly feared at the end of 2010 that Webber had let a golden chance slip through his fingers and that he might not get another.

Not now though. Webber has done better than Vettel in three of the races, each having won once.

His contract expires at the end of the season but now the media speculation is more about a possible move to glamour team Ferrari for 2013 rather than any impending exit from the sport.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, whose team are now the only ones to have won twice this season, sang his praises and indicated that Webber was more likely to stay put.

"He is driving really well and he is in great shape," he said of a man who started off the year with four fourth places in a row before finishing 11th in Spain. "He is at the top of his game.

"We have a very open and straightforward relationship with Mark and this does not change that situation.

"Why would he want to leave?," added Horner, who has a firm friendship with the driver as well as being his boss.

"The team are doing well and Mark knows the team very well. We are only at race six and a lot depends on his motivation and desire going forward. He is doing a great job and we are really happy with him."

 

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  1. I agree with you Emueller, Mark Webber is a firm­ contender to the title. I hope he wins th title as­ well. I like his attitude and driving style. Sure­ Vettel is amazing, but Webber has the years of­ experience and the will to get there as well. I am­ hoping he wins a title for RBR as well.

    From Hans WilliS, on Wed 30 May 15:51
  2. driving in slightly wet conditions (just wet enough to­ make it super slick) is not easy on any course let­ alone city streets. I have done it (in various forms­ of motorsport) and it is not easy. Bringing it home in­ 1 peice and winning under those conditions still took­ plenty of nerve and skill. True I still think at times­ others on the grid can get more out of the car than­ Webber can but he is still solid and forthwright as a­ driver and a person. I really hope he can bring a WDC­ back to Australia in 2012.

    From EMUELLER, on Tue 29 May 20:14
  3. Well any F1 driver who has pole for Monaco Grand Prix­ always have good chance of winning it if nothing goes­ wrong with the car or hit something but there would be­ only few drivers who would be brave enought to pass­ another car on this tack but there are not longer with­ us.Just imagine if it had rain then you see who has the­ real talent of handle the car in those condition but i­ known and seen one driver who was the master in the wet­ and the dry conditions.

    From Sonny, on Tue 29 May 16:00
  4. Webber drove a fine race. It was really his to lose,­ but he didn't make any mistakes that could be taken­ advantage of by the other drivers. He would be a­ tremendous asset to any F1 team who wanted to sign him­ away from Red Bull. I guess that he'd like to get­ out of Vettel's shadow, which has been pretty big­ the last two years, and I doubt he'd like to go to­ Ferrari where Alonzo is another dominating lead driver.

    From Elfama, on Tue 29 May 12:07
  5. Like I have always believed, I would much rather have a­ driver like Webber on my team than any other. He has a­ never say die attitude. He may not have won the first 4­ races, but he scored crucial points for himself and the­ team. Now that he added another 25 points to his total­ you have 73 in total which puts him right up there on­ top and breathing down Alonso´s neck. Consistency is­ the key to winning the championship these days. You may­ not win them all but if the driver scores decent points­ at every race he might just jump ahead of the growd.

    From Hans WilliS, on Mon 28 May 20:50
  6. what happened 2 the blue eyed vettle? has mark suddenly­ proved he can drive as well

    From avril, on Mon 28 May 19:52
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