Mark Webber’s struggles in 2011 are about Pirelli tyres but also his teammate Sebastian Vettel according to Red Bull driver manager Helmut Marko, when he was asked about the difficult season suffered by the team’s Australian driver in 2011.
Last year Webber finished just a handful of points behind Vettel’s championship win, but in 2011 he has failed to win a single race compared with his soon-to-be double world champion teammate’s nine so far.
“Webber is suffering with the successes of Vettel,” Marko told Austrian television Servus TV this week.
“But if they did not have each other then neither would be where they are now, as they push each other to excel. This is also the principle of our team.”
Another factor has been the switch from Bridgestone to Pirelli tyres, as Vettel “has been better to adapt” according to Marko.
It has been suggested that Webber is unhappy with the inconsistency of the Pirellis off the grid, which has contributed to his run of poor starts.
“Mark has had some problems this year with the starts, which is a very complex process. But he is aware of it and he is working on it with his engineers and in the simulator,” said team boss Christian Horner.
Both Horner and Marko tipped him to solve the problem in the next couple of races, but according to Yahoo Singapore, Webber thinks he lost his only chance of becoming world champion last year.
“Yes of course, I do think that last year was my last chance at being world champion,” he is quoted as saying.
“To win the championship you need 100 per cent from the team. I think it’s difficult for the team to give 100pc 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,” added Webber.