F1: Webber Admits No Choice But To Stay At Red Bull Photo:
Mike Stevens | Oct, 11 2011 | 0 Comments

Mark Webber has vowed to improve despite now sharing a team garage with F1's youngest ever double world champion.

Less than a year ago, the Australian arrived at the season finale as a favourite for the championship, amid rumours he might be snapped up by Ferrari.

But ten days into October of 2011, his teammate Sebastian Vettel is the back-to-back title winner.

"We have had some problems but, ultimately, the problem is that I have not been fast enough or consistent enough to fight for wins with Sebastian," admitted the 35-year-old.

Webber said he has struggled to adapt to the Pirelli tyres and make good race starts but "It's true that I have struggled with Seb", he told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

"He has not had any problems with the tyres, with getting up and running at a good pace without destroying them. I have to improve," said Webber.

El Pais also reminded Webber that, last year amid the Silverstone front wing saga, he said that if he knew he was subordinate to his teammate, he would not sign a new deal.

"What has changed to make you sign for another season?" asked the newspaper.

Webber answered: "I re-signed because I had no choice."

But he denied that his single year deal is making him nervous, with drivers like Fernando Alonso and now Jenson Button locked into contracts for the long term.

"They are younger than me, but it doesn't worry me too much," insisted Webber. "You can sign for two or three years but I am sure that Jenson and Fernando have clauses to opt out if they don't have competitive cars."

And he insists he is not necessarily now Vettel's 'number 2'.

"Well, both this year and last year we started on equal terms but it ended well for Sebastian. This time I have just been fighting to win races.

"I have to be prepared because, maybe, he's not going to like the new car or is not comfortable with it," said Webber.

But he acknowledged that Vettel is likely to remain up to speed because the RB8 "is going to be very similar to what we have now".



Sorry Hamilton admits mirror visibility problem

Lewis Hamilton pointed the blame towards his car's mirrors at Suzuka after yet another crash with Felipe Massa.

Unlike in Singapore two weeks ago, the Briton was not penalised by the stewards for the latest run-in with his 2008 world championship rival.

But this time, Hamilton - who was physically accosted by Massa after the recent night race - issued an apology.

"There was no bad intention towards Felipe; I’ve got the utmost respect for him, he's a fantastic driver and he was extremely quick today," he said.

Earlier this season, when contemplating the number of on-track incidents Hamilton has endured in 2011, David Coulthard revealed that he had spoken to the 26-year-old about visibility.

"I said (to Hamilton) 'You sit very low in car, do you get enough visibility?' He said 'Although I sit low the visibility is fine'.

"But I wonder if he's missing out in close-quarter racing by sitting so low," added Coulthard.

Similarly, Nigel Mansell revealed this week that when he was a steward at Spa, he interviewed Hamilton about his clash with Pastor Maldonado at the bus-stop chicane.

"I asked Lewis if he had seen Maldonado and he replied 'no'," the 1992 world champion told the Daily Mail. "For all the years I did the job, I had an idea where everyone was on the track around me.

"No one in his right mind deliberately drives into another car, so I wonder if some of his problems have been caused by a lack of visibility? He needs to show better peripheral awareness of where he is," added Mansell.

After his latest crash with Massa, Hamilton finally admitted that he does have a visibility problem.

"The only thing I have to say is that I can't see anything out of my mirrors," said the Briton. "They vibrate so much down the straight. I had no idea he (Massa) was there.

"Maybe that's something we've got to look into."

Brazilian Massa, however, was not interested in Hamilton's explanation or even his apology.

"For what he says, I don't care, just (I care about) what he did. I care about what the federation says and what the FIA does (about it)," said the Ferrari driver.


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