Poor starts and qualifying explains Mark Webber’s struggle to keep up with new back-to-back world champion Sebastian Vettel in 2011.
That is the claim of Ferrari’s Spanish test driver Marc Gene, who admitted in El Mundo newspaper that he is a “big fan” of Vettel’s Australian teammate at Red Bull.
Vettel, 24, has won nine races so far in 2011 and wrapped up the championship with four races to spare, while 35-year-old Webber is 130 points adrift in the sister car that is yet to record a single victory.
“I think the big difference has been in qualifying and then the (race) starts,” said Gene. “He hasn’t been as good in those areas and that has been the source of the points difference between the two (drivers).
“In the races their pace is very similar and in Suzuka the team even had to stop him (Webber) having a battle with Vettel.”
Meanwhile, Gene doubts that Vettel and Red Bull will run away with another easy title in 2012.
“I think not,” he wrote. “The other teams have learned a lot this year in their impossible fight with Red Bull and it makes me think it will be a big fight next year.”