Mark Webber insists he is not worried Red Bull will ignore his bid for the 2012 world championship.
With two wins to his name now, the Australian is Fernando Alonso’s closest challenger for the title, and a full 16 points ahead of Red Bull’s reigning double world champion Sebastian Vettel. But in 2010, the 35-year-old sensed he was not racing on a level playing field, famously declaring his Silverstone win was “not bad for a number two driver” and earlier slamming his glass on the table after answering a question about driver equality.
Webber, however, insists things will be different in 2012.
“They (Red Bull) know that this year’s championship is so open that we don’t have the luxury of maybe just seeing how the season might unfold if you put the energy and the focus on one car,” he is quoted by the Melbourne newspaper The Age.
Asked if he thinks he will enjoy equal number one status with Vettel, Webber added: “Yes, I believe that, for sure.”
Team consultant Dr Helmut Marko told Sport Bild: “There will be no team orders; the drivers can race freely.”
And boss Christian Horner added: “Having both drivers competing for the title is a good headache to have.”
But it’s uncharted waters for Vettel, as he pushes to restore his old status as the Red Bull favourite.
Bild newspaper said after the British grand prix that the 25-year-old German is current “nothing more than the number two”.
Vettel insisted: “It’s too early to start counting up points.”