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Webber: “2010 was my last chance to be champion”
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Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Oct 2011   |  11:50 pm GMT  |  105 comments

There is an interview with Mark Webber posted on Yahoo News Singapore today, which a JA on F1 reader flagged up to me.

There are some interesting comments in it which are worth highlighting, although it appears that Webber belives he has been misquoted on the main one. Webber is quoted as saying that last season, where he lost the title at the final round, was his “last chance” to be world champion, a rare admission for an active racing driver, especially one who is sitting in the fastest car on the grid. He goes on to explain that a team has to line up behind one of its drivers fairly early on in a season and accepts that Red Bull needed to back Sebastian Vettel this year. Although he says he will perform better next year, the implication is that he expects more of the same in 2012, with Vettel having the edge.

He also spells out that when it comes time to retire he will leave F1 altogether and will not look to play any role in team management or the media. The reason he gives is his intense dislike of the politics in F1, ” Why? Because of the politics — I really don’t like it,” he says. This will be a disappointment to one or two media organisations who might have considered him an ideal pundit, given his record and his characteristic of speaking his mind.

Asked by the Yahoo reporter, do you think (last year) was your last shot at the World Championship, he replies, “Yes of course, I do think that last year was my last chance at being World Champion. But I’ve pushed very very hard and done many many things that other people could not have achieved so I’m very proud of what I did.

“To win the championship you need 100% from the team. I think it’s difficult for the team to give 100% to both drivers as we are both demanding. Looking at the start we actually got (in 2011), it’s clear where the support needs to go and I respect that in some way. The team has given me a great opportunity to do well. I ask for a reliable and strong car every weekend and I will give my best. The team knows I always give my best.”

Speaking in Suzuka, however, Webber says that he did not mean to say that he has had his last chance to be champion, “I remember doing the interview, but I know I didn’t say 2010 was my last chance ever. That’s not what I said. Maybe I said there was a chance it was my last opportunity, in the same way that Jenson doesn’t know whether 09 was his one and only chance. You never know if it’s
your last chance.” Webber has yet to win a race in 2011, despite his team mate Vettel winning nine races from 14 starts. He has three pole positions to his name and has started from the front row in four of the last seven races.

He is very refreshing and very unusual as a racing driver because his capacity to kid himself is almost non-existant. He is his own harshest critic and is always the first to put his hand up and admit he underperformed, rather than seek excuses. It should come as no surprise therefore to see these comments, but they may not be quite what they seem. You will be waiting a while to see a driver make comments of this kind again.

To read the full Yahoo story click HERE

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105 Comments
  1. bobof1 says:

    I’m not giving up on Mark for being world champion next year as he is still super fast and will be in better control of his tyre degradation and race starts which have hurt him big time this year.

    I’m convinced that Mr Vettle would not be enjoying the deserved success he is enjoying without such a strong team mate as Mark.

    1. wayne says:

      He doesn’t really say why it was his last chance does he? If he gets a good start in 2012 why would the team not give him 100%? I think we all know the answer but I am no fan of RBR, they have a habbit of saying one thing and then doing the opposite. I still remember the roasting they gave Ferrari for the Massa/Alonso switcharoo and all the comments about that not being the spirit in which RBR opperate…. Yet it is very much the same at RBR, they are juts more duplicitous about it.

      RBR have very obviously favoured SV from day one in this partnership, both on the track and emotionally. There have been a hundred little things that allude to this….

    2. Grahamk says:

      Yes…. I agree with Mark (whom I resect greatly), while SV is still there. It’s quite funny how much trouble Mark has had at getting away when he is on the front row. Once SV raps up the title this problems (electronics and transmitters)should go away!! Hang in there, SV ego may move him over to Farrari.

      1. Grahamk says:

        I should have said Mercedes and then could get an Aussie team mate.

    3. CH1UNDA says:

      I am not surprised Webber hates the politics of F1 … most forthright people of his type of character dislike the muddying-up shenanigans that politics brings to objective decision making processes.

  2. Rafael L says:

    Respect for Webber :)

  3. car 36 kev says:

    wow that was a very telling interview.
    very straight, one wonders though like Massa can you be a the pinnacle of your sport,knowing you cant win, motivation must be sorely tested.
    fair play, pitty he wouldnt concider to be a pundit

  4. Pete Johnson says:

    Mark’s comments are candid and unusual for a Grand prix driver but that’s his style. For whatever reason, e.g. adapting to the Pirelli tyres or the teams preferential treatment to Vettel, there’s no doubt Mark hasn’t had an answer to Seb’s pace this year. But Mark’s wins in Spain and Monaco last year were dominant so when conditions are right he can certainly be the man to beat. Let’s hope next year things turn around for him and inspire him to give it another couple of years. He’s not that old and he’s entertaining for those of us watching on TV with his awesome passing moves lately! If he could just get those starts right…..

  5. Steve Rogers says:

    I admire him for that lack of self-deception. It’s a precious quality.

  6. David says:

    I have always admired MW for his candor; he also seems very grounded and knowledgeable about the world around him–both on display in his reactions to the Bahrainian people’s efforts to claim their rights. MW, almost alone among drivers, rejected playing the PR game and stood firmly on the side of Bahrainians.

  7. Manuel says:

    I really like him. I wish him all the best for next year! Who knows what can happen? Not always the faster one perform well every year, look what’s going on with Lewis this year. I think Lewis is still faster than Button but Button is the one bringing the result. But it’s unlikely to happen to Vettel when he has all the team behind him.

  8. Ben Jones says:

    I understand he’s being realistic however… you need to be hungry to win races. Vettel has the biggest appetite on the grid right now.

    With Mark’s attitude, it’s no wonder he’s leading the “places lost” table.

  9. Speed F1 says:

    Webber might not ever win the championship, but he really is a true ‘people’s champion’. Shame that the Red Bull team didn’t give Webber the opportunity to win what he deserves. F1 team cannot succeed without focusing on the more superior driver which creates drivers like Rubens and Mark. F1 needs character like Webber to be involved in the sport. So, as a fan I really hope that Webber will find a spot in F1 that doesn’t involve too much politics, maybe replace DC in the commentary along side Martin Brundle. DC can’t seem to comment without being a bit too partial about the drivers he likes. Webber will certainly be the most honest commentator along side Brundle. The “people’s champion”

  10. Iain says:

    One of the main reasons people really like Webber, He always tells it like it is there is no BS!! Very refreshing!!

  11. Brisbane Bill says:

    Typical of the Aussie – straight talking and saying it as he sees it (as it really is). After all, with Vettel now to be a multiple world champion and clearly where Red Bull’s immediate future lies, it would be unlikely in the extreme for them (or any team in that position) to say to the multiple world champion “sorry but we are going to favour your team mate this year”. In Mark’s own words he’s “not bad for a number two driver”. If he is number two in the best car on the grid then moving teams is not an option to beat the other fastest car and it doesn’t look like Vettel makes too many mistakes these days so, yes, 2010 looks like it was Mark’s last chance at the title.

    1. Gravelrash says:

      Our last world champion was also a straight shooter and likes to tell it exactly how it is. He still does. Dont see much of Alan Jones though nowdays which is a pity……..

  12. Tony says:

    I have loved watching Mark Webber race, and vividly remember his 5th place finish in the Minardi in Melbourne. He is a truly stand up guy, and always speaks candidly. If he does walk away altogether from F1 he will be missed, and F1 will lose a valuable asset.

  13. Hi James,

    Long time reader (and a very happy one at that), but when you refer to a story on an external site, could you please link to it? That’s just best practice for the web and provides a better experience for your visitors.

    1. James Allen says:

      Done. Sorry about that.

  14. james says:

    Class act.

  15. Darren says:

    Excellent post James, Webber certainly is refreshingly honest, sometimes to the point of being brutal. It frustrates me that some of the fanboys/haters that mainly frequent other F1 sites (but appear to be starting to pop up here too much to my disappointment…) interpret him as being a whinger/whiner. Maybe there are some cultural factors that result in that type of interpretation, I don’t know…

    Mark should definitely be proud of what he has done in F1, particularly given where he had to come from to break into F1 in the first place. The superstitious side of me has always felt that he used up most of his F1 luck/karma in his very first race in Melbourne in 2002!!!

    1. BT says:

      Couldn’t agree more about the cultural thing-being an Aussie, I always respect him and his straight-talking, but many commentors do treat him as a whinger, which is disappointing..

      At least Mark’s not someone who’d care what people on forums say about him!

  16. Relativity says:

    If only he had not gone off in South Korea, he would be WDC in 2010. Vettel did not finish that race due to engine failure. I know these are all what-ifs but with Vettel performing at the stratospheric level he is at right now, I cannot see how anyone can rattle Vettel’s cage.

    James, any additional news on the Raikkonen story? I cannot wait for the Iceman to be on the grid again next year.

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s not moved forward since the Singapore story. They’ve had extensive conversations, discussed details, but not decided to go for it yet

      1. simon says:

        Rubens must be negotiating very hard to keep his seat i’d imagine.

      2. Rob Haswell says:

        I’d imagine Reubens is not worried in the slightest about Kimi taking up his seat. Can you really see him at Williams? He’s 20 years too late.

      3. F12010 to kill time until March says:

        Raikkonen will need a year to get back into things, and if he delivers I asume he will take Webbers place at RBR.

        Dont expect any further comments on this until Renault knows if Kubica will make it to the grid next year, in early november. I recon Kimi would take his seat rather than a year at Williams, as it could also be a race-winning car by 2013.

        Fingers crossed Robert makes it back so we can see both on the grid next year – would be awesome!

  17. Andy K says:

    Once again I’m reminded why Mark Webber is my favorite Red Bull driver. Not to disparage Vettel’s untouchable season, but because Webber is, an honest driver, who takes no shortcuts on or off the track. His candid honesty, and positivity, is refreshing in F1, especially when one looks at the fiasco between Massa/Smedley & Lewis Hamilton unfolding this week.

    I just hope for Mark, that 2010 is remembered as a personal best, rather than a Championship miss.

  18. Davexxx says:

    Good on ya Cobber! Mark is a great personality and he will be sorely missed when he does leave F1. As you say James, such openness from a driver is rare but I for one really appreciate it.

  19. wolf says:

    I hope he changes his mind on commentating post retirement – he would be the best commentator since James Hunt.
    Also, interesting reading between the lines about needing 100% from the team to win.

  20. celeste says:

    Wow! This is actually sad. I never spect him to give up.

  21. Lee says:

    It must be hard for him to have to admit this, but he is absolutely right. As a long suffering Aussie F1 fan, I do wish this was otherwise. He produced some storming drives last year, but this year he has been like a defeated man. Shame that after so many years of crushing team mates and pushing under performing cars further up the grid than they belong, he finds himself as the 2nd fastest driver of the fastest car.

  22. R3D says:

    Webber’s right. I wonder what his thoughts will be on his next BBC F1 article.

  23. Paul L says:

    Hopefully after the title race is over, likely to be this weekend, the pressure will be off Seb and the team can focus on Mark getting a race win or two under his belt to regain that winning feeling, secure the manufacturer’s title and have a one-two finish to the driver’s championship.

  24. Rodger says:

    Wow, I can only hope that the interviewer caught him at a bad time.

    While it does make a certain sort of sense to back one driver over the other at some point of the season. Mark seems to be relegating himself to #2 status for next year already.

    Although he goes on to say that he’ll continue to do his best, I don’t see how you can go out, and put forth a maximum effort when you don’t feel that you can win.

    1. Martin says:

      I don’t really agee with your logic. Winning an individual race is still a big deal – especially when you have only won six. Mark has seen what Sebastian can do in a car and may feel that over a season he will struggle, but there are other emotions involved. Pride for one. The enjoyment of driving a car on the limit (even if it is your perception of the limit). The old argument of the risk of getting hurt doesn’t really apply any more as it happens so rarely.

  25. stuart briggs says:

    Its a shame webber won’t be around f1 after retirering but you can’t blame the man.Honesty in f1 is as rare as honesty in govenment.Would love to see him in the stewards room!.Now that would stop the crap.

  26. Grayzee (Australia) says:

    Well said, Mark. We “Aussies” have a culture of “telling it like it is” and we don’t tolerate the BS that seems to engulf the world. Being taken for a fool is not soemthing that sits well with us (this not always a good thing, mind you, and does get us in trouble).
    So, well done, Mark, for recognising, and saying, what we already know…..that Vettel is quicker than you. Believe it or not, folks, but it IS okay to recognise when there is someone out there that is better then you.
    (now go out there next year, use that true aussie grit, find the extra tenth and beat the pants off the whizkid!! :-) )

  27. Dave Aston says:

    As someone who has closely followed his career since he left Australia, all I can say is that I’m hugely disappointed to read this. If he really feels he has no chance at the title in 2012, he should give up his seat for someone who thinks they do have a chance.

    1. Grayzee (Australia) says:

      Er….why, exactly, should he give up his seat?
      It’s his seat. RB want him in it. He still wants to be in it. What right has anyone else got to be in it. The opportunity to be in the best car on the F1 grid doesn’t come round very often. Besides, the only way he will ever know if he can beat Vettel, is to be in the same car. I say Good Luck to him.

  28. Joe Sumegi says:

    I’m the biggest Mark Webber fan, but I’m glad he doesn’t want to pursue a career in the media. A few years back he guest commentated a V8 Supercars race and appeared out of his depth.

    While he’s outspoken (and we love him for that), he appears to be a slightly withdrawn guy that just wants to race. I look at him in press conferences and when he takes that deep breath before responding, it’s the mark of someone who is referring back to their media training to produce the answer he knows the media want.

  29. Liam in Sydney says:

    I think Mark is just being realistic. Seb has smashed everyone this year, including Mark. There is no denying it, or hiding from it. Also being realistic, Mark realised that when a driver escapes to a big championship lead in 2011, the team will funnel the good stuff to that driver. It must be that way, it can only be that way. Mark is a pro, and knows the lay of the land.

    I will also be very interested to see how the 2012 RB will perform for both Seb and Mark, in terms of driving style. To throw a cat amongst the pigeons, what if the 2012 chassis and tyre combo is to Mark’s liking? Interesting indeed!

    Nb – it is also interesting that this comment only came from Mark after he was signed for 2012.

  30. Andrew says:

    Any chance RedBull will give Webber a bit more support next year? At least from a business perspective they might be able to get some Aussies drinking Redbull again.

    1. Michael Prestia says:

      They have a 2-time champion in the team… why would they put effort into Mark. He has no chance. All efforts will be behind SV at Red Bull… and Ferrari will put all their eggs behind FA and McLaren will try and show equality… which will hurt them. My guess, is that if Ferrari produce a car next year it will be between SV and FA. If its McLaren with the a competitive car, LH and JB will just take points from one another and SV will run away with it again.

  31. Gene says:

    This guy is just incredible. How can you not respect him as a driver and as a man?

  32. Sean says:

    it would be nice to see atelast 2 more seasons from webber, and make way for Ricardo with only a few races on his belt he is showing true potential behind the wheel of an f1 car… bring on the weekend… one can hope for atleast one Webber win this year

  33. Tom in Adelaide says:

    Everything is stacked against him at Red Bull – His height, his weight, his age, his nationality, his position within the team. Add to this the fact that Vettel is clearly more naturally talented and it’s not surprising that Mark isn’t going to beat him. The only thing Mark had last year was more experience. This year Seb is driving like a 15 year veteran.

    That doesn’t mean Australian isn’t proud of him though! He’s a Champion in my books.

    1. David Turnedge says:

      I don’t think nationality has anything to do with it.

      It’s true: Webber’s height and weight are against him. Sort of guarantees the car can’t be setup as well for Webber as it is for Vettel.

      Vettel is faster than Webber. Simple. And few mistakes from Vettel this year has made him almost untouchable in the Red Bull.

      But Mark, South Korea… SOUTH KOREA!

      In the words of Jack Brabham in the local press in 2010: He blew it!

  34. Jim says:

    Probably should have something on hand to wash down the grain of salt when reading that interview IMO.

    When it’s not firsthand……

  35. Malaka says:

    He did make excuses though, namely that the team is backing Vettel mainly. That is an excuse.

    He is being beaten by drivers in slower cars.

    No Webber, the ‘kid’ (like he called him) is just better than you.

    Also, always trust on the JA site for pro-Webber propaganda. You have written more articles pushing a feather up Webber’s bum than any other driver. In fact, you hardly write any articles propagating other drivers.

    Webber is just sad he can’t use the media like last season to stab his own team in the back, which the excuse he used then for being beaten.

  36. LoudHoward says:

    Sounds like a bit of a misquote by this Yahoo news fellow. Maybe he said it was his best chance or something.

  37. Drama Queen says:

    Webbers comments are refreshing as always.
    Nothing but honesty here.
    He knows he doesnt have the full support of his team to win a championship and neither does Massa.
    Thats the way it goes.
    And dont think this wont happen to either Button or Hamilton once McLaren makes a more competitive car.

  38. martin g says:

    if mark could get his car off the line as well as sebastian, he would have a very good chance at being champion in 2012. isnt this the “elephant in the room” not beeing talked about in this interview.
    a lot can go wrong for vettel in a full season of F1 next year and consistant 2nd places to mark could very easily win him a championship in 2012.

    1. gonzeche says:

      Here’s your elephant: ‘To win the championship you need 100% from the team. I think it’s difficult for the team to give 100% to both drivers as we are both demanding. LOOKING AT THE START WE ACTUALLY GOT (in 2011), IT’S CLEAR WHERE THE SUPPORT NEEDS TO GO AND I RESPECT THAT IN SOME WAY.’

  39. Iain says:

    Hi all,

    If he has a slow start again next season this may be true that 2010 was his best chance.

    However, in another candid interview, (also from Singapore) he discusses in detail his season to date and how it has improved since Valencia; http://www.pitpass.com/44744-Webber-lets-rip

    So if he gets a solid start to next year, who can say what support “the number 2″ driver will get?!

    Probably no change from Marko – See picture 83; http://www.formula1.com/gallery/race/2011/854/general/friday.html

    But would expect more from Horner
    http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2011/9/12582.html

    And picture 85 is probably how he feels about the (internal) politics of it all!
    http://www.formula1.com/gallery/race/2011/854/general/friday.html

    Cheers,
    Iain

  40. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    Condolences to Mark.

    Due to the scare last year, perhaps RBR underestimated how dominant their car would be this year and committed solely to Vettel earlier than necessary.

  41. Vickyy says:

    Despite his poor string of performances and being blown away by Vettel , I only have one word for him.. respect
    Only a man with b**ls can be so brutally honest with himself.

  42. Divesh says:

    Strange that he feels this way especially as he has signed for 2012 already. You would think if his heart wasn’t in it then why put yourself at risk in an F1 car.

    Many drivers have quit when they started feeling this way, Hakkinen, Hill, nothing worse than when a driver lingers on when his heart’s not in it.

    I know people will say that Schumi lingers too long still, but the difference with him is that he still has the burning desire to win.

  43. Chris Chong says:

    Isn’t Kobayashi also another guy who puts up his hands when he drops the ball (which unfortunately has been pretty often in the 2nd half of this season).

  44. Lambo says:

    Mark always seemed (via F1 interviews) like a great guy to hang out with. Even if he can’t win a WDC or feels like he can’t win one I wouldn’t mind buying him a pint or a 6-pack in Philadelphia.

  45. goferet says:

    Aah now this may go some way to explain Webber’s lackluster performance this year.
    The realisation that his last chance to win the WDC had gone, he didn’t get over the disappointment & is still suffering from the effects of depression & hence the current results & starts off the line.

    But to be honest, Webber is one of those drivers that had no hope of ever winning the WDC for there’s no driver that has Webber’s luck while chums Vettel & Jenson inherited the Schumi luck.

    Ironically if Red Bull had supported Webber from Singapore 2010 onwards, he would have been champ e.g. Red Bull sh’d have told Vettel to give way in Japan & Brazil but no, Webber doesn’t speak German + Australia has no connection to Austria so NO came the order… ”Webber hold your position, do you understand”

    As for the case of retiring for good Hahahahahahahaha, oh Webber is a funny guy. Look, like Justin Bieber says ”never say never” for all we gotta do is look at Schumi & Kimi.

    Webber will be back – hopefully replacing the charismatic (*cough*) Couthald as Sky commentator

  46. Craig in Manila says:

    Yep, your last paragraph is a very good summary.
    I really hope that his personality will not be lost to F1 when he eventually retires but seems that he is the sort of guy who will be quite happy to just go home and, every now’n’then, pop into his pub to say hello to the punters and make sure that the beer is being poured correctly.
    Good luck to him in 2012 and beyond.

  47. legend465 says:

    Come on Mark. If you keep working at it, and attempt to improve and work with your engineers on where Seb is beating you, you can beat the kid. Come on mate, don’t give up hope. Never give up. I believe in you!

    Oh, and please move to Ferrari.

  48. Andy Goodall says:

    You have to admire how open Mark is, though I feel is already settling to be no.2 driver in 2012.
    James who do you think RB will bring in to be Seb’s team-mate after 2012?

    1. Grayzee (Australia) says:

      Maybe it will be Riciardo! Any aussie for an aussie…………hahahahaha

  49. J H says:

    I’m glad Webber has come out and said this. I think a lot of people thought he was getting the ‘Barrichello’ treatment,I know I did. I do wonder what will become of Daniel Ricciardo as he will face similar political hurdles and we may not have an Australian GP in 2014. Russia has a deal and India already in this yr another GP maybe for the US and Turkey bound to push for readmission a small country like Australia with only 22 million to market to is not even on the radar.

  50. stanard says:

    Sorry James, but not sure if the source here can be believed/trusted.

    Mark has stated many times himself that he wouldn’t keep going unless he had the desire to win, and firmly believed he could do so. Sounds like Mark’s responses here were lost in translation/misunderstood.

    However, him saying that he would leave F1 altogether after retirement comes as no surprise, although I’ll put my money on him permanently getting into younger driver mentoring of some sort, especially those from Australia/New Zealand (as he has done already with Daniel Ricciardo and Mitch Evans)

  51. Tom says:

    One of those drivers that probably won’t get the full appreciation that they deserve until after they retire.

    Reminds me of Martin Brundle in many ways.

  52. Richard says:

    I have to admit I like Mark Webber for his straight talking and yes he should have won 2010, and whatever the reasons behind his form drop off towards the end of that year he allowed Alonso to catch him up, and ultimately made it possible for his team mate to win by default in the last race.
    I suspect that the 2011 rule changes and Parelli tyres are behind his bad form notwithstanding his bad starts. A fact it would appear that they seem to suit some drivers and hinder others, however I’m not in favour of the current articially adjusted F1 and the sooner we get back to proper racing the better.

  53. Joel says:

    I like and respect Mark Webber as a sportsman and his candour is always appreciated. I wonder though if it doesn’t require the kind of personality that denies the possibility that any other driver is better or at least an unshakable level of self-belief to get to the top and stay there. No wonder Steve Parish calls the top Moto GP riders “aliens”. Perhaps Mark is just too well adjusted?

  54. Alex says:

    Hi, James, do you think that this is genuine? This doesn’t sound like Mark Webber to me, admitting defeat before the war is over. Was it maybe taken out of context by the Yahoo reporter?

  55. dave mingay says:

    Korea was that moment when it all went away, but eventually when Mark retires he’ll leave with a wonderful reputation as a racer – and even as a modern-day Errol Flynn. His realistic approach and balls out style will be remembered longer than the Championships won by others.
    Like Senna and Villeneuve sen., Webber goes flat out, wears his heart on his sleeve and is respected for that. All this after three mega airborne incidents … and the biggest overtakes of season 2011, so far.

  56. young slinger says:

    My immediate thought is, then why is he still in F1!

  57. Jason says:

    I’m really surprised that he’s come out and said this, if he has conceded that he’s nothing but a #2 driver now then why even finish the season and resign for next year. If your going to have that attitude you may as well get out now.

    1. Jonesy says:

      So if Horner called you and said here ‘s 5 million, just drive our #2 F1 car for a season you ‘d say Nah Stuff it mate. I want #1?

      Joking aside Webber was probably misquoted, he probably said (or intended to say) best chance for the championship and it got interpreted as last chance for the championship.

      In fact he tweeted something about it earlier

      1. Jason says:

        Yeah saw the tweet that he had been miss quoted.

        To answer your question, if Horner called me up and offered me 5 million to be a #2, i’d ask him for half a million up front for emergency liposuction and getting 20cm of bone removed from my legs so that i could fit into the car and i’d be ready to go for the Japanese GP this weekend.

        But the moment that you say something like that it’s the moment to get out. I used to be quite a good swimmer, made it to national level a couple of times as a teenager but just not good enough to crack it into the big time, there comes a point when you know it in your heart that that is as good as it gets, i got to that point and knew that there was no use sticking around when it’s time to go it’s time to go. I had my this is as good as it gets moment and walked away then and there.

        Hence my surprise at the webber quote if he’s conceded that he’s a number 2 drive i can’t see him sticking around.

  58. B2B MAN says:

    If you look at the history of McLaren and Williams, they have sacrificed championships to allow their drivers to go wheel to wheel with their teammates, you have to look at Prost and Senna, they were in wheel to wheel battles, recently we have seen that with Lewis and Button going wheel to wheel, this is what most people enjoy to see people from the same team challenging each other. For Me a driver who wins a tittle against a teammate who pushes him and sometimes to a showdown with a same car can earn more respect. If you look at Le Mans most top teams dont care which of their team drivers crosses the line first, like Dakar too, you want someone who is quicker from a team, and that is what racing is supposed to be. Its always hard to believe at times being lapped by your teammate or finnish 30 seconds behind him in a faster car. Its not the beautiful championship trophy that will forever stick with people about Formula 1 but it is about on track battles, its about pulling out the best moves that will forever be remembered by people. Racing is competition and the greatest companies on earth have become the greatest because they do a better job than their competitors.

  59. WoZ says:

    One of the most likable fellows in the F1 line-up and I don’t know a single Aussie F1 follower who doesn’t think the world of his efforts, honesty and skill as a world class racer. Like many I was devastated that he didn’t nail the Drivers title last year :(

    If there were more drivers like Mark (both on and off track) the racing world would be a much better environment for youngsters to look up to. His frustrations are the result of a highly motivated individual that is always looking for the best results.

    His work for charities and assistance to young guys like Ricciardo make him a special man indeed! Red Bull should be thankful to have had him as a driver. He deserves to do whatever he wants when he leaves the sport. Having my photo taken with Mark at the Aussie MotoGP remains one of my fondest memories.

    I truly hope he wins a race this year, it’d be a tough critic to say he doesn’t deserve that!

  60. For sure says:

    Hi James,

    Sorry for slightly off topic.
    Out of boredom, I just developed an iPhone app which allows me to visualize the race lap times and compare the lap times of the drivers.
    http://f1formula.net/blog/?p=25
    Its free by the way.

    As you can see there, I don’t quite understand why Mark’s pace wasn’t better than Seb’s at the final stages of the Singapore race as Jenson was able to close the gap to Mark.

    As for his current situation, James, in your opinion, how much of that has to do with the motivation and how much of that was down to the equipment.
    I think we are seeing a pattern here.
    When Massa was driving along side Michael, yes he was no 2 but he had Michael support which meant the entire team’s support. He went on and almost won the title in 2008. Now the entire team’s focus is on Alonso, understandably, and his performance gap to Alonso is huge just like Mark’s.

    To me its becoming harder and harder to compare the teammates. It’s almost as if its more fair to compare the No 1 drivers of the top teams.

    Ps. please feel free to use the images as you wish.

  61. Paul Mc says:

    Great guy and i always enjoy listening to his interviews. No BS or ego. I still think he’s got a win in him this season if he can sort out his starts.

  62. L33t_Of_Lag says:

    He is a typical Aussie bloke.

  63. Alex says:

    I was right, it was taken out of context! MW doesn’t rule out a championship bid in 2012, however he concedes that his best chance was in 2010. And he’s quite right as usual.

  64. Iain says:

    In addition to my comments at Post #39, having now read the full Yahoo article, it certainly has an edgy “Silverstone 2010/11″ feel to it – he is pumped up, certainly not throwing in the towel, there is fire in the belly and most importantly he wants CHANGE!

    The only issue is that 2011 is now a race for second for him and not first.

    Best regards,
    Iain

  65. Mr Squiggle says:

    Mark needs to limit his media as much as possible.

    Its just not him, and the distortions it creates to his views seem unhelpful to his performance.

    Glad to see him race another year though.

    He reminds me very much of Denny Hulme, impatient and uneasy with the overt elements of F1.

  66. Jordan says:

    Hi James,

    Don’t know if I’m reading too much into this, but I remember it being reported last year that SV was less comfortable in the Red Bull during the early stages of ’10 until they started exploiting the off-throttle blowing…it’s interesting to note Mark’s speed at Silverstone this year where he seemed to have the measure of SV, and this was the one race this year where they banned off-throttle blowing (to a degree). With it being completely banned next year, do you think Mark may very well be in a better position than he’s giving himself credit for?

  67. jmv says:

    Mark you are our champion! A champion for the fans!

  68. Johnty says:

    Webber doesn’t usually refer to media via twitter but did this time “I’m hearing about a misquote about my plans to fight for the title next year,always possible to miss/add a few words for a good story..”

  69. Matt says:

    Confirmed as a misquote by Mark himself on Twitter

  70. Keith says:

    He just tweeted:
    “I’m hearing about a misquote about my plans to fight for the title next year,always possible to miss/add a few words for a good story..”

    I thought it was a bit strange, don’t call him Aussie Grit for nothing!!

    Go Mark for 2012!!

  71. Troy says:

    I think you will find the wording of the reporters question was changed when it went to print. I suspect the word “best” chance…was used in the interview, but when it goes to print they replace best with last to change the essence of the response.

  72. Nic Maennling says:

    One of my biggest disappointments in F-1 was Webber not winning the title in 2010. It would have been the perfect ending to that year. A good bloke who is a joy to have in the sport. Good luck to you Mark.

  73. Michael S says:

    I am utterly amazed how many of you act try to convince yourslef it is RB holiding Mark back. He has beat Vettel a single time all year, we are at race 16! He has horrible starts race after race his qualy pace is nowhere near Vettel. I would give real consideration to webber if he was anywhere closr to Vettel. I have nothing against Webber but I hate when he infers the team has somehow caused his horrible pace this year. Last year was his to win and he could not do it. he was never asked to mov for Vettel one time, it was Mark who crashed at Korea, and started to qualy poorly down the stretch…. too many excuses for this guy.

  74. Rob Newman says:

    Webber is one of the nicest drivers on the grid. He is very open an honest. I am sure he is going to be strong next year as I have a feeling that once they remove the hot air blower, the car will suit him more. But again we have to wait and see as Adrian Newey has said the new car will ‘surprise’ everyone on the paddock.

    He still thinks Vettel is favoured more at RBR than him. It is not 100% correct. However, given the current situation, their priority will be to wrap up the drivers title in Japan. Can’t complain about that. The way Vettel has won pole positions and races this year has had a negative effect on Webber (and some other drivers).

    But Vettel and Webber both have the same car. This year Webber had more problems but in 2010 it was Vettel who had most of the problems but Vettel didn’t give up and went on to win the championship.

    Webber has now denied some of the items published in Yahoo Singapore. Apparently he has said “I’m hearing about a misquote about my plans to fight for the title next year, always possible to miss or add a few words for a good story …”

  75. Curro says:

    I wonder whether sometimes he’s just too honest for F1.

    Even if he was misquoted, he should never put himself in a position where a slight change in the wording can project such a downcast expectation for himself.

  76. F1Fan4Life says:

    James, so glad you followed up on this with more telling info. I’m a little amazed, but not that much. It seems to me that RB really do back one driver more in subtle ways, and when two talented drivers are in a team, the subtle ways matter. I’ve had my doubts with the propaganda they spew about equality and team orders when castigating Ferrari, but in my opinion they are even more guilty of doing so in secret. I’m basing this on last year, not this year.

    That said a driver has to earn his spot. Mark has had so many car troubles this year that go unmentioned, but his level hasn’t been on par, and I doubt he’ll ever get on par now that he’s openly admitted he will not be given 100% backing at any point in time. It’s telling that Red Bull still signed him on again despite the fact that he clearly believes he will never beat his team mate. Mclaren seem to be the only team featuring equality, at least on the outside..

  77. Glenn says:

    “It should come as no surprise therefore to see these comments, but they may not be quite what they seem…”
    What exactly are you implying here James?
    Me thinks somethings fishy here…

  78. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    Even if RBR were favouring Vettel, Mark should still be coming 2nd each race. Due to various incidents (poor starts, etc) he hasn’t been able to do so. Therefore its difficult to blame the team for this.

  79. Andrew says:

    My respect for Webber grows and grows with another honest quote. He is having a disapointing season no doubt about compared to last year and has struggled at times to match Vettel but I still wish him all the best. A quote like this reminds of events of last year where he seemed to need to be the underdog describing how his being in the championship hunt was an unwelcome surspise for the team. He seems to need to fire himself up.

    As with the issue of team orders as Brundle and DC have often spoke about teams are making decisions that affect team orders and drivers right from the start of the year ie who gets first seat fitting and first time in the new car. It is I believe impossible to be totally fair to both driver. Red Bull clearly want Vettel to win more as he respresents everything that they respresent ie fun, young brand and it gives them a return for their investment of supporting him for many years. I have to say I believe of the would be champions there is more change of Webber winning the title than Massa in their current state.

  80. Drama Queen says:

    I expect a fierce last season from Mark next year.
    He has nothing to lose.
    Im quite dissapointed that you are riding this obviously tainted and mis-quoted interview.
    Check Marks twitter James.

  81. G.C. says:

    Last chance? like in 2008 for Massa? Massa did not say nothing like this, though I believe as opposed to Felipe (sadly), MW has got more resource to prove he was wrong!

  82. Rick J says:

    Mark is one of those good guys who since joining Red Bull has really grown in both ability and personal stature. I suspect very few would have viewed him as other than grid packing material a few years back, never mind the serious title contender he became last year. I can fully understand his disinterest in having anything to do with F1 after he quits driving because of the politics but what I hope is that he will take his fondness for 2 wheels and become a force on the motorcycle racing scene when he hangs up his helmet. How fantastic that would be!

  83. Wild Man says:

    Articles on ITV & Fox Sports have Mark denying that he said that in the interview. So the question remains. What did Mark actually say? And why would he make such comments to what appears to be an unknown interviewer? It does seem rather strange.

    As Mark would say, you don’t know what will happen next year (or at the next race). Bring on Suzuka.

    1. James Allen says:

      Read AUTOSPORT story today

      1. BurgerF1 says:

        Indeed. Then the title of this piece should be, Webber: “Maybe there is a good chance [2010] might have been my last chance [to be World Champion]”

        Not really headline material unless you get rid of the maybe’s and might’s.

        Regardless, Mark will have to step it up a couple notches to compete against Seb. He has to get the team around him, like Button has at McLaren: with results on the track.

  84. dom jones says:

    Well, he’s surely got no chance of winning the title so long as he’s got Vettel as a team mate????? If a driver can’t beat his team mate, then barring weird luck and circumstances, he cannot win the title. And this year he’s been absolutely trounced.

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