Skip to main content

Webber shrugs off tensions within all-conquering Red Bull team

January 30, 2013 -- Updated 1254 GMT (2054 HKT)
Mark Webber has an uneasy relationship with Red Bull's team advisor Helmut Marko.
Mark Webber has an uneasy relationship with Red Bull's team advisor Helmut Marko.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mark Webber at odds with Red Bull's motor sport chief
  • Webber says Helmut Marko has his "own agenda"
  • Marko said Webber went into a "downward spiral" under pressure
  • Australian star Webber has had final operation on his right leg

(CNN) -- Mark Webber has shrugged off disparaging comments made about him by Red Bull's motor sport advisor Helmut Marko, claiming that they did not come as a surprise.

Marko cast doubt on the Australian F1 star's ability to cope with the pressure of being a title contender and compared him in unflattering terms to his teammate and three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

"It seems to me that Webber has on average two races per year where he is unbeatable, but he can't maintain this form throughout the year.

"And as soon as his prospects start to look good in the world championship, he has a little trouble with the pressure that this creates," Marko was quoted in Red Bull's own in-house magazine.

"In comparison with Seb's rising form, it seems to me that Mark's form somehow flattens out.

Mark Webber back in the go-kart
Mark Webber back in the go-kart
Red Bull Show Run

"If some technical mishap occurs, like with the alternator for example, he falls relatively easily into a downward spiral," was the verdict of Austrian Marko, who is a close friend of Red Bull team owner Dietrich Mateschitz

Read: Mark Webber: F1's elder statesman remains an outsider

Webber, who has been preparing for the 2013 season in Australia, took a pragmatic view of the remarks.

"Look, everyone at this level has their own agendas and it's been evident for a long time now that I've never been a part of Marko's," he told his personal website.

Webber is hoping to be in peak condition for a crucial season for both himself and his all-conquering team.

He underwent surgery last month on the right leg he broke at a mountain bike event in Tasmania in December 2009.

A small piece of titanium rod, which had been inserted for support in the original operation, was taken out.

"I didn't really know what to expect from having it removed," admitted Webber.

"But I'm very happy that some of the niggles and pain I've sometimes experienced with my training over the past three years already seem to be a thing of the past."

The 36-year-old will go into the season with a new race engineer after his long-time partner Ciaron Pilbeam left Red Bull for Lotus.

Simon Rennie has done the reverse switch to work with Webber.

"I'm certainly looking forward to getting my hands on the RB9 and I also have a new race engineer in Simon Rennie. It's going to be important to have a solid pre-season with him," Webber said.

Webber will open an "exciting and challenging" 2013 season on March 17 in front of his home fans in Australia, seeking his first win on the Melbourne street circuit.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1039 GMT (1839 HKT)
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
ADVERTISEMENT