Mark Webber will line up on the grid as the oldest F1 driver in the field, but former teammate David Coulthard says he can go on for a lot longer yet.
“Had it not been for Sebastian Vettel, Mark would have been maybe a multiple World Champion,” Coulthard told the Australian Grand Prix podcast, Keeping Track.
“The reality is that if Mark continues to do what he’s been doing over the last couple of years, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t continue.”
“The future is in Mark’s hands. He’s a great racing driver and has won nine Grands Prix, some of them fantastic like a couple of times at Silverstone and Monaco, two very different and challenging race tracks that show the depth of his talent."
Webber led the 2012 championship, and his teammate, until a car upgrade drove him into a slump, bringing his teammate back into contention and, eventually, to the title.
The Australian has also been linked with a drive at Le Mans with Porsche in 2014, a rumour partly driven by Red Bull's insistence on keeping Webber on one-year contracts, but Coulthard believes he can go on, keeping fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo from his RBR seat.
“That’s the dilemma Red Bull have. I’m sure Daniel would be entirely capable, but as a team, you want to keep the equilibrium if it’s working," Coulthard said.
"If the cake is turning out good every time, you keep putting in the same ingredients.”
Webber will be back on track in the RB9 at the second winter test before returning to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix on 17th March.