Webber shrugs off latest Marko criticism

2013 F1 season

Mark Webber, Helmut Marko, Monza, 2009Mark Webber is unmoved by Helmut Marko’s recent criticism of him.

The Red Bull motorsport director said Webber struggles to cope with the pressure of being in contention for the championship.

“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,” Webber told his official website.

During the off-season Webber had the final operation on the leg he injured in a road accident in November 2008.

“I had the final procedure on my right leg at the start of December to remove the remaining piece of metalwork, a 40cm titanium rod. The surgery went very smoothly and my recovery was exceptional.

“I had a few weeks off from my normal training schedule but I was able to ease myself back into it by the first week of January and now I?m back into it properly.

“I didn?t really know what to expect from having it removed, apart from my own peace of mind, 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.”

Webber will have more than a new car to get used to this year as he has also changed race engineers over the winter:

“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 after spending some six years with Ciaron Pilbeam who I had a long and enjoyable relationship with, but he?s no longer with the team.

“I?m looking forward to starting the season in Australia having prepared very well for it over the past two months. But it?s clear there?s no point getting too far ahead of yourself, so it?s a case of taking each week, test and race as it comes.”

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56 comments on Webber shrugs off latest Marko criticism

  1. JCost (@jcost) said on 29th January 2013, 13:02

    Marko seems to like some controversy, in that regard, I think he’s F1′s José Mourinho.

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 29th January 2013, 13:06

    Im getting the impression that Di Montizemelo and Marko would make the perfect match.

    In all seriousness though, Helmut certainly does not need to be criticising Mark going into a new season.
    I’m glad that he’s “shrugged it off”, because it was not a necessary or warranted comment.

    And to say that he “shrinks from pressure moments” isn’t correct either, he could have just as easily won the 2010 championship as Vettel, or Alonso. He just got the bad end of the stick strategy wise, because (in my view and many many others) Vettel is clearly favourite at RBR. They can claim all they want that they have “two number one drivers”, but that’s clearly not true, and i suspect Helmut to have played a part in that behind the scenes.

    • Brace (@brace) said on 29th January 2013, 13:20

      There’s a big difference between Luca and Marko and that is that Luca never came out talking trash on Massa or any other of their drivers as far as I can remember. There was a thing with Prost back in 1991, but you can’t say that Webber was going around telling people how Red Bull is a ****** car.

      On the other hand Luca doesn’t have any internal agendas since he is the head of the whole company, not just a manager of one driver, so his goals are balanced much better in that regard.

      Helmut Marko is on a power trip because Vettel’s doing a good job. Problem is, he must be feeling their victories are rather hollow when he feels the need to constantly trash second placed driver in the WDC, in order to take a shine off of their achievements because he can’t be pleased enough with, at times scrappy, job he (and Vettel) did themselves.

    • Anonymouse said on 29th January 2013, 15:03

      Please enlighten on how Mark got a bad strategy call in Abu Dhabi. As far as I remember he brushed the Armco and made the call himself

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th January 2013, 15:44

      @tophercheese21

      And to say that he “shrinks from pressure moments” isn’t correct either, he could have just as easily won the 2010 championship as Vettel, or Alonso. He just got the bad end of the stick strategy wise, because (in my view and many many others) Vettel is clearly favourite at RBR.

      Strategy didn’t put Webber in the wall in Korea. Nor was it wholly responsible for him failing to get onto the front 2 rows in Abu Dhabi (before he even got away with hitting the wall in the race). Just face it dude, he didn’t match up to Vettel or Alonso when the pressure was at its greatest (in the final few races).

      • katederby (@katederby) said on 29th January 2013, 21:30

        True enough but Dr Marko should consider just how close Vettel came to ending 2012 like Webber ended in Korea 2 years earlier. Vettel was very fortunate to keep running in Brazil… without that good fortune he wouldn’t have been champion.

        • uan (@uan) said on 29th January 2013, 22:56

          but it really wasn’t just Korea in 2010 that did it in for Mark. There was Singapore which wasn’t all that great, there was Brazil finishing second behind his teammate and then Abu Dhabi where he had a poor qualifying and then pitted early. If had won Abu Dhabi straight up he would have been WDC. If he could have run a close 2nd place to Vettel (and no way for Vettel to win the WDC, then Vettel would have moved over for Webber). Look at Webber in Abu Dhabi this year, he was P2 at the start with a brilliant chance at the win with Vettel starting from the pits. Webber’s race goes from bad (start) to worse (those horrid attempts at passing) to dnf. I’d say the pressure got to him.

          • Macca25 said on 29th January 2013, 23:22

            @uan – What pressure, Mark was already well out of the championship race and didn’t really have anything to race for apart from the win.

            Can nobody understand that certain drivers don’t like/suit certain tracks and that Abu Dhabi and Mark Webber is one of those such combinations.

          • uan (@uan) said on 30th January 2013, 0:36

            @macca25

            Yes, certain drivers prefer certain tracks. But what did the track have to do with Webber’s start? And there was lots of pressure on him-from himself knowing a great start could lead to a win (what driver doesn’t want to win), especially knowing he wasn’t going to need to pull over for Vettel, and he had pressure from the team needing him to keep Fernando behind him. The track had nothing to do with his attempt at passing Maldonado on the outside and going off. While it wasn’t his fault per se, he does admit he should have seen the whole Di Resta, Perez, Grojean thing coming that caused his DNF. Those weren’t track specific issues. His race went off the rails with his start and then he was over driving and out of sync. And if there was no pressure on him, why the clumsiness? Contrast that to Vettel who shot himself in the foot by running into the DRS board and going to the back at the first SC restart. People go on about him “lacking maturity” but under the pressure after that SC, he drove a stellar race.

            You can also compare Webber to Hamilton. Hamilton had zero pressure being out of the WDC, but he drove stonking races in Abu Dhabi, Texas and Brazil (and with extraordinary passion). Only bad luck kept him from a hat trick of wins – though I guess mechanical failures aren’t considered “bad luck”, because we all know Alonso didn’t benefit from the bad luck of others lol.

          • uan (@uan) said on 30th January 2013, 0:48

            @macca25

            I would add, though I don’t think my comments above reflect it, while I’m not the biggest fan of Mark Webber, I think he’s an excellent F1 racer – it’s no shame not to be at the level of an Alonso or Vettel or Hamilton (or Kimi). He lacks consistency at times and his starts are, too be frank, rubbish. If he could nail his starts consistently (and I remember his starts being his Achilles heel going back to at least 2008 – I never paid him much attention prior to that really) he may have one WDC under his belt already. Certainly his one lap speed and his race pace are there.

          • Macca25 said on 30th January 2013, 4:12

            @uan – I think u miss understood me, I never implied that his accident at Abu Dhabi where to do with his dislike of the track. They where just to separate comments. Sorry for the confusion.

            I think those accidents at Abu Dhabi showed just how little pressure was on him. If he was still in the championship he would have played it more safe but because all he had to go for was the win, he simply tried a move that probably was not there to be made. And yes u might say he had pressure on him to help Vettel against Alonso, but lets be honest, Mark couldn’t care less about Seb’s title fight. :)

  3. DavidS (@davids) said on 29th January 2013, 13:13

    I think Webber is a bit of a thorn in Marko’s side.
    Marko isn’t the person who makes the decision to keep or ditch Webber, and probably feels that he’s blocking the path for one more of his drivers to step up to Red Bull.
    If Webber wasn’t there, he would be able to promote the better one of the Toro Rosso drivers to Red Bull, which frees up a spot at Toro Rosso, but since that isn’t the case, his only choice is to drop one driver to give another one a chance. His program is making no progress at F1 level, which must be frustrating.

  4. Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 29th January 2013, 13:39

    Now that’s a statement that even Marko can’t argue with:-)

  5. dpod (@dpod) said on 29th January 2013, 13:41

    I’m certainly looking forward to getting my hands on the RB9 and I also have a new race engineer in Simon Rennie.

    Who knows, maybe a new race engineer might help Webbers results. Seems to have worked with Petrov well into last season.

  6. Aaron (@tripperhead) said on 29th January 2013, 13:46

    It’s very sad to say (as a bloke that has followed Webber since Minardi), but Marko has a point. Yes, the wing controversy was rubbish, but at the end of the day, Webber has been given a car that has won 3 World Championships. His form in the second half of the season every year has been poor. Look at how close the McLaren drivers were last year, then compare Vettel-Webber/Alonso-Massa. If he doesn’t want to be classed as a “second driver”, then he needs to win.

    • Brace (@brace) said on 29th January 2013, 13:56

      Look at how close the McLaren drivers were last year

      You must be kidding about this one? :)

      Button’s season was worse then Webber’s by far if you ask me. He was almost as rubbish as Massa, only difference is, Massa was rubbish for the whole first half, while Button was “only” rubbish in one third of the season.

      • JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 29th January 2013, 14:16

        @Brace – Not sure how you can really say that when Button won three Grand Prix to Webber’s two. Jenson had 6 podiums compared to Webber’s 4, and finally finished ahead of him in the final standings. I don’t think you can really say his season was ‘worse’.

        • Drop Valencia! said on 29th January 2013, 23:50

          Jenson had the best car this year, LH would have won the WDC easy with his pace AND reliability.

      • Aaron (@tripperhead) said on 29th January 2013, 14:32

        Hamilton 190 points, Button 188. 4 wins to 3. Vettel 281 points, Webber 179. 5 wins to 2. Alonso 278 points, Massa 122. 3 wins to 0. Can argue who had a terrible season until the cows come home, but facts are facts.

        • firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@) said on 29th January 2013, 22:51

          @Aaron The facts are facts. Yes. But you don’t put all the facts here. Hamilton lost more points than, Button because of the team(more DNFs[car failures], more pit stop problems), in comparison with Webber who lost many points because of his KERS(I remeber 3 times, and one was a DNF) so comparing only the points it’s not a true image of what happend last year.

          • Baron (@baron) said on 30th January 2013, 8:20

            Actual results count as “facts” . Potential points lost and “theoretical performances” are not “facts.”

          • firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@) said on 30th January 2013, 10:01

            @baron When you have a DNF not from your fault, then, “Potential points lost” are not potential, are just lost.

  7. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 29th January 2013, 14:48

    Webber has a balls to tell the truth, unless they are all just playing. Jacques Villeneuve and Montoya were like that in the past.

  8. Nick.UK (@) said on 29th January 2013, 16:23

    I’ll miss Ciaron Pilbeam with Webber :’( I just associate his voice with Mark’s car now haha.

    • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 29th January 2013, 21:24

      Yup i think his voice is remarkably similar to Adrian neweys as well so it always seemed to me like the great man him self was marks wingman.

  9. Would be too sweet an irony if Marko left before Mark. Little soul to snipe in public like he does from his position of ‘authority’, putting his opera/agenda above that of the team. Expect a touch of envy that Mark is more of a man and bootstrapped his way up and has accomplished more than Marko did or would have.

    • uan (@uan) said on 29th January 2013, 21:42

      cc said “more of a man…has accomplished more than Marko did or would have.”

      You can have whatever beef or opinion you like about Marko, but the dude is a man’s man when it comes to driving. He won LeMans among other things. He also raced during a time when drivers died on a regular basis. He lost an eye due to racing. Oh, and picked up a law degree along the way (before the accident).

      And if you’re going to start counting accomplishments and saying anyone with less accomplishments is “envious” of others with more, Webber must be envious (and bitter) of several drivers on the grid – starting first and foremost with his teammate who has accomplished more than Mark has or ever will.

      One’s worth isn’t, and shouldn’t be, defined by what they did or did not accomplish. Too be honest, as fans, even the lowliest F1 driver(s) – Narain Karthikeyan for instance, has accomplished more than any of us have on the forums, especially in terms of racing lol.

      Respect to drivers.

      • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 30th January 2013, 8:00

        You may respect him as a driver, doesn’t mean he is a decent human being. People at his level should act occordinaly, not instigate tension within a team he is part of.

        • uan (@uan) said on 30th January 2013, 15:08

          @funkyf1

          My comment is more along the lines that it’s just as bad to belittle someone (Marko) because you feel that person is belittling someone you like (Webber).

          As for Marko being a decent human being? I don’t know if he is or isn’t. Does he torture puppies? How should people at this level act? I’m sure people in Red Bull know Marko and his thoughts, etc. They probably like that he is consistent and doesn’t blow smoke for the “public”. Along the lines of “he may be a (blank) but at least he says what he thinks.”

          I think it’s also an expression of RB’s culture that Webber can come out and speak his mind. I’d imagine that Marko actually respects that in Webber. You know Webber’s a straight shooter, perhaps that’s why Marko is so blunt – he figures that’s the way Webber would want it.

          In fact, it’s just as possible for Marko wanting to light a fire under Webber “to prove me wrong”. Do you think Vettel needs to be unchallenged within the team? You have to be incredibly mentally tough to succeed. Marko knows Vettel wants to beat Webber (what teammate doesn’t want to beat his teammate?) and if Webber’s on form, Vettel will need to work that much harder, and the outcome of that could be another WDC.

          It’s funny, because Marko could be seen as being as blunt about Vettel as he was about Webber, talking about how Vettel struggled to get to grips with the RB8 in the first part of the season. The difference is that Vettel’s season ended well, but Webber’s season fell off. I’m sure behind doors Marko has been blunt with Vettel too.

  10. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 29th January 2013, 22:38

    And this is why I would absolutely love to see Webber go and win a WDC. Yeah, he needs to get better at putting a season together as a whole – he’s had too many highs and lows the last three years. But what a hero if he went and wiped Marko’s smile off his face.

    • Macca25 said on 29th January 2013, 23:29

      If he was able to do this it would be classed as the biggest sporting triumph in Australian sporting history and one of the best ‘feel good’ stories of all time. C’mon Mark, you can do it mate.

      • Drop Valencia! said on 29th January 2013, 23:53

        Wouldn’t beat Bradbury….. but would be so sweeeeet.

      • K0V4LA1NEN said on 30th January 2013, 5:23

        i dont think it would be the biggest sporting triumph in australia’s history, espeacially when f1 isn’t exactly popular in australia, (espseacially towards the younger population of aussies), if webber does win the WDC it would be a great aussie success story and defiantly increase the popularity of f1 in australia but it wouldn’t be the biggest sporting triumph in Australia’s history but it would be regarded as a great moment for australia and f1

      • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 30th January 2013, 21:46

        Macca25
        Jack Brabham won 3 F1 titles…

    • Adam B (@lurker) said on 30th January 2013, 2:44

      I would love to see Mark win a WDC as well. It’s been way too long since Alan Jones came home with the silverware.

      When you think about it, Australia is a bit weird in terms of the amount of success its citizens have had in F1. We’ve got 4 WDCs, including a triple world champion in Jack Brabham, who not only won, but won in a car of his own make (sorta). Nobody else has done that, and it’s unlikely that anyone ever will.

      Considering that our country is on the wrong side of the world to really access F1 entry channels, and we’ve got quite a small population, and relatively few racetracks, we do seem to punch above our weight.

      I’d love to see Mark win a WDC, but if he doesn’t, then hopefully Ricciardo will get the chance.

      And if Mark could do me a favor and FINALLY win Melbourne while I’m there this year, that’d be good too.

  11. woogle said on 30th January 2013, 2:03

    webbers a good guy i hope he can get a few wins this season

  12. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 30th January 2013, 8:13

    Mark is the underdog, he went to Williams when they were on a high and the wheels feel off, he was then part of the Re Bull foundations and help develop that car with Newey. When Newey got that car on rails along came Seb. Taking nothing away from Vettel, Mark definitely became the no.2 driver, he hadn’t achieved much in his career so far and along came the whiz kid. I’ll debate with anyone that RedBull hasn’t favoured Vettel in terms of development and strategy ( why not he is a proven winner ) and Vettel’s attitude only confirms that when HE doesn’t get his own way. Who knows maybe that’s why Ciaron left, he was sick of being part of the support team. I can only hope Mark has a successful season in what may be his last.

  13. Nick (@nick101) said on 30th January 2013, 12:28

    I would LOVE to see Webber do one over Vettel and that **** Marko ans win the WDC!!
    I think he’s a great driver and fully deserves his position in the team.

    Having sad that, to say there is no one to replace him is a bit short sighted. I think Ricciardo would do very well in the Bull and would give Vettel a BIG headache.

    And before you all start slagging me off and having a good laugh, don’t forget that at the Young driver test in 2010, Daniel posted a time 1.3 seconds FASTER than Vettel’s pole lap. 1.3 seconds!

  14. Jimmy Clark said on 30th January 2013, 17:56

    Webber is a great driver and great person. I Wish him health and good results…

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